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.
If you are familiar with project management tools or have been looking for a solution to help manage your day-to-day, you most likely have come across ClickUp — you might have even seen one of their billboards or caught their ad that ran during the Super Bowl. One of the most popular project management tools on the market, ClickUp helps teams big and small be their most productive.
Professional services businesses managing client work need to make sure that their team is staying on top of projects, tracking their time, delivering work on time within scope and maximizing efficiency. Although not designed specifically for client work, ClickUp is focused on ensuring your productivity. Every project management solution has its pros and cons, but ClickUp is worth considering for a productivity platform.
ClickUp is an all-in-one productivity platform. It’s a hub for team collaboration, planning and organizing using Tasks, Docs, Chat, Goals, Whiteboards and more. Easily customized with just a few clicks, ClickUp lets teams of all types and sizes deliver work more effectively, boosting productivity.
The business version starts at $12 per user per month or $19 if paid monthly. There is also a free version and a lower-cost plan for small teams, but those versions lack important capabilities such as advanced automations, dashboard features, workload management and timeline mapping. Businesses needing more features or a more powerful solution can select one of the more premium plans like a business or enterprise plan. Like most of its competitors, ClickUp’s plans offer unlimited projects but not unlimited users.
It’s important that any software that you choose integrates with your critical business applications, and ClickUp most likely does, with over 1,000 system and platform integrations. This includes:
ClickUp also offers automatic imports, making it easy to switch from other project management software like Asana, Wrike, Trello and Monday.com.
ClickUp's multiple view options offer flexibility for users (Image from G2)
G2 users scored ClickUp higher than average for ease of use and quality of support. Many reviews highlight how ClickUp has helped streamline work and is a great tool for internal project management. Although the majority of reviews are five stars, several reviews called out ClickUp for slow performance and glitches. The platform is continuously rolling out new features and capabilities, and as one review cited, with more features, the platform has more bugs.
ClickUp also scored below average on project management for project budgeting and dashboards. One reviewer stated that they disliked the dashboard options and automation possibilities, finding it hard to create and use a dashboard to visualize and get information from it. Another said that they found the use of the dashboard a bit confusing.
If you’re looking for an alternative to ClickUp, Accelo is a strong contender, especially if you're in professional services. Accelo offers a complete client work management platform and, according to G2 reviewers, Accelo ranks higher than ClickUp on product direction. This could be due to Accelo’s commitment to creating a single platform that handles every component of client work, from sales and billing to project management and retainers. ClickUp offers a more broad solution heavily focused on productivity.
Using a separate project management platform, CRM and multiple other systems has you working across too many platforms, generating disconnected data and making managing client work cumbersome and disjointed. ClickUp and other project management software and productivity tools do offer many integrations with the most common business applications, but some can be glitchy and unreliable. Accelo brings everything into a single platform.
You don’t have to pay for and manage so many software providers like you do with separate tools for a CRM, billing and tickets. Having everything together makes for much more cohesive and seamless operations. For example, you can make business financials more streamlined and cut down on wasted time and resources with Accelo Billing. Invoices are automatically created by synchronizing time tracking, projects and billing. Your accounting software can easily be connected with Accelo so that your accounting team can have a live view of what has and has not been invoiced without having to access a separate system.
Eliminate the guessing game and start automatically turning your billable hours into invoices. And if you have any flat costs associated with your project work, such as freelancers or contractors, Accelo handles this seamlessly. The advanced billing capabilities solve for common occurrences specific to professional services businesses, like having a team member with more than one billable rate within a project. With integrated online payment processing, you make it easy for clients to make payments and, thus, your business gets paid faster.
These are some key features available through Accelo. Let’s look into some more important factors when managing client work.
Specifically designed for client work, Accelo offers unique features ideal for professional services businesses, such as a client portal. For client-centric businesses, it’s important to keep the client experience in mind, ensuring that you appear easy to work with and like you’re always on top of your game.
Accelo’s client portal gives clients controlled access to information like project status or billing so they not only always have access to their account information but a level of transparency within the business. This also eliminates the need for project managers and finance teams to spend time providing this information or responding to these simple inquiries. The portal is white-labeled so that you can brand with your own logo and colors.
Clear visibility is an important value-add of Accelo, with another unique feature being the stream capturing all internal and external email communications and activities. This not only gives valuable insight into important client communications, but also lessens the time spent jumping back and forth between different systems and inboxes to track down correspondence. Everything is available in a single view screen. Being able to see the latest communication along with the client history mitigates work slipping through the cracks or delays when an employee is out or no longer with the business. If your business conducts a fair amount of client meetings, the calendar sync further adds to continuity and efficiency, with client and internal meetings tracked as part of employee utilization.
If you’re looking into ClickUp, you’re most likely looking into a project management solution to support your team’s work and ensure maximum productivity. Whether working on simple tasks or complex projects, it’s essential to properly track projects, always having an understanding of what projects exist, what each team member is working on and what’s most profitable. Like ClickUp, Accelo offers a leading project management product as a part of its platform.
Successfully plan, manage, track and deliver profitable client work on time and within budget through Accelo’s real-time project statuses, proper resource utilization, accurate budget details, automations and activity stream. The platform provides snapshots of projects, showing staffing, status and budget details in real-time, removing blindspots and preemptively troubleshooting any issues. Automatic tracking of team availability based on assigned tasks and project due dates helps to further maximize resource utilization, ensure on-time delivery of projects and increase profitability.
Unlike ClickUp or other productivity solutions, Accelo connects projects with other functions of client work – from Sales and Billing to Retainers and Reports – to greatly improve visibility into your business and its operations. By having everything connected from end to end, all client and project information is in a centralized location to be accessed and monitored. More accurate tracking and reporting on projects is made possible through pre-built and custom reports around profitability, employee utilization, billable hours and more.
Project tracking is made easier and better visualized through task boards, which both ClickUp and Accelo offer. These project views make it easier to track project tasks and statuses in a way that makes the most sense for your business. ClickUp allows you to build a flexible Kanban system with the ability to group boards the way that you want, such as by status, assignee or priority. You can also easily get an overview of all your team’s current projects together in the Everything view. ClickUp also allows you to add and edit task statuses in the board view.
Accelo offers similar functionality with task boards, allowing you to track workflows and move tasks through any process within a task board. The status task board within Accelo is one of the best ways to keep track of all tasks assigned to you and view their status of pending, accepted, started or completed. Acting as an interactive to-do list, you can easily monitor and change the status of each task and drag and drop tasks into different columns.
The deadlines task board is ideal for prioritizing work, allowing you to sort tasks into columns by their due date, whether it be overdue, today, tomorrow, future or no deadline. Tasks can be dragged and dropped into different columns to sort depending on completion date. Another task board view would be the assignment task board which is most popular with managers because it allows you to see all of the tasks that you have created or are managing and allows you to assign those tasks to others. Accelo also allows filter functionality on its task board so you can always filter tasks as needed.
ClickUp and Accelo are both powerful platforms for your team to work, communicate and collaborate better together. Accelo makes it easier for everyone to be on the same page without the need for micromanagement by providing a centralized hub for shared tasks, discussions and files. Team members can stay organized and manage projects, tasks, contracts and issues together using shared calendars and workload views. With everyone having access to progress and milestones and having a mobile app available, greater collaboration and more effective project management are possible. Tasks can even be split with team members working jointly to accomplish some assignments.
Teams can share documents by attaching files to tasks, issues or projects with the option to upload from your device or dragging and dropping from Google Drive, Box, Evernote and Dropbox. File-sharing capabilities make it much easier to find and work on documents together and ensure that everyone is accessing the latest version. You can also attach photos or videos to related client records. For example, an employee can record a video from their laptop on, say, a project update and share with other team members, which is especially useful for remote teams.
Accelo also provides unified inboxes, which act as a central database of all clients for your team members to access information from emails, address books and calendars using a Google, Office 365 or Exchange sync. Each client gets its own activity stream with incoming messages automatically imported into the tool, making it easy for everyone in your team to know exactly what’s going on at all times. This is a unique feature to Accelo and a game-changer for client work management.
If you’re researching project and task management tools for client work, you should consider looking into Accelo with its abundance of features and benefits. Accelo is specifically designed for professional services so if you have a business need, this work management solution most likely fulfills it.