Costing, Scoping, Reporting: Introducing Budget Management for Professional Services

The demand for professional services has only continued to grow, with the industry estimated to value over $8 billion by 2022. However, substantial growth doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. 

In 2019, we surveyed over 1,000 industry professionals to understand the unique obstacles facing many teams providing professional services to clients. Budget management is a hurdle, with 26% noting that a primary source of client frustration is projects going over budget. More concerning is the indication that the leading cause of projects exceeding budgets is poor internal planning

Amid economic uncertainty, professional services teams need to ensure profitability by adopting a consolidated work management process that incorporates effective costing and budgeting functionality. 

Introducing budget management for professional services 

Wrike prides itself in supporting professional services teams to streamline workflows and enhance client delivery. That’s why we created Wrike for Professional Services. 

Teams achieve outstanding results through improved resource management and allocation, effective collaboration internally and externally, accurate time tracking, and the integration of various tools into one intuitive workspace. 

Thousands of professional services teams are experiencing the value of a robust work management platform like Wrike. Still, we knew we needed to enhance this powerful workflow with a robust financial tool after listening to customer feedback. Our Professional Services platform now supports service teams to cost projects effectively, monitor budgets in real time, and ensure profitability. 

Wrike is the only collaborative work management solution to offer a comprehensive budgeting solution for professional services teams within a singular platform. 

Let’s take an in-depth look at our budget management feature and underscore the added value brought to teams using Wrike for Professional Services. 

Leverage budgets with new, customizable hourly rates

An emerging trend in the professional services industry is the shift to a value-based revenue model. This model allows professional services teams to monetize work provided, time needed, and the expertise committed to any given project

Wrike’s new budget management feature supports this model, allowing hourly rates to be assigned at a user level and at a job role or project level. Teams can customize the value of services provided by effectively leveraging the cost rate (cost of a resource to the company) and bill rate (the amount charged to clients for a service). 

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Professional services teams can now track costs, assign hourly rates, and align rates with the resources required to complete a task. No longer will managers struggle to keep up with fluctuating internal hourly rates, empowering them to assign the right people to each project, and further support costing and budgeting for all client needs. 

Practical scoping and budgeting 

As we’ve mentioned, a key client frustration is projects going over budget. To avoid this, professional services teams must accurately assign costing to the scope of work (SOW) ahead of time. There’s little room for error as poor planning around budgets will result in increased cost for clients, client dissatisfaction, or more work for teams with no additional revenue. 

Anyone who has conducted project costing knows how complex and time consuming the task can be. Managers need to ensure that they have undertaken accurate costing before the client agrees to the SOW. 

Wrike’s budget management tool streamlines and simplifies the costing process. As each user or job role will have a cost and bill rate associated with their profile, a project manager needs only to create the project in Wrike, along with the associated tasks, and assign resources to each task. Our system will then accurately predict a project budget based on each user’s hourly rate. 

For ad hoc tasks, hourly rates can be updated and edited in real time to suit client or project requirements. 

Monitor spend against projections 

Never has it been simpler to keep track of project spend and align this to progress and allocated budgets. 

Project managers can now quickly identify bottlenecks that might see the actual cost associated with a task or project to exceed the planned cost. The ability to pre-empt a job exceeding budget enables managers to be more agile and adjust resources as needed to prevent cost overruns for clients. 

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Accurate budget monitoring is possible using hourly rates to calculate the budget required to complete a project. Spend information will update in real time as team members track progress, ensuring big-picture visibility on project progress and finances. 

By using Wrike’s budget management tool, professional services teams can ensure operational excellence from the planning stage right through to delivery. 

Enhanced reporting and real-time data 

Wrike provides transparency on budgeting that translates as increased access to valuable data and metrics on all projects, from granular tasks right up to overall organizational KPIs. 

We all know the familiar pang of dread when an accounting team requests project financials to track overall business performance. Often this can be a time-consuming activity for teams and removes them from performing billable work for clients. 

Within Wrike for Professional Services, financials are at the center of every project. Project overviews include numerous calculated field options, such as planned fees and costs, so that budgets are tracked in real time, ensuring accuracy at the time of reporting. 

Need to upgrade your professional services’ project delivery? 

Our budget management features are an enhancement of our Wrike for Professional Services tool. If you’re already a Professional Services user, get in touch and explore the value that our budgeting features could add to your team. Our tool meets the unique needs of every professional services company. 

If you’re new to Wrike, consider a two-week free trial of Wrike for Professional Services to overhaul your project management process. We’re dedicated to supporting teams to exceed client needs while staying on time and on budget throughout the planning and delivery process.

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