Accelo vs. BigTime

ChelseaWilliams
By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Apr 4 2023 read
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Information contained in this post is based on publicly available documentation as of the most recent publish date. Products and features are continually updated and we will make an effort to update the information in this post to reflect those changes.

New software is a serious investment, and it’s smart to do your due diligence to determine which platform is best for your business. But the research required to make an informed decision can be time-consuming and confusing — you may mostly come across complex comparisons that don’t address your real questions.

That’s why we’ve decided to take a different approach.

We know you need more than a feature-by-feature breakdown to feel comfortable committing to a client work management solution, and we believe you deserve the truth about the software you’re about to invest in.

Below, we get straight to the point with what you need to know if you’re considering both BigTime and Accelo.

What Is BigTime?

BigTime is a professional services automation (PSA) software that offers project management, time tracking, billing and more for accounting and consulting firms, creative agencies, IT providers and other professional services businesses. This platform was built to connect teams and offer company-wide visibility and detailed reporting in a modern user interface.

BigTime's capacity planning dashboard (Image from BigTime.net)

BigTime and Projector by BigTime

BigTime recently acquired Projector PSA — now called Projector by BigTime — in 2022.

Projector by BigTime’s organization-level dashboard (Image from GetApp.com)

BigTime reports that this acquisition will expand its consultative services and result in more frequent functional improvements on both platforms.

Below, we’ll review the combined offerings of both BigTime and Projector by BigTime.

Product Offerings

  • Detailed time tracking and resource management
  • Project management — with Gantt charts
  • Project accounting, including invoicing, forecasting and revenue management
  • Expense report and timesheet approvals
  • BigTime Wallet add-on for payment processing and client portal — with failed payment notifications
  • Business intelligence reporting, including revenue projection

Pricing Plans

BigTime’s pricing is as follows:

  • Essentials: $20 per user per month
  • Advanced: $35 per user per month
  • Premier: $45 per user per month
  • Projector: $60 per user per month

Pricing for Projector by BigTime

Projector by BigTime offers custom quotes for two tiers:

  • Scale: For mid-sized firms that need resource management, project accounting, project management and limited integrations
  • Optimize: For enterprise that need all the same functions, plus business intelligence dashboards and unlimited integrations

Notable Integrations

  • HubSpot
  • QuickBooks
  • Sage Intacct
  • Salesforce
  • Slack

BigTime helps you match employees' skills to each project (Image from BigTime.net)

Strengths

  • Multilayer approvals for time, expenses and invoicing
  • Automatic scheduling recommendations based on staff availability
  • Employee skills tracking
  • Full suite of project accounting tools, including budgeting and vendor management
  • Reporting dashboards
  • Micro and macro business intelligence analytics 
  • Currency conversion for expense reporting — and multi-currency throughout the platform in beta
  • BigTime Academy: a library of pre-recorded user training videos

Weaknesses

  • BigTime and Projector by BigTime remain two separate — and separately billed — platforms
  • No built-in CRM (integrations only)
  • No way to handle retainers (aside from recurring tasks)
  • No task board
  • No email tracking
  • No ticketing system
  • BigTime Wallet required for clients to make payments via online portal
  • Some users report lacking support and insufficient follow-up from BigTime’s team
  • Reporting around billed hours is limited 

What Users Say About BigTime

According to G2 reviewers, Accelo and BigTime are comparable in the world of cloud-based project management platforms when it comes to core offerings. 

Users rate Accelo higher than BigTime for project planning, sales, invoice management, budget tracking and our client portal. BigTime has a bit of a leg up in KPI/baseline visualization, recurring task management and the availability of offline access.

BigTime Alternative

While BigTime may offer some of the features you need, can it help your business grow over time?

Accelo is a PSA alternative to BigTime that offers more intuitive automations and workflow management options. The client-focused platform allows your team members and clients to access project collaboration tools that support better relationships and recurring work. 

Let’s review how these two platforms compare in terms of resource management, task and project visibility and customer support.

Accelo's Retainers dashboard displays everything you need to know about your recurring work.

Daily Timesheets and Scheduling in Accelo vs. BigTime

Both platforms are set up for logging time, support automated scheduling and offer robust time entry capabilities. However, Accelo can perform bulk assignments, while BigTime allows auto-scheduling at the project level.

Staffing time is simple in Accelo since no action is dependent on approvals. That means your client payments and payroll will not be delayed while your team waits on managers to approve invoices or timesheets.

If approvals are necessary for your team, BigTime is set up to allow multiple approvals on a single workflow. And Projector by BigTime uses a method called “rolling wave scheduling,” which takes into account the up-and-down nature of a professional services team’s workload.

Better Task and Project Visibility for Service Businesses

Daily business operations, particularly in project management, can feel unorganized and lack detail in BigTime, making oversight difficult for project managers. Accelo users frequently report a positive change in visibility for various roles thanks to the way the platform links every stage of the client relationship from prospecting to billing.

External communication is another key area in which teams benefit from visibility. Users love Accelo's Activity Streamwhich displays all email communication with clients and other activities performed on their accounts, enhancing visibility for the entire team. BigTime doesn’t currently offer email tracking, making it difficult to follow correspondence history.

The Customer Support Factor

Consistent, reliable support is essential to your experience in any software platform. This is where neither Accelo nor BigTime will let you down.

Accelo received 33 new badges in G2's Spring 2023 Awards, including a leader badge in Customer Success. Many users claim BigTime and Projector by BigTime also have helpful support teams.

Trial Accelo

The best way to get a sense of whether a platform can help you achieve your business goals is to jump in and start using it. Before you make a final choice, see what Accelo can do and ask questions about how it compares to BigTime — or any other solution you’re exploring.

Schedule a demo of Accelo today or start your free trial.

 

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About the Author

ChelseaWilliams

Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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