Accelo Review

by Accelo, Inc.last updated October 26th, 2020
4.3/5
starting from$39
Layer 1
Offers free trial

RESULTS Score

4.3/5
Lydia Pang

reviewed by

Lydia Pang

Pros

Offers a free trial for 14 days
Good for team scheduling
Strong collaboration features
In-depth resource management features
Highly customizable and intuitive

Cons

No in-built messaging
Lack of Agile tools
Not suited for large businesses

Overview

Accelo is a cloud-based business service management tool that helps companies boost productivity and profitability by automating and streamlining business operations. It brings together all aspects of professional services, including sales and project management, within a single platform. Accelo offers an extensive selection of tools for planning projects, tracking profitability, and managing client work. It is used in industries such as human resources, public relations, information technology, and more.

Though Accelo does not offer in-built messaging, this can be compensated for with a Slack integration. It also does support Agile frameworks such as Scrum and issue-tracking, so IT teams will have to consider other alternatives. At the end of the day, Accelo is an ideal fit for companies that require a powerful automation tool. 

In this Accelo review, we will explore project management features, pricing, ease of use, add ons, and more.

Accelo Review Screenshot

What is Accelo?

Accelo is a professional services automation platform that helps teams run and manage their projects and client work. Founder Geoff McQueen started Accelo in 2011, with the aim of helping small to medium-sized businesses automate their businesses. After working in a digital agency, McQueen wanted to develop a system that fully integrated different business operations such as sales, billing, and scheduling all in one place. 

Today, Accelo is used in over 86 countries worldwide, including the United States, UK, France, Germany, China, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Croatia, Mexico, and Australia.

Facts and Figures

Employees90
Founded2011
FounderGeoff McQueen
Headquarters530 Howard St. San Francisco, California
CEOGeoff McQueen

Accelo Project Management Features

Accelo offers an extensive selection of features to help businesses manage priorities and deadlines, as well as keep track of schedules and budgets. Teams can plan projects with Accelo’s Gant charts and task management features, which includes a recurring task scheduler and drag-and-drop functionality. Users can also share comments and feedback via the activity stream and collaborate with clients using the Client portal. Finally, with Accelo’s resource management features, project managers can plan budgets, manage expenses, and monitor the team’s workloads.

Project Planning

Accelo makes planning projects simple. With Gantt charts, teams can view the bigger picture of their projects’ timelines, task dependencies, and milestones. Customized workflows enable teams to increase their efficiency within the workplace. Accelo also offers numerous project templates to jumpstart projects, such as retainer templates and quote templates. Project managers can create and assign tasks, as well as toggle between different task views.

How do other options score for project planning?

Gantt Charts

Accelo features the Gantt chart tool, which provides a high-level overview of project timelines and tasks. The Gantt chart also displays budgets, deadlines, dependencies, and more. By clicking on a task and dragging it to another, teams can quickly create a dependency. The red number that appears above a milestone or task also gives a real-time count of days and duration planned for that specific task and can be altered by extending the bar. 

Task Management

In Accelo, teams can create tasks, assign tasks, and view tasks by status. Users can also toggle between different task views such as Deadlines, Status, and Assignment. The overview screen shows users the entire rundown of a project, including its status, scope, and budget. Project managers can set tasks to recur and there is also a drag-and-drop rescheduling option. Task synchronization is also available, ensuring that tasks listed in other platforms will be automatically synchronized. 

Teams can create streamlined and customized workflows using the Accelo automation platform. Besides setting up recurring tasks, teams can also automate administrative activities such as updating due dates in projects, sending templated emails, and creating follow-up meetings. By leveraging these marketing automation software features, teams can increase their productivity and distribute resources more efficiently.

Communication & Collaboration

Accelo offers reliable collaboration tools to keep team members and clients on the same page. By reviewing the activity stream, team members can be kept in loop of project updates and participate in discussions by using in-line comments or replies. Accelo also has a dedicated Client portal feature that allows clients to view and track new activities and tasks. Last but not least, teams and clients can collaborate together on documents, thanks to Accelo’s file-sharing feature.

How do other options score for communication & collaboration?

File Sharing

With Accelo’s email automation service, teams can automatically save file attachments in emails. In addition, team members can also upload files directly from the computer or a third-party platform such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, and more. It is also possible for users to work on documents together, which is essential for collaborating with clients or external vendors.

Accelo provides a dedicated Client portal where clients can have on-demand access to project statuses, updates, files, account information, and more. Project managers can set up accounts for clients and send them an invitation via email. There is also a unified inbox for all team members and clients to access, with each client getting their own activity stream and messages. Since it is possible for emails to be automatically tracked, conversations with client communications can also be automated and organized.

Accelo Client Portal Screenshot

Discussion

Though Accelo does not feature a conventional discussion tool, teams can still easily collaborate on tasks via the activity stream. The activity stream resembles a social media feed and captures important information related to a project, including client emails and upcoming meetings. Team members can reply to activities in the activity stream using in-line replies or comments. Nonetheless, the activity stream always displays the latest comments first, so it can be difficult for users to follow discussions in real-time.

Resource Allocation & Planning

Accelo provides great resource management capabilities for teams that need to track and manage resources. Using Accelo’s timer function, users can accurately track time spent on a myriad of activities, such as emailing a client or working on tasks. The capacity planning and scheduling features also help managers monitor team members’ workloads and enable them to analyze a team’s performance. With expense reports, project managers can also keep an eye on expenses and claims, ensuring that the project stays within budget. 

How do other options score for resource allocation & planning?

Time-Tracking

The easiest and most efficient way of tracking time in Accelo is through the “Log time” button, available throughout the application in areas such as sales, projects, milestones, and tickets and retainers. In addition to tracking time working on tasks, Accelo also offers users the option of tracking time spent on activities like writing an email or conversing with clients.

Team members can set up multiple timers and switch back and forth between tasks while the timers are running in the background. Last but not least, Accelo also provides automated timesheets, mobile, and email timers. The mobile timers can be activated on the go, whereas the timesheets enable team members to see which tasks make up the clients’ total billable amount.

Accelo Timesheets Screenshot

Project Budgeting

Expense reports generated in Accelo’s accounting software provide project managers with an overview of project costs. All expenses can be recorded against projects and issues, with documents attached to relate to each cost. Team members can also submit expense claims and receive reimbursements after they are approved by the project manager.

There is also an integrated invoicing process that automatically generates invoices that can be sent to clients.

Accelo Project Budgeting Screenshot

Teams can create daily task management reports that display all users’ schedules and their active, overdue, and over-budget tasks. By comparing these reports, project managers can gain a better understanding of the team’s performance and make decisions that improve efficiency. Additionally, project managers can generate project management reports that incorporate essential statistics such as time estimates, project profitability, and milestone budget usage.  

Scheduling

Accelo has a dynamic scheduling feature that forecasts a team’s availability and workload so that project managers can distribute tasks proportionally. When a task is assigned, the dynamic scheduling feature automatically plugs in an auto scheduled time that updates itself when a user works on the task. 

Accelo’s task scheduling feature also enables project managers to see which team members are working on what tasks and when. By keeping an eye on these resources, teams can easily juggle priorities and deadlines, as well as keep track of schedules and budgets. 

Accelo Pricing

Layer 1
Offers free trial

Accelo offers five paid plans at the same price, though each plan focuses on a different specialization. The five plans are Projects, Sales, Retainers, Service, and All-in-One ServOps. 

On the Projects plan, teams enjoy project management features such as dynamic Gantt charts, milestone and budget tracking, unlimited projects and plans, and more. On the other hand, the Sales plan unlocks quoting and proposals, unlimited sales flow options, and sales pipeline and funnel reporting. Teams on the Retainers plan gain access to live retainer activity and budget tracking, automatic retainer renewal and invoicing, as well as recurring service contract creation. Visit Accelo’s pricing page for more details. 

Projects

from $39 per user, per month

Unlimited contacts
Unlimited companies
Unlimited tasks
Dynamic Gantt charts
Milestone & budget tracking
Project profitability reporting
Unlimited projects and plans
Time-tracking and automatic time rounding
Client portal access
Kanban board
Team inboxes with automation & two-way sync
Team and resource scheduling
Integrations to leading business systems

Services

from $39 per user, per month

Unlimited contacts
Unlimited companies
Unlimited tasks
Time-tracking and automatic time rounding
Executive and financial dashboards
Ticket/issue tracking and reporting
Ticket deadline and resolution tracking
Unlimited ticket and issue types
Client portal access
Kanban board
Team inboxes with automation & two-way sync
Team and resource scheduling
Integrations to leading business systems

Retainers

from $39 per user, per month

Unlimited contacts
Unlimited companies
Unlimited tasks
Time-tracking and automatic time rounding
Executive and financial dashboards
Client portal access
Recurring service contract creation
Live retainer activity and budget-tracking
Automatic retainer renewal and invoicing
Kanban board
Team inboxes with automation & two-way sync
Team and resource scheduling
Integrations to leading business systems

Sales

from $39 per user, per month

Unlimited contacts
Unlimited companies
Unlimited tasks
Time-tracking & automatic time rounding
Quoting and proposals
Unlimited sales flow options
Sales pipeline and funnel reporting
Client portal access
Kanban board
Team inboxes with automation & two-way sync
Team and resource scheduling
Integrations to leading business systems

All-in-One ServOps

from $79 per user, per month

Unlimited contacts
Unlimited companies
Unlimited tasks
Dynamic Gantt charts
Milestone & budget tracking
Project profitability reporting
Unlimited projects and plans
Time tracking & automatic time rounding
Executive & financial dashboards
Quoting and proposals
Unlimited sales flow options
Sales pipeline & funnel reporting
Ticket/issue tracking & reporting
Ticket deadline & resolution tracking
Unlimited ticket & issue types
Client portal access
Recurring service contract creation
Live retainer activity & budget tracking
Automatic retainer renewal & invoicing
Kanban board
Team inboxes with automation & two-way sync
Team and resource scheduling
Integrations to leading business systems

Accelo Security

Accelo is committed to taking industry-grade security measures to safeguard customer data and privacy. Accelo is also compliant with GDPR policies and every connection between users and the platform is encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS). In addition to all user data being encrypted in transit and at rest, all databases and backups are encrypted. The company does full backup snapshots on a daily basis and a weekly backup of data. Customer data is securely hosted and stored in Amazon Web Services data centers. 

Clients are also strongly encouraged to activate two-factor authentication whenever possible. Strong password policies are enforced, and Accelo has implemented an automated account lockout on all user accounts if incorrect passwords are entered more than five times within 30 minutes. In that time, the account can only be unlocked by an administrator or via password reset email. More information is available in Accelo’s privacy policy.

Accelo Integrations

Accelo integrates with several useful apps. The platform's integrations are categorized according to uses, making it easy for businesses to obtain the apps they need. Since there is no built-in chat app, businesses can use the Zapier integration to download Slack. There are many other integrations available to extend existing features or substitute missing ones, such as:

  • QuickBooks
  • Google Suite
  • HubSpot
  • MailChimp
  • Jira
  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Zapier

Interface

Accelo utilizes a structured and modern user interface. Many of Accelo’s conveniences are in-built as the sections throughout the platform are labeled, and there are drag-and-drop capabilities. Especially the drag-and-drop system makes for a certain ease of use that is very intuitive and easy to get used to for beginners. 

The right side of the screen shows project elements and business functions such as tasks, team schedule, activity stream, inbox, and so on. The middle section shows mainly the project’s activity with details categorized by segments such as the overview, attachments, invoices, and expenses.

Mobile Apps

Accelo’s mobile apps, available on iOS and Android, are great tools for on-the-go tasks, answering a work email, or simply staying up to date with current client projects and day-to-day activities.

Teams can view projects, milestones, and budgets. They can also add new contacts, collaborate with others on the activity stream, and keep track of client feedback and requests. Additionally, users can keep time on mobile time tracker and all logged time is automatically synced to the web app. 

Accelo Support

Accelo offers users plenty of customer support and resources, such as:

  • Knowledge base: Accelo provides a help desk where users have the option to search by keyword for answers. There are also help guides that are updated weekly with written tutorials, video demos, and step-by-step tutorials on getting started with the tool.

  • Community forum: Accelo has an official Google Group community that allows users to participate in discussions and connect with like-minded Accelo users. Additionally, there is a product updates page and a blog where users can find tips and best practices for the software. 

  • Direct support: When it comes to direct customer support, teams can reach Accelo via form submission and email. Accelo aims to respond to all queries within 24 hours. 

Accelo Alternatives

Accelo specializes in automation and can handle a wide variety of business operations, including projects, sales, service, and retainers all in one system. However, companies seeking a less complex but equally powerful project management tool can consider: 

Verdict

Accelo is an all-in-one project management tool that enables teams to monitor productivity, streamline and automate their work in several ways. It helps companies manage projects, resources, budgets, and sales all in one place. Some standout features include resource allocation and planning, file-sharing, time-tracking, Gantt charts, and email-tracking. Accelo also has an intuitive interface and is highly flexible, ensuring that all businesses can customize the tool according to their needs. 

While Accelo is a high-quality project management solution, it lacks specialized Agile features that can help software teams manage their workflows. Accelo also does not offer an in-built messaging tool, though teams can download a Slack integration to make up for this. Since it does not offer enterprise pricing, Accelo is most suited for small to medium-sized businesses.

FAQ

Accelo is a cloud-based business management software that helps businesses plan projects, track results, and deliver client work all in one place. 
Accelo offers five pricing plans, each aimed at a different business operation. All plans have a 14-day free trial and start from $39 per user, per month.   
Accelo’s interface is intuitive and straightforward to use. Watch this step-by-step video to get started.