PMA/blog/Project Management Software that Even an Accountant Could Love

Project Management Software that Even an Accountant Could Love

The federal government estimates that duplicate work costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars every year. Ouch! How much does duplicate work cost your professional services business? Think about it. Every time you do something that someone else repeats, you waste time and energy—and you double the chances for errors. Project management software is designed to eliminate that kind of inefficiency. It is purpose built for collaboration. One area where some project management solutions fall short, however, is the ability to promote collaboration across functions. The bottom line—your systems must talk to each other. If you enter data into your project management software and then your accountants have to enter the same data into your financial system, that’s double work. Project management tools are supposed to make your job easier. When they make the job easier for the accounting team as well, productivity soars. Ultimately, you need a solution where you enter data once in your project management tool and it is immediately accessible in your financial system, saving hours upon hours of duplicate entry.

A Professional Services Automation Case in Point
Imagine that you are a marketing services firm billing time and materials. You use a professional services automation tool to track your team’s hours and all project expenditures. You have a client project that requires the purchase of stock photography, subcontracting for special skills such as copywriting or search engine optimization, and the use of an external vendor for email marketing. While all of these expenditures must be calculated into overall project costs in your project management software in order to bill your client, vendors and subcontractors need to be paid out of your back-office system. If the two systems cannot communicate, all the efficiencies you gain from project management tools will be gobbled up when you create workarounds to ensure data from your project management software is duplicated in your financial system.

Syncing Project Management Software with Financial Software
Without a seamless bridge from project management software to financial services software, you would have to log every cost in the project management software and then do it again in your financial system. That might mean forcing your project managers to gain proficiency in your financial software and/or asking your accountants to learn their way around the project management software. Not only does that represent double work, it opens the door to inaccuracies and the very real possibility that your two systems will be out of sync. Ideally, all categorization of data between systems should be aligned, without having to replicate everything in two different systems. Your teams should be able to work in the system that is native to them. Accountants remain in their comfort zone with your financial software and project managers stick with your project management software. It makes the entire process faster, easier and more accurate. Seamless interoperability from your project management software to financial systems software allows you to pull together all of the elements needed for both client billing and internal accounting, including vendor payments.

Special Note for Infor/Lawson Users
If you are not currently leveraging this interoperability feature, learn how to configure values by category so that they can be easily bridged from your project management software to your financial software. Visit our support portal and download our Fast Note on creating attributes.

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