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Practice Management System (PMS)- Consultancy Firm

Do readers have any guidance/experience of a PMS for a smallish Consultancy practice?

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I have been asked by my colleagues in a five partner consultancy practice to see if we can replace our hybrid PMS comprising Xero/Dynamics/Teams/SharePoint/Excel and possibly more that I have overlooked, with a more cohesive purpose-built PMS.  My colleagues are IT people and I am the only accountant.  Our work is partly project-based and partly trusted retained advisors.   Having tried to research the market, I have not yet found any site(s) that guide or advise - only single product sales sites.

Our needs are:

  • Cloud - probably public - based
  • time recording - we invoice monthly
  • expenses recording - travel etc
  • invoicing - to be done by each consultant
  • MI to inform each other and remind ourselves about outstanding balances
  • General Ledger - with automated bank feed
  • Document Management - to file and easily find work already undertaken
  • Case Management - to add customisable work flows for our project work

There may be more that I have not thought of but I think that's it.  If you are in the trade, I am happy to take pure sales calls.  If you are not, your advice might be even more valuable!  Even if you only want to provide a name that specialises in this area.  I hope you can help.

Replies (8)

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ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
14th Sep 2021 12:23

1 software to cover all of that is a huge ask. 2 might be feasible, 3 definitely so. For instance, Xero will do #1,3,4,5&6 whilst most PMS will cover 7&8, whether they will also time record (#2) I don’t know - we use a separate software for that. There’s plenty of timekeeping softwares which do integrate into Xero and allow you to invoice time, but that makes 3.
Possibly Xero & XPM (which is basically 1 software) but I have no idea how flexible the workflows are.

Thanks (1)
Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
Library Drinking
By Cambridge Business
14th Sep 2021 17:06

Thank you. yes, we have looked at some of the Xero add-ons but we haven't really got on with them. However, maybe that is what we will have to do.
It is really helpful to have your reply, as it shows me where the limits of the possible might be!

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By Hugo Fair
14th Sep 2021 15:14

No particular software recommendations ... but a thought.
Your list reads more like a Project Management solution that's geared at delivery of professional services (not necessarily accounting) ... so it might be worth searching under that heading for other 'sectors' (quantity surveyors and many other specialists)?

Thanks (2)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
Library Drinking
By Cambridge Business
14th Sep 2021 17:10

Thank you Hugo. Yes, we are a specialist firm of advisors to the legal sector. Somewhat ironically, we mainly advise on IT systems. So, we know what we want from the systems but cannot find it in our market, (and we cannot use one for the legal sector, as that would bring our fiercely independent reputation into question)!

I shall try what you suggest, although I did look for systems for Consulting firms and drew a blank. I was probably being too blinkered.

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By BudgetB
15th Sep 2021 10:42

How about building your own? That way you can get it to do what you want. There's a guy on LinkedIn called Jordan Dimov who does exactly this and might be worth a chat with

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Replying to BudgetB:
Library Drinking
By Cambridge Business
15th Sep 2021 13:41

Thanks for that idea. We are a bit reluctant to go down that route because our experience of firms that have bespoke software, is that they then have a job keeping it up to date and owning the scripts/code.

However, we are mainly IT consultants and good at ensuring the projects we run are successfully managed, so we ought to consider it.

Thanks again.

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By BigBadWolf
03rd Oct 2021 21:52

WorkflowMax (Industry edition)+ Xero should deal with this

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Replying to BigBadWolf:
Library Drinking
By Cambridge Business
04th Oct 2021 11:53

Thanks - I shall look at this option and check it against our needs.

Many Thanks

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