From XU Magazine, 
Issue 25

Is it Time For Your Field Service Clients to Upgrade Their Software?

Four key signs job management software is needed

Are your field service business clients struggling to track and manage administrative processes? It may be time for a software upgrade! Discover the signs to look out for that can help you determine if your clients need new software...
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Is an accountant working with field service businesses, keeping finances organised is no doubt at the top of your list. As you work to help your field service clients manage their finances and make data-driven business decisions, it’s important to ensure that they have the right software in place to stay organised. A single, cloud-based software solution will not only ease the process of managing a business, but it will also make your life easier as you analyse and manage their financial data.

If your field service clients are using software, but do not have efficient processes in place or are often losing information, it is probably time for an upgrade. A good field service management software solution will help trade contractors easily manage jobs, projects and maintenance contracts, and will help them keep track of all administrative processes.

As your clients prepare to enter 2021, do you think an upgrade should be considered? Here are four signs to help you identify whether or not your field service clients need new software.

1) Too much time is spent generating customer invoices

Once your client completes a job, are they able to quickly and easily invoice the customer? Or, are they frantically tracking down labour hours, change orders, materials purchased and other important job details? If your client is logging into multiple platforms to find this key information or if they are inaccurately entering this information, it is definitely time for a software upgrade.

With a single field service management platform, all information about a job is housed in one database and then can easily be converted into an invoice with items broken down comprehensively. There is no concern of inaccuracy in the transfer of information, because once the labour hours, materials and other details are entered into the system, they do not need to be entered again elsewhere. Field service businesses using a comprehensive software system spend much less time generating customer invoices because they are not wasting time searching for information. Also, it is easy to email the invoice to a customer and track when it has been paid or when additional follow up is needed.

2) There is a lack of documentation of key actions

Can your field service clients tell exactly when a quote was sent to a customer, how much was spent on materials in the last week or how many invoices are currently outstanding? A properly-functioning software platform should provide easy access to all of this key information and more. Documentation of actions, financial numbers and other key information is vital to run a successful business. Any decent software platform, especially one that is created with the field service industry in mind, should make it easy for users to quickly view the details they need. It should also be easy for software users to share necessary information with stakeholders. When documents are housed in one place, with streamlined and easy-to-read templates, sending a form or report to stakeholders is simple.

3) Information in reports is limited

Many software platforms claim to have reporting capabilities. However, the types of reports that can be generated are limited. It is important for field service businesses not to settle for any reporting software, but rather to invest in reporting tools that provide a clear visualisation of everything they need to stay on top of business status.

“Field service businesses using a comprehensive software system spend much less time generating customer invoices…”

Reporting is not a “nice to have” feature. It is a vital function of decision making. The more details and insight that field service professionals have into their business, the better informed they are when it comes time to make major decisions. And, the better informed you are when guiding those financial decisions.

If your clients’ software doesn’t allow them to clearly and easily view estimated costs versus actual costs, project profitability or other helpful information, it’s time to make the switch to a different software platform. A bonus tip is to look out for software that offers customisation or business intelligence reporting in addition to standard reports.

4) There is no integration with an accounting platform

A strong accounting software, like Xero, is an important piece of keeping accounts payable and accounts receivable organised in any business. At the same time, not all of the functions of a field service business can be managed from an accounting platform. Field service management software is necessary to keep projects running smoothly, manage stocktakes, schedule engineers to a job site and perform many other administrative functions. Keep in mind, though, that it is absolutely vital that the job management software used can integrate with their accounting platform.

If your clients’ software doesn’t provide a streamlined and well-functioning integration, it is time to look at new options. Your field service clients shouldn’t waste time transferring information from one platform to another. Again, streamlining processes is key in running an efficient business and saving time.

Determining whether or not your field service clients need to upgrade their current software solution is fairly simple. If they are wasting time on administrative tasks and struggling to document and track information, choosing a new field service management software should be at the top of their list of preparations for the new year.

If you want to recommend new software to your field service clients, but aren’t sure where to start, speak to a dedicated simPRO Partner Manager. The simPRO Partner Programme will help you discover the perfect solution and help your clients make the transition.

Why leave it there?

To sign up for the new simPRO Partner Programme and become a simPRO accounting partner

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