Linking Projects and Contracts – A Secret Weapon in SaaS

By - March 13, 2023

One area in which Sage Intacct excels, particularly compared to other mid-market financial management platforms, is with understanding the realities of modern accounting. The developers behind Sage Intacct know what kinds of frustrations and inefficiencies accountants deal with every day, and they’ve building tools to solve them. That’s why Sage Intacct doesn’t just enable accounting – it elevates accounting far above what it was before.

A prime example is the way Sage Intacct links together projects and contracts. Contracts naturally involve at least one and often multiple projects. Yet most accounting platforms, especially introductory ones like Quickbooks, force accountants to manage these entities separately. Updates to one have to be recorded manually into the other, creating time-consuming and error-intensive extra work for accountants. These solutions handle contracts and accounts – but in a glaring omission, they do not link them.

Sage Intacct does things differently. Accountants can link together projects and contracts to not just expedite record keeping but eliminate entirely the need for double entries. It’s not just an easier approach to financial management but also a more organic way to handle accounting, which is quite typical of how Sage Intacct approaches development.

How to Link Contracts and Projects

For this to work, you need the Contracts application plus the Projects application, and must use Contracts for generating invoices and recognizing revenue. The steps are as follows:

  • Open Edit mode in the desired contract
  • Go to the Contract page and select the right choice from the Project drop down. This is now the default project for all contact lines.
  • To change the project for a specific contract line, go to Edit mode on that contract line and select the project from the drop down.
  • When applicable, associate a contract line with a selection from the Task drop down.
  • After clicking Save, the chosen project will now show the correct contract number in the Contract field.

Sage Intacct also gives users features to link child projects with the contract above it in the hierarchy, or to extend a project-contract link after a contract renewal. We are happy to run through the steps for both, but our goal here is simply to illustrate how easy Sage Intacct makes this overall process. And how deep the impact runs. Linking contracts and projects certainty makes life easier for accountants, but that’s just beginning of the benefits.

Why to Link Contracts and Projects ?

In today’s competitive and unpredictable markets, accounting excellence is a must. Any feature that makes accounting more efficient, accurate, and scalable adds strength to a company. The contract-project link in Sage Intacct does all that, plus something even more consequential.

SaaS companies have the potential to earn tremendous revenue from professional services. Depending on how contacts are structured, professional services can account for substantial and consistent sources of revenue over the entire contract lifetime. Some companies see gross margins on professional services as high as 30%.

That said, accounting for professional services can take up a disproportionate amount of accountant’s time, fail to capture all billable time and services, and create frustrations for both staff and clients. Many SaaS companies actually downplay for forego professional services because they’re seen as more trouble than they’re worth.

Sage Intacct reverses that equation: the worth far exceeds the trouble. It’s simple to link professional services projects with the associated client contract and manage them in sync. And while this doesn’t ensure that professional services will be profitable, it puts the necessary accounting infrastructure in place. Knowing this, decision makers can invest and innovate around professional services feeling confident they can capture as much revenue as they can generate. The sky’s the limit.

But only once Sage Intacct is in place along with the Contract and Project applications. To make the most of all that Sage Intacct can do to elevate accounting, contact the experts at RSM.


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