Best Task Management Software for Service Businesses

ChelseaWilliams
By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Dec 21 2022 read
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It’s an unfortunate reality of running any business: Tasks do not cease. To accomplish everything that makes your projects successful and your clients happy, you’ll be faced with the challenge of managing all kinds of tasks.

When you’re starting out and have just a few clients to juggle, it may seem reasonable to let your employees handle their own tasks in a silo. As long as deliverables get done, why does it matter how they choose to organize and track their responsibilities?

You’ve no doubt discovered the answer if your service business has grown, your team has increased or you’ve experienced turnover mid-project. While you could use an old-fashioned task list on paper or on desktop sticky notes, there are far more significant benefits of incorporating a web-based solution your entire team can use.

Advantages of an Interface That’s More Than a To-Do List 

Basic to-do lists won’t cut it when you take on many projects at once, not to mention if they’re different types of projects attached to more than one type of service. Using only traditional lists or spreadsheets as your task management tool can increase the risk of:

  • Overlooking client requests
  • Missing important deadlines
  • Failing to internally communicate key updates about project tasks
  • Extending project timelines

On the other hand, task management software can make your team more effective by:

  • Providing a single source of visibility about client work
  • Tracking task dependencies and keeping a record of delays
  • Reducing the need for emails and excess internal communication
  • Compiling data to help you pinpoint inefficiencies

Below, we’ll cover top platforms in several categories of task management and associated functions:

Best Task Management Software for Client Work

The task management software that works best for a client-based business is one that does much more than allow your team to check things off. It should show task assignments, allow you to build automated workflows and help project managers assign tasks based on workload. Furthermore, each task should be connected to a project or client record to make it easy to track billable work and generate invoices based on said work. 

Thus, the best task management software is actually an end-to-end client work management platform. Let’s review how Accelo fits the bill.

Accelo

Accelo is a cloud-based client work management platform designed to help professional services firms, including agencies, consulting firms and MSPs, manage client relationships from prospecting and projects through to payments and retainers. The platform can handle complex projects, as it contains a wide range of project templates and auto-assigns tasks based on quoted work.

No matter your industry, you can customize Accelo to expand internal visibility, improve collaboration and increase profits.

Key Features

  • Trigger automations to build custom workflows that streamline business processes
  • Centralized client database with custom fields that connects client records to projects, tasks and billing
  • Project management tools, including automated time trackers, useful project templates and resource management  
  • Retainer tools, including contract management and recurring work automation

Pricing Plans*

Accelo offers all the solutions you need to plan projects, track results and deliver client work. Schedule a demo to tour the platform, learn how Accelo will help your business and determine what pricing tier best fits your needs.

Notable Integrations

Accelo integrates with a number of popular business applications, including:

  • BrightGauge
  • HubSpot
  • PayPal
  • QuickBooks
  • Slack

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • The platform may be too robust for small businesses seeking only one or two functions
  • Not the best fit for teams of under five people

One busy accounting firm used Accelo to cut redundant tasks without missing a beat during tax season. Your business could follow suit! Schedule a demo to see how the platform could exceed your expectations of task management software.

Task Management Tools for Easy Collaboration

If co-managing tasks is the goal, your chosen platform needs to facilitate collaboration without making things harder on your team. The three software options highlighted below include collaborative features that extend beyond the capabilities of a typical task list.

Asana

Asana is a web and mobile work management platform designed to help teams organize individual tasks, track and manage projects for various industries and purposes. The platform offers multiple task and project views, including lists, Kanban boards, calendars and timelines (similar to Gantt charts). Asana’s collaboration tools clarify team responsibilities and project hierarchy, while its advanced goal-setting and workflow features can be used to keep tabs on the bigger picture.

Key Features

  • Layered tasks and subtask structure with task templates for recurring projects
  • Kanban board, list and calendar views
  • Workflow builder tool with forms managed in one place
  • Rule-based automations to organize tasks and save time

Pricing Plans*

Asana offers a free plan, but many professional services businesses will need the Business plan, as it includes features such as goal tracking and advanced workflows.

  • Basic: Free (up to 15 seats)
  • Premium: $10.99 per user per month (unlimited users)
  • Business: $24.99 per user per month (unlimited users)

Notable Integrations

  • Google Drive
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • Tableau

Strengths

  • Works well for internal teams with no client-facing responsibilities
  • Adapts to a variety of use cases and industries
  • Custom sorting and rules for task management
  • Ability to set permissions for guests and temporary employees

Weaknesses

 

Read more detail in our comparison: Accelo vs. Asana

Basecamp

Basecamp is a project and task management app known for its collaborative tools, including chats, message boards and pings. As the name suggests, it’s a singular place for teams to turn for tasks, notes, files and conversations related to a given project.

Key Features

  • File management and document collaboration
  • Automated check-ins to minimize unnecessary meetings
  • Customizable homepage with pins and reordering
  • “Lineup” timeline view of all projects in progress

Pricing Plans*

  • Free trial for up to three users and up to 12 months 
  • $11 per user per month thereafter for full access to every features

Notable Integrations

  • BrightGauge
  • Harvest
  • Pro Backup
  • Proposify
  • Zapier

Strengths

  • Strong team communication features
  • Free client and guest contributor access
  • User-friendly project management tools
  • Ability to divide teams into subgroups

Weaknesses

  • Outdated UI
  • No granular subtasks or built-in time tracking

Teamwork

Teamwork is a project management solution built for client-based businesses. The software encourages internal and external collaboration with various task organization views and unlimited client access. It offers time tracking and schedule forecasting to help professional services teams balance their workload, plus budget management and profitability tracking tools. Add-ons are available for help desk, video chat, CRM and document management.

Key Features

  • Task management tool with multi-assignee, priority and custom tag options
  • In-app chat feature
  • Invoicing and budget management
  • Workload planner

Pricing Plans*

Teamwork offers a “Free Forever” plan for up to five users. However, client-based teams that need access to billing and invoicing, team chat, custom reports and sufficient project templates will need to sign up for the more costly Grow or Scale tier.

  • Deliver: $10 per user per month
  • Grow: $18 per user per month
  • Scale: Custom quotes available

Each paid tier has a five-seat minimum.

Notable Integrations

Teamwork integrates with 100+ apps, including:

  • Harvest
  • Microsoft Teams
  • OneDrive
  • Slack
  • Xero

Strengths

  • Clients can access the platform and collaborate on projects for free
  • Wide range of project management templates
  • Resource allocation and management tools support accurate time estimates
  • Privacy settings at the task level

Weaknesses


Discover more about Accelo vs. Teamwork

Calendar and Scheduling Applications for Project Managers 

Updating and managing calendars can be a time-consuming but necessary addition to your team’s task management processes, as team availability and time management are key to efficiently distributing tasks. Many businesses choose to use an app that syncs calendar events to simplify collaboration for various teams and functions. Here are three of the most popular.

Chili Piper

Chili Piper is a scheduling and lead conversion app that helps sales teams cut back on redundant tasks during prospecting and outreach. It simplifies the process of booking meetings, collecting essential customer data via custom forms and routing meeting types to the correct place and person.

Key Features

  • One-click booking with suggested meeting times
  • Automated reminders
  • Meeting booking via Chrome extension
  • Automatic recording of interactions in most CRMs

Pricing Plans*

  • Instant Booker: $15 per user per month for custom booking links
  • Distro: $20 per user per month for automated CRM routing
  • Handoff: $25 per user per month for booking and assigning leads
  • Form Concierge: $30 per user per month plus a platform fee including lead qualification

Notable Integrations

  • Gmail
  • Gong
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Salesforce
  • Zoom

Strengths

  • Can increase lead conversion rates
  • Reduces time spent on mundane tasks and emails for the sales team
  • Meeting summary option and CRM updating
  • Rare tools in the space, including round-robin and meeting handoff 

Weaknesses

  • Pricing may be out of reach for smaller businesses without developed sales teams
  • Some users report issues with scheduling for different time zones

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a widely used calendar application that makes integrating your team’s tasks with their schedules straightforward. Because it’s frequently used for both personal and business events and allows for multiple calendars to be shown and shared on one account, Google Calendar is a universally compatible option that can accompany your other work management software platforms — and integrate with many of them. 

Key Features

  • Recurring events with custom settings
  • Built-in tasks and reminders 
  • Automatic video meeting creation with Google Meet
  • Customizable calendar sharing and permissions

Pricing Plans*

While Google Calendar is free for anyone with a Google account, its advanced features are reserved for those who pay to use all Google Workspace features. Plans start at $6 per user per month.

Notable Integrations

  • Airtable
  • Asana
  • Confluence
  • Hive
  • Smartsheet

Strengths

  • Syncs with Gmail so events populate automatically
  • Simple booking with one or more colleagues using availability tool
  • Tracks time in meetings and focus time for weekly monitoring
  • Easy access to Google Keep, Tasks and more via sidebar

Weaknesses

  • May not be the most convenient tool if your team isn’t using other Google Workspace applications
  • No robust integrations for meeting notes

Outlook Calendar

Outlook Calendar is part of Microsoft Outlook’s suite of productivity tools. Events sync between email inboxes and calendars and coworkers can see one another’s availability for booking meetings. A unified search tool makes it easy to discover reminders, calendar events and more in one place.

Key Features

  • Email, calendar and contacts connected
  • Flagging and color coding for event organization
  • Combined calendar and email view
  • Shared calendar permissions

Pricing Plans*

Pricing for Outlook Calendar is integrated with business pricing plans for all Microsoft Outlook. Plans start at $6 per user per month.

Notable Integrations

  • LinkedIn
  • Pipedrive
  • QuickBooks
  • RingCentral
  • Zapier

Strengths

  • Access to colleagues’ availability
  • Intelligent reminders automatically appear
  • Option to add and organize tasks
  • Personalized meeting insights before each meeting

Weaknesses

  • Tasks are siloed for individual work and don’t support collaboration
  • Event previews don’t show attendees

Project Management Software Featuring Dashboards

Smart task management is at the heart of effective project management. A platform that can display project and task progress in convenient dashboards can make huge task lists feel less overwhelming. The following are four such options. 

Accelo

Accelo is a cloud-based client work management platform designed to help professional services firms, including agencies, consulting firms and MSPs, manage client relationships from prospecting and projects through to payments and retainers. The platform can handle complex projects, as it contains a wide range of project templates and auto-assigns tasks based on quoted work. 

No matter your industry, you can customize Accelo to expand internal visibility, improve collaboration and increase profits.

Key Features

  • Trigger automations to build custom workflows that streamline business processes
  • Centralized client database that connects client records to projects, tasks and billing
  • Project templates that support traditional and agile methodologies 
  • Robust live reports, including utilization and profitability dashboards 

Pricing Plans*

Accelo offers all the solutions you need to plan projects, track results and deliver client work. Schedule a demo to tour the platform, learn how Accelo will help your business and determine what pricing tier best fits your needs.

Notable Integrations

Accelo integrates with a number of popular business applications, including:

  • BrightGauge
  • HubSpot
  • PayPal
  • QuickBooks
  • Slack

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • The platform may be too robust for small businesses seeking only one or two functions
  • Not the best fit for teams of under five people

See how one cloud consulting firm in trades and construction uses Accelo to move seamlessly from sales to project management to billing. Schedule a demo to see how the platform could transform the way your business approaches client work.

ClickUp

ClickUp is an all-in-one productivity platform. It’s a hub for teams to plan, organize and collaborate on work using tasks, documents, chat, whiteboards and more. Easily customized with just a few clicks, ClickUp lets teams of all types and sizes deliver work more effectively, boosting productivity.

Key Features

  • Different user views, including calendar, list, Kanban board and custom columns
  • Tasks sync with various calendar applications
  • Multi-assignee tasks
  • Goals connected to work

Pricing Plans*

The business version starts at $12 per user per month or $19 if paid monthly. There is a free version and a lower-cost plan for small teams, but they lack important capabilities such as advanced automations, dashboard features, workload management and timeline mapping.  

Notable Integrations: 

  • Harvest 
  • Jira
  • Outlook
  • Slack
  • Zoom

Strengths

  • Many users highlight ClickUp’s friendly, easy-to-navigate interface
  • Subtasks allow for task granularity
  • Good option for internal teams that need to collaborate frequently
  • Custom tools available as add-on apps

Weaknesses

  • Since ClickUp is not a CRM, work does not tie back to a client record and trying to organize work by client is challenging
  • Slow speeds and downtime can render the app useless — a big issue when all your work is in a centralized platform


Read more: Accelo vs. ClickUp

monday.com

monday.com is a cloud-based software platform that allows businesses to build custom work management systems using a variety of apps and integrations. Teams can collaborate in monday.com’s Work OS and its four core apps to manage projects and workflows, follow up with sales leads, track bugs and more. Because monday.com is a strong project portfolio management software, it’s popular for planning, organizing and tracking projects, processes and teamwork across a broad range of industries and is designed to be used by a wide range of businesses.

Key Features

  • Work OS: A board- and table-based work management system with drag-and-drop capabilities and collaborative tools
  • Add-ons: monday marketer, monday sales CRM, monday projects and monday dev
  • Kanban and Gantt visualization options
  • File management

Pricing Plans*

monday.com offers a free business plan with limited features, but most professional services businesses will need a more premium plan like the Pro tier with advanced features, security and storage. For businesses that want advanced reporting and priority customer support, the Enterprise plan is the way to go. Like most other competitors, plans do not offer unlimited users but rather charge by seat, and there is a minimum seat size of three. The full pricing breakdown is as follows:

  • Individual Plan: Free (up to 2 seats)
  • Basic Plan: $8 per user per month (4-seat minimum)
  • Standard Plan: $10 per user per month (3-seat minimum)
  • Pro Plan: $16 per user per month (3-seat minimum)
  • Enterprise Plan: Quotes available

Notable Integrations

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Dropbox
  • Google Calendar
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Slack

Strengths

  • Ideal for internal teams for which billable rates and customer lists are irrelevant
  • Strong project portfolio management
  • Malleable for a variety of industries and use cases
  • Automations, task notifications and recurring tasks

Weaknesses

  • Not well-suited for client-facing teams due to lack of budgets and rates and the fact that all work is categorized by workspace or name and can’t attach to client records
  • Some users find the interface overwhelming due to number of fields and workspaces

Find out more about Accelo vs. monday.com

Scoro

Scoro is an all-in-one business management software that combines project management with time and team management, sales, billing and professional services automation. Scoro enables service professionals to streamline work, automate routine tasks and ensure their businesses run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Key Features

  • Shared calendars, timesheets and a drag-and-drop schedule planner
  • Project templates and task bundles with deadline alerts
  • Individual and team sales target tracking and a robust CRM
  • Detailed reports with KPI and performance tracking and risk monitoring

Pricing Plans*

  • Essential: $26 per user per month (5-seat minimum)
  • Standard: $37 per user per month (5-seat minimum)
  • Pro: $63 per user per month (5-seat minimum)
  • Ultimate: Custom quoted

Notable Integrations

  • Calendly
  • Evernote
  • iCal
  • Gmail
  • Jira

Strengths

  • Multiple currencies enable accuracy when serving international clients 
  • Real-time collaboration and up-to-date, interactive tools such as Gantt charts 
  • Custom dashboard options to display the most relevant data
  • Custom calendar views for easy individual and team scheduling

Weaknesses

  • No email integration means subpar tracking of client communications
  • No automation between stages of client work, leaving teams siloed 

Dive deeper into Accelo vs. Scoro

Workflow Automation Tools

When your client work involves complex tasks or connecting many workflows using branching logic, you may want a more powerful platform that facilitates custom automation. See four software options below that support workflow customization and automation.

Accelo

Accelo is a cloud-based client work management platform designed to help professional services firms, including agencies, consulting firms and MSPs, manage client relationships from prospecting and projects through to payments and retainers. Along with automated time tracking and task scheduling, the platform allows you to set up custom trigger automations to set up workflows that make sense for your business. 

No matter your industry, you can use Accelo to expand internal visibility, improve collaboration and increase profits.

Key Features

  • Trigger automations to build custom workflows for sales, client communication and more
  • Time logs that automatically feed data to invoices, supporting bulk client billing
  • One-click conversion of quotes into projects and client requests into tickets
  • Automated management of recurring work via unique retainer management tools

Pricing Plans*

Accelo offers all the solutions you need to plan projects, track results and deliver client work. Schedule a demo to tour the platform, learn how Accelo will help your business and determine what pricing tier best fits your needs.

Notable Integrations

Accelo integrates with a number of popular business applications, including:

  • BrightGauge
  • HubSpot
  • PayPal
  • QuickBooks
  • Slack

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • The platform may be too robust for small businesses seeking only one or two functions
  • Not the best fit for teams of under five people

One MSP recovered 40 hours per month and streamlined its processes using Accelo. Discover the power of automation for your business: Schedule a demo to see how the end-to-end platform could make every stage of your client work more efficient.

Autotask PSA

Autotask PSA, a product of Datto, is a cloud-based professional services automation software built to meet the needs of MSPs. The platform provides a control hub to centralize operations in one system and store important business data to help small and midsized companies improve customer service, inventory management, productivity and profitability. 

Key Features

  • Account and project management
  • Service desk to manage tickets
  • Time tracking
  • Contracts and billing

Pricing Plans*

Autotask PSA pricing is not publicly available and must be requested.

Notable Integrations

  • HubSpot
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Salesforce
  • Xero
  • Zapier

Strengths

  • Part of a larger suite of Datto products built with IT MSPs in mind
  • Multi-currency add-on available
  • Custom reporting with real-time business metrics
  • Extensive integrations available, with a focus on MSP industry tools

Weaknesses


Learn which is best for your business needs: Accelo vs. Autotask PSA

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 recently acquired another software platform called Projector PSA. BigTime reports that this acquisition will expand its consultative services and result in more frequent functional improvements on both platforms.

Key Features

  • Detailed time tracking and resource management
  • Project management with Gantt charts
  • Project accounting, including invoicing, forecasting and revenue management
  • BigTime Wallet add-on for payment processing and client portal

Pricing Plans for BigTime*

Businesses that primarily need time tracking can go with BigTime’s Express pricing tier, while more robust features such as invoicing and project budgeting require a Pro plan. Resource allocation and analysis is available only for Premier users.

  • Express: $10 per user per month
  • Pro: $30 per user per month
  • Premier: $40 per user per month
  • 5-user minimum

Pricing Plans for Projector PSA*

Projector PSA 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
  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • Xero

Strengths

  • Multilayer approvals for time, expenses and invoicing
  • Automatic scheduling recommendations based on staff availability
  • Micro and macro business intelligence analytics 
  • BigTime and Projector PSA partnership brings expanded expertise

Weaknesses

  • No built-in CRM, retainer management, task board, email tracking or ticketing
  • Some users report support delays and lack of follow-up from BigTime’s team

 
Explore more: Accelo vs. BigTime

Kintone

Kintone is a work management platform with a customizable, drag-and-drop interface. It provides data management, project management, CRM and recruitment solutions for various industries.

Key Features

  • Workflow management
  • No-code automation
  • Inventory management
  • CRM database

Pricing Plans*

  • $24 per user per month (5-seat minimum)

Notable Integrations

  • Evernote
  • GitHub
  • Mailchimp
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Salesforce

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Options for configuration can be overwhelming
  • “Clunky” UI according to some users

Platforms for Reporting on Costs and Budget 

Streamlined task management is most effective when you can measure its effects. Connecting your team’s time logs to the tasks they complete, and whether those tasks are billable or non-billable, can help you generate useful reports that speak to your business’s profitability and help you make better operational decisions. Here are three platforms that could help you go beyond simple task management and develop true business intelligence.

AgencyAnalytics

AgencyAnalytics is a reporting platform built to help marketing agencies complete client reporting automatically. Its 70+ integrations and customizable widgets help agency owners pull clients’ key data into white-labeled dashboards.

Key Features

  • Automated data retrieval and report creation
  • Real-time reports for all components of a campaign, including PPC and social media 
  • SEO tools to help clients improve search rankings
  • Client access with custom permissions

Pricing Plans*

  • Freelancer: $12 per user per month (5-campaign minimum)
  • Agency: $18 per user per month (10-campaign minimum)
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing quotes for agencies with 100+ clients

Notable Integrations

  • Ahrefs
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Constant Contact
  • Facebook
  • Google Ads

Strengths

  • User-friendly interface with customizable dashboards to fit agency preferences
  • Control panel templates with text and link markup to easily communicate with clients
  • Many users note that reports are visually appealing
  • Automated data pulls reduce reporting time for internal employees

Weaknesses

  • Not the most useful for clients who prefer internal reporting tools, and accurate reporting in the platform requires integrations and maintenance across multiple platforms
  • Some users note that the platform is slow to adapt

Deltek WorkBook

Deltek WorkBook is an agency management solution built to maximize internal efficiency and make collaboration simple. It combines project and task management, resource allocation tools, business analytics, cost management and financial reporting and a CRM.

Key Features

  • Resource management tools: calendar sync, drag-and-drop assignments and more
  • CRM and pipeline management tools and data
  • Business intelligence analytics
  • Task assignment based on skills and availability

Pricing Plans*

  • Free plan and free trial
  • Paid plans starting at $27 per user per month

Notable Integrations

  • Google Drive
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • QuickBooks
  • Xero

Strengths

  • Visibility tools for project management are ideal for remote teams
  • Clear data about employee performance makes hiring and assignments easier
  • Project costs can be filtered by employee, month and department
  • Project timelines simplify task management

Weaknesses

Workamajig

Workamajig is a project management software for agencies and creative teams. It features a variety of financial reports that tie time logs and team capacity to projects and tasks, making it a good option for agencies looking to focus on maximizing the profit potential of billable time.  

Key Features

  • CRM and sales opportunity tracking
  • Project management templates
  • Profitability reports by client and project
  • Time tracking attached to projects

Pricing Plans*

Workamajig offers three pricing tiers: In-house, Agency and Enterprise. Within each tier, monthly cost per user varies by seat size. With a minimum seat size of 50, prices start at $37 per user per month. Enterprise organizations must request a custom quote.

Notable Integrations

  • Box
  • Exchange 365
  • FastPay
  • Google Calendar
  • Plaid

Strengths

  • Integrated accounting software for easy P&L and cash projections
  • Flexible time tracking, including ability to add non-consecutive time entries
  • Strong resource management tools, including task prioritization and re-assignment, workload forecasting and freelance vendor search
  • Keeps track of unpaid reimbursements

Weaknesses

READ NEXT: Project Task Tracking Software: Vetting and Feature Considerations

Equip Your Team With Capabilities Beyond Task Management

All of the above platform options can help your team keep up with specific tasks in a given area, but Accelo is the only one that can make task management feel like it’s a seamless part of each of your departmental functions. 

Want to see how much better your client work could be when you’re more intentional about managing the sales funnel, project progress, client requests, retainers and more — not just tasks? Schedule a demo below.

*Pricing and packages are accurate as of December 2022.

 

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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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