business.com receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure
BDC Hamburger Icon

MENU

Close
BDC Logo
Search Icon
Updated May 23, 2024

The Best Time and Attendance Services of 2024

In the age of remote work and hybrid schedules, you need reliable tools to track time and attendance, scheduling, PTO and more.

author image
Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Verified CheckEditor Verified
Verified Check
Editor Verified
Close
A business.com editor verified this analysis to ensure it meets our standards for accuracy, expertise and integrity.
Best for Frontline Workers
Connecteam
Connecteam logo
  • Base price: $0
  • Monthly and annual plans
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS
USALinks to Connecteam
Visit Site
  • Base price: $0
  • Monthly and annual plans
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS
Best for Restaurants & Retail
When I Work
  • Base price: $4 per user monthly
  • Monthly and annual plans
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS
USALinks to When I Work
Visit Site
  • Base price: $4 per user monthly
  • Monthly and annual plans
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS
Best for Employee Scheduling
Buddy Punch
  • Base price: $19 per month
  • Monthly and annual plans
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS
USALinks to Buddy Punch
Visit Site
  • Base price: $19 per month
  • Monthly and annual plans
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS
Best for Scaling Businesses
TimeClock Plus
  • Base price: Custom quote
  • Monthly and annual plans
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS
  • Base price: Custom quote
  • Monthly and annual plans
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS
Best for Automation
UKG
UKG logo
  • Base price: Custom quote
  • Annual plans
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS
  • Base price: Custom quote
  • Annual plans
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS

Table of Contents

Open row

The business.com team has spent years examining hundreds of business software and services, spotlighting leading brands, lesser-known gems and new products. Each recommendation is based on firsthand evaluations of pricing, features, usability, customer support and more. We test solutions ourselves, question vendor representatives and consult user reviews. Editors also analyze each review to make sure it meets accuracy and fairness standards.

To identify the best time and attendance services, we examined a wide selection of platforms to gauge the features offered to both employers and employees. We looked at the range of time clock options, tools for scheduling and time-off tracking and whether the software integrated with leading payroll services. Our assessments also took into account plan flexibility, pricing and the availability of free trials. Learn more about our methodology and editorial process.

Employees want to be able to clock in and out of work quickly no matter their location and employers need to be able to track attendance and approve time sheets just as easily. The best time and attendance systems serve both types of users, offering a host of mobile self-service tools for staffers while offering business owners, managers and supervisors features to monitor hours worked, manage time off and even ensure team members are at the right job site. Add in scheduling functions, automated workflows and payroll integrations, and you have a robust solution for time and attendance.

The best services, like Connecteam and When I Work, even provide free trials so you can see if their programs are right for you before signing up for a monthly or annual contract. In addition to these two vendors, we researched and identified a number of other time and attendance system providers that stand out in a crowded market with appealing features and reasonable pricing.

Tip Bulb

How We Decided

The business.com team spent weeks evaluating time and attendance systems to identify the top solutions. Based on our in-depth analysis, we chose the six best services.

20

evaluated

12

researched

6

chosen

The business.com team spent weeks evaluating time and attendance systems to identify the top solutions. Based on our in-depth analysis, we chose the six best services.

20

evaluated

12

researched

6

chosen

Compare Our Best Picks

BDC Ribbon
Our Top Picks for 2024
Connecteam
When I Work
Buddy Punch
TimeClock Plus
UKG
BambooHR TAA
Rating (Out of 10)9.59.68.79.29.00.0
Use Case

Frontline workers

Retail and restaurants

Employee scheduling

Scaling businesses

Automation

Ease of use

Base Price

Free

$4 per user per month

$19 per month, plus $3.99 per user

Custom quote

Custom quote

Custom quote

Free Trial

14 days

14 days

14 days

None

None

7 days

Customer Support

Email and online form

Webchat and ticketing

Email and webchat

Phone, email and webchat

Phone and webchat

Phone, email and webchat

Scheduling

Yes

Yes

On select plans

On select plans

Yes

Limited

Mobile App

Android and iOS

Android and iOS

Android and iOS

Android and iOS

Android and iOS

Android and iOS

Review Link
Scroll Table

Our Reviews

Connecteam logo
  • Base Price: $0
  • Top Features: Time clock, job scheduling, communication tools
  • Trial Period: 14 days
Editor's Rating: 9.5/10
Visit Site

Why Connecteam is Best for Frontline Workers

Connecteam fuels real-time communication between employees in different locations, such as field service workers, construction crews, cleaners and home care providers. While these frontline team members are at different sites, they can use Connecteam’s mobile app to not only clock in and out but also stay in touch with managers and co-workers. We love how this digital connectivity while workers are physically apart can foster inclusivity.

Connecteam shifts

Connecteam gives managers a holistic view of employee shifts while showing individual workers their specific schedules. (Source: Connecteam)

Plan Cost Features
Small Business Free (up to 10 users) Time clock, job scheduling, forms, quick tasks, chat, updates, directory, knowledge base, time-off, recognition, celebrations
Basic Operations $29 per month for the first 30 users Time clock, job scheduling, forms, quick tasks, reports, payroll integration, shift info
Advanced Operations $49 per month for the first 30 users Everything in Basic, plus admin permissions, geofencing, recurring shifts and templates, kiosk clock-ins, auto clock-out
Expert Operations $99 per month for the first 30 users Everything in Advanced, plus automatic shift assignments, location management, live GPS tracking, process automation

Advantages

  • Connecteam’s user-friendly interface allows you to easily manage absences and monitor employees’ clocked-in locations.
  • Customizable tools facilitate communication and collaboration.
  • The Small Business package includes full access to the Operations, Communications and HR & Skills hubs.

Disadvantages

  • Basic, Advanced and Expert users will have limited access to the Communications hub unless you bundle plans or opt for the Small Business package.
  • There are additional fees if you want a HIPPA-registered account.
  • Zapier integrations are not available for Basic subscribers.

Trustpilot Score: Connecteam has a TrustScore of 4.9 stars out of five, indicating “excellent” user reviews. Said one customer, “I run a service based business in steel pipe and tube for over 20 years. We struggled to find a way to track time, manage expenses, reduce paper, speed up invoicing and in general keep track of multiple employees spread out across the country on multiple jobs. Finally we found CONNECTEAM. CONNECTEAM has answered every problem and has made a huge impact to our overall efficiency. I cannot speak highly enough about this application.”

  • Base Price: $4 per user per month
  • Top Features: Multiple clock-in methods, employee scheduling, internal communication
  • Trial Period: Yes, 14 days
Editor's Rating: 9.6/10
Visit Site

Why When I Work is Best for Restaurants & Retail

Tracking hours and building schedules for retail and restaurant shift workers who rarely keep the same weekly schedule can be a time-consuming challenge for management. When I Work was designed to support shift-based workplaces with easy and effective tools for employee scheduling, time tracking and communication. When I Work may not have as many features and tools as some of the other time and attendance systems we reviewed, but that’s only because the company is focused on two key areas that are crucial to food and retail businesses — scheduling and time tracking.

Plan Cost Features
Essentials: Time & Attendance with Standard Scheduling $4 per user per month Mobile, web and terminal time clocks, time-off management, auto-scheduling, payroll and POS integrations
Pro: Time & Attendance with Advanced Scheduling $7 per user per month Everything in Essentials, plus custom shift reports, advanced scheduling rules, absence tracking, labor sharing
Premium: Time & Attendance with Advanced Scheduling and Scalability & Customization $10 per user per month Everything in Pro, plus API access, webhooks, single sign-on, global user privacy

Advantages

  • When I Work includes extensive scheduling tools that make swapping shifts easy.
  • The software offers mobile-first technology, which means it works well on all devices.
  • Restaurants and retailers will appreciate that When I Work integrates with POS systems.

Disadvantages

  • When I Work cannot effectively track hourly tasks.
  • Some of the best scheduling tools require the Pro and Premium plans.
  • There is no phone support.

Trustpilot Score: When I Work is lacking substantial user reviews — its TrustScore of 3.6 stars out of five is based on only one testimonial. The user noted, “Time clock is great. The push notification for admin alerts don’t always work, and they need to allow you to schedule breaks. Currently you have to put the breaks in the notes, which is annoying. Otherwise, a great service.”

CHECK OUT OUR FULL WHEN I WORK REVIEW

  • Base Price: $19 per month, plus $3.99 per user
  • Top Features: Schedule templates, facial recognition clock-ins, payroll add-on
  • Trial Period: Yes, 14 days
Editor's Rating: 8.7/10
Visit Site

Why Buddy Punch is Best for Employee Scheduling

Buddy Punch is a simple and effective way to manage schedules and track attendance. Although the Standard plan lacks the ideal scheduling features, the Pro and Enterprise plans both have extensive employee scheduling tools. These include scheduling templates, a drag-and-drop schedule builder and recurring shift features to streamline the schedule-building process. We like that employees can set their availability and preferred work times in the software.

Buddy Punch Punch Limiting tool

With Buddy Punch’s “Punch Limiting” tool, you can set rules governing when employees can clock in and whether they can deviate from their schedule. (Source: Buddy Punch)

Plan Cost Features
Standard $19 per month, plus $3.99 per user per month Time tracking, time-off tracking, job tracking, GPS on punches, alerts and reminders, break planning, reports, mobile apps, payroll integrations
Pro $19 per month, plus $4.99 per user per month Everything in the Standard plan, plus employee scheduling, schedule templates and notifications, availability management, shift trades and covers, early/late/absent reporting
Premium $19 per month, plus $6.99 per user per month Everything in Pro, plus real-time GPS tracking, GPS activity reporting, real-time location dashboard
Enterprise Custom pricing Everything in Premium, plus dedicated enterprise support and API access

Advantages

  • Buddy Punch offers mobile scheduling.
  • The platform integrates with popular payroll solutions.
  • There are multiple punch options, including a four-digit PIN, QR code, facial recognition and a username-and-password combination

Disadvantages

  • Buddy Punch charges a monthly base fee on top of its monthly per-user pricing.
  • You can’t limit punches to employees’ scheduled shifts on the Standard plan.
  • Only Enterprise subscribers get dedicated customer support.

Trustpilot Score: Buddy Punch has a TrustScore of 4.5 stars out of five based on more than a dozen reviews. One user said, “What I like most about Buddy Punch is the ease of use. All my employees can start using it from day 1 without much training. The GPS tracking and facial recognition is great.”

  • Base Price: Custom quote
  • Top Features: Time tracking, biometric time clock devices, job code management
  • Trial Period: None
Editor's Rating: 9.2/10

Of all the time and attendance systems we reviewed, TimeClock Plus offers the most flexibility in its plans and add-ons. The system works especially well for growing businesses with evolving needs. TimeClock Plus also distinguishes itself with advanced hardware, which includes time clocks that scan your fingerprint or take your temperature. The platform offers a solid assortment of features and tools for basic time and attendance, scheduling and payroll prep.

TimeClock Plus dashboard

The TimeClock Plus dashboard for managers allows them to monitor employee attendance and overtime. (Source: TimeClock Plus)

Plan Cost Features
Essentials Custom quote Time and attendance tracking, configurable dashboard, basic reporting, employee management, job code management, overtime calculations, weekday customer support
Professional Custom quote Everything in Essentials, plus PTO and leave management, automated imports, payroll exports, employee scheduling, Humanity scheduling integration
Enterprise Custom quote Everything in Professional, plus attestation tracking, multilanguage support, job costing, shift differential, advanced leave, advanced overtime, annualized employee management, 24/7 customer support, TCP mobile app

Advantages

  • TimeClock Plus sells its own time clock devices.
  • Add-on options allow you to augment your package as your business’s needs evolve.
  • Employees can use the software to track their projects and tasks.

Disadvantages

  • TimeClock Plus doesn’t list its pricing online.
  • The mobile app is considered an add-on for the Essentials and Professional plans.
  • You can’t test the software with a free trial.

Trustpilot Score: TimeClock Plus isn’t registered on Trustpilot. However, on fellow user review site TrustRadius, it has a trScore of 7.9 out of 10. Said one user, “We have used TimeClock Plus for tracking time and attendance, building employee schedules, and preparing hours for payroll. We did not run into many issues with this application system and were quite happy with the results.”

CHECK OUT OUR FULL TIMECLOCK PLUS REVIEW

UKG logo
  • Base Price: Custom quote
  • Top Features: Automated workflows, labor law compliance, employee self-service
  • Trial Period: None
Editor's Rating: 9/10

Why UKG is Best for Automation

The UKG Ready system shines when it comes to streamlining time and attendance operations and making businesses more efficient with timekeeping. Between automated time tracking, timecard approvals, time-off approvals and absence tracking, the customizable automatic workflows save time for employers and employees alike. We also love that UKG helps companies comply with local, state and federal laws regarding employment and pay.

UKG mobile app

UKG not only helps supervisors save time with its automation tools, but its mobile time-tracking features make monitoring your workforce on the go a breeze. (Source: UKG)

Plan Cost Features
Contact vendor Custom quote Advanced time clocks, timesheet management, drag-and-drop custom workflows, real-time reporting, geofencing, schedule manager, mobile employee and manager self-service

Advantages

  • UKG sends notifications regarding overtime, missing punches and more.
  • The vendor’s time clock devices have a modern, sleek aesthetic, making them attractive — rather than out-of-place — additions to your office.
  • The configurable dashboard is great for monitoring key time and attendance metrics.

Disadvantages

  • UKG isn’t transparent with its pricing or plan options.
  • There is no free trial.
  • It can take two to three months to fully implement the UKG Ready system.

Trustpilot Score: UKG has few user reviews, with a TrustScore of 2.8 stars out of five based on just three customer ratings. While the testimonials there are disappointing, UKG Ready boasts a 8.1 trScore (out of 10) and hundreds of positive reviews on TrustRadius, including one that stated, “We use it for recruitment, onboarding, timekeeping, payroll, benefit management, evaluations, and document storage. It has allowed us to go almost paperless and has increased the self-service for employees, allowing our HR staff to attend to less admin work.”

  • Base Price: Custom quote
  • Top Features: Automatic overtime calculations, automated workflows, project tracking
  • Trial Period: Yes, 7 days
Editor's Rating: 0/10

Why BambooHR is Best for Ease of Use

Based on our testing, BambooHR’s HR software platform is one of the easiest solutions to use. The web-based software is accessible from desktop and mobile devices with an intuitive user experience that requires little to no training. With either of the two plans, the self-service portal allows employees to manage their time off and access the company calendar, while the time-tracking add-on package provides valuable, user-friendly tools for time tracking, project tracking, overtime tracking, auto-submissions and more.

BambooHR platform

With the feature-packed BambooHR platform, you can track attendance, time off and payroll for each employee via one unified system. (Source: BambooHR)

Plan Cost Features
Core Custom quote Time-off tracking, benefits tracking, hiring and onboarding, HR data and reporting, integrations
Pro Custom quote Everything in Core, plus performance management, employee experience and rewards, employee community
Time-Tracking Add-On Custom quote Desktop and mobile time clocks, timesheets, automated approval workflows, automatic overtime calculations, project tracking, billable hours

Advantages

  • Time-off tracking is included in both the Core and Pro plans.
  • You won’t be locked into annual contracts.
  • There are add-ons for payroll and benefits administration for an all-in-one HR solution.

Disadvantages

  • Traditional time tracking is an add-on feature.
  • BambooHR is not upfront about its costs and uses different pricing models depending on whether you have more or fewer than 25 employees.
  • There are limited employee scheduling functions compared to other services.

Trustpilot Score: BambooHR has a TrustScore of 3.5 stars out of five, indicating “average” reviews. One satisfied user said, “Down here, in our company, BambooHR is our HR lifeline. Personally, I’ve been logging my hours, slapping on my travel deets, and snagging days off — all just through this platform. No need for pesky emails or playing phone tag.”

CHECK OUT OUR FULL BAMBOOHR HR SOFTWARE REVIEW

Pricing for Time and Attendance Systems

TimeClock Plus clock

The type of time clock you choose, such as this one from TimeClock Plus, will affect your costs. (Source: TimeClock Plus)

Time and attendance systems can be purchased as either an on-premise or cloud-based solution; however, small and midsize businesses often find cloud-based options best for time tracking.

These factors may affect your overall pricing for a timekeeping system:

  • The number of employees (users) you have
  • The number of administrators who use the system
  • The number of locations where you collect time
  • The range of features included, such as scheduling in addition to timekeeping
  • Implementation and setup fees
  • Whether you want customized reports and interfaces
  • Whether you need single sign-on or other add-ons
  • Annual support fees (included in most online systems)
  • Hardware, such as a computer, tablet or other device to serve as your time clock

Cost of Cloud-Based Systems

Most cloud-based time and attendance system providers and apps charge per user — that is, you must pay for each person, employee, manager or administrator who uses the software. The average cost typically ranges between $2 and $20 per person per month. On top of this per-user cost, some cloud-based time and attendance systems like Buddy Punch also incur a monthly base fee between $15 and $45.

Some time and attendance system providers offer volume discounts, which means the per-employee costs go down with the more employees you have. Other providers offer discounts for annual subscription plans.

Cost of On-Premise Systems

If you choose to purchase a time and attendance system you host on-site, you may pay an upfront fee of $99 or more, but you won’t have monthly fees. Instead, you’ll pay a license fee for each computer and a setup fee to install and configure your timekeeping system. Setup fees range from $100 to $1,000 or more, depending on the vendor.

Cost of Hardware

A critical cost factor to keep in mind is associated with the type of equipment you need to track employee attendance. For example, you may be able to use the time and attendance software with a web-based device, or you may want to integrate the service with a physical punch-style time clock. Physical time clock devices range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on whether they have features such as facial recognition, thermal sensors and fingerprint scanners.

FYIDid you know

If you want to install your time clock app on a tablet, you’ll need to factor in the costs of tablets if you don’t currently own them.

Features of Time and Attendance Systems

When I Work scheduling tool

During our test of When I Work, seen here, we tried features like building timesheets and creating employee schedules. (Source: When I Work/business.com)

Time and attendance systems include features that help businesses keep track of when employees work. Most also monitor employee time off, and some include employee scheduling and shift scheduling tools to make workforce planning easier.

When comparing timekeeping solutions, we suggest paying close attention to these features.

  • Clock-in and clock-out: Time and attendance systems should offer employees multiple ways to clock in and out. Some include a built-in time clock, while others allow employees to input time via a web browser, mobile app, phone, text message or even social media platform.
  • Time clocks: Many timekeeping apps are compatible with swipe cards, PINs, barcodes and biometrics technology, such as fingerprint scanners, photo clock-in and facial scans. Other platforms use a virtual time clock app.
  • Mobile access: Cloud-based systems like QuickBooks Time offer either a mobile app or a mobile-friendly website that you can set up on a computer or tablet. This method gives employees who work outside the office an easy way to clock in and out, and it lets you manage other aspects of their time, such as meal breaks and drive time.
  • GPS tracking: Most mobile apps use geolocation features, such as geofencing, to record the exact locations of employees’ time punches or to restrict the areas from which employees can clock in and out. GPS tracking can be especially valuable for monitoring mobile workforces.
  • Manager dashboard: Most time-tracking applications provide a dashboard that shows whether your employees are in the office, on PTO, on break or clocked out for the day.
  • Job trackers: Some time-tracking systems let employees log how long they work on specific client projects or job tasks. This is valuable to businesses that charge clients based on the time spent on a project or task, such as consulting businesses or law firms.
  • Time-off requests: The best time and attendance systems track employees’ days off, time-off requests and time-off approvals. Some systems streamline the process with online PTO accruals and request forms that managers can view and approve. [Read related article: What is a Reasonable PTO Policy?]
  • Scheduling: Most time and attendance software providers have employee scheduling tools included in their packages or available for an extra charge. These features allow you to create schedules, monitor whether employees clock in late or leave early and see who is working overtime.
  • Notifications and alerts: Some time clock apps send email or text alerts to managers when an employee arrives late, leaves early or is nearing overtime. In the last instance, supervisors can determine whether the team member should continue working or be sent home.
  • Reports: Most time and attendance software provides businesses with detailed reports about the hours employees are working, which helps managers determine staffing levels and scheduling needs. HR reports that can be printed or exported from time-tracking systems include performance management reports, financial reports, activity reports, attendance reports, time-off summaries and leave reports.
  • Software compatibility: Most time and attendance software applications have a built-in payroll software integration so you can easily sync attendance data with one of the best online payroll services or export the data in a payroll-friendly format, which saves time and reduces errors.
  • Customer support: The level of customer support varies across time and attendance vendors. Most provide email, phone or chat support, but not all offer assistance 24/7. For an extra cost, some providers set up your system for you and help you troubleshoot; others require a support contract.

Benefits of a Time and Attendance System

Buddy Punch PTO

Time and attendance services like Buddy Punch make it easy to approve and track employee time off. (Source: Buddy Punch)

A time and attendance system can be a beneficial solution for ensuring compliance and accuracy, reducing errors and legal disputes, and increasing HR efficiency.

Ensures Compliance

A time and attendance system provides employees with a means to consistently record their time worked. These systems track paid breaks and unpaid lunch hours, reduce timekeeping errors, and monitor where and when an employee is on the clock. They can help businesses stay compliant with employee overtime laws by automatically tracking overtime hours, and they also help you comply with labor laws and regulations affecting time off, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Improves Accuracy

Automated timekeeping systems like UKG pay employees more accurately, removing guesswork about when someone started or ended their shift and minimizing errors. That reduces time theft, which affects three-quarters of businesses, according to research from the American Payroll Association.

Did You Know?Did you know

Time fraud is a significant issue for businesses; almost half of U.S. employees have admitted to time theft. Time theft may cost employers as much as $11 billion per year.

Saves Time

Another benefit of a digital time and attendance system is that it reduces the time employees, managers, HR and payroll team members spend manually tracking time.

It can take about six minutes to complete each worker’s timecard, according to research from Sierra Workforce Solutions. For larger organizations, those minutes add up to time that could be better spent elsewhere. A time and attendance system eliminates that burden from managers and staff, freeing them to work on more important tasks.

Reduces Disputes

Time and attendance software’s functionality reduces errors that may occur as a result of handwritten or manually keyed-in time sheets. An automated time-tracking program prevents timecard disputes and reassures employees that they’re being paid accurately. Should a staffer question their pay, you’ll have accurate time and attendance records to show the hours for which they’re being paid.

Simplifies Clocking In and Out

Time and attendance systems make clocking in and out simple. Employees can typically do so using a computer time clock or phone app. Most systems also offer a mobile app, which gives remote and field workers an easy way to record their time.

Collects Valuable Data

As you and your employees use your chosen time and attendance system, you’ll build up a repository of helpful data. While the exact reports available vary by platform, many monitor total hours worked each week, the number of vacation or sick days taken across your staff, job costs and more. These solutions usually allow the data to be exported as a report or CSV file if you want to share it with your fellow business leaders or upload it to other business software.

Additional Options Worth Exploring

While we highly recommend the time and attendance solutions highlighted above, the following alternatives also boast valuable feature sets that, based on our investigation, meet a variety of timekeeping needs.

Rippling

Rippling provides a workforce management system that’s highly customizable. We love the vendor’s a la carte model, which allows you to build upon the base system with only the modules you want. The unified time and payroll offering includes many of the standard features you’d expect, such as multiple clock-in methods and time-off management. But we especially like the job tracking and costing tools, which let you monitor hours worked based on task and location and group labor costs for better informed workforce planning. Learn more in our detailed Rippling HR software review.

QuickBooks Time

QuickBooks Time is ideal for mobile workforces because of its suite of features that cater to businesses with employees at multiple locations. Robust mobile apps make it easy for staffers to clock in and out while geofencing and GPS tracking tools ensure they are only doing so at the proper job site. The system also lets managers know who is working where and even what tasks they’re working on. Plus, we love how seamlessly the service integrates with QuickBooks Payroll and QuickBooks Online. Find out more in our comprehensive review of QuickBooks Time.

Justworks

Justworks provides PEO services through an incredibly user-friendly platform. Once you partner with this professional employer organization, you can integrate its time and attendance system, Justworks Hours. The tools allow you to customize overtime rules, track hours for both employees and contractors, and send payment notifications to workers. We also like that the software has an offline mode, allowing you to use the program without an internet connection. Our review of the Justworks PEO has more information.

Paychex

Paychex stands out for the self-service features it offers to remote employees. Workers can access a range of clock-in methods no matter where they’re working from, submit PTO requests from their phone and communicate with managers and co-workers through the app. There are two plans available, which you can add onto a remote-friendly Paychex Flex HR software package or purchase as a standalone offering. See a breakdown of pricing and plans in our full Paychex Flex review.

Time Doctor

Time Doctor sets itself apart by going beyond simple attendance tracking to also monitor employee activity and influence productivity. The system records what staffers are working on, sends distraction notifications if their computer has seemingly gone idle and gathers data so supervisors can see how their team members are wasting time or where they are being most productive. We also like the work-life balance dashboard, which analyzes employee behavior to identify who is at risk of burnout. Check out an overview of all the features in our Time Doctor review.

OnTheClock

OnTheClock is a great choice for new businesses, particularly since the service is free if you only have two employees. As your startup grows, you will have to pay a subscription fee, but the per-employee price decreases as you add more people to your team. Even with OnTheClock’s low cost, you can access some advanced tools, like biometric fingerprint time-clocking, that other vendors tend to restrict to more expensive packages. We also appreciate the lengthy 30-day free trial. Learn more about OnTheClock.

PurelyHR

Similar to Ripping, PurelyHR prioritizes customization, allowing businesses to choose the modules they want their platform to contain. While the main Staff module, an employee portal, is required, you can add on components for time clocks, timesheets and time-off management as you wish. Within each of these functions are additional options for customization, whether you are setting timesheet periods, overtime rules, vacation policies or report metrics. You can also customize how staff members accrue time off. Just beware PurelyHR is the rare vendor in this sector without a mobile app.

Time and Attendance FAQs

When deciding what you need in a time and attendance software solution, consider the work your employees do and how best to track that kind of work. For example, a plumbing business tracks work by job and also needs to track driving time. A café tracks workers in shifts. A manufacturing firm may track work on a line where all workers start and stop at once. And in an office, work schedules rarely change, so your time tracking may focus more on time-off tracking.

Once you determine the kind of timekeeping data you need to capture, look for a time and attendance setup that’s simple to use in your work environment. A mobile app is best for field workers, whereas retail workers in your shop may find a kiosk easier. Also, consider the kinds of output you need for your payroll system and reporting. For example, if you bill clients for workers’ time, you need a system that lets you assign work hours to clients, projects or tasks.

It’s best to test out the timekeeping software to ensure it does what you need it to do. Most platforms offer free trials ranging from 7 to 30 days.

Biometric time and attendance software identifies employees when they clock in or out using characteristics that are unique to them, such as their fingerprints or retinas. The software gathers that information to ensure the right person is using the time clock. The biometric devices that timekeeping providers offer are similar to those used at banks that may require your fingerprint, handprint or thumbprint as proof of identification.

A time and attendance system improves efficiency in the workplace by saving time for employees, managers and HR staff. With a digital solution, employees no longer have to write down each time they punch in, take a break or leave for the day. Instead, they clock in and out with the push of a button and total hours are calculated automatically. Meanwhile, managers and HR staff no longer have to verify work-hour totals and enter the total hours into a spreadsheet or payroll file; time and attendance software can automate it all.

These solutions similarly make it easier to handle other tasks, such as shift scheduling, time-off management and even labor law compliance. The user-friendly tools they include are designed to streamline a variety of operations related to time and attendance, thereby making your organization more efficient.

The best employee time clock depends on your company’s specific needs. Most time and attendance system vendors list the time clocks that integrate best with their software, so after choosing a system, you can examine the clocks the provider recommends and see which aligns with your needs.

Some time clocks only clock employees in and out, while others let you check schedules, review timecards, see time-off accruals, post employee messages and let workers request time off. Ensure that the time clock you choose offers the method you want employees to use to clock in and out, such as swipe cards or PINs. If you want an especially secure option to prevent time theft and other concerns, choose a biometric time clock that allows team members to clock in and out using their fingerprint or a facial scan.

Cloud-based time and attendance software typically costs between $2 and $20 per employee per month. Your price may increase if the vendor also charges a base fee, while some offer basic, free timekeeping systems in hopes that you’ll upgrade as your business grows.

Mobile time tracking is when you use a mobile app or a mobile-optimized website to track and manage time for off-site workers, such as service providers or remote office employees. This option is especially valuable in today’s hybrid environment, in which many employees are working outside the office.

GPS works in a time and attendance system by using geolocation to record the exact locations of employees each time they clock in or out. Employers can then see those locations and make sure staffers are where they are supposed to be.

Some systems enable geofencing, which lets businesses set location boundaries that define where employees can clock in and out. For example, employers can set perimeters around a work site to ensure their workers are showing up each day or remind them to clock in when they arrive at the job site. Without this function, an employee, in theory, could clock in and out from home and never show up at the job site.

A few providers have added mobile tracking features that record the locations of off-site employees throughout the day. The system pings the workers’ mobile devices every few minutes so employers can view a map of where their field employees are throughout the day.

What to Expect in 2024

As the physical and digital worlds continue to merge in 2024, we anticipate the time and attendance industry to accommodate the workforce changes that are here to stay. Gone are the days of clunky punch cards and rigid schedules. In their place are systems that embrace artificial intelligence (AI), flexibility, data insights and employee self-service.

AI is a growing trend that will impact this industry over the next year and beyond. As AI becomes an integral part of time and attendance systems, the data it aggregates can be used to make informed decisions on staffing, scheduling and other labor needs. AI chatbots, a relatively new functionality, can also play a key role in streamlining employee assistance.

Since hybrid and remote work will continue to be the norm in 2024, timekeeping solutions will continue to adapt. Look for cloud-based platforms that seamlessly track hours across multiple locations and time zones, making it easier to deal with the challenges of geodiversity. Employers that need to track employee locations for compliance or safety reasons will be happy to know that geofencing and geolocation capabilities are also becoming standard throughout the industry.

Going forward, we expect time and attendance technology to offer personalized and enhanced self-service features that allow employees to manage their own work schedules and time. Putting employee time management functionality in the hands of employees has become increasingly important as younger generations, like millennials and Gen Z, demand more flexibility and autonomy over how and when they work. Gamification will also take center stage, transforming attendance tracking into engaging challenges and rewarding consistent performance.

In addition to these advancements, privacy concerns will remain paramount. Expect to see timekeeping solutions that anonymize data and empower employees to control what information they share with their employers and others.

author image
Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
BDC Logo

Get Weekly 5-Minute Business Advice

B. newsletter is your digest of bite-sized news, thought & brand leadership, and entertainment. All in one email.

Back to top