Buddy Punch vs Deputy

The difficulty of choosing between multiple employee scheduling software options is one we know well. Back when we struggled with managing 20 different employees at 3 separate locations, we realized that manual methods of timekeeping were holding our business back. We sought out digital solutions, tried many of the ones that existed at the time, and learned that the only way to find a tool with all the features we require would be to make it ourselves. So, we did – and Buddy Punch was created.

Times have changed since then, but the general lesson we learned hasn’t: it takes hard work to find a tool that fits your workforce management style & needs, assuming any of them are perfect fits at all. To help shorten this search, we’ve started a series of posts breaking down our software compared to our competitors. Without further ado, let’s see how Buddy Punch compares to a popular alternative known as Deputy.

Buddy Punch is a cloud-based time and attendance software that was designed to be an all-in-one solution for all things employee management. To this end, we included functions to track time, schedule employees, and streamline payroll. Ease of use and intuitive design have led Buddy Punch to become an extremely popular time tracking option for employees and employers alike.

Deputy is an employee scheduling, timesheet, and time clock solution that was designed to help improve operational efficiency for businesses of all sizes. Though Deputy offers a diverse range of features for employee management, it’s particularly known for staff scheduling. This management software is very popular in industries such as healthcare, retail, and hospitality.

Buddy Punch and Deputy have an overlap in many of their time tracking features. Both of them allow the recording of employee time, exporting of time card reports in either Excel CSV or Adobe PDF format, have features for breaks, and display real-time attendance updates. Both tools have GPS tracking and Geofencing, both have Single Sign On (SSO) and punch rounding. Online time tracking is available across all devices, including desktops or mobile devices.

Even when there’s a difference in name, some key features are essentially the same: Buddy Punch has Facial Recognition to allow team members to clock in touch-free via webcam screenshots, while Deputy calls that “Face Unlock.” Buddy Punch has the Managers feature for elevating employees and allowing delegation, while Deputy has Supervisors for the same function (plus team messaging).

All that said, there are a few user-friendly features Buddy Punch has that Deputy lacks. Buddy Punch’s Job Codes function allows you to create custom codes to designate tasks so you can monitor what employees are doing throughout the day, Buddy Punch’s IP Address Locking allows you to ensure that employees are only punching in or out from a specific device or location, Buddy Punch’s QR Codes lets you and your employees quickly punch in or out through simply scanning a QR Code, and Buddy Punch’s Text to Punch option sets up employees to punch in, even if they don’t have a data connection.

As you can see, both tools have a diverse amount of time tracking functions that will cover the needs of the average business, but Buddy Punch has a few more options depending on what works best for your management style. So, we’ll give the edge in the time tracking features category to Buddy Punch.

Once again, this is a category with plenty of overlap in how both tools function. Both Buddy Punch and Deputy have real-time scheduling updates, shift coverage options like trades and swaps, drag and drop scheduling, remote scheduling on any device including Windows and Mac Desktops or Android and iOS smartphones, and features to monitor breaks.

From there, the two tools divulge from each other.

Both have varied options for shift scheduling notifications, such as alerts for scheduled employees. However, Buddy Punch allows an employee, manager, or administrator to be alerted in situations where a team member either clocks in early or late for a shift, or clocks out early or late for a shift (helping to identify behavior that should be corrected). Deputy has a similar feature, but only for when employees are late to clock in, which is less flexible.

Buddy Punch also has an Automatic Punch Out feature that will automatically clock out employees after a certain amount of hours. Deputy’s version of this feature automatically closes an open shift after 23 hours if an employee forgot to clock out, and then amends their worked time to the default work time. But this version takes much longer to kick in, which can be inconvenient if such a situation happens on the same day you’re running payroll.

Another divulgence: Deputy does not seem to have an option for limiting punches. Buddy Punch offers a Punch Limiting function to allow you to block team members from clocking in at random times throughout the day. This is especially useful for reducing overtime costs.

On the flipside, Deputy has an AI-powered feature for auto scheduling. This is said to automatically build schedule templates for forecasted sales, delivery orders, foot traffic, and other trends based on data collected. While some business owners may be thrilled by this feature, others may rightly be wary. Letting AI automatically handle your scheduling and “legal requirements”, rather than leaving it to yourself or your human resource department could cause issues in case of malfunction. In matters of work hours and employee compensation, there’s always an underlying chance of one mistake escalating into a legal issue. Speaking of legality, Deputy’s inclusion of an AI-powered tool might make you concerned for what’s being done with your employees’ and your company’s data to train such the artificial intelligence.

In the employee scheduling category, we feel Buddy Punch has just a few features that puts it ahead of Deputy, but if you’re okay trusting your data to an AI tool you might prefer Deputy’s scheduling here. We’ll call this a tie.

When it comes to leave management, both Buddy Punch and Deputy share a lot of the same functions. Both tools allow the customization of leave types, balances, and accrual rates. Both let employees request time off from anywhere at any time, and both will send managers/administrators/business owners an alert on those leave requests (if you want that to happen).

However, only Buddy Punch has a self-service option that can be activated for leave requests. With this feature enabled, employees you select will be automatically approved for any time off requests they submit. This removes the need to constantly watch over your staff, and is incentive that can motivate them to earn enough trust for you to use this option.

In the PTO category, we’ll say Buddy Punch is slightly superior.

Both Buddy Punch and Deputy Integrate with popular payroll providers to make it easy to transfer employee data via API. These include big names such as ADP, Paychex, QuickBooks, Gusto, and more.

However, Buddy Punch differentiates itself in a big way here by offering something even better: Built-In Payroll.

If you purchase this addon you get access to:

  • Unlimited Payroll Runs
  • Integrated Timesheets
  • W-2s and 1099 forms
  • Automated Payroll Payments
  • Employee Self-onboarding
  • and more

All this is in addition to the benefit of having all your employee data in one place to reduce the chance of human error. Since Deputy forces you to use a third-party option if you want to run payroll, we have to says that Buddy Punch is superior in the Payroll options category.

Now we come to one of the most important considerations when it comes to time tracking software: how much are you paying?

First off, we have to give credit to Deputy for offering a free version for small businesses, even if it is fairly limited. If you restrict yourself to 100 shifts per month, you can use their tool for free, albeit with reduced features (no scheduling, no payroll integrations, just timeclock and timesheets, PTO management, news feed, and email support.)

However, their actual paid model is fairly inflexible. They only have one paid plan -$6 per user per month, which you can reduce to $5 if billed annually. If you want to get individual features instead, you can get scheduling features only for $4.5 per user per month, or time and attendance features only for $4.5 per user per month.

In comparison, Buddy Punch has more flexibility because it offers three paid pricing plans: standard (time tracking feature focused – 3.99 per user with annual billing, 4.99 per user with monthly billing), pro (time tracking + scheduling focused – 4.99 per user with annual billing, 5.99 per user with monthly billing), or Premium (everything + GPS Features – 5.99 per user if billed annually, 6.99 per user if billed monthly). When you add on Buddy Punch’s $19 base fee, it’s more expensive than Deputy, but as we noted above – you’re getting more value for your money. Additionally, depending on which plan you choose, you may end up with a cheaper experience using Buddy Punch depending on the number of users.

In this case, we’ll say Deputy tends to be cheaper, but Buddy Punch tends to provide more flexibility and value for money overall. Another tie.

We’ve talked a lot about these tools, but we’re probably a little biased. Let’s see what actual users have to add to the conversation.

By referring to popular software review site Capterra, we can use user reviews to see what paying customers have to say about their experience using these attendance & scheduling tools.

Buddy Punch has earned a score of 4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 960 reviews. In comparison, Deputy has a slightly lower score of 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on 713 reviews.

Capterra also provides a further breakdown of review scores, showing how tools rank in four categories: Ease of Use, Customer Service, Value for Money, and how likely customers are to recommend them. Buddy Punch has a score of 4.8 out of 5 in three categories: ease of use, customer service, and value for money. Additionally, 92% of users that left a review would recommend our tool. Meanwhile, Deputy scored 4.6 out of 5 in three categories: ease of use, customer service, and value for money, and only 82% of users would recommend it to a friend or colleague.

These scores seem to confirm what we suggested above: Buddy Punch might be a little more expensive, but it’s worth it. Customers that use Buddy Punch seem to like it more than Deputy, so we’re giving the edge in customer reviews to Buddy Punch.

This particular comparison between two different management software options is one of our closer ones. That’s why we want to remind you that determining which tool is best will also depend on the unique demands of your workforce, as well as your style as a manager.

That said, we think it’s clear that Buddy Punch is superior in most categories such as Time Tracking, PTO Management, Payroll, and customer reviews. On the other hand, the scheduling options and pricing of Deputy make it still a perfectly viable tool for some business owners.

If you’ve been convinced by this showcase and want to give Buddy Punch a try, you can sign up for a 14-day free trial here. You can also view a demo video here or click here to request your own one-on-one walkthrough.

Buddy Punch functions as both a web tool and a mobile app for iPhone and Android devices as well as tablets. If you ever have any questions, our customer support team is available 24/7 to answer your queries. We also have a helpful Doc Center that contains information and solves many FAQs for new users.

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Buddy Punch vs. Others

Buddy Punch is one of the best time clock software options on the market. Not only do we offer more advanced features that other time clock solutions don’t such facial recognition and geofences, but we are also one of the most affordable solutions available. We pride ourselves on making a time tracking solution that is easy for both you and your employees – and our customers are happy to find that’s exactly what they get! But don’t just take our word for it. Click the link to find out how we compare to other options, then make the wise decision and choose Buddy Punch. You and your employees will be happy you did!

If you’re still not convinced, be sure to check out our demo video below. We go over all of our main features and show you how easy it is for your employees to track their time and even easier for you to manage your employees.