In a Nutshell
- Wide integration library includes Gsuite and Office 365
- Automation and workflows to save time
- Send project expenses to clients directly from the dashboard
- Per-use pricing, so can be expensive for larger install-bases
- Intended exclusively for service-based industries and agencies
Accelo at a Glance
Best For: Service-based industries and agencies
Key Use: Integration between project and billing
Price: $16-$34 per user per month
Free trial: 14 days
Features and Functionality
The project management component provides:
A live email and activity stream:
Users can receive notifications about updates to tasks associated with projects made by agency colleagues, allowing them to keep abreast of deliverable changes and due date edits without having to tap into their inbox.
Drag and drop Gantt charts
Users have the ability to easily create the most commonly referred to document in project management—the Gantt chart. Deliverables with their start date, due date, and budget are entered into the left pane, the project plan, and they are automatically added to a Gantt chart on the right. This allows team members to collaboratively update project plans and receive updated Gantt charts in real time from the project dashboard.
Every client project is different, which is why the project management component of Accelo allows users to assign custom fields to each project. By creating and assigning custom fields, users can track workflows according to either internet company syntax or that of their clients.
Full Integration with Billing Tools
The project management feature is fully integrated with the billing tracking systems that are built into Accelo. Before even creating a project, users can select whether to bill it against a pre-existing client retainer with service level agreement (SLA) or to track hours and create invoices based upon an hourly rate.
Users can save time and effort by building project templates that can be used for future projects. For agencies that frequently replicate onboarding processes on new accounts, this can result in substantial time savings.
Collaboration is key to a project’s success. To facilitate seamless document and messaging exchange between agency employees and external contractors and clients, Accelo includes the following features:
Task Splitting and Assigning
Users can agree to divide a deliverable between themselves to enable collaboration.
Separate Document Views
Accelo features a dedicated document window in which each file that has been appended to a project can be easily accessed. Additionally, Accelo integrates natively with Google Drive, Box, Evernote, and Dropbox—making it easy for users to pull together documents from various cloud storage repositories.
Easily Capture and Attach Webcam Video
If a picture speaks a thousand words, a few seconds of quality video footage can communicate countless more. Users can directly capture webcam video and attach it to a project. This is an ideal way for a group of users on a conference call to provide clients with deliverable updates — which they can then download or stream at their convenience.
Accelo also provides a unified inbox where all client status updates and project notifications are copied to. Users can filter activity streams per client or choose to get a bird's eye view of progress across the agency.
Plans and Pricing
Accelo’s project management tool is priced at 2 levels:
Projects Plus includes the basic tools agencies require to effectively manage projects on behalf of clients, including a client portal, the ability to capture client approvals and signoffs, and outbound email tracking. On the Premium tier, they get access to several higher-level features. These include customized business processes, designed to support advanced workflows, as well as expense capturing and reporting.
The main Accelo interface is the cloud-based UI, which is accessed through a deployment URL subdomained to the company’s website. The user interface is highly intuitive and easy to navigate, with various system components docking into a navigation menu on the far left of the screen. Icons along the top of the screen give users access to their user profile and the notifications inbox.
Accelo offers an app for both Android and iOS. Naturally, the interface is somewhat more limited than the desktop interface. Compared to the web-based versions, the apps put the activity stream at the core of the user experience. Timers are also particularly well integrated into the mobile apps, making it easy for users to quickly capture time spent on client projects and at their worksites for billing purposes.
Accelo takes users’ privacy seriously and is fully compliant with the recently introduced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Every connection to Accelo services is encrypted over the TLS 1.2 protocol with 256-bit RSA key exchange and a 128-bit AES encryption cipher. In addition, data at rest is also encrypted over the same protocols. The company also takes daily and weekly snapshots of all user data for backup purposes and can provide a full export upon request.
Customer Service and Support
Accelo offers an online support page nested under the “resources” page on its website. This offers users a comprehensive selection of product documentation as well as an FAQ page and a video library. A series of white papers complements that and helps users better understand the full variety of use cases that the project management tool supports. The Client Success team provides email support and guarantees a response within 24 hours. There is also phone support with one international number.
How Accelo Compares
Accelo is a fantastic solution for agencies requiring a cloud-based project management tool to effectively manage accounts. It has lots of great collaboration tools too. Those not in service-based industries, however, may find other options focused on different business models to be a better fit.