The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the leading body of management accountants globally, has launched Certificate in Business Accounting for SMEs (CERTBA for SMEs) a business skill and financial management programme for entrepreneurs in the Nigerian market.
Designed for small to medium business entrepreneurs, CERTBA for SMEs, addresses the financial management challenge or crisis facing entrepreneurs as they strive to enhance profitability while managing working capital. The global programme, which is now available in Nigeria, helps small to medium size businesses create a sustainable framework for good decision making, effective management of risks and cash flow.
Associate Director for Nigeria, Ijeoma Anadozie, said: “The programme is designed to elevate small to medium enterprise in Nigeria to success by helping them to develop financial management and corporate governance skills required for their firm’s survival and growth. It is a learning programme designed to ensure that entrepreneurs, especially those without a finance background, have a solid grasp of the fundamentals of business and finance, as well as the skill and confidence to run their small business like a big business CEO.
“The CertBA for SMEs programme was based on extensive research and consultation with senior executives and business owners worldwide, ensuring that the learning reflects the emerging issues faced by businesses and responds to their need for competent, confident and skilled entrepreneurs.”
CIMA CERTBA for SMEs will equip entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills required to survive in todayâ€™s highly competitive market. Across, Europe and Asia, the programme ensured that entrepreneurs do not just have better business skills and financial literacy, but also run a better business.
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), founded in 1919, is the worldâ€™s leading and largest professional body of management accountants, with members and students operating in 177 countries, working at the heart of business. CIMA members and students work in industry, commerce, the public sector and not-for-profit organisations.
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), in partnership with PwC’s Academy in the Middle East, has launched a specialised Diploma in Performance Management for finance and accounting professionals in the UAE. The first training programme will be offered from 18-25 September in Dubai and the 25th of September to October 2nd in Abu Dhabi.
An information session will be held on Tuesday 13 September 2011 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
The Diploma is the first international qualification in management accounting developed by CIMA to be offered in Arabic. The programme available at PwC’s Academy in Dubai addresses the professional growth needs of Arabic-speaking financial managers and accountants in the UAE who are eager on advancing their job skills and become certified as a specialist by CIMA.
CIMA and PwC have successfully worked together to introduce the programme in several countries, including Russia, and adapted it to the local languages. The overwhelmingly positive response from around the world encouraged them to extend the programme it to the Middle East. PwC, having run similar successful programmes in Central and Eastern Europe for over ten years, will facilitate the first Diploma in Performance Management to be offered in Arabic anywhere in the world.
“Having the right job skills and training not only helps employees handle work challenges with ease but also allows them to stay ahead and contribute more efficiently to an organisation’s growth,” said Geetu Ahuja, CIMA Regional Manager for the Middle East. “We identified a gap in the region for professionals with advanced qualifications in financial performance management and hence designed a programme in Arabic focusing on the accounting, budgeting and forecasting techniques needed to manage and measure current and projected performance, including pricing, planning and control.”
CIMA is now able to bring a training solution to the region that can help the local need for talent development, especially within the realm of Emiratisation.
CIMA's Arabic Diploma in Performance Management, which was designed and will be reviewed by CIMA UK, consists of two modules: Performance Operations and Performance Management. Students who successfully complete the course and earn the required examination results will be rewarded with the CIMA Arabic Diploma in Performance Management.
Financial certifications, aka financial designations, are credentials that investment and financial industry professionals use. Represented by a trio or duo of letters after a name, they indicate a degree of education/training and specialization on the part of the individual.
If you have trouble telling the difference between a CFA®, CFP®, CIC, ChFC, or any of the other financial certifications, you're not alone. How do you sift through this alphabet soup to find the best financial professional for you? Let's look at the nine most popular designations with a brief explanation of the education and expertise each designation signifies and the kind of work done by the professionals holding them.
Those with the CFP® designation have demonstrated competency in all areas of financial planning. Candidates complete studies on more than 100 topics, including stocks, bonds, taxes, insurance, retirement planning, and estate planning. The program is administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.
In addition to passing the CFP certification exam, candidates must also complete qualifying work experience and agree to adhere to the CFP board's code of ethics, and professional responsibility and financial planning standards.
A financial planner works with individuals to help them understand their options and make financial decisions suited to their personal financial situation and goals. Because of the nature of their work, people place a good deal of trust in these individuals. The CFP board posts information on the financial planning process and current licensees, which lets clients of CFPs verify if their financial planners' designations are in good standing. The last thing anyone needs is to choose a CFP whose certification has been revoked.
This designation is offered by the CFA Institute (formerly the Association for Investment Management and Research [AIMR]). To obtain the CFA charter, candidates must successfully complete three difficult exams and gain at least three years of qualifying work experience, among other requirements. In passing these exams, candidates demonstrate their competence, integrity, and extensive knowledge in accounting, ethical and professional standards, economics, portfolio management, and securities analysis.
CFA charter holders tend to be analysts who work in the field of institutional money management and stock analysis, not financial planning. These professionals provide research and ratings on various forms of investments.
As the name implies, an individual with this certification has demonstrated his or her expertise in mutual funds and the mutual fund industry. These individuals often advise clients on which funds to invest in and, depending on whether or not they have their license, they will buy and sell funds for clients. The Institute of Business and Finance (IBF), formerly known as the Institute of Certified Fund Specialists, provides training for the CFS; and the course focuses on a variety of mutual fund topics, including portfolio theory, dollar-cost averaging, and annuities.
The knowledge these CFS designees hold is kept current through their continuing education requirements.
Individuals with the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation have demonstrated their vast and thorough knowledge of financial planning. The ChFC program is administered by the American College of Financial Services. Candidates must complete an test in financial planning, including income tax, insurance, investment, and estate planning, and are required to have a minimum of three years of experience in a financial industry position.
Like those with the CFP designation, professionals who hold the ChFC charter help individuals analyze their financial situations and goals.
Given by the Investment Adviser Association, CFA charter holders who are currently registered investment advisors can study for this is a designation. The CIC program's focus is on portfolio management. In addition to proving their high-level expertise in portfolio management, CIC candidates must also adhere to a strict code of ethics and provide character references.
Individuals who hold the CIC charter tend to be among the financial world's major players, such as those who manage large accounts and mutual funds.
The Certified Investment Analyst (CIMA) designation focuses on asset allocation, ethics, due diligence, risk measurement, investment policy, and performance measurement. As this certification signifies a high level of consulting expertise, only individuals who are investment consultants with at least three years of professional experience are eligible to try for the CIMA. The Investments & Wealth Institute, formerly the Investment Management Consultants Association, offers CIMA courses.
Individuals who hold CIMA designations are required to prove their expertise through continual recertification, which requires CIMA designees to complete at least 40 hours of continuing education every two years.
CIMA designation holders tend to have careers with financial consulting firms, which involve extensive interaction with clients and managing large accounts.
The CMT® designation is granted by the New York-based CMT Association. The CMT is the highest level of training within the discipline of technical analysis and is the preeminent designation for practitioners worldwide. Technical analysis provides the tools to successfully navigate the gap between intrinsic value and market price across all asset classes through a disciplined, systematic approach to market behavior and the law of supply and demand.
Earning the CMT demonstrates mastery of a core body of knowledge of investment risk in portfolio management, including quantitative approaches to market research and rules-based trading system design and testing. CMTs likely would be employed in the sales and trading departments of sell-side firms, as research analysts in firms that provide technical analysis to their clients, or working as portfolio managers and investment advisors.
A certified public accountant (CPA) is a designation provided to licensed accounting professionals. The CPA license is provided by the Board of Accountancy for each state.
Those holding the CPA designation have passed examinations in accounting and tax preparation, but their title does not indicate training in other areas of finance. So, those CPA holders who are interested in gaining expertise in financial planning in order to supplement their accounting careers need to become certified as personal finance specialists (PFS).
The PFS designation is awarded by the American Institute of CPAs to those who have taken additional training and already have a CPA designation.
Public accountants—individuals working for a firm that provides accounting and tax-related services to businesses and publicly traded companies—must hold a CPA designation.
This designation is issued by the American College and those who hold it work mostly as insurance agents. The CLU designation is awarded to persons who complete a 10-course program of study and 20 hours of exams. The course covers the fundamentals of life and health insurance, pension planning, insurance law, income taxation, investments, financial and estate planning, and group benefits.
It's important to realize that not all certifications are created equal. While some, like the CPA, reflect a state-issued or -sanctioned license (allowing the person to legally practice or do certain activities), others are simply industry-awarded designations. They may indicate a certain degree of experience and education but aren't mandatory qualifications to work in the field.
While certifications are not everything, you should supply extra credit to investment professionals who have them. Most of these certifications require candidates to put in many hours of study and meet high ethical and professional standards.
For instance, to get the CFA designation, candidates must put in approximately 250 hours of practicing per exam, and there are three exams to pass. The tests are so intensive that approximately 64% of those who take just the level 1 test will fail. Those who make it through all three levels to become charter holders are also bound by a code of ethics and rules of professional conduct, among other requirements.
Although all of these exams are intense and the hours can be long, these designations should be only one part of your criteria when deciding on a financial professional.
The CFP (certified financial planner) is a particularly prestigious designation. One of the oldest in the profession, it requires years of experience, successful completion of standardized exams in several areas, a demonstration of ethics, and a college degree—as well as ongoing education in the field.
If a planner wants to delve more deeply into investments and advise clients about them, they might also obtain a CIMA (certified investment analyst).
The certified investment analyst designation seems to. According to an Investments & Wealth Institute-commissioned survey, the financial advisors who are members of CIMA practices (defined as having at least one practice member with a CIMA certification) report earning a higher annual income compared to financial advisors who are members of practices with no CIMA certification. Some 12% of advisors at CIMA practices earn more than US$380,000, compared to 3% of advisors at practices with no CIMA designation.
A CPA also seems to offer a good return on investment. While the median salary of an accountant is $73,560 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, senior CPAs with over 20 years of experience could command an average of $150,000 annual salary, according to Accounting Today magazine and the American Institute of CPAs.
Financial certifications are usually awarded by a designated industry group, association, or degree-granting institution. Their requirements often include the taking of certain courses and the passing of exams, a certain number of years' experience or apprenticeship in the profession, a college degree, membership in the association, and a commitment to ongoing education in the field.
If you have to deal with a financial professional, it's important that you know the extent of his or her expertise in different areas of finance. Now you have an idea of what some of the designations mean and what they require from those who hold them.
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has signed an agreement with Shanti Business School (SBS) for the remote, digital self-paced learning programme namely The CGMA® Finance Leadership Programme. According to the official statement, the partnership aims to enable SBS to offer the CGMA® Finance Leadership Programme to students currently enrolled in its post graduate diploma in management (finance) programme.
The statement said, CGMA® Finance Leadership Programme enables instant on-line access for aspiring business and finance leaders to learn finance skills to the equivalent of a master’s degree. It further provides a new guided learning and assessment route to complete CIMA’s CGMA Professional Qualification and earn the CGMA® designation. With the help of real-life case simulations, the programme aims to teach a mix of finance, accounting, business, people, leadership and digital skills that are needed to build successful careers, the statement added.
“We have partnered with Shanti Business School to promote our CGMA® Finance Leadership Programme, a complete digital learning platform which will enable business students to become Chartered Global Management Accountants and CIMA members. With the impact of digitalisation, it is crucial for students to have strong skillsets and competencies to stay competitive in job market. I believe the CGMA® Finance Leadership Programme is the right tool that students can use to get the relevant skills and mindset to prepare themselves for the future workforce,” Bhaskar Ranjan Das, director, South Asia, AICPA, CIMA, said.
Further, the statement mentioned that students can start their CIMA journey while studying with SLIIT and start the programme at the appropriate entry level, building on their existing educational achievements. On successfully completion of the programme and fulfillment of practical experience requirements, students will become CIMA members and earn the CGMA® designation, the statement noted.
“This collaboration with CIMA will supply opportunity for our SBS students to gain the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation, and will increase their employability and competitiveness on both the national and global labour markets,” Neha Sharma, director, Shanti Business School, Ahmedabad, said.
Also Read: While 57% of Indians aspire to study abroad, 83% believe foreign degree to supply competitive edge: Report
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Restaurant data consultancy reveals consumer breaking point
TAMPA --News Direct-- Revenue Management Solutions
For restaurant operators facing record-high inflation this year, the question of pricing is a tricky one. Fortunately, new research by Revenue Management Solutions reveals how operators can find the sweet spot for pricing that works for both businesses and diners.
In the face of inflationary costs, raising prices is the first line of defense for restaurant operators. These businesses face severe bottom-line pressure due to lingering COVID concerns, food costs, supply chain troubles and dire labor shortages.
In response, quick service restaurant (QSR) prices have been steadily increasing, hitting a record 16.3% in August 2022. Consumers have taken the hit to date, but with wallet pressures looming, how much can QSR customers bear before breaking?
That’s the question Revenue Management Solutions set out to answer on behalf of its clients —some of the world’s largest QSR brands.
After analyzing in-store price increases by percentages year over year (Q2 2022 vs. Q2 2021) for 25,000 QSR locations in the US across numerous brands, RMS found that, yes, consumers have a breaking point.
“When price increases were between 10%-13%, traffic started to severely decline, negating some or all of the net sales benefits,“ stated Revenue Management Solutions Director of Consulting Services Scott Foxworth.
Chart 1 indicates the significant drops in traffic as prices hit the ceiling.
When looking at average price increases across observed locations, RMS found that most locations were beneath the threshold, with increases between 9% and 10%.
“Though the average price increases among observed brands fell below the threshold, the future is still uncertain,” said RMS Chief Operating Officer Mark Kuperman. “Some brands have an opportunity to increase margins with additional price increases, while others may have already hit the breaking point – even at a lower percentage increase.”
To determine a brand’s unique price increase ceiling, Kuperman recommends a careful analysis, by location, of the following pricing levers:
In a recent consumer survey, RMS found that the percentage of consumers trading down – ordering less expensive items or choosing less expensive restaurants – is rising. So too is trading out – of consumers that reported managing costs, 45% are ordering less often from restaurants.
“Consumers are beginning to perceive restaurant prices as higher, and about 1 in 3 believe they are getting less value from restaurants,” said Kuperman. “Brands will win if they can add to the value equation with great service, abundant value options and creativity.”
To get free sales, traffic and pricing trends from Revenue Management Solutions, go to revenuemanage.com/resources.
About Revenue Management Solutions
Revenue Management Solutions (RMS) is more than ever committed to supporting restaurants through these ever-changing times. Today, more than 50 major brands in 40-plus countries trust RMS. Its data-driven analytics and tech-enabled solutions optimize sales, menus and a brand’s financial health. RMS provides actionable insights to more than 100,000 restaurant locations worldwide to help them make informed business decisions that drive profitability and combat inflation and rising wages. The company holds five US patents on menu pricing and customer segmentation and supports ongoing academic research efforts. For more information on how RMS helps its clients, visit revenuemanage.com.
View source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/revenue-management-solutions-answers-the-question-how-much-price-is-too-much-727613954
Most organizations describe their risk management processes as insufficient and immature, despite perceived high volumes and complexities of risks
NEW YORK, September 27, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As global organizations face an increasingly complex risk environment, a new report issued today by the AICPA & CIMA and NC State’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative found that the majority have insufficient approaches to risk management and immature ERM processes. The report found that approximately 60 percent of global finance and business leaders agree that the volume and complexity of corporate risk have increased "mostly" or "extensively" over the last five years. However, over two-thirds of respondents do not have complete ERM processes in place.
The 2022 Global State of Risk Oversight: Managing the Rapidly Evolving Risk Landscape includes insights from a survey of 747 global senior finance and business leaders conducted in 2022. The survey measured finance-related executives’ assessments of the level of maturity in their organization’s proactive management of these risks through adoption of enterprise risk management (ERM) processes (a methodology that looks at risk management strategically from the perspective of the entire firm or organization and aims to identify, assess, and prepare for potential losses, dangers, hazards, and other potentials for harm that may interfere with an organization's operations and objectives and/or lead to losses).
Increased uncertainty and rapidly evolving events, including geopolitical shifts, supply chain disruptions, competition for talent, increased volume of available data, climate change concerns, and lingering effects of a global pandemic, are continuing to drive the complexity of risk challenges senior executives across the globe must navigate. Even when faced with these complexities of risks, fewer than half of respondents said they do not believe their risk management oversight model is "mature" or "robust" (Europe & U.K. – 31 percent, Asia & Australasia – 41 percent, Africa & Middle East – 26 percent, U.S. – 29 percent). And, similarly, only between one-third to one-half of respondents claim to have a complete ERM processes in place (Europe & U.K. – 33 percent, Asia & Australasia – 41 percent, Africa & Middle East – 29 percent, U.S. – 32 percent).
"Globally, organizations face the realities of an increasingly complex risk environment while realizing their current approach to risk oversight may be insufficient in a rapidly changing risk environment," according to Mark Beasley, KPMG Professor of Accounting and Director of the ERM Initiative at NC State. "And interestingly, even prior to the massively disruptive Covid-19 pandemic, business leaders have sensed an overwhelming volume and complexity of risks impacting their organizations. As this and our previous studies suggest, risk management does not appear to be getting easier."
Business leaders understand their organizations must take risks to generate returns. But there was a noticeable variation among respondents when asked if their risk management processes provided a competitive advantage. A higher percentage of respondents in Asia & Australasia (40 percent) and Africa & Middle East (34 percent) believe their risk oversight is providing an important competitive advantage, while the percentages are much lower in Europe & U.K. (13 percent) and the U.S. (11 percent). However, the report shows a disconnect among views from around the world when risk exposures are considered by senior executives when evaluating possible new strategic initiatives, with higher percentages reported in Asia & Australasia and Africa & Middle East (both 66 percent) and slightly lower in Europe & U.K. (58 percent) and the U.S. (47 percent).
"Business leaders that embrace the reality that risk and return are related are likely to increase their investment in enterprise risk oversight to strengthen their organization’s resiliency and agility when navigating the complex and uncertain risk landscape," said Ash Noah, CPA, CGMA, Vice President & Managing Director of Management Accounting at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. "Organizational value goes beyond the balance sheet. Along with providing protection for businesses, embracing ERM supports the creation of value and long-term viability and sustainability."
Additional key findings from the report include:
Respondents in most regions noted Covid-19 having "mostly" or "extensively" changed the nature of top risks affecting their organization - Europe & U.K. (48 percent), Africa & Middle East (61 percent), Asia & Australasia (71 percent), U.S. (41 percent).
Most executives do not believe their organization’s risk management processes provide competitive advantage - Europe & U.K. (13 percent), Africa & Middle East (34 percent), Asia & Australasia (40 percent), U.S. (11 percent).
About one-half of organizations outside of the U.S. describe their metrics for monitoring risks as "mostly" to "extensively" robust (Europe & U.K. – 47 percent, Asia & Australasia – 47 percent, Africa & Middle East – 50 percent), while only 31 percent in the U.S. describe their metrics at that level.
Most organizations (Europe & U.K. – 64 percent, Asia & Australasia – 64 percent, Africa & Middle East – 76 percent) claim to have a standardized process for identifying risks, where the U.S. is the exception at 51 percent.
The 2022 Global State of Risk Oversight: Managing the Rapidly Evolving Risk Landscape includes data collected during 2022 through an online survey of global business leaders across four core regions (Europe & the U.K., Asia & Australasia, Africa & the Middle East, United States). In total, 747 fully completed surveys were submitted. Of those about half serve in senior accounting and finance roles, with the remaining representing a variety of management positions within a range of industries.
About the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, and AICPA & CIMA
The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants® (the Association), representing AICPA® & CIMA®, advances the global accounting and finance profession through its work on behalf of 689,000 AICPA and CIMA members, students and engaged professionals in 196 countries and territories. Together, we are the worldwide leader on public and management accounting issues through advocacy, support for the CPA license and specialized credentials, professional education and thought leadership. We build trust by empowering our members and engaged professionals with the knowledge and opportunities to be leaders in broadening prosperity for a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future.
The American Institute of CPAs® (AICPA), the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, sets ethical standards for its members and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and federal, state, and local governments. It also develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination and builds the pipeline of future talent for the public accounting profession.
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants® (CIMA) is the world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants. CIMA works closely with employers and sponsors leading-edge research, constantly updating its professional qualification and professional experience requirements to ensure it remains the employer’s choice when recruiting financially trained business leaders.
About North Carolina State University’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative
The Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative in the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University provides thought leadership about ERM practices and their integration with strategy and corporate governance. Faculty in the ERM Initiative frequently work with boards of directors and senior management teams helping them link ERM to strategy and governance, host executive workshops and educational training sessions, and issue research and thought papers on practical approaches to implementing more effective risk oversight techniques (www.erm.ncsu.edu).
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220927005281/en/
NC State University
Let's say you're building a house. It's a complex process, and some tasks must be done in a particular order. After all, you can't install windows if you haven't put up the walls yet. You probably have dozens of people working on the house, and you have to know which days they are available to pour the foundation, lay the tile, and so forth. Then you have to schedule them based not only on their availability but also on each task happening in the right order. The way to manage a complex project like this one, including all the jobs that need to be done by whom and when, is to use project management software.
We're here to tell you about the best project management apps we've tested, and what makes each one unique. Below our recommendations, you'll find more information on what project management software is and advice on how to shop for the right app for your team.
Best for Beginners
GanttPro is one of the best project management apps for beginners. That also means it's a great pick for teams, especially small teams, that don't have an expert in project management on hand to run their projects for them. It does not have customizable reports and dashboards that larger teams may need, however.
With reasonable pricing, an interface that anyone can learn to use, and a good balance of features, GanttPro is one of the best project management apps. We also appreciate that it includes custom fields for tasks, a kanban board view, and a critical path feature, as well as a save history that allows you to do multiple undos.
Best for Client Work
If your business takes on projects for clients, then Teamwork is one of the best project management apps you'll find. It comes with billing and invoicing included, so it's easy to track hours worked on a project and know what to bill.
Before Teamwork became focused on organizations that take on client work, it was already a superbly designed project management platform. If you are new to project management, you could spend a bit of time using Teamwork and watching some of its excellent video tutorials to learn enough to use it in practice.
Best for Small and Growing Teams
Zoho Projects is a low-cost project management app with an array of helpful features, which makes it an attractive option for small and growing businesses. Its tiered pricing, with attractively low rates, is also targeted at organizations that are on a budget and those that expect to grow quickly.
We picked Zoho Projects as one of the best project management apps because it offers excellent value. It's easy to set up and navigate, offers deep configuration options, and includes the option to track time worked. You can make your own project templates in Zoho Projects, but the app does not come with its own set of templates.
Celoxis is one of the best project management apps for medium and large organizations. This app provides ample reports and other tools that supply decision-makers and business owners value. For example, you can use Celoxis to not only work most efficiently by adjusting project schedules, but also to forecast revenue.
Celoxis is reasonably easy to use, with a short setup time. Medium to large businesses will like that it includes time tracking, budgeting, and resource management tools.
Best for Automated Scheduling
While LiquidPlanner can be a great project management app for teams of any size, we think it's especially well suited to larger teams working on complex projects. This app comes with ample tools for automatically fixing project schedules when tasks slip or when workers are suddenly unavailable.
LiquidPlanner is impressive at managing projects, tasks, workloads, and more. It can automatically and dynamically schedule work for your whole team, even as factors change—which may not be everyone's cup of tea. If you're open to what LiquidPlanner offers, this app can project best- and worst-case scenarios for projects and tasks, dish up rich management and insight tools, and supply you the tools you need for time-tracking—as long as you opt for a Professional or Ultimate plan.
Best for Proofing
ProofHub is a project management app for team that including proofing stages as part of their workflow. In other words, if your team evaluates or critiques visual materials—whether ad campaigns or mobile app designs—ProofHub has tools that other project management apps lack to help you through those processes. More specifically, it has markup tools you can use to draw on PDFs and image files while you supply feedback or otherwise collaborate on them with your team.
ProofHub aims for simplicity without skimping on core features. It's also competitively priced for small teams. This app is also surprisingly easy to use, making it great for teams that don't have a dedicated project manager.
Best for Open-Source Project Management
Redmine is the go-to project management app for anyone who wants a free and open-source option—but you also need to have people on hand that know how to install and maintain it. Redmine is not an off-the-shelf project management app. It's focused on projects that include issue- and bug-tracking.
While Redmine isn't for everyone, we chose it as one of the best project management apps because it's free and open source, which is a rarity in the project management world.
Best for Automations
Smartsheet is the project management app for people who like to increase productivity through automations. That means you're willing to put in the time to set up "if this, then that" type commands that Smartsheet carries out for you automatically. For example, you might have an automation that says, "When someone marks a task as blocked, and the task status is 'in progress' or 'for review,' then alert the person assigned as the manager for that task." Most other project management apps don't have automation options built into them, though sometimes you can create them using third-party tools, such as Zapier. One note about Smartsheet: to get time-tracking, budgeting, and resource management, you need companion software that come with added fees.
If you're willing to put in the time to learn what Smartsheet can do and customize it to your needs, it's very powerful. It might become your go-to tool not only for project management but also for other collaborative business.
Best for Easy Entry Into Gantt Charts
TeamGantt is for beginners because it's so easy and intuitive to use. If you don't know anything about Gantt charts, you will quickly and painlessly learn while using TeamGantt. We like this app best for small teams who may not have a dedicated project manager on hand. TeamGantt doesn't have budgeting or invoicing tools, which is another reason it's better suited to small teams rather than large ones.
TeamGantt has lovely interactive Gantt charts that are incredibly easy to learn to use. The app has exceptional tutorial content to help you learn anything you don't know. We also love a feature that automatically corrects any errors created among dependencies.
Best for Managing Projects and Ongoing Work
Wrike has a few plan types that are targeted at very specific types of teams, namely marketing and creative industries, and professional service teams. Wrike is very good at what it does, so long as you put in some time to pick the right plan and learn its features—expect to work with Wrike's customer support on this process, rather than merely paying for an account and setting up the app on your own. In that sense, Wrike is for larger teams that have the time and resources to dedicate at least one person to work with Wrike during setup.
Wrike is a powerful tool in both the categories of project management and collaboration software. Now owned by Citrix, Wrike supports team collaboration, work management, and project management, and it continues to grow by adding new work intelligence features that can, for example, predict when a project is at risk of falling behind and call attention to possible causes.
Project management software is a type of online collaborative app. All the people who are working on a project login and see what they're supposed to do and when. These workers also record their progress on those tasks and add relevant details, such as notes about any changes. With the appropriate permission level, people can also see what everyone else is doing, what requirements must be met for them to get it done, and when.
For the person or people managing the project, the project management app provides a clear overview of the project and its health. Are all the tasks on track to be completed on time? If one task is late, how does it affect the projected deadlines of other tasks? Is someone available to pick up an urgent task if the person assigned to do it is ill? Plus, if the project management app supports tracking finances, the app will also tell the people in charge whether the project is running on budget.
For this roundup of the best project management apps, we evaluated and tested more than 25 project management platforms and have included here the products with the highest scores. Inclusion is based on PCMag's independent testing and evaluation. In determining scores, we consider the needs of a variety of business types, including small businesses on a budget and large organizations that need to manage many projects, people, and budgets simultaneously.
For this category, we stick to traditional project management apps only. These apps are specifically created to manage projects, rather than ongoing work. A project is a set of work with a start date, an end date, and a deliverable.
Zoho Projects' Gantt chart view
To be included in this roundup, the app must offer Gantt charts, which is a type of timeline view that's commonly used in project management. All the apps included here also have other standard tools in addition to Gantt charts for tracking, organizing, and scheduling project-based work.
There are many other excellent collaboration apps that sometimes get called "project management apps," such as Trello, Basecamp, and Airtable. While some collaboration or work-management apps are very capable at managing certain kinds of work, they aren't necessarily designed for juggling the complexities of dozens or hundreds of projects and their schedules simultaneously. Therefore, we don't include them here.
Project management apps let you track and manage nearly any kind of project, such as the creation of a new product, building a house or website, or launching a marketing campaign. Teams that use project management apps typically track more than one project at a time. The software helps them figure out when to schedule work based on when things need to get done and the human resources available to do them.
The very best project management apps detect problems before they happen. By tracking the progress of work and individual tasks (for example, having completed six hours of a task that's estimated to take a total of eight hours), project management apps can sound an alarm when a deadline is in danger of slipping, but before it actually happens. The most powerful project management apps also offer to automatically reflow the project schedule when tasks do fall off course. They generate reports that supply managers insight into which team members have too much or too little work assigned to them. Some let you track project budgets, too, and log billable hours so that you can send invoices to clients for time worked.
TeamGantt's Gantt chart and workload view
A few of the best project management software systems have free versions. Usually, these free versions are severely limited in some way. For example, you might be allowed to manage only one or two projects at a time or invite only a handful of people to work alongside you. Plus, you usually don't get all the best features of the app in the free version. Still, if you have a small team and need to only manage one or two projects, it might work.
You can get a free account from Zoho Projects, Teamwork, Wrike, TeamGantt, ProofHub, plus a few others that did not make this list, such as AceProject.
Redmine, which did make this list, is a 100-percent free project management app, but you have to install and maintain it yourself. It's not an off-the-shelf product, but rather an open-source alternative. If you're looking for something simple you can start using right away, Redmine isn't it. For simplicity, you're better off with Zoho Projects, TeamGantt, or AceProject.
Teamwork's project management dashboard
If you're new to project management and especially if your organization doesn't have a dedicated project manager, you need a project management app that's easy to use. TeamGantt and GanttPro are the easiest project management apps to learn and use. They are both designed for beginners and other people who are inexperienced at project management.
Many of the project management apps we've reviewed are easy to use, provide good video tutorials, and work well for beginners, but after testing dozens of them, we believe GanttPro and TeamGantt are best.
If your team needs to manage and track a couple of projects, but you're less concerned with employee scheduling, collecting time sheets to bill clients, and comparing the progress of dozens of projects in development, a low-cost tool such as Zoho Projects (starting at $5 per person per month for Premium) is the best bet. What we especially like about Zoho Projects is that it scales easily if your team ends up growing and needs more features. Zoho, the company, offers a wide range of other business apps that can connect to Zoho Projects to expand what you can do with it.
We also like GanttPRO as a low-cost option. It's one of the easiest tools to use and is great for people who have limited or no prior experience with project management.
There's no need to spend more than about $15 per person per month if you aren't going to use the tools that are unique to more expensive software, so stick with something low-cost.
Large organizations have starkly different needs than small businesses. Organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees and hundreds of projects use project management apps for scheduling, insights into their resources, budget-tracking, revenue projection, and time-tracking for billing purposes, among other reasons.
For a large company, it's important to be able to manage not just individuals, but also teams. If you have 15 hours of work for a junior designer, and it doesn't matter which junior designer does it, you want to be able to see how much work each junior designer has assigned to them and whether you can free up one of them for the task.
For the same reason, all the managers and team leads in your company should be able to see what tasks are high priority and which projects are in danger of slipping so that they can triage accordingly.
Wrike's Inbox and Spaces view
Teams that aren't quite small businesses, but also aren't enormous organizations may have special needs that they want their project management software to address.
Our top pick in this category is Teamwork, which is specialized to handle client work. If your team primarily completes projects as billable work for clients, then Teamwork is the app we recommend using for managing your projects. It includes billing and invoicing, as well as the ability to create intake forms for new projects. Another app called Paymo, which didn't quite score highly enough for this roundup, also has built-in billing and invoicing tools.
There are other areas of specialization for project management software, of course. If you're looking for a tool that can manage both project and non-project work, we recommend Wrike or Celoxis. (LiquidPlanner is a good pick too, but it's best for large groups.) If your team spends a lot of time discussing and iterating visual assets, ProofHub is a great choice. Smartsheet is good for building automations into your project management.
Choosing the right project management software can take time, but it's worth it to get it right before rolling it out to an entire team. Project management apps typically have a significant setup cost. Even when they are simple to learn to use and let you import data, it still takes time to fine-tune the app to do what you need it to do and then get everyone on board using it.
When deciding which app to use, it's important to consider what kind of work your team does, how many people are in the organization, and how you want to run your business. There are a lot of excellent options to fit every budget.
With a reliable project management app in place, people can collaborate with greater ease on project work. Plus, business owners and team managers can get useful insights into how their teams work, whether projects are on track, and how to guide them back to a successful place when they slip.
ABC13 has finally heard back from the property owners at the James Crossing apartments in Lynchburg after dozens were left without a home when their building was shut down.
"The way they've been treating us ever since this happened is pretty much like criminals. Like we did something wrong," Theresa Bryant, a James Crossing resident said.
That's how Bryant feels about management at the complex. The Lynchburg Fire Marshal shut down Building 828 for safety reasons on Sept. 12, leaving dozens without a place to stay.
Caption: ABC13 has finally heard back from the property owners at the James Crossing apartments in Lynchburg after dozens were left without a home when their building was shut down. (Credit: WSET)
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"They're not taking responsibility for anything and they've known about this for a long time," Bryant said.
Since Sept. 13, ABC13 has been pushing for answers from the property owners, Atlantic Housing.
We went to the office to speak with a manager, sent emails, and made phone calls.
We finally heard back from Christy Hardy, Atlantic housing communications manager, on Monday.
RELATED: 'I'm homeless now:' Lynchburg residents given 48 hours to find new living arrangements
She emailed ABC13 the following statement:
"The Lynchburg Fire Department discovered an issue involving the electrical and water lines in building 828 at James Crossing Apartments. In the interest of safety, the City of Lynchburg then condemned the building and prohibited occupancy. We have provided emergency housing while this situation is being assessed, and we are working with officials and the residents to facilitate an appropriate solution as quickly as possible."
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Bryant said, if it wasn't for ABC13's fight for answers, she doesn't know what would have happened.
"With people looking at this story and everything it's doing us a lot of good because they don't care. They would've just terminated our lease and we would've been out here in the streets, with nowhere to go. No help," Bryant said.
Management has now extended the tenants' stay in the hotel until the end of the month.
Nothing divides Bengalis right down the middle more than football. Whether it is the local derby of Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal or the World Cup rivalry of Brazil-Argentina, supporting one or the other can sometimes make or break families.
The beautiful game and its iconic rivalries have been acknowledged even during Durga Puja where pandals have been shaped like the football with Brazil-Argentina colours adorning the walls. This festive season it found its place on a sari at Art in Life, CIMA Gallery’s annual lifestyle exhibition. Woven in Phulia, this cotton sari depicts a Brazil-Argentina match in progress and it has found a home with the ambassador of Brazil to India, Andre Aranha Correa Do Lago.
“I met the ambassador and his wife at a dinner and happened to show them a picture of the sari. He immediately said that I am coming to CIMA tomorrow and ‘you will please keep that sari for me’!” said Pratiti Basu Sarkar, chief administrator of CIMA.
The sari has a white base with a thin red border. The body of the sari is decorated with little yellow-and-black footballs, but it is the pallu where all the action is happening. Twenty two players in Brazil and Argentina jerseys are shown battling it out, and it seems like Brazil has the ball. A fact that prompted the Brazilian ambassador, who visited CIMA with his wife Beatrice on Sunday, to joke about how he must show it to the Argentinian ambassador because Brazil was winning!
The on-pallu action even includes goal posts, the referee and two line referees.
“The ambassador observed how this football madness is another thing that is common to Brazil and Bengal,” said Sarkar, who pointed out how each of the figures were woven into the sari, not painted, printed or stitched. “The whole sari and every detail is entirely woven on a hand loom, which is what makes it such a great piece.”
Art in Life is on till October 1 at CIMA Gallery, 11am-8pm every day.
By Sanath Nanayakkare
A survey report produced by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies provides first-hand evidence of how the most vulnerable people, who are already under the poverty line, are being driven further towards despair.The report gravely warns that without immediate humanitarian interventions, the impact on communities is likely to be long-lasting and cumulative.To meet the country’s spiralling needs, the IFRC has launched an Emergency Appeal for urgent humanitarian assistance for 28 million Swiss francs in support of Sri Lanka Red Cross. The Island learned that 15% of the target amount of donations has already been received from donors in the U.K., Canada, Japan and a number of other nations that are empathetic towards Sri Lanka.
The needs assessment conducted by Red Cross in 11 of the country’s 25 districts has found that 96% of more than 2,900 households surveyed have been affected by the current crisis in some way—with food insecurity, health, livelihoods, and nutrition among the top concerns. Deteriorating physical safety and security, as well as violence against women and children stood out in the report.It uncovered worryingly high problem of access to food, either because of high cost, income stress or lack of availability. Runaway inflation and loss of livelihoods have doubly impacted people’s ability to cope with the record cost of living. Income loss is causing significant food insecurity, while inflation is driving up the cost of medicine and fuel costs are preventing access to essential healthcare.
Alexander Matheou, Regional Director, Asia Pacific of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies who was on a visit to Colombo to meet with affected communities, government authorities and the diplomatic community said:
“The deepening economic crisis is forcing people to make heartbreaking choices between going hungry, buying life-saving medicine, or finding the money to send children to school. Our survey is not exhausted, so we cannot say it’s a final statement, but it indicated that vulnerability is being experienced evenly across the country and some groups are more affected than others.”
“I think that a survey like this one is going to help because it’s evidence-based. Our argument is widely accepted that in an economic crisis like this vulnerable communities’ income is affected, and so, the coping mechanisms tend to be negative. They sell their assets. Children may drop out of school, girls may get married early; these are all negative coping mechanisms from which it is very difficult to recover. Our argument is that humanitarian assistance for a certain period of time can mitigate the risks of some of those negative coping mechanisms. This is not a permanent solution. So we are always in favour of development financing, World Bank loans, ADB loans, debt restructuring and assurances from bilateral partners because ultimately the solution has to be found out at governmental level. We hope that friends of Sri Lanka will recognise that humanitarian support should be part of how they are trying to work with this country throughout this crisis; not the core issues, but the humanitarian aspects of it. We hope we will be successful in persuading donors. I understand that donors will have to prioritize among other crises in the world. So I don’t think it will be easy. But I think the argument is strong and this survey will help us make this argument in a more compelling way.”
“Hopefully this economic crisis won’t last forever. So we think if we can intervene for a year two for the most vulnerable people and can mitigate the risks of those negative coping mechanisms being adopted, that will be a good intervention.”
“The ideal intervention will be with cash distribution because cash allows people to make those choices. Should I eat? Should I take medicine? Do I fix my roof? What is posing the greatest pain and risk in my life? Sometimes you have to provide nutritional support for pregnant mothers and breast-feeding mothers. That will be one of the interventions we make. We may look at an agreement with the government for school feeding programmes which is a very good way to keep children in school. If any ongoing school feeding programme is stopped, that’s another area we can intervene. We are also very eager to find ways to have feedback mechanisms and raise awareness on the risks of sexual and gender-based violence because the prevalence of these goes up when poverty increases. We are keeping an eye on that as well. Anything we can do to mitigate that we shall try.
“Humanitarian action is particularly important which is by nature neutral and impartial. Humanitarian financing can alleviate suffering of vulnerable people in a non-political way and when that financing is released, it will not be politicised.”
“Our main priorities remain meeting humanitarian needs at its worst. Unless this is done effectively and quickly, people who are struggling now will find themselves on a demeaning pathway to destitution from which there is no escape. The time to act is now.” Swiss franc to US dollar exchange rate: 1.001 USD equals 1 Swiss franc.