Why Professional Service Firms Need a Powerful Project Accounting Solution
Professional services firms are used to managing projects, so a project accounting system is a natural fit. While most accounting or ERP systems have some sort of project accounting or job cost system, features specific to professional services firms are essential. They will help you run your business efficiently and take it to the next level.
Here are some of the features that can help your professional services firm:
Flexible work breakdown structure
Different types of structures let you manage projects without limiting yourself. You can track projects with multiple phases and involving different departments, while different rates and billing methods take into account the specifics of each of your projects. Security roles ensure everyone is equipped with the right tools to complete their tasks and can view the status of their projects and activities, increasing the chances that the project stays on track.
Multiple reporting dimensions
Look for a project accounting solution flexible enough to let you monitor project progress from a financial position rather than mixing accounting data with other standard organizational elements. A powerful project accounting solution should let the various teams and resources obtain reporting based on the metrics relevant to their needs, whether these are discipline, service, market, utilization levels and profitability by market.
Flexibility to manage different types of projects
An integrated project accounting system lets you manage multiple, overlapping projects across your organization, no matter the size, scope and duration. Look for a solution that supports multicurrency and multicompany functionalities to support your long-term growth. The integration also ensures information matches up across the board, and that everyone can access up-to-date project data while eliminating double entries.
Integrated time and expense module
Many professional services firms use Excel spreadsheets to manage billable time and expenses, increasing the risk of data entry errors. An integrated timesheet and expense report application eliminates those risks and provides project managers with real-time project data as the employees enter their time in their timesheet. This makes it easier to avoid delays and project overruns by allowing you to react faster to any changes.
Information not just for the accounting department
Your project accounting solution should provide you the tools and reports needed to quickly share data to everyone involved in your projects. This includes multiple coordinators and resources from different departments or companies. Project managers need real-time information to monitor their projects and make quick decisions, and should be able to access this data themselves. Build your own KPIs and personalized reports to ensure everyone gets the details they need when they need.
Note from the author
This blog was based on a previously written blog, Project Accounting: Why is it Important for Professional Service Firms?, first published back in 2010. What has changed in 10 years? Real-time access to reports and much more sophisticated levels of analysis. A fully integrated system including tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power BI and a complete project management solution such as JOVACO Project let you analyze and share data more easily than ever, facilitating the management and tracking of your projects.