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BigTime

FrontRunners 2024

BigTime helps professional services firms reduce operational costs, easily align talent to the right projects, and accelerate time to get paid for completed work, all while enabling quicker decision-making by getting you the infor...Read more about BigTime

No reviews yet

49 recommendations

BQE CORE Suite

FrontRunners 2024

BQE’s powerful all-in-one platform and expert support give Architecture, Consulting, and Engineering firms the intuitive tools they need to meet the demands of their firm, empower their team, maximize profitability, and deliver su...Read more about BQE CORE Suite

No reviews yet

27 recommendations

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 about Striven

4.8 (116 reviews)

17 recommendations

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 about NetSuite OpenAir

4.0 (39 reviews)

12 recommendations

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Polaris PSA

Polaris Self-driving PSA by Replicon harvests 100% accurate business data in real-time, does the heavy-lifting analysis, and provides recommendations for proactive decision-making. SmartBeats constantly harvests data from us...Read more about Polaris PSA

4.6 (208 reviews)

10 recommendations

Ravetree

Ravetree is a cloud-based project management solution with integrated resource planning, customer relationship management and time and expense tracking capabilities. The solution helps users manage project workflows, task assignme...Read more about Ravetree

4.4 (22 reviews)

9 recommendations

OfficeTools

OfficeTools is a practice management solution for tax and accounting firms. Key features include client management, project management, time tracking, billing and invoicing, scheduling and reporting. OfficeTools offers a cent...Read more about OfficeTools

4.0 (197 reviews)

8 recommendations

Scoro

FrontRunners 2024

Scoro is a comprehensive work management software specifically designed to cater to the unique needs of service businesses that have grown weary of dealing with disjointed systems, unpredictable workloads, and shrinking profit ma...Read more about Scoro

4.6 (236 reviews)

6 recommendations

WrkPlan

Wrkplan is a cloud-based, integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. It is designed for government contractors including professionals, consulting and service providers with DCAA compliance requirements. The platform ...Read more about WrkPlan

5.0 (1 reviews)

5 recommendations

Mango Practice Management

Mango Practice Management (formerly known as Mango Billing) is a cloud-based practice management solution that is a game-changer for professional service firms to automate processes for Time & Expense Tracking, Invoicing, Scheduli...Read more about Mango Practice Management

3.9 (54 reviews)

4 recommendations

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 about Beyond Software

4.7 (7 reviews)

3 recommendations

Kantata

FrontRunners 2024

The Kantata Professional Services Cloud is purpose-built to help organizations with 50 to 5000+ employees unify resource management, project management, financial management, business intelligence and team collaboration all in one...Read more about Kantata

4.2 (613 reviews)

2 recommendations

ConnectWise PSA

FrontRunners 2024

ConnectWise PSA (formerly ConnectWise Manage) is a managed service provider (MSP) solution that caters to businesses of all sizes across various industries such as marketing and advertising, finance, sales, hospitality and more. K...Read more about ConnectWise PSA

4.1 (245 reviews)

2 recommendations

Accelo

FrontRunners 2024

Accelo is used and loved by professional service businesses around the world to manage their client work, profitably. The end-to-end cloud-based platform manages all aspects of client work delivery, from prospect to payment, inc...Read more about Accelo

4.5 (172 reviews)

2 recommendations

Wrike

FrontRunners 2024

Wrike is a cloud-based project management platform for teams of 20+ that is suitable for both large enterprises and SMBs. It supports remote work for various teams. This solution comes with Gantt charts, calendars, workload view f...Read more about Wrike

4.3 (2639 reviews)

1 recommendations

Project Insight

Project Insight (PI) is award-winning work & project management software that helps companies manage and visualize projects, allocate personnel, streamline accounting, and track what work is being done throughout their entire orga...Read more about Project Insight

4.4 (61 reviews)

1 recommendations

Upland PSA

Upland PSA (formerly Tenrox) helps build a predictable and profitable services business. Upland PSA centralizes timesheet and expense automation for your entire workforce with templates for different roles, clients, projects, or r...Read more about Upland PSA

4.3 (20 reviews)

1 recommendations

Birdview

FrontRunners 2024

Birdview is a comprehensive, full-cycle platform aiding organizations to plan, manage, and forecast resources, finances, and projects in one place. It offers total project visibility, enabling teams and clients to oversee their pr...Read more about Birdview

No reviews yet

1 recommendations

QuickBooks Time

QuickBooks Time is a cloud-based time tracking solution that helps owners and managers keep track of employees in real-time from their web or mobile applications. It provides mobile time tracking for employees who either work remo...Read more about QuickBooks Time

FreshBooks

FrontRunners 2024

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 about FreshBooks

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

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.