Project cost management software is one of the many tools to help you achieve project success. If you’re looking for one, this guide is right for you.
In over a decade as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned the impact of poor cost estimation and management the hard way.
The good news is that you don’t have to experience these challenges. I’ve done in-depth research on the best project cost management software, and today, I’ll share my absolute favorites.
- What Is The Best Project Cost Management Software?
- 1. Hubstaff – Top Pick
- 2. Bitrix24 – Best Value For Money
- 3. ARES PRISM – Most Features
- 4. Cleopatra Enterprise – Total Cost Management
- 5. 4castplus – Centralized Project Cost Control
- 6. mPower – Scalable Project Cost Management Solutions
- 7. UniPhi – Excellent Collaboration, Tracking, & Reporting
- 8. Sinnaps – Simple & Flexible
What Is The Best Project Cost Management Software?
Check out my top 3 picks: Hubstaff, Bitrix24, and ARES PRISM.
|Best overall. Forward-thinking budget planning. Streamlined payroll. Starts at $8.33/month.||Best value for money. For handling unlimited projects & expense tracking. Available for free.||Most features. Fully customizable project cost management software. Custom pricing.|
|Try Hubstaff||Try Bitrix24||Try ARES PRISM|
If you want to get complete control and visibility over your project budget, here are the best project cost management software you can use:
1. Hubstaff – Top Pick
Project Cost Management Software With Excellent Budgeting Solution [$8.33 a month/user]
Inaccurate estimation can negatively impact your overall profitability.
This is why I chose Hubstaff as my top pick. It provides you with all the insights you need to create smart and accurate estimates.
You can access and view all the insights in your dashboard.
A few of the insights you can find are listed as follows:
- Overall time your team spends per task
- Productivity metrics (app usage, activity rates, etc.)
- Remaining hours and budget per client or project
The best part of the dashboard is that it’s fully customizable.
You can add, move, and remove widgets so you can only see what matters the most for your project. One good example of a widget is the map.
The map widget displays and track all your active workers’ time and locations, job sites visited, and more.
It features zoom buttons to get a closer look at each location.
You can integrate your accounting software like QuickBooks and Gusto if you want more data.
Another robust feature of Hubstaff is budgeting.
Here, you can set up an accurate budget for each project – no importing of spreadsheets required. You can also set automatic alerts to prevent overruns.
Once everything is planned, you can start implementing the budget and track its performance.
You can generate reports to share with your team and clients. The reports are also an excellent tool for future planning.
Since Hubstaff is a time tracking and workforce management platform by inception, you can also use all these features:
- Time tracking
- Team management
- Streamlined payment and payroll
- GPS tracking
- Timesheet approvals
- Project portfolio
Pros And Cons Of Hubstaff
|No country restrictions||Complex integration and automation processes for payroll|
|Operate seamlessly even offline||May find glitches/bugs at times (it freezes or stops working unexpectedly)|
|It runs on macOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS.|
|Mobile apps (iOS and Android) feature GPS location tracking and geofencing functions.|
|Do not track IP addresses and record videos on your webcam/screen and sounds from the microphone.|
Hubstaff Pricing Plan
Hubstaff offers three products, and each is created with unique pricing plans (monthly and annual).
Here are the subscription plans that include project cost management features:
- Hubstaff Time: Time Pro ($8.33/user/mo.)
- Hubstaff Desk: Desk Pro ($8.33/user/mo.)
- Hubstaff Field: Desk & Field ($8.33/user/mo.)
All prices are set for an annual subscription that includes two months of free use. For enterprise owners, contact a sales representative to request a live demo.
2. Bitrix24 – Best Value For Money
Project Cost Management Software For Handling Unlimited Projects & Expense Tracking [Free]
When a company offers free software, some assume it contains basic functions. Bitrix24 changed the norm by providing free and functional project cost management software.
It may not be as feature-rich as Hubstaff, but it’s packed with all the necessary project cost control features.
First on the list is the project budget.
Its system allows you to add a budget per task and project through its custom field section.
Currently, there are five types of custom fields you can use:
- String characters: Ideal for storing email or web address
- True/False: Write any values that require a yes and no answer
- Number: Commonly used for inputting prices and quantity
Getting the correct estimates on how much time your contractor or employee needs to accomplish a project/task is also easy.
Bitrix24 provides a workload planning tool where you can create accurate estimates. Open the task you want to create an assessment and select the more button.
The first two project cost management tools I’ve discussed are accessible inside the web-based dashboard.
Its other tools are developed as independent applications (mobile and desktop). Expenses are the first app to highlight.
As its name implies, the Expenses app receives and tracks all expenses submitted by your employees (within the same department).
Here are the basic features included in the app:
- Register and record expenses
- Collate expenses to make insightful reports
- Submit reports for approval
You can use its Project Burnup Chart app to track project progress and completion.
It uses a simple formula to determine an exact estimate of your project completion. Here the said formula: (scope / (scope + median)) x project_interval.
Here’s what it means:
- Scope stands for the total number of tasks
- Median represents the median deviation from the project plan
- Project_interval provides the complete project span from start to deadline
The chart is color-coded and well-labeled to understand the insights presented quickly.
Lastly, the Billable hour app helps you accurately calculate the total billable hours. It’s a plus that it allows you to compare the actual cost and the amount you’ll bill the client.
Pros And Cons Of Bitrix24
|Offer two deployment options – cloud and on-premise (self-hosted) with open source code access.||The self-hosted version requires higher hard disk space (500 GB to 5 TB) and hardware specifications.|
|Provide comprehensive free online training courses (webinars, knowledge base, etc.)||Currently, the desktop app is only recommended to use on Google Chrome (version 80 or higher).|
|All teams (internal and external) can simultaneously manage multiple projects.|
|Recommended to use for field and remote work|
Bitrix24 Pricing Plan
Bitrix24 project cost management software is 100% free. So, you can use it anytime you need it.
You only need to purchase a commercial subscription plan when you need more advanced features from its project management product.
Here’s what you can expect from each plan – prices are set for annual billing:
- Free: All basic features include five GB of online storage space.
- Basic ($35/mo.): Allows you to manage an online store (100 orders), and 24 GB of online storage space is included.
- Standard ($70/mo.): Additional access to its marketing and online document features. Provide 100 GB of online storage space.
- Professional ($140/mo.): More advanced features are provided like sales intelligence, business process automation, and HR.
Bitrix24 also offers an on-premise edition that allows you to manage from 50 to an unlimited number of users.
Get to know about the offer by visiting its self-hosted web page.
3. ARES PRISM – Most Features
Project Cost Management Software For Managing Unlimited Control Accounts [Custom Pricing]
Compared to most project cost management software, ARES PRISM is proven to offer more effective tools.
It can perform all standard functionalities and processes, like:
- Resource planning
- Time-phased budgets to present cash flow plans
- Progress and performance measurement
- Cost and schedule analysis
- Risk tracking
- Funds allocation
- Forecasting and reporting
All these features capabilities are compiled into modules.
Of course, the company doesn’t limit the software to these functions. They added two unique features for utmost convenience – earned value management and change management.
Earned value management is the feature that helps you measure your project performance.
It comes with an early warning system to detect performance and productivity issues. You can use the system’s course corrections to identify the cause and create a corrective action plan.
On the other hand, change management works by managing and optimizing all changes throughout the project’s lifecycle.
It also promotes full transparency by providing open communication between your stakeholders.
The good news is that all ARES PRISM modules and deployment methods (cloud and on-premises) include this feature.
If you’re looking for advanced features, all modules included are designed for specific purposes:
- Contracts Management
- Field Management
Managing tons of features can be overwhelming and challenging to set up.
You can never feel this way with ARES PRISM because it requires thorough customization. You can deploy it based on your business size and the availability of your project data.
Let’s not forget its capacity to create unlimited control accounts.
This feature ensures you can organize all your project data based on the details you want to manage. It’s recommended to use for large projects or any projects that regularly handle high volumes of data.
Pros And Cons Of ARES PRISM
|Offer on-premise and in the cloud deployment options||A few bugs may arise at times.|
|Support multi-currency formats and several languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, French, etc.)||Estimation, docs, dashboard, and integration project modules are only available as an add-on.|
|It is fully equipped with various security features.|
|All features are organized as built-in modules (includes an online demo for quick learning)|
|Work to reduce risks by aligning project schedule and cost.|
ARES PRISM Pricing Plan
Request a demo or personalized pricing quote to get started with ARES PRISM.
4. Cleopatra Enterprise – Total Cost Management
Project Cost Management Software For Large Industrial Projects [Custom Pricing]
Stability and reliability is the primary advantage of Cleopatra Enterprise over its competitors. It has more than 25 years of providing powerful cost estimating, cost management, and benchmarking solutions.
The best part of this, all these solutions are created in one centralized system.
Cleopatra Enterprise is built on a database platform too. This is intended to ensure the information you’ve added/gathered is safely stored and accessible to all your stakeholders.
On top of that, it offers extensive integration with various business software like SAP and Excel to eliminate manual data handling and transfer.
Building rough estimates during the first phase of the project is crucial.
You have nothing to worry about because it uses parametric cost models. This model type builds detailed and precise estimates based on the project and its primary equipment items’ characteristics.
On the other hand, Cleopatra’s benchmarking solution tracks the project’s performance.
It provides you with tools to capture, extract, and track insightful project information that you can use for statistical analysis. You can use these features to identify any or all of the following:
- Trends in key cost ratios and drivers
- Compare common assets and projects performances
- Find projects that are likely to be considered ‘outliers.’
You can also use all information to enhance the accuracy of building future cost estimates.
A project cost management software wouldn’t be completed without cost control functions. As standard, it includes earned value management and time phasing functions.
The time phasing function allows you to track the specific project’s progress through time and compare it with the baseline schedule.
Not only will this keep you updated with your cash flow, but it also helps you prevent financial risks. The time phasing function is under the budgeting features.
To further prevent committing errors, this function is combined with cost estimation.
Together, they can make the estimating process more efficient and serve as a reliable basis for your project controls document.
Other features you can heavily rely on are listed as follows:
- Real-time dashboard and reports
- Variance analysis
- Change management
Pros And Cons Of Cleopatra Enterprise
|Built with a centralized database system||Compatible with limited business applications|
|Provide configurable dashboards that present live updates on cost reports, project performance, and more.||Pricey e-Learning courses cost €595 per module (certifications are included)|
|It is built with dedicated interfaces to seamlessly align with your business systems like Primavera P6 and SAP.|
|Extensive cost management tools that help you stay proactive|
|Support multi-currencies for budgeting and forecasting|
Cleopatra Enterprise Pricing Plan
Are you ready to get started with Cleopatra Enterprise? If the answer is yes, you can contact a sales representative and request an online demonstration.
5. 4castplus – Centralized Project Cost Control
Project Cost Management Software For Construction Projects [Custom Pricing]
4castplus is about streamlining your projects and programs using intuitive workflows and tools.
Like most project cost management software, it’s also built with a well-integrated and centralized platform. It organizes all its functions per purpose for optimal ease of use.
Its project control solution provides you with comprehensive reporting, dashboards, and analytics to guide you in making detailed and smart decisions.
It also comes with standard functions, like:
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Change order management
- Earned value management
It features a time phasing function.
Compared to Cleopatra Enterprises, this function is designed for cost estimation. The company connects it natively with its scheduling feature for seamless monitoring and planning of the following:
- Labor hours
One of its unique features is the advanced progress measurements.
As the name implies, this feature works by accurately measuring your project progress (individually). There are multiple methods available on how you can configure each project activity:
- Manual encoding
- Automatically by the system
- Or importing an external file
It also comes with a revenue recognition tool.
It’s designed with built-in logic to identify revenue quickly. Here’s the best part, you can feed the data you’ve gathered to the billing module (invoicing purposes).
4castplus is a project cost management software tailored for construction projects. Therefore, you can also use extensive tools for the following purposes:
- Construction procurement and subcontracting
- Field data capture and construction management
- Revenue management and cash flow planning
Pros And Cons Of 4castplus
|Provide project cost management solutions tailored for owners, contractors, engineering/EPCM, and professional services||Limited app options are available for integrations|
|Include useful customization tools for reports and dashboards||Only support construction projects (simple and complex)|
|Provide import alert to detect if WBS Type is incorrect/invalid||No available mobile app|
|Real-time visibility eliminates costly delays.|
4castplus Pricing Plan
From planning to execution, 4castplus’ smart solutions can streamline everything and lead to successful projects. Request a demo of this project’s cost management software to get started.
6. mPower – Scalable Project Cost Management Solutions
Project Cost Control & Performance Management Software [Custom Pricing]
mPower by Monitor isn’t your average project cost management software. It combines cost control and performance management solutions to provide more effective and scalable planning, budgeting, and forecasting.
Currently, its solutions are tailored for organizations with the following environments:
Monitor fully hosted this software for quick deployment.
You can also integrate your ERP systems to get comprehensive insights that you can use for creating reports.
Too much information can create confusion. This will never be a problem in mPower because each function comes with a unique dashboard.
Currently, there are ten dashboards available, and they are separated using tabs.
The standard dashboard you can access contains the overall summary of your project. You can view the current cost, forecast, and the percentage of the cost you’ve spent alongside the schedule (plan, forecast, and variance).
If you want to view the detailed version, click its dedicated tab.
Aside from cost and schedule performance, here are other dashboards you can access:
- Time admin
- Project management
- And manhour cost
Another robust feature of mPower is eForms.
You can digitize all your paperwork using your mobile device or tablet – from timesheets to work orders.
Pros And Cons Of mPower
|Easy to deploy and use (beginner-friendly interface)||There are times it lags or freezes.|
|Connect a wide range of databases using the i-connect tool|
|Budget dashboards include financial analytics to analyze better and understand project budgets and performance.|
|Provide unique solutions for business owners, directors, managers, and contractors|
mPower Pricing Plan
Request a demo today and learn its efficiency to solve various cost management and control problems.
7. UniPhi – Excellent Collaboration, Tracking, & Reporting
Easy-To-Use Project Cost Management Software [Custom Pricing]
UniPhi is a renowned company for building excellent web and mobile solutions tailored to project portfolio and program management.
Its main goal is to provide transparency of information and support all project work aspects. For cost management, it provides three major features:
- Track and manage expenditure, commitments, and forecasts
- Automated cash flow phasing and benchmarking
- Integrate and generate
Let’s focus on the first feature.
This works by collecting all the data you’ve gathered from your project and portfolio. Based on the insights provided, you can immediately detect and address critical issues in your project.
From there, you can make the necessary adjustments to resolve the issue.
Automation is a handy function to have. UniPhi further improves its design to guarantee its efficacy.
Not only does it saves you time for performing labor-intensive, manual tasks, but it also helps you:
- Make the cash flow phasing and benchmarking processes more efficient
- Minimizing the risk of human error
Creating a centralized hub for all your data is convenient.
All your stakeholders can access the data with ease anytime and anywhere. You can easily do so by integrating all accounting and visualization software.
This is the only business system available for cost management.
However, if you want to add more like your estimating and CRM software, you can use UniPhi’s API plugins. Once everything is well-connected, you can start building your very own centralized data hub.
Successfully doing so will help you generate detailed and precise reports within seconds.
Staying true to their promises (cover all aspects of project work), this project cost management software provides other functions, like:
- Document management
- Financial management
- Project collaboration
- Resource planning
- Time management
- Contract management
- Risk and issues management
Pros And Cons Of UniPhi
|Provide web and mobile applications (Android & iOS)||No current training courses are available on their website (tutorials on YouTube and blog are updated)|
|Mobile apps can operate even offline.||Helpdesk support via phone is only available for Australian users.|
|Benchmarking feature can compare one project to thousands of projects.|
|Connect your favorite CRM apps via RESTful APIs|
UniPhi Pricing Plan
Request a demo to learn how UniPhi’s project cost management software can streamline your business finances.
8. Sinnaps – Simple & Flexible
Project Cost Management Software For Complex Projects [Free | $2.50 a month/user]
Having feature-rich project cost management software is convenient, particularly when handling large and complex projects.
Unfortunately, most of these software platforms possess a steep learning curve. Sinnaps is one of the few software that remains simple and easy to use.
It provides you with all the tools (30) you need to manage your project cost.
The tools dedicated to cost management are designed to measure and identify your project’s bottlenecks, critical paths, and optimal workflow.
Since planning plays a vital role, it also includes tips on planning and creating estimates accurately. Don’t forget to establish your objectives because this will be the basis when planning and estimating costs.
You can start assigning resources, roles, and permissions once the planning and estimation are successfully completed.
During the implementation, you can compare resources to analyze their performance. Once you detect a problem, you can create possible solutions and simulate them in various scenarios.
The simulation is important to test out all the changes’ potential impact on your project before implementing them.
Sinnaps is more than project cost management software. You can use it for the following purposes:
- Predictive management
- Resource management
- Time control
And the list goes on.
Pros And Cons Of Sinnaps
|Ideal to use for measuring the overall or partial impact of your available resources.||No real-time human support via chat, phone, or email|
|The graphical web-based interface supports the English (UK) and Spanish languages.||Most of its training courses on YouTube are outdated (the last update is dated in 2020)|
|Provide tons of free online training courses (webinar, ebooks, help center, etc.) for new users with additional personal follow-up via phone throughout the year.||Only support Android devices for the mobile app.|
Sinnaps Pricing Plan
Sinnaps’ simplicity is also reflected in its pricing models. Currently, it’s offered in two monthly/annual subscription plans.
You can get started with a free-forever plan to streamline your simple projects.
You can handle up to 10 projects in your account and add 20 people for each project. Free online courses and training are provided for easy deployment and use.
If you’re working with multiple projects simultaneously, the per-user plan is recommended.
As the subscription plan’s name implies, you will charge a fixed monthly rate per user you’ve added. Here are the perks you can get:
- All 30 functionalities
- Manage unlimited projects
- Add unlimited team members
- And quality support via chat
This plan is offered at a low price of $2.50 a month.
Join for free today and explore Sinnaps functionalities up close.
There are tons of project cost management software in the market today. If I have to choose the best, I’ll go with my top pick, Hubstaff.
It’s affordable, comprehensive, and easy to use.
It also offers a seamless connection with all its agile project management tools (Hubstaff Tasks) to keep you and your operations productive. For added convenience, you can track time through its apps:
- Web browsers (Chrome)
Hubstaff is HIPAA, GDPR, and SOC-2 compliant.