Project Pulse for Finance

Managing financials for a services company is a very labor intensive process.  Each month, the following processes and reports need to be executed:

  • Billing
  • Invoicing
  • Payment Processing
  • Revenue Forecasting
  • Revenue Recognition
  • Employee Expense Reimbursement
  • Vendor Invoicing & Payments

For many companies, these processes start by gathering time and expense records from various systems and spreadsheets, then grouping them by project and account.  For each project, contract terms must be reviewed to determine what charges can be billed and for what amounts.  With manual processes, it is very difficult to ascertain whether all time and expenses have been entered, potentially leading to erroneous customer billing, misinformed reporting to management and rework.

Project Pulse provides powerful financial capabilities unmatched in the industry that address these challenges and automates the entire month-end close financial processes.  Managing projects to cost and revenue targets is a key success factor, yet, for many companies, this information is only available after the financial process is completed at month end close.  Project Pulse provides over 100 financial metrics that are continuously calculated giving project managers and management real-time visibility into the financial performance of their projects and business.  Elimination of these manual processes reduces cost of operations, increases management visibility and improves the quality of service provided to customers.

Project Pulse provides 6 different revenue models that support the various ways projects are billed or contracted:

Fixed Price Fixed price revenue is recognized as work (tasks or phases) are completed.
Progressive Fixed Price Custom fixed price revenue is recognized proportionally as work progresses.
Time & Material Revenue is recognized when work is completed, and based on logged hours * bill rate.
Progressive Time & Material Revenue is recognized as time or expenses are entered.
Cost-Based Revenue is recognized as costs (labor or expenses) are entered.
Subscription Revenue is recognized per the subscription revenue schedule defined for the project.
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Project Billing

Project Pulse automatically generates billing charges as work is performed or expenses are incurred, based on the rules associated with the revenue model assigned to the project.

The billing view provides real-time visibility into the value of work performed.  The process of approving billing charges could not be simpler: select from one of the predefined search queries (i.e.: Last Month Billing) and run a query to return the billing charges for the period selected.

The user can predefine multiple views of the billing information and select the appropriate one based on the business operation to be performed.

The billing view can be grouped by Account and Project so all billing charges for a given client can be easily reviewed.  Approving records requires a single click to select all billing charges for an account and/or project and another click to approve them en-mass.

To enter a billing credit, highlight the row for a billing charge and click the Apply Credit button.  Enter the amount and description, hit Save and a billing credit record will be added.

For companies that require down payment before service delivery starts, Project Pulse provides prepayment (retainer) billing functionality. Simply enter a prepayment amount and Project Pulse will create a billing credit record and associated invoice.  As project charges are generated, Project Pulse will apply the remaining prepayment to the total billing.

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Project Invoicing

Project Pulse makes the invoicing process fast and easy.  For each Account, the application provides 4 attributes that control the invoicing process:

  • Summary-level Time Charges
    • The invoicing process will create 1 invoice item for all time related billing charges.
  • Summary-level Expense Charges
    • The invoicing process will create 1 invoice item for all expense related billing charges.
  • Consolidate Project Billing
    • A single invoice will be created for those Accounts who have multiple projects and associated billing charges.
  • Bill To Account
    • The invoice will be addressed to a third-party Account, rather than the Account associated to the project.

To create invoices, simply select what billing charges are to be invoiced from the billing view and hit the Create Invoice button on the toolbar.

To create a branded invoice document, many of our customers will choose an application like Conga or DrawLoop.  Project Pulse will provide a custom “Print Invoice” button to generate the documents and append them as attachments to the Opportunity or Account as desired.

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Payment Processing

Project Pulse provides a view to enter payments received from customers.  Select what period you wish to review payments for from the predefined query template and hit the search button on the toolbar.  Records received for that period will be displayed in the Grid view.

To apply a payment to an invoice, select the Invoice view and enter the payment value you wish to apply to the invoice.  Payments can be applied across 1 or more invoices.  The invoice view will show the total amount, payments applied and  balance.

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Revenue Forecasting & Reporting

For service companies, revenue forecasting and revenue reporting is one of the most difficult financial operations to perform, because service revenue is generated as work is performed. The Opportunity will show the total revenue for the project, but not when the revenue will be earned.  A VP of Professional Services at one of our customers used to spend 80 hours per month performing this function, and even with that effort could not produce accurate revenue forecasts.

Project Pulse automates the entire process of revenue forecasting and reporting, and produces this information in real-time as work is performed and expenses are incurred (either estimated for future projects, or actual for active projects.)

For many companies this is a critical financial function as it provides vital information regarding cash-flow and future revenue needed by executive management to make informed investment and hiring decisions.

In addition to calculating revenue for active projects, many of our customers will leverage our Opportunity Wizard to create projects for deals that are likely to close in the near future.  By doing so, Project Pulse provides vital information about future resource requirements to satisfy the sales pipeline and predict future cost and revenue streams.

To set-up financial processing, you specify the financial reporting period.  For most companies, that is based on calendar month.  To include projects for financial processing, you simply click the Compute Project Financials checkbox and specify the start date.  Project Pulse provides flexibility to start the financial processing before the actual project starts, which is useful if capturing sales expenses associated to the project is important.  Project Pulse will also compute n-number of financial periods after project close which is useful if expense hit the project after the project end date.

After each financial period revenue is reviewed and approved, simply lock the financial calculations for that period.  Performing this action also locks the underlying data (time, expenses and billing charges) to prevent changes.