Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped many architectural firms choose the right accounting software so they can track expenses and monitor cash flow.

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NetSuite

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 rang... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 48 recommendations

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Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based financial management and accounting software. Sage Intacct's software solution is suitable for small to midsize accounting firms and can provide financial reporting and operational i... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 38 recommendations

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Striven

Striven is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suitable for many industries and organizations of all sizes. It offers features for accounting, inventory management, human resources, customer relationship mana... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 25 recommendations

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BQE Core Suite

BQE Core Legal is a cloud-based solution that offers integrated accounting, time tracking, and billing and invoicing. It can support the operations of a variety of law firms including litigation, corporate, family, tax, immigratio... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 24 recommendations

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Infor CloudSuite Financials

Infor CloudSuite Financials is a solution suite that provides financial functionality coupled with a source-to-settle supply management offering. The solution is role-based, mobile responsive and delivered in the cloud. It deliver... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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JD Edwards EnterpriseOne

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 manuf... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Unanet

Unanet’s ERP solutions are purpose-built from the ground up for Government Contractors, A/E, and Professional Services organizations. 3,100+ organizations utilize the power of the Unanet software to gain insights, make more strate... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Beyond Software

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 ac... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Xledger

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 en... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

QuickBooks Enterprise is an accounting solution designed for SMBs across different industry verticals such as construction, nonprofit distribution, manufacturing, and retail. With QB Enterprise solution, any business owner can exp... Read more

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Quickbooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a web-based accounting solution that caters to individual accountants and small businesses. The solution helps with bank reconciliation, tracking expenses, drafting invoices and monitoring financial reports, a... Read more

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Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics is a customer relationship management solution designed to serve businesses of all sizes. The solution is used across various industry verticals such as government, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare,... Read more

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Xero

Established in 2006, Xero is a web-based accounting system designed for small and growing businesses. Xero connects small businesses with their trusted advisors and provides business owners with instant visibility of their financi... Read more

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Wave Accounting

Wave is an online accounting platform exclusively designed for small business owners, freelancers, and consultants. Wave's software provides features including accounting, invoicing, billing, payment tracking, payroll management, ... Read more

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Happay

Happay is a cloud-based expense management solution that helps medium to large businesses manage and track expenses. It uses AI and machine learning technologies to automate processes related to expense claims management, reimburs... Read more

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QuickBooks Online Advanced

QuickBooks Online Advanced is a cloud-based accounting solution that helps small to large enterprises manage expenses, projects, invoices and more. It comes with a centralized dashboard, which enables users to gain insights into b... Read more

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TimeSolv Legal Billing

TimeSolv is a cloud-based legal time tracking and billing solution that caters to law firms, accountants, consultants, architects, and freelancers, helping them manage daily business operations. TimeSolv integrates project ma... Read more

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Deltek Vision

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 mana... Read more

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Zoho Books

Zoho Books is a cloud-based accounting solution suitable for small to midsized organizations. It features contact management, invoices, expenses, sales and purchase orders, project time tracking and inventory management. Zoho... Read more

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Zoho Invoice

Zoho Invoice is a cloud-based solution designed to help small businesses automate processes for tracking expenses and accepting online payments. Key features include project billing, time tracking, reporting/analytics, customizabl... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: June 7, 2021

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?