Below you’ll find an overview of these tools with screenshots, features, and pricing.
This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best agency management system for your use case. Here, I’ve highlighted a few of the best agency software options available today. I’ve evaluated 10 agency management systems and examined the pros and cons in a simple, streamlined review so that you can choose the best software for your team or business.
We’ll begin with a focus on general tools for agencies, but I also included a few tools that cover a range of specialties. Most agencies may even find themselves settling on two or more items from this list in order to get the complete picture for their business.
If you are looking for a drill down on specifics, be sure to check out the lists I have written specifically on:
- advertising agency software
- creative project management software
- marketing project management software
And you can also check out these tools often used in agency settings:
- Tools for tracking time
- Tools for keeping track of your client database
- CRMs for small businesses
- Tools to communicate with your team
- Tools for tracking progress and generating reports
- Software for planning and managing your workflow
What am I looking for when I perform agency platform reviews? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Is the interface intuitive to navigate and does it have aesthetic appeal?
- Usability: How steep is the software learning curve and does the company offer adequate training resources, like tutorial videos and FAQs/forums?
- Integrations: Does the software connect with other first- and third-party apps for additional feature sets?
- Value for $: Is the price fair, transparent, and flexible? Does the tool offer a free demo or trial so that users can try before they buy?
These are a few of the must-have features when shopping around for this kind of tool.
- Job/Project Costing – Can the tool capture hours and costs, estimate and do budgeting, and handle purchasing with mark-ups and purchase orders?
- Online Timesheets – Does the software have a web browser-based timesheet and expense entry system? Is it easy to enter, approve, and pay expense claims?
- Pipeline Management – Can the software help with the automation of attracting new leads and potential customers and report on and review the process of converting them into paying customers?
- Review and Feedback – Does the software allow clients to adequately engage with and provide feedback across the project pipeline process? Is the feedback loop easy to navigate and does it offer actionable insights?
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monday.com is a great advertising agency software because of the way the tool has done away with a lot of the trimmings of typical management tools and focused on simple, visually intuitive layouts that help clarify the sequence of work.
monday.com features for managing advertising projects include resource and project management modules, as well as some great collaboration tools. For example, users can upload and attach files to cards, make comments, mention teammates, and more. It also offers a great project reporting dashboard that can collect data from multiple boards, allowing better tracking abilities of progress. And while monday.com doesn’t offer a complete set of tools for project accounting and invoicing solutions, you can use monday.com to track hours, timelines, and invoices.
Overall, it’s a highly customizable tool that lets you work in whatever methodology—kanban or otherwise—that fits your project and team. You’ll also find some useful workflow tools for automating parts of your process.
monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform, and many more, accessible via Zapier.
monday.com costs from $6/user/month and comes with a free 14-day trial. They offer a free plan for up to 2 users.
Screendragon is an agency management software designed to manage projects, people, processes, and profitability in one place. It is easy to use and offers powerful customization. The world’s top agency groups like Omnicom, WPP, and IPG rely on Screendragon to power their agency operations.
Screendragon is seamlessly integrated offering project management, workflow management, resource management, and forecasting, time-tracking, budget management, and asset management. The tool is highly configurable, giving users the ability to customize forms, dashboards, templates, workflow rules, permissions, notifications, reports, and even the terminology used on the platform.
Screendragon’s integrated budget module enables users to build SOW’s and estimates, as well as forecast future revenues and resourcing needs. Reviews and approvals are made simple with features for visual proofing, real-time collaboration, version control, and granular permissions. Screendragon’s advanced automation capabilities facilitate the secure and efficient approval of assets and can adapt easily to support scaling agencies. Intuitive task management allows users to switch between Kanban boards, interactive Gantt charts, and list views.
Screendragon offers native integrations with ERP systems such as SAP and PeopleSoft and can integrate with thousands of apps through Zapier like Slack, Trello, Google Drive, Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics. It also has an open API, allowing custom integrations with any solution.
Screendragon starts from $20/user/month with a one-off implementation fee, and a free demo is available.
Productive is a well-rounded agency management software with a stack of powerful functionality that gives you the tools and data you need to keep an agency running smoothly. The tool was built by a team with a decade of experience in founding, managing, and scaling a software development shop, so it’s especially well-suited to digital agencies.
The tool’s features fully satisfy my criteria for agency management tools. You’ll find client and prospect management in the Sales Pipeline (manage deal flow, get sales organized). The Resource Planning feature, time tracker, and task collaboration tools fit the criteria for resource and project management that I look for in an agency tool or platform.
Billing and invoicing can also be managed straight from the tool, along with useful reports on profitability and costs to help with finance management. The reporting feature actually goes quite a bit beyond that, with real-time reports on margins, utilization, and a whole lot more—including reports on individual employees’ or contractors’ history with the company, salary report, etc.
Productive’s integrations include Zapier as well as Jira, Open API, QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Exact.
Productive costs $12.50/user/month. They also offer a fully-featured, free 14-day trial.
Service Provider Pro is a client management & billing software for growing agencies selling SaaS solutions. The tool comes with features such as payment forms, a client portal, and a sales dashboard.
Service Provider Pro lets you set order forms up for one-time purchases and recurring services. Clients will be able to log into the portal where they can manage their accounts. Service Provider also lets you collect data through intake forms, get in touch with clients through a ticketing system, and provide incentives for referrals to create brand ambassadors.
Service Provider Pro comes with a permission system that lets you choose what your team members and contractors see when you share your workspace, communicate statuses, and request revisions.
Service Provider Pro integrates with Stripe, PayPal, MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and Google Analytics. Thanks to the Zapier integration, Service Provider can be extended to suit almost any agency’s needs. Advanced API and webhook modules provide extendability and custom workflows.
Service Provider Pro costs $59/month for two users.
VOGSY is a comprehensive agency management tool built on Google Workspace. The tool includes features for real-time collaboration between teams, a CRM and opportunity management, project and resource planning, tasks, time and expense tracking, billing, and reporting.
VOGSY integrates Gmail, Drive, Docs, and Sheets to allow you to set up complete workflows and assign tasks from your inbox; easily design, edit, and track version history on quote and invoice templates; and perform reporting with customizable Sheets reports.
The tool’s project cards are visually appealing and facilitate tracking for schedules, completion, and estimated vs. actual budgets and margins. Documents, tasks, notes, project planning, communications, and emails are all organized in one place.
VOGSY’s Gantt chart timelines make workload management intuitive and provide an overview of all projects, resources, and tasks. The tool also offers Kanban views for tasks. Teams can communicate and assign tasks throughout the quote-to-cash project life cycle.
VOGSY automates workflows like resource skill matching on projects, time tracking, project budgets, and quote and invoice creation. Users can also automate financial reporting for metrics like sales pipeline, client profitability, revenue forecasting, and billability. Another great feature is the ability to duplicate projects or individual deliverables with activities and calculated costs when planning projects.
In addition to Google Workspace, VOGSY integrates with software tools like QuickBooks, Copper, Salesforce, Xero, Zapier, HubSpot, and Jira.
VOGSY starts at $9/user/month and offers a 30-day free trial. It also offers a free version limited to one user.
Punchlist is a free change and feedback management tool that agencies can use to communicate quickly and in real-time with partners, clients, external stakeholders, and across their own team. You can test it out by inputting your live website URL on their home page. This will bring up an editable snapshot of your page, where you can test out leaving notes and sketching interface feedback requests.
Punchlist is a great tool to gather feedback and approvals from clients. Share one link with anyone to get feedback on websites, images, and PDFs. With nothing to install and only one button, clients can easily “point” at the screen and leave clear, quality feedback. Point-and-click to add notes/comments, assign a task, upload files, or even record video feedback right in the tool interface.
Whether you are building content for a client or having content built for you, Punchlist is a simple way to gather and send feedback and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Punchlist also integrates with your favorite task manager and reminds clients of upcoming deadlines. Some integrations, like Asana, Trello, JIRA< and ClickUp are limited to their paid plan.
Punchlist is free to use. Paid plans cost from $99/month.
TeamGantt is an online agency management solution that works right in your browser, making it compatible with any OS. Agencies can plan and manage projects with this super-easy-to-use Gantt software and invite co-workers, teammates, and clients to view and edit collaborative content.
Agencies can create a Gantt chart online by simply dragging and dropping tasks to plan any project, making this software easily adaptable with a lean learning curve.
TeamGantt’s project management software lets you keep all tasks, documents, conversations, and team availability in one place. Agency managers can also connect documents and conversations directly to the associated task or milestone.
TeamGantt integrates with Slack, Trello, Basecamp, Google Calendar, iCal, and Outlook. Or, build a custom integration using TeamGantt’s public RESTful API.
TeamGantt is free for up to 3 users and 1 project. Paid plans cost from $24.95/month.
Hive is a robust tool for agency management, project organization, and flexible task coordination. It lets agencies organize projects in a Gantt chart, Kanban board, table, or calendar, and also easily switch between each layout. Additionally, each user can choose to look at a project through different views, so each member of your team can use the view that works for them. Updates are reflected across all project views so the agency is informed no matter what option they use.
Hive enables users to easily collaborate by sending messages directly to agency individuals or groups. Need to share a document? Upload it directly to a task, project, or message. Hive’s Forms feature eliminates constant emails and collects all necessary information through simple fill-in-the-blanks.
It’s worth noting that if you’re switching to Hive from another tool, you can import tasks from tools including Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Smartsheet, and a few others.
Hive integrates with Google Drive, Salesforce, Jira, Dropbox, Slack, Zoom, One Drive, Box, and more than one thousand other tools through Zapier.
Hive costs from $12/user/month.
Gain is designed to bring agencies that design online content and their clients together in a seamless collaborative environment. Communication is heightened with excellent feedback loops and collaboration prompts to allow agencies to receive notes and eventual approvals much faster during the content building cycle.
With this tool, you can share your content with agency clients no matter what program it was built in originally. Whether it’s a JPEG, PDF, Photoshop file, PowerPoint, or even a Google spreadsheet, Gain will create previews for your approvers and team members to review and collaborate on.
Agencies will appreciate Gain’s automated workflows, which allow content to move instantly to the next person for review, revisions, or approval. Agencies and their clients can send feedback and approve from any device.
Gain integrates easily with Canva. No additional integrations are noted.
Gain costs from $99/month. If you pay for a full year up front, you can get 2 months free.
Yanado Task + Project Management coordinates agency projects and tasks within Gmail. It’s designed to help agencies manage their sales pipeline and boost sales productivity with email templates and email tracking, and by automating basic and repetitive tasks.
You can use a Kanban board to track agency operations and keep your team accountable by visualizing and monitoring deadlines, milestones, and dependencies. The tool offers to-do lists that are pretty easy to create, plus you can also make tasks directly from emails. Something great about this tool is the shared inboxes feature which lets you assign or pass-on emails and then manage them like tasks.
Agencies with busy online profiles to navigate will appreciate being able to create unlimited posts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram using this software.
Native integration with Slack is available and hundreds more integrations can be accessed through Zapier or their REST API.
Yanado Task + Project Management has a free plan. Paid plans with additional features start at $6/user/month.
Need expert help selecting the right Project Management Software?
We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Project Management Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business’s needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.
It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
14 days free trial
|From $6/user/month||Check out monday.com|
|From $20 / user/ month||Check out Screendragon|
14 days free trial
|From $12.50/user/month||Check out Productive|
14 days free trial
|From $59/month||Visit Website|
30 days free trial
|From $9/user/month||Check out VOGSY|
|From $99/month||Check out Punchlist|
14 days free trial
|From $24.95/month||Check out TeamGantt|
14 days free trial. No credit card required.
|From $12/user/month||Check out Hive|
30 days free trial
|From $99/month||Check out Gain|
14 days free trial
|From $6/user/month||Check out Yanado Task|
Best agency management system for invoicing and managing expenses
Best agency management system for small teams
Best free agency management system (unlimited tasks and unlimited users!)
Best simple agency management software
- Function Point
Best tool for managing agency finances, billing, and forecasting
Best creative agency management system
Best enterprise agency management system
Agency System FAQ
What is an agency management system?
More comprehensive than the types of tools above, agency management software is any workflow solution that covers the general needs of an agency or similar business, including intake forms for new clients and projects, intra-team collaboration and communication tools, and value-reporting for your clients.
Agency professionals across many different industries—ad agencies, marketing agencies, PR agencies, etc.—need a way to organize the production of client work, from the planning stages to the review stages.
An agency management system is designed to cover a variety of things, like:
- Organizing onboarding and intake of clients
- Internal and external communication around tasks and projects
- Collaborative mark-ups of in-progress items
- Real-time analysis and reporting of deliverables
- Flexible and comprehensive task lists
- Proposal templates
- Customer relations management (CRM)
- Time-tracking and billing
What are the benefits of using an agency management software?
Agencies across the board may be drawn to management systems because they increase control and organization while also saving time and allow them to improve internal and external customer relationships. For example, it can be very time-consuming to go back and forth with a new client or potential customers on a new project to get all the necessary information before the work can truly begin.
In fact, 67% of agency respondents noted this initial information-gathering phase to be difficult or very difficult. Mandatory forms, the automation of onboarding, and quick proposal building are a few ways agency management systems can simplify and quicken this process, boost productivity, and improve the customer experience.
Join The Conversation
As an agency owner, have you tried out any agency software listed above? Are there any great project management tools for digital marketing agencies that you would add to this list? What do you want me to cover next (ie. business management systems, etc.)? Feel free to comment below to share with our community of digital project managers.
You can also get more support for managing a successful agency in both The DPM School online course (which teaches you how to manage digital projects) and in our Membership program where members get access to mentorship from digital project management experts, project templates, workshops, and more.