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NETSUITE SAYS NO STANDARD BILLING TERMS

In response to requests by the SEC staff about its form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008 and for its 10Q for the second quarter ended June 30, NetSuite has said it does not have standard billing terms. I'm not sure this is a big deal, but the exchange of letters was interesting.

When the SEC asked about billing practices, NetSuite's response was "Such billing terms are negotiated on a customer-by-customer and contract-by-contract basis." And NetSuite told the SEC it didn't include unbilled deferred revenue in financial statement. It had previously said that disclosing total contract value could be confusing to readers. In outlining billing practices, NetSuite replied that “The timing and frequency of billing is negotiated by each customer.” As for not including unbilled deferred revenue, NetSuite wrote there is no standard practice in the industry to do so and that backlog was not material to investors’ understanding of the company’s business. NetSuite also said that its executives don’t utilize backlog as a factor in their financial or business analysis or in decision making. The company will now report backlog in the statements and offered a sample boilerplate statement about its practices and its belief that backlog means is not a meaningful measurement. As usually happens in these cases, the SEC responded that it has no further comment. The correspondence was posted on Edgar, the SEC’s online site, and dated in November, but there are often lags in the appearance of such correspondence online.

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