Accelo and Paymo are two of the most popular project management tools available today.
But how do they stack up against each other?
Which one manages tasks better?
Which one helps you allocate resources more effectively?
Which one is more affordable?
Discover all the answers in our detailed comparison guide.
A. Project and Task Management
Get. Things. Done.
You and every project manager likely live by those words.
It’s also the heart and soul of any project management software.
This is why, before anything else, you must evaluate a tool’s ability to help you manage your tasks and projects.
Features to look out for:
- Project structure: A simple, intuitive way to organize work and toggle through multiple projects, tasks, boards, etc.
- Views: Board, list, timeline, Gantt, and other types of views that let you visualize various types of information within each project.
- Tasks & subtasks: Dedicated spaces offering the ability to drill down to the smallest level of actionable detail about each project item.
- Statuses: Effortless ways to communicate the exact progress of each task, board, project, etc.
- Checklists: Quick to-do lists for each task so things don’t fall through the cracks
- Task templates: Easy-to-copy templates to create identical tasks at scale across multiple projects.
- Assignees: The ability to assign tasks, boards, or projects to individual team members, groups, or even teams.
- Priorities: A way to communicate the urgency level of each task, subtask, or project.
- Automations: Trigger-based (if X happens then do Y); ways to automate repetitive actions such as notifications, comments, status updates, etc.
1. Project Structure / Hierarchy
Accelo helps you organize your projects with a straightforward structure:
Company > Project > Milestone > Task > Checklists
- Company: A company or client page set up on your Accelo account.
- Projects: Long-term work that needs to be completed by or for a Company.
- Milestones: Different stages or phases of a Project, which can have separate budgets.
- Tasks: Actionable work items required to achieve Milestones.
- Checklists: Granular action items required to complete a Task.
Keep your work organized with Paymo’s hierarchy:
Client > Project > Task list > Task > Subtask
- Client: All the work for each client is grouped together
- Project: All projects belonging to one client
- Task list: A collection of tasks that need to be done to complete a project
- Task: Individual work items within the task list
- Subtask: Tasks broken down into smaller steps
Accelo allows you to see your Tasks with these views:
- Project View: This screen displays all Milestones and Tasks within a Project with details of Assignees, Planned Due, Status, etc.
- Milestone View: Displays an overview of all Tasks within a Milestone. The Tasks can be arranged based on Status, Earned Value, Budget, or Start and Due Dates. You can also shift Tasks within your workflow by dragging and dropping them on a Kanban-style board.
- Project Schedule: Access a Gantt-style overview of your Projects’ Milestones and Tasks for Project planning.
- My Schedule: See all your assigned Tasks based on a calendar view.
- Deadlines Task Board: Displays the Tasks you need to do based on deadlines. You can drag and drop Tasks to change deadlines.
- Status Task Board: Allows a user to see all Tasks they have created or that have been assigned to them. It lets you drag and drop Tasks to change their Status.
- Assignment Task Board: Shows a manager all the Tasks they have created or are managing. It simplifies the process of assigning Tasks.
Paymo enables you to visualize your projects in five different ways:
- List: For each project, you see a list of tasks with a brief overview of their details (E.g., due date, assignees, etc.)
- Table: A more detailed view of tasks with information fields in columns
- Board: A Kanban board view of tasks grouped by status
- Calendar: Displays tasks on a calendar, showing their start and due dates
- Gantt: A timeline of tasks depicting start and due dates, dependencies, and milestones
3. Tasks & Subtasks
Accelo lets you create Tasks under Milestones or Projects to keep track of important actionable items.
Although you cannot add any subtasks, you can add these details to provide context to your Tasks:
- Task Title
- Task Status
- Task Description
Break tasks into granular subtasks to indicate the steps needed to complete a task.
Fill out the details on tasks to provide assignees with all the information they’ll require, such as:
- Task name and description
- List of subtasks
- Link to the project and task list
- Start and due dates
- Billing type
- Time estimate
- Billing estimate
- Invoice status
- Time budget alerts
Accelo lets you assign and change your Task Status to indicate its progress in your workflow. The default Statuses include Unassigned, Pending, Accepted, Started, and Completed.
You can also create new or custom Statuses.
Paymo includes the following default task statuses:
You can create custom statuses in the company settings menu, which apply globally.
Additionally, Paymo allows you to set up workflows for specific projects. The default workflow contains To Do, In Progress, and Complete. From the company settings, you can establish new workflows with custom statuses.
Accelo lets you add Checklists for to-do items within a Task. Assignees can tick Checklist items to indicate their completion.
Paymo doesn’t include a native feature for adding checklists to tasks and subtasks.
6. Task Templates
Accelo’s standard Task Template helps you assign work and provide context to aid your Project workflow.
This template can be configured to include additional details. However, by default, it contains:
- Task Title
- Task Description
- Task Status
- Task Time
- Task Rate
- Start and Due Dates
Paymo offers project templates, which are useful when multiple projects share the same task lists and structure.
However, you can’t templatize individual tasks on Paymo.
Accelo lets you assign Projects, Milestones, and Tasks to people on your team. Projects and Milestones can be assigned to managers, while Tasks can be assigned to both managers and team members.
Add assignees to projects, task lists, and tasks.
You can set Task Priorities to Critical, High, Normal, Low, or None on Accelo. Each level has a corresponding icon based on its urgency.
You can edit the Priority names but can’t create custom ones or modify the icons.
Indicate the urgency of a task by setting the priority to one of the default statuses — low, normal, high, or critical. Paymo doesn’t offer custom priority statuses.
Accelo allows you to automate certain business and Project processes to save time for more important work. You can set up automations based on Triggers, Rules, and Actions.
Paymo doesn’t include a native feature for setting up automation rules.
However, it does have some time-saving automation features, including:
- Automatic recurring tasks
- Automatic time tracking
- Auto-scheduling (to adjust dependent tasks when dates change)
B. Time Management
Time is money for a reason.
The right software can be the difference between pinching pennies and raking in the big bucks.
Effective project management software offers effortless time management features to help you befriend the clock.
With the right one, expect to keep all your tasks running as scheduled and meet your deadlines with ease.
Features to look out for include:
- Due dates: Communicate expected delivery dates.
- Time estimates: Make capacity decisions based on how much time each task or project is expected to take.
- Time tracking: Measure productivity with accurate time consumption data for each team member.
1. Due Dates
Maintain deadlines for Project deliverables by adding Start and Due Dates on Accelo.
You can add or modify these dates while creating or editing Tasks. They can also be modified from your Project Schedule.
Set task due dates and time budgets and set up alerts for when you’re approaching deadlines.
2. Time Estimates
Accelo lets you add a Time Budget to Tasks. Once an Assignee has finished a Task, you can compare the estimated time vs the actual time taken.
Set time estimates for tasks. Additionally, if the billing type is time-based, you can set a billable rate and calculate the estimated billable amount.
3. Time Tracking
You can use Accelo’s in-built Timer to track how long you work on a Task. The timer starts automatically by default when you start an Activity. However, you can pause, resume, and stop the Timer at any time or manually log time using the Time Log button.
And if you’re working on different Tasks, the app will automatically start tracking time for both and switch between Timers as you move between Tasks.
Paymo offers six different avenues for tracking time:
- Web timer: Select the project and task you’re working on and use a timer to track time in the web app.
- Manual: Add time directly to tasks by inputting a duration or time interval of work.
- Bulk function: Input time entries for an entire week on a timesheet.
- Desktop Widget: Track time or manually add time from the Paymo tracking widget for desktop.
- PaymoPlus: Receive an automatic record of your activities for the day, and map them onto time entries at the end of the day to sync them with Paymo.
- Mobile app: Track time or add it manually via the Paymo mobile app.
What you can’t measure, you can’t improve.
Reporting and analytics features can help you track real-time progress, monitor key metrics, and sniff out bottlenecks like a detective.
Armed with these insights, your team can stay ahead of the curve no matter the situation.
Expect better resource management, superior deadline compliance, and a more focused and decisive team.
Features to look out for include:
- Goals and milestones: Record targets for the whole team to see and work towards.
- Dashboards: Visualize data from all corners of the team into a user-friendly, interactive interface.
- Gantt charts: Keep your plans flexible with Gantt charts that allow you to adjust timelines based on changing resource availability and task completion ratio.
1. Goals & Milestones
Accelo’s Milestones are overarching agendas within a Project. For example, a testing stage for a product release. The stage can be classified as a Milestone and has several Tasks under it that need to be completed.
However, the tool doesn’t have a distinct feature for setting goals.
On Paymo, you can set milestones that are dates by which you want the associated tasklist to be resolved. You can also set reminders for upcoming milestones.
Here’s a list of some of the many Dashboards that Accelo offers:
- Schedule Dashboard
- Utilization Dashboard
- Profitability Dashboard
- User Dashboard
- Manager Dashboard
- Company Dashboard
- Sale Dashboard
- Project Dashboard
- Ticket Dashboard
These Dashboards provide you with a quick, accurate overview of different aspects around Project and Task management. It lets you oversee progress, planning, and profitability.
The Paymo dashboard displays real-time graphs and information from across clients, projects, and tasks.
You can customize the dashboard by activating, deactivating, and reordering various plugins, which include:
- Finance plugin: A graph of sent vs paid invoices for a period
- Time plugin: Displays time tracked by you, the whole company, or team members you manage, depending on your company role
- Billable vs non-billable plugin: Shows a pie chart of billable vs non-billable hours tracked
- Milestones plugin: Displays upcoming and overdue project milestones
- Active timers plugin: Shows which team members are working and what they’re working on in real time
3. Gantt Charts
Accelo’s Gantt charts allow you to:
- View Milestones and Tasks based on their durations and dependencies.
- Click and drag to link Milestones or Tasks and create dependencies.
- Collapse or expand Milestones to hide/view Tasks.
- Drag Milestone bars to extend or reduce durations for project planning.
Paymo automatically displays all tasks that have a start and end date in the Gantt chart view, where you can:
- Drag to adjust dates and duration
- Change the view to show days, weeks, months, or years
- Create dependencies between tasks
- Click on tasks to see an overview of details
D. User Management
Software, features, and other tech things aside, the real heroes of any project are your team members. So make sure to pick the kind of project management software that puts them front and center!
How do you do this?
Look for software that knows what different team members need and helps you deliver the right experience.
Features to look out for include:
- User groups: Create internal teams representing various departments, functions, or projects.
- Permission levels: Grant different access levels depending on the users’ information requirements and the company’s security concerns.
- Guest users: Invite team members from other companies/teams to collaborate with your team without compromising on confidential data.
1. User Groups
You can create custom User Groups in Accelo with specific permission levels for the whole group.
This lets you categorize your team and bulk assign access levels, helping you to easily sort users and control their access to different Accelo modules.
Paymo doesn’t offer any native features for creating user groups or teams.
2. Permission Levels
Accelo offers comprehensive permission levels, including view, edit, assign, delete, plan, admin, and more, across three different access levels for users:
- Administrators have full access
- Professionals are standard users who can log time and manage work
- Contractors are limited roles that can only log time
You can also choose to give members access based on their roles within specific teams on Accelo (for example, Company, Sale, Projects, etc.).
Paymo offers the following user privilege levels:
- Admin: Has access to financial information, client data, company settings, company-wide time data, team scheduling, and PTO
- Project manager: Can add, manage, and view time entries, time reports, and schedules for the projects they’re assigned to
- Regular user: Can add tasks for themselves, view task details, and discuss tasks they are assigned to
3. Guest Users
Accelo doesn’t have a distinct feature to add guest users. However, you can add users with temporary access by assigning Contractor roles.
You can also add client users via the Client Portal.
You can invite external people to view a project on Paymo as a guest user.
They will be able to:
- View projects, tasks, time reports, invoices, and estimates you share with them
- See upcoming milestones
- Contribute to discussions on shared tasks
- Add tasks (If granted the user privilege by an admin)
In project management, collaboration and communication are like a ballroom dance — if everyone isn’t in sync, you’re just stepping on each other’s toes!
A project manager should encourage their team to be on the same page regarding everything happening on the project. This could involve regular meetings, periodic status updates, shared checklists, etc.
But things can get tricky when you add different team structures (remote, hybrid, distributed, etc.).
The trick is to balance ‘informing everyone’ with ‘over-communicating.’
The solution is to forge a shared space where the whole team can contribute without hampering individual productivity. Picking a suitable project management software is the first step toward achieving this goal.
Features to look for include:
- Comments: Simple ways to send feedback or discuss a task or project.
- Threads: Keep all relevant comments in a single thread.
- Tagging/@mention: Mention a team member on a task, in comments, or in any shared space to notify them.
- Sharing tasks: Share tasks with relevant team members for efficient collaboration.
- File management: Attach and store files, create and annotate documents, etc., for ready access to project documentation.
- Notifications: Customize how team members receive notifications.
1. Comments, Threads, & Tagging
Accelo doesn’t let you comment directly on Tasks. However, you can add replies to Activities in Message Streams.
An Activity is any work correspondence done for a Task, like sending an email, scheduling a meeting, or creating an Internal Note for your team. These Activities are logged in a Message Stream within a Project or Milestone.
Team members and clients can add in-line replies or comments in response to an Activity in the Message Stream.
Comment on tasks and assign comments to notify specific users on Paymo.
Alternatively, you can comment at the project level by adding a discussion in the Discussion tab.
2. File Management
Attach files like PDFs and images to Tasks or email exchanges with your team or clients.
You can also search for attachments or files from your Accelo Dashboard and upload files from integrated services like Dropbox or Google Drive.
You can upload files to tasks from your device or Google Drive. You can also add files in comments on tasks.
All files for a project will be available in the Files tab.
The maximum file size is 2GB, and the following file formats are allowed:
Stay on track with Task updates with email notifications for Task or Activity creation, Status updates, Expense submission, etc.
You’ll only receive email notifications based on your preconfigured settings.
Paymo can send in-app and email notifications to assignees for activities on their projects and tasks.
Each user can change their email notification settings to select which activities they want to be notified about.
F. Customer Support
Individual users in smaller teams often face a steep learning curve with most project management software.
In their case, having access to responsive support executives and a wealth of helpful resources can make a significant difference, turning a frustrating experience into a positive one.
However, customer support is just as crucial for larger teams.
Even if these teams initially received thorough onboarding and training, their needs and use cases tend to evolve over time. Continuous and adaptable customer support becomes essential to address these changing needs effectively.
With adequate customer support, you can:
- Derive maximum value from the app with the help of professional guidance whenever required
- Ensure your team is making full use of all the features you’re paying for
- Learn from case studies of other teams using the same software
- Expand your use cases with time
- Learn about the features your team uses the most and avoid spending on those you don’t need
- Solve minor issues on your end by going through help resources
- Get hands-on support when you get stuck
- Keep a record of all your complaints and feedback for the platform to aid future buying decisions
- Send feedback to the app’s developers so they can design the features you most desire
Features to look for include:
- Detailed knowledge bases and documentation to aid DIY solutions to common issues
- Case studies, templates, guides, and other resources
- Easy access to resources for all types of users — free or paid
- Async support executives to cover for the time difference
- Live agents who can respond via chat or phone
- Screenshots and recordings to display how the tool works
- Translations to resources in other languages, if needed
- Webinars: Recordings of training sessions and interviews around using Accelo
- Video tutorials: Brief video walkthroughs on navigating Accelo products
- Help Guides and FAQs: Guides and answers on everything you need to know about using the tool
- Community: A space to share ideas, learn, and ask questions to other Accelo users
- Professional service: Consultative services for building workflows, configuring platforms, train your team to use Accelo
- Customer support: Email, Phone
- Help Center: A collection of written tutorials about how to use Paymo
- Customer Support: Fill in a support request form to get help via email
G. Platforms Supported
Distributed and field teams might not always be armed with laptops or computers.
But that doesn’t mean productivity has to stop.
With a mobile-friendly project management tool, the workflow keeps humming along, turning those smartphones into mighty workflow tools.
More reason to look into this?
If your company follows a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach, your team members need the freedom to switch between various devices.
With support for all types of apps, you can:
- Ensure uniform access irrespective of device type
- Save on the cost of buying the same types of devices for the whole team
- Give all team members a chance to log work from anywhere, anytime
Features to look for include:
- App support for the latest Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android versions.
- Maximum coverage for all key features across devices
- Browser: Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari
- Desktop: Mac, Windows, Linux
- Mobile: iOS, Android
- Browser: Firefox, Chrome (Desktop and Android), Safari
- Desktop: Mac, Windows, Linux
- Mobile: iOS, Android
Whether you have deep pockets or shoestring budgets, there’s project management software out there for every kind of organization.
But the confusing combination of features and numbers on pricing pages can make it difficult to choose.
Here are some easy tips for starters.
If you plan on buying the software subscription for just yourself or a small team that’s not likely to grow rapidly anytime soon — stick to the free plan as long as possible. Or pick the cheapest monthly subscription possible. These should cover most of your feature requirements comfortably in most cases.
However, if you expect to hire rapidly and grow to a sizable number, go for a plan that grows with you — ideally with a per-user rate that doesn’t add up exponentially.
Finally, most software offers flexible enterprise plans that let you cherry-pick your favorite features into a custom package. If you’re part of such a team, it’s best to contact the sales team and get the best deal possible.
Accelo has the following pricing plans:
- Free Trial: Try Accelo with full access for 7 days. No credit card required.
- Professional ($50/user/month): Client Project Management, Sales Management, Quote Management, Time Logs, Timers, Timesheets, Invoices, Payments, Financial Insight Dashboards
- Business ($70/user/month): Everything in Professional plus Client Retainer Management, Ticket Management, Shared Request Inbox, Expenses & Materials, Time Approvals for Billing, Unlimited Client Portal Users.
- Advanced ($90/user/month): Everything in Business plus Advanced Custom Workflows, Advanced Triggers & Automation, Smart Scheduling & Utilization, Adaptive Project Scheduling, Client Asset Management, and 3 Advanced Reporting Users.
- Elite (Contact for pricing): Everything In Advanced plus Role-Based Users from $39/month, Divisions Module, Unlimited Collaborator Users, SAML / Enterprise SSO, Premium Support with SLAs, Dedicated Account Manager.
Paymo’s pricing plans are structured as follows:
- Free: Unlimited users, five clients, 10 projects, and 1GB storage.
- Starter ($9.90/user/month): Everything in Free, plus unlimited clients and projects, calendar and Kanban views, and 5GB storage.
- Small Office ($15.90/user/month): Everything in Starter, plus recurring tasks, project templates, and 50GB storage.
- Business ($23.90/user/month): Everything in Small Office, plus Gantt chart view, employee scheduling, priority support, and 500GB storage.
I. Best Suited To
Picking the right project management tool is like finding the perfect pair of shoes. They must be a snug fit but also leave you some wiggle room to get comfortable!
In other words, the tool you pick must fit all your current needs and grow alongside your future requirements, too.
So make sure you’ve covered all bases in your research when picking project management software for your team.
One way to do this is to check what types of teams your choice serves best.
For instance, what works for a small software development team might not suit a large marketing agency.
When hunting for a PM solution, it’s vital to match the tool’s features and use cases with your team’s workflow. Tailor your search to find a tool with all the necessary features to manage your tasks and boost productivity.
Packed with various features for project management, client management, sales, and more, Accelo is well-suited for large-scale businesses and enterprises. It helps manage the diverse aspects of running a business without needing multiple tools.
But is it the best choice for you?
Accelo’s extensive feature set is easy to understand and use. The segregation of Projects by Company and the distribution of Tasks within Milestones lets you create a clean breakdown of your work.
Its Project Schedule view provides an excellent overview of Task dependencies. Project managers can even add separate time and monetary budgets to each Milestone to ensure overall profitability. But the tool isn’t perfect.
Accelo’s broad offerings come at the cost of basic project management features. For example, you can’t break down Tasks into Subtasks. This can lead to your team losing focus on the subcomponents of a Task.
Moreover, it isn’t easy to communicate about Tasks on Accelo. Users need to send emails or add Internal Notes since they can’t add comments to Tasks. You also can’t customize Priority labels or set goals.
Another prominent issue is its lack of a free plan. The pricing (starting at $50/user) is also much higher than other tools in this niche. This makes it less suitable for solopreneurs, small businesses, and startups.
Still, Accelo can be a viable choice if you require a broad solution with excellent customer service to manage diverse needs.
Paymo presents a modern and user-friendly interface with a solid set of project management features, offering a comprehensive solution for users.
However, it’s missing some features that are industry staples, like automation rules, task checklists, user groups, and task templates.
Also, some important views and tools are only available in the higher-priced plans. For example, the Gantt view is only in the Business plan, and project templates are not available in the free and starter plans.
In the end, Paymo could do with some advanced and unique features that would make it stand out from the big names in the project management space. However, it covers the essentials for effective project management and provides a free plan, making it worth a try.