Five Benefits of a Cloud-Based ERP Solution for Professional Service Firms
With the exception of pandemic-driven declines in March and April 2020, the Professional Services sector of the Canadian economy has been continuously growing since November 2016. As the world becomes more services-driven, the opportunities for Professional Services firms will continue. Firms that are ready with the flexible technology tools necessary to grow and scale will be the ones who can capitalize on those opportunities. A Cloud-based ERP or accounting solution are two such tools. Here we highlight five benefits of a Cloud ERP solution for Professional Services firms.
1. Boost revenue per employee
One metric every professional services firm studies is its revenue per employee. There are a few ways to increase a firm’s revenue — and they’re all supported by Cloud-based accounting software.
One way is to have fewer non-billable employees. A Cloud-based accounting solution like Sage Intacct delivers workflow efficiencies that enable you to grow your business without increasing overhead. With benefits like simplified project billing, shorter monthly closes, faster AP processing times, automated revenue recognition, and no IT burden, you can grow your firm — without getting bigger.
Another way to boost revenue per employee is to empower each billable employee to bill more of their time. Cloud-based accounting solutions provide a single system of record for all your firm’s activities, meaning consultants don’t need to key reports into multiple applications — freeing them to bill more hours in a day.
Cloud-based financial solutions like Sage Intacct not only help firms boost their revenue per employee, they also make tracking performance metrics simple with preconfigured dashboards that track and display the real-time KPIs that matter to you.
2. Work from anywhere
Cloud-based financial applications have been gaining converts for years, but 2020 proved any remaining skeptics wrong. As the pandemic struck and consultants and support staff began working remotely, the real value of a Cloud-based financial management solution was realized. With any time, anywhere secure access, employees can be productive wherever they may be working.
While remote accessibility is a strong selling point for Cloud ERP solutions, other benefits include reduced (and predictable) IT expenses, enhanced security, and the ability to scale as your business grows.
3. Attract quality talent
One of the biggest challenges facing Professional Services firms is the global talent shortage. And guess who makes up the biggest talent pool in the world? Millennials. And guess what matters to millennials? Technology.
One of the defining characteristics of the millennial generation is their affinity with the digital world. They’ve been learning generations of new technology since their early teens. A PwC survey of millennials in the Financial Services sector found that this generation places a great deal of emphasis on the technology used by their employer, with 66% saying that state-of-the-art technology was important to them when considering an employer. Help your organization stand out to millennials by embracing Cloud-based technology tools, including Cloud ERP.
66% of millennials say that state-of-the-art-technology is important to them when considering an employer
4. Incorporate best-of-breed solutions
With a Cloud-based financial system, the days of clunky integrations between disparate applications are gone. So too is the duplicate data entry required to keep multiple systems updated.
Cloud-based financial management systems like Sage Intacct are architected to provide deep integration capabilities right out of the box. For example, Sage Intacct offers seamless integration with SalesForce. In fact, there’s an entire marketplace of integrated solutions to extend the functionality of Sage Intacct — from AP automation to sales tax calculation.
In addition, the architecture of Cloud-based financial systems lends itself to integration with legacy or industry-specific applications your firm may be using, helping you establish a single source of truth for all of your client, project, and accounting data.
5. Stop revenue leakage
If your firm is relying on multiple, disconnected applications and spreadsheets to handle your projects, it’s likely there’s a leak somewhere.
Sage Intacct Cloud-based project costing and billing software cuts revenue leakage through an integrated process spanning sales, finance, and operations. Personalized dashboards give you real-time visibility into budget vs actuals, billed vs unbilled expenses, and billable hours vs nonbillable hours. You can even track change orders and not-to-exceed amount triggers so you can carefully manage the project and adjust plans as needed. It’s a single, unified view of your operation that stops leaks and puts you in control.
Cloud ensures the future remains bright
Professional Services firms overall are having a good run, and the future looks bright. By equipping your firm with the technology tools that can help you boost revenue metrics, attract new talent, work from anywhere, stop leaks, and integrate with other best-of-breed solutions, you’re ready for whatever the future may hold. As the only true cloud financial management system, Sage Intacct was built to meet the needs of all Professional Services organizations from the very small to large multinational companies.
If you’d like to learn more about Sage Intacct and its value to Professional Services firms, please reach out to one of our consultants.