Five examples of Professional Service Automation (PSA) software on the market
In today's competitive landscape, your time and expertise as a consultant are your most valuable assets. To help you make the most of both, we've compared five PSA software thoroughly, looking at their features and benefits."
What is a PSA Software?
PSA software helps you manage your projects, resources (aka people), time, and finances more efficiently and with greater precision.
It refers to the use of technology to streamline the delivery of services such as consulting, marketing, engineering, and more.
The five PSA software we compare in this article are:
- QBIS business system
Time tracking: An essential for PSA software's
By keeping track of both in-house and client work hours, companies get a clear picture of how their team spends time. This helps in assigning tasks better and also reduces idle time. Time tracking is more than just clock-watching; it's a key part of improving your business and making the most of your resources.
Time tracking applications: Time tracking applications for PSA software significantly enhance efficiency by allowing swift and accurate logging of time spent on various tasks. By providing separate applications from their web version, these tools eliminate the need for manual time tracking, promoting operational agility and enabling users to adapt to changing project demands seamlessly. By ensuring quick and hassle-free time tracking, they allow users to focus more on their work, boosting overall productivity and effectiveness.
Note that all mentioned systems have a web version available.
Time tracking integrations: Time tracking integrations in systems offer users a consolidated overview of their time management, streamlining the tracking process across various platforms and tools. By integrating multiple time-tracking methods, users gain a more comprehensive insight into their time allocation.
This optimisation not only simplifies time tracking but also enhances efficiency and accuracy in time management. In short, you do not have to track time in multiple places.
Timestamps Start/Stop: PSA software with timestamps facilitate effortless compliance with regulations such as the 11-hour rule by providing clear and precise time intervals for tasks. They offer an automated and accurate approach to monitor working hours, ensuring transparency and adherence to work-time directives.
This feature aids in efficient work management, allowing users to focus on tasks without the worry of manual time tracking and regulatory compliance.
Tracking time on project: Tracking time on projects is streamlined with dedicated tools, allowing effortless logging of hours spent on each task within a project. These tools provide clear insights into time allocation, enabling users to easily track the time remaining for each task and ensure timely project completion.
Additional features like the option to add comments, and categorise tasks as billable or non-billable, further enhance the time registration process, ensuring comprehensive and detailed project time management.
Integrations: How efficient is your eco-system?
Integrating your PSA software with other business software like CRM or project management can make a big difference. It helps everything work together more smoothly, making your day-to-day tasks easier and more efficient.
Finance integrations: A PSA software with finance integrations can streamline financial processes, making operations more agile by reducing manual data entry and potential errors. These integrations seamlessly connect financial data across platforms, minimising manual interventions and ensuring accurate financial tracking.
By centralising financial information, users gain a clearer and more comprehensive overview of their finances, facilitating better decision-making and financial management.
Salary integrations: Having a PSA software with salary integrations, offers a holistic view of users' earnings, absences, mileage, and expenses, all in one place. By consolidating this data, the system eliminates the need to juggle multiple platforms or manual records. This streamlined approach ensures accurate salary computations, simplifies expense tracking, and provides a clear snapshot of financial aspects related to employment, enhancing overall financial management and transparency.
A question you could ask yourself is if you need to transfer salary only, or milage and expenses as well.
Other integrations: PSA software having a wide range of integration, can expand the platform's capabilities, allowing users to harness a diverse range of functionalities seamlessly. By integrating with tools like project management, ERP, file sharing, gamification, and BI, the PSA system becomes a centralised hub for various operations. This interconnected ecosystem ensures streamlined workflows, enhanced data sharing, and a unified user experience, optimising the overall efficiency and effectiveness of managing projects and business processes.
Before selecting a software and its integrations, consider: "Do you require continuous synchronisation, or are you comfortable with manual syncing?".
Reports & KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Having Reports & KPIs built into a software system is a game-changer for businesses. It eliminates the need for manual data gathering and analysis, making it easier to track performance in real-time. This built-in feature allows companies to make quicker, more informed decisions.
Reports: Reporting is a cornerstone feature for Professional Services Automation (PSA) tools because it provides actionable insights into project performance and resource allocation. Through comprehensive reporting, organisations can make data-driven decisions, ensuring optimal utilisation of resources and timely project delivery.
Furthermore, with accurate and timely reports, businesses can identify areas of improvement, forecast trends, and enhance overall operational efficiency. A few reports that are essential in a PSA software is Time registration per project/employee, Project portfolio & Internal/external analysis.
KPI: Professional Services Automation (PSA) software should inherently offer Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to its users because they serve as a compass, guiding businesses towards their strategic objectives. By integrating KPI tracking, PSA tools empower their customers with actionable metrics, ensuring that they can measure and optimise their operations against industry standards. Offering KPIs is not just a feature but a commitment by PSA providers to ensure their users have the best tools at hand to drive success and continuous improvement.
Are you interested to read more about KPIs, and what you might need to consider to run a healthy business? Discover our SPI Benchmark for 2023 to find out more.
Resource management is a critical aspect of any successful business operation. When a software system includes built-in resource management features, it streamlines the process of allocating and tracking resources. This not only saves time but also enhances productivity and efficiency.
Resource planner: Professional Services Automation software, complemented by a Resource Planner, provides its users with a refined approach to visualising and organising workforce allocation. While not a fundamental necessity, this planner feature adds depth to a PSA tool's suite, enabling businesses to map out their resources with greater precision.
It's a thoughtful touch for those aiming to elevate their scheduling and allocation strategies, offering a clearer view of team engagements and availability.
Learn more on how you can master your resource planning & allocation.
Invoicing & finance: Enhancing Accuracy and Financial Oversight
Managing projects is just one part of the equation; effective financial oversight is equally crucial. Integrated invoicing and finance features within PSA tools simplify this complex task. They allow for real-time tracking of expenses, streamlined invoicing, and more accurate financial forecasting.
Currency handling: A currency handling feature in a PSA software, provides its users with an elegant solution to juggle multiple currencies seamlessly. While it's not a staple for every organisation, this capability can be a game-changer for businesses operating internationally. It's a beneficial addition for those wanting a streamlined approach to managing diverse currencies within their system, ensuring accurate financial operations and reporting across borders.
A few things to look for in a currency handling feature is the ability to have a currency, connected to legal entities. e.g. DKK to Denmark and SEK to Sweden, if you have the option to see reporting data based on different currencies, and if you get the flexibility to either have currency exchange rate updated automatically, once per month, or select your own currency exchange period.
Multi-legal entities: When Professional Services Automation (PSA) software offers a feature for handling Multiple Legal Entities, it opens up a world of convenience for businesses. Even if not every company requires it, having the option can be a valuable asset.
This feature simplifies the task of overseeing various branches or subsidiaries, ensuring smooth operations and clear reporting. It's a thoughtful addition that showcases the software's versatility in catering to diverse business needs.
Automated project invoicing: : The Automated Project Invoicing feature in Professional Services Automation (PSA) software is designed to revolutionise financial workflows. While not every organisation might deem it essential, its efficiency benefits are undeniable. A feature that should be included in the system is allowing users to produce hundreds of preliminary invoice drafts with just a few clicks. Rather than manually constructing each invoice, the focus shifts to managing the data within drafts that are automatically generated by the system.
A feature like this, should come with a selection of customisable templates, which can be linked to specific customers or projects. Once linked, the system will auto-populate these drafts with the necessary information. The implementation of this functionality offers several advantages: it streamlines the invoicing process, enhances invoice quality, and saves time.
Onboarding, support & privacy
Starting with a new system can often be a daunting task, but comprehensive onboarding guides and helpful support can make all the difference. These resources ensure that users can quickly become proficient, maximising the system's benefits right from the get-go.
Chat, email & phone support: Offering Chat, Email, and Phone Support within a system signifies a comprehensive approach to customer service and communication. While some businesses might prioritise one channel over others, having a trio of options ensures that clients can reach out in the manner most convenient for them. These channels facilitate real-time responses, detailed email inquiries, and direct voice interactions, catering to diverse user preferences.
This multi-faceted support structure highlights the system's commitment to accessibility and user satisfaction.
In-system guides: A PSA software that have incorporated In-System Guides into its platform showcases a dedication to user-friendly navigation and onboarding. While not every user might require guidance, having these intuitive tutorials ensures that individuals, regardless of their tech proficiency, can navigate the system with ease. These guides provide step-by-step instructions, tips, and visual aids, making the user experience smoother and more intuitive.
This feature emphasises the platform's focus on user empowerment and seamless system interaction.
Knowledge base & help site: Featuring a Knowledgebase and Help Site within a platform underscores a commitment to empowering users with accessible information and self-help resources. While some users might be familiar with the system's intricacies, these tools ensure that everyone, from novices to experts, has a reliable reference point.
The Knowledgebase offers detailed articles, FAQs, and solutions, while the Help Site serves as a hub for tutorials and user guides. Together, they highlight the platform's dedication to fostering an informed and self-reliant user community.
GDPR & ISAE: Ensuring GDPR and ISAE compliance in a Professional Services Automation (PSA) system is a testament to the company's commitment to data security and regulatory adherence. While not every customer may be fully aware of these standards, their importance cannot be overstated for businesses operating in or with the European Union and those concerned with assurance over controls.
Non-compliance not only exposes the company to significant legal risks and financial penalties but can also erode customer trust. Compliance with GDPR safeguards personal data, while ISAE compliance assures the reliability and security of operational processes. Together, these certifications elevate the system's credibility and demonstrate a robust approach to risk management and data protection.
Professional service organisations (PSO) can benefit from using PSA software to manage their projects, resources, time, and finances more effectively. There are many PSA solutions available on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits.
We have compared five of them: TimeLog, EazyProject, Harvest, Milient, and QBIS Business System. Based on our comparison, ultimately, the choice of the best PSA solution depends on your specific requirements and preferences. We hope that this comparison has helped you to make an informed decision.
Learn more about how companies can benefit from a PSA software in this year's SPI Benchmark.