- 1. Parallax — Best for efficient project management and streamlined business operations
- 2. Kantata — Best for project management and resource planning
- 3. Polaris PSA By Replicon — Best PSA for managing large or growing project portfolios
- 4. Wrike — Best for generating accurate reports plus actionable insights
- 5. VOGSY — Best for global services organizations
- 6. HaloPSA — Best PSA software for MSPs
- 7. BigTime — Best for managing timesheets
- 8. Height — Best for cross-functional project and resource planning
- 9. Hubstaff — Best PSS time management reports & analysis
- 10. Projector — Best PSA software for accessibility
There are lots of moving parts when it comes to digital project management. The intricacy of the planning, tracking, and completing digital projects demonstrates the need for the best professional services automation (PSA) software.
But why a PSA tool, Journey? Isn’t it what professional services firms, consultants, auditors, and IT service providers use to automate their business processes?
As a digital project manager (DPM), you are tasked with breaking down projects into plans, creating milestones, following the progress down to each task, and ensuring you spend your resources optimally. While professional services automation software is not a go-to tool for DPMs, the major functions of PSA software include project management, documentation, time tracking, and about 10 more. It goes without saying that PSA systems can support your processes in planning-slash-executing your projects.
But PSA is not a one-size-fits-all software solution. Some specialize in time-tracking features, while some focus on resource-management capabilities. Read on to learn about professional services software and how it can help you. I’ve listed some of the best PSA software and summarized their features so you can save time finding the one that best matches your needs.
What is Professional Services Automation (PSA) Software?
Professional services automation software or PSA software is initially designed for professional services organizations to run their business using a consolidated tool. Essentially, PSA software is grounded on the idea that using one solid platform is better than using many separate tools.
As its name suggests, PSA software allows professionals to automate specific manual processes through machine learning and artificial intelligence. It provides easily accessible and valuable data and helps you save time as it streamlines and automates repetitive and work-intensive processes during the entire project lifecycle.
Parallax is a SaaS product that's designed to streamline the way professional services operate. It's a tool that's all about helping you manage your projects, time, and resources more effectively. It's got a pretty intuitive interface, so you don't need to be a tech whiz to get the hang of it. Plus, it's got a bunch of features that are specifically tailored to the needs of professional services, which is a big plus.
It's got a robust project management system. You can easily create and manage tasks, assign them to team members, and track their progress. It's also got a really handy time tracking feature, which is great for keeping tabs on how much time you're spending on different tasks. Plus, it's got a resource planning feature that helps you make sure you're making the most of your resources.
Parallax offers integrations with popular third-party tools like Asana, Google Calendar, Jira, Microsoft Teams, and Slack. Developers can also use the API to integrate the tool with custom applications or other third-party systems.
Pricing is available upon request through the website. Users can book a free demo to get a tour of the product.
Kantata is an all-in-one PSA tool, but its core features include project management and resource management. For effective project management, you can use the built-in Gantt tool in the software. The Gantt charts allow you to drag and drop tasks and see their progress in specific periods. Additionally, the charts let you create 'dependencies,' which help you manage the relationships between tasks. These allow you to manage your project timeline efficiently because the dates of “dependent” tasks change as the dates of “predecessor” tasks change.
Kantata's resource allocation management feature has four other sub-features or sub-stages. These are Estimating, Planning, Executing, Analyzing & Optimizing. For Estimating, you can access project templates to outline estimates of your resource needs (including hours and budgets). For Planning, you can view your active projects and your resource pool to easily plan the assignment of tasks. In Executing, the project's timeline automatically changes by looking at your resource schedule, allowing you to easily make appropriate adjustments. Lastly, in Analyzing & Optimizing, you can see trends on your resources, making forecasting your resource needs easier than usual.
Kantata offers a 10-day free trial and a free demo. Their pricing is customized for specific company needs and is provided upon request.
Polaris PSA is an advanced Professional Services Automation (PSA) software designed to elevate project management for service-based businesses. Its key features include AI-driven resource allocation and scheduling, real-time project health monitoring, predictive analytics, and comprehensive project portfolio management. With Polaris PSA, organizations can optimize resource utilization, gain valuable insights into project performance, mitigate risks, and make data-driven decisions, leading to improved project success rates, enhanced profitability, and streamlined operations.
Polaris PSA handles project portfolio management with a comprehensive and strategic approach. The platform offers a centralized dashboard that provides a holistic view of an organization's projects, resources, and financials in real-time. Through its AI-driven resource allocation and scheduling capabilities, Polaris optimizes resource utilization across multiple projects, preventing overallocation and ensuring efficient workload distribution. Additionally, the system's predictive analytics helps identify potential risks, forecast project outcomes, and propose mitigation strategies.
A pro tip for working with Polaris PSA is to leverage its customizable reporting and data visualization features to gain deeper insights into your projects and resources. Beyond the standard reports, explore the platform's capabilities to create tailored reports that align with your specific business needs and KPIs. Utilizing custom reports and visualizations can help you uncover valuable trends, identify areas for improvement, and make more informed decisions, ultimately maximizing the benefits of Polaris PSA for your organization's success.
Integrations include SAP, ADP, Salesforce, Quickbooks, Atlassian, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Servicenow, Zero, Zoom, Outlook Calendar, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Azure DevOps, Google Meet, Google Calendar, and other popular business software.
For project time tracking, you're subscription fee will start at $12/month. To access the PSA components of the software, you'll need to subscribe to their PSA/PM plan at $29/month. They have a 14-day free trial for new users.
Wrike is a project management software that is designed for marketing agencies, project teams, and professional service providers. Wrike offers an all-in-one collaboration solution, which simplifies the project management process as well as resource allocation and people management.
The platform enables users to collaborate on projects without having to constantly call, text, or email to communicate. Users get access to collaborative features like automated notifications, dynamic reports, live editing, and real-time comments to make sure that every team member, stakeholder, and project contributor is on the same page throughout the project development process. Apart from the ability to share information and digital assets within the team, the platform is also tailored to make it easier for project managers and professional service providers to share updates with clients as needed.
Project managers can significantly improve client collaboration by simply inviting their clients into Wrike and making them a part of the work process. This allows clients to provide direct feedback and approvals on critical project decisions. And project managers can reduce the tedious back-and-forth process of getting requirements from clients on project requests or scope changes by using customizable request forms. This will enable agencies and teams to quickly collect all the necessary information from clients in one location and trigger fully planned projects with predefined actions, task assignees, and timelines.
Pricing begins at $9.80 per user per month. A 14-day free trial and free plan are available.
VOGSY is a unified project and resource platform that helps organizations set up new countries, track international projects, and connect local finance packages. The professional services automation (PSA) software offers end-to-end solutions built for services businesses so they can focus on what they do best—providing services—without worrying about the complexities of international expansion.
The cloud-based PSA platform also provides tools for project management, task management, resource management, performance monitoring, as well as automated billing and invoicing. It allows professional services firms to keep track of every client and deal, engage in a more efficient and sustainable quote-to-cash approach, and generate a more concise and reliable statement of work (SOW) on soft-booked services and projects.
With VOGSY’s professional service software, startups and SMEs can effectively plan their projects with great detail. They can leverage the platform’s robust work breakdown structure to design and implement a cohesive project roadmap based on key objectives and desired outcomes. The software allows them to budget the required work, resources, potential revenue, and margins accordingly, oftentimes even before the deal is finalized.
With the task management feature, users can allocate tasks and assign them to the appropriate personnel with the right skill set to finish them on time and on budget. Users can set tasks for themselves or their entire team, addressing everything from their quote-to-cash cycle, which includes the clients, the nature of the deal, the proposed projects, and the billing and invoicing.
This means that services businesses can focus on what they do best—providing services—without worrying about the complexities of international expansion.
Features include resource and project management, international project views and resource allocation, collaboration, reporting dashboards, budgeting, professional services automation, Gantt charts, notifications & alerts.
Integrations include Google Workspace, Jira, Microsoft Excel, Xero, Intuit Quickbooks Online, Copper, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho.
VOGSY has a free version that is accessible through a personal Gmail account. It comes with all the features and is limited to a single user. Paid plans cost from $13/user/month. All paid plans require a minimum of 10 users and include a free trial.
HaloPSA is a solution, designed for MSPs and service providers. HaloPSA gives users powerful out-of-the-box functionality. With an integrated PSA platform, you get features such as time-tracking and billing, advanced reporting, asset management, remote access, seamless integrations, automation tools and more.
HaloPSA is a fully configurable system for managed IT services and is the PSA solution of choice for enterprises such as ATOS, NEC and Gijima.
HaloPSA integrates with many popular tools such as Microsoft CSP, Splunk, N-Able N-Central/RMM, Xero, Teams, Slack, Zapier, and TeamViewer to name a few. View their entire list of integrations on their website.
HaloPSA costs from $29/user/month.
BigTime is a fully integrated operating platform designed for professional service companies, providing them with the necessary tools to deliver services to their clients on time and within budget. The platform is built to support different professional service firms across multiple industries, including accounting, consulting, IT services, architecture, and engineering.
Among the core features are time tracking, billing and invoicing, resource management, project management, workflows, reporting and analytics, and seamless integrations. The time tracking software facilitates the tracking of time spent on work and the associated expenses to ensure that teams stay within their budget limits.
The resource management software enables project managers to assign the right people to the right project and task, at the right time. It allows them to find the right people with the right skill sets and match them to a project that will benefit most from their skills.
BigTime’s professional service software also offers advanced reporting and analytics dashboards that allow managers and stakeholders to get a real-time bird’s-eye view of their business. They can drill down on individual ongoing projects to see the status and evaluate their progress through available data, KPIs, and other relevant metrics. The platform features a professional services automation (PSA) software solution that is capable of supporting teams of anywhere from five to 500 members or more.
Pricing starts at $10 per user/month, billed annually. All plans have a minimum requirement of five users and a 14-day free trial.
Height is a project management software that helps teams plan and manage projects, track time, and collaborate cross-functionally. Users can select a spreadsheet or calendar view of projects, or manage their workload using Gantt charts or Kanban boards. Marketing, product, design, IT, and financial teams can all use the platform to create projects, tasks, and subtasks and allocate resources accordingly.
Teams can collaborate through the software using real-time chat, comments, inline media, and emoji reactions. Guest collaborators can be invited to the platform, making it easy to keep clients up to date on the progress of projects. Client information and communications can also be centralized in the system where all team members have access and can stay aligned. For teams in the professional services industry, this can be an effective way to create customer visibility.
Users can create customized keyboard commands for the software to build in shortcuts for themselves. They can also adjust the theme to be dark or light to meet their preference. Discord, Figma, Notion, Sentry, Slack, and Zendesk can all be connected via native integrations alongside other SaaS tools.
A 30-day free trial is available and paid plans start from $8.50/user/month.
Hubstaff is a full-featured, free time tracking + professional service software (with freemium upgrades) tool that’s best for remote or distributed teams. It’s a lightweight, native time tracking tool that includes screenshots, time tracking, and project management. Its simple interface and design make it really easy for your team to enter their time and for you to track their progress.
Budget management is straightforward—using Hubstaff you can easily set time limits and budgets for your team to bill against with a maximum number of hours you want a member to be able to work in a week and the app will automatically prevent them from exceeding the limit.
When you’re working with a distributed team it can be hard to verify exactly what people are doing and how they’re spending their time so Hubstaff has some pretty handy tools to give you insight into what your team is doing in the time they’re logging to your project with screenshots and activity levels. Now you can also see which applications your team members are using and what URLs they are browsing while they’re tracking time.
Integrations are well supported across stacks of different tools including project management tools Asana, Jira, and Basecamp, payments, accounting, and invoicing integrations including QuickBooks, Paypal as well as Salesforce and Zendesk among others.
Hubstaff is free to use for 1 employee. Paid plans cost from $7/user/month and come with a 14-day free trial.
Projector is a cloud-based PSA that acts as an Employee and Management Portal and is accessible to users via a browser that allows users easy access to the application as long as they have an internet connection. One advantage of being browser-based is that users can use Projector on the go; they can use other computer terminals and mobile devices without installing an application.
Projector PSA makes collaboration between team members easier by providing them with a workspace accessible merely to designated project members. This feature is beneficial to project managers working on a sensitive project since it can prevent non-team members from accessing sensitive information. Projector also has a Task-Scheduling feature that makes designating specific responsibilities easier while allowing the project manager to track progress.
Projector PSA is available at a starting subscription of $15 per user per month. Users can request a free 30-day trial of Projector.
Need expert help selecting the right Professional Services Automation (PSA) Software?
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Best for efficient project management and streamlined business operations
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Best for project management and resource planning
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Polaris PSA By Replicon
Best PSA for managing large or growing project portfolios
14-day free trial
|From $6-29/month||Visit Website|
Best for generating accurate reports plus actionable insights
Free plan available
|From $9.80/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for global services organizations
Best PSA software for MSPs
30 days free trial
|From £30/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for managing timesheets
14-day free trial
|From $10/user/month for a minimum of 5 users||Visit Website|
Best for cross-functional project and resource planning
30-day free trial
|From $8.50/user/month||Visit Website|
Best PSS time management reports & analysis
14-day free trial
|From $7/user/month||Visit Website|
Best PSA software for accessibility
30 days free trial
|From $15 per user per month||Visit Website|
Best for salesforce users and management consulting
- Adobe Workfront
Best cross-platform PSA software
- Workamajig Platinum
Best for creative teams
- Netsuite OpenAir
Best for small businesses
Best CRM-integrated PSA
- Deltek Workbook
Best for client transparency and communication
Best for managing large teams
Best for end-to-end administration
Best client portals for project insight sharing
Best PSS for enterprises
- Birdview PSA
Best for BI reporting
Best for retainer contracts
Best for data-driven reporting
- Easy Projects
Best for real-time team collaboration
- Oracle NetSuite
Best for complex accounting and billing
- Clarizen One
Best for centralized document management
Best for customization options
How I Picked The Best Professional Services Software
A DPM’s responsibilities include nudging a project along and keeping things on track. Hence, any powerful PSA software should allow you to easily input data and effortlessly see the progress of each task.
So what do I look for when I pick the best professional services automation software? Here are the selection criteria that I’ve used in picking out the best PSA tools today:
What is the use case that the software is best for? Does the software live up to its purpose and primary functionality?
Is the software easy to use and navigate? Can you efficiently manage your calendar, expenses, work time, and invoicing?
I look at all the ways in which this tool can connect to others and become a hub of useful company information. Therefore, I mention if there are pre-built integrations, if you can access them through third-party connectors like Zapier, and if there are ways for you to build custom integrations using an API.
Does the software meet your budget and provide a good ROI? As with any investment, the price plays a big role in the decision-making process. That is why I look at monthly pricing on a monthly plan and look for any free trial and demo information that can help you decide.
What are the key features of professional services software?
Here are some of the key PSA software features that you should look for:
- Scheduling: PSAs have scheduling capabilities that DPMs can use to manage their team’s time effectively. With the help of an excellent scheduling feature, digital project managers can prevent scheduling conflicts and ensure that all assigned tasks are completed on time.
- Project Management: This is probably the most critical feature for a DPM because it allows you to launch projects and easily manage them until completion. A project management feature can help a DPM optimize resource utilization and ensure that a project gets completed on time while staying within budget.
- Document Management: This feature allows a digital project manager and other team members to quickly share project-related documents within one storage location to avoid missing documents and allow for quick access to them when needed.
- Reports Generation: DPMs often need to generate reports to present a project’s impact on a company’s finances. A reports generation feature can simplify reporting so DPMs can save time while generating accurate reports.
Aside from helping professionals with project delivery management, documentation, and reporting, PSA systems also have the following features:
- Full project accounting & project financials management
- Calendar management
- Team collaboration
- Proposal generation
- Customer relationship management
- Resource management
- Expense tracking, expense management, budgeting
- Invoicing and billing
- Business intelligence
- Revenue recognition
What’s the Ideal First Step in Picking the Right Professional Services Automation Solution?
A typical buyer’s guide would tell you to list down the features that you want from a tool to select the best PSA software. But I suggest that you first list down the major business outcomes that you want to see for the next months or so.
If you want to have a comprehensive resource planning strategy or have a centralized location for all your documents, let those factors drive your selection process. You can then match these outcomes with the features of the project management tools. This way, you can make sure that you will be able to achieve your business goals using the PSA solution.
A professional services business needs of a mix of tools, just like any other company. Here is a list of other lists you might be interested in.
Related tool lists:
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