In 2021, there were more than 450,000 technical, scientific, and professional services firms in Canada. And while 87.6 percent of these organizations were profitable, data from Industry Canada found that 99 percent of these firms had less than 99 employees.
The result? As business volumes grow, so too does the complexity of financial management for professional services firms. This creates a challenge: With the vast majority of these organizations employing less than 100 people at locations across the country, it’s easy to get bogged down in tracking multiple project financials across disparate legacy systems, both increasing complexity for staff and reducing the amount of time companies can focus on what they do best: Providing professional services.
Sage Intacct can help. Here’s how.
Financial Management Challenges in the Professional Services Sector
The primary goal of professional services is to help clients. From law firms to marketing organizations and project management companies, professional services are about translating client needs into actionable results.
For many firms, however, the contract-based nature of their work means they’re handling multiple clients simultaneously, each with different needs, expectations, and timelines. While this creates a steady revenue stream, it also requires adept financial management to ensure that invoices are paid on time, cash flow is sufficient to keep operations up and running, and budgets match expected revenues.
At a small scale many professional services firms can cope, but thanks to the advent of remote and hybrid service offerings, companies are now able to easily scale business operations — but may not have the enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools necessary to manage the sudden influx of new clients. This problem is compounded by the use of legacy solutions that were designed to handle in-house financial functions but may lack the capability to make best use of cloud-based services.
ERP Evolution: What You Need to Succeed
So what does an ERP provider need to have for professional services to succeed? Three components are critical.
- Reliable ROI
When it comes to ERP for professional services, your company needs a solution optimized to deliver reliable return on investment. This goes beyond the product itself — look for a provider willing and capable of working with your team to develop a customized project plan that meets your specific needs.
- Ongoing improvement
It’s also critical to leverage an ERP solution that provides a path for ongoing improvement and expansion. As professional services firms both expand their operations and diversify their offerings, it’s worth deploying a solution that can both keep pace and help you stay ahead of the curve.
- Industry expertise
Last but not least? Look for a provider with in-depth industry expertise. Professional services come with unique pain points and challenges, making the right partner critical for ongoing success.
Intacct is Best ERP for Professional Services for its key benefits
Sage Intacct offers multiple benefits for professional services, including:
- Back-office automation
Easily automate back-office processes to reduce overall complexity and make it possible for your team to focus on what matters: Providing top-tier professional services. And effective automation isn’t just faster — it can help your company save thousands of dollars annually by eliminating costly redundant processes and data-entry errors.
- Cloud integration
Moving to the cloud-based framework of Sage Intacct gives companies the ability to scale up (or down) on-demand and quickly deploy new solutions or services to improve overall functionality. In addition, the shift away from legacy solutions can help firms reduce their total IT spend.
- Real-time data use
Access to real-time data analytics allows firms to pinpoint opportunities for increased project profitability. By taking a data-driven approach to decision-making, businesses are better equipped to manage their changing landscape of professional services and take advantage of emerging trends.
- Speedy consolidation
Sage Intacct makes it possible to consolidate hundreds of entities in just minutes, in turn letting your business focus on building relationships with professional services clients and discovering new market opportunities, rather than wasting time collecting, cataloging, and curating financial data points.
- AICPA preferred
Sage Intacct is the American Institute of Chartered Public Accountants (AICPA) only preferred provider of cloud financials, meaning both your team and your clients gain peace of mind that financial data is being handled efficiently, effectively, and securely.
The Future of Professional Service Financial Management
Put simply? The professional services sector in Canada is evolving. Companies are taking on more projects, more quickly, and clients expect both prompt and responsive service. As a result, legacy ERP solutions are no longer enough to get the job done — now, businesses need next-generation, cloud-based ERP systems to make the most of their professional potential.
Ready to streamline financial management for your professional services firm? See how Sage Intacct can help — get in touch with an IWI Consulting Group expert today.