There comes a time in every startup’s lifecycle when spreadsheet wizardry and documents no longer cut it.
As the business expands, logging activities like ongoing projects, billable hours and customer invoices requires hours of manual work at best. At worst, it can lead to unwieldy spreadsheets that quickly get out of sync, causing missed deadlines, late invoices and poor customer experiences.
Enter business management software. These are tools designed to help companies automate and manage their core business processes, such as accounting, HR, project management, sales, marketing and supply chain management.
Top Business Management Software
Some tools specialize in one of those core areas and often integrate with other platforms. This allows users to add to their suite of business management tools over time and address specific needs.
Then there are enterprise resource planning tools, which encompass all the services in one offering. These reduce the need to maintain multiple subscriptions and train users on different interfaces, but they can also be complex to maintain.
To help you figure out which tools are right for your company, we compiled a list of some of the top business management software available.
Top Business Management Software
As your company grows, keeping track of ongoing projects and staying on top of deadlines only becomes more complicated. Asana is a business management software that specializes in helping managers keep each project and task organized. To do so, the platform allows users to organize projects by stage, assign tasks to different team members and aggregate all important project details onto one page. Users can also create rules to automate common tasks like work assignment, build projects from pre-designed templates and approve next steps with a click of a button. Asana also integrates with more than 200 platforms — including Slack, Google Drive and Jira — making it a flexible software in your business management suite.
Another project management software, Avaza’s platform covers everything from project planning and execution to time tracking and invoicing. Users can track their current projects via a color-coded dashboard that’s divided up into ongoing stages. From there, they can see each person’s schedule and time spent on each project, track billable time and send customer quotes and invoices upon execution. Users can also run reports on staff performance, project profitability and uninvoiced time and expenses. Avaza connects with more than 500 applications, including Slack, DropBox and Google Drive, and offers scaled pricing based on team size, starting with a free version for small teams.
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all your business management needs, Bitrix24 might be the tool for you. The platform comes with a suite of tools that cover collaboration, project management, customer relationship management, social media and website development. Its collaboration and task tools are designed with remote teams in mind, offering chat and video conferencing tools to make it easier for employees to coordinate on an assignment. Its website builder is also designed to be simple to use, providing drag and drop tools that allow users to create a company landing page without any coding experience. Bitrix24 offers a free tool to start and then increases in pricing based on user and company needs.
BlueBox stands out among other business management software for its flexibility and customizability. Its enterprise resource planning software allows companies to integrate their business into a single system, with features that help firms manage inventory, sales, product procurement and marketing. Its voucher management system product focuses on helping win back customers through vouchers, customer surveys and tracking where each former customer is in their journey. The platform also offers a custom option, in which its team of developers will create a platform that suits your company’s needs. Both products are also modular, which means customers can pick and pay for the features they need.
BQE Core is a business management software best suited for firms that deliver projects for other companies, including architecture firms, engineers and consulting groups. Its tool suite covers everything from project execution to time tracking to billing and internal HR. On the business side, users can manage multiple contracts by type (like hourly, fixed fee, unit cost and so on), automate billing and set up recurring invoices. The platform allows users to manage and optimize their employee benefits, get real-time monitoring of project activities and costs, and set pre-populated time sheets to reduce the manual load of time entries.
Deskera is an all-in-one business management software designed to reduce the need for other work management tools. The platform covers everything from accounting to customer relationship management to HR support making it useful for early stage companies and startups. The accounting tool allows users to control inventory, run financial reports and complete audits, while its customer relationship management tool allows managers to run email marketing campaigns, automate lead generation and configure sales pipelines. Finally, users can manage their payroll through its HR feature. Deskera can also grow with your company, offering a slimmed down startup option and scaling to a more advanced suite of tools with its professional offering.
Holded is an enterprise resource planning software created with small and medium-sized businesses in mind. The platform includes a comprehensive tool suite that covers accounting, project management, collaboration, inventory and customer relationship management to help founders get their startup running and stay organized. Features include the ability to automate invoices, manage projects and delegate tasks through its kanban board and run reports on expenses. Apps like Shopify, PayPal and Square also sync with Holded, enabling users to manage their inventory, receipts and business in one place.
HoneyBook is another platform that comes equipped with all the features a small business founder needs to run their company. Those include project management, invoicing, online payment portals and scheduling tools with a focus on helping managers take a project from inquiry to payment. To that end, users can track projects based on the stage of partnership, with categories like inquiry, meeting, proposal signed and retainer paid. Each project includes a homepage where users can access all relevant documents from contracts to client communication to invoices. Managers can use templates to create custom invoices in seconds, add line items with a click and set up automatic discounts and tax calculation. HoneyBook also offers product tutorials for new users and advanced training to make its platform more accessible.
Keeping track of all of the different tasks, comments and deadlines required to deliver a project can easily get out of control. Infinity’s project management software aims to help users stay organized so they don’t miss important steps and are able to keep projects on track. The platform offers a variety of structures to organize projects including in table, list, calendar and Gantt (akin to a timeline view) forms. Within each project, users can track details in folders and subfolders to reduce clutter. They can also filter projects by launch date, budget or status to quickly run status checks and reports. Unlike other platforms that require annual subscriptions to use, Infinity offers a one-time payment plan that grants users lifetime access.
Another work management platform, Monday.com stands out for giving users the ability to organize and structure tasks based on different departments. Since each profession has different workflows in how it delivers projects, users can select templates for roles like HR, sales or software development to organize their work. Software engineers, for example, can organize tasks via a project roadmap chart, spring retrospective page or features, and release roadmaps. An HR team can build recruitment pipelines, employee engagement surveys and onboarding processes via Monday.com. There are also opportunities to organize workflows around different industries and business sizes. Finally, users can set automation rules — like, “When a person is assigned a task, notify me” — to streamline processes and make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
NetSuite is a cloud-based business management platform that covers a wide range of services from accounting to customer relationships to project management, to name a few. Its accounting software allows users to automate invoicing, process payments and manage their taxes. Its customer relationship management app suite includes the ability to calculate pricing quotes and integrate sales, and its project management suite enables users to track project statuses, manage resources and calculate expenses. Users can tap into individual features or sign up for all of them via its enterprise resource planning platform. NetSuite also allows users to configure the platform to suit their company’s needs, automate processes and download additional applications from NetSuite’s in-house app marketplace.
Odoo stands out from other business management software solutions for its suite of apps that allows users to customize the platform to their needs. Instead of offering set features in one platform, Odoo operates like an app marketplace and hub. Users can choose among dozens of apps that all integrate with one another to build their own platform. Options range from a customer relationship management and point of sale app to inventory tracking and invoicing apps. Users can also develop their own app with its Odoo Studio tool, making it a flexible platform for all businesses.
Plutio is designed to help companies deliver projects and get paid for their work. The platform includes all of the key features a business needs in a business management tool, including the ability to track time and project statuses, create branded proposals and send invoices. For companies with a global customer base, Plutio supports over 20 different languages and multiple different currencies. The platform also provides a client portal where users can view data on tasks in progress, billable time, paid invoices and more, at a glance. If you’re new to business management software, users can hire a Plutio expert in their industry to assist with onboarding. They can also connect with a community of other users through Plutio’s Facebook group to ask questions, share feedback and exchange ideas.
ProofHub is a project management tool that is noted in product reviews for its simplicity and ease of use. Rather than providing a wide range of accounting features to go along with its project management tools, the focus here is on helping managers stay organized and on top of deadlines. Users can create custom workflows to fit each team’s needs, assign tasks and log time spent on a project. It also provides tools like discussion boards, chat rooms and digital project approval to facilitate remote teams. Employees can also filter data to view their tasks, milestones and project details. While ProofHub may not have as many features as other tools, it does integrate with major apps like Quickbooks, Slack and Google Drive.
QuickBooks is an accounting software developed by Intuit that specializes in helping SMBs manage payroll and get paid for their work. Its core services allows users to track billable hours, send invoices and run reports to view company financials. But it also offers a streamlined version of its platform to help new businesses get started and access to a bookkeeper for instant assistance. Self-employed freelancers can take advantage of its GPS tracking to calculate mileage. It also offers tools to help users organize receipts and make the daunting process of filing business taxes simpler.
As an end-to-end business management software, Scoro allows consulting groups and professional service firms to organize their projects, bill hours and track their revenue and expenses all in one place. Users can track project progress via a real-time Gantt chart, get a detailed breakdown of project profitability and productivity and set predefined service rates for easy billing. Scoro also allows users to run reports to evaluate things like project risk areas and bottlenecks to improve their services. Scoro also plays well with other work management software, integrating with tools like QuickBooks, GoogleDrive and Zapier.
Striven provides an all-in-one business management tool that aims to make it easier for managers to track and manage their work from start to finish. The platform includes a wide range of features in addition to the typical workflow management and accounting tools. Users can address customer concerns via its customer service hub, run custom customer surveys and manage subcontractors. They can also customize the platform based on industry to solve specific needs. For example, its IT services version allows users to set up email-to-ticket automation, offer live customer chat, and manage ticketing and scheduling. Striven also offers implementation guides and walkthroughs to help users get up and running on its platform.
From customer management to time tracking and invoicing, SuiteDash has you covered as an all-in-one business management software. Through its platform, users can expect common business-management features like the ability to track projects, share files via cloud storage, automate booking and send proposals. But it also includes a comprehensive client portal where users can create online courses for customers, exchange messages and automate onboarding. SuiteDash has earned high marks for its ease of use and quality of support, according to reviews on the software review website G2.
Project management and task automation are the calling cards for this business management software. Similar to other productivity tools, users can track the status of ongoing projects via a calendar, timeline or table view, assign tasks and click on each card to view all feedback and communication. Trello also offers a no-code automation tool called Butler, which allows users to automate actions like moving lists, create custom buttons to streamline processes, schedule assignments and reveal upcoming deadlines. The software also integrates with productivity tools like Confluence, Slack and Google Drive.
Whatever your business management needs are, Zoho likely has you covered. The company offers six different platforms that include customer relationship management, finance, workplace productivity, HR, IT and marketing. Each one hosts a suite of applications customers can choose from. The CRM platform, for instance, includes a sales intelligence app, marketing automation and commerce tracking. Its IT platform has a password vault, a ticketing app and a domain toolkit. And its productivity platform contains meeting tools, scheduling calendar, a sprint app and more. Customers can select any number of product suites and apps to run their business, making it a useful platform for any company looking to reduce its reliance on multiple, third-party applications to manage their business.