6 Great Uses for PSA in Dynamics CRM

During the week of June 9th, I had the opportunity to attend the Assistance PSA Suite Basic virtual training for CRM 2013.  Professional Services Automation (PSA) is designed to assist professionals, such as IT consultants who do project management and resource planning for client projects and who assist with internal HR functions.

Assistance PSA is a simple managed solution that is imported into your Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 environment.  With PSA, Dynamics CRM 2013 is extended with Projects, Project Estimate, Project Forecast, Project Planning, Resource Planning, Invoicing and Time & Expenses.

Further, the time and expenses module integrates seamlessly with the CRM Outlook client.  Assistance PSA then also offers a full integration with Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions, such as Dynamics AX, Dynamics NAV or Dynamics GP.

Let’s take a journey into some of the things you can do with PSA. But first the setup.

Configuring PSA (Professional Services Automation) Settings

In order to use PSA a CRM System Administrator must first define the organizational and financial settings comprised of the following areas:

  • Legal
  • Departments
  • Cost centers
  • Ledger accounts
  • Tax groups
  • Booking periods

Setting up your Blueprint for PSA

A “blueprint” is a master plan that shows the business requirements (in detail) based on your unique requirements.  It consists of the following 4 elements that you’ll walk through:

  • Employees’ work & leave parameters
  • Hour types (project manager, consultant, analyst) & hourly rates
  • Project status and project types
  • Project templates (a few examples below)
    • T&M
    • Fixed fee
    • Recurring support & maintenance
    • Internal

Now that the PSA settings and blueprint have been configured, PSA is ready to go. Let’s look at some of the top items we can do with PSA.

1. Setting Up a Project in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 PSA

It is best practice to use the business process flow for project creation.  This identifies mandatory fields like the project name, template and legal entity.  Important to note, once you select the template you cannot change this selection down the road.

PSA dynamics crm 2013

Your project template is a time saver and provides consistency in automatically setting up your project items. It also generates a nice Gantt chart.

2013 Microsoft dynamics professional services automation


dynamics CRM 2013 PSA

2. Generating the Forecasting for T&M Projects

You can quickly generate the sales forecast of a T&M project. Here are types of sales forecasts:

    • Forecast (Input Hours) number of hours expected to bill based on utilization
    • Forecast (Money) number of hours expected to bill time the appropriate hourly rate
PSA 2013


PSA Dynamics CRM


 3. Generate the Sales Forecast of a Fixed Fee Project

The forecast of a Fixed Fee project is based on its billing milestones. You will define those expected milestones via installments which you will create in the Invoice Scheme.

crm 2013 PSA

Once you have created your project forecast you can view all of them in the resource planning module and choose from 4 options:

  • Forecast (input hours)
  • Forecast (money)
  • Installments (fixed fee projects)
  • Recurring Items (support & maintenance)
  • microsoft dynamics customer relationship management PSA


crm psa

4. Viewing the Utilization Sheet in PSA 

It’s easy to do the following tasks in PSA:

  • View the work schedule of your employees
  • Assign a project activity from the queue to a specific resource
  • View colour coded utilization sheets
crm psa 2013 microsoft dynamics unavailable highly overutilized overutilized good utilization underutilized highly underutilized

PSA also has a nice colour legend that provides for quick viewing of utilization:

  • Highly underutilized (‹0.5) : indicates less than 50% of utilization
  • Underutilized (‹0.8) : indicates less than 80% of utilization
  • Good utilization (0.8‐1) : indicates between 80% and 100% of utilization
  • Over‐utilized (1.‐1.2): indicates between 100% and 120%
  • Highly over‐utilized (›1.2): indicates higher than 120%
  • Unavailable: Indicates that the user is not available.

5. Getting Timesheets in Quickly with PSA (Hours Entry)

PSA allows the option to book time in a calendar or linear format.

When booking time in the timesheet module you also have the ability to perform the following actions:

  • Copy one or multiple time entries
  • Update your project’s items
  • Update you project’s activities
  • Book hours to another user
  • Post to your timecard
calendar crm 2013


dynamics customer relationship management


6.  Invoicing Your Project Work Inside Dynamics CRM 2013

Let’s assume hours have been booked towards the different projects of your organization and approved by both the Project manager and Admin level.

PSA then provides the capability to perform single project invoicing or batch invoicing.  You can review your projects to be invoiced in a single view that provides you the necessary information.

invoiveable projects crm

Open the project to reveal detailed financial information:

2013 professional services automation

On the Project form command bar click the ‘Invoice’ button so you can review and select the billable items.

Once you have chosen the billable items, PSA will generate an invoice report that can be sent the customer.

assistance psa crm 2013

All in all, Assistance PSA provides professional services firms a flexible and robust tool with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. Contact us if you want to take a closer look.



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