Small businesses know that tracking time for their employees involves several challenges, such as:

  • Employees not being transparent with punching in and out during the workday.
  • The amount of data manipulation required in spreadsheets in order to understand revenue and cost.
  • The complexity of crafting schedules for employees.

To help with these challenges, many small businesses turn to an employee time clocking app.

But deciding which app best fits your specific business needs can be a challenge on its own. That’s why we’ve put together an in-depth post that compares eight of the best employee time clocking apps on the market.

Since Buddy Punch is our own product, we’ll introduce ourselves first.

Table of Contents

1. Buddy Punch

2. Connecteam

3. Hubstaff

4. Homebase

5. QuickBooks Time (Formerly TSheets)

6. Clockify

7. Timely

8. DeskTime

Note: We’re proud of what we built at Buddy Punch. It includes features we ourselves would have loved, having struggled to track time for 20 employees across three locations. Transform how you track time, process payroll, and create schedules for your employees. Click here to learn more and try it for free.

1. Buddy Punch

A preview of the Buddy Punch Platform

Increase Accountability for Your Team

Streamline Payroll

Simplify Scheduling


We experienced difficulties for many years tracking time for over twenty employees at three different locations. Specifically, it was a challenge to keep our employees accountable. Our payroll process was slow and inefficient. And trying to manually create schedules that would fit every person’s needs was a headache.

That’s why we set out to build Buddy Punch in the first place. We wanted to create a time clocking app that would:

  • Be much more efficient than paper time cards.
  • Help keep your team accountable when they clock in and clock out of work.
  • Simplify and streamline payroll processing.
  • Remove all complexity from scheduling for multiple employees with differing needs.

We are proud to say that since our founding, more than 10,000 businesses have trusted us to solve their employee time tracking needs. Our help has translated into many positive online reviews, like this one:

Buddy Punch review: "Buddy Punch instead of an Excel spreadsheet ... TIME SAVER"

Note: Click here to see all of our reviews on Capterra, a popular software review site.


Next up, we’ll dive into how Buddy Punch helps small businesses track time for their employees by detailing some of our best features, one by one.

Increase Accountability (Geofencing, Facial Recognition & More) 

One of the first challenges small businesses face when attempting to track time for their employees is a lack of accountability. This in turn translates to wasted money and time due to inaccurate timesheets.

With Buddy Punch, you don’t have to worry about this any longer. You can easily keep your employees honest and accountable when they punch in and out thanks to the following features.

Geofencing

Buddy Punch: Geofencing

With Geofencing, you can determine the radius inside which your employees can punch in and out of work. Simply choose a specific radius and your employees won’t be able to punch in or out unless they’re inside that radius.

If your business works with multiple job sites, you can create geofences for each and assign a unique job code to them.

GPS Tracking

Buddy Punch: GPS Tracking

Buddy Punch’s GPS technology allows you to keep track of your employee’s locations when they’re out in the field. Our platform automatically records where your staff is when they punch in and out of work. And you can easily see and verify your team’s punch locations all in one place.

IP Address Locking

Buddy Punch: IP Address Lock

This feature works similarly to Geofencing, but instead of limiting your employees’ punches by where they are located, IP Address Locking allows you to determine from which IP address your staff can clock in and out.

Simply designate the IP address where your employees can punch in and out from, and Buddy Punch will show your staff an error message if they try to punch in or out from another IP address.

Facial Recognition

Buddy Punch: Facial Recognition

If you wish to add another layer of accountability to your staff’s punches, you can activate Buddy Punch’s Facial Recognition feature. When this feature is on, your employees will have to scan their faces and verify it’s actually them before they can punch in and out.

Photos on Punch

Buddy Punch: Photos on Punch

Buddy Punch also offers the ability to prompt your employees to take photos of themselves before they can punch in and out. All the photos are saved in your dashboard. And you can then review those photos and verify that your employees punched in and out themselves (instead of a co-worker doing it for them).

Streamline Payroll (Integrations, Payroll Reports & More)

As we mentioned earlier, another key challenge we set out to solve when building Buddy Punch was to make payroll processing simple and effortless. We have multiple features and functionality to help with this, such as:

  • Integrations with Payroll Providers
  • Payroll Reports on Demand
  • Project Tracking
  • Time Off Tracking
  • Accruals

Now, let’s look at each one by one.

Integrations with Payroll Providers

Buddy Punch integrates with QuickBooks, Zapier, Paychex, SurePayroll, PayPlus, ADP, Paylocity, Workday, Gusto, Paycor, and many others.

Buddy Punch pairs with most top payroll providers to make sure your payroll processing is as fast, simple, and accurate as it can be. To name just a few examples, Buddy Punch integrates with:

  • Paychex
  • QuickBooks
  • Gusto
  • ADP

We also offer a Zapier integration which, if you lean on the tech side of things, you can use to connect to thousands of other apps.

Note: To view a full list of all Buddy Punch’s integrations, click here.

Payroll Reports on Demand

Buddy Punch: Payroll Reports on Demand

Buddy Punch automatically calculates what you need to run payroll and allows you to export the data in the form of an Excel payroll report. There’s no need to waste time manually reviewing timesheets, and searching for mistakes to correct.

Project Tracking

Buddy Punch: Project Tracking

Buddy Punch’s Project Tracking feature allows you to set up pay rates tailored to your different jobs and pay scales, which then allows you to calculate labor costs, create budgets, and generate project reports with just a few clicks.

Time Off Tracking

Buddy Punch: Time Off Tracking

This feature allows you to keep track of all your employee’s time off (PTO and unpaid), and then export reports with all the information for you to review. This can be done for all your employees at once, or broken down on a per-employee basis.

Accruals

Buddy Punch: Accruals

Buddy Punch gives you the capability to create time off accrual rules. These can be based on the number of hours worked, a specified pay period, or annually.

Simplify Scheduling (Drag & Drop, Employee Availability, & More)

Creating schedules without the right tools is a notoriously time-intensive process. More often than not, there are too many moving parts to take into account, such as which employees can work when and for how long. Using Excel, or pen and paper, doesn’t make the process easier.

That’s why at Buddy Punch we created an array of features that remove all hurdles and make creating schedules for your team simple and easy.

For starters, we set out to make scheduling intuitive with our drag and drop functionality, which you can see in action below:

Buddy Punch: Drag and Drop Functionality for Scheduling

Other Buddy Punch functionalities that help you create schedules for your teams are:

Repeating/Recurring Shifts

Buddy Punch: Repeating/Recurring Shifts

Once you’ve created a schedule that works, there’s no need to waste time and effort manually re-creating it each week or each month.

With Buddy Punch’s repeating/recurring shifts functionality, you can copy your schedule across time, or have it repeat over regular periods to create shifts for your employees.

Employee Availability

Buddy Punch: Employee Availability

One of the biggest pain-points behind the creation of schedules is knowing when your employees are available to work, and when they’re not.

Thanks to Buddy Punch’s Employee Availability feature, your employees can easily notify you of their availability. All they need to do is log into our app (which works with iOS, Android, tablet, or desktop) and choose their preferred time and day of work, subject to your approval.

Punch Limiting

Buddy Punch: Punch Limiting

Our Punch Limiting feature allows you to tie your employees’ ability to punch in and out of work to their assigned schedule. If they attempt to punch outside of that specified time-frame, Buddy Punch will now allow them to do so.

Notify Employees of Their Schedules

Buddy Punch: Notify Employees of Their Schedules

Once you’ve crafted a schedule you’re happy with, the next step is to share it with your team.

With Buddy Punch, this just takes a few clicks. Select our ‘publish schedule’ button, and choose whether to share through email, push notification, or both.

Your employees can also check their schedules at any time via the Buddy Punch mobile, desktop, or tablet app.

Other types of scheduling notifications that you can configure to automatically get sent to employees and/or administrators include:

  • Early In Alert & Early Out Alert
  • Late In Alert & Late Out Alert
  • Shift Start Reminder & Shift End Reminder
  • Click here to get a more detailed overview of all the notifications, alerts, and reminders you can set up with Buddy Punch.

Additional Features

So far we’ve covered features dealing with accountability, scheduling and payroll. But Buddy Punch also offers a whole suite of other features, such as:

When we set out to build Buddy Punch, a great array of features wasn’t our only concern. We also wanted to make an employee time clocking app that was simple to use and offered customer support we could be proud of.

How We Set Out to Make Buddy Punch Easy to Use

From day one, we set out to make Buddy Punch as simple as it could possibly be. We did not want employees to have to worry about not being tech-savvy enough to use our platform or have to learn a complicated app interface just to clock in and out of work.

Buddy Punch's interface is easy to use.

In the Buddy Punch platform (pictured above), employees are presented with as few options as possible. They have buttons to clock in and out of work, and can also view their current timecard. This was designed with the express purpose of eliminating all unnecessary distractions.

We’re proud to say that our effort was noticed by many of our users, and that it translated into many positive reviews that highlight this very effort:

What Differentiates Our Customer Support?

At Buddy Punch, we have a median first response time of 54 seconds via live chat during business hours. In comparison, you may have to wait for hours (or even more than a day) to hear back from other companies.

Interested in Learning More?

We’ve recorded a full Buddy Punch Demo that goes in-depth on our key features. Watch it below, and sign up for a free trial to see it in action!

In addition, you can request a demo here — we’ll show you how to best leverage Buddy Punch, as well as answer any questions you may have.

2. Connecteam

Connecteam is a great employee time clocking app for small businesses. Connecteam has a total of 112 reviews on Capterra at the time of writing, with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Some of its key features include:

To see a complete list of Connecteam’s features, go here.

Here’s one review that highlights how Connecteam helps small businesses track time for their employees.

Note: Click here to see all of Connecteam’s reviews on Capterra

Interested in Learning More?

You can visit Connecteam’s site here, or sign up for a free 14-day trial here.

3. Hubstaff

At the time of writing, Hubstaff has a total of 1123 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

They boast a large range of features, including:

To see a complete list of Hubstaff’s features, go here.

Here’s one review that highlights how Hubstaff helps small businesses track time for their employees.

Hubstaff review: "Hubstaff is a great way to keep track of your team off your location."

Note: Click here to see all of Hubstaff’s reviews on Capterra

Interested in Learning More?

You can request a full Hubstaff demo here, or sign up for a free 14-day trial here.

4. Homebase

At the time of writing, Homebase has 498 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

They offer features such as:

Here’s one review that highlights how Homebase helps small businesses track time for their employees.

Homebase review: "Homebase has saved us time AND money"

Note: Click here to see all of Homebase’s reviews on Capterra

Interested in Learning More?

You can visit Homebase’s site here. Alternatively, you can get started with a free 14-day trial here.

5. QuickBooks Time (Formerly TSheets)

At the time of writing, QuickBooks Time (previously known as TSheets) has a total of 5467 reviews on Capterra with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Some of its key features include:

To see a complete list of QuickBooks Time’s features, go here.

Here’s one review that highlights how QuickBooks Time helps small businesses track time for their employees:

QuickBooks Time review

Note: Click here to see all of QuickBooks Time’s reviews on Capterra

Interested in Learning More?

You can visit QuickBooks Time’s site here, or sign up for a free 30-day trial here.

6. Clockify

Clockify has a total of 1515 reviews on Capterra at the time of writing, with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Among its key features, you’ll find:

To see a complete list of Clockify’s features, go here.

Here’s one review that highlights how Clockify helps small businesses track time for their employees:

Clockify: "Simple, trust-based program for tracking work hours"

Note: Click here to see all of Clockify’s reviews on Capterra

Interested in Learning More?

You can visit Clockify’s site here. Alternatively, you can get started with a free Clockify account here.

7. Timely

At the time of writing, Timely’s employee time clock app has a total of 206 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Some of its key features include:

To see a complete list of Timely’s features, go here.

Here’s one review that highlights how Timely helps small businesses track time for their employees:

Timely: "I couldn't run my creative business without this"

Note: Click here to see all of Timely’s reviews on Capterra

Interested in Learning More?

You can visit Timely’s site here, and sign up for a free 14-day trial here.

8. DeskTime

Last but not least, DeskTime is another great employee time clocking solution. At the time of writing, DeskTime has a total of 135 reviews on Capterra with 4.4 out of 5 stars.

DeskTime’s platform comes with a wide range of features, such as:

To see a complete list of DeskTime’s features, go here.

Here’s one review that highlights how DeskTime helps small businesses track time for their employees.

Desktime review

Note: Click here to see all of DeskTime’s reviews on Capterra

Interested in Learning More?

You can try a full DeskTime demo here, or sign up for a free 14-day trial here.

Note: We’re proud of what we built at Buddy Punch. It includes features we ourselves would have loved, having struggled to track time for 20 employees across three locations. Transform how you track time, process payroll, and create schedules for your employees. Click here to learn more and try it for free!