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[creative workflow management blog]

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Editor's Note: This post was originally published in February 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Measuring the right KPIs (key performance indicators) is crucial for agency owners to understand their firm’s performance and find out what areas require attention. There are literally dozens of KPIs to grow and improve your creative agency, but it is important to identify what performance indicators you should evaluate and track on a daily basis.

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Function Point Productivity Software (fp.) is launching a “finance-first” approach in the development of its project resource management software for creative agencies. The product vision is unique in its focus on connecting agencies’ financial components with project management. 

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Deciding on your agency’s rates and billing structure will be one of the most critical factors to long-term profitability. To do this, you’ll need to calculate your agency’s billing factor, agency blended billing rate, and staff cost rates to understand the true value of your work. 

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Last September, Karen O’Mahony and I attended the Second Wind Agency Financial Management seminar in Chicago. It was a fantastic learning and networking opportunity to meet with agency owners, CFOs and key decision makers. Tony Mikes did an excellent job of explaining in detail how to increase margins, markups, and cash flow in your ad agency.

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Reports. To be honest, the word gives me the shivers. It conjures up an image of the boss from Office Space leaning over my desk, filling my nostrils with the smell of stale coffee. Read on to learn how project management software can help with that. 

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I recently was lucky enough to attend a Second Wind seminar on Agency Operations, Workflow and Efficiency hosted by Tony Mikes. A topic that was covered extensively was working with freelancers. I was surprised, as many others were, by the rules that creative agencies need to adhere to when working with freelancers in the US. A few important factors to monitor closely are taxes and the ownership of designs coming from the freelancer.

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We have been providing timesheet and project managment solutions to advertising agencies, interactive firms and design studios for many years. Through the good times and during recessions we see the fluctuations in number of staff, general revenue and the change in morale that is associated.

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Advertising agencies, creative studios, and interactive development firms in ever increasing numbers are using workflow management software to assist in analysis of their operational efficiency.  

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Online or Offline - There are some ad agencies and creative agency owners who think that online accounting systems are inferior and are not as efficient as traditional software in terms of their features. That is why they only use and trust an accounting application that is installed and run in their own local server at their offices. While it is true that traditional accounting software applications installed in local servers are very efficient and rich in features, we should also look into the fact that web accounting systems are as capable. And in some cases, they are even more efficient.

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My last posting was talking of my experience as the controller of a company providing time sheet and project management solutions to creative teams. I am a little old school, in that I don't always jump on board with technology and change. That being said, In the past two days I have been testing the new version of fp.Accountant with our development team as we go live internally with Alon's work. The old version has saved me many, many hours of redundant data entry by integrating the transfer of data between fp and QuickBooks.

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