Friday, August 01, 2014

SOP: Your PSA/Ticketing System

In Volume Two, Section II of the new books on SOPs, we'll look at some important tools you need for running your company. The one tool most specifically designed to help you build a technology consulting business (computer consulting, managed services, tech support, etc.) is a PSA - Professional Services Automation tool.

A PSA is program (or service) for keeping track of all information related to your consulting service. This includes most or all of the following:
- Clients
 - - Client Contacts
 - - Client Technology Configurations
- Contracts
- Billing
- Employees
 - - Employee Time / Payroll
 - - Internal Tasks
- Service Requests / Service Tickets / Cases
- Projects
- Reporting
- Accounting
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) / Sales

The Service Board is a subset of the PSA. When you look through the SOP series you'll find excruciating detail about all the things you should be doing inside your PSA. As you can guess from the list above, this includes:
- Tracking your employees
- . . . and all their activities
- . . . and their billable time (and non-billable time)
- Tracking your clients
- . . . and all your interactions with them
- . . . and all their technology/computer systems
- Tracking all the work you need to do
- . . . internally and externally
- Tracking all your contracts
- Tracking all your sales
- Connecting to all the other tools and services you use to run your business
- Reporting all of the above

Choosing Your PSA

No matter how large or small your consulting business is, you should have a system for tracking all this stuff. A PSA designed for your business is a great investment.

The three leading brands in our line of business are:
- Autotask (
- ConnectWise (
- TigerPaw (

I encourage you to check them all out and determine which is best for your company. You should also talk to other IT professionals and see what they are using.

There are dozens - maybe hundreds - of other tools that claim to help you run your consulting business. But my experience is that all of the others are lack some very significant features. They might be excellent at managing the help desk, but don't integrate with QuickBooks. Or they are primarily a CRM (customer relationship management) tool and don't integrate contract management or employee time tracking.

When you get to the next two books in this series you'll see that we use the PSA for almost every aspect of running the IT service business.

And by the way, don't worry about making a mistake. Your business will be much better off as soon as you invest in any PSA and begin using it to run your business! You can change brands. I have.


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