BigTime is a comprehensive project management software solution that caters specifically to professional services firms, including architecture, engineering, and professional service firms. It focuses on enhancing the effectiveness of such businesses, assisting in planning, managing, and getting paid for client work.
The platform offers a range of features to support these goals, including time and expense tracking, resource planning, project management, invoicing, financial management, reporting, analytics, and integrations.
Despite its strengths, BigTime has some drawbacks. User reviews on G2 reveal issues with occasional bugs, onboarding, and a lack of integrations. These limitations have led to firms wasting time in workflows and struggling to get their teams to fully adopt the software. This suggests a need for alternatives.
Fortunately, there are numerous alternatives to BigTime! We’ve put together 5 top BigTime alternatives for architecture and engineering (A&E) firms, analyzed user reviews, and collected data from each option so you can determine what works best for you.
Let’s get started.
Monograph is a web-based, project management platform built exclusively for architecture and engineering firms. According to Capterra, customers love its user-friendly interface, seamless workflows, and frequent updates. A&E firms leverage Monograph to:
- Make data-driven decisions.
- Reduce time spent on admin tasks by up to 50%.
- Dramatically increase revenue by 3x in some cases.
Monograph provides A&E firms with clarity into their budgets, projects, time, and clients so their entire team can make smarter decisions.
Features & Benefits
In addition to from providing expected project management features like time tracking, Monograph offers a slew of benefits that include:
- Build budgets: Eliminate uncertainty with precise and phased budgets.
- Assign staff: Accelerate staffing with real-time data at your fingertips.
- Track projects: Manage projects with error-free timesheets.
- Generate invoices: Streamline invoice creation and minimize admin hours.
- Accept payments: Shorten payment cycles with online payments.
- Forecast performance: See future revenue and staffing in an instant.
- Leverage reports: Make confident decisions with clear, design-centric reports.
- Simplify payroll: Consolidate admin with a seamless payroll add-on.
- Receive support: Experience fast and friendly support from A&E experts.
Monograph is a modern choice for A&E firms seeking high performance at an affordable price. As a result, Monograph has quickly become the go-to project management solution for more than 1,000 A&E firms and growing.
Pricing & Plans
Monograph offers two pricing plans to suit the needs of A&E firms: Track and Grow.
- Track: The limited plan that is most suitable for A&E firms of 5 employees or fewer. Track users get access to real-time tracking of time and fee across all firm projects, budgets, and clients. Pricing for Track starts at $25/user/mo.
- Grow: The full-access and unlimited plan suitable for firms that want to improve and optimize their performance. The Grow plan includes everything in Track plus reports and forecasting across projects, budgets, time, and clients. Pricing for Grow starts at $45/user/mo.
Monograph also differentiates itself by being one of the few options with incredible training and support and zero hidden fees. Onboarding and ongoing support for users is included in the price of Monograph. This makes it a great choice for A&E firms that prefer a white-glove approach with personalized guidance and support.
Reviews & Ratings
Swatchroom, a design firm based in Washington, D.C., said of Monograph, “I have downloaded every major software and tried at least 30-40 different platforms. None of them compare to the ease of use, simplicity, graphic style, and overall effectiveness of Monograph.”
According to user reviews on Capterra, firms that use Monograph love its:
- Time-tracking capabilities: Monograph is praised for its efficient time-tracking capabilities, allowing users to easily backtrack and invoice previously untracked time. Users appreciate the clear view of completed tasks and the straightforward task assignment process.
- Centralized project management: Monograph's all-in-one approach to time tracking, billing, and project management is highly valued by users. They enjoy the convenience of accessing all necessary tools in one place and the accurate control over project plans, fees, and staffing.
- Continuous improvement and frequent updates: Monograph’s ongoing development and regular updates are well-received by users, who appreciate the commitment to innovation and responsiveness to feedback. This approach demonstrates Monograph's dedication to meeting the evolving needs of its users.
- User-friendly interface: The user-friendly and intuitive interface is especially lauded by designers and architects. Users love the industry-specific features and visually appealing tools like the Gantt chart and budget tracking graph due to their effectiveness in providing quick and clear project insights.
- Integration with QuickBooks Online: The integration of Monograph with QuickBooks is appreciated for its simplicity, streamlining client information management. Users find the manual transfer of time between QuickBooks and Monograph to be straightforward, and they are optimistic about potential enhancements for even smoother operations.
Here’s what users have said about Monograph:
“Now I get to spend more time with quality control because I’m not spending days trying to figure out staffing, projections and schedules. I’m able to sit down with clients or with our drawing sets to make sure that we’re putting out the best product possible.” - Dave Buescher, Chief Operations Officer, HDG
“Monograph is indispensable. It’s like an iPhone. Just easy to use. We can take a step back and think about the things we ultimately need to be concerned with.” - Tom Jacobs, Co-Managing Partner, Krueck Sexton Partners
“I would say that time management is probably the most powerful example of how Monograph changed our firm. We’re much more transparent now across all levels. Everyone can see and access data that goes into Monograph, and everyone is able to be more proactive with their time.” Andrew Wolking, Associate, PLY+
2. BQE Core
BQE Core is a specialized project management tool for architecture, engineering, and professional service firms. It automates firm management, combining back office functions with front office insights. This approach aims to boost efficiency and project success. BQE Core's features include project management, reporting, payment processing, and more. The platform offers flexible pricing based on user count and selected modules.
Features & Benefits
BQE Core offers comprehensive features that include:
- Project management: Offers real-time visibility into project performance, facilitating accurate budgeting and deadline tracking.
- Project accounting: Integrates financial reporting and accounting in one platform, providing automated reporting and instant financial insights.
- Reporting and analytics: Features customizable dashboards and reports for real-time graphical information and informed decision-making.
- Time and expense tracking: Centralizes time and expense tracking for streamlined management and improved job costing accuracy.
- Payment processing: Automates and simplifies the invoicing process, improving firm cash flow and managing accounts payable efficiently.
- Mobile accessibility: Includes a native mobile app for iOS and Android, allowing access to BQE Core features anytime and anywhere.
- Billing and invoicing: Provides automated and scheduled billing options, including special fee schedules and recurring billing capabilities.
- Human resources management: Manages human resources aspects like employee benefits and salaries within the platform.
- CRM Integration: Offers a fully-integrated Customer Relationship Management solution for managing sales goals, leads, and opportunities.
Pricing & Plans
BQE Core's pricing structure is modular, with details as follows:
- Foundations Module:
- Time and expense tracking
- Billing and invoicing
- Project management
- Reporting and analytics
- Additional Modules (Optional):
The exact pricing varies based on selected modules and user numbers, but BQE Core does not reveal pricing on their website.
Reviews & Ratings
There are 700+ reviews for BQE Core on Capterra. We’ve analyzed the reviews to identify three strengths and three weaknesses of BQE Core.
According to user reviews on Capterra, here are BQE Core’s strengths and weaknesses.
BQE Core strengths:
- All-in-one functionality: Users value the comprehensive feature set for managing time, tasks, expenses, and customer satisfaction in one unified platform.
- Time and expense tracking: Users note that entering time and expenses and accessing historical data is simple and useful.
- Effective customer support: Users praise the knowledgeable and responsive customer support team, aiding in software navigation and understanding.
BQE Core weaknesses:
- Limited customization: Users desire more flexibility in customization, especially for exporting hours or projects.
- Interface complexity: Some find the interface overwhelming due to the multitude of options, suggesting a need for streamlining.
- Editing and performance issues: Challenges with editing time entries and occasional software performance issues, including slow response times and crashes, are noted.
Harvest is a project management software designed to meet the needs of A&E firms. It provides a suite of features aimed at simplifying key aspects of project management, such as time tracking, invoicing, and budget oversight.
The software aims to address common challenges faced in the A&E sector, offering tools for detailed reporting and integration with various other platforms. Harvest's platform is structured to support the day-to-day operations of A&E firms, helping them manage projects more efficiently and effectively.
Features & Benefits
Harvest’s features are not as robust as some competitors, but it still offers a nice selection, including:
- Time tracking: Harvest simplifies logging time on projects, allowing users to focus on core activities like building great ideas.
- Invoicing & payments: It facilitates the creation of invoices with tracked expenses directly from the mobile app, streamlining the billing process. Harvest automatically transforms billable hours into invoices, facilitating online payment by clients.
- Fees for each task: Users can define unique fees for each task, ensuring budget alignment with project plans.
- Billable time management: The software aids in managing billable time in relation to fixed client fees.
- Project management: Detailed reports from Harvest offer real-time insights into project profitability and budget compliance.
- Integrations: It integrates with platforms like Asana, Slack, ClickUp, and Trello, enhancing workflow efficiency.
Pricing & Plans
At the time of this writing, Harvest plans start at $10.80 per user/month, covering unlimited projects and team members. This plan includes features like time tracking, custom reminders, invoicing, online payments, detailed reporting, integrations, budget and cost tracking, and expense management.
Harvest offers a separate tool called Harvest Forecast, which focuses on advanced time planning and team management features. Priced at $5 per person per month, it includes visual time planning, utilization overviews, and integration with Harvest, among other features.
The separate billing of Harvest and Forecast suggests that some advanced functionalities require additional payment beyond the standard Harvest subscription.
Reviews & Ratings
There are 700+ reviews for Harvest on G2. We’ve analyzed the reviews to identify the three things customers most enjoy about Harvest and three things with which customers struggle.
According to user reviews on G2, here are Harvest’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Easy and efficient time tracking: Users find Harvest's time tracking feature user-friendly and efficient.
- Total budget feature: The total budget feature is beneficial for managing project spending limits.
- Reliability and functionality: Users appreciate the platform’s reliability and useful mobile and desktop applications.
- Enhanced Reporting Capabilities: Users desire more detailed and insightful reporting features.
- Improved Account Maintenance UI: The account maintenance UI requires refinement for better user experience.
- More Flexibility in Notifications and Reporting: Users seek greater customization in notifications and reports.
4. Deltek Ajera
Deltek Ajera is a cloud-based ERP solution designed for A&E firms. It offers a range of features covering accounting, project management, human capital management, sourcing, and specifications.
The software aims to provide A&E businesses with tools to manage complex projects, enhance productivity, and maintain budget control. Deltek Ajera is intended for A&E firms of various sizes, focusing on streamlining their project processes and providing visibility into projects and resources.
Features & Benefits
Deltek Ajera’s features and benefits aim to streamline project management, enhance resource planning, and improve overall business operations for A&E firms:
- One ERP cloud solution: Deltek Ajera provides a single enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud solution for various business needs, including accounting, project management, human capital management, sourcing, and specifications.
- Visibility and control: The platform offers visibility into projects, resources, and business operations, enabling firms to efficiently manage and deliver projects under budget and on schedule.
- Pipeline management: It allows firms to proactively manage their project pipeline, leverage market intelligence, and nurture client relationships with its dedicated customer relationship management (CRM) system.
- Improved project scheduling: Ajera helps users allocate the right resources to the right projects at the right time, increasing productivity, and providing visibility into project performance and profitability.
- Efficient project development and delivery: The software includes tools for construction specifications, field work management, and information management, ensuring efficient project delivery.
- HR Tasks: It offers end-to-end solutions for human capital management, focusing on recruitment, hiring, retention, and development of talent in the competitive A&E market.
- 360° project management and visibility: The ERP solution provides comprehensive project management tools, enhancing revenue maximization and scalability for A&E firms of all sizes.
Pricing & Plans
Deltek Ajera does not publicly share detailed pricing information. Interested parties need to contact them directly to get specific pricing details for their software.
However, additional costs associated with Deltek Ajera include:
- Customization: Customizing the software to specific organizational needs can be costly, particularly if it requires significant development or integration work. The costs can range from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars.
- Data migration: Migrating data from old systems to Deltek Ajera can be a time-consuming and costly process, especially with large or complex data sets. The average cost for this process also varies widely.
- Training: Training costs depend on the complexity of the software and the duration of the training. It can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per employee.
- Maintenance: Ongoing maintenance and support can be a significant annual cost, especially if the software requires frequent updates or has a high rate of bugs or issues.
Altogether, this indicates that firms interested in using Deltek Ajera must be prepared to invest in the software without the option of a trial period to test its features.
Reviews & Ratings
We’ve analyzed the G2 reviews to identify the three things customers most enjoy about Deltek Ajera and three things with which customers struggle.
According to user reviews on G2, here are Deltek Ajera’s strengths and weaknesses.
Deltek Ajera strengths:
- Training and webinars: Users appreciate Deltek Ajera's educational resources, including monthly and quarterly webinars.
- Architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) Focus: Deltek Ajera is tailored for the A&E industry, offering a more specialized solution than generic accounting software.
- Cloud-Based and remote access: The cloud-based nature of the software provides flexibility for remote access, beneficial for consultants and field workers.
Deltek Ajera weaknesses:
- User Interface Modernization: Users cite a need for a more modern and intuitive user interface.
- Streamlining Complex Processes: Simplifying complex billing and staffing processes is a key area for improvement.
- Error Resolution and Reliability: Users report technical issues and errors that need addressing for a smoother experience.
Unanet is a comprehensive ERP solution designed for A&E firms. It's tailored to unify various organizational functions into a cohesive, productive team, providing modern and easy-to-use tools suitable for diverse work environments including in-office, remote, or field work.
Features & Benefits
Unanet offers a range of features designed to support A&E firms in various aspects of their business operations. These features aim to enhance project management, streamline processes, and provide valuable insights for decision-making.
- Project management: Unanet offers modern tools for efficient project planning and execution, aiming to enhance client satisfaction and profitability.
- Resource management: The platform helps balance projects and optimize team allocation with intuitive schedules and forecasts.
- Time & expense management: It features easy-to-use mobile tools for time and expense tracking, reducing errors and streamlining billing.
- Accounting & financial management: Unanet includes built-in controls and workflows to manage accounting tasks, reduce errors, and provide trustworthy financial insights.
- Reporting & analytics: It delivers trusted, real-time data and analytics, simplifying the reporting process.
Pricing & Plans
The specific pricing details for Unanet are not immediately available on their website. It's likely that Unanet involves similar types of additional costs to Deltek Ajera, but specific figures or ranges would require direct inquiry with Unanet.
Reviews & Ratings
There are 200+ reviews for Unanet on G2. We’ve analyzed the reviews to identify the three things customers most enjoy about Unanet and three things with which customers struggle.
According to user reviews on G2, here are Unanet’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Timekeeping and budgeting: Users find timekeeping and budget management processes simple and efficient.
- Real-Time cost reporting: The ability to access up-to-date financial status of projects is highly valued.
- Indirect rate calculations and reports: Users appreciate the indirect rate calculations and comprehensive reporting features.
- Interface modernization: Users report the platform needs an update to make the interface more modern and intuitive.
- More reporting options and features: Users seek more flexibility and options in report generation and customization.
- Streamlining historical data import: The process of importing historical data into the system needs improvement.
The Best BigTime Alternatives
In the dynamic world of project management software, finding the right tool that aligns with the needs of your A&E firm is crucial. BigTime is a well-known solution in the industry, but it may not be the ideal fit for every organization due to issues with bugs, onboarding, and lack of integrations.
Monograph is a standout option, particularly for those in the architecture and engineering sectors due to its ease of use, robust features, and incredible support.
Here’s an overview of Monograph:
- Key strengths: User-friendly interface, seamless workflows, frequent updates.
- Benefits: Data-driven decision-making, reduced admin tasks, increased revenue.
- Pricing: Two plans — Track and Grow, starting at $25 per user/month.
- User reviews: Praised for time-tracking, centralized management, continuous improvement, user-friendly interface, and QuickBooks integration.
- Why it's the best: Most suitable for the A&E industry with a balance of features, user experience, and pricing.
Other alternatives to consider:
- BQE Core: Comprehensive project management features but has issues with user interface and customization.
- Harvest: Known for easy time tracking but needs more detailed reporting capabilities.
- Deltek Ajera: Offers a cloud-based ERP solution but lacks transparent pricing details.
- Unanet: Good for timekeeping and budgeting, yet requires interface modernization.
What’s your next step?
Get started with Monograph to explore whether it’s the right fit for your firm.