The Professional Services blog now lives on Deltek.com

The Professional Services blog has joined the rest of Deltek on Deltek.com.

Don’t worry — all our content is still be available at this new location. You can also easily access the rest of Deltek’s great blog content by clicking Select a Blog in the right-hand sidebar.

Here’s what changed:

  1. Professional Services will be available at this link on Deltek.com starting on July 17, 2014.
  2. You will need a Disqus account to comment on posts. Sign up at Disqus.com.

If you’re subscribed by email or use an RSS reader to view this blog, you’ll need to update your subscription:

Please let us know if you have any issues with old links or have any problems with the new system. Just leave a comment below (or email CarolMurphy@deltek.com) and we’ll help.

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Has Your Firm Reached the Tipping Point?

By Drew West (This story first appeared in AccountingToday on June 10, 2014.)

If your firm is like most, there is no shortage of work to go around. But if the workload seems to never end, why aren’t your engagements as profitable as you’d like?

More than likely, the issue isn’t your staff—it’s your systems. Your resources cannot be utilized in a capacity to grow your firm if they are too busy focusing on administrative tasks.  Having a better practice management system at your firm can help your staff work smarter—not harder—to take your business to the next level.

Take a look around your firm—if you notice any of the following signs, it may be time to reevaluate your systems.

Meetings
There are two types of meetings—those that generate revenue, and those that do not. These non-revenue generating internal meetings tend to occur when people cannot quickly access the information they need. Instead of looking to one central location to pull data, people call meetings to reconcile information such as resource plans, project budgets, sales pipelines and financials. This not only wastes valuable time, but with information being pulled from so many different locations, the accuracy of the data suffers.

Mistakes
Obviously nobody likes to make mistakes, but they are bound to happen when disconnected systems make obtaining accurate data difficult. With all of the information gaps, it is hard to see how decisions made at one phase impact the ultimate results. How can you allocate the correct number of resources to a project if you have no insight into the engagement budget or the estimate-at-completion?

Mysteries
It’s extremely difficult to extract data from multiple locations and put it together in a way that makes sense. When reports fail to reveal what went wrong, it can be nearly impossible to determine cause and effect relationships. Without this meaningful insight, it’s hard to improve results, which negatively impacts your firm’s profitability.

Maintenance
Having multiple systems requires time and money to keep them up and running. Using piecemeal tools for each area of your business not only creates disconnects in data, but it makes the upkeep more laborious. Additionally, using systems that are not specifically designed for CPA firms can require costly and time consuming configurations just to structure engagement letters how you need them, or reports how you want them.

If you find that your firm is experiencing too many meetings spent trying to solve mysteries, and the cost of mistakes and maintenance is rising, then your firm has reached a technology tipping point and it’s time to explore your options for a better practice management system.

But how do you find the practice management system that’s right for your firm? Look for the following attributes to ensure you find the perfect fit:

Complete and Connected
You already know the consequences of having disconnected systems, so don’t settle for anything less than a completely connected firm-wide solution. A system that joins front-office business development, resource planning and engagement management with back-office time-capture, billing and financial reports provides efficiency and insight for everyone.  With a connected system, you no longer have to worry about confusing data conflicts—everyone has access to the same trusted information that is updated in real-time so they can see how each decision impacts profits. Additionally, your firm will be able to streamline workflows, easily transform accurate proposals into projects and quickly invoice Work in Process.

Architected for CPA Firms
If you are considering a practice management system that is not specifically designed to help CPA firms maximize billable capacity, drive engagement profitability and boost realization—think again. Your firm needs a system that is designed to manage engagements—with an appropriate task-level work breakdown that can be easily shown in proposals, quickly record and bill hours, and includes pre-built reports and dashboards that measure crucial KPIs like Utilization, Realization or Net Multiplier. Without these essentials, your system may need complex customizations, which can be costly and time consuming.

Easy to Own
Having a single, connected solution reduces the number of systems you need to maintain, which makes life easier for your staff.  Select a system that is scalable and easy to modify—to personalize views, create reports, and add new workflows—so it can adapt as your firm grows or changes without the need for complex and risky customization. A solution that is priced and packaged as modules gives you the flexibility to deploy incrementally based on your firm’s priorities.  If you want to take ease of ownership one step further, consider a cloud-based solution, which leaves the maintenance, upgrades and security to the cloud vendor, while providing your people with anytime, anywhere access.

Don’t let your firm fall prey to the technology tipping point. Look for a practice management system that will help you get more capacity from your people and higher profits from their work.

Deltek’s Unified Practice Management Solution
Learn about Deltek’s Practice Management Solution for Public Accounting Firms here.

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Project-based ERP versus Generic ERP

A true project-based ERP system ties every single business transaction to an account, a user, an organization and a project. It provides visibility, insight and control across all of the areas of the project and wider organization, and enables better business decisions.

See more at: http://www.deltek.co.uk/mediacentre/blog/project-erp-vs-generic-erp#sthash.xbbwxPPq.dpuf

To learn more about project-based ERP, download our free eBook, Project-Based ERP for Dummies at http://www.deltek.co.uk/solutions/project-erp-for-dummies

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Ready to improve your firm’s cashflow?

Professional service organizations (PSOs) face a number of challenges during the day-to-day running of their business. One substantial challenge is managing cashflow; with payment and billing processes which can become overly complex due to the large amounts of incomings and outgoings associated with project delivery.

See more at: http://www.deltek.co.uk/mediacentre/blog/automate-billing-to-improve-cashflow#sthash.0O30Anot.PHyfVJjn.dpuf

This can become more obvious as PSOs grow, where ‘good-enough’ systems become extremely slow or even come to a complete halt due to their inability to manage the complexity of differing invoicing models (retainer, time & materials etc.) and payment term requests from clients.

An effective way of dealing with this challenge is to introduce automated billing as part of a broader project-based ERP system. It will allow the creation of accurate invoices in less time by connecting your labor and materials costs to the right level of a project. Transactions are validated for accuracy at the point of entry, meaning that invoice creation becomes more automated and predictable, with fewer errors.

What’s more, project-based ERP allows businesses to take complete control of their cashflow, making everything clearer, and providing detailed reports that can be used across all departments. The system also helps businesses to analyze their accounts in much more detail and identify any issues that are at risk of occurring well in advance, ensuring they can be rectified before they become serious issues.

By automating billing businesses can hugely improve cashflow as well as reaping benefits such as better reports and higher efficiency, leading to significant cost savings.

See more at: http://www.deltek.co.uk/mediacentre/blog/project-erp-insight-helps-you-to-make-savings#sthash.3YnGqw2W.nHDch4Et.dpuf

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Applying PM Best Practices Using Deltek Vision

Originally posted on Deltek Vision Blog:

Last week, Deltek hosted one of it’s most popular webinars ever!  Two of the A&E industry’s foremost experts, Dave Burstein of PSMJ Resources and Deltek’s Bob Stalilonis, shared project management best practices based on 70+ collective years of experience. Don’t worry if you missed it – the recording is available here.

Kathy Bagford, a Deltek client in Atlanta, had a great idea: a follow-up session showing how to apply those best practices using Deltek Vision.

Thanks to Kathy, we are running that webinar on March 11 at 1:00 ET.  Register here to attend.

Experts Dawn Gajewski and Bob Gillcrist will show how to use Vision for several of the most important project management challenges, including:

  • Go/No Go
  • Workplan
  • Negotiation
  • Monitoring
  • Adjusting
  • Reporting

This will be a great “how to” session for Deltek Vision clients.  Again, please register here – we’ll see you online.

View original

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Ready to move away from your legacy finance systems?

Legacy finance systems are often costly to maintain in comparison to new project-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems. This is because legacy systems are often more time consuming and financially taxing. Productivity is lost due to time spent maintaining and fixing an outdated system and time spent continuing to use a process that no longer fits the business.

Are legacy systems costing your business a fortune? – Learn more at http://www.deltek.co.uk/mediacentre/blog/are-legacy-systems-costing-business#

 

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Project-based ERP can help you realize savings

Professional Services firms have long faced the challenge of getting the most from their workforce. Without clear insight into where efficiency can be optimized, or where cost savings can be made, these organizations could be pouring money down the drain.

Learn more about how project-based ERP can help you save money at: http://www.deltek.co.uk/mediacentre/blog/project-erp-insight-helps-you-to-make-savings#sthash.3YnGqw2W.nHDch4Et.dpuf

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Kona: The Next Big Thing?

The Northern Virginia Technology Council has selected Deltek Kona to participate in a competition to showcase its technology at Destination Innovation – where companies will compete for the top prize of Most Innovative Company offering the next big thing.

Www.deltek.com/vote

Kona is competing in the social category against seven other companies – and only four can move forward to the next round. Learn more about Destination Innovation and while you are at it, vote for Kona and show your support. Polls close at midnight Friday (ET) so please vote today!

For More Information

To learn more about Kona Business visit our website or download our Kona product sheet.

See how our customers are using Kona today.

mega-featured-kona-video

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