Many small businesses who turn to employee time tracking software struggle with:
- 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).
- 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
- Buddy Punch
- QuickBooks Time (Formerly TSheets)
- When I Work
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 yoru 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 or remote workers or just need one clock in kiosk at your one location.
Let’s look at some of the key features that help make Buddy Punch the best 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.
Employees might not always be honest with you in regards to where they are when working, leading to inaccurate timesheets and wasted money. This problem only compounds further by hurting your ability to forecast how profitable a specific project or task is, and how you can optimize your operations to improve profits. That’s why we built the following features:
You can require your employees to punch in and out using a specific IP address provided by your internet provider. Enable this to automate 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.
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.).
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.
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)..
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
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 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:
- 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:
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.
With this report, you can quickly oversee paid time off. Specify the date range, and you will get a breakdown per employee.
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.
Note: We have a lot more reports you can use to help your business. Learn all about reports here.
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, which can get sent to an administrator for approval 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: Have employees submit their time to a manager or administrator for approval (see additional details).
- Job Codes / Project 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:
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.
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:
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!
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:
- Employee Time Tracking
- Online Time
- Employee Productivity Monitoring
- GPS Tracking
- Online Timesheets
- Expense Tracking
- Linux Time Tracker
- Integrations & Addons (Trello, Asana, Chrome)
- Task Management Templates
- Automated Payroll & Invoicing
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:
- Employee Time Clock
- Checklists & Forms
- Employee Task Management
- Employee Training
- Employee Communication
- Employee Scheduling
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:
- Time tracking
- Task Management
- Kanban Board
- Team Collaboration
- Team Scheduling
- Leave Planner
- Gantt Chart
- Invoicing & Estimates
At the time of writing, 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:
- Automatic Time Tracking
- URL and App Tracking
- Document Title Tracking
- Idle Time Tracking
- Project Time Tracking
- Automatic Screenshots
- Absence Calendar
- Shift Scheduling
You can start a free plan trial with no credit card required.
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:
- Employee Scheduling
- Time Clock
- Hiring & Onboarding
- Health & Safety Screening
- Labor Control & Forecasting
- Team Communication
- HR & Compliance
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:
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:
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:
- Automatic Time Tracking
- Timesheet Approvals
- Attendance Tracking
- Time Tracking Reports
- Productivity Tracking
- Custom Billing Rates
- Easy Invoicing
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:
- Automatic Time Tracking
- Project and Team Planning
- Team Time Management
- Project Time Management
- App Integrations
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.
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:
- Employee Time and Attendance Tracking
- Employee Time Approval
- GPS Time Tracking
- Employee Scheduling
- Time Clock
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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