Abstract Numerical methods and simulation tools for incompressible flows have been advanced largely as a subset of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) discipline. Especially within the aerospace community, simulation of compressible flows has driven most of the development of computational algorithms and tools. This is due to the high level of accuracy desired for predicting aerodynamic performance of flight vehicles. Conversely, low-speed incompressible flow encountered in a wide range of fluid engineering problems has not typically required the same level of numerical accuracy. This practice of tolerating relatively low-fidelity solutions in engineering applications for incompressible flow has changed. As the design of flow devices becomes more sophisticated, a narrower margin of error is required. Accurate and robust CFD tools have become increasingly important in fluid engineering for incompressible and low-speed flow. Accuracy depends not only on numerical methods but also on flow physics and geometry modeling. For high-accuracy solutions, geometry modeling has to be very inclusive to capture the elliptic nature of incompressible flow resulting in large grid sizes. Therefore, in this article, implicit schemes or efficient time integration schemes for incompressible flow are reviewed from a CFD tool development point of view. Extension of the efficient solution procedures to arbitrary Mach number flows through a unified time-derivative preconditioning approach is also discussed. The unified implicit solution procedure is capable of solving low-speed compressible flows, transonic, as well as supersonic flows accurately and efficiently. Test cases demonstrating Mach-independent convergence are presented.