The saying “too many eggs in your basket” is apt for the professional service world.

Juggling multiple accounts, a spread of different team members, and wildly differing client expectations can get out of hand very quickly. 

Luckily, with the right professional services software, you can keep processes tight and on track. By providing key features like time tracking, automated invoices, and handy checklists, you have the space you need to actually do the work.

So, what exactly defines professional service software from all of the various solutions out there? Let's break it down.

Deliver more for your clients

Deliver more for your clients

Maximize team resources, measure project progression, and set project budgets and time budgets to ensure clients' billabale hours are being used efficiently.

What is professional services software? 

Professional services software offers an all-in-one space for providers, consultants, and agencies to manage client projects from start to finish.

Typically, your professional services software will have a handful of features that make it easier to close deals, allocate resources, track time spent on projects, and manage billable hours so you can properly fulfill the lifecycle of every client engagement. 

Everything is stored in one place, giving stakeholders and participating team members (and outsourced parties) the chance to get a birds-eye-view of what’s going on at any given time. 

OK, but how will professional services software help me? 

There are plenty of benefits to using professional services software. Some research shows that companies using professional services software see 143% revenue growth year on year

To get an idea of how this type of software should work for you, here are some of the biggest perks (but are not limited to): 

Fewer mundane and manual tasks

Here’s the big one: Professional services software should put everything in one spot. That lets you eliminate the need for multiple spreadsheets and stop using Excel for project management. Instead, keep all relevant assets in one easy-to-access hub.

Optimize resource use

Professional services software should make resource utilization and allocation easy. Keep track of your staff, their skills, and what they’re working on to ensure that you’re making the most of each team member's strengths.

Get deeper insights

These tools should help you keep a close eye on project profitability and spending. Use a tool that offers detailed reports, expense management and expense tracking, and greater visibility into project financials.

Increase billable hours

With professional services software, you can relieve team members from mundane tasks by automating things like time tracking and reporting. Ultimately, that means team members spend less time on non-billable tasks, which leaves more room for billable hours.

Drive revenue growth

When using a professional services app, it’s all about organization plus access to insights, project overviews, and detailed reports. All of that combined helps you tighten up processes and workflows so you’ll enjoy bigger profit margins.

Finding the right professional services software

The right professional services software for you will depend entirely on your team, projects, and clients. For example, a lone architect is likely to have different needs than a full-scale graphic design agency working on multiple accounts at once. 

That being said, there are some key features you should look out for when choosing which professional services software to use. 

Ideally, you want the software to: 

  • Include resource availability information (including future availability) 

  • Document skills and areas of expertise

  • Track financial data around resource costs and project milestone rates 

  • Monitor the time spent on each billable segment of a project 

Common features of professional services software

Automated project setup

Automated project setup is useful for large agencies who work on similar projects among clients, or even for the same clients — like a marketing agency that does monthly or quarterly ad campaigns for their clients. Automating the setup process makes it much easier to pull in all relevant team members, schedule your project kick-off meeting, and get the latest project off to a great start.

Project planning features

The path to success is paved with a solid plan, and most professional services apps will offer robust project planning tools. This way, you can lay out objectives, goals, and deadlines. On a more granular level, you should be able to create, schedule, and assign specific tasks to team members. You should also have good visibility over your project plans to see broad timescales or zoom in to see things in the near term.

Progress tracking and alerts

Having a plan is great, but you need a way to track progress once it's in place. Fortunately, most tools include tracking tools so you and your team can stay on top of tasks. They should even offer alerts for approaching deadlines and completed tasks.

Project reports and financial dashboards

No one wants to see a project go over budget, which is why financial tracking tools are a key part of most professional services apps. But financials aren’t the only metrics your app of choice should track; you should also be able to generate reports based on key analytics pertaining to your project.

Time-tracking abilities

Professional services software should also be well-equipped to handle your time-tracking needs. You should be able to see how each of your team members' time (and thus, their skills) is being utilized, and you should also be able to quickly access breakdowns of billable and non-billable hours.

7 essential professional services software options to kickstart 2023

Let's dive in on the best professional services software options for 2022 and beyond to help you kickstart your year with the features you need:

1. Teamwork

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If you’re using professional service software and a time tracking tool and a project management tool, it might be time to consolidate your toolkit.  

While many of the big players offer billable hours, invoicing capabilities, and resource tracking, they don't have a complete suite of features to help you with everything from project tracking to managing customer inquiries.

teamwork resource scheduling

Teamwork combines professional services software with powerful project management capabilities to give teams a centralized hub to work together, share, and collaborate.

You don't just get time-tracking features, workload views, and billable hours with Teamwork. Instead, you own a full-scale project management solution with Kanban boards, Gantt charts, project templates, in-take forms, project overviews, profitability reports, and so much more.

profitability report view in teamwork

Key features and benefits

Ready to try it? You can get Teamwork for free for up to five users by clicking here — or if you have more advanced needs, click here to sign up for a personalized demo.

2. BigTime

BigTime Time Sheet Example

Key features and pricing

  • Time and expense tracking per project

  • Project management and workflows with built-in Gantt charts

  • Scheduling tools and skill-matching features

  • Billing, invoicing, and payment processing

  • Reporting and analytics

Packages start at $10 per month per user for a minimum of five users.

3. Accelo

Accelo dashboard view example

Accelo offers agencies and teams a client management system with features that track client work, allocate resources, and send invoices. Its biggest selling point is its automation capabilities that help streamline and integrate all the moving parts that come with project work.  

Key features and pricing

  • Develop automated timesheets.

  • Create custom reporting.

  • Invoice projects based on budget or progress.  

  • Keep client interactions centralized on the platform.

  • Optimize resource planning, allocation, and management.

Accelo’s basic tier gets you started for $24 per user per month for a minimum of five users.

4. Clarizen

Calrizen real-time control example

Web-based software Clarizen helps agencies and professional services to connect up their employees and stakeholders in one central place. Through the dashboard, teams can create documents, build reports, and automate the project workflow using the suite of powerful features. 

Key features and pricing

  • Bird’s-eye view of projects and resources at the enterprise level

  • Connected platform for maximum business agility

  • Large-scale project portfolios management

  • Agile planning software for easily scaling Planview 

Planview AdaptiveWork offers 30-day free trials for AgilePlace and ProjectPlace. For all other apps, you’ll need to get custom quotes.

Mavenlink Master Planning Dashboard Example

Kantata combines features that aid operational management, resource optimization, workflow automation, and key integrations with other cloud-based apps and software. Its goal is to help services businesses find the best team for a project and track real-time progress against pre-set timelines and budgets to ensure projects run smoothly and profitably.

Users enjoy its simple reporting structure, automated emails, and pre-filling capabilities to speed up time logging. Some concerns surround its lack of a daily total hours view and difficulty searching for tasks.

Key features and pricing

  • Leverage APIs for easy integration with other tools in your tech stack. 

  • Optimize and automate project accounting.

  • Access real-time project, team, and financial analytics.

  • Project and budget planning tools

  • Team and client connectivity tools

You’ll need to contact Kantata for custom pricing, but prices are based on industry, company size, and country. 

6. TimeSolv

This app is geared entirely toward attorneys. TimeSolv is a web-based billing solution designed to help legal professionals streamline and automate time tracking and billing. It lets you create custom invoices, purports to help you get paid by clients faster, and offers best-in-class ACH and credit card processing.

This app works well for firms of all sizes — and it even features some pretty stringent security standards to help keep data and financial information safe. Not only does the platform encrypt data, but it also backs data up many times per day at multiple locations.

Key features and pricing

  • Multiple ways to track time online and offline

  • Flexible billing and invoicing templates

  • Easy budget creation

  • Task tracking and management features

  • Dashboard for key performance indicators

TimeSolv Pro starts at $27.95 per user for between one and nine users.

7. FinancialForce PSA

FinancialForce dashboard example

Like Kimble, FinancialForce is a professional services automation software that leverages the ever-popular Salesforce platform.

Key features and pricing

  • Automates sales opportunities into project plans

  • Offers a complete business view with revenue and resource forecasts

  • Keeps sales teams and project teams connected

  • Assists with skills planning via resource management

  • Tracks resources, budgets, tasks, etc. easily through dashboards

  • Allows you to customize expense tracking

Packages are customizable, with pricing available on request.

Choosing the right professional services software means asking the right questions 

There are plenty of professional services software out there to choose from. The key is to pick one that meets your needs as an organization and is equipped with features that enhance your team’s efforts to increase project efficiency. 

Deliver more for your clients

Deliver more for your clients

Maximize team resources, measure project progression, and set project budgets and time budgets to ensure clients' billabale hours are being used efficiently.

Consider asking yourself: 

  • Does this software meet my team’s requirements? 

  • Would my team enjoy using this software every day? 

  • Does the software allow stakeholder access? 

  • Does the software integrate with the other apps my team uses? 

  • What can I track with the software and how well can I track it?

  • How easy is it to build custom reports?

  • How does the software display information? 

For the sake of simplicity, look at these five deciding factors when choosing the right software for your needs.

Pricing considerations

Does the price increase with the number of stakeholders accessing the software? That can be a key consideration — and you should also look at what features you get for the price. Some software is geared toward enterprises, and if you’re a small business, you’ll pay more for features you don’t need.

Features that cater to your organization’s needs

Do you need enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools or other specialized features? Think carefully about what you need the software to do, and then check your options to see which apps fit the best. In particular, look for time-tracking features, project management, invoicing capabilities, and reporting.

Integrations with other tools

You’re probably already using a number of other tools and apps to manage parts of your business, like QuickBooks, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and so on. Check professional services software options to see whether they integrate with these tools for ease and simplicity.

Ease of use

It won’t be just you using the software. In all likelihood, it’ll become a key tool for stakeholders, team members, and clients. It’s important to pick a tool that is easy for everyone to learn and use.

Oversee your professional services effortlessly with Teamwork

PSA software can be a valuable addition to your professional services firm toolkit. There are lots of tools out there, but few offer the simplicity that Teamwork gives you.

Want to give it a try? You can sign up for Teamwork here and get started in minutes.