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  1. Technology
November 30, 2021

How to leverage automation for agility at your services-based company

Professional services must embrace automation to tackle the complexity that comes with business growth. Discover which performance indicators they should be paying the most attention.

By lead monitor

As a professional services company, you can face many challenges – not least the increasing levels of complexity as you take on more projects, expand into new regions and industries, and add lines of business.

Suddenly, simple, manual processes become laborious and time-intensive, draining your team’s productivity. One of the areas where this is most noticeable is in the finance department.

Replacing manual work with automation in finance not only improves efficiency, but also reduces human errors. (Photo by Pinkypills/iStock)

Take project accounting, for example: to profitably sustain your momentum, you need more information – and faster – than ever before. Which projects should you bid on? What prices should you charge for any given location or industry? What resources will you need to meet client deadlines?

Unfortunately, for many professional services companies, this means pulling disparate and potentially siloed data from across the organisation. Time and resources are wasted just by copying data from the CRM system to your accounting system, or the delivery team managing their time and expenses in Microsoft Excel because they can’t remotely access the time-tracking system.

But visibility is critical for business decision-making based on project, customer, or industry. The answer? Automation.

Replacing manual work with automation in finance not only improves efficiency, but also reduces human errors, and allows businesses to respond to fluctuations in demand.

One whitepaper from Sage Intacct, Project Accounting Software Evaluation Guide, examines how you can meet today’s project-accounting challenges. As you evaluate your options, what factors are most important? The paper provides a list of essential attributes you need to look for when evaluating project accounting software.

  • Increase business agility with a modern accounting architecture.
  • Simplify time and expense management.
  • Gain visibility through accurate, detailed project costing.
  • Automate project billing.
  • Streamline global consolidations and multi-entity management.
  • Make informed decisions with project profitability insights.
  • Deploy your best of breed solution on a proven cloud financial management platform.

Capturing the right performance indicators

Elsewhere, Service Performance Insight has conducted a recent survey of 561 professional services organisations ranging from IT consulting, management consulting, marketing, accounting, legal and other types of service-based businesses, helping them shed new light on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in several key areas.

These KPIs help firms benchmark their financial data and identify where they need to focus as they strive for continuous improvement and growth. The Sage Intacct whitepaper, 6 Key Metrics for Professional Service Organisations Calculations, highlights these KPIs, the factors that commonly affect these numbers – and what you can do to improve them.

It also provides real-world stories of financial leaders that have faced these challenges and found ways to succeed. From diving into cash flow – from reissuing invoices and the billing cycle to collections – to utilisation, write-offs and project profit, discover the calculations, obstacles and best practices for financial excellence.

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