One of the highest time-related costs for a project is administrative tasks. These small tasks add up, taking your team’s time away from working on projects and adding to your bottom line — with no benefit to you.
Streamlining and automating your reporting process can save you time and money. Connery Consulting, which recently automated its reporting process, reduced its billing time from a full day to just two hours. That saved time can be reallocated and spent on billable hours, making your company more profitable and efficient.
Not only can automating your reporting process save you time when billing clients, it overall decreases your administrative overhead. It’s been reported that customers who automate their project and resource management see a 90 percent decrease in administrative overhead.
How Automating Client Reports Can Benefit Your Company
Automating reporting has a wide range of benefits for your company and your team. When your employees don’t have to spend time doing administrative tasks, they can focus instead on providing your customers with the best possible product. Here’s how it can benefit your team.
Stay Ahead of Problems
With real-time data collection and analysis, you get insight into what’s happening with a project immediately. When you have up-to-the-minute data, you can make agile decisions and pivot to solve issues before they become problems.
By solving issues before they become problems, your clients receive reports with the most accurate data to represent the progress of their project. You get to show clients how well your team is managing the project and all the progress they’ve made.
No More Wasted Time Generating Reports
When client reports are automatically generated from current and historical data input by your team, you save time. If you have multiple clients, this can be a huge time savings. Instead of spending time generating reports, you can spend time working on client projects, billing more hours, and focus on creating the best product for your clients.
Real-Time Data for Future-Focused Decision Making
The real-time data you collect from client reports can help you to redirect resources in the moment and also help you move your project management from reactive to responsive. Instead of reacting to a current situation, you can plan for the future.
Up-to-date information helps you to take a step back from putting out fires and instead focus on the big picture of the project. With a more global view of a project, you can make future-focused decisions to benefit the project and team as a whole.
6 Steps to Get Your Reporting Process for Professional Services on Auto-Pilot
Project transparency and client satisfaction depend on more than just the completion of a project. Most clients want regular status reports and to understand that their money is being well spent through data.
Using automated project management software for your client reporting process can create the client’s desired transparency. Not only that, it can save your firm time and money. Here are six steps to get your client reporting process on auto-pilot.
1. Choose the Right Enterprise Project Management Software
Implementing a new system can be overwhelming. You need stakeholder buy-in, employee training, and time spent connecting your current tools to the new software. The number one thing to look for when choosing a new tool is easy adoption so that you can get back to work as quickly as possible.
You also want to look for a project management software that allows you to easily create client reports. Look for project management features such as reporting templates and filters. You should also evaluate how reports are shared with clients. Setting up automatic sharing and report generation takes one more to-do item off of your list.
2. Connect Data Sources
Technology makes accomplishing tasks faster and more efficient. But, when you build an ecosystem using multiple tools and products, you have to make sure those different tools will talk to each other. Before you can begin using any tool, you have to integrate your existing tools so that they automatically filter the right information into your client reports.
3. Track Client and Project Metrics in Real Time
Automating your client reporting process is all about tracking the right data and reviewing it at the right time. You want a project management tool that you can set to automatically collect data that can be regularly reviewed to ensure your project metrics are meeting your goals.
By tracking and reviewing real-time data, you set your project up for success and you provide your clients with the most accurate data. You can avoid issues before they become problems and realign your team before reports are sent to your client.
Look for a project management software that includes individual client profiles, so you can customize what data you collect for each customer and your sharing process. Some clients want more updates and more information than others.
When you set up a customer’s profile, you can choose how often they receive client reports and what information they see. It’s as simple as importing their information from your CRM.
4. Review In-Process and Realign
By collecting real-time data, you have the ability to assess the project while your team is working on it. This gives you and the client an opportunity to see how time is being spent, what progress has been made on the project, and who is working on what. If any data seems out of line with the project goals, you can immediately realign resources and tasks to get back on track.
Real-time metrics such as costs, billing, profitability, and more help you to assess client relationships in the moment and realign assets as needed to stay on target. You no longer have to wait until the end of the billing cycle or the end of the project to make changes.
5. Share Customized Reports with Clients
As the project progresses, you can share a customized report with your clients. These auto-generated reports can be customized so you share only the data you want with your clients. You can also choose the schedule on which these reports are shared, whether that be weekly, monthly, or at certain important check-points within the project.
These auto-generated reports make communication streamlined and ensure that clients know what you’re working on and the progress that’s being made on their project. This transparency improves your relationship with your client but doesn’t require your team to work any additional hours.
6. Invoice with Ease
One of the most important parts of the client reporting process is invoicing. With the right project and resource management software that helps you with project financials, you can customize your invoices to your customer’s individual billing needs. Whether they require a lot or a little information, you can find a template that fits their needs.
Automated project management and putting your client reporting process on auto-pilot creates project transparency, increases convenience, and can even save your company time and money. For most companies, creating client reports and gathering data for proper billing takes up a lot of time. Automated project management can significantly cut the time you and your team spend on client reporting.
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