BQE Core and Deltek Ajera are two popular project management platforms for time tracking, project tracking, invoicing, and reporting in architecture and engineering (A&E) firms. However, each has strengths and weaknesses, and one may be a better choice for you depending on your needs, budget, and size.
We’ve closely examined these two platforms by reviewing their features, pricing, and user reviews. In this article, we’ll take a close look at BQE Core vs Deltek Ajera to help you decide which project management tool is right for your A&E firm.
Let’s dive right in.
BQE Core - Strengths and Weaknesses
BQE Core is an all-in-one, project management solution tailored for architecture, engineering, and professional service firms. It automates various aspects of firm management, offering back office automation and front office insights. According to BQE Core, this integration of tools and data-driven capabilities makes firm management more agile and informed, aiming to increase efficiency and improve project outcomes.
BQE Core offers an extensive list of features for A&E firms, including:
- Project Management: Offers real-time insights to keep projects on time and under budget, enhancing project efficiency.
- Reporting & Analytics: Provides automated, actionable reports for better-informed decision-making.
- Payment Processing: Enables acceptance of automated clearing house (ACH) and credit card payments, improving cash flow and security.
- Billing & Invoicing: Streamlines billing and invoicing processes for quicker and more efficient payment.
- Human Resources: Automates and streamlines people management, including tracking benefits, PTO, performance reviews, and compensation.
- Integrations: Facilitates seamless integration with key tools like QuickBooks Online, Office 365, and Dropbox, and offers custom integrations via open APIs.
- Project Accounting: Not detailed on the website, but likely involves integrating business accounting with project management for a comprehensive financial overview.
- Time & Expense Tracking: Automates manual processes and provides centralized time and expense tracking to improve cash flow and save time.
- Mobile: Offers mobile apps for iOS and Android, allowing work from anywhere.
- CRM: Aids in monitoring and improving marketing and sales campaigns to boost ROI.
BQE Core does not present detailed pricing on their website. However, they share that their pricing is per-user and designed to be clear and intuitive.
The platform offers a "Foundations" module as the base, which includes various features like time and expense tracking, billing and invoicing, project management, and reporting and analytics.
Firms have the option to add additional modules such as accounting, CRM, and HR for extra functionality.
The exact pricing varies based on the chosen modules and the number of users, and BQE Core provides custom quotes upon request.
Reviews and Ratings
There are 700+ reviews for BQE Core on Capterra. We’ve analyzed the reviews to identify the three things customers most enjoy about BQE Core and three things with which customers struggle.
According to Capterra reviews, here are BQE Core’s strengths and weaknesses.
BQE Core Strengths:
- Comprehensive Feature Set: Praised for its all-in-one functionality covering various aspects of firm management.
- Intuitive Interface: Users appreciate its user-friendly design, simplifying navigation and task management.
- Effective Customer Support: The support team is acknowledged for being knowledgeable and responsive.
BQE Core Weaknesses:
- Customization and Flexibility: Some users desire more options for customizing the software to their specific needs.
- Interface and Usability: Some users report the interface to be somewhat overwhelming due to the abundance of features and steps required to access features.
- Software Performance: Reports of occasional performance issues and bugs that could be optimized for a smoother experience.
Deltek Ajera- Strengths and Weaknesses
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.
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.
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 and 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.
When evaluating BQE Core vs Deltek Ajera for A&E firms, a nuanced approach is necessary:
- BQE Core offers an all-in-one solution with an intuitive interface and strong customer support. However, it could benefit from more customization options and a less overwhelming interface.
- Deltek Ajera offers a cloud-based solution with an AEC focus. However, the outdated interface and technical issues are a problem for some.
While both systems provide comprehensive project management and financial tools, they each have unique strengths and areas for improvement. The choice between them depends on the specific needs and size of the A&E firm. Essential features might be accessible only in higher pricing tiers.
For A&E firms seeking a solution that precisely fits their requirements, alternatives like Monograph could offer a more specialized approach.
BQE Core vs Deltek Ajera - Top Alternatives
While BQE Core and Deltek Ajera are great for some A&E firms, many will continue exploring other options. If neither seems like the right fit for your firm, here are some of the strongest alternatives to BQE Core and Deltek Ajera:
When comparing Monograph vs BQE Core, A&E firms note that Monograph increases employee engagement, simplifies workflows, and provides fast and friendly support.
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. It 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.
What do existing customers have to say about Monograph?
“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, KSP
“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, COO, HDG
“Monograph has the secret sauce to fix a huge problem - people not being able to understand and manage their data, whether it’s dollars, time units, or staff - you name it.” - Thomas J. Zoli, Director of Architecture, Workshop APD
Want to see it for yourself?
Click here to get started with Monograph today.
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.
However, there are some drawbacks for A&E firms in BigTime according to user reviews on G2. While comprehensive, BigTime faces criticism from its users for items including:
- Expense feature enhancements: Enhancements in the expense tracking feature, including addressing bugs and adding more functionality, are recommended by users for improved efficiency.
- Bug fixes and stability: Occasional bugs and sync errors are noted, with suggestions for prompt fixes to ensure software stability and reliability.
- User interface and ease of setup: Users suggest making it more intuitive and reducing the learning curve for new users.
- Integration options: There's a call for broader integration with various software systems and platforms.
- Expanded customer support: Users recommend expanding support availability and introducing more assistance channels, like live chat or self-help resources.
Harvest stands out as a user-friendly time tracking and invoicing tool for A&E firms. Its straightforward and insightful features facilitate teams to:
- Efficiently track time and expenses, turning them into comprehensive invoices.
- Maintain projects on schedule and within budget with advanced reporting tools.
- Implement and integrate swiftly with existing systems, enhancing overall productivity.
However, according to user reviews on G2, there are some significant drawbacks for A&E firms using Harvest. While Harvest is a useful tool for time tracking and invoicing, A&E firms have identified several areas for improvement, including:
- Reporting Capabilities: Users seek more advanced reporting features for deeper insights into time tracking, budget adherence, and project scope.
- Account Maintenance UI: The current account maintenance interface could be more intuitive and user-friendly.
- Integration with Project Management Tools: There's a need for broader integration with various project management platforms to enhance workflow management.
- Flexibility in Notifications and Reporting: Users desire greater customization in notifications and report generation to meet specific needs.
- Budget Tracking and Invoicing: Issues with budget tracking and invoicing accuracy, such as budget numbers inconsistencies and USD invoice calculations, need to be addressed for better financial management.
When comparing Monograph vs Harvest, many A&E firms choose Monograph due to its easy-to-use interface, affordable pricing, and incredible support team.
Get Started with Monograph
Monograph is an all-in-one platform built exclusively for architecture and engineering workflows. This means A&E firms can quickly track time, manage budgets, and staff their team in a seamless way that aligns with firm operations. Plus, Monograph consistently pushes out new and valuable features and updates based on customer feedback. With Monograph you can:
- Eliminate uncertainties with easy and precise budgets.
- Avoid setbacks and boost project performance and profit.
- Drive productivity across your team to reach your goals faster.
- Reduce revenue leakage and strengthen client relationships.
Ready to see for yourself? Click here to get started and see if Monograph is the right fit for you.