The past year was marked by rapid tech adoption, and as we move further into 2021, more businesses than ever are recognizing the importance of harnessing the right tech. In addition to being remote-friendly and cloud-based, increasingly that tech is expected to offer a certain level of automation. Lawyers, auditors, IT consultants and other businesses in the professional services sector have a huge opportunity here in the form of professional services automation (PSA) software. To aid your research, we’ve selected some of the best examples of different PSA software currently available on the market to drive greater operational efficiency.
What makes good PSA software?
PSA software is specifically designed to automate and manage common tasks required to simply run your business – including time tracking, billing, reporting, project management and resource allocation. Typically, PSA software is an end-to-end solution that uses metrics to measure basic business processes, and then improve and refine those processes accordingly.
Before forking out for new PSA software, and then spending time and effort training employees to use it, you should ask yourself some important questions to clarify the specific problems you are hoping to solve. Question the value a new PSA software will bring you, what makes it an improvement on your current solution, and evidence of ROI to suggest it will deliver on its promises. As a long-term investment, consider how the software fits with your wider business objectives, whether it can flex and scale with you, and whether it will actually enable your teams to work smarter.
Crucially, you don’t want your PSA software to become a monolith – cumbersome, slow and dating quickly. While a lot of PSA software tries to address every single business function, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to find an all-in-one solution. In fact, tools that specialize in one specific area, like accounts payable automation or automatic time tracking, usually tend to offer a superior user experience, feature set and ROI when compared those that try to solve everything in one package – not to mention more flexible and budget-friendly pricing.
Best-in-class PSA software
With all of that in mind, we’ve pulled together a selection of best-in-class PSA software to check out for 2021 – from nimble specialist tools, to all-in-one giants covering multiple business functions.
Timely completely automates team time tracking to produce an objective record of all project work with minimal effort. Unlike any other PSA software, it is able to capture work activities automatically in the background, removing the need for your team to manage timers and manually input information throughout the day. In addition to creating accurate timesheets for invoicing clients, all user-approved time data is then fed into real-time project and team management dashboards, to help you proactively manage budgets and project profitability, utilization, overtime and capacity.
Timely also offers customized and live reporting options, quickly creating beautiful reports that make it easy to visualize and share time data, and make data-driven decisions. Native integrations with popular project and task management tools – as well as Zapier – make it easy to connect and share Timely data across the rest of your stack, ensuring all information stays seamlessly up-to-date. Popular among IT consultancies, accounting firms and agencies, Timely is a no-brainer if your main motivation for PSA software is to accurately capture, manage and report on team time.
Kimble PSA is designed to work effortlessly with CRM, and enables professional service organizations to make smarter decisions, sooner. Some of the world’s leading tech companies use Kimble to improve resource utilization, profitability, and business scalability, and to consistently provide real value to their customers. Kimble’s resource planning features include pipeline capacity as well as live assignments, which gives greater insight into future demands on resources, and makes it easy for managers to ensure projects stay on track and resources are shrewdly allocated.
Kimble also provides real-time projected effort, costs and margins, and provides intelligent insights that can be used to drive business priorities. Plus, Kimble’s reporting and dashboards enable teams to plan future business performance, while simultaneously helping operational teams manage daily resource allocation and project management. Ultimately, Kimble is centered around successful project delivery, and makes it easy to keep everyone in the loop about what’s happening and what’s about to happen.
With over 1,500 customers worldwide, NetSuite OpenAir is one of the most commonly used PSA systems around. Widely considered the leader in cloud PSA software, NetSuite provides companies with a unified solution to manage all business operations as well as the customer lifecycle, and gives you the tools and intel to monitor, evolve and grow your business.
It provides you with total visibility and control for project-based businesses, and its cloud-based delivery also provides rapid ROI by eliminating expensive hardware and software maintenance. With powerful capabilities for managing resources, projects, accounting, timesheet and expenses, and offering built-in business intelligence as well as real-time insights, NetSuite allows businesses to expand effortlessly, and provide support for a global workforce with access anytime, and anywhere.
Software company Deltek is the leading provider of business IT solutions for professional services and government contractors, and their heavyweight PSA solution, Deltek Vantagepoint, combines accounting, resource management, project management, time/expense management, and client management in one single location. Because people and projects make up the beating heart of any business, Deltek Vantagepoint is specifically designed to provide a holistic view of resources, project, planning and financial details – thus enabling managers to make informed business decisions and work towards a more productive and profitable company where everyone has a manageable workload.
Deltek’s PSA offerings are fully integrated, meaning it provides time and expense tracking, quotes and estimates, portfolio and project management, proposal generation and resource management, allowing large organizations to collaborate across departments with both speed and ease. It also provides streamlined accounting for better cash flow management, and makes it easy for businesses to manage growth opportunities and profitability.
Keep your team ticking
Timely automatically tracks team hours, activity and capacity to keep remote work visible. Lead happier, healthier teams.