15 Best Accounting Software for Architects and Designers in 2022

Accounting software may make your work as an architect simpler or more difficult, depending on how it is implemented.

Architects, project management, city planners, and professionals face a never-ending barrage of administrative duties, which is easy to become bogged down.

Your creativity will soon be extinguished due to the burden of managing your finances, including quotations, invoices, receipts, and so on.

Why Is It Important to Keep Track of Architects and Designer’s Accounting?

Success in your architecture company needs something beyond generating stunning designs. It also demands strong financial management.

Even though most architects and designers would prefer to spend their time producing their artworks instead of calculating figures, they must keep track of their finances in a certain manner since they offer a distinct service.

The following is a list of the top software for architects and designers, in which any successful people in this industry should consider their armory of financial tools.

1. FreshBooks ($15 – $50 & Quotation Based Per Month)

With FreshBooks, architectural and design firms of any size may get powerful and scalable accounting software. Keeping tabs on your data in the cloud, even the smallest of business transactions is a breeze when you use FreshBooks to manage your relationships with independent contractors.

Managing construction projects, doing site evaluations, and doing fieldwork are all made easier with the FreshBooks mobile app.

All your data is synchronized across your account, other users activating your account, including your company accountant, and via the mobile app. The software supports all platforms and devices.

Key Features:

  • Architecture and design service providers may impress potential customers by creating bespoke invoices, estimations, quotations, and proposal templates.
  • Allow team members to work together on on-site projects, track their own time, and submit timesheets.
  • Payments made by credit card and digital payment platforms such as Stripe and Apple Pay are made safely online.
  • Automating the monitoring of project hours and the dispatching of payment reminders.
  • Mobile and desktop applications are ready to be downloaded.

Pros of FreshBooks for Architects and Designers:

FreshBooks offers numerous advantages tailored to the specific needs of architects and designers, making it an excellent accounting software choice for professionals in this field:

  1. Easy to use: FreshBooks’ user-friendly design ensures that even architects and designers without accounting experience can navigate the software effortlessly. The intuitive interface streamlines accounting tasks, saving time and reducing the learning curve.
  2. Project management tools: FreshBooks provides built-in project management tools that aid architects and designers in tracking their projects effectively. These tools simplify project monitoring and billing, making it convenient for professionals managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  3. Time tracking: FreshBooks’ time tracking features enable architects and designers to log their work hours accurately, ensuring precise client billing. This helps ensure they are adequately compensated for all the time invested in their projects.
  4. Invoicing: FreshBooks simplifies the process of creating and sending invoices to clients. The software offers customizable invoice templates, and professionals can track the status of their invoices, knowing when they have been paid.
  5. Payment processing: With integration support for various payment processors, FreshBooks enables architects and designers to accept online client payments. This enhances payment convenience for clients and minimizes the risk of late payments.
  6. Reporting: FreshBooks offers various reporting tools that help architects and designers track their finances and evaluate their business performance. These valuable insights enable informed decision-making to improve their business operations.
  7. Cloud-based: Being a cloud-based software, FreshBooks allows architects and designers to access their accounts from anywhere with an internet connection. This flexibility benefits professionals who work remotely or need to manage their finances from multiple locations.

Cons of FreshBooks for Architects and Designers

While FreshBooks offers various benefits for architects and designers, there are some limitations that professionals in this field should consider:

  1. Limited features: FreshBooks may need certain features that some architects and designers require for their specific needs. For instance, it may not include functionalities for inventory management, project budgeting, or timesheets, which could be essential for some firms.
  2. No double-entry accounting: FreshBooks does not support double-entry accounting, a standard accounting method many businesses use. The absence of this feature may make it challenging for architects and designers to track financial transactions and generate comprehensive reports accurately.
  3. Limited user capacity: FreshBooks restricts the number of users to one per account, which can be restrictive for architectural or design firms with multiple employees involved in financial management. This limitation may hinder collaboration and lead to inefficiencies in financial tasks.
  4. Expensive: For architectural or design firms that deal with numerous transactions or require multiple users, the cost of FreshBooks may become a significant expense. The pricing structure could strain the firm’s budget, mainly if they requires more advanced features or additional user accounts.

2. QuickBooks ($25 – $180 Per Month) 

QuickBooks is hosted in the cloud and utilized by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across all sectors, including construction, architectural design, and urban planning.

Using QuickBooks Online as your accounting software is excellent if you run a small architectural and design company.

You may use a class function in QuickBooks to monitor these multiple projects and conduct job costing to see which upcoming projects will generate a profit and how much each job costs.

Key Features:

  • Automated statements or payment reminders
  • Personalized invoices for architectural and design services
  • Several users may access the same company data from multiple platforms using the same account.
  • QuickBooks Enterprise has gotten better at keeping track of inventory
  • Both mobile and desktop versions of the application are supported.

​​​​Pros of QuickBooks for Architects and Designers:

QuickBooks offers a plethora of advantages for architects and designers, making it an exceptional accounting software solution tailored to their specific needs:

  1. Feature-rich: QuickBooks boasts a comprehensive array of features that can be customized to suit the unique requirements of architects and designers. This includes functionalities for project management, invoicing, time tracking, inventory management, and reporting, ensuring a well-rounded toolset to manage their financial tasks efficiently.
  2. Easy to use: QuickBooks’ user-friendly interface caters to individuals without accounting experience, ensuring seamless navigation through the software. The intuitive design simplifies accounting processes, saving time and effort for architects and designers.
  3. Cloud-based: Being a cloud-based software, QuickBooks allows architects and designers to access their accounts from any location with internet connectivity. This level of accessibility proves advantageous for professionals working remotely or requiring access to their accounts from various sites.
  4. Integrations: QuickBooks seamlessly integrates with other business applications, including project management software, CRM software, and payment processors. This integration capability streamlines business processes, increases efficiency, and saves valuable time for architects and designers.
  5. Support: QuickBooks provides excellent customer support through various channels, such as phone support, email support, and online resources. This robust support system ensures prompt assistance for any queries or issues arising while using the software.
Related article  15 Best Accounting Software For Nonprofits in 2022

​​Cons of QuickBooks for Architects and Designers:

While QuickBooks offers numerous advantages for architects and designers, there are some potential drawbacks that professionals in this field should be aware of:

  1. Price: QuickBooks can be relatively expensive, particularly for architectural and design firms that require multiple user accounts or deal with a high volume of transactions. The pricing structure may pose budgetary challenges for some businesses.
  2. Complexity: QuickBooks’ extensive range of features and functionalities may result in a steeper learning curve, especially for architectural and design firms with complex financial needs. The software’s complexity could require additional time and effort to grasp and utilize its capabilities fully.
  3. Customization: QuickBooks may not be as customizable as other accounting software options available. For architectural and design firms with unique needs and workflows, the limited customization may hinder their ability to tailor the software to their specific requirements.
  4. Data security concerns: In the past, there have been reported security concerns with QuickBooks. While Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, takes measures to address security issues, architects and designers must prioritize data security and consider these concerns when choosing an accounting software solution.

3. Plooto ($25 Per Month)

A cloud-based platform called Plooto helps architectural and design businesses manage their accounts receivable and payable operations on a national and worldwide scale by bringing payments, procedures, control, and reporting under a single umbrella of integrated management.

Plooto is compatible with cloud accounting applications, such as QuickBooks Online. By automating your cash flow management, you obtain complete control and insight into the cash flow management process.

Almost all of a design firm’s expenditures revolve around permits, plan reviews, inspections, and the review of design and impact charges, so be careful to set up separate spending accounts in QuickBooks for each of these activities.

Key Features:

  • Cut down on the number of touchpoints that each transaction requires.
  • Streamline payment processes.
  • Reconciliation in a computerized system
  • Payout tracking in real-time
  • Payments must be reviewed and approved before they may be transmitted.
  • Integration with both QuickBooks and Xero
  • Mobile application is supported.

Pros:

  • Work with your architectural firm to create scalable workflows
  • Invest more time and energy into building your company and less time into handling your payments.
  • Reduces the stress of dealing with unpaid invoices
  • Simplifies the process of cash flow management.

Cons:

  • Availability of live customer service is not always guaranteed
  • Need for improvement in the areas of reporting and the overall user experience
  • Desktop applications are not ready-to-use.

4. Rotessa ($16 Per Month)

Rotessa is a cloud-based platform for pre-authorized debits that automatically enables you to charge your customer’s bank account for all invoices. Your client’s account may be debited, and the funds sent immediately into yours.

Suppose you’re working on an architectural project that involves a huge amount of billings, invoicing systems, timely transactions, or all of the above. In that case, Rotessa is your best option for payment processing.

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-use interface for the end-user
  • Monthly or subscription payments
  • Payments made in person
  • Automated systems may be integrated using the API.
  • Synchronize with QuickBooks Online through the cloud
  • Processing of ACH Transactions.

Pros:

  • Free charge at the start, and payments are made monthly depending on the number of transactions.
  • Transactions should be automatically scheduled depending on the totals of invoices.
  • Exceptional customer service from the company.
  • They are streamlining the payment process and eliminating the need to hold onto initiation from clients’ payments.

Cons:

  • Funds take some time (5 days) to be deposited into our account
  • No download is available for both desktop and mobile versions of applications.

5. Xero ($12 – $65 Per Month)

Xero is cloud-based accounting software designed for independent architects and architectural firms. It is an incredible cross-platform application that assists business owners in gaining a comprehensive perspective of their business’s financial position.

The software allows users to save a significant amount of time, energy, and money when examining their accounting procedures. In addition, monitoring your funds is accessible from any device with straightforward invoicing.

Key Features:

  • “What if” setups & 401(k) tracing
  • Automatic billing & invoicing
  • Approval process control for architect firms
  • Client database
  • Can be accessed via a mobile app.

Pros:

  • Suitable for small to medium-sized architecture businesses
  • Financial data can be shared across Lever, Synergy Practice Management, WorkflowMax, and other platforms
  • Allow users to examine their cash flows in real time with extra mobility.
  • Have mobile apps.

Cons:

  • Inadequate tracking categories
  • Invoice or inventory management is not incorporated with Shopify
  • The bank feed occasionally misses out on transactions without users’ consent
  • No desktop app.

6. TimeSolv Legal ($35.95 – $39.95 Per Month)

TimeSolv is a tracking and billing tool designed specifically for consultants, architects, and freelancers. Reporting, billing, expense tracking, receipt scanning, and other services are available on this cloud-based platform.

You can use TimeSolv to automate the production of typical papers. Accurate and rapid invoicing, cost monitoring, time tracking, project management, and reporting are the most important aspects of this software.

Related article  10 Best Accounting Software for Amazon Sellers in 2023

Web-based solutions like this have made it easier for businesses of all sizes to boost billable time and be paid faster, no matter where they are.

Key Features:

  • Accounting & activity dashboard
  • Billing, invoicing, & forecasting for your architect or design business
  • Client portal management
  • “What if” scenarios, reporting & analytics
  • Available through mobile and desktop apps.

Pros:

  • Can keep track of time and expenditures from the client’s standpoint
  • The integrated automatic invoicing function
  • Reduce billing time and expenditures by capturing more billable time
  • Simple-to-use and attentive onboarding

Cons:

  • Users must input invoices information manually
  • The UI is clumsy in comparison to other software
  • Important functions are not available on all account levels

7. Dext Prepare ($20 – $60 Per Month)

Dext Prepare is a cloud-based accounting software tool that allows architects and designers to control their spending and assign them to the appropriate tasks.

Since charges must be correctly documented and allocated by architecture companies, this software’s invoices use OCR technology, distributing them to relevant tasks.

Additionally, Dext Prepare can help you manage and optimize your accounts payable process to ensure everyone is paid on time.

Key Features:

  • General ledger & financial reporting
  • Budgeting & forecasting
  • Payroll management for your design teams
  • Purchase order management
  • Have desktop and mobile devices.

Pros:

  • Adaptable AI software for architects
  • Users can tell which credit or debit card was used on a given receipt with OCR detection
  • Users can link the receipt payment to the correct bank account in your accounting software.

Cons:

  • OCR processing time is a bit slow
  • Doesn’t integrate well with some banks
  • Issues with multi-level authorization processes.

8. Bluebeam Revu ($349 – $599 Per Seat)

Bluebeam Revu is a cloud accounting software that lets design companies and architects see the full picture of their business’s project management efficiently and effectively.

Thanks to this program’s powerful features, PDF files can now be marked up, taken off, organized, and collaborated on like never before. With such built-in features, users in these sectors may get their work done swiftly.

Architectural, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and energy enterprises need this essential software.

Key Features:

  • 3D Imaging & assembly takeoff
  • Electronic plans & status tracking
  • Digital signature but offline access
  • File management & issue tracking
  • Subcontractor management
  • Have desktop & mobile apps.

Pros:

  • Easy for pilots with fast and precise takeoffs
  • Resolving problems promptly
  • Streamline the process of organising and exporting documents to a specific folder.
  • Facilitates takeoff measurements with the best PDF reading experience.

Cons

  • The solution’s speed is sluggish and occasionally hangs
  • Lacks the ability to integrate with internal systems dynamically
  • Need deep learning curve.

9. BigTime ($10 – $40 Per Month)

Cloud-based BigTime is developed to handle tasks, billing, and tracking professional services management. Design, architects, advertising agencies, and law firms are among the few organizations that can benefit from this software.

It’s perfect for companies that provide professional services, such as accounting, engineering, and IT. A task will be completed shortly at your fingertips.

The tool helps keep projects on track regarding both timeliness and cost.

Key Features:

  • Accounting, activity tracking & alerts
  • Automatic billing and time capture
  • Billable & non-billable hours
  • Design and architect business process automation
  • Customizable timesheets
  • Have desktop and mobile apps.

Pros:

  • Users can restrict access to timesheet data to protect sensitive information
  • Smooth lookups, user-driven defaults, and configurable displays
  • Intuitive timesheets tracking software for your design team
  • Real-time resource allocations view
  • Flexible and fast billing rates
  • Standardized workflows to boost correct procedure.

Cons:

  • Cannot import projects from other programs or sources
  • Invoices can’t be sent to numerous people in one email
  • Unsupported keystroke monitoring
  • QuickBooks does not support exporting and syncing invoice information.

10. BQE CORE Suite (Quotation Based)

The cloud of BQE CORE Legal is a collection of management tools that can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. You must integrate your front and back-office processes to inspect your clients’ anticipation.

The software improves productivity and profitability by seamlessly monitoring and delegating tasks. In addition, data input and real-time changes are made easier with business and artificial intelligence adoption.

Billing procedures at BQE Core remain well. These professionals provide many support services to their clients. Projects for contractors and architects, matters for attorneys, or engagements for consultants surely need this software.

Key Features:

  • Automatic billing, invoicing & time capture
  • Accounting records & activity tracking for your architect or design process
  • Billing, invoicing, budgeting & forecasting
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Mobile & desktop app.

Pros:

  • A valuable tool for professional service firms to record project costs and time spent on numerous cases, clients, and projects.
  • Inspect your expenditure reports while you are operating your business
  • Import time from excel spreadsheet and export invoices to LEDES format.

Cons:

  • Some aspects of the program are too complex that need extra practice before you get the hang of it.
  • Need a great learning curve.

11. Monograph ($40 Per Month)

Monograph is a cloud-based solution for designers, architects, and engineers to monitor all aspects of the project lifecycle. By using this software, designers can plan budgets and other resources, monitor recurring expenses, or track task performances.

Project designers or managers can use a unified interface to develop and manage their projects’ budgets, resources, and schedules. Accounting, budget analysis, reporting, time management, monitoring of milestones, work distribution, real-time expenditure management, and other functions are available.

Related article  15 Best Accounting Software For Advertising Agencies, Digital Marketing, and Media 2022

Key Features:

  • Offers relevant accounting solutions for designers, engineers, and architects
  • Reporting is an essential tool for project managers
  • Also has a budget allocation
  • Provides project and resources planning and management
  • Enables visual project progress and milestones
  • Project updates and invoicing

Pros:

  • Fully cloud-based solutions for supporting a designer’s project
  • Scheduling, timesheets, invoicing, and budgeting for your project all in one simple platform
  • Responsive customer services
  • Easy-to-use and helpful tools

Cons:

  • Cannot allow specific access for taskers
  • No available for desktop and mobile app downloads

12. Projectworks (Quotation Based)

Projectworks is a fully-featured and cloud-based business management solution developed for designers, architects, consultants, and other software firms.

There are a number of benefits to Projectworks, including the project tracking from commencement to completion and precisely anticipated income. In addition, users can use this software to connect project budgets to balances with third-party financial institutions for any cost tracking.

Key Features:

  • Provides budget management and expense tracking
  • Leaves requests and deadline tracking are available
  • Invoicing and billing
  • Budget and labor forecasting
  • Controlling the Approval Process
  • A mobile app is available to download

Pros:

  • Simplified interface for designers
  • Observing existing as well as expected profits and losses of projects
  • Secured and customized reports
  • Resolving, managing project costs, monitoring time, and forecasting problems for projects charged at hourly pay

Cons:

  • Leaves requests are manual
  • Not supporting desktop apps.

13. Synergy Practice Management ($10 – $44 Per Month)

Synergy Practice Management is a cloud-based software for architects and designers that provides accounting solutions for project management. This accounting tool has several fundamental features, such as invoicing, reporting, monitoring, and document management for designers.

Furthermore, Synergy is a project management tool that organizes documentation into a single location, connects contacts to specific projects, and lets users create detailed structures to distribute resources or tasks.

Key Features:

  • Revenue forecasting
  • Budget planning feature
  • Invoicing multi-currencies
  • Provides a clear view of business importance
  • Allow breakdown work structures for improving projects

Pros:

  • Responsive customer services
  • Ideal accounting tools for designers
  • Give a clearer view of project management
  • Professional invoicing and tracking

Cons:

  • It May require small training for beginners
  • Cannot download both desktop and mobile versions of applications.

14. NetSuits ($999 – $3,000 Per Month)

NetSuits is a cloud-based accounting solution for architects and designers that enables real-time insight of financial operation and performance with the right configuration. This precise data enables you to address challenges impeding the project’s development.

With NetSuits, it will control your company’s financial situation so that the transition to NetSuite can go off without a problem. Also, the tool maximizes the effectiveness of reporting data by optimization.

Key Features:

  • Designers can integrate with many apps
  • CRM and other financial modules
  • Also provides management and procurement features as add-ons
  • The mobile app is available for instant download.

Pros:

  • Big US corporates also utilize this software
  • Excellent accounting solution for architects and designers who are looking to expand the business or joint ventures
  • Multi-service ERP system providers
  • Exceptionally resilient and adaptable in every way

Cons:

  • System sometimes works slowly
  • Desktop application is not provided.

15. Unanet AE ( Quotation Based)

Unanet AE is purposefully built for ERP for designers and architects. Also, the software is a cloud-based system designed to monitor real-time data, data-driven, and insights for sustainable project development.

Furthermore, the software has a robust analytic dashboard, enabling architects better control real-time data. Unanet is the only software that can connect with a lot of apps.

Key Features:

  • Features collaborative KPIs
  • Personalizes project views
  • Streamline resource and budget allocation
  • Flexible scheduling
  • All desktop and mobile apps are available.

Pros:

  • Best for ERP and CRM
  • Flexible platforms that allow easy integration
  • Convenient user-interface
  • Allows integration of all business aspects

Cons:

  • Might not generate up-to-date reports
  • Certain timesheets and interfaces are a bit out of date.

Buying Guides To Choose The Best Accounting Software For Architects and Designers

Based on the information above, users may decide to select the finest and most reliable cloud-based solution that will suit designers or architects.

Track Project by Project

Not all designing assignments can be completed in a single phase. It may take months or years for the project completion.

On top of that, either individual designers or architect firms, will all have a lot of project commitments at the same time. Since each project is complicated, it is not easy to keep track of every little detail for all the assignments.

This complicated business problem could be solved by having a solution for tracking projects.

Keep a Record of Critical Project Events

An additional component of managing project finances is fulfilling timelines. Individuals or companies should consider having the best software for tracking deadlines when choosing a cloud-based system for architects and designers.

Generally, the financial clearance of each project is determined by how quickly each phase can be accomplished. However, it also depends on the contract agreement.

Record-Keeping Excellence

The end purpose of any accounting solution designed specifically for architects is to assist in the maintenance of perfect records for the organization.

At any given time, managers should have access to accurate financial information about their entire firm and each specific project. On top of that, the reports should also be tailored to the company’s needs.

Cash Flow Management

Cash flow is the essential factor during project implementation. Costs, staff, outsourcing, or contractors are all needed to get their payment on time following the timesheets.

As a result, picking and utilizing the most suitable accounting software tool will be the first priority for designers or firms. In addition, the software enables users to monitor cash flow as well as forecast the projected cash flow that needs to be reimbursed.