Challenges Faced by the Professional Services Industry
Project and Resource Management
In order to compete in today’s world, successful project management is imperative. There are many factors to consider when managing resources: virtual teams, contractors, foreign workers and aligning your people and their skills with client engagements. Your clients have also become more sophisticated about how they purchase professional services, demanding that engagements be performed faster, with measurable success and still be cost effective.
An accounting system for a professional services company not only allow firms to track operational metrics, but also allows for real time information accessible to executives and managers. By using an automated solution, you can streamline the project management function, and track operational metrics quickly and efficiently.
With competition popping up everywhere, your organization must manage costs in the most effective way possible. One of the biggest challenges of managing costs is the war for talent. Consultants are the heart of any professional services company and slashing salaries or support personnel just doesn’t cut it. As a CFO, you must be diligent in driving down costs without sacrificing quality.
An accounting solution provides a 360-degree view into a firm’s project accounting, allowing the CFO to control costs, speed billing cycles, monitor variations in estimates, and reduce risk. It also allows you to streamline financial management processes by integrating data from various systems. As a result, you can control general ledger, payables, receivables, inventory purchasing, fixed assets, and cash flow. This allows you to gain a better understanding of the business in real time and provide decision makers with the information required.
Professional services organizations are challenged with generating more information through portals or by customized management reports. You also need KPIs on hand to measure performance, improve project efficiency and manage internal costs. This is especially important when dealing with the increasingly complex reports that the more demanding clients insist on and that threaten to drive up costs. Not to mention, tight government regulations require greater reporting capacity and processes that are specific to the location in which the company operates.
Since time is a scarce commodity, the priority of any professional services organization is to optimize the use of time. A professional services automation solution will minimize administrative tasks allowing consultants to focus on what’s important- the client. Integrated with an accounting solution, it also provides executives with the right information to better manage budgets, create and consolidate reports, and look for trends and relationships in all aspects of the business. You are also given more visibility into financial and project accounting, therefore allowing you to maintain tighter control over costs, shorten billing cycles, monitor variations in estimates, and help track trends in profitability.