All professional services organizations (PSOs) share a ritual at the month-end. Their managers check the time their teams spend on projects and the month’s associated expenses to create invoices and share them with their clients for approval. The process may seem straightforward. In reality, however, PSOs find it time-consuming to record the exact work hours of their employees. A common challenge these organizations face is that hours worked are not accurately recorded on timesheets; sometimes, the relevant data required for billing is not captured at all. As a result, revenue leakage has been a festering problem that PSOs wish to address proactively to minimize lost revenue. This article explains how you can minimize revenue loss and impact your business outcomes positively.
In this blog, we will explain six key ways in which you can minimize lost revenue
1. Leverage Automation for Repetitive Tasks
PSOs can harness the power of automation for time tracking and other administrative tasks. If you manually input data into the system, the chances of keying in inaccurate or erroneous data exist, which can result in lesser billing. On the other hand, automation eliminates manual errors and helps generate accurate invoices on time. It enables managers to monitor a project’s real-time progress and timeliness. Automating specific processes in PSOs helps control existing revenue leakages, offers insight into the areas of revenue loss, and enables you to create better outlines for your upcoming projects.
In addition, free of mundane, repetitive tasks, employees can focus on high-impact jobs that increase workforce productivity. This leads to improved project delivery and higher customer satisfaction.
2. Harness Cloud-first Solutions to Minimize Lost Revenue
Using several disparate systems leads to data silos within an organization. These silos make it difficult to access data quickly. This, in turn, affects employees’ ability to make informed decisions. Therefore, organizations must adopt cloud-first solutions so that their employees across their global offices can access data instantly. Cloud-based platforms enable teams to enter and process time and expenses across different projects in no time. With all the data residing on the cloud, organizations can have a single source of truth for their data. In addition, they can deploy analytics engines to churn real-time insights that their employees can use to make smarter decisions.
3. Provision for Including Metadata
While capturing time and expense data is essential, knowing about the metadata is equally critical. The metadata can be helpful in a wide range of situations. For example, it could help provide greater clarity to employees and customers. During retrospectives, this data can help identify avoidable and indispensable costs.
Further, understanding metadata and using its findings also bring transparency within the organization and for stakeholders like customers. Keeping your clients and stakeholders in the loop and updated about all the work done, the expected billing amount, and the possible timelines for incomplete tasks help improve coordination. Besides, it increases customer trust and reduces ambiguity during the billing process.
4. Track Status in Real-time
Keeping track of project profitability and delivery is like driving from one city to another. You may know the general direction, but wouldn’t it be more efficient if you knew the route in detail before you started the car? Nobody likes surprises – particularly if it’s about overruns, delays or other project hiccups. The ideal solution should sync with other systems to give you a real-time view of resources, costs, and project status. That way, you can make course corrections along the way.
5. Maximize Your Team’s Productivity
Managing projects is hard, especially with different billing and utilization rates across various departments. On the one hand, you want to match projects to the right skills and experience to satisfy your clients. But on the other hand, you wish to stay in control of resources and costs without micromanaging the process. Implementing an easy-to-use software to input time and expenses can help you can gain a better insight into the right mix of resources and their costs.
Getting the right resources on a project is vital from the customer’s perspective. However, this should be balanced with appropriate resource allocation that optimizes cost. A modern solution can help you reach a middle ground between customer satisfaction and organizational efficiency.
6. Speeding up the Billing Cycle
According to the Aberdeen Group, processing invoices for projects with long cycles can cause revenue leakages of up to 5% of the transaction value. Hence, you need to identify an easier, more secure and more accurate way to pass on the time and expense data to your accounts team. Unfortunately, most systems that capture billing time, expenses and related costs are needlessly complex. Plus, manual processes, spreadsheets and stand-alone platforms can create data silos, leading to human errors.
In the fast-paced professional services industry, a centralized system to capture all time, project and resource-related data is closely linked to business profitability. We’ve found that such a system helps organizations reduce administrative time by as much as 90% and hours spent by employees to capture the data to a tenth of the time.
For more information on how our customers have improved client billing, check out our case studies here.