As a GCS Premier or Deltek First GovCon Essentials customer, you’ve recently found yourself in a predicament as your software is soon to be sunsetted.

You now need to make a decision sooner rather than later, but the good news is that you have options!

Here are a few things to think about before you make the switch to a new Professional Services Automation (PSA) tool.

Some project driven businesses make changes to their Professional Services Automation systems because they have outgrown their current software, or maybe they had a home-grown system that was no longer efficient, and some find themselves in the position where a change is prompted by external forces.

We were able to help one such customer, BCT Partners, who found themselves in just this predicament.

Many project driven businesses eventually find themselves at a crossroads with the management of their people, projects and financials. Some have created a stand-alone, home-built system that involves multiple platforms, spreadsheets, and outdated processes. Making the big leap to a purpose built professional services automation platform may seem scary or unnecessary. Other businesses find themselves at the crossroads when their existing system just isn’t scalable anymore.

Regardless of how you got there - the challenge is the same. What to do next?

Every day, Unanet customers are outperforming their competitors that run Deltek (both Costpoint and GCS). Many of these successful customers have chosen Unanet over Deltek for four key reasons.

We recently sat down with the Financial Controller at Magnolia River, Chantelle Miner, to discuss the path that led them to select Unanet Project Portfolio Financials Plus for their project ERP system. Magnolia River was struggling to keep up with their accounting needs as the company continued to grow at a rapid pace due to the duplication of efforts that they faced with disparate systems.

Every professional services firm has their own lingo or methodology, but for the most part, they all go through similar steps in their business; Plan, Execute, Manage, and Optimize.

Each step is unique and brings its own set of challenges and opportunities.

Two words. Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware).

You’re in the market for a system that will support your entire business lifecycle. You need a robust system that can handle your financials, accounting, budgeting & planning, timesheets, expenses, project management, resource management, real-time reporting and more— all in one place. So, it’s time to research the market and find the best business software at the best value. Simple, right? Well, yes and no. Proceed with caution, ask the right questions, and you can figure out which system is the best fit for your business.

Adapting basic project management software for a professional services environment requires two significant changes: accommodating a host of new metrics, and ensuring those new metrics are synchronized with the traditional, accessible to all, and transparent.

Joining other female entrepreneurs and business owners, Fran Craig attended the 15th Anniversary Luncheon for the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization, and shared some wisdom regarding how to effectively delegate to build an organizations culture.

As a female business owner and entrepreneur, Fran Craig has learned many key lessons during her years working in the professional services and software industries.

A discussion of common time tracking requirements - a critical first step in understanding and improving the performance of project-based services organizations.

A discussion of the challenges in project resource management, and a recent Aberdeen Group Report on workforce management.

Discussion of an interesting article in CIO Magazine 11 ways to Improve Your IT Team’s Productivity. Maybe because I was crunching on an apple, the idea in the first sentence caught my eye - provide your team with free food for greater productivity. Everyone wants high-performing teams, and, if all it took was a candy bar, I was ready to go for it!

Discussion of an interesting article in Forbes magazine that likened spring cleaning and having a garage sale to the process of prioritizing internal projects. To me, this translates to figuring out three things about my crowded 'garage':

1. What projects are in hiding, in process and/or in demand?

2. Which projects will actually be used more than once?

3. What value will these projects produce?

When choosing an ERP system, or Professional Services Automation software, it’s important to consider the deployment spectrum – from customized to turnkey.

What are the information needs for project managers to effectively manage projects? Project managers with real-time insight on project revenue and invoiced data have the information they need to manage project profitability. A 'financially savvy' project manager changes the customer relationship for the better. This is true whatever the contract type: time & materials, fixed price or cost plus. This blog post briefly discusses key project financial metrics for project managers.

Implementing any system presents challenges in successful adoption, and creating a new culture. This blog posts discusses some success strategies related to improving timekeeping when deploying a timesheet system.

Reports on project success rates over the years from various independent research studies show improvements. Examples are quoted, and some of the reasons behind the improvements are briefly discussed.

Features and functions that directly support the requirements stated in the Automated Timekeeping Systems section of the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) regulations and Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).

This article highlights three benefits from streamlining budgeting, forecasting and reporting: reduction in indirect rates; implementation of strategic goals; and push accountability to all levels. Organizations that put effort into streamlining their budgeting, forecasting and reporting processes will be the winners in a difficult economy!

Unanet Technologies is excited to sponsor the PS Village 2012 Professional Services Benchmark. We are pleased to share this invaluable research to enable you to compare your organization’s performance against your peers and identify areas for improvement in your operations, project delivery, human capital, and financial management.

The first webinar in this two part series looked at Calculating and Monitoring Indirect Rates. This webinar will focus on best practices in budgeting and forecasting to determine the direct costs which are a key component of determining future rates and variances.

Calculating and monitoring indirect rates is essential to maximize profitability, and optimize your competitiveness in winning Federal contracts.

Intuit has confirmed that it is discontinuing its QuickBooks Time Tracker and QuickBooks Time & Billing offerings, effective Dec. 1, 2011.

Insights from Brad Antle, CEO of Salient Federal Solutions, at the 4th Annual Unanet Customer Meeting in Reston, VA on May 6 2011.

Many services organizations need to see the true project costs, taking into account allocation of costs from overhead activities and other costs not specifically identifiable with a single project.

Organizations can make significant gains in efficiency, and higher data accuracy, by integrating Per Diem reference data in their expense reporting process.

What does the "Cloud" mean and what can it offer your organization? The "Cloud" or "Cloud Computing" is simply the ability to access shared computing resources over the Internet.