Overcoming Complexity: Managing Professional Pain Points with Sage Intacct
The demand for professional service firms is growing as clients increasingly seek out experts in the field with deep technical knowledge and substantial expertise. But according to Government of Canada data, this boost in demand has also caused firms to adopt “one stop shopping” models that deliver end-to-end customer assistance and improve overall profitability.
The challenge? Expanding service mandates mean increased overall complexity for professional management firms, especially when it comes to delivering projects on-time, on-budget and with agreed-upon scope. Sage Intacct offers the ability to both streamline current operations and deliver client satisfaction by addressing seven key pain points.
Project status, profit margins and cost management are constantly-shifting variables, but they’re consistently relevant for professional service firms to ensure they’re meeting client expectations without negatively impacting revenue outcomes.
The problem? For many organizations, key data lives in disparate applications, making it difficult for companies to see what’s happening — when it’s happening — and make informed decisions. Sage Intacct for Professional Services can help bridge this gap by combining financial and project information into a single platform, in turn giving organizations the real-time visibility the need to act on data ASAP.
Speed matters in professional services. If companies can’t quickly respond to client inquiries or discover key insights, they’re behind the customer satisfaction curve. This is especially apparent in financial reporting — firms often find themselves struggling with slow data reporting that delivers outdated insights, in turn hampering their ability to take decisive action.
Sage Intacct empowers access of all relevant data in a single platform to deliver rapid reporting and insights on-demand.
Repetitive Data Entry
Accurate data entry is critical to assess project scope, determine appropriate rates and deliver on promised outcomes. But existing apps and services often frustrate this effort with an inability to integrate, meaning staff must enter the same data again and again across different platforms. This not only wastes time and resources but introduces the issue of human error — despite best efforts, human beings simply aren’t suited for repetitive data entry.
Relevant Information Capture
From contract terms to billing conditions and schedules, billable and non-billable hours and specific project services, professional firms are now tasked with capturing data from multiple sources simultaneously. But not all data is created equal — while some information offers valuable line-of-business (LOB) insight, other information isn’t immediately relevant. By automating billing and revenue recognition functions under a single software platform, however, it’s possible to capture key data and reconcile operational costs with potential outcomes.
Metrics matter — key performance indicators (KPIs), current financial statements and project progress reports help professional service firms ensure client initiatives are on-budget and on-track. But measurement-driven transparency also plays another critical role: Compliance.
Here’s why: As both regulatory and legislative expectations expand, organizations must able to show compliance end-to-end — from first client contact to initial service to final outcome. This includes due diligence around data capture, handling and storage along with auditable access records that clearly demonstrate who leveraged customer data, when, and why.
The result? Reliable transparency now forms a fundamental function of any professional service software stack.
Even small and midsize professional firms now have global reach. From the increasing use of cloud computing initiatives to the evolving regulations around international data storage and use, firms need robust reconciliation and consolidation of various entity activities, third-party actions and currency conversions.
Put simply? While the expanding reach and reputation of Canadian professional service firms has helped drive demand worldwide, the emerging complexity of global data consolidation speaks to the need for full-service software platforms capable of reducing reconciliation complexity without sacrificing security or speed.
Challenging the Status Quo
As the expertise offered by knowledge firms drives increased client interest, professional service companies need a way to manage the commensurate complexities of financial data capture, reporting and insight. Sage Intacct for service enterprises can help simplify processes and streamline projects by addressing key operational pain points across the organization.
Bottom line? With local and international expectations growing, it’s not enough for Canadian professional firms to maintain the status quo. Instead, it’s time to challenge — and overcome — complex financial operations with agile, adaptable and automated software offerings.
IWI Consulting Group is a Sage software provider and Sage 300 inventory distributor. As Sage ERP solution and Sage certified consultants, IWI is committed to helping Canadian professional service, process manufacturing, discreet manufacturing, financial, not profit and distribution companies improve their operational outcomes with best-fit Sage solutions.