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Definition: PSA

(Professional Services Automation) An information system designed to organize, track and manage all opportunities, work, resources, costs, revenues and invoices to improve the productivity and efficiency of the workforce. It is primarily targeted toward professional service organizations (PSOs), such as IT consulting firms and accounting firms, or professional service divisions (PSDs) within a company that bill for services performed by their employees.

From Start to Finish
An integrated system supports all phases of the project from first contact to collecting cash and posting revenue. The initial data may be derived from a CRM system when the project is ready to be assessed, or it can be managed entirely within the PSA system. PSA systems help convert the sizing and scoping of a project (the presales effort) into implementation timetables.

Key Functions
PSA systems provide resource management and information sharing and reserve and assign personnel based on skills, availability, career goals and travel preferences. A key element is Web-based data entry so that consultants can record their time and expenses on the job for efficient billing and project and customer management. For companies that sell products, the system may integrate inventory and billing.

As an example of integrated systems, the following functions are supported in Lawson Software's PSA suite. See CRM.

Contact Management
Opportunity Management
Client Management
Contract Management
Project/Engagement Management
Knowledge Management
Resource Management
Resource Assignments and Scheduling
Time and Expense Reporting
Project Accounting
Billing and Revenue Management