9 Best Apps to Track Employee Hours (An In-Depth Guide)

There are many challenges involved in the process of employee time-tracking, such as:

  • A lack of transparency and accountability from employees when clocking in and out throughout the workday.
  • The complexity of data manipulation needed in spreadsheets to understand revenue and cost.
  • The constant recurring time investment needed to do payroll.
  • The difficulty of creating accommodating work schedules for both the employer and employees.

There are many tracking solutions on the market that can help you track your employees’ hours while accounting for all these challenges. The difficulty is in deciding which customizable management tool will work best for your specific business needs.

To help you with that decision, we’ve put together an in-depth list that compares nine of the best time clocking apps for small businesses in 2024.

Table of Contents

  1. Buddy Punch
  2. Hubstaff
  3. Connecteam
  4. Paymo
  5. Workpuls
  6. DeskTime
  7. Homebase
  8. When I Work
  9. TimeCamp

Note: Buddy Punch is our own product and we’re proud of what we built. It includes team management features we ourselves would have liked, having struggled to track workflow and manage time reports for a staff of twenty across three different business locations. Learn more here and try Buddy Punch for free today.

1. Buddy Punch


In our previous business, we struggled to track time for 20 employees across three different locations using paper punch clocks and manual time entries. We couldn’t believe how frustrating and time-consuming it was to manage employee work, and knew there had to be a better way.

Buddy Punch was born out of that frustration, the kind that business owners experience when they’re in the thick of management. When we set out to build our intuitive time tracking tool, we wanted it to be something more than just a digital version of physical work time tracking. That’s why we created features to help with (1) employee accountability, (2) payroll processing, and (3) scheduling.

In this article, we’ll start by covering some of Buddy Punch’s time data features. You can use the list below to jump to a specific section.

Increase Accountability for Your Team with:

Streamline Payroll with:

Simplify Scheduling with:

Features to Increase Staff Accountability

Tracking employee hours effectively and reliably isn’t possible if your employees aren’t kept accountable for when and where they work. Without that, employees clock in and out however they feel, and might even grow accustomed to committing time theft. A lack of accountability from your team members invariably translates to wasted money and time due to inaccurate time-sheets.

At Buddy Punch, we don’t want you to worry about these time management issues. We created a whole range of automated time tracking features that can help you keep your employees honest and accountable when they punch in and out of work.

Our accountability features include:

Geofencing


Buddy Punch’s Geofencing feature allows you to determine the radius inside which your staff can clock in and out of work (i. e. a ‘geofence’). If your employees attempt to clock in “on-site” but are found to be outside that radius, Buddy Punch will prevent it and show them an error message instead.

You can create multiple geofences, and assign each a unique job code, which is especially helpful for businesses handling more than one job site at any given time. This makes it a great tool for field service businesses.

GPS Tracking


With this feature, you can keep track of all your workers’ locations whenever they are out in the field. Buddy Punch’s GPS tracking records your employees’ locations (for unlimited users) whenever they punch in and out of work, and centralizes that information in detailed reports for you to review.

IP Address Locking


Our IP Address Locking feature allows you to limit which networks your employees can punch in and out of work. Best of all, this user-friendly feature requires no oversight on your part. All you have to do is input a specific IP Address into the Buddy Punch platform, and our software will block all attempts from your employees to punch when not connected to that network – automatically.

Facial Recognition


With Buddy Punch, you also have the option to enable Facial Recognition on login or punch.

When this feature is turned on, our software will leverage the biometric capabilities of mobile devices (iOS and Android), and only allow your staff to track hours after Buddy Punch has verified it is actually them.

Photos on Punch


When you activate Buddy Punch’s Photos on Punch feature, our software will prompt your employees to take a photo of themselves before they can punch in or out of work. Buddy Punch then saves all these photos on your dashboard, which you can review all at once. This reporting feature is particularly helpful if you want to make sure your employees can’t have one of their co-workers punch in their stead.

Features to Help You Streamline Payroll

Buddy Punch offers multiple features to help you make the payroll process as simple and effortless as possible. These include:

Next up, we’ll look at each one by one.

Integrations with Payroll Providers

Payroll Integrations with Buddy Punch


Buddy Punch integrates with most popular payroll providers on the market, so you can process payroll for your team in a fast, simple, and accurate manner, with just a few clicks.

A few of Buddy Punch’s payroll integrations include:

  • ADP
  • Gusto
  • Paychex
  • Paycor
  • Paylocity
  • QuickBooks

Buddy Punch also integrates with Zapier, which means you can connect our platform to thousands of other apps and automate your payroll processing further.

If you’d like to know more or see a full list of Buddy Punch’s integrations, click here.

Payroll Reports on Demand


There’s no need to waste time manually reviewing employee timesheets to fix errors and omissions. Like the best employee management tools, Buddy Punch calculates what you need to run payroll. Additionally, as you can see in the above screenshot, you can export all data in the form of an Excel or CSV payroll report.

Project Tracking


With Buddy Punch’s ability to track projects, you can decide on pay rates tailored to your different jobs and pay scales. This means that, with Buddy Punch, you can calculate labor costs, create budgets and generate project reports in just a few clicks. This makes it much easier to maximize your business profitability.

Time Off Tracking


With Buddy Punch, you can easily keep track of employees’ time off (PTO and unpaid) and then export reports with all the information for you to review. Reports can include time off information for all your employees at once, or broken down on a per-employee basis.

Accruals


Buddy Punch allows you to set up time off accrual rules. These can be based on an annual accrual period, total hours worked, or a specified pay period.

Scheduling Features

Without the right tools, creating schedules for your employees can quickly turn into a time-intensive and headache-inducing process. There are too many moving parts involved, including which employees can work on what day and for how long.

Tools like pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets can help, but they aren’t very efficient.

At Buddy Punch, we wanted to remove all complexity from the scheduling process. We created a whole host of features to accomplish this, starting with our drag and drop scheduling functionality, which you can see pictured below:


Our drag and drop functionality allows you to create employee shifts in a matter of minutes.

Simply click on the empty slot next to an employee’s name and create a shift for that employee. If you’d like to change/edit the schedule, drag a shift to its new slot, and drop. Once you’re done moving things around, and are happy with the end result, hit publish to update all changes.

That’s just the type of the iceberg. Buddy Punch’s other scheduling features include:

Repeating/Recurring Shifts


Don’t waste time and effort creating new schedules week after week just so your employees know nothing has changed. With Buddy Punch’s Repeating/Recurring Shifts feature, you can copy schedules across time, or make them repeat over specified regular periods (i. e. weekly, bi-weekly or monthly).

Employee Availability


Buddy Punch’s Employee Availability features makes the scheduling process even easier by allowing your employees to suggest their preferred times and days of work, subject to your approval. All they need to do is log into our app, and choose their availability. You can then take that information and use it to shape the perfect schedule for your team.

Punch Limiting


With our Punch Limiting timekeeping feature, you can limit your employees’ punches so they can only clock in and clock out when inside the time frame specified by their assigned schedule. If they try to punch outside their scheduled hours, our employee scheduling software will show them an error message.

Notify Employees of Their Schedules


After you spend time creating the perfect schedule, you can use Buddy Punch to share it with your team in just a few clicks. Hit our ‘publish schedule’ button, and Buddy Punch will prompt you to choose whether to share through email, push notification, or both.

Buddy Punch also offers other types of scheduling notifications, which you can configure to automatically get sent to employees and/or administrators. These include:

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

If you want to get a more detailed overview of Buddy Punch’s alerts, notifications and reminders, click here.

Note: Your employees can check their schedules at any time through the Buddy Punch mobile app (iPhone and Android), desktop app or tablet app.

Additional Features

In this article, we’ve covered some of Buddy Punch’s key features dealing with accountability, scheduling, and payroll. But those are just the tip of the iceberg. Buddy Punch offers a whole range of other features, including:

Despite everything we included in our tool, a focus on ease of use and our intuitive design makes it easy for anyone to use Buddy Punch. For a full list of Buddy Punch’s features, click here.

What do our users have to say about Buddy Punch?

We’re proud to say that, at the time of writing, Buddy Punch has received a total of 788 reviews on the popular software review site Capterra, with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Here are just a few reviews that highlight some of our users’ favorite aspects of Buddy Punch:


Click here to see all of Buddy Punch’s Capterra Reviews.

Interested in learning more?

There’s more to Buddy Punch than what we covered in this article. If you’d like a more in-depth look at what our platform has to offer, you can watch a Buddy Punch demo below:

If you’d like to explore what Buddy Punch can do for you and your business, in real-time, you can request a demo here. We’ll walk you through each and every aspect of our platform, and show you how Buddy Punch can be fit to serve your specific time tracking needs. Our customer support will also answer any questions you might have along the way.

If you’d like to learn more or get started using Buddy Punch to track your employees’ hours today, sign up for a free trial.

2. Hubstaff

Hubstaff is a great project management app to help you track your employee’s hours. They offer a whole host of features, such as Employee Time Tracking & Absence Management, Online Time Reporting, Task Management Templates, Employee Productivity Monitoring, GPS Location Tracking, Project Time Limits, and Automated Payroll & Invoicing.

To see a full list of Hubstaff’s features, click here. Like Buddy Punch, this tool works on Windows and Mac Desktops as well as smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android).

What do users have to say about Hubstaff?

Hubstaff has a total of 1126 reviews on Capterra at the time of writing, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars.


Click here to see all of Hubstaff’s Capterra Reviews.

Interested in learning more?

You can sign up for Hubstaff’s free 14-day trial here, or request a full demo here.

3. Connecteam

Connecteam is another solid project management tool to use as an employee hours tracker, thanks to features including Checklists & Forms, Employee Time Clock, Employee Task Management, Employee Training, API, Employee Communication and Employee Scheduling.

Its free plan even works for small business owners with up to 10 users, while the pro plans come with even stronger options. To see a full list of Connecteam’s features, go here.

What do users have to say about Connecteam?

Connecteam has 113 reviews on Capterra at the time of writing, with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars.


Click here to see all of Connecteam’s Capterra Reviews.

Interested in learning more?

You can sign up for Connecteam’s free 14-day trial here, or visit their site here.

4. Paymo

Paymo is another great option to track employee time. They offer a whole range of features, such as Time tracking,Task Management, Kanban Board, Team Collaboration, Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets Integrations, Team Scheduling , Gantt Chart and Invoicing & Estimates.

Paymo’s pricing depends on the number of users you have. To see a full list of Paymo’s features, click here.

What do users have to say about Paymo?

Paymo has a total of 400 reviews on Capterra at the time of writing, with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars.


Click here to see all of Paymo’s Capterra Reviews.

Interested in learning more?

You can visit Paymo’s site and sign up for a free 15-day trial here.

5. Workpuls

Many employers use time clock apps like Workpuls to monitor mobile time and bill clients, thanks to features such as Employee Monitoring, Time Tracker, Automatic Time Mapping, and Screenshots.

To see a full list of Workpuls features, click here.

What do users have to say about Workpuls?

Workpuls has 41 reviews on Capterra at the time of writing, with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars.


Click here to see all of Workpuls’ Capterra Reviews.

Interested in learning more?

You can book a full Workpuls demo here, or sign up for a free 7-day trial here.

6. DeskTime

A great choice to track your employees’ billable hours is DeskTime, thanks to features such as Automatic Time Tracking, Chrome Extension, URL and App Tracking, Idle Time Tracking, Absence Calendar and Shift Scheduling. It’s a great app for both teams and freelancers.

To see a full list of DeskTime’s features, go here.

What do users have to say about DeskTime?

Desktime has a total of 136 reviews on Capterra at the time of writing, with an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars.


Click here to see all of DeskTime’s Capterra Reviews.

Interested in learning more?

You can register for a DeskTime demo here, or sign up for a free 14-day trial here.

7. Homebase

Homebase is another tool regarded by some as the best employee time tracking software. Their features include, but are not limited to: Employee Scheduling, Time Clock, Online Timesheet, Health & Safety Screening, Team Communication, and HR & Compliance.

To see a full list of Homebase’s features, click here.

What do users have to say about Homebase?

Homebase has 730 reviews on Capterra at the time of writing, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars.


Click here to see all of Homebase’s Capterra Reviews.

Interested in learning more?

You can get started with a free 14-day trial here, or visit Homebase’s site here.

8. When I Work

When I Work is another great employee time-tracking app. Some of its key features include Employee Scheduling, Employee Time Clock, Timesheets and Team Messaging.

To see a full list of When I Work features, click here.

What do users have to say about WhenIWork?

When I Work has a total of 858 reviews on Capterra at the time of writing, with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Click here to see all of When I Work’s Capterra Reviews.

Interested in learning more?

You can visit When I Work’s site to schedule a demo or sign up for a free trial.

9. TimeCamp

Last but not least in our list for best apps & time tracking solutions to track your employees’ work hours is TimeCamp. They offer a whole range of features, such as Automatic Time Tracking, Timesheet Approvals, Attendance Tracking, Unlimited Projects & Users, Time Tracking Reports and Custom Billing Rates.

To see a full list of TimeCamp’s features, click here.

What do users have to say about TimeCamp?

TimeCamp has a total of 524 reviews on Capterra at the time of writing, with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars.


Click here to see all of TimeCamp’s Capterra Reviews.

Runner-up apps include Clockify, Quickbooks Time, and Toggl Track.

Interested in learning more?

You can visit TimeCamp’s site here and sign up for a free 14-day trial.

Note: Buddy Punch is our own product and we’re proud of what we built. It includes features we ourselves would have liked, having struggled with employee hour tracking for a staff of twenty across three different business locations. Learn more here and try Buddy Punch for free today.

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