What is PSA Software?

For service businesses managing multiple clients and projects, professional services automation (PSA) software can dramatically increase efficiency and profitability. From bid to bill, PSA software brings together the most important aspects of your business, including:

  • Project Management
  • Resource Management
  • Timesheets
  • Expense Management
  • Billing
  • Reporting

Some PSA software even integrates with powerful enterprise systems, like customer relationship management (CRM) software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, to provide a complete end-to-end solution for service businesses.

With the right cloud-based PSA software, your project-based business will benefit from:

  • Real-time insight into organizational performance and profitability
  • Improved on-time project delivery and success rates
  • Increased productivity and improved resource allocation
  • Mobile expense reporting and timesheets for employees on-the-go
  • Reduced overhead and maintenance associated with legacy on-premise solutions

By the numbers…

According to the Technology Professional Services Association’s 2010 Member Technology Survey, businesses using PSA report:

  • 48% higher PS revenue
  • 18% higher average annual revenue by consultant
  • 12% increase in gross margin for overall PS operations
  • 12% increase in project gross margin
  • 8% higher average billable rate
  • 5% higher average rate realization

What Kinds of Businesses Benefit from PSA Software?

PSA software is designed specifically to address the unique challenges faced by project-based service businesses, such as construction companies, IT consultants, lawyers, and marketing agencies, just to name a few. In particular, PSA software is designed to help integrate and streamline processes.

According to Mark Woodhams, NetSuite EMEA Managing Director, if your service business is relying on manual and disparate systems and spreadsheets to manage projects, track time, invoice clients, and more, it’s worth considering integrated PSA software.

> > Learn more: “5 Signs Your Services Firm is Ready for PSA Software.”

According to SPI Research’s 2019 Professional Services Benchmark Survey, almost 80% or professional service organizations have invested in PSA software. These investments are paying off, too: SPI reports that businesses using PSA software are 78% more profitable on average.

Investing in PSA Software: Questions to Ask

If you’ve decided that professional service automation software is right for your business, there are many solutions to choose from. Navigating the options can be frustrating. Here are 4 important questions to ask that will help determine which PSA software is right for you:

1. What business processes would most benefit from automation? Not all PSA software solutions are created equal, and different vendors offer different tools for project management, time management, expense reporting, billing, reporting, and more. Before you evaluate software providers, ask your managers what processes they’re interested in helping automate.

2. What integrations are you looking for? Depending on your business needs, certain PSA software providers offer a variety of integrations and add-ons, including integrated CRM and ERP solutions. Make sure to ask PSA vendors which business functions can be integrated with and supported by their software.

3. How will you manage overhead IT costs? PSA software is resource-intensive, and legacy on-premise solutions require significant IT costs to cover implementation, maintenance, and updates. For on-premise solutions, data storage and backups are also necessary. Cloud-based solutions, on the other hand, minimize overhead and IT expenses as everything is hosted in the cloud and automatically updated, so you’re always running the latest version of the software. Updates run continuously and data is available on-demand in real-time across the entire organization. With cloud-based PSA software, employees can typically manage timesheets and expenses remotely via mobile applications, as well. When choosing the right PSA software for your business, it’s important to consider the advantages of cloud-based software vs. legacy, on-premise solutions.

4. How will you implement? Not one PSA implementation is quite like another; your objectives, organizational structure, business processes, and other factors will help determine the ideal approach. In addition, PSA software is not a “one size fits all” solution, and should be customized to meet the unique needs of your service business. Last but not least, training is essential to make sure the entire organization is benefiting from the new software, and you’re getting the greatest possible return on investment. For these reasons and others, many businesses opt to work with a consultant that specializes in PSA software implementation and training. Even if you have a dedicated IT team, successfully implementing the software requires a nuanced understanding of its capabilities and customizations.

Interesting in streamlining business processes for greater efficiency and profitability? Looking to allocate resources more efficiently and maximize productivity? When it comes to growing your service business, cloud-based PSA software from NetSuite gives you the integrated tools you need to keep everyone on the same page. Learn more about what makes NetSuite OpenAir the world’s #1 PSA solution for project-based service businesses: take the tour.