The Best BigTime Alternative: Top 11 Professional Services Tools & Competitors

Lucija Bakić

January 19, 2024

Screenshot of a project management tool, a BigTime alternative, displaying a list of tasks for marketing and website development. The interface shows tasks sorted into 'Planning' and 'Design' phases with statuses, start and due dates, assignees, last activity, and priority levels.

If you’re looking for a BigTime alternative, you’re at the right place.

BigTime can be described as comprehensive project management software. While it can be a good option for many agencies, you might be looking for a more affordable tool, or one with a bigger emphasis on specific features. Modernizing your technology can help you stay competitive, so be sure to take a look at our review of top competitors and their key features.

Why Look For A BigTime Alternative?

BigTime is a PSA software solution that helps streamline agency operations and improve productivity. Some key features include project planning, time tracking, resource management, and client invoicing.

A business dashboard with two sections: 'Billability' depicted by an area graph, and 'Workforce/Utilization' represented by a donut chart showing a small percentage. Timeframe filters and numerical statistics related to staff and financial metrics are also visible.


source: BIGTIME

BigTime has overall positive customer reviews, with a 4.5-star rating on both G2 and Capterra. Despite this, users have noted some specific downsides of the tool:

  • Multiple reviews mention experiencing issues with the integrations, especially QuickBooks
  • In general, users noted that the billing capabilities don’t always meet their needs
  • The reporting feature can be confusing and at times doesn’t offer enough flexibility
  • Some users feel like the cost for value can be high, and that expenses can ramp up quickly

When it comes to benefits, users state that the tool is easy to use for the most part. Additionally, reviews mention that it provides a useful feature range for professional services agencies.

Top Alternatives to BigTime: Overview of Modern Tools and Platforms

Learn more about the top BigTime alternatives and their main benefits and downsides based on user reviews.

1. Productive – The Best BigTime Alternative for Agency Project Management

Productive is an agency management software tailored to professional services agencies. While Productive and BigTime offer many of the same features, Productive goes further with an integrated sales pipeline, collaborative documentation, and workflow automation.

The tool has highly positive reviews on G2 and Capterra, averaging 4.6 stars. Recent reviews mention that the tool provides comprehensive features for agency project management, including project, financial, and resource management. Additionally, users often praise the responsive and reactive customer support team.

By providing support for a wide range of daily agency processes, Productive distinguishes itself as an all-in-one solution for agencies of all shapes and sizes:

If I had to choose the main benefit of switching to Productive, it would be having visibility of everything in one place: from sales through resources, projects to delivery, plus the time logging and profitability figures in one place—being able to track the end-to-end lifecycle of a project.

Jason Devoy,
Delivery Director at Joi Polloi

According to the State of SaaS Sprawl 2021 Report, only 45% of company apps are being used on a regular basis. The benefit of a comprehensive solution is reducing many of these apps to a single platform, which can increase employee engagement and reduce IT overhead.

Check out which features make Productive the best all-in-one BigTime alternative.

Time Tracking

Productive’s Time Tracking features help agencies track their billable and non-billable hours while ensuring the process is as painless as possible. Your tracking can be adjusted according to preference so that employees can use the integrated timer with a desktop widget, enter their hours after tasks have been completed, or even eliminate this chore completely with automatic time tracking through resource bookings.

Timesheets can be locked for editing after a specified period of time, and managers can easily view hours and mark them as billable, approve entries, or request additional information.

Screenshot of a BigTime alternative time tracking tool displaying 'Track time for today' with two entries under 'Marketing'. The first entry logs time for social media posts, and the second, for interview questions and a creative brief, with timers indicating hours spent on each task


MANAGE EMPLOYEE TIME

Additionally, Productive lets you handle your leave management through the platform, helping you cut out one more tool from your tech stack. Add agency-specific categories, approve employee requests, view their vacancies through platform statuses, and get reports for total time off per person.

Learn more about the best agency time tracking practices with Parakeeto:

Project Management

With Project Management, Productive helps agency leaders support their team collaboration. The main capabilities include various project views, meaning you can organize your progress with Gantt, Kanban boards, List view, and many more, depending on your workflows and personal preferences. You can also invite clients to projects free of charge and give them access to review tasks, create new ones, and even view their budgets, improving communication and transparency.

Having a complete overview of projects, open tasks, team occupancy, and profitability—it makes project management so much easier.

Nika Serdoner,
Project Manager at ENKI

Read the full story: Meet ENKI, a Small Team Behind Mighty Projects

Keep your project teams accountable with streamlined task management, which includes essential features such as:

  • To-dos
  • Milestones
  • Automatic notifications
  • Custom fields
  • Estimations
  • Automations
Screenshot of a BigTime alternative project interface titled 'Blog posts' detailing a task related to motion graphics. The task pane includes to-do list checkboxes, options to add more details, and sections displaying the task's current status, assigned team member, and due date.


MANAGE PROJECT PROGRESS

Budgeting

Productive puts a special emphasis on managing your project finances through its Budgeting feature. You can set up your budgets for any type of client engagement, including hourly, fixed-price, retainer, or hybrid. For complex projects, budgets can be split into separate phases to simplify money management.

Screenshot of a BigTime alternative software, depicting a dashboard for a 'Rebranding Campaign', showing a bar and line chart tracking weekly expenses against a projected budget over time. Below the chart, summary sections for time, budget, and invoicing detail hours worked, total budget, amounts invoiced, and pending invoices.


GET FULL CONTROL OVER BUDGETS

Budgeting integrates with Resource Planning, so you can create and analyze various scenarios with tentative bookings to improve your decision-making process. Get key oversight into your key agency metrics, such as profit margins, revenue, and budget burn, and forecast them across upcoming periods of time. The best part is that all of this data changes in real-time, according to how your resources are allocated.

Additional project accounting features include:

  • Billing: Create brand-friendly invoices and send them from the platform. Automatic reminders help you keep your clients on top of their payments while cutting down on repetitive tasks. Productive includes integrations with Xero and QuickBooks, so you can pull data from Productive, copy your invoices, and continue from there.
  • Purchase Orders: Send your purchase orders to suppliers, track payments, and monitor delivery dates. Productive simplifies your job cost management and helps you get full insights into your finances with expense reports.

Resource Planning

Some key features of Productive’s Resource Planning include:

  • Easy allocation: Use various allocation methods, either by entering specific hours per day, setting a percentage of overall employee capacity, or by total billable hours. Editing is simple with drag-and-drop features.
  • Heatmaps: Use heatmaps to get insight into your team’s workload and ensure that no one is being over or underutilized.
  • Filtering: Manage your bookings by people or projects. You can also create specific filters to simplify resource management across multiple or complex projects.
  • Placeholders: Use placeholders to include external staff and account for future hiring scenarios.
  • Tentative bookings: Create various scenarios by using tentative bookings to gauge your capacity and potential financial performance.
  • Utilization forecasting: Get insights into billable utilization, one of the key agency metrics, by forecasting it across upcoming periods of time and across multiple metrics.

Reporting

Productive offers more than 50 templates for projects with its Reporting features, all of which can be populated with diverse agency data from your budgeting, project management, resource planning, invoicing, and more. Some key features include visual dashboards, real-time updates, email sharing, and custom fields.

Screenshot of a BigTime alternative software, depicting a time tracking report detailing hours logged by department and individual contributors. The columns display billable and total worked hours with a percentage of billable versus worked hours, highlighting efficiency in various departments.


MAKE DATA-DRIVEN DECISIONS

Additional features: Sales, Docs, Automations.

Integrations include: Xero QuickBooks, HubSpot, Breathe, Zapier, Slack, Jira, Google Calendar, and more.

Pricing

  • Plans start with the Essential plan at $9 per user per month, which includes essential features such as budgeting, project & task management, docs, time tracking, expense management, reporting, and time off management.
  • The Professional plan includes custom fields, recurring budgets, advanced reports, billable time approvals, and many more for $24 per user per month.
  • The Ultimate plan has everything that the Essential plan and Professional plan offer, along with the HubSpot integration, advanced forecasting, advanced custom fields, overhead calculations, and more for a custom price.
  • You can also check out the Enterprise Plan with custom pricing for companies that would include more than 50 active users per month.

Productive offers a 14-day free trial so you can decide if it’s the right BigTime software alternative for your agency.

Choose the Best BigTime Alternative

Unlock your agency’s potential with an all-in-one tool that supports your key business processes.

Book a demo

2. Accelo – A Good All-Around Option for Agencies

Accelo is a project management platform designed to boost productivity and business efficiency.

Key features:

  • Sales processes
  • Project management 
  • Client invoicing
  • Real-time reporting
Screenshot of a BigTime alternative software, depicting a table with categorized service issues, their occurrence count, frequency, response times, and resolution times over a one-month period


SOurce: Accelo

While Accelo is certainly a powerful client work management platform, some users mention that it can be difficult to learn to use effectively: “It can be rather daunting to get started with using, it’s not the most intuitive software” (Source: Capterra). Additionally, the pricing tiers can be considered quite high in comparison to similar solutions on the market.

See more: 15 Top Accelo Alternatives & Competitors for Agencies

3. BQE core – A Good Choice for Architecture Agencies

BQE core is an architecture project management software that helps businesses automate their tasks and get real-time insights.

Key features:

  • Project planning
  • Employee management
  • Payments and billing
  • Project accounting
Screenshot of a BigTime alternative, showcasing a company's income and expenses over the last 12 months. The income is displayed in a multi-colored donut chart with various categories like architectural design, and the expenses in a similar chart with categories including salaries and rent, indicating total amounts in millions.


Source: bqe core

BQE Core is an effective solution for professional services agencies. However, consider that it’s tailored specifically to the A&E industry. This can make it an excellent pick for architecture agencies, but it might also mean that businesses in other industries might encounter features that aren’t fully suitable to their specific workflows or needs. 

4. Zoho Books – A Payment Processing and Accounting Tool

Zoho Books is a project accounting software solution from the Zoho product suite, designed to support collaboration and financial planning.

Key features:

  • Billable hours management
  • Expense tracking
  • Purchase orders
  • Customizable reports
Screenshot of a BigTime alternative software, displaying the overview tab for a wedding photo shoot project. It includes the project title, manager's name, billing method, hourly rate, and a bar graph titled depicting billable versus unbillable hours for a weekly timeframe.


source: zoho books

Zoho Books can be a good BigTime alternative for users that find its financial and expense tracking capabilities lacking. Zoho Books also offers an integration with QuickBooks for agencies, making for a more seamless transition. However, consider that Zoho Books lacks some essential project and agency management capabilities; if this is something you’re looking for, you can consider more robust tools with a QuickBooks integration, like Productive.

5. Kantata (Mavenlink) – A Solid Project Management Alternative

Kantata, previously Mavenlink, is a cloud-based project management solution for managing employee time and providing real-time visibility into projects.

Key features:

  • Resource allocation
  • Team collaboration
  • Project accounting
  • Integrations & API support
Screenshot of a BigTime alternative software, showing a team member section with progress bars next to roles such as Front-End Developer and Technical Consultant. Adjacent is a timeline indicating various levels of task completion in different colors for active and in-progress assignments.


source: kantata

Kantata can be a good solution for professional service firms, as it offers all of the essential features needed to build a productive team. However, some users of the platform mention that the onboarding process can be lengthy, and that better customer service might help streamline these difficulties. 

Related: Top 25 Mavenlink Alternatives for Agencies

6. Scoro – A Good PSA Alternative to BigTime

Scoro is a professional services automation software that helps agencies track projects and support successful delivery.
Key features:

  • Project management
  • Time tracking
  • Resource planning
  • Sales 
Screenshot of a BigTime alternative displaying a visual weekly agenda for a team member with various activities such as meetings, strategy sessions, and project tasks distributed over the weekdays, alongside a progress indicator and total hours spent


source: scoro

Users appreciate Scoro for its ability to streamline processes and increase efficiency. On the flipside, negative reviews mention that customization options can be quite limited, and some users have reported issues with customer support. Consider this if your agency has complex or unusual processes.

Related: 13 Best Scoro Alternatives for Growing Agencies in 2023

7. Avaza – A Good Management Platform for Professional Services

Avaza is a work management software for client-based projects, with features such as time tracking and expense management.

Key features:

  • Project management
  • Employee scheduling
  • Online timesheets
  • Invoicing
Screenshot of a BigTime alternative software, outlining various tasks under categories like design and research, with respective time slots and brief descriptions. An 'Actual Timesheets' section details a client meeting with time spent and associated client name.


source: AVAZA

Users mostly report positive experiences with Avaza, especially when it comes to ease of use and its range of features. However, many users mention that the reporting feature can be lacking, as well as difficult to customize. For more info check out our guide about Avaza alternatives.

8. Sage Intacct – A Robust Platform for Enterprises

Sage Intacct is an ERP software for financial operations in various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and professional services.

Key features:

  • Financial reports
  • Revenue recognition
  • Client invoicing
  • Third-party integrations
Screenshot of BigTime alternative software, presenting key financial metrics such as cash on hand, year-to-date revenue, cost of sales, gross profit, and net income, all with trend indicators.


source: SAGE

Sage Intacct offers robust financial management features, but it does require some consideration beforehand. For one, the pricing of the tool is not available online, which can make the decision-making process lenghtier. Otherwise, some reviewers mentioned that the tool is designed very simplistically, which might not be compatible with creative teams or inexperienced users who want a more user-friendly approach.

9. Netsuite – A Complex Business Performance Alternative

Netsuite is a robust business performance platform that provides enterprise apps for various industries.
Key features:

Screenshot of a BigTime alternative software dashboard, highlighting four key performance indicators with percentage changes and trend lines for sales, expenses, bank balance, and payables. The table below compares current financial figures against previous periods, showing numerical values and percentage changes


source: NETSUITE

Netsuite is similar to Sage Intacct, in that it’s a complex solution that can be a good BigTime alternative for agencies that are ready for a challenge. However, it might not be compatible with smaller agencies on a time limit or budget. Users mention that implementation time can get lengthy and that the documentation is often insufficient to streamline the process.

Related: Netsuite vs QuickBooks vs Productive: Which Tool Is Best for You?

10. PlanGuru – A Business Budgeting Tool for Smaller Agencies

PlanGuru is a financial management platform for small to medium-sized businesses.

Key features:

  • Project budgeting
  • Financial forecasting
  • Scenario analysis
  • Financial analytics
Screenshot of a financial spreadsheet from a BigTime alternative software, displaying an income statement with monthly actual, budgeted, and forecasted figures. The table includes detailed revenue and cost of sales entries, culminating in a calculation of gross profit, across several months for a business.


source: PLANGURU

PlanGuru is another good alternative to BigTime when it comes to focusing on your financial management. It also provides a functionality for integrating your workflows with useful third-party integrations. As with Sage Intacct and Netsuite, it might not be the best alternative if you’re looking for more streamlined team collaboration and productivity features.

11. Paymo – An Affordable Alternative to BigTime Software

Paymo is a project management tool that helps agencies track time and keep projects on course.
Key features:

  • Project and task management
  • Time tracking
  • Resource planning
  • Client invoicing
Screenshot of a BigTime alternative software dashboard, showing metrics for 'Time Worked' with hours and minutes logged, a progress bar for 'Completed Tasks' with a count of total and completed items, and an 'Unbilled Accounts Receivable' section displaying the total amount pending and associated hours


source: PAYMO

Paymo can be an affordable alternative to BigTime software, as it offers approachable pricing tiers with a free version for unlimited users. However, users who are looking for advanced features, such as utilization or profit forecasting, might want to consider a more robust software solution instead.

Takeaway: Best BigTime Alternatives for Professional Service Firms

We’ve explored a variety of BigTime software alternatives for agencies, from team collaboration tools to financial management solutions. Although your best choice can be subjective, there are some things to keep in mind, such as user-friendliness, scalability, and comprehensiveness.

All of these factors are important in ensuring software adoption across teams and positive ROI. All-in-one software, or comprehensive solutions, can play an especially important part in this. By reducing the tedium of switching between multiple tools and supporting agency operations, these tools can increase the chances of employee satisfaction and provide long-term support.

To find out more about the benefits of all-in-one agency management software, book a demo with Productive.

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Lucija Bakić

Content Specialist

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