What is professional services automation software?
Put simply, professional services automation (PSA) software is just another name for project management software that’s designed specifically for the needs of agencies that provide a professional service. PSA software features the tools an agency needs to stay on top of all the details and get paid for their work.
Features might vary from one software platform to another, but the overall benefits to the agency should be the same. So, why should you use PSA software? The short answer is… it will make your agency more efficient and profitable. For the long answer, and a more in-depth review of the benefits, keep reading.
Save time tracking time and increase billable hours
Tracking time is an important practice for any professional services agency that bills hourly. But, it’s also a practice that many are reluctant to embrace. PSA software should feature timers to make time tracking an effortless process, so people can not only track their time easily, but also spend less time doing so. When people are freed up from their mundane clerical responsibilities, they can spend more time doing billable creative work.
The same is applicable to agencies that already track their time, but using paper timesheets or Excel. PSA software is such an improvement over these antiquated time tracking methods that it is worth the time to make the transition.
Agencies that use the time tracking features of PSA software will also see their billable hours increase, without actually working more. That’s because timers are far better at tracking our time than we are at recollecting it. We’ve interviewed several agencies who have seen an increase of up to 30% in their billable hours, simply from deploying professional services automation software.
Delegate tasks and monitor team progress
One key factor behind any successful agency is their ability to organize and get things done. PSA software includes task management features for this reason. Projects can be broken down into smaller tasks and delegated to the team. From there, managing a project and monitoring its progress are straightforward enough that you don’t have to be a certified project manager to keep projects on track.
The collaborative nature of task management software distributes responsibility across the team in such a way that everyone knows exactly what needs to be done for the project to be successful. It also gives the agency a window into the current status of any project. With everyone on the same page, it’s pretty difficult to steer a project in the wrong direction.
Run reports to analyze productivity and profitability
Time tracking and task management are indispensable tools for any professional services agency. And when time tracking features are closely integrated with task management, agencies can find out exactly where their time is going. But, it’s hard to make sense of all this data without any reporting.
Reporting tools will compile and crunch all of the data into meaningful narratives that help the agency understand where they can improve their productivity and increase profitability. And, the more an agency understands where its time and money are going, the better it can plan for upcoming projects. The ability to know how much time a project will require, and how much it will cost, before it even begins, is a huge benefit. Professional services automation software makes this a reality for any agency willing to incorporate the software into its workflow.
Automatically generate detailed invoices
Once a solid foundation of task management and time tracking practices are established, getting paid for your work is a much easier process. With a few clicks, PSA software can generate an accurately detailed invoice based on real data. Gone are the days of tallying up time entries and wrestling with spreadsheets in Excel. Let the software build the invoice for you. It’s faster, and more accurate.
Issuing that last and final invoice might seem like a detached process, separate from the project management cycle. It’s not. And, doing it right requires a level of organization and tracking throughout the project, a benefit that professional services automation software provides.
The ability to quickly generate accurately detailed reports and invoices also provides a level of transparency that goes a long way in building trusting client relationships. And trust is the number one reason clients will bring repeat business to your agency.