Finding software can be overwhelming. We help service providers choose the right PSA software to improve operational effectiveness, employee value and management visibility.

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BQE Core SuiteFrontRunners 2021

BQE Core Legal is a cloud-based solution that offers integrated accounting, time tracking, and billing and invoicing. It can support the operations of a variety of law firms including litigation, corporate, family, tax, immigratio... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 54 recommendations

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Mavenlink

Mavenlink offers services and solutions for project management, resource planning, collaboration, and project accounting. Mavenlink combines the robust functionality of a Professional Services Automation solution with intuitive us... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 35 recommendations

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BigTimeFrontRunners 2021

BigTime is an online time and billing solution designed to serve professional service firms like accounting, engineering, government contracting, legal and IT services. The integrated solution offers features like time and expense... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 27 recommendations

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FreshBooksFrontRunners 2021

FreshBooks takes billing out of your hands and puts it on autopilot. Set up automated invoicing, online payment options (ACH and Credit Card), and late payment reminders to get paid 2x faster. Next, boost team productivity with pr... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 25 recommendations

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TimeSolv

TimeSolv is a cloud-based time tracking and billing solution that caters to accountants, consultants, architects, and freelancers, helping them manage daily business operations. TimeSolv integrates project management features... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 20 recommendations

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Aysling

Aysling is a cloud-based enterprise resource solution that can run an entire business, from leads to sales, through delivery to payments. Aysling is easy to deploy, configure, use, and manage while offering top-level support and a... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

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NetSuite SRP

NetSuite Professional Services Automation is used by professional services organizations to optimize their project-based operations. The software offers integrated project management, resource management, project-based accounting ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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Emburse Nexonia Timesheets

Nexonia is a cloud-based time reporting system for small to medium-sized businesses that want a tight integration to their ERP or accounting system. Users can plan and request time off, track billable hours, account for time spent... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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NetSuite OpenAir

NetSuite OpenAir offers buyers a collection of applications designed to support every stage of the professional services delivery lifecycle. Offered as Software-as-a-Service, the platform includes applications to manage projects, ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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CrossConcept Continuum PSA

CrossConcept Continuum is a cloud-based professional services automation (PSA) solution designed to help small and midsize businesses manage projects, track time and expenses, monitor resource allocation and manage invoicing. It i... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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Cartwheel

Cartwheel is business automation software that helps recruiters, software development firms, and other professional organizations make more money, faster. Using time-tracking and invoicing automation, Cartwheel makes it easy ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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FunctionFox

FunctionFox is a cloud-based time tracking and project management application, offering timesheets and estimates, as well as scheduling, task assignment, and reporting. FunctionFox’s capabilities are suited for the billing a... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Unanet

Unanet’s ERP solutions are purpose-built from the ground up for Government Contractors, A/E, and Professional Services organizations. 3,100+ organizations utilize the power of the Unanet software to gain insights, make more strate... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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Unanet A/E

Unanet’s ERP solutions are purpose-built from the ground up for Government Contractors, A/E, and Professional Services organizations. 3,100+ organizations utilize the power of the Unanet software to gain insights, make more strate... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Kimble

Kimble PSA helps professional service organizations make better decisions, sooner. Global leaders in consulting, software, and hi-tech such as NTT Data, Sage, and Canon use Kimble to optimize resource utilization, profitability, a... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Projector PSA

Project-based work is never static—resources move, scope changes happen, and markets shift. Projector PSA is a cloud-based Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution that helps organizations streamline their business to provi... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Beyond Software

Beyond Software is a project accounting and management software system available for small to mid-size companies. The system allows organizations to manage and execute around their projects by increasing visibility and creating ac... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Clarizen

Using Clarizen’s leading collaborative work management solution for the enterprise, businesses can solve challenges far beyond traditional work, project or resource management. With Clarizen’s enterprise-grade solution, teams are ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Striven

Striven is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suitable for many industries and organizations of all sizes. It offers features for accounting, inventory management, human resources, customer relationship mana... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Upland PSA

Upland PSA is the first Knowledge-Enabled PSA suite that augments services automation with Proposal Automation, Knowledge Management, Voice of the Customer and Employee Surveys, and Customer Reference Management. After almost 20 y... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 17, 2021

Professional Services Automation (PSA) software gives professional services organizations real-time access to critical information throughout their entire services project life cycle. PSA software improves operational effectiveness, employee value and management visibility.

Currently, there are hundreds of PSA software solutions on the market. In order to help you navigate this complex market, we’ve written this buyer's guide to support professional services organizations across a range of industries as they assess their options.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is PSA Software?
Common Features of PSA Software
Market Trends to Understand
Benefits and Potential Issues

What Is PSA Software?

PSA software is designed for service-oriented organizations needing to automate their processes and streamline their operations, including administration, service delivery and new business generation. PSA software is basically enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for a professional services firm. However, it’s focused primarily on the management of services delivered through human resources, rather than tangible assets.

With fully integrated professional services software, firms can improve intangibles that are more difficult to quantify, such as employee turnover, vendor efficiency and customer satisfaction. PSA software typically includes capabilities for project management, resource management, timesheet management and financial accounting.

Key industries benefiting from PSA software include: accountancy, advertising, architecture, audit, computer software services, construction, engineering, management consultancy, software/IT, aerospace and defense, telecommunications and marketing services.

Common Features of PSA Software

Project management Supports managers as they create and track schedules, budget for costs and collaborate with employees and clients. Functions include scheduling projects and employees, implementing budget and project cost tools and managing project tasks. Example products are Microsoft Dynamics GP, Netsuite OpenAir and Deltek Vision.
Project accounting Tracks revenues and expenses by client and project while simultaneously maintaining a close watch on profitability. A few key functions include billing as well as measuring accounts payable and receivable. Examples of products that provide this are Intacct Project Accounting, Sage Accpac and Microsoft Dnyamics SL for Professional Services.
Time & expense tracking Monitors employee work time and expenses. Functions of this application include detailing each professional’s availability, utilization and billing status as well as providing Web-based time sheets that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Examples of products that provide this application are Microsoft Dynamics NAV, SAP Business ByDesign and Sage Peachtree Quantum.
Billing & invoicing Streamlines and automates the expense management and reimbursement cycle, helping businesses create prompt and accurate invoices. Functions include financial reporting and submission processing. Examples of this product are Lawson S3 Financial Management, BillQuick and Sage Peachtree Accounting.
Help desk Improves service support for customers that have urgent queries needing attention. Functions of a help desk involve managing and tracking inquiries to create prompt responses as well as the option to compile a FAQ section so clients can instantly find answers. Example products are SAP for Professional Services, Epicor Professional Services and Microsoft Dynamics SL for Professional Services.
Knowledge & document management Maintains information shared across company networks to ensure that knowledge isn’t lost with changes in time, location or personnel. Functions involve collecting different document types, creating a centralized information repository and making this knowledge accessible for future development. Some example products include Epicor Professional Services, Deltek Vision and SAP for Professional Services.
Resource management Gives companies the tools to track human resources and schedule individuals to projects that best meet their knowledge and skills. Functions include helping managers streamline human resource allocation with customizable databases and providing detailed profiles of professionals that show their project availability and qualifications. A few examples of products with this application are BillQuick, Microsoft Dynamics AX and Lawson S3 Financial Management.
Procurement & inventory Ensures that supplies are acquired in compliance with regulations, are readily available and have been safeguarded against loss. Functions include identifying the best products at the best price and automating the process of managing vendors, commodities and contracts. Example products are SAP Business ByDesign, Sage Accpac and Microsoft Dynamics GP.
Sales & account management Enables companies to provide high-quality service by tracking past transactions and customer information. Some functions include storing and organizing customer information, analyzing buying trends, generating leads and personalizing marketing. Example vendors are Netsuite OpenAir, Sage Peachtree Quantum and Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Market Trends to Understand

As you evaluate PSA software comparisons, a number of trends should be considered. The viability of software vendors will depend on how they address the following trends:

Cloud computing. The proliferation of service firms in the U.S. and around the world is making a huge impact on the way they invest in technology. Since the majority of these firms have fewer than 100 employees, they are savvy shoppers seeking cost-effective, nimble solutions. Gone are the days of service firms investing heavily in on-premise equipment. Since every dollar counts, these firms are seeking remote cloud-based professional services solutions to remove the IT burden from their organization.

Interest-based resource utilization. A benefit that is more difficult to quantify, yet critical to improving profit margins is employee turnover costs. Smart service firms are seeking software solutions that give them the ability to consider employees’ interests when assigning them to projects to ensure motivation. This way, they can match their best performers with the projects those employees most want to take on.

Customer collaboration. Successful service firms have discovered the benefits of working collaboratively with their customers through the use of PSA software. Giving customers direct access to data like vendor schedules, so they can see project timeliness, or invoices, so they can approve and review billable invoices remotely via the cloud, increases customer retention. Technology has evolved to the point where permission and security is instantaneous, giving customers, vendors and stakeholders immediate access to project information.

Integrated accounting and project management. Today, firms realize using disparate systems for accounting and project management can waste time and lead to errors. Unifying both can eliminate uninformed decisions and improve data cleanliness. A single solution allows management to see where each project sits in real-time, which greatly impacts an organization’s ability to respond appropriately.

Benefits and Potential Issues

PSA software helps firms achieve immediate results by quickly improving, automating and streamlining processes that will ultimately help them, including:

  • Improving project and resource management, invoicing accuracy, time tracking and revenue recognition;
  • Improving overall performance and profitability with real-time, actionable insight;
  • Reducing errors and time spent on administrative functions and,
  • Enhancing customer relationships and retention with a higher level of collaboration.

Unfortunately, some firms fail to achieve these benefits, typically as a result of:

  • Introducing new project management may require substantial changes within the organization like business process re-engineering or the undoing of comfortable, yet inefficient workarounds;
  • Re-training staff reluctant to change from their existing software environment and,
  • Lack of buy-in from senior management, if they do not appreciate the benefits of a more complete solution.

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Professional Services Software, February 2021

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated PSA Software products in North America.

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.