In today's competitive landscape, effective project cost management is vital for businesses striving to maintain profitability and drive sustainable growth. Organizations of every size—from startups to multinational corporations—need to understand the complexities of project cost management to ensure optimized project efficiency and profitability. There are a plethora of tools on the market to help project managers with project cost management. 

    In this article, we'll explore the top tools and software solutions that forward-thinking companies choose for streamlined project cost management. From time tracking software to collaboration tools, these solutions empower organizations to optimize financial performance, enhance project outcomes, and achieve business objectives with precision and confidence.


    Project time tracking software is typically used to collect information about the time spent by employees on different projects and tasks. However, when this basic feature is enhanced with intelligent integrations and robust project budgeting capabilities, it can significantly leverage overall project cost management.

    One of Beebole’s standout features is its integration with Excel and Google Sheets. Companies can seamlessly link their Excel spreadsheets to their Beebole account using a user-friendly add-in. Similarly, for those utilizing Google Sheets, this timesheet solution offers advanced reporting capabilities through its Google Sheets add-on.

    Besides these integrations, Beebole’s project planning and budgeting functionalities enable companies to configure rates and manage costs across different team members, clients, projects, and tasks. This allows businesses to gain comprehensive insights into the overall costs associated with each project, providing great value for effective cost management.

    How Beebole enhanced Createc’s workload management & reporting

    Createc is a UK-based technology innovation company that’s made up of a team of business-focused researchers and innovators who love solving complex problems. They originally sought out a project time tracking tool to help understand who was working on what. With more than 15 projects happening at once at any given time, Createc’s management team sought out a tool that was clutter-free for their employees, and that provided easy-to-digest reports for management.

    But Createc realized that a project time tracking tool can offer so much more insight than just that. They decided to use Beebole for leave and sickness tracking, as well as reimbursable projects. This data, used along with the project time tracking data, has become an invaluable tool in their stack to understand the team’s workload, project planning , and project cost management.

    2. Microsoft Project

    Microsoft Project

    This project management software comes with a series of comprehensive tools for managing project costs ranging from budgeting and cost estimation to tracking, analysis, and reporting.

    Additionally, Microsoft Project simplifies project planning, scheduling, and reporting processes. It allows businesses to plan activities, set milestones, and schedule tasks efficiently, optimizing resource usage and minimizing unnecessary expenditures.

    How ANI improved collaboration and optimize public resource use with Microsoft Project

    Microsoft Project played a pivotal role in enhancing project cost management for The National Agency for Infrastructure (ANI) in Colombia. With numerous projects underway simultaneously and a focus on integrating all transport systems by 2035, ANI required robust project and portfolio management capabilities.

    By deploying Microsoft Project Online, ANI improved collaboration among internal teams, builders, and auditors, leading to increased process transparency and data reliability. This enabled ANI to better prepare project schedules, monitor progress, anticipate and resolve issues, and facilitate communication, ultimately optimizing the use of public resources and minimizing project risks.

    Microsoft Project became a vital tool for ANI in improving project and portfolio management, contributing significantly to the agency's mission of integrating Colombia's transport infrastructure efficiently and cost-effectively.

    3. Excel


    Even if spreadsheets are not specifically designed for project management, this type of software is used by many companies for budgeting, cost tracking, and financial analysis processes.

    Widely available and low-cost, Excel's user-friendly interface and wide range of functions make it a go-to tool for all kinds of businesses around the world. Its integration with other software and extensive customization options further contribute to its widespread adoption as a versatile solution for data management and analysis.

    How Excel leveraged McCownGordon's ability to manage project budgets effectively

    Excel has been instrumental in enhancing project cost management at McCownGordon Construction, a Kansas City-based company specializing in construction projects. McCownGordon efficiently processes bids, analyzes cost data, and communicates with clients effectively using Excel's versatile spreadsheet capabilities.

    By leveraging Excel's sorting and exporting features, McCownGordon provides clients with detailed insights into project expenditures and identifies areas for cost optimization. Furthermore, Excel's visualization tools, including graphs and pie charts, allow the company to present complex cost information in a clear and concise manner, fostering transparency and trust with clients.

    Overall, Excel's role in data management significantly contributes to McCownGordon's ability to manage project budgets effectively and ensure project success in the construction industry.

    4. QuickBooks


    QuickBooks serves as a versatile tool for companies managing project costs, offering features like budgeting, expense tracking, and invoicing. Through QuickBooks, businesses can efficiently create project budgets, forecast expenses, and track spending across various cost categories.

    Thanks to its streamlined invoicing capabilities, this accounting software enables companies to generate invoices for project expenses and easily manage payment processing.

    QuickBooks also provides robust financial reporting and analysis functionalities, empowering companies to generate insightful reports and analyze project costs for informed decision-making. By leveraging these features, businesses can effectively manage project costs, optimize resource utilization, and ensure project profitability.

    How Wayward Brewing Company relied on QuickBooks during the pandemic

    During the challenging period of the pandemic, Wayward Brewing Company, led by founder Peter Philip, turned to QuickBooks Online to navigate their project cost management effectively.

    With the uncertainty of the times, QuickBooks' cloud-based accessibility became instrumental, enabling seamless remote work operations for the entire team without disruptions or IT issues.

    Through QuickBooks, Peter gained real-time insights into Wayward's financial performance, inventory management, and cash flow, empowering informed decision-making and efficient production planning.

    This software proved indispensable in helping Wayward maintain financial stability amidst the uncertainties of the pandemic, ensuring they could continue operations while prioritizing quality and creativity in their brewing endeavors.


    ERP systems integrate various aspects of business operations, including project management and accounting. They provide tools for budget management, cost tracking, procurement, and financial reporting.

    Companies across various industries rely on SAP ERP for effective project cost management. With real-time reporting and analytics, businesses can access up-to-date cost data to make informed decisions and stay within budgetary constraints.

    How SAP S/4HANA enabled Ameco to strengthen management and reduce costs

    SAP S/4HANA, an intelligent ERP solution designed for large companies,  played a pivotal role in revolutionizing Ameco's project cost management by addressing the challenges posed by its expansive operations.

    As a leading aircraft maintenance corporation with a global footprint, Ameco faced complexities stemming from overlapping systems and conflicting standards.

    To streamline operations and enhance decision-making capabilities, Ameco turned to SAP S/4HANA, leveraging its proven methodologies in airport management and robust functionality.

    By implementing SAP S/4HANA, Ameco established a unified platform and standardized processes across its entire group, leading to centralized control, strengthened management, and reduced costs.

    This transformation enabled Ameco to replace redundant systems, enhance data accuracy, and facilitate digital, intelligent, and online management of its aircraft maintenance business.


    Expensify serves as a comprehensive solution for project cost management, offering features such as expense tracking, receipt scanning, approval workflows, integration with accounting systems, and real-time reporting. With Expensify, companies can accurately monitor project expenditures by categorizing and tracking expenses effectively.

    The platform's automated receipt scanning and data entry streamline expense recording, enabling employees to capture project-related expenses effortlessly, whether in-office or on-the-go.

    Moreover, Expensify simplifies the expense approval process through customizable approval workflows, ensuring efficient processing of expense reports. Its seamless integration with accounting systems like QuickBooks facilitates easy synchronization of project expenses for accurate financial reporting.

    Additionally, this expense report software provides real-time expense reporting and analytics, empowering companies with valuable insights into project costs to make informed budgeting decisions and optimize financial performance.

    How Gordon James Realty transformed its approach to project cost management with Expensify

    Expensify played a critical role in enhancing project cost management for Gordon James Realty, a property management company, by streamlining expense tracking and management processes.

    Leveraging Expensify's API and integration capabilities with platforms like Salesforce and Accounting Seed, Gordon James automated expense data entry, submission, and record creation, reducing labor costs and ensuring compliance with internal expense policies and financial regulations.

    The implementation of the Expensify Card further elevated internal compliance by providing real-time notifications and customizable reporting features, enabling the seamless tracking of expenses related to client accounts and work orders.

    As a result, Gordon James experienced significant improvements in efficiency, accuracy, and cost reduction in their real estate expenses, fundamentally transforming their approach to project cost management and enhancing their overall business operations.


    Collaboration tools facilitate communication and collaboration among project teams, stakeholders, and vendors. Because of that, these kinds of tools can help in controlling costs by improving coordination, reducing delays, and enhancing productivity.

    A collaboration tool like Asana facilitates project cost management by providing a centralized platform for teams to coordinate tasks, track progress, and communicate effectively.

    Through features such as task assignments, timelines, and budget tracking, Asana enables teams to monitor project costs in real-time, identify potential budget overruns or inefficiencies, and take proactive measures to mitigate risks.

    How Asana streamlined processes for Guru

    Asana proved instrumental for Guru, a rapidly expanding technology firm headquartered in Philadelphia, in enhancing project cost management and fostering collaboration between sales and marketing teams.

    The challenges faced by the Senior Marketing Manager and the leader of the sales development team in coordinating projects across different locations and time zones led to inefficient communication and overlooked details.

    Leveraging Asana's capabilities to define responsibilities, set clear deadlines, and centralize project plans, both teams experienced streamlined processes and improved alignment. Asana's integration with Slack further facilitated seamless communication, while its real-time visibility into project progress eliminated the need for frequent status meetings, empowering teams to focus on impactful work and achieve better results.

    With Asana as their central repository for project management, Guru witnessed enhanced collaboration, increased efficiency, and a more unified approach to driving growth initiatives across departments and geographies.

    How to choose your project cost management tools?

    The tools that we have mentioned support companies in managing project costs efficiently. However, the process of choosing a project cost management stack depends completely on the specific requirements and preferences of the organization, as well as the nature and complexity of the projects being managed.

    Companies typically consider several criteria when choosing software and tools for managing the cost of their projects. These criteria may include:

    • Features and functionality
    • Ease of use
    • Scalability
    • Customization
    • Cost and affordability
    • Integration capabilities
    • Vendor reputation and support
    • Security and compliance

    These criteria, combined with the specific needs of the business, should inform the selection process for the appropriate tools. For example, a manufacturing company may prioritize tools with functionalities tailored to inventory management, production costing, and supply chain integration. On the other hand, a consulting firm may seek tools equipped with capabilities for project tracking, client billing, time and expense management, and resource allocation.

    By considering all this, companies can make informed decisions when selecting software and tools for managing the cost of their projects, ultimately driving efficiency, productivity, and success in project management. Which tools do you use for managing the cost of your projects?

    About the Author

    Ezra Neiel Cabrera has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in Entrepreneurial Marketing. Over the last 3 years, she has been writing business-centric articles to help small business owners grow and expand. Ezra mainly writes for SMB Compass, but you can find some of her work in All Business, Small Biz Daily, LaunchHouse, Marketing2Business, and Clutch, among others. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her in bed eating cookies and binge-watching Netflix.