13 Best Employee Time Tracking Software & Apps for Small Businesses in 2024

Many small businesses who turn to employee time tracking software struggle with:

  1. Lack of Accountability: Employees not being transparent with punching in and punching out during the workday (i.e. having a co-worker do it for them, or punching in outside of work).
  2. Inefficient Payroll Process: It’s difficult to review, verify, input, and analyze time reports manually every pay period. In addition, managing paid and unpaid time to calculate labor costs is time consuming with aggregates and spreadsheets.

There are several time tracking apps that solve those problems. They help you stay on top of attendance, time off, and overtime in real-time. These modern tools are the best way to track employee time because they save you money by making payroll more accurate. And they do it all in a user-friendly manner.

To help you decide on the best employee time management tools for your specific needs, we put together an in-depth, comprehensive post that compares each product’s features and online reviews.

Note: Buddy Punch is our own employee time tracking app. We’re proud of what we’ve built, and it includes user-friendly features that we would have liked to have ourselves, having previously used a paper punch clock to manage three business locations with over 20 employees. Transform your project management and how you’re collecting billable hours for payroll. Learn more here and try it free.

Best Employee Time Tracking Software & Apps

  1. Buddy Punch
  2. Hubstaff
  3. Connecteam
  4. Paymo
  5. DeskTime
  6. Homebase
  7. Workpuls
  8. QuickBooks Time (Formerly TSheets)
  9. TimeCamp
  10. Timely
  11. Clockify
  12. eBillity
  13. When I Work

1. Buddy Punch

A preview of the Buddy Punch employee time tracking software in action.

Buddy Punch is an online employee time tracking software and app, which means you and your team can use Buddy Punch from your computers, as well as your mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. 

This makes it perfect for all types of businesses and employees, whether you’re managing multiple job sites and remote workers or just need one clock in kiosk at one location.

Let’s look at some of the key features that help make Buddy Punch the best automatic time tracking software for your business.

At Buddy Punch, we’ve concentrated our efforts on developing work time tracking features that allow you to:

  • Make your staff accountable and keep accurate time records (optional IP location, GPS tracking, SMS messaging, and/or webcam photo on every employee’s punch-in and punch-out).
  • Streamline payroll  (You can use Buddy Punch as your payroll provider, eliminating the need for multiple systems/software to track time worked and run payroll. Or you can easily transfer your employee’s hours to your payroll provider).

We’ll discuss each in detail below.

1. Make Your Staff Accountable (IP Locking, Geofencing, and More) 

One of the biggest frustrations with time trackers that we’ve experienced ourselves (and heard from the 10,000+ businesses we’ve worked with) is lack of accountability.

Even if you try to emphasize employee productivity, employees might not always be honest with you in regards to where they are when working. This inevitably leads to inaccurate timesheets and wasted time, money, and effort on your part. This problem only compounds further by hurting your ability to forecast how profitable a specific project or task is, impeding your ability to optimize project budgeting and improve profits. That’s why we built the following features:

IP Address Locking

You can require your employees to punch in and out using a specific IP address provided by your internet provider. Enable this to bring automation to IP Address verification, in which case your team members or freelancers will only be able to clock in or clock out at the designated job location.

Buddy Punch: Edit IP Address Lock (Employees can be assigned to multiple IP Addresses).


Alternatively, you can also create a radius around a physical location that will limit where an employee can punch in and out. So unlike the IP Address Locking feature above, this will let employees punch in, say, within 1 mile of the job site, which can be useful for any business that has on-site employees without supervision (i.e. construction, staffing, caregivers, technicians, etc.).

Buddy Punch: Geofencing by Address/Radius/Latitude and Longitude

GPS Tracking

You can also set up Buddy Punch use GPS location tracking when punches occur, which can be useful if you have remote workers out in the field. Use time tracking features like this to streamline your management of remote teams.

Buddy Punch GPS Tracking with punch in time and device used.

Webcam Photo

Whenever one of your employees punches in or out, our optional webcam feature automatically takes their picture. You’ll see this reflected in your dashboard so you can verify who actually punched in to eliminate time theft (such as buddy punching)..

With Buddy Punch, you can punch in and out and have a photo taken, as shown here.

Note: Together, these features offer a buffet of options that employers can choose from to help with accountability. Very few business owners use all (we don’t advise that), but they are there so an employer can use what makes the most sense for their business. If you’d like specific team members to clock in within a mile of a job site for your business, you can use geofencing. Or if they should only clock in when they are physically in the location, you can use IP address locking, and so forth.

2. Streamline your payroll process

Buddy Punch Payroll

Every time you run payroll with paper timesheets, you risk paying the wrong billable hours or missing relevant information, like when someone has taken and needs to get paid for a PTO day.

It’s extremely stressful to have to submit payroll a short time after receiving erroneous timesheets. Excel is powerful, but hard to master! The amount of data manipulation required in spreadsheets in order to understand revenue and cost isn’t always straight forward.

Instead, you can use Buddy Punch as your payroll provider. Buddy Punch can automate a lot of the payroll process. This saves you the headache of running payroll on your own and also greatly reduces the risk of any errors. Here’s how it works:

  • Your team of employees (whether full timers, freelancers, contractors, etc) get access to a self service portal where they can log in and add their bank information for direct deposit and set up their withholdings.
  • All the hours (both employee work hours and PTO taken) are tracked by Buddy Punch and imported into your payroll dashboard. You can review those tracked hours in the time reports and make changes as needed, or add additional earnings (like bonuses, commissions, or per diem) before submitting payroll.
  • You can set up 2-day or 4-day payroll processing. You can also set up auto-payroll, so you’re never at risk of forgetting to run payroll.
  • Buddy Punch will automatically handle all local, state, and federal taxes for you and your team.

But if you’re happy with your current payroll provider – or don’t want to make the switch just yet, as we know switching payroll processing systems isn’t done lightly – you can use Buddy Punch’s employee time tracking software with your current set up.

Buddy Punch has integrations with almost every popular payroll provider and accounting software out there. If you use any of the payroll providers below, we have you covered:

  • Paychex
  • QuickBooks
  • ADP
  • SurePayroll
  • Gusto
  • Paylocity
  • PayPlus
  • WorkDay 
  • And more! (We have a Zapier integration, which will allow you to connect with over 750 applications.)

With these integrations, you can export a payroll summary from Buddy Punch in just a few clicks, and import it to your payroll provider, where your employee hours and PTO are automatically populated.

Note: you can find instructions on how to sync Buddy Punch with your specific payroll provider here.


In addition to the integration with most payroll software, you can generate a variety of detailed reports that will help you in many ways:

Payroll Export

If we don’t have an integration with your payroll software, you can also generate a payroll report, and then download it as an Excel, CSV, or PDF file.

As you can see in the screenshot below, everything you need to run payroll is already computed for you, and it’s faster and less error prone than traditional time tracking methods. There’s no more need to manually review, verify, input, and analyze employee timesheets every pay period.

Buddy Punch's Payroll Excel Export showing pay period, employee ID, name, hours, etc.

PTO Summary

With this report, you can quickly oversee paid time off. Specify the date range, and you will get a breakdown per employee.

Buddy Punch's PTO Summary for all employees

Project Tracking

Control the cost of your projects by setting up pay rates for your jobs or projects and generate reports to quickly know when the budget is going to be tight. This feature helps track project progress throughout the day and can make clear how much billable time is spent on each task.

Buddy Punch's Project Tracking

Note: We have a lot more reports you can use to help your business. Learn all about reports here.

Additional Features

We covered Buddy Punch’s essential features above, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

We created a dedicated, more comprehensive feature list, where you can learn about our other employee time tracking features.

We’ve included some of them below, along with accompanying links that provide more information on each specific feature (so that you have the option to zoom into what is most relevant to your specific business/situation). You’ll have far more free time to optimize other aspects of your business thanks to tools like:

  • Scheduling: Creating schedules can be a hard thing to do without the right tools. We can help remove that hurdle so you can create schedules in minutes, and let your staff know when to work (see additional details).
  • Overtime Calculations: Save time on payroll by having your employees’ regular, overtime, and double overtime hours automatically calculated (see additional details).
  • PTO Tracking: Easily track paid time off by having employees enter their PTO into their timecard. Those time-off requests will either get sent to an administrator for approval, or be automatically approved if desired (see additional details).
  • PTO Accrual: Add or remove time off accruals by individual employees, or by a group of employees (see additional details).
  • Adding, Editing, or Deleting Punches: You can add, edit, or delete punches as an administrator of your company. In cases where employees forget to punch in and out, or an entire shift needs to be deleted, these changes are easy to do with Buddy Punch (see additional details).
  • Multiple Punch and Login Options: Your employees have several options for logging in and punching in and out, including: (1) Facial Recognition, (2) Four Digit Pin, (3) QR Code, or (4) user ID and password. These options make it easy for employees to clock in and clock out via a mobile app, desktop, or tablet (see additional details).
  • Time Card Approvals: AKA timesheet approvals. If enabled, this feature will have employees submit their time to a manager or administrator for approval (see additional details).
  • Job Codes / Project Time Tracking: Track time by Location, Job Code, or Project, on-site or off site. (see additional details).
  • Kiosk Functionality: Set up Buddy Punch in your work place as a device for employees to clock into as they come into work (see additional details).
  • Alerts & Notifications: Set up punch reminders or overtime alerts, with over 14 different customizable options (see additional details).

For a more complete list with all of Buddy Punch’s features, click here.

Our Online Reviews

At the time of writing, Buddy Punch has received a total 789 reviews and 4.8 out of 5 stars on Capterra (a highly popular software review site).

If you take a look at these reviews, two themes that commonly come up are Buddy Punch’s:

  • Customer support  
  • Ease of use 

As we discuss below, these are two areas that we intentionally set out to excel in, and we’re proud and grateful that many of our reviewers have taken notice.

What Differentiates Our Customer Support? 

At Buddy Punch, live chat is our main form of communication, and we have a median first response time of 54 seconds, so you can expect to receive an answer within a few minutes (during business hours).

In comparison, as one of our customers mentioned on Capterra, “Some companies have no chat or phone number, and you wait days to hear back from an email”.

In addition, all of our customer service representatives are fully trained on using the software. They know the ins and outs of Buddy Punch, and as you can see in the highlighted parts of the reviews below, that hasn’t gone unnoticed by customers:

Buddy Punch review: Pros - "Very inclusive of everything admin needs to address different scenarios 'in the field'. Multiple customer reps were available via 'Chat' to help with set up and answer questions. Rep was very knowledgeable and helped me with every single question and scenario I had trouble with. Now I am familiar with the site and can easily use all of its functions. Using Buddy Punch has been fabulous thus far."
Click here to see the full review.
Buddy Punch review: Pros - "The Customer Support team is super responsive, thorough, and effective. Their support software allows for much quicker response times than you could get on the phone. Their team is knowledgeable about my organization and the way that we use the platform - I have received many helpful suggestions to how we can best leverage the Buddy Punch platform in our sometimes complicated organizational structure. We have had very few issues, but have always received immediate resolutions when anything has come up. The software is straightforward and well-run, and was easily understood by our team of 55+ non-technical staff of all ages. I appreciate that new releases are well-tested before they are launched and free of bugs."
Click here to see the full review.

How We Set Out to Make Buddy Punch Easy to Use

Some commonly asked questions we receive are:

  • “Would someone who isn’t tech savvy be able to easily use Buddy Punch?”
  • “How much time do I have to put in with my employees to teach them how to use the software?”

We put an intentional emphasis on designing Buddy Punch in a way that eliminates the above concerns.

When employees log in, they’re presented with a “Punch In” or “Punch Out” button (depending on their current status) as well as a view of their current timecard.

Buddy Punch's time entry dashboard makes it simple to see everything.

By presenting a minimal amount of options to employees when they log in, they’re less distracted, making Buddy Punch intuitive and easy to use. In comparison, some employee time clock apps have too many options on the homepage, and the point of focus (punching in and punching out) isn’t as easy to find. This can make employees (especially ones who aren’t tech savvy) overwhelmed and confused.

We’re happy and thankful that many of our customers have mentioned Buddy Punch’s ease of use on Capterra, as you can see in the highlighted parts of the reviews below:

Buddy Punch review: Overall - "The UI is very well designed, the administrator makes employee accounts and employees just go to the website, log in, and push the big green button. They then log in again to punch out but the big green button will be a big red button this time. Very simple, ver easy, does employee punch-ins and does it well."
Click here to see full review.
Buddy Punch review: Pros - "It has a very simple interface, easy to punch in and out as well as check timecards. I think both the desktop version and the smartphone version were well-designed. It doesn't try to do too much and make things complicated, since the main purpose is just to clock in and out, and it efficiently allows the user to do exactly that."
Click here to see full review.

Interested in Learning More About Buddy Punch?

Watch the demo video of Buddy Punch above and sign up for a free 14 day trial here to test it out for yourself!

2. Hubstaff

Hubstaff’s time tracking solution is a well-liked employee tracking software and it’s premium version allows you tracking for unlimited users. Track time with one click using this simple employee stopwatch. At the time of writing, Hubstaff has a total of 1368 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Some of its key features include:

3. Connecteam

Connecteam is another monitoring software that is regarded as one of the best time tracking software available. At the time of writing, Connecteam has a total of 231 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Some of its project management tools include:

4. Paymo

At the time of writing, Paymo has a total of 452 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. This employee time & project management software puts manual time tracking methods to shame with features such as:

5. DeskTime

At the time of writing, the workforce management tool DeskTime has a total of 482 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars. You’ll be able to track employee hours and monitor specific tasks with features such as:

You can start a free plan trial with no credit card required.

6. Homebase

At the time of writing, Homebase has a total of 905 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Like Buddy Punch, this software works on Desktop devices (Microsoft Windows & Apple Mac) as well as smartphones (iOS and Android). Some of its key admin features include:

7. Workpuls

At the time of writing, Workpuls has a total of 87 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Some of its key features include:

8. QuickBooks Time (Formerly TSheets)

At the time of writing, QuickBooks Time has a total of 6,238 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Some of its key features include:

9. TimeCamp

If you’re looking for a team management tool with unlimited projects & tasks, check out TimeCamp. At the time of writing, TimeCamp has a total of 579 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Some of its automated time tracking features include:

10. Timely

At the time of writing, Timely has a total of 210 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Some of its key features include:

11. Clockify

At the time of writing, Clockify’s work time tracking app has a total of 4,397 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Some of its key time management features include:

Note: Clockify has a popular free plan, but that free plan is more for individual employees/freelancers and not for an entire team. It’s on their pro plans that you’ll get features for an entire team.

12. eBillity

Though eBillity is favored particularly by pro lawyers, it has plenty of usage for the average business owner looking to harvest accurate time data. At the time of writing, eBillity has a total of 2,826 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Some of its key features include:

13. When I Work

Like Buddy Punch, When I Work provides accurate time tracking on both mobile devices and desktops. At the time of writing, When I Work has a total of 1014 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Some of its key features include:

Note: Buddy Punch is our own product. We’re proud of what we’ve built, and it includes features that we would have liked to have ourselves, having previously used a paper punch clock to manage three business locations with over 20 employees. Transform how you have your employees report their time, and how you’re collecting that time for payroll. Learn more here and try it free.

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