Every professional services firm passes through all stages of the service delivery cycle, from project evaluation to final project delivery. Each stage includes a variety of processes related to project, resources, time, and financial management, and combines a number of various steps.
Most of the complications await companies during their rapid growth stage. Organizations simply don’t have time to rebuild internal processes quickly and are likely to face such issues as overloaded or underutilized resources, missed deadlines, projects running out of budget, and much more.
Currently, the market offers various solutions to cover each of these issues separately. However, they can be solved with the help of a single tool, thus allowing a company to manage every stage of the service delivery cycle within a single platform. This is where professional services automation software or PSA comes in handy.
In this article, well cover the top 10 PSA tools and provide all of the information you need to make a decision on which of the professional services automation solutions can fit your companys needs best.
Table of contents:
- What is PSA software?
- 10 Best PSA Software 2023
- Final Thoughts
What is PSA software?
PSA or professional services automation solution is specifically designed to help professional services firms to manage every step of their delivery process within a single workspace. Such platforms aim to combine all of the functionalities a team needs to deliver their services at their best, including:
- Resource management and scheduling
- Time and cost management
- Budgeting and accounting
- Project and task tracking
- Reports and dashboards
- Team collaboration tools
- Client engagement tools (guest portal)
All of the above-mentioned features can be provided separately by different tools. But the main idea of PSA software is to combine all of these functionalities within a single platform and eliminate the need to switch between multiple solutions, thus decreasing the number of errors and saving team time for a more important task – delivering services to clients.
10 Best PSA Software 2023
Planview is the first solution in our top 10 PSA list of 2023. Its a portfolio and work management platform that helps enterprises to improve planning and execution processes across multiple projects. Originally, the platform started as a web-based resource and project portfolio management solution, but was moved to the cloud in 2010. In 2021, the company acquired Clarizen Inc., a developer of another online project management software and collaborative work management solution called Clarizen One. The combined solution now offers robust strategic portfolio planning capabilities and connects investments, goals, available technology, and finances required to make a company’s strategy come true within a single space. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas.
Key Features: Strategic, Project and Product Portfolio Management, Enterprise Agile Planning, Value Stream Management, Professional Services Automation
Pricing: Starting at $20 per user per month (billed annually). Free 30-day trial.
What clients say: Most of the clients note that Planview offers multiple useful features for project management, as well as customization opportunities. However, some customers believe that the product is not very friendly and complex. In some cases, it requires more time to learn than other solutions.
Birdview PSA is a full-cycle professional services automation platform that helps professional service delivery teams plan, manage, and forecast resources, projects, and finances in one place.
The platform was created and launched by Logic Software Inc., a Canada-based software development company whose notable success came from its award winning project management tool, Easy Projects, released in 2005. Initially, the company created a time management tool for internal use but it was scaled to a strong project management platform later.
Birdview PSA offers a variety of advanced features to make sure you keep control of all stages of your service delivery cycle, from project initiation to final delivery. Thanks to the in-built Resource Planning Center, you can accurately identify whether you have enough resources to complete multiple active projects and forecast future resource demand.
Birdview PSA is also integrated with MS Power BI for accurate reporting and data analysis. The solution can be easily scaled and customized in accordance with the clients needs and provides advanced functionality for project and financial management. The company is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.
Pricing: The price varies from free to $13.50 per user per month depending on the user license. Free 14-day trial.
What clients say: Most users note that that platform has user-friendly and intuitive design which makes it easy to use for everyone on the team. Users also mention the ease of reporting and the platform’s PowerBI add-on that provides valuable insights into the projects progress. Reports and other data can be easily extracted from the platform and shared with the companys stakeholders and clients. As for the downsides, most users mention their company-specific requests on functionality.
Kantata is a SaaS solution that was formed through the merger of two companies, Mavenlink and Kimble, in 2022. Originally, each company created its own cloud-based PSA solution to cover the needs of professional service delivery teams. Now, the merged application aims to help professional services organizations to optimize and improve their operational performance. The solution supports organizations with 50 to 5000+ employees across marketing, advertising, creative, software development, and other industries. The company is headquartered in Irvine, California.
Key Features: Resource Management, Operations Management, Financial Management, Team Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Project Management
Pricing: Starting at $59 per user per month. A free trial is available.
What clients say: Customers note that, overall, Kantata helps their teams visualize every step of a project cycle. However, they also mention that the learning curve is steep when it comes to reporting and non-customizable areas of some reports might be frustrating.
Accelo is next in our list of 10 best PSA solutions. It is a cloud-based platform for streamlining client work delivery and automating the organizations business processes. The platform initially was built as a Service Operations Automation (ServOps) solution with the needs of client-based businesses in mind. It currently offers various solutions for sales, project management, time tracking, billing, retainers and reporting. The company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
Key Features: Workplace Management, Sales Management, Project Management, Billing, Reporting
Pricing: The price varies from $24 to $49 per user per month depending on the license and the billing plan. Free 14-day trial.
What clients say: The platforms users note that the Accello retainer management functionality has been very helpful and flexible. As for the downsides, users experience some issues with customizing the platform for their needs and note that the learning curve is steep.
Scoro is an end-to-end work management software that allows professional services organizations to track everything from daily tasks and projects to team performance and sales within a single platform. The company was founded in Tallinn, Estonia in 2013 and has raised $6.9 million in investments in the next five years. The solution helps teams to streamline their daily work, eliminate routine tasks to ensure continuous business workflows. The company is headquartered in London, England.
Key Features: Time Management, Project Management, Sales & CRM, Finances, Reporting & Dashboards
Pricing: The price varies from $26 to $71 per user per month depending on the license and the billing plan. The Ultimate license – price upon request. Free 14-day trial.
What clients say: Most users note that the platform offers great customization options which make it possible to better align the solution with the companys needs and processes. They also mention a great job from the Scoros customer support team. As for the downsides, users mentioned that the tool has limited display options which make it difficult to keep track of everything that needs to be done. Several users also noticed that its hard to link individuals in the CRM software and it would be great for the tool to offer more integrations with other CRM and accounting software.
BigTime is a professional services automation platform that offers tools for tracking and managing the organizations key operational metrics such as time, expenses, and billing, for multiple projects. Based on the acquired data, the BigTime users can identify opportunities for future business improvement and growth. The company is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
Key Features: Time & Expense Tracking, Project Management, Resource Management, Billing & Invoicing, Reporting
Pricing: The price varies from $10 to $40 per user per month depending on the license (billed annually). Free 14-day trial.
What clients say: Most reviews describe a great but yet a bit long onboarding process and how helpful the members of the BigTime customer support team were. As for the tool functionality, users find time and expense tracking, as well as invoicing features very useful. Some users mention that the reporting tools are not as intuitive as expected and it is sometimes difficult to create reports and capture specific business data.
This list of 10 best PSA solutions wouldnt be complete without this tool. Workfront is a collaborative work management platform that was acquired by Adobe Inc. in 2020. The solution aims to connect teams, projects, and data within a single space to help organizations deliver better results. Workfront offers native integrations with other Adobe solutions such as Creative Cloud and Experience Manager. The company is headquartered in Lehi, Utah.
Key Features: Work Automation, Scenario Planning, Workflow Management, Agile Work Management, Reporting, Approvals
Pricing: Starting at $30 per user per month. A free trial is available.
What clients say: Many users describe the tool as a great solution to manage multiple projects and tasks from one place. However, some users mention that the solutions reporting and API functionalities are limited and the learning curve is a bit long, especially for those users who are new to platforms like this one.
FinancialForce is a set of cloud-based solutions built on the Salesforce platform that initially started as a cloud accounting system back in 2009. In 2021, the company introduced FinancialForce PSA, a service management solution that provides visibility into all data across all departments within your organization. Besides PSA, FinancialForce also offers ERP and Customer Success Cloud solutions to help organizations reach their desired goals. Since all of the FinancialForce solutions are built on Salesforce, they can be easily integrated with Salesforce CRM to boost the company’s financial management capabilities.
Key Features: Accounting & Financial Management, Billing, Revenue Management, Financial Planning & Analysis, Order & Inventory Management, ERP Analytics
Pricing: Prices upon request. A free trial is available.
What clients say: Users note that the platform is great for planning the team workload and forecasting project needs. It also helps better organize project data and make projects look more structured. Multiple users mentioned that they are disturbed with the number of permissions each individual has and while it is good in general to have control over every detail, it can be overwhelming to get permission for every action you need to perform.
Polaris PSA is a PSA solution that originally started as a time management system created and owned by Replicon. The time tracking module later became one of the key strongest features of Polaris PSA. For instance, ZeroTim is an AI feature that allows tracking employee’s time without manual data entry. To log the time, users only need to submit the data and make adjustments if needed.
Polaris PSA offers various modules supporting professional services companies at every stage of the project management cycle. However, the platform covers less tasks than its competitors for fully-fledged, in-depth management of complex, multi-level projects and tasks. It is more focused on tasks related to time tracking, resources, and finances.
Key Features: Time & Expense Management, Analytics, Project Management, Client Management, Financial Modeling, Practice & Program Management, Resource Management.
Pricing: Starting at $29 per user per month. A free trial is available.
What clients say: Most of the customers note how fast they can get response from the support team and how its members are willing to solve any problems or questions about the product. They also mentioned that the platform has met almost all expectations in terms of the functionality for cost and expense tracking, as well as the user-friendly interface. As for the downsides, many customers would like to see a more modern product design and note that the product is not flexible enough in terms of its minimum subscription period.
The last professional services automation solution in our list of 10 best PSA 2023. Upland PSA is one of the products in the Upland ecosystem, which currently has 31 products and 7 functional areas. The product was originally called Tenrox and was a timesheet automation solution. In 2019, its functionality was expanded and the product name was changed to Upland PSA.
Upland PSA is currently positioned as the first knowledge-enabled PSA platform that augments services automation with proposal automation, voice of the customer and employee surveys, customer reference management, and insights-driven business intelligence. In fact, the solution offers everything you need to manage your resources, time spent, projects, finances, etc. But its functionality could be complemented by other solutions to strengthen the organizations ecosystem.
Key Features: Timesheet and Expense Automation, Resource Management, Project Management, FInances, Analytics
Pricing: Starting at $20 per feature per month. A free trial is available.
What clients say: Most users are satisfied with the Upland PSA functionality for project and financial tracking and management. Moreover, customers note the diversity of the products functionality when a company orders an extended package with survey management. As for the downsides, users mention that it might be hard to extract reports and that onsite activities cannot be properly tracked. The system is also hard to use when it comes to large projects, and it takes more time for the system to upload and refresh financial data. Apart from that Upland PSA cannot have multiple currencies entered for a single project.
With a good PSA solution in hand, any professional services organization can not only streamline its service delivery process but even uncover growth opportunities. No matter the size or complexity of your business, PSA software will provide you with everything you need to make the most of your resources and capabilities to keep your customers satisfied. Consider investing in a PSA solution now and see how it pays off many times over.