Automating finances has many benefits for consultancies. But as you’ve probably already discovered it is important and sometimes difficult to choose the right professional services automation (PSA) software to avoid potential drawbacks. Get started with our checklist now!
In this blog post, we’ll cover the factors to consider when you're a CFO looking to automate your consultancy's finances. We’ll will even provide you an easy checklist (but more on that later).
Why is automation important for professional services organisations?
Automation is changing the landscape of modern business. By simplifying or eliminating repeatable business processes and manual tasks, technology enables companies from all industries to operate faster, smarter, and more efficiently.
Automating your finances also changes the role of the accounting team
Actually, automating your finances is one of the crucial ways to optimise and grow your business. Financial experts agree that with the advent of automation software, the role of the accounting team is shifting from solely bookkeeping to an elevated importance in the decision making and the overall strategy of the company.
Make real-time decisions driven by data
Today, there is an abundance of data to be collected and analysed in order to gain valuable insights, to reach and secure competitive advantages, and facilitate growth of your company.
Automating your finances means making decisions that are based on data instead of gut-feelings, and without the guidance of data, a company risks being left behind.
How PSA software can support the role of the modern CFO
Companies in the services industry have a lot to gain from financial automation, as they operate within a complex environment, where multiple employees and sub-contractors are working on various projects with different clients.
Having different types of contracts types – or even different invoicing methods for individual phases of projects – only adds to the difficulty of keeping the projects’ finances under control.
Professional services automation (PSA) platforms software improves all crucial aspects of project management:
- Time and expense trackings
- Scheduling and planning
… throughout a project’s entire lifecycle.
Automating financial processes brings order to finances of service companies. Employees track their billable hours, which are matched with the planned budget and eventually with the invoicing feature. Thus, it becomes easy to track and charge for any other costs of work in real time, such as outsourced services or travel expenses.
Hassle free insights into projects’ financial data for CFOs
The CFO gains a continuous access to all the project’s financial data without having to send e-mails back and forth and chase the project manager for answers.
Automated project invoicing, in combination with time tracking, puts an end to errors when manually punching in and retrieving information from spreadsheets.
Billing the clients becomes punctual and accurate, and it has a positive impact on the company’s cashflow. With an absolute overview of finances, the CFO can react to opportunities and risks before it is too late.
Instead of wasting precious hours on creating monthly reports, the CFO can whip up reports in no time – any time. And concentrate on what matters most; using the reports to make informed decisions and create financial strategies that will take the business to the next level.
Do not forget about your colleagues
It is necessary that the PSA platform software has a user-friendly and accessible time tracking feature. With continuous and accurate time tracking, project members will become much better at prioritising important tasks and organising their workloads.
The most important guideline when picking PSA software is to find one that is both sophisticated enough to meet your demands, and at the same time simple to use.
What is the best PSA software?
The success of automating your financial processes mainly depends on picking the right automation platform; one that will fit to match your company’s needs.
Checklist for choosing PSA software
To avoid potential drawbacks, here are some questions you should ask yourself before investing in a tool:
- Can the platform handle all the contract types you are using for billing your clients?
- How flexible is it for charging clients in more than one way?
- Will you be able to manage the complexity of work hours, total expenses, travel expenses, sub-contractors, or even charging individual tasks of a single project separately?
- Does the system help you keep track of the obligations to the client, and report internally to the management?
- Does it support seamless integration with other applications?
- How will your company’s business operations look in the future, and can the platform adapt to that?
- How does the platform hold up to general changes in the business world?
For example, as remote work came to be common practice, cloud-based platforms, accessible from anywhere, at any time, have proven to be a better choice than employing software on premises.
Ready to improve your financial project management?
The bottom line of professional services automation is to alleviate the burden of manual, bureaucratic tasks for all key departments. That way, everyone in your team can focus on the projects themselves, generating value for the clients.
TimeLog’s automated project invoicing is a strong financial management platform, providing overview of the project progress and your financial results. TimeLog offers a unique flexibility for managing your project finances and contracts and integrates tools you are already using.
Interested in learning more about how TimeLog improves your financial project management?