Project management (PM) software can help accountants, tax professionals, and entire accounting firms plan their tasks and resources in a more effective way than just using spreadsheets.
Studies show that the use of PM software is linked to high-performing projects, while over 60% of project failures are linked to internal project issues (such as missed deadlines, insufficient resources). That’s why using this type of software can make a huge difference in keeping clients, and being a valuable firm, or professional on the market.
In this article, you will find tips on how to ensure you find the best project management software for accountants, and five amazing options available on the market to speed up your purchase process.
How to choose the best project management software for accountants?
It looks hard to choose software between so many available in the market, but there are some tips you can follow to help you with this decision. After all, choosing software is a serious process, and it requires a thorough analysis to avoid time and money waste.
Here are 5 steps you can take to choose the best software, that will serve you with everything necessary to manage all of your accounting projects.
1. Identify the needs and pains the software will solve
Project management tools solve several problems with workflows. It helps teams be more organized, deliver projects and tasks on time, and also improves the collaboration between them. So the first step is to understand what the accounting firm really needs to focus on while handling projects.
A great tip is to talk to the team that is going to use the new software, and listen to what is lacking for better development of their projects, and a fluid workflow. Sometimes the team members will even come to you with alternatives, and that’s something you should encourage. Also, if you want to replace a current software, pinpoint its pros and cons, so you can know precisely what the substitute needs to have.
Once you know what to solve with the new software, list what are the must-have features it should have to solve your needs. This list will be based on the pains you have identified earlier.
Having the written list features will guide you through the process of building the list of software, and also facilitate the comparisons you will make.
2. Search and list the available alternatives
You can use tools directories such as G2, Capterra, and ProductHunt. These websites provide long descriptions and reviews of all kind of software, and they are the best place to help you build a list of tools.
3. Set a budget and check the prices
Set up a budget for software so you can avoid spending more resources than necessary.
Once you have a budget, you can start looking at the prices of each software in your list and compare them. In this step, a list of features will also be essential, because each software offers several plans with certain attributes and a number of seats.
4. Give preference to all-in-one solutions
All-in-one solutions provide more than one service in just one tool. This kind of software is cost-effective and can save time since you have most, if not everything you need to work in just one place. With some all-in-one solutions, you can have accounting software, a CRM, and a project management tool in the same place. Way better, right?
5. Sign up for free trials and demos
By the time you reach this step, you will have narrowed down your list to just a few software. Then you will have more time to analyze each option further. Trying these options, and seeing how they work will definitely be a turning point in this process.
Software companies commonly offer free trials of 7, 15, and even 30 days. They may also provide free guided demos through videoconference, which will be even more clarifying.
Just imagine managing your multiple accounting projects inside your email inbox, turning emails into tasks? Drag is a shared inbox inside Gmail, that can also be used as a Project Management tool, mainly as a task management software. It offers a kanban view that improves team collaboration and it’s great for the scheduling phase and the tracking and management phase of PM.
Drag helps to eliminate the back and forth between your inbox and a third-party tool. It will make you gain more productivity and save time by centralizing your processes in only one place you already know.
Drag offers features such as notes in email and due dates to your tasks and emails and mention teammates on the private chat, keeping all the communication necessary for a specific job inside that task. Also, you can drag your cards easily between columns to help you with tracking the steps of a project.
Drag offers a free plan, which is ideal for both individuals and teams, but with limited features. For more advanced features, you can purchase a paid plan that starts at $8 per user/month.
- Shared inboxes
- Integrations with Google Groups and Google Calendar
- Limited workflow
- Unlimited collaboration (delegation, reply as an alias, internal team chat, collision detection, and more.)
- Unlimited productivity (checklists, tags, sort & filter, notes, color coding)
- Email sequences, email templates
2. Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is a project management tool that helps you plan, assign, and manage your accounting tasks and resources while you collaborate with your team. It provides Gantt charts to help teams build a project plan and track their task schedule.
Moreover, this software allows you to personalize your experience on layouts, statuses, fields, and workflows.
There’s a free plan that for up to 3 users and 2 projects, being excellent for individual tax professionals and small teams. If you need to upgrade to a higher number of users and projects, the plans start at $3 user/month.
- Gantt chart viewer
- Task automation
- Time tracking
- Custom Status for Tasks & Projects
- Issue tracker module
- Graphics and Reports
- File storage for up to 10MB
- Task Dependency (Finish-to-Start)
G2: 4.2 stars
Capterra: 4.2 stars
BigTime is a system that helps accounting professionals do project planning, besides budget, track, and billings. It allows users to manage project teams, work in process, measure profitability per project, and even per staff. Accounting firms can easily streamline their workflow with the Quickbooks integration, that this project management solution offers.
The prices start at $10 per month in the Express plan, $30 per month in the Pro plan, and $40 in the Premier.
- Time Tracking
- Expense Tracking
- Billing & Invoicing
- Review & Approval Workflows
- Resource Management
- Reporting & Dashboards
- Deep Integrations
- DCAA Timekeeping
G2: 4.5 stars
Capterra: 4.6 stars
4. Odoo Project Management
Odoo is an open-source suite of business applications, which includes CRM, Project Management, Manufacturing, Inventory, Accounting, and other business needs. All of these are in just one software solution.
The different applications are interconnected, and it’s possible to automate many processes to avoid manual inputs into multiple applications.
The pricing depends on which application you want to add from the platform and also on the number of seats you need. But you can simulate how much your custom plan will cost here.
- Calendar view;
- Graph views;
G2: 4.4 stars
Capterra: 4.2 stars
LiquidPlanner is a free project management software that helps teams plan and prioritize their projects. With this solution is possible to track changes across all the active projects by allowing you to analyze risks and resources.
In the LiquidPlanner dashboard, it’s possible to visualize pending, approved, and active projects, as also have access to historic ones whenever you need them. It makes setting a task priority much more straightforward. Besides, it helps you to calculate a realistic range of time you would most likely take to complete your work.
You can enjoy LiquidPlanner’s free plan with unlimited internal dashboards, but it’s limited to 25 virtual members, and 2000 active tasks. If you need a more complete suite, the premium plans start at $45/user/month.
- Time Tracking
- iOS and Android Apps
- Phone and Email Support
- API Access
G2: 4.2 stars
Capterra: 4.3 stars
Choosing a new project management software for accountants may be hard since there are so many options available. That’s why it’s crucial to analyze each one thoroughly, focusing on the ones that have essential features that can help teams manage their projects.
Searching for reviews on directories – such as Capterra, AlternativeTo, or G2 – is a great tip you can follow, to understand how the tools perform in similar contexts to yours. Don’t forget to visit and explore the tools’ websites to look for use cases that can be similar to yours, as well.
We really hope these tips can help you eliminate some options in your list, and choose the best option for you and your accounting firm.
Project accounting software