The Best Agency Management System List
Here’s a shortlist of the best agency management tools:
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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Overviews Of The Top 10 Agency Management Systems
Here’s a brief description of each of the agency management systems that are featured on this top 10 list.
Best customizable advertising agency software
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.
Best for professional services businesses
Kantata is an agency management system that can be used to manage everything from client relationships to workflows and project tracking. This highly customizable tool allows agencies of all sizes to streamline their operations and increase profits. In this article, we'll explain how you can use Kantata for successful agency management.
Kantata has a range of features designed specifically for agencies, including tools for client onboarding, project planning, time and resource tracking, invoicing, contracts, communication management, and more. With these features in place, you can easily monitor your team’s progress against deadlines or budgets and track the status of clients or projects at any given time. You’ll also have access to key performance data such as team utilization rates or revenue forecasts.
Kantata's core function is to provide users with comprehensive data management solutions. It allows you to store customer information, generate reports, manage tasks and projects, track expenses, collaborate with colleagues or partners remotely, and share information in an organized way. Additionally, it offers real-time insights into customer trends and market conditions so that you can make informed decisions quickly. This makes Kantata a great solution for businesses that need to stay ahead of the competition by utilizing data-driven insights.
Features include analytics, billing/invoicing, customer management, data import, data export, file transfer, Google apps integration, third-party plugins/add-ons, resource management, software integration, API, budgeting, dashboard, data visualization, expense tracking, forecasting, multi-user, project management, timesheets, time management, collaboration support, workflow management, batch permissions & access, calendar management, CRM integration, Gantt charts, notifications, scheduling, task scheduling/tracking, report & compliance, and campaign management
Integrations include other business apps like CRM, HCM, and financial software. On top of the M-Bridge platform, Mavenlink provides several pre-built integrations with these tools: Expensify, G Suite, Xero, Salesforce, Netsuite, Jira, Hubspot, Slack, Concur, Dynamics 365, Qualtrics, Quickbooks, and Sage Intacct.
Kantata offers pricing upon request and a free demo.
Best all-in-one agency management system with sales and invoicing tools
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 $17/user/month. They also offer a fully-featured, free 14-day trial.
Best agency management software for customizable views
Wrike is an easy-to-use advertising agency software that is suitable for teams with five or more members. It’s highly configurable, allowing users to customize processes, workflows, dashboards, reports, and request forms to suit their exact needs. Break down costly silos between teams, centralize communication, and automate time-consuming admin tasks.
Wrike enables users to switch between customizable Kanban boards, one-click Gantt charts, and classic workload views, so teams can choose how to visualize their campaign deliverables. Wrike also features task lists, subtasks, shared calendars, custom workflows, file sharing, and real-time collaboration. Users can get advanced performance insights across 50 marketing platforms, assess resource management and allocation, and track time.
Wrike has an easy-to-use, intuitive interface and navigation with distinct spaces, folders, and tasks. Toggle between the home screen and timesheets, dashboards, calendars, reports, and the activity stream. Wrike has a dedicated help center with interactive training, videos, a ‘Getting Started’ guide, and a thriving community. The tool also offers a specific solution for marketing teams, as well as a variety of templates for common organizational processes.
Wrike offers 400+ pre-built native integrations, including integrations with Adobe Creative Cloud; file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox; and over 50 marketing-specific tools.
Pricing starts at $9.80 per user per month. There are four different price points, including a free version and plans which offer the ability to invite free external collaborators to a paid account.
Best agency management system for Google Workspace 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.
Best advertising agency software for intelligent automation
Forecast is a platform for advertising agencies to manage resources and projects used in 40+ countries worldwide. The tool includes capabilities for managing the project life cycle from quote to invoice, as well as intelligent automation for predicting project delivery dates and forecasting capacity needs.
Users can create project plans with Forecast’s auto-schedule. The powerful AI automatically estimates tasks, assigns and optimizes workload across resources, and sets a project delivery date. The tool also provides dashboards with overviews of the organization to allow for informed adjustments to time and resource allocation.
Forecast also introduced a unique feature for managing projects in a retainer setup. A dashboard with retainer periods and totals lets you track the financials of ongoing projects in addition to staff workloads and time spent on delivery.
Forecast integrates natively with Slack, Google Drive, QuickBooks Online, Salesforce, and Xero. Other integrations are available through Zapier.
Forecast has Lite, Pro, and Enterprise options that cost from $29/user/month (14-day free trial).
Best agency management system for multiple project views
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.
Best software for creative teams and agencies
FunctionFox offers three different plans with features that range from basic time tracking and estimating, to project scheduling and gantt charts, to customized project intake forms. FunctionFox can support teams with five or five hundred members.
FunctionFox is entirely web-based and compatible with all up-to-date browsers, so users on both Mac and PC can work together seamlessly. FunctionFox allows for team collaboration through project scheduling, allows allocation of specific tasks through action assignments and to-do lists, and facilitates communication through the project blog. Another great feature is the availability tool, which project managers can use to monitor team capacity and utilize everyone’s time effectively.
FunctionFox is easy to use and made even easier with the tutorials and support provided. They offer dedicated onboarding and all customer support is unlimited, ongoing, and included in the subscription cost. Their website also includes a help center, and there are detailed help files included within the software itself.
Pricing for the FunctionFox Premier plan starts at $50 per month.
Best agency management system for invoicing and managing expenses
Nutcache is an agency management tool designed to organize all aspects of your daily processes. With this software, you get a toolbox of color-coded schedules, task organization queues, and data reporting.
Nutcache supplies the standard Gantt chart tools, which visually track and organize agency tasks with drag-drop-and-click editing techniques that require minimal training to learn. You can also use the software for Agile or Scrum project management, depending on agency preferences. This simple flexibility makes Nutcache a solid agency management software for small or large teams alike.
Nutcache offers time logging tools where users can log, track, and invoice time and expenses in a way that lets agency managers know where project money is going. Unlike a lot of other integrated solution options, Nutcache also has features to create, customize, and manage unlimited invoices.
App integrations for Nutcache include Dynacom Accounting, PayPal, 2Checkout, Stripe, Authorized.Net, QuickBooks Online, Google Sign In, Google Drive, GitHub, Slack, and hundreds of other apps through Zapier.
Nutcache costs from $6/user/month with a 'Pro' plan that requires 5 users.
Best agency management tool for Gmail users
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?
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The Best Agency Management System Tools Summary Chart
14-day free trial + freemium plan available
|From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)||Visit Website|
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $20/user/month||Visit Website|
Freemium version available
|From $9.80/user/month||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $29/user/month||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $16/user/month||Visit Website|
Free demo available
|From $35/month + $3.75/user/month||Visit Website|
Free trial, no credit required
|From $12.49/user/month on a yearly basis||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $6/user/month||Visit Website|
Other Agency Management Options
Digital advertising agencies may struggle to find the right complete software solution, so here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for handy agency systems, check these out.
- Workamajig Platinum
Best for marketing & creative teams
Best agency management system for custom automations
The best free tool for client feedback management
best agency operations management software
- Service Provider Pro
Best software for client portals & billing
Best visual agency management software for simple timelines and charts
Best social media agency management system
best for enabling client collaboration
Best robust and scalable agency management software
Best for having all features in every plan
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.