BQE Core vs Harvest

BQE Core vs Harvest

BQE Core and Harvest are two popular project management platforms used by architecture and engineering (A&E) firms. They invest in these platforms to track projects and time, and manage invoicing and reporting. However, both solutions come with their fair share of strengths and weaknesses.

For example, BQE Core users report that the software can be slow and difficult to use, and Harvest users report that the platform lacks many desired features and functions. It’s also worth noting that Harvest is not built exclusively for A&E firms.

When choosing to use one of these platforms, or a third alternative, it’s important to consider your needs, budget, and the size of your firm. We’ve delved into BQE Core vs Harvest, examining their features, pricing, and user reviews to help you choose the best project management solution.

Let’s get started.

BQE Core - Strengths and Weaknesses

BQE Core is an integrated firm management software tailored for architecture and engineering firms, consulting firms, and professional service firms. It focuses on enhancing operational efficiency, streamlining business processes, and enabling firms to concentrate more on delivery than on management.


  • Project management: BQE Core offers real-time project insights, enabling the management of projects on-time and on-budget. It integrates project management and accounting tools, providing a complete financial picture of every project and empowering project managers with more accountability.
  • Accounting: The cloud-based software fully integrates business accounting with project accounting, offering a complete view of a project's financials and improving decision-making.
  • Reporting and analytics: BQE Core provides automated, actionable reports to aid in informed decision-making, ensuring that firms have the necessary data for strategic planning and execution.
  • Time and expense tracking: The platform automates manual processes, thereby improving cash flow through faster invoicing and saving time with centralized time and expense tracking. It is 100% Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) compliant and offers easy-to-use, pause-and-play timers connected to timecards.
  • Billing and invoicing: BQE Core enhances cash flow by streamlining billing and invoicing processes, allowing firms to bill clients efficiently and effectively.
  • Payment processing: The software supports automated clearing house (ACH) and credit card payments, which improves cash flow, increases security, and reduces the time spent on banking processes.
  • Professional services automation: BQE Core saves time and increases accuracy by automating timekeeping, invoicing, payment processing, and reporting.
  • Mobile accessibility: With apps for iOS and Android, BQE software ensures that teams can work efficiently from anywhere – including in-house staff and remote freelancers.
  • Human resources management: The platform streamlines human resources (HR) processes, including benefits, paid time off (PTO), performance reviews, and compensation management. Notifications for timesheets also help to remind users and reduce errors. 
  • Client relationship management (CRM): BQE Core enables the monitoring and improvement of marketing and sales campaigns to increase return on investment (ROI).
  • Integrations: The software integrates seamlessly with essential business tools like QuickBooks, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, and others, while application programming interfaces (APIs) allow for more custom integrations.


BQE Core employs per-user pricing, which is intuitive and clear. The pricing is variable, depending on the modules required and the number of users. They offer an all-in-one Foundations module, which includes:

  • Time and expense management
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Project management
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Support

Additional modules available include Accounting, CRM, and HR, each designed to provide extra functionality based on the firm's unique needs. Prospective customers are encouraged to request a quote for exact pricing details, and a free demo is also offered to showcase the platform's features.

Reviews and Ratings

We analyzed hundreds of user reviews on G2 to identify BQE Core’s top three strengths and weaknesses. 

BQE Core strengths:

  • All-in-one functionality: Users value the comprehensive features for managing time, tasks, expenses, and customer satisfaction.
  • Intuitive and easy to use: Appreciated for its user-friendly interface and intuitive design.
  • Satisfactory customer support: Known for a responsive and knowledgeable customer support team.

BQE Core weaknesses:

  • Limited customization options: Users face constraints in customizing exports to match individual preferences.
  • Complex interface: The interface can be overwhelming due to the abundance of options, leading to confusion.
  • Restrictive editing capabilities: Difficulty in editing time entries after they have been saved.

Harvest - Strengths and Weaknesses

Harvest is a time tracking and management software designed to improve productivity and efficiency across various industries – it’s not specific to A&E firms. It simplifies the tracking of time across projects, offers instant reporting and seamless invoicing and payments, and integrates with popular tools.


  • Time tracking: Offers straightforward and user-friendly time tracking, allowing teams to easily log time on projects. This feature is central to Harvest's design, providing a simple yet effective way for teams to track their hours.
  • Reporting and analysis: Harvest delivers insightful reports, giving users critical data on project performance and team productivity. These reports help in understanding resource allocation, budget status, and overall project health. Gantt charts aid project managers in forecasting.
  • Invoicing and payments: The software includes features for automatic invoice creation and swift online payment processing. This integration simplifies the billing process, linking work hours directly to invoicing.
  • Apps and integrations: Harvest seamlessly integrates with popular tools like Asana and Slack, enhancing project and task management capabilities. Multiple integrations allow for streamlined workflows and improved efficiency in tracking and managing projects.
  • Industries served: Harvest is widely used across various sectors including advertising, marketing, architecture, consulting, and IT, highlighting its versatility and adaptability to different professional services.
  • Mobile app availability: Harvest offers mobile apps for both iPhone and Android devices, ensuring accessibility and convenience for users on the go.
  • CRM integration: Integrates with CRM systems, aiding in the management of client relationships and project tracking.
  • Dashboards: Provides dashboards for a quick and comprehensive view of project status, time spent, and budget utilization.


Harvest offers two primary pricing plans:

  • Free Plan: Designed for one user and up to two projects at no cost, forever.
  • Pro Plan: Priced at $12 per seat per month, or $10.80 per seat per month if billed yearly. This plan offers unlimited seats and projects.

Both plans include a 30-day free trial without the need for a credit card. Harvest also offers a 10% discount for annual upfront payments and additional discounts for large teams, nonprofits, educational institutions, and students.

Reviews and Ratings

We analyzed hundreds of user reviews on G2 to identify Harvest’s top three strengths and weaknesses. 

Harvest strengths:

  • Easy and efficient time tracking: Praised for its simplicity and the convenience of the browser extension.
  • Total budget feature: Effective in managing project time and budgets.
  • Reliability and functionality: Known for its stable and useful mobile and desktop apps.

Harvest weaknesses:

  • Lack of comprehensive reporting features: Users seek more robust and detailed reporting capabilities.
  • Less intuitive account maintenance UI: The user interface for account maintenance needs improvement for better intuitiveness.
  • Limited integration with project management tools: A need for more extensive integration options with various project management tools is evident.

BQE Core vs Harvest – The Verdict

When evaluating BQE Core vs Harvest 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.
  • Harvest offers a simple way to track billable hours but lacks many of the more robust features needed for A&E firms.

The choice between them depends on the specific needs and size of the A&E firm, from small businesses to enterprises. Essential features might be accessible only in higher pricing tiers. While either system might be the right fit for your firm, it’s important to consider all of your options.

For A&E firms seeking a solution that precisely fits their requirements, alternatives like Monograph could offer a more specialized approach.

Top Alternatives to BQE Core and Harvest

Exploring alternatives to BQE Core and Harvest can offer A&E firms different perspectives and solutions tailored to their unique needs. Here's a look at Monograph, BigTime, and Deltek Ajera, which each bring distinct features and benefits to the table.

1. Monograph

Monograph is a tailored project management solution for A&E firms, focusing exclusively on serving architects and engineers. It provides detailed budgeting tools and efficient staff assignment capabilities using real-time data, enhancing project management accuracy and operational efficiency. 

Design-centric dashboards help firms and their employees make smarter, business-driven decisions.

Monograph also excels in simplifying invoicing and payment processes for timely billing and revenue collection. It seamlessly integrates with Quickbooks Online, the most popular accounting solution among A&E firms.

In terms of pricing, Monograph has two plans that are positioned between Harvest and BQE Core, offering an affordable and specialized solution for A&E firms. This price makes Monograph an attractive option for firms seeking a balance between comprehensive features, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use. 

Monograph's unique blend of features specifically designed for A&E firms, combined with its competitive pricing, are a few of the many reasons that more than 1,000+ A&E firms use Monograph every day.

2. BigTime

BigTime is a professional services automation software that offers comprehensive solutions for architecture and engineering (A&E) firms. It streamlines operations, improves productivity, and enhances profitability, making it a significant choice for project-driven firms. 

BigTime's feature set includes time and expense tracking to stay on budget, resource management for better planning and utilization, and project management for overseeing ongoing projects. The software also integrates with various systems to create connected workflows.

Regarding pricing, BigTime's plans are tailored to team needs, with the Essentials plan starting at $20 per user per month and scaling up to more comprehensive options for larger organizations. 

Altogether, BigTime is a flexible solution for A&E firms searching for an all-in-one project management and financial tool.

3. Deltek Ajera

Deltek Ajera is a project management and accounting software tailored for mid-sized and enterprise A&E firms. It provides functionalities essential for enhancing project visibility, streamlining cash flow, and facilitating better, faster business decisions. 

The software also aids in improving cash flow with precise invoicing and automated financial tools, and it offers valuable insights through its interactive dashboards and comprehensive reporting.

Deltek Ajera does not publicly disclose detailed pricing information. However, Deltek's pricing tends to be on the higher end compared to other options on the market.

Deltek Ajera is a good choice for larger A&E firms that need project management and accounting solutions with lots of customizability.

Get Started with Monograph

Monograph is a project management solution made just for A&E firms. It helps you easily track time, handle money, and organize your teams in a way that fits how you work. Monograph also keeps improving by adding new features based on customer feedback. With Monograph, you can:

  • Make clear and accurate budgets easily.
  • Improve your projects and increase profits.
  • Optimize time management to help your team work better and achieve goals quicker.
  • Stop losing money and build better relationships with clients.

Want to try it out? Click here to get started and see if Monograph is right for you.

Monograph - product management software for architects
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