Project Management Professional (PMP)® Articles - Five Excellent Tools for Project Managers To Stay On Budget

Five Excellent Tools for Project Managers To Stay On Budget

Project managers have many reasons to feel overwhelmed or stressed. From keeping everyone on task to meeting project deadlines, the concerns are almost endless. However, another major issue that many project managers have to contend with is staying on budget. If you are in this boat, you are not alone.

A PwC study of over 10,000 projects revealed only 2.5 percent of companies completed their projects successfully. The majority of businesses didn't meet their targets or went over budget.

There are so many moving parts when you are trying to keep project costs down. However, a combination of establishing the right strategy and selecting relevant tools can enable you to manage your project's costs successfully.

If you have your strategy down but need help finding the right tool for your team, this list can help.

Check out five project tracking tools to consider for managing your project costs.


User-friendly and feature-rich, Avaza is an excellent alternative for smaller companies that are just starting out. Users can assign tasks, collaborate with team members, and manage employee timesheets. However, it also enables project managers to track project expenses, handle quotes and estimates, and create and send out invoices to clients.

Employees can take pictures of receipts to record expenses and assign expenses to projects costs for accurate project budgeting. Avaza also integrates with a variety of other project management software and budgeting tools. From Google Drive to Zapier, the integration options are plentiful. If you and your team are looking for a project cost management tool that allows you to manage projects while taking advantage of a variety of app integrations, Avaza could be the answer.

Easy Projects

Easy Projects is a comprehensive project management software tool. From resource planning to tracking project progress, Easy Projects makes handling projects straightforward. Much like Avaza, you can manage most aspects of your project in one place.

In addition to project management and visualization features, Easy Projects has sophisticated budget management and project tracking systems. Unlike some of the other options on this list, you can review labor and non-labor costs, track and approve time, create project budgets, track expenses, and manage bills. If you need one software tool to manage all of your project needs, including project accounting and budgeting, Easy Projects should be on your list of tools to consider.


Harvest is an excellent tool for tracking productivity and staying on top of personnel-related project costs. Harvest is known for being a time tracking app. The time tracking features lets you see if employees are overworked, see the length of time it takes you to meet goals, and create invoices based on the time tracked. With Harvest's project features, you can monitor your project progress and visualize how close you are to your budget and see where most of the work is happening among your teams.

Ultimately, Harvest gives you a detailed view of your team's work and makes it easy to track personnel costs and additional expenses. It can also integrate with over 100 other apps, so Harvest can connect with your other chosen tools no matter what you are using. Harvest is one of the more affordable options on this list, so if you want a viable project management budget tool at a reasonable price, this tool is a great choice.


Hubstaff keeps project monitoring and budget management simple and straightforward. This program allows you to track the time of your team easily, produce productivity reports, easily manage payroll and send invoices, and even track the fuel costs of employees who are on the road. The objective of Hubstaff is to allow managers to effortlessly keep track of what their team members are working on, see how long they are working on tasks, and quickly compensate them for their time.

While most of what you need can be done in the app, Hubstaff has a variety of integrations with other popular project management budget tracking tools. If you are looking for a comprehensive project cost tracker that can integrate with apps you already use, Hubstaff is a viable option.


If you do client-work or use the help of contractors or freelancers, Trigger can be a great addition to your project management tools suite. Unlike some of the other budgeting tools for project management, Trigger enables you to involve your clients in the project management process. Within Trigger, you have access to dashboards that you can also allow your clients to see. Additionally, you and your clients can receive daily updates on progress. These features can create smoother communication channels and also increase the trust of your clients.

Like other project management apps, team members can track and record their time, and managers can delegate tasks. From facilitating collaboration to offering Kanban-style views, Trigger's wide range of features can prevent overspending and help you come in at or below budget.

Find the Right Project Management Cost Budgeting Tool For You and Your Team

Every team is different, which means that you will need an app that can help you manage the specific needs of your team members and clients. If most of your project costs are associated with personnel, then Harvest or Hubstaff would likely be tools you want to consider. Alternatively, if you would like to access the features of task delegation and expense tracking all in one place, then Avaza or Easy Projects are likely the best options. You need to consider price, features, user-friendliness, and potential learning curves into your decision.

Nevertheless, before you determine the best software tool for you and your team, it is important that you understand what you need. This is where a project management plan comes into play. Selecting the right technology choice will only get you so far.

You need to have a strategy that allows you to address any productivity pain points, so you can select a tool that will be the solution. Again, a great plan, along with exceptional technology, can go a long way. See if any of the solutions above work for you, or continue to research other options. There are many apps to pick from, take the time you need to find the one that works.


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