6 Comments

Summary:

Though CRM, project management and invoicing are often separate applications, more companies are producing software that does more than one of these tasks by combining them into one package. Severa is web-based software that provides you with an all-in-one software solution for managing your business. The […]

Severa LogoThough CRM, project management and invoicing are often separate applications, more companies are producing software that does more than one of these tasks by combining them into one package. Severa is web-based software that provides you with an all-in-one software solution for managing your business.

The price is unbeatable for lone freelancers and business owners, with a $0 price tag. If you work with a team that will need access to the software, it’ll cost 30 euros ($40) per user per month, with the first user free. Should the out-of-the-box package not have everything you need, Severa has add-ons available for a fee.

Severa succeeds in standing out from the field with one-click access to common features. The Dashboard (in the screenshot below) has a clean layout with good color contrast to help with quick scanning.

Severa Dashboard

All of the fields, pages and drop-down menus are customizable so you can remove those you don’t need or add more options. Severa does a nice job of ensuring its forms display key information and limit the number of required fields.

Form Details

You can search your data with keywords and limit searches to just one part of the application. Advanced search has a long list of columns to use as filters for searching. The right-hand side of the app holds a calendar and quick help box that changes based on where you point your mouse.

Viewing an account displays all of its contacts, cases and invoices. Like the rest of the app’s pages, the “Case” page avoids presenting too many fields. Cases come with a useful “Internal” tab for non-billable or internal work so you can track non-revenue producing activities. However, adding tasks to a case feels crude, as you can see in the next screenshot. It’s easy to make a mistake by not getting the format right. Those tasks are important when it comes to doing time sheets. The tasks will show up as an item so you can enter the time worked. This ties in with the invoice, which will reflect the time worked and the rate.

Entering tasks into Severa

As an example, I created a new account called “WebWorkerDaily” (client) with Mr. Simon Mackie as the primary contact. I used this assignment in creating a new case from within the WebWorkerDaily account and referred to it as “Severa Project.” Adding the tasks came next, followed by entering my time for the assignment. So far, so good.

However, I hit a roadblock with the “Invoicing” and “Fees” sections. It took some experimenting before Severa finally spit out the invoice with the right information as it appears in the next screenshot. Once over the hump, I breezed through the application.

Sample invoice from Severa

Severa has a sleek interface that lets you dive right in. It has a couple of minor obstacles, but so do most applications in this space. The CRM will suit those looking for a well-integrated and even-keeled solution, without feature overkill — it also sports LinkedIn, Facebook and Google Maps integration. Having CRM, project management and invoicing all in one app will make a lot of sense to many web workers.

The Finnish company’s software supports English (both U.S. and UK varieties) and Finnish.

What do you think of Severa’s CRM, project management, time tracking and invoicing solution?

  1. Hi Meryl, you hit the nail on the head with your review. What distinguishes Severa from the rest is how we distill the most used features from the Professional Services Organizations (PSO) environment and present them in an intuitive interface. This is where the real value of the system lies. The simplistic GUI that allows for powerful features – all within a single click.

    Look forward to more of your articles :).

    Share
  2. Thanks for this post. I think I found what I’ve been searching for quite a while.

    I tried these tools but couldn’t get what I need (maybe they can be useful to some people though):

    Wrike – http://www.wrike.com
    AceProject – http://www.aceproject.com
    @task – http://www.attask.com

    Share
  3. I’ve been using a combination of Freshbooks (great for invoicing, not so great ticket system) and CommitCRM (fantastic overall Windows app for computer service companies). But always looking for something better/easier I gave Severa a try today.

    I liked that its free for 1 user, and the integration between its CRM, Invoicing, and Case manager is decent.

    Don’t like the invoicing nearly as much as Freshbooks, and compared to CommitCRM its missing features like contract management, asset management, document sharing, knowlegdebase, customer web portal, etc etc.

    I’m sure Severa will become more feature rich, but for now I’ll stick with my current setup.

    Bob

    Share
  4. Thanks, @Zaki. Yes, its GUI is the best part about it. I agree with @Bob that the invoicing could use a lift especially listing your rates and total owed as that was a roadblock.

    @Josh, thanks for the pointers. Even if these all-in-one CRM/invoicing apps all had the same features — it’s a matter of people finding one that clicks. Just like we click with some people and not others — same with apps. Severa’s interface works well except for entering the tasks.

    Share
  5. In this day and age where roles and responsibilities are constantly split, I don’t understand why we have such a tool (mixing invoicing with Project Management). What’s the advantage? And will Project Managers actually use such a tool?

    Share
  6. PM Hut, as the roles and responsibilities are constantly split in today’s working environment, the tools for handling these work tasks need to support this division.

    The advantage of having one tool for various tasks is that everything can be made with that one tool! Especially small and medium sized companies benefit from this advantage. When information is spread around in spreadsheets or various tools, a company may lack a comprehensive overall picture of its operations. And when it comes to project management, all sorts of information is needed in order to know how the projects are proceeding. Although e.g. the work time entries and expenses are first put into the system for the purposes of project management (to follow in real time e.g. how much the project is tying resources), the same information can later be used for invoicing. When the information is already in the system, the bills related to different projects can be created faster and easier. And to answer your question about the actual usage by Project Managers: Why not use one tool for handling everything when it’s possible?

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post