4 Best Free Employee Timesheet Apps & Software (and a Paid Option)

If you’re looking for a free timesheet app, we present various options in this article.

However, employee timesheet apps with a free plan have limitations. We’ll discuss their disadvantages below and make the case for why Buddy Punch, our paid employee timesheet app, could better fit your needs.

Paid and Free Timesheet Apps & Software

  1. Buddy Punch (a paid option)
  2. OnTheClock (a free plan option)
  3. Connecteam (a free plan option)
  4. Clockify (a free plan option)
  5. Homebase (a free plan option)

1. Buddy Punch 

Why Choose Buddy Punch (Our Paid Tool) Over a Free Timesheet App

When choosing a timesheet app or time tracking tool, we recommend asking four key questions:

1. Will I receive access to a full, customizable range of accountability-related features or will there be limitations?

2. Will I receive access to a full range of payroll-related features or will there be limitations?

3. Is the product intuitive and easy to use?

4. Is customer service responsive? And more importantly, do they provide thorough and informative answers?

Let’s discuss each question in turn.

Question #1: Will I receive access to a full range of accountability-related features, or will there be limitations?

Buddy Punch gives you the option to activate accountability-related features each time an employee punches in or out, such as being able to restrict their punches to a certain location, device, and so on.  

If you opt with a free plan, however, you’ll often be limited to just a few of these features (meaning you might have to settle for a feature that doesn’t perfectly suit your business’s specific needs).

But with Buddy Punch, there are no limits and more choices. You can choose from a buffet of accountability-related features that precisely meet your needs. Up next, we’ll list several popular options:

Geofencing

Geofencing

Geofencing is an automatic feature lets you restrict hourly employee punches to a specific location.

At a high level, here’s how it works:

  • Input the address you’d like employees to punch in and out from (e.g., 123 Sanford Ave).
  • Specify a radius around this address (e.g., within 500 feet).

If an employee tries to submit a punch outside 500 feet of 123 Sanford Ave, they’ll receive an error message (pictured below), and be asked to try again. Their punch will only successfully go through if they punch in from the proper location.

"You are not within the assigned Geofence" error.

IP Address Locking

IP address locking

With IP Address Locking, you can restrict employee punches to a specific Wi-Fi address. (e.g., Employees can only punch in and out when they’re physically at the store and connected to “TeaStore-Wifi.”)

Or, you could restrict employee punches to a specific device. (e.g., Employees can only punch in and out from a central, shared tablet or computer that’s located at the workplace.)

Photos on Punch 

Photos on punch

When Photos on Punch is active, as the name suggests, employees are required to take a photo when they punch in and out.

All employee photos are available for central viewing via our dashboard:

See photos in timesheet.

Buddy punching is a common issue, and this is a great way to prevent it.

Other Accountability-Related Features

Buddy Punch offers many other features that help increase employee productivity and accountability: GPS Tracking, Facial Recognition Punching, PIN Punching, Punch Limiting Rules, and more.

Note: Click here to book a one-on-one demo call, and we’ll guide you through how to best utilize Buddy Punch for your specific needs. You can also sign up for a free trial.

Question #2: Will I receive access to a full range of payroll-related features, or will there be limitations?

Running payroll via spreadsheets and manual calculations is notoriously cumbersome.

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.“

With Buddy Punch, you can pick and choose from a vast range of payroll-related features that precisely match your needs. Similar to the accountability category, there are no limits and greater options. You can even use our tool on multiple devices, such as Desktops (Microsoft Windows or Apple Macs) as well as smartphones (iOS and Android) and tablets.

Up next, we’ll list several popular options that make the payroll process faster and more accurate:

Buddy Punch Payroll

First, you can use Buddy Punch as your payroll provider. This is a natural and efficient fit, as streamlines all aspects of time and leave management in one platform. This is because you’re also using Buddy Punch to track time worked, billable hours, and paid time off (PTO). You just take the time cards from Buddy Punch and run payroll with them.

Easily Import Time into Payroll with Buddy Punch

Then you can easily review employee hours, hourly rates, overtime, PTO, and more timesheet data. You can edit someone’s time card or add earnings to someone’s pay (like if you need to reimburse an employee for mileage or pay them out on their commissions).

Buddy Punch takes care of all local, state, and federal taxes. You can pay your employees via direct deposit or check.

You can also automate the payroll process by setting up auto-payroll, so your payroll gets run on time every time, and no one ever has to wait to get their check.

On-Demand Payroll Reports

Payroll spreadsheet.

As employees punch in and out, in the background, our software automatically calculates their regular hours, time off, overtime, and more. You can filter our detailed reports by a specific pay period and download this information via PDF or Excel, as pictured above.

Payroll Provider Integrations

Payroll integrations.

Another great way to save time on payroll (and avoid manual data entry work) is to integrate Buddy Punch with your payroll provider:

Time Off Tracking

PTO summary.

Buddy Punch offers many different time off tracking features. For example:

  • Employees can easily send time off requests via the Buddy Punch app. As an administrator, you can optionally receive email notifications about time off requests, and then approve or reject them.
  • Buddy Punch automatically calculates each employee’s paid and unpaid time off hours. Employers and employees can easily view this information and filter by date. It’s also downloadable via PDF or Excel.

Accruals

Time off accruals.

Are time off accruals pertinent to your business? If so, see this video and help doc article on this feature.

Explore the full list of Buddy Punch features

Note that beyond the aforementioned features and functionality, we offer:

Question #3: Is the product intuitive and easy to use?

As several reviewers mentioned on Capterra, their employees were quickly able to understand how Buddy Punch works, and there was minimal training time required:

“Most folks pick up on it right away. The system is intuitive and those who do have difficulty only need a quick tutorial and they are good to go.”

Click here to read the full review.

“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 end.”

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 software is straightforward and well-run, and was easily understood by our team of 55+ non-technical staff of all ages.”

Click here to read the full review.

Question #4: Is customer service responsive? And more importantly, do they provide thorough and informative answers?

Great customer service is central to our philosophy. We have a median first response time of 54 seconds during business hours. Also, as several reviewers mentioned, you can expect a thorough and informative response:

“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.

“Customer service is responsive. The few times I’ve needed help (very rare) they were super responsive and made sure my problem was completely solved.”

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.

“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.”

Click here to read the full review.

Explore Additional Buddy Punch Reviews

As of this writing, Buddy Punch has garnered 814 reviews and 4.8 out of 5 stars on Capterra, a widely used software review site:

Click here to explore the full list of Buddy Punch reviews on Capterra.

Start your free trial of Buddy Punch

Click here to start your free trial of Buddy Punch.

We also invite you to book a one-on-one demo call (either before or during the trial period), where we’ll guide you through how to best utilize Buddy Punch for your specific needs.

2. OnTheClock

OnTheClock offers several features and functionality. For example:

It’s one of the best free timesheet apps, but keep in mind that OntheClock’s free version is only free for up to 2 employees. As of this writing date, OnTheClock has 533 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.

3. Connecteam

Connecteam offers several features and functionality. For example:

It’s a great employee timesheet software for small businesses. As of this writing date, Connecteam has 192 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.

4. Clockify

Clockify offers several features and functionality. For example:

It’s a great free timesheet app for employees, and each pricing plan comes with unlimited users. But Clockify’s free plan is severely limited. For example, if you want team scheduling, forecasting, labor demands, GPS tracking, screenshots, advanced reporting features, and more, then you will want to choose the Clockify Pro plan. As of this writing date, Clockify has 4245 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.

5. Homebase

Homebase offers several features and functionality. For example:

It’s a great free timesheet software for small businesses. As of this writing date, Homebase has 916 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.

Start your free trial of Buddy Punch

Click here to start your free trial of Buddy Punch (no credit card required).

We also invite you to book a one-on-one demo call (either before or during the trial period), where we’ll guide you through how to best utilize Buddy Punch for your specific needs.

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