Professional services automation
Professional services automation (frequently abbreviated to PSA) is software designed to assist professionals, such as lawyers, auditors, IT consultants and other professionals, with project management and resource management for client projects. This is accomplished by developing metrics to quantify and qualify basic business processes that can then be used to streamline and improve those processes.
Typical PSA functions include project management and documentation, time recording, billing, and reporting. Labor utilization is another PSA function that can be managed with professional services automation software. These features are often integrated with accounting, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and payroll systems in order to improve efficiency of overall operations. As a result, in addition to better managing client projects, independent contractors can prevent lost revenue and slow billing cycles.
Ultimately PSA software suites allow users to integrate industry-appropriate metrics in order to better understand operations and, in turn, improve efficiency and profitability. As businesses grow, the size and complexity of their projects tend to increase as well. PSA software is used to provide visibility into mid-project profitability.
Those familiar with ERP software may like to think of PSA as an ERP system for service organizations.
Types of PSA Software
In its simplest form, PSA software may offer only timesheet systems (including expense reporting and project management). However, in their most robust incarnation they can also include customer relationship management (CRM), resource management, opportunity and knowledge management.
A comparison of PSA software is available.
- Melik, Rudolf (2002). PSA: Professional Services Automation: Optimizing Project and Service Oriented Organizations. New York, NY: Wiley. ISBN 0-471-23018-9.
PSA Software Awards
As in most software categories, the SIIA rates this category of software.
- "2007 PSVillage Professional Services Autmoation (PSA) End-User Survey". SPI Research. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- Rudolf Melik (April 2002). "PSA: Professional Services Automation: Optimizing Project and Service Oriented Organizations". Wiley; New York, NY.
- R. David Hofferberth (April 2, 2001). "Professional Services Automation - Pointing the Way To Higher Profitability". ChannelWeb. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- Michael Burns (May 2006). "PSA Comparison". 180 Systems. Retrieved November 4, 2009.[dead link]