7 Best Time Clock and Scheduling Software (In-Depth Look)

A real-time employee time clock software helps businesses:

1. Streamline Payroll

  • The problem:Without a time clock app that aids with payroll processing, employers are left running payroll manually or using Excel spreadsheets, which is time-consuming and liable to human error.
  • The solution: With such an app, all payroll data is calculated automatically, which you can easily report in the form of a payroll report, or integrate with your favorite payroll system.

2. Increase Employee Accountability

  • The problem: Without software to help with accountability, businesses struggle to know for certain if their employees’ work hours are accurate, which in turn leads to additional job costs and wasted money due to inaccurate timesheets.
  • The solution: A time card app with accountability features allows you to bypass this issue altogether; thanks to Geofences, IP Address Locking, or Facial Recognition (among others), you can ensure all your employees are kept accountable, and their timesheets are accurate.

3. Simplify Scheduling

  • The problem: Without an app that aids with scheduling, crafting schedules for your team can be complex and error-prone, especially when there are competing shift needs involved.
  • The solution: A time clock and employee attendance tracking software lets you simplify the process thanks to drag & drop schedule creation, the ability to schedule repeating shifts/schedules, and more.

In this post, we’ll discuss how Buddy Punch, our time clock and scheduling app, excels in the above areas. Then, we’ll compare Buddy Punch to 6 other scheduling and time tracking software, and analyze their key features and user reviews to give you an overview of what the market for this type of tool has to offer. That way, you can choose the one that best fits your business’ needs.

Table of Contents

  1. Buddy Punch
  2. Connecteam
  3. QuickBooks Time
  4. DeskTime
  5. When I Work
  6. Homebase
  7. Hubstaff

Note: If you’d like to learn more about Buddy Punch, sign up for a free trial here and start using it today!

1. Buddy Punch

Buddy Punch interface on computer and mobile

At Buddy Punch, we’ve created a host of payroll features, which save you time on payroll and reduce human error; accountability features, which restrict when and where your employees can punch in/out of work, and prevent buddy punching; and scheduling features, which make the scheduling-crafting process simple and intuitive, and remove the need to create multiple schedules from scratch at the beginning of each work period.

Next up, we’ll detail each of Buddy Punch’s features in the above areas. In case you want to skip around, here’s a table of contents:

Streamline payroll with:

Keep your team accountable with:

Simplify scheduling with:

Payroll Features

Running payroll manually is notoriously time-consuming and error-prone. To tackle these challenges, we built the following features and functionalities:

Payroll Integrations

Payroll providers that Buddy Punch can integrate with

Buddy Punch integrates with most of the top payroll providers and HR software to streamline the payroll process from beginning to end — and all in just a few clicks! Our integrations include QuickBooks, Paychex, ADP, SurePayroll, and many others, as pictured above.

For more information on how our payroll provider integrations work (and how to set them up) visit this page.

Payroll Reports on Demand

Example payroll report in Excel

Buddy Punch captures all punch data and other information needed to run payroll automatically, which you can then export as an Excel file (pictured above) with just a few clicks. Our reports include the number of hours & minutes worked per employee, overtime and time-off data, and more.

Time Off Tracking

Time off manager

Buddy Punch lets you manage all your time off needs simply and effectively, whether you’re an employee or employer.

Employees can log in to our desktop or mobile app (iOS, Android) to request unpaid or paid time off (PTO). Those requests are then sent to the employer, who can approve or reject according to their needs — all within the Buddy Punch administrator dashboard, as seen below:

Pending approval feature

Another functionality we’ve added to our software to help your time-off needs is an in-app time-off summary, which you can see pictured below:

In-app time off summary

Track Employee Hours by Jobs, Projects, or Locations

Report drop down menu

You can generate “Hours Reports” from within the Buddy Punch app, segmented by “Location”, “Department” or “Position”, as shown above. If this is relevant to your business, we’ve created a video (see here) that expands on it in greater detail:

Accruals

Time Off accrual rates feature

Buddy Punch lets you manage all your accrual needs without breaking a sweat. All you have to do is access the administrator dashboard and set up accrual rules to your liking. These rules can be based on the number of hours worked, or a pay period (annual accruals included.)

Accountability Features

When we set out to build Buddy Punch, we knew simply offering a time-clock functionality for employees to punch in/out of work wasn’t enough. Most business owners suffer not from a lack of tools for their employees to punch in/out—but from a lack of accountability, which invariably translates to wasted time and money due to inaccurate timesheets. To tackle this challenge, we created the following features:

Geofencing

Geofencing feature

One of our customers’ favorite accountability features is Geofencing, which allows you to set up radiuses outside which your employees will not be able to punch in/out of work.

Setting up a Geofence is easy: simply login to your administrator dashboard, input the address to use as the geofence’s center, and select your desired radius (as pictured above).

Photos on Punch

Example of photo punch feature

Our Photos on Punch feature, when activated, prevents your employees from punching in/out of work until they’ve taken a photo of themselves. These images are then recorded in the employees’ timecard and the Buddy Punch administrator panel — you can review them all at once or on a per-employee basis to verify whether your employees punched in/out themselves.

Facial Recognition

Face login/punch feature

Facial Recognition, much like Photos on Punch, leverages your teams’ devices to add accountability to their punches but takes things one step further. When this feature is active, the Buddy Punch app will prompt your employees to undergo a biometric scan of their faces, verifying if it’s actually them doing the punching in/out. If our app fails to recognize their faces, an error message will appear:

'Could not identify the face' alert

GPS Tracking

Punch Map for John Doe

Our GPS Tracking feature, like Geofencing, takes advantage of your employees’ mobile device GPS technology to track hours and location when punching in/out of work, and then records that information in their timecard and the Buddy Punch platform for later review — all automatically!

IP Address Locking

Edit IP Address Lock feature

You can activate IP Address Locking to restrict the IP Addresses or networks from which your employees can successfully register a punch. All you have to do is log in to the Buddy Punch administrator platform and input your chosen IP Address for the lock (as shown above). And that’s it! Now if your employees attempt to submit a punch without being connected to that network, the Buddy Punch app will show them an error message.

Scheduling Features

From our experience coordinating a team of over 20 employees across three different locations in our previous business endeavor, we learned that crafting employee schedules can be extremely tedious and time-consuming. So when we set out to build our scheduling functionality, there was an emphasis on ensuring that it’s (1) simple and easy to use and (2) saves you lots of time.

Drag & Drop Schedule Creation

All schedules created within the Buddy Punch app follow a Drag & Drop principle. Simply decide first on what shift will best fit each specific team member by clicking on the empty slot next to their name. If the schedule doesn’t quite fit your employees’ needs, all you have to do is click, drag and drop to reshuffle shifts visually until it does!

Drag and drop schedule creation feature

Repeating/Recurring Shifts

Choose when a schedule should repeat

To avoid wasting time creating new schedules from scratch every time a new work period comes around (be it weekly or monthly), use our Repeating/Recurring Shifts feature. This feature allows you to have schedules repeat over specified regular periods of your choosing, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

Employee Availability

Employee schedule with preferred and unavailable days marked

One of the biggest challenges inherent to creating schedules is not knowing your employees’ shift preferences in advance. Our Employee Availability feature helps you bypass this challenge.

Your employees can use Employee Availability and let you know the shifts they’ll like to work, and which locations. All they have to do is login to the Buddy Punch app, navigate to the “Employee Availability” section and input the shifts that fit their needs best, subject to your approval.

Punch Limiting

Punch limiting rule feature

We created our Punch Limiting feature to solve another major struggle small businesses face: their employees punching in just a few minutes early, or a few minutes late.

With our Punch Limiting feature, you can create rules that tie your employees’ ability to clock in and clock out to their schedules, which means that when Punch Limiting is active, the Buddy Punch app won’t let your team members punch in/out when outside their assigned shift. As an alternative, you can create rules to limit clocking in/out to several minutes before or after a shift’s start or end time. In the example pictured above, employees wouldn’t be able to punch in 15 minutes before or after a shift.

Notify Employees when You Publish Their Shift

Choose when and how to publish a schedule

If creating schedules is step one, sharing them with your employees is step two. Buddy Punch helps with this too: you can notify your employees when their schedules are complete in just a few clicks.

All you have to do is click on the “Publish Schedule” button and choose whether you’d like to notify your employees via email, push notification or both. It’s that easy!

Once you’ve shared schedules, your employees will be able to check them anywhere and anytime, all from within the Buddy Punch app (mobile and desktop).

Buddy Punch also offers a whole range of other scheduling notifications, which you can pick and choose from to best fit your needs, such as:

  • Shift Start Reminder & Shift End Reminder
  • Late In Alert & Late Out Alert
  • Early In Alert & Early Out Alert
  • And more

Additional Features

The features detailed above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Buddy Punch offers. Our platform comes with many other features for you to pick and choose from, including:

But features alone don’t make for a great time clock and scheduling software. There are other aspects to take into account, such as simplicity & ease of use which, we’re proud to say, Buddy Punch excels at as well.

Buddy Punch’s Simplicity & Ease of Use

We created Buddy Punch following a simplicity-first principle, which made our time clock functionalities user-friendly and easy to use, both for employers and employees.

For employees, this time clock system is as easy as tapping a button on their smartphone, tablet or desktop. When employees login to the Buddy Punch app, they’re presented with a minimal amount of time entry options (color-coded): Punch In/Out, and View Current Time Card, as pictured below:

Employee Buddy Punch app homescreen example

This simple interface was designed so that no employee had to learn a new, complex workflow to punch in or out of work, and to eliminate unnecessary distractions — and it works! At the time of writing, Buddy Punch has garnered a total of 638 reviews and 4.8/5 stars on Capterra (a popular software review site). Many customers have written about Buddy Punch’s ease of use:

Interested in Learning More?

You can learn more about how Buddy Punch can solve your time tracking, accountability, payroll and scheduling needs by watching a recording of our demo, embedded below: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ox3YkDmJJoE

If you’d like to request a personal demo, click here. If you’d like to start usinre. If you’d like to start using today, sign up for a free trial! The free plan includes most features so you can get a real feel for how Buddy Punch revolutionizes workforce management.

2. Connecteam

At the time of writing, Connecteam has 121 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Their top features include, but are not limited to:

Click here to view all of Connecteam’s features.

Here’s one review highlighting why Connecteam is a great scheduling and time clock software:

Click here to view all of Connecteam’s Capterra reviews.

Interested in Learning More?

You can learn more about Connecteam by visiting their site here.

3. QuickBooks Time (Formerly TSheets)

At the time of writing, QuickBooks Time (formerly TSheets) has 5503 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Their employee scheduling and time tracking software has features such as:

Click here to view all of QuickBooks Time’s features.

Here’s one review that highlights why QuickBooks Time is a great time clock and scheduling app:

Click here to view all of QuickBooks Time’s Capterra reviews.

Interested in Learning More?

You can learn more about how QuickBooks Time works by visiting their site here.

4. DeskTime

At the time of writing, DeskTime has 220 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Their employee time scheduling and attendance software has features including but not limited to:

Click here to view all of DeskTime’s features.

Here’s one review that highlights why DeskTime is a great tool:

Click here to view all of DeskTime’s Capterra reviews.

Interested in Learning More?

You can learn more about DeskTime by visiting their site here.

5. When I Work

At the time of writing, When I Work’s scheduling tool has 876 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. When I Work’s key features include, but are not limited to:

Click here to view all of When I Work’s features.

Here’s one review that highlights why When I Work is a great time tracking and scheduling software:

Click here to view all of When I Work’s Capterra reviews.

Interested in Learning More?

You can learn more how When I Work by visiting their site here.

6. Homebase

At the time of writing, Homebase has 775 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Some of Homebase’s features include:

Click here to view all of Homebase’s features.

Here’s one review highlighting why Homebase is a great tool:

Click here to view all of Homebase’s Capterra reviews.

Interested in Learning More?

You can learn more about how Homebase helps solve all your time tracking and payroll needs, and what makes them a great employee scheduling software, by visiting their site here.

7. Hubstaff

At the time of writing, Hubstaff has 1155 reviews on Capterra, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Their time clock and scheduling app have features such as:

Click here to view all of Hubstaff’s features.

Here’s one review that highlights why Hubstaff is a great tool:

Click here to view all of Hubstaff’s Capterra reviews.

Interested in Learning More?

You can learn more about how Hubstaff helps solve all your time tracking, payroll and scheduling needs, and about their pricing options by visiting their site here.

Note: If you’d like to learn more about Buddy Punch, sign up for a free trial here and start using it today!

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