Best Advantage Software Alternatives for Creative Teams (2024)

May 7, 2024
14 minute read

Advantage (recently merged with Simpli.fi) is an agency management solution that is most popular amongst growing teams and enterprises.

The software includes creative project management tools, resource management, time tracking, CRM, accounting tools, and financial reporting — and it differentiates itself from competing solutions with a native media planning and buying suite. (Teams that don’t already have a Strata or GaleForce usually like Advantage because they can purchase two software in one.)

However, some teams leave Advantage because they aren’t fond of the project management tools or because they voice complaints about the software's complexity.

In our experience talking to Advantage customers, they’ve noted the UI isn’t very user-friendly, and even after you know how to use the software, navigation can be confusing and clunky. Plus, Advantage’s media buying suite isn’t always a pro for people who already have a media buying system because Advantage doesn’t let you integrate with outside tools.

We put together this guide to Advantage alternatives for teams who want to compare other popular agency management tools.

In addition to Workamajig (our solution for creatives and marketers), we cover Clients & Profits, RoboHead, ActiveCollab, Scoro, and Adobe Workfront.

1. Workamajig

Top-Rated Advantage Alternative with a Full Accounting Toolset & Media Buying Integrations

Workamajig homepage

Workamajig is an agency management solution designed for creatives and marketers; we work with in-house teams, agencies, and growing corporations, and offer packages to support varying team needs.

Workamajig and Advantage go toe-to-toe in terms of features — the key differences are:

  • Workamajig integrates with and complements media buying tools like Strata so you can pull insertion orders and vendor invoices into our system; then, you can send payments and use this data in financial reports. Our system does not include a native media buying toolset.
  • The setup and workflows differ. Workamajig has a robust project management toolset and we show you how accounting tools connect at every point (to send accurate estimates, set and maintain budgets, track hours, and report on profitability). Advantage focuses more heavily on the accounting side, while project management tools are secondary.
  • Workamajig navigation is more straightforward. Advantage splits functionality between different interfaces as a way to limit user access. Workamajig houses everything in one online hub — accessible from anywhere, on any device — where users can click between the dashboards they can access.

It’s worth noting that Workamajig is one of the only Advantage alternatives with a complete accounting toolset — we replace outside systems like QuickBooks or Xero, so you don’t need to integrate third-party software to power our reports or accounting tools and you get complete accuracy and real-time data.

After the demo call, our team can meet with you to plan onboarding, configure our software to your requirements, and offer training. All clients are assigned a dedicated account manager to guide them through the switch to Workamajig and help out when needed at any point down the line.

In the sections below, we’ll show you how our system works so you can get a brief look at its features. You can also schedule a free demo with our team to learn more.

Project Management Tools (to Oversee Incoming & Ongoing Projects)

In this section, we’ll review the tools to:

  • Kick off new projects —Our system includes project templates, client portals, project intake forms, and a CRM to manage sales leads and convert opportunities to projects.

  • Plan creative projects — Create tasks, specify due dates and time allotments, assign team members and freelancers to projects, and collaborate on task cards.

  • Monitor projects — Monitor all in-progress projects in one color-coded, visually friendly dashboard. Avoid delays and prevent projects from exceeding budgets.

Kicking Off New Projects

Our system makes it easy to kickstart new projects.

There are three ways to manage new project requests:

  • Project Templates — First, our system has project templates, so managers can easily create new projects using templates customized to your team’s process.

  • Project Intake Forms — Next, you can create project intake forms and add them to your site or client portals. You can customize the fields on these forms and even allow submitters to attach supporting documents or spec sheets. New project requests appear in managers’ dashboards for review and approval (we also send notifications about these so you can reply quickly).

  • Native CRM Dashboard — Finally, our system includes a native customer relationship management (CRM) dashboard so your sales team can work opportunities through the pipeline, finalize project details like timelines and estimates, and close leads.

Workamajig: Sales Dashboard and Opportunities [GIF]

Note: Workamajig reporting tools that show data about project costs and average times to complete tasks/project types are invaluable for providing accurate estimates. You can look back at past data for a clearer idea of timelines and budgets, which can help you keep projects on schedule and ensure profitability.

Workamajig Project Estimate Profitability Labor Summary

After projects are approved, Workamajig automatically copies all of the project details (from request forms or sales conversations) into a new project template. Managers can see the entire project scope, expected budgets and profitability, and timelines to start planning.

Planning Projects

There are a few key details here — managers need to determine:

  • The actual tasks to complete projects
  • Task start date and due dates
  • How many hours to allocate for each task (and expected revisions)
  • The best person(s) to complete and review tasks

Workamajig Dashboard: Start at the project schedule, Allocate hours & set start dates for individual tasks & revisions [GIF]

The clip above shows how user-friendly our task management tools are; we show managers how to navigate these features during training, but our platform has virtually no learning curve.

Our system also includes a resource management dashboard so managers can easily assign (and re-assign) team members to tasks and monitor workloads.

Workamajig: Staff Schedule and Scheduling [GIF]

This dashboard shows:

  • Each employee’s total availability (the maximum number of hours they can work per week)
  • How many hours they’re scheduled for — total and by day
  • How many hours remain

Our dashboard also integrates with calendar systems (like Google Calendar and Outlook) to pull in meeting hours and time off so managers know exactly when employees are available and who’s around to help with tasks.

The dashboard and hours automatically adjust as managers assign team members to tasks so they can easily view total workloads, prevent burnout, and keep work assigned consistently.

It’s also worth noting that all user hours are tied to their hourly rates, so managers can monitor project costs as they assign tasks.

Vendor Management Hub

Workamajig also has a vendor management hub where managers can connect with freelancers and assign them to projects. You can easily request quotes for projects, review bids, and choose who to work with.

You can create an unlimited number of vendor portals where you can monitor assigned tasks, receive and manage vendor invoices, and send payments for completed work.

After managers set the schedule, our system notifies users of their assignments so they know what’s ahead and the types of tasks they’re responsible for completing. Our system also provides a daily breakdown so everyone knows exactly what to work on and when.

Team Collaboration Tools

Our system provides a Today dashboard for all users — managers, team members, and freelancers alike.

Upon login, users can see what’s on their schedule for the day and how long each task is projected to take; they can also zoom out and look at the week or month ahead. This way, they clearly know what’s important and when they have time for breaks or other obligations.

Workamajig Today Creatives Tasks

Within task cards, users can:

  • See all the details and resources to complete tasks. They can view due dates and tag managers in comments if they have extra questions.
  • Attach relevant website links or files. Our system accepts most file types, including images, documents, audio files, videos, design files, PDFs, and HTML. Users can store files at the campaign or project level and create folders to organize content. Our system tracks the version history of files so managers can review edits and reference content from past projects.
  • Receive feedback and collaborate with other team members, managers & clients. Workamajig includes automatic routing and internal proofing tools to facilitate review conversations. Internal users and external stakeholders can join the discussion, request changes, or approve creative work. All users can see the work being done to complete tasks so there’s no guessing about progress or what’s happening behind the scenes.
  • Track their hours. Users can add hours after they complete tasks or use the timer function to record hours as they go; they can pause and toggle between timers, then mark tasks as “Done” once they’re complete. This time-tracking feature also enables managers to monitor budgeted vs. allocated vs. actual hours.

Workamajig File Revision Editing - Round 2

 

Read more: How to Track Creative Project Management Hours

Project Monitoring

Managers can see all ongoing projects and their status via the Projects dashboard.

Our system automatically updates budgets, timelines, and forecasted end dates as users finish tasks; then, managers can view a real-time estimate of when projects are expected to wrap.

Workamajig dashboard: Projects and Project Status [GIF]

Managers can divide projects into phases and assign each segment a color so they can easily return to this dashboard and see progress.

For example, in the clip above, we see projects divided into blue, yellow, and mint green phases. You can color code phases any way you like (say, to represent the type of tasks happening at that stage or who’s involved). The black line shows how far projects have progressed through each phase.

On the left-hand side of this screen, we provide Budget and Timeline columns to warn you if projects are at risk of exceeding budgets or falling behind schedule:

  • Green symbols mean projects are on time.
  • Yellow warnings highlight projects with potential delays or budget issues.
  • Projects with red warnings in either of these columns require immediate attention.

Then, managers have the heads-up and details to course-correct projects, avoid running over schedule, and improve project profitability.

We can see how our project management tools simplify workflows, improve planning and resource allocation, and grant better visibility into project progress and what teams are working on. Our system follows a project-first workflow and provides the tools to plan each facet (the tasks, the people, the time, the funding).

Agency Management Tools (to Track Outcomes of Projects, Staff Performance, Revenue & Profitability)

In addition to our features above, Workamajig includes an agency management suite offering:

  • Vendor & Client Portals — Source freelancers for projects and manage client communications in dedicated, organized hubs.

  • Integrations with media buying tools — View insertion orders and use this information to guide digital strategies and campaign management. Our accounting suite lets you pay vendor invoices and use this data in financial reports.

  • Finance & Accounting Suite — Our system provides a full accounting toolset so you can create invoices and receive payments, monitor costs (employee rates, credit card expenses, subscriptions, etc.), and report on overall earnings and profitability.

  • Agency Insights — Beyond financial reporting, our agency insights dashboard shows a high-level overview of what your agency is working on. We show year-to-date hours per client, project, or service, and provide a daily breakdown of in-progress tasks.

Vendor & Client Management

We talked about our vendor management tools above, but you can also create (an unlimited number of) client portals to manage those communications.

These portals allow clients to:

  • Request projects with you and communicate the details
  • Monitor in-progress projects and join feedback discussions
  • View and approve deliverables
  • Reference invoices and send payments

Workamajig Client Vendor Portal Projects

Media Buying Integrations

Advantage offers a full media buying solution because they’re a Simpli.fi brand — Workamajig does not offer native media buying (nor do the competitors below). Instead, we work in parallel with these solutions.

If you don’t already have a media buying tool, you can use Strata, GaleForce, Mediaocean, or Bionic and integrate the system with Workamajig. (Or, you might reconsider Advantage.)

Our integrations let you pull data from broadcast and print orders and manage invoices for these orders in our system. Then, you can use these details for campaign planning and budget management.

You can also learn more about media buying integrations here.

Finance & Accounting

Our accounting suite lets you:

  • Manage, reconcile, and pay vendor invoices.
  • Create itemized invoices using your preferred billing method (time and materials, fixed fee, retainer, or media).
  • Receive and manage client payments — our reports automatically defer advanced billings to provide an accurate look at cash flow and avoid overstated revenue.
  • Connect with credit card accounts — run expense reports, view chargebacks, and consolidate all spending data relevant to projects.
  • Measure the profitability of projects (services, clients, departments, individuals, etc.).
  • Forecast future revenue.

Workamajig Client Profit and Loss

We provide a variety of out-of-the-box reports to analyze financial performance — the Client P&L report can show you profitability by client, but you can also look at metrics in other areas. For example, you could hone in on labor hours and costs by service, or measure your most profitable account managers and team members.

Then you have data to optimize budgets, cut costs, set (and report on) financial goals, and grow your bottom line.

Agency Insights Reporting Dashboard

In addition, Workamajig provides an Agency Insights dashboard that provides more detail about where you’re spending your time, what’s currently in progress, and what’s on the horizon.

Here is where you can track hours worked by client, project, or service; you can also see who’s clocking the most time and what they’re working on.

Workamajig Home Dashboard YTD  by Category

This gives you a better understanding of what clients or tasks require the most resources. It also lets you analyze billable vs. non-billable hours to approach scheduling more strategically and improve time management.

Getting Started with Workamajig

Workamajig is a project and resource management tool designed specifically for creatives and marketers. Our system incorporates all of the tools these teams need to manage operations effectively: time tracking, collaboration, vendor and client portals, an accounting suite, financial reporting, and more.

We take time before onboarding to learn each client’s challenges and configure our software to their specifications. We show you how to use the software and adjust settings, offer training to streamline onboarding, and provide ongoing support to help troubleshoot issues and scale the software to meet your requirements.

We offer three pricing packages: a solution for in-house teams, another for agencies, and custom plans for enterprise teams. Pricing is per user and based on team size.

Workamajig pricing options: In-house, Agency, and Enterprise


We've only just scratched the surface of Workamajig's key features and benefits request a free demo with our team to learn more about our system.

2. Clients & Profits

Clients & Profits homepage: Creative Side, Business Side. Meet Clients & Profits.

Clients & Profits has been a player in the game for over three decades — offering a collaborative, cloud-based work management platform for creative and design studios, advertising agencies, marketers, and corporate marcoms.

Their system includes tools to manage both the “business side” and “creative side” of operations; more specifically, this includes project management, live scheduling, time tracking, media planning and integrations with media buying systems, invoicing tools, financial reporting, and a full accounting system.

Teams appreciate Clients & Profits simply due to their breadth of experience: they’ve worked with countless teams, encountering and solving an array of operational challenges over the last 30+ years. However, some say the actual software solution is outdated and not very user-friendly; others note the inability to access the software through an internet browser, as C&P only offers apps for desktops and tablets.

Features for Creative Teams

  • Project & task management — track creative briefs, estimates, deadlines, printing specs, assets, approvals, and more
  • Project monitoring with real-time updates on timelines & budgets
  • Resource management & live scheduling
  • Time tracking
  • Media planning & buying — create media estimates and convert them to insertion orders, then connect with media buying tools like Strata to import data from media buys
  • Full accounting system with invoicing, cost management, and financial reports — print vendor and client agings, audit trails and journals, cash flow, and job profitability reports

Pricing

Clients & Profits offers dedicated solutions for studios, agencies, and marcoms — and tiered pricing for each user group. Features and pricing vary by user but here’s a quick overview:

  • C&P Studio
    • Creative: $19/month/member
    • AE/PM: $39/month/member
    • Power: $59/month/member
  • C&P Agency
    • Creative: $19/month/member
    • AE/PM: $39/month/member
    • Power: $109/month/member
  • C&P Marcom
    • Creative: $19/month/member
    • AE/PM: $39/month/member
    • Power: $79/month/member

Note: Every staff member needs to be under the same tier (Power user, AE/PM user, or a Creative user) to work together. Freelancers can use the creative dashboard and timecard for $9/month/user.

C&P also charges a one-time set-up fee (they do not disclose this cost on their website); this fee includes onboarding to train you on the platform. You can also offer workflow consulting services and one-on-one training for users who need extra help or tips on project management best practices.

3. RoboHead

RoboHead homepage: Deliver Creative Work That Moves Your Business Forward

RoboHead is a popular project management software for creatives and marketers because it:

  • Has a modern, intuitive design that’s easy to learn.
  • Has mobile apps to access the RoboHead dashboard from your tablet or cell phone.
  • Combines project management, time tracking, scheduling, team collaboration, reporting, and portfolio management under one roof.
  • Offers workflow automation features to save teams time.
  • Integrates with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, calendar tools, accounting software, and other business applications.
  • Provides dedicated 24/7 support through onboarding, and a 60-day money-back guarantee if you don’t love the platform.

Due to its ease of use, this solution appeals to small and growing teams.

RoboHead also offers custom packages for enterprise teams. It’s worth noting, though, that RoboHead doesn’t include media buying or planning tools, so if this is a must-have for your Advantage alternative, you should consider Workamajig or Clients & Profits above.

Features for Creative Teams

  • Project request forms
  • Project planning with templates & task management
  • Team management with scheduling & time tracking
  • Project management & monitoring
  • Collaborative tools to gather feedback from team members & clients
  • Portfolio management
  • Workflow automation tools
  • Financial reporting
  • Integrations & Adobe XD plugin

Pricing

RoboHead does not share pricing on their website, you must contact them for a custom quote.

4. ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab homepage: ActiveCollab is the project management software that gives you complete control over your work

ActiveCollab is a collaborative project management platform that’s popular amongst creatives and marketers — though they also work with architectural and engineering firms, software and website developers, consultants, law firms, event management groups, and other professional services. Their clients include household names like Apple, Nike, Dell, PepsiCo, Samsung, Michelin, Microsoft, Nespresso, DHL, Fujifilm, Pfizer, and more.

ActiveCollab is a customizable solution that integrates with dozens of outside tools (which is how the software can work for so many different brands).

However, ActiveCollab isn’t specifically tailored to creatives and marketers like Advantage — and it lacks media planning features and accounting tools, so you still need those outside systems to manage media buys and power ActiveCollab’s financial reports.

You might like ActiveCollab over Advantage if your core focus is better project management. This tool might also appeal to you if you need a self-hosted software solution, as they offer both on-premise and cloud-based project management.

Features for Creative Teams

  • Work management (project management)
  • Team collaboration — real-time chat function, commenting, discussions, notes, file storage, user roles, and notifications
  • Time management — including timesheets & a stopwatch feature for accurate time tracking
  • Resource management — including workload & availability management
  • Client management
  • Business profitability reports
  • Integrations with Google Drive, Dropbox, QuickBooks, Slack, Hubstaff & TimeCamp
  • Custom integrations (via Zapier, API, or Webhooks)
  • Mobile apps

Pricing

ActiveCollab offers three plans and add-on bundles to customize the software as you grow.

The three plans include:

  • Plus: This plan includes three members for $3.17 per member per month.

  • Pro: This plan unlocks more features and user seats, it costs $8 per user per month.

  • Pro+Get Paid: This is the most popular plan and it grants access to all of Active Collab’s features and costs $11.75 per user per month.

They also offer a 14-day free trial to test the platform before purchasing a subscription.

5. Scoro

Scoro homepage [2024]

Scoro is a work management system that supports each component of operations through its core feature set and integrations. The system is designed for creative and marketing agencies, consultants, and other project-based professional services. They work with small businesses and growing teams alike.

Scoro’s platform includes project management, resource management, collaboration tools, time tracking, financial management, and reporting — but it does not offer media planning or an accounting toolset like Advantage. It integrates with accounting tools like QuickBooks and Xero to power financial reports.

Scoro also integrates with CRM systems (like HubSpot), email systems (like Google Calendar & MS Exchange), payment solutions (like Stripe), and other project management tools (like Trello & Asana) to act as a single source of truth.

Reviews of Scoro note the fresh and clean display, saying the software is visually elegant and modern. However, some note a learning curve at the beginning and say the software features can be difficult to understand without guided training. For that reason, Scoro might be most appealing to smaller or midsize teams with the resources for training; larger or remote teams might have trouble with onboarding.

Features for Creative Teams

  • Project management
  • Resource planning
  • Collaboration tools
  • Quoting & budgeting tools
  • Invoicing
  • Cost management
  • Retainers
  • Time tracking
  • Sales CRM
  • Reporting

Pricing

Scoro offers four packages with varied features and pricing. The Pro plan is recommended for most users because it includes integrations with accounting software (which teams need to power invoicing and financial reporting).

Note that Scoro requires a minimum of five users for all plans, and pricing is per user for each of the following packages:

  • Essential — $26 per user per month (a minimum cost of $130/month).

  • Standard — $37 per user per month (a minimum cost of $185/month).

  • Pro — $63 per user per month (a minimum cost of $315/month).

  • Ultimate — Enterprise organizations can contact their sales team for a custom plan.

Note: Scoro charges extra for custom modules and their Sage Intacct add-on. They may also charge cancellation fees if you don’t provide a 30-days notice before ending your membership.

6. Adobe Workfront

Adobe Workfront landing page [2024]

The last option on our list, Adobe Workfront, is an Advantage alternative that may interest enterprise users already working in the Adobe ecosystem.

Adobe’s Workfront integrates with Creative Cloud apps, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), Acrobat, and Adobe’s many other software to support different areas of operations. That said, these integrations can be tricky to set-up (and use), and Adobe doesn’t integrate with many outside tools. So, if you’re not already using Adobe apps, or aren’t needing Adobe software, then Workfront may not be your best solution.

Workfront’s project management suite includes essentials like task management and project monitoring, as well as resource management and time tracking. Unlike Advantage, it lacks invoicing and accounting, and it doesn’t offer native media buying tools or integrate with these software types. Workfront is best if your priorities are project and resource management.

As you can see from Adobe’s website, they recommend their Workfront software specifically for enterprises and global teams — the software can be a hurdle to get set up and running (though their customer support team can help) and it comes with an expensive price tag. Most small and growing teams find that Workfront pricing is out of their budget.

Features for Creative Teams

  • Demand management — project intake forms with automated routing & approval rules
  • Work management — including project & task management
  • Resource management — including team, project & global resource scheduling
  • Time tracking
  • Strategic portfolio planning
  • Collaboration tools — internal proofing and annotations & review and approvals
  • Customizable project monitoring dashboards — choose between Waterfall, Agile Scrum & Agile Kanban views
  • Integrations with Adobe apps
  • Integrations with outside systems — including Slack, Jira, Salesforce, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and Microsoft Teams, Sharepoint, OneDrive & Outlook

Adobe also offers add-on modules:

  • Workfront Fusion — Workflow automation tools to save time on repetitive tasks.
  • Scenario Planner — This dashboard provides insights to guide strategies and decision-making. It can also provide learnings to avoid delays or other issues with projects and work toward organizational goals.
  • Workfront Goals — Beyond Scenario Planner, Workfront Goals supports your overall business strategy so you can solve ongoing challenges, save time, increase cost savings, and grow your bottom line.

Pricing

Adobe does not share pricing on their website; you must contact their team to learn more about Adobe’s packages. As mentioned above, Adobe pricing is on the expensive side and their solution is mostly reserved for enterprise companies.

Try Workamajig Today

Workamajig scores highly on review sites and is a top Advantage alternative because our system includes a comprehensive toolset, is easy to learn and adopt, and is highly scalable.

Request a free demo with our team to learn more.

Related reads:

Related Posts

Run Better Projects Sign up for our free project management resources.

Get all our templates, tips, and fresh content so you can run effective, profitable, low-stress projects in your agency or team.