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NetSuite logo
 
NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read More
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NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read More
 
Deskera ERP logo
 
Deskera ERP is a cloud-based enterprise business management suite that automates sales, billing, fulfillment, distribution (including pick, pack and ship process), sales commission calculations, purchasing, payment processing, product... Read More
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Deskera ERP is a cloud-based enterprise business management suite that automates sales, billing, fulfillment, distribution (including pick, pack and ship process), sales commission calculations, purchasing, payment processing, product... Read More
 
QuickBooks Enterprise logo
 
QuickBooks Enterprise is an accounting solution suitable for small to midsize businesses across several industry verticals including construction, distribution, manufacturing, and retail. The solution offers functionality to manage... Read More
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QuickBooks Enterprise is an accounting solution suitable for small to midsize businesses across several industry verticals including construction, distribution, manufacturing, and retail. The solution offers functionality to manage... Read More
 
Sage Fixed Assets logo
 
Sage Fixed Assets is a hybrid asset management solution that helps businesses track and manage the fixed assets through different steps of asset lifecycle. The solution offers integrated accounting features and multiple methods to... Read More
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Sage Fixed Assets is a hybrid asset management solution that helps businesses track and manage the fixed assets through different steps of asset lifecycle. The solution offers integrated accounting features and multiple methods to... Read More
 
SAP ERP Core Finance logo
 
SAP S/4HANA is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite designed to serve businesses of size and kinds. SAP ERP is used to address the needs of many industry verticals including manufacturing, retail, service... Read More
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SAP S/4HANA is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite designed to serve businesses of size and kinds. SAP ERP is used to address the needs of many industry verticals including manufacturing, retail, service... Read More

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Acumatica ERP logo
 
Acumatica ERP delivers an adaptable cloud and mobile-based enterprise resource planning solution with a user licensing model which enables a real-time view of business operations at any time from anywhere. Through a worldwide network... Read More
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Acumatica ERP delivers an adaptable cloud and mobile-based enterprise resource planning solution with a user licensing model which enables a real-time view of business operations at any time from anywhere. Through a worldwide network... Read More
 
Microsoft Dynamics GP logo
 
Microsoft Dynamics GP is a hybrid enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that helps small and midsize businesses to integrate their data and resources across various departments and locations. The solution can either be deployed... Read More
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Microsoft Dynamics GP is a hybrid enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that helps small and midsize businesses to integrate their data and resources across various departments and locations. The solution can either be deployed... Read More
 
FinancialForce Financial Management logo
 
FinancialForce Financial Management (FM) is a cloud-based system built to provide a complete financial management solution for sales and services-orientated companies of all sizes. FinancialForce FM has several inherent applications,... Read More
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FinancialForce Financial Management (FM) is a cloud-based system built to provide a complete financial management solution for sales and services-orientated companies of all sizes. FinancialForce FM has several inherent applications,... Read More
 
Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management logo
 
Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management, formerly known as Sage X3, is an ERP software suite that includes integrated functionality for financial management, sales, customer service, distribution, inventory, and manufacturing, and... Read More
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Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management, formerly known as Sage X3, is an ERP software suite that includes integrated functionality for financial management, sales, customer service, distribution, inventory, and manufacturing, and... Read More
 
Xledger logo
 
Xledger is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that caters to midsize and large businesses that helps them to manage day-to-day operations by automating routines ranging from bank reconciliation to invoice entry.... Read More
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Xledger is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that caters to midsize and large businesses that helps them to manage day-to-day operations by automating routines ranging from bank reconciliation to invoice entry.... Read More

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Oracle JD Edwards logo
 
Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and supply chain management solution that provides ERP applications and tools for finance, consumer goods, human resources, distribution and manufacturing... Read More
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Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and supply chain management solution that provides ERP applications and tools for finance, consumer goods, human resources, distribution and manufacturing... Read More
 
Microsoft Dynamics AX logo
 
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is an ERP system suitable for midsize to large enterprises. The solution has particular strengths in manufacturing and distribution but is also capable of serving buyers across multiple industry verticals.... Read More
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Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is an ERP system suitable for midsize to large enterprises. The solution has particular strengths in manufacturing and distribution but is also capable of serving buyers across multiple industry verticals.... Read More
 
Unanet Project Portfolio Financials logo
 
Unanet Project Portfolio Financials is a cloud-based accounting and project management solution for businesses of all sizes. It is designed for industries, including Professional Services, Government Contracting, Advertising & PR firms,... Read More
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Unanet Project Portfolio Financials is a cloud-based accounting and project management solution for businesses of all sizes. It is designed for industries, including Professional Services, Government Contracting, Advertising & PR firms,... Read More
 
Beyond Software logo
 
Beyond Software is a project accounting and management software system available for small to mid-size companies. The system allows organizations to manage and execute around their projects by increasing visibility and creating accountability.   Industries... Read More
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Beyond Software is a project accounting and management software system available for small to mid-size companies. The system allows organizations to manage and execute around their projects by increasing visibility and creating accountability.   Industries... Read More
 
Deltek Vision logo
 
Deltek Vision is a cloud-based project-based solution for professional services firms that is available for cloud or on-premise deployment. It combines project accounting, resource management, project management, time/expense management... Read More
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Deltek Vision is a cloud-based project-based solution for professional services firms that is available for cloud or on-premise deployment. It combines project accounting, resource management, project management, time/expense management... Read More

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Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (formerly Sage Timberline Office) logo
 
Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, formerly Sage Timberline Office, is part of Sage’s line of construction and real estate solutions. Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate is a construction management system that offers functionality... Read More
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Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, formerly Sage Timberline Office, is part of Sage’s line of construction and real estate solutions. Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate is a construction management system that offers functionality... Read More
 
Microsoft Dynamics SL logo
 
Microsoft Dynamics SL is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system designed for project-based small and medium-sized businesses. The solution offers industry-specific capabilities for professional services, government contractors,... Read More
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Microsoft Dynamics SL is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system designed for project-based small and medium-sized businesses. The solution offers industry-specific capabilities for professional services, government contractors,... Read More
 
Deltek Ajera logo
 
Deltek Ajera is an integrated accounting and project management solution built for architecture and engineering (A/E) firms. It is suitable for small to mid-size firms seeking an industry-tailored solution to improve project level... Read More
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Deltek Ajera is an integrated accounting and project management solution built for architecture and engineering (A/E) firms. It is suitable for small to mid-size firms seeking an industry-tailored solution to improve project level... Read More
 
InFocus logo
 
Clearview InFocus is a cloud and on-premise-based billing, invoicing and project management solution that also includes financial management capabilities. This is the flagship product for Clearview and its sole focus is to develop... Read More
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Clearview InFocus is a cloud and on-premise-based billing, invoicing and project management solution that also includes financial management capabilities. This is the flagship product for Clearview and its sole focus is to develop... Read More
 
Freshbooks logo
 
Freshbooks is a web-based accounting solution that caters to small businesses. Freshbooks serves various industries, such as marketing, legal services and business consulting, trades and home services and information technology (IT). Key... Read More
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Freshbooks is a web-based accounting solution that caters to small businesses. Freshbooks serves various industries, such as marketing, legal services and business consulting, trades and home services and information technology (IT). Key... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Lisa Hedges,
Content Analyst
Last Updated: July 17, 2018


Architects aren’t accounting specialists, nor should they be.

But when every cent and second matters to complete projects under budget and on schedule, and get paid by clients for the work, architecture firms need a system in place that can easily and accurately track time, expenses and more. Often times, manual methods like pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets fail to get the job done.

Which is why you should consider investing in architecture accounting software—accounting platforms with additional functionality for things like project management, time tracking, billing and more, designed with the specific needs of architects in mind. These products can help eliminate errors and automate tedious bookkeeping processes so you can focus more on the revenue-generating activities.

If you’ve never researched architecture accounting software before, this Buyer’s Guide can help. We’ll explain everything you need to know so you can feel confident in making a more informed purchase decision.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Architecture Accounting Software?
Common Features of Architecture Accounting Software
Benefits of Architecture Accounting Software
How Much Does Architecture Accounting Software Cost?
Evaluating Architectural Accounting Software

What Is Architecture Accounting Software?

Architecture accounting software is accounting software that allows firms to track time spent working on multiple projects, manage expenses and budgets and accurately bill customers for their work.

Architectural accounting software tracks costs by individual job and records client information. Since billing for services is usually measured in units of time, the software is usually equipped with time-logging abilities and the ability to allocate time to different projects and clients. In-depth analysis should also be available from breaking down each project into organized steps within a set schedule. Time can be designated as either billable or non-billable.

Common Features of Architecture Accounting Software

In addition to core modules such as the general ledger, accounts receivable and accounts payable, these systems typically includes the following features:

Project & department management Architecture firms need to manage lengthy design projects. By automating scheduling, allocating resources and budgeting and forecasting, firms can better ensure accurate proposals and effective use of employees.
Time billing Time and billing modules use timesheets and expense reports to funnel back into the project plan the actual costs, billable time and non-billable time spent. This ensures accuracy in billing and in estimating for future projects and helps maximize cost recovery.
Customer relationship management (CRM) CRM systems supports lead development, marketing campaigns and customer service by using a comprehensive database to track prospects and current/past clients. Architecture firms get most of their business from the referrals and developed relationships, CRM is critical for long-term success.
Document sharing & development Secure document collaboration allows sharing information of projects, clients and other records between the relevant employees. Document management could also include proposal automation, which will help the user develop high-quality proposals and increase closing rates.
Audit trail Architecture accounting software should track and organize expenses and individual project steps in case of a mistake in billing or an expense that qualifies for client reimbursement.

Benefits of Architecture Accounting Software

First and foremost, dedicated accounting software provides clarity, accuracy and efficiency to a vital process for every business: tracking the money coming in and out of the firm. With the better insight provided by these systems, organizations can make better financial decisions now and in the future. Customized reports available in a variety of formats also ensure that stakeholders have ongoing visibility into the time and cost figures that matter to them.

Outside of the benefits you’d expect from an accounting system, project management and process tracking features can also help internal teams better communicate and establish standardized processes to tackle projects in a more optimized manner.

How Much Does Architecture Accounting Software Cost?

Cost is obviously a huge factor in your purchase decision, and depending on what architecture accounting software platform you go with and what functionality you choose to include, that cost can vary drastically. Ironically, architecture firms sometime need to budget for the software that helps them budget.

As you research options, keep these popular pricing structures in mind:

  • Pay entirely upfront. These accounting platforms require just one payment upfront and then you own the system to use in perpetuity (hence the term “perpetual license” often associated with this model). This structure is most common with on-premise systems that you download straight onto a computer or server.
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  • Flat monthly or annual fee. Increasingly more common than a perpetual license, these accounting systems require buyers to pay a flat monthly or annual subscription fee to use them. Often times, vendors have different subscription tiers depending on how much functionality you want to purchase.
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  • Per-user or per-employee pricing. These systems are also paid for an a subscription basis, but instead of a flat fee, your cost depends on either how many people will be using the system or how many employees you have in your organization. The latter is especially common if your system has additional functionality for payroll.

Other fees to look out for include those for training, implementation, support and data migration.

Evaluating Architectural Accounting Software

Like some other industry packages, architectural accounting software benefits from specific report-writing mechanisms which can deliver descriptive progress and billing documents to a client. The size of the firm will have a big impact on the system needs. For example, a larger firm, dealing with multiple projects and employees, will need more robust project and time tracking capabilities than an individual freelancer.

When evaluating these systems, buyers should consider the following:

  • Can the system log hours and mark as billable or non-billable?
  • How deep are the project scheduling/progress tracking capabilities?
  • Can the system effectively manage costs and progress for multiple projects at once?
  • Does it come with solid report-writing mechanisms?

Free Download:
Accounting Software Pricing Guide

Free Download:
Ten Steps Guide to Selecting the Right Accounting Software

 

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