Several time clock apps on the market offer a free plan. However, free plans are often limited in scope and functionality.
In this article, while we’ll list several free time clock apps, we’ll also discuss their downsides and how Buddy Punch (our paid tool) could better suit your needs.
Paid Employee Time Clock Software
Time Clock Apps with Free Plan Options
Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Time Clock App (and Limitations of Free Plan Options)
When choosing a time clock app, you should ensure that it offers:
1. Features that increase employee accountability and boost your bottom line.
Buddy Punch (our paid tool) offers a wide buffet of accountability-related features, including but not limited to:
- Geofencing: Restricts punches to a specific location.
- IP Address Locking: Restricts punches to a specific Wi-Fi network or device.
- Photos on Punch: Employees take a selfie photo each time they submit a punch.
- PIN Punching: Employees quickly punch in by entering a 4 digit PIN.
While there are free time clock apps that offer some of this functionality, you often won’t get access to the entire range of accountability features on a free plan.
2. Features that increase the accuracy of payroll and save you hours of manual work and calculations.
We offer a wide buffet of payroll features, including but not limited to:
- Buddy Punch Payroll: You can run payroll directly through Buddy Punch, issuing pay via direct deposit or check, as well as getting features like unlimited payroll runs, auto-payroll scheduling, and more.
- On-Demand Payroll Reports: Employee hours are automatically calculated and available to download via Excel or PDF.
- Payroll Provider Integrations: Transfer employee hours from Buddy Punch to your payroll provider in just a few clicks.
- Time Off Tracking: In-app time off requests, time off balance reports, and more.
Similar to the accountability category, while a few free time clock software options offer some payroll functionality, you often won’t get access to an entire range of payroll features.
In short, while we are biased, we’re proud of the product we’ve built, and feel strongly that Buddy Punch offers more functionality and versatility than most free options. You can pick the features that perfectly suit your needs, rather than being limited in scope.
Up next, we’ll:
- Further detail Buddy Punch’s online time clock and payroll features..
- Share reviews that highlight our product’s ease of use and customer service.
- List several time clock apps with free plan options, and share links to their features and reviews.
Features to Help Increase Employee Accountability & Boost Your Bottom Line
We offer a wide range of accountability-related features, and up next, we’ll describe some of the most popular ones.
Geofencing lets you restrict employee punches to a specific location.
To bring this to life, here’s an example:
Let’s say you run a coffee shop, and it’s located at 123 Granville Avenue. With Buddy Punch, you could restrict employee punches to within 300 feet of this address. (This is just an arbitrary number, and you could customize the geofence to your specific needs.)
If an employee tried to submit a punch outside of the coffee shop (e.g., while they were 10 minutes away), they would receive an error message and be asked to try again within your specified geofence:
This is a useful feature to ensure accuracy of hours worked, prevent time theft, and boost your bottom line.
IP Address Locking lets you restrict punches to a specific Wi-Fi network or device.
To bring this to life, here’s an example:
Let’s say your coffee shop has a central Wi-Fi network called “CoffeeShop-5G”. You could configure Buddy Punch so that employees are only able to punch in and out when their device is connected to that network.
Here’s another example:
Let’s say your coffee shop has a central computer that all workers use. You could configure Buddy Punch so that employees are only able to punch in and out from that computer.
Note: Employees can easily punch in and out both via the Buddy Punch app (available for phones and tablets) or a computer.
This feature is particularly useful for preventing buddy punching, and you could quickly glance through all the photos via our dashboard to ensure the right employee punched in from the right location.
Other Features to Increase Employee Accountability
These features are just the tip of the iceberg. Buddy Punch offers several other accountability-related features, including GPS Tracking, Facial Recognition Punching, PIN Punching, Punch Limiting Rules, and more.
Features to Increase the Accuracy of Payroll and Save You Hours of Manual Work and Calculations
We offer a wide range of payroll features, and up next, we’ll describe some of the most popular ones.
You can run your payroll directly from Buddy Punch.
With Buddy Punch Payroll, you get the following:
- Unlimited payroll runs
- An employee self-service portal where employees can update their bank info and see their paystubs and tax info
- The option of either paying via direct deposit or by check
- 2-day and 4-day payroll processing
- And more.
You can choose which time period to import into your payroll dashboard, quickly review your team’s earnings, and make any necessary accommodations (like adding additional earnings to someone’s pay).
Plus, you can set up Auto-Payroll, so you never miss a payroll deadline.
Below we cover how you can use Buddy Puch’s time clock app with your current payroll system.
Buddy Punch calculates regular employee hours, time off, overtime, and more. This information is available to download via PDF or Excel (as pictured above).
As one of our customers mentioned in their review:
“After using paper time cards for over a year, spending many frustrating hours a week reviewing, verifying, inputting, and analyzing employee punches, and then finding a place to keep the paper cards for our records, we were fed up. We looked for an affordable and easy-to-implement solution. We used the Buddy Punch trial, and within a week, we knew this was the solution we were looking for … Now the process is as simple as logging on, setting the date range, exporting a CSV, and migrating the data into an analysis template. What used to take over an hour, takes roughly 20 minutes.”Click here to read the full review.
Transfer employee hours from Buddy Punch to your payroll provider in just a few clicks. This saves you time and ensures greater accuracy of hours (as compared to the manual data entry process).
You can easily set up an integration with:
- QuickBooks Online (See setup instructions.)
- QuickBooks Desktop (See setup instructions.)
- Paychex (See setup instructions.)
- SurePayroll (See setup instructions.)
- ADP Workforce Now (See setup instructions.)
- Paylocity (See setup instructions.)
- Workday (See setup instructions.)
- Gusto (See setup instructions.)
- iSolved (See setup instructions.)
- Wagepoint (See setup instructions.)
- Justworks (See setup instructions.)
- Payment Evolution (See setup instructions.)
- And more
Buddy Punch offers a vast array of time off tracking functionality. Some of the highlights include:
- In-app time off requests, which are optionally subject to an administrator’s approval.
- Paid and unpaid time off balance reports.
- And more.
(Essentially, you could configure Buddy Punch to handle all your time off tracking needs and eliminate inefficient traditional methods.)
If you’d like to learn about our time off accrual functionality, visit this help doc article.
Note: To help you get the most out of Buddy Punch, most of our features have an accompanying help doc article (which often covers set up, best practices, and more).
Explore Our Complete List of Features
Visit this page to explore an extensive list of Buddy Punch features, many of which we don’t cover in this article. For example:
- Employee Scheduling
- Overtime Calculations
- Time Card Approvals
- Multiple Punch and Login Options
- Adding, Editing, or Deleting Punches
- And more
Reviews Highlighting Buddy Punch’s Ease-of-Use and Excellent Customer Service
As of this writing date, Buddy Punch has 830 reviews and 4.8 out of 5 stars on Capterra (a prevalent software review site).
We’re proud and thankful to have received an overwhelming number of positive reviews that highlight Buddy Punch’s ease of use and excellent customer support:
“We signed up for the trial period, and our employees were impressed immediately. They were able to start… immediately with zero training or assistance, which was a priority for us. The system is also very easy to use from an administrator’s end.”Click here to read the full review.
“The team is responsive, and eager to assist. Any questions we’ve had, whether using the free trial, or after we signed up as a customer, have been answered quickly”.Click here to read the full review.
“Minimal training for end users (employees or managers). The back end (admin) features are just as simple and intuitive. We wanted a product that was simple to use, cost friendly and allowed us to customize — all of these areas were met. Very impressed!”Click here to read the full review.
“The area I am most impressed with is with their support — they respond quickly, accurately and offer real solutions.”Click here to read the full review.
“The chat staff has been super helpful to me every single time I have messaged them. They assisted me to get the software ready for a trial run which was very helpful! Every chat session was emailed to me for future reference.”Click here to read the full review.
Learn More About Buddy Punch and Try It For Free
You can also watch our demo video.
Time Clock Apps with a Free Plan
OnTheClock offers features and functionality such as:
It’s a great free time clock app and attendancing tracking tool for small businesses. As of this writing, OnTheClock has 534 reviews and 4.7 out of 5 stars on Capterra.
“It is nice not having to buy supplies for a traditional time clock and that each employee can clock in from their own computer. It is also nice for those that occasionally have to travel because they can still clock in and out from out of town.”Click here to read the full review.
Homebase offers features and functionality such as:
It’s a great free employee time clock app that works with iPhone (iOS), Android, tablets, and computers. As of this writing date, Homebase has 932 reviews and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Capterra.
“We decided to go for Homebase because it mostly resembled what I was doing in a spreadsheet before. The time clock is rather solid, we have set up a dedicated tablet to clock in and out. This is the main reason I got Homebase for my team – so that they would have a schedule and be able to clock in and out.”Click here to read the full review.
Connecteam offers features and functionality such as:
- Employee Time Clock
- Employee Task Management
- Employee Training
- Employee Scheduling
- Employee Communication
- Checklists & Forms
It’s one of the best free time clock apps for employees. As of this writing date, Connecteam has 281 reviews and 4.8 out of 5 stars on Capterra.
“This product makes it very easy to keep track of employees’ time as well as the time spent on specific tasks and how many pieces were made. It is very easy to clock in and out for breaks and lunch time. This makes it simple to do no matter where you are located in our various warehouses.”Click here to read the full review.
Clockify offers features and functionality such as:
It’s one of the best free time clock software for small businesses. As of this writing date, Clockify has 4539 reviews and 4.7 out of 5 stars on Capterra.
“We use this every day for our employees to clock in and clock out, for the bookkeepers to create monthly reports to see which projects we are spending most of our time on, and it even has a mobile app that’s very efficient.”Click here to read the full review.
Learn More About Buddy Punch and Try It for Free
You can also watch our demo video.
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