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Best Time and Attendance Services and Software

by Chad BrooksLast Modified: June 19, 2018

Intro
Best Picks
Pricing
Reviews
What to Expect from Your System
Methodology
Common Time and Attendance Questions & Answers
State of the Industry
Time Management - Downloadable Guides
Map
Services
Compare Quotes

The Best Time and Attendance Services and Software For 2018

June 2018 update: Small businesses not using a digital time and attendance system could be missing out on an easy way to increase employee engagement and retention, new research suggests.

A study from Paychex found that nearly three quarters of full-time U.S. employees expect their employer to provide them with the freedom to handle at least some HR-related tasks on their own. This includes several aspects related to time and attendance, such as clocking in and out and seeing their schedule.

Overall, four of the top five HR-related tasks employees want to be able to take care of without having to reach out to HR for support – updating personal information, managing paid-time off, reporting the hours they worked or clocking in and out, and reviewing their schedules – are part of today’s time and attendance systems.

The study found, however, that many small businesses are missing the mark in this area. Less than half of the business surveyed with under 20 employees provide their employees with the ability to complete HR tasks on their own.

Tom Hammond, Paychex vice president of corporate strategy and product management, said using technology, like time and attendance systems and online payroll services, provides small businesses with a real opportunity.

“Enhancing the employee experience through technology that empowers workers to be self-reliant will reduce the overwhelming HR workload many employers face and help enable such businesses to attract and retain top talent, boost employee engagement, and ultimately grow their business,” Hammond said in a statement.

If you aren’t using a time and attendance system that allows for employee self-service, you can read more about the options we suggest below. All of our suggestions include some level of employee self-service.

Accurately tracking your employees' time is a critical task for businesses today. Without a way to monitor the exact time employees are showing up and leaving, organizations could be losing thousands of dollars a year.  

Research from the American Payroll Association revealed that the average hourly employee cheats their employer out of anywhere between 50 minutes and four and half hours by showing up late, leaving late and taking extended breaks and lunches.  

Time and attendance systems help quell these time theft issues. Using these digital systems, you can streamline the employee time tracking process, improve accountability across departments, cut down on employee time theft, free up management's time to focus on other tasks and make it easier for employees to clock in and out.  

There are many factors to consider when choosing a time and attendance solution, like making sure it offers a range of ways for employees to track their time, has added features like paid time off management and scheduling, fits in your budget and provides the type of customer support you want. With so many options out there, we want to help you narrow down the choices.  

This guide highlights some of the features you get with time and attendance systems, provides an overview of their cost structure, and offers our recommendations of the systems we think are best for different needs. Our best picks include stratustime, TSheets, TimeClock Plus, uAttend, iSolved Time and Kronos. You can read more about each below.  

If none of our recommendations work for you, scroll down even further to see a comprehensive listing of time and attendance systems.

Best Picks

Time Tracking and Management
Larger Employers
Growing Businesses
Offsite Staff
Small Businesses
Very Small Businesses
Kronos

Best Time and Attendance System for Time Tracking and Management

Kronos

Kronos' Workforce Ready Time Keeping is our choice for the best time and attendance system for time tracking and management. This software offers all the features businesses need to manage their employees' time, including multiple ways for employees to clock in and out, paid time off management and scheduling.

With Kronos, employees can manage their time via wall-mounted timeclocks, web browsers, telephones, and mobile applications. The timeclock allows staff members to clock in and out using a finger, proximity reader, or badge swipe. The clocks can also be used to view schedules and ask for time off.

TimeClock Plus

Best Time and Attendance System for Larger Employers

TimeClock Plus

TimeClock Plus is our choice for the best and attendance system for larger employers. This full-featured, all-in-one solution puts power in the hands of administrators, integrates well with outside systems, has plenty of customization options and makes accountability and tracking a breeze.

Employees can clock in and out from any device, from certain devices, or only using a TimeClock Plus timeclock. This company offers card readers, biometric scanners, and PIN entry punch-ins. The system can also be accessed via web browsers and mobile apps.

iSolved Time

Best Time and Attendance System for Growing Businesses

iSolved Time

iSolved Time is our choice for the best time and attendance system for growing businesses. The easy-to-use software includes the features businesses need to properly manage their employees' time, and offers a host of added services, like payroll and human resources, that can be managed from the same platform.

With iSolved Time, employees can clock in and out using traditional timeclocks, web browsers and mobile apps. The timeclocks can be configured for traditional swipe card, proximity reader, key code entry or biometric access with a finger-scan. The mobile app can be used by staff members to clock in and out, view their timecards, check their accrual balances, request time off, and update tax and personal information. It also uses geolocation and geofencing to record and limit where remote employees are clocking in and out from.

TSheets

Best Time and Attendance System for Offsite Staff

TSheets

TSheets is our choice for the best time and attendance system for businesses with an offsite staff. With this software, remote employees can clock in and out using the TSheets mobile app, laptop computers, telephones, text messages or even Twitter.

The mobile app allows employees to punch in and out, and can track their location throughout the day. When an employee accesses the TSheets mobile app and clocks in, they automatically activate the GPS feature, which tracks the employee's GPS location every 10 minutes whille they are on the clock.

stratustime

Best Time and Attendance System for Small Businesses

stratustime

Stratustime is our choice as the best time and attendance system for small businesses. This cloud-based time and attendance system offers all the features and tools small businesses need in a time tracking solution. The system has an easy-to-use interface that allow both employees and managers to navigate the system with ease.

The system allows employees to manage their time via wall-mounted timeclocks, web browsers, a mobile friendly website, telephones and a web kiosk. The timeclocks can be configured to collect information via fingerprints, magnetic stripes, bar codes, proximity badges and touchscreens.

uAttend

Best Time and Attendance System for Very Small Businesses

uAttend

uAttend is our choice for the best time and attendance system for small businesses. The system records when employees come and go, manages paid time off, and features a scheduling tool. In addition, the system is compatible with a wide selection of wall-mounted timeclocks that allow employees to clock in and out, request time off and receive messages from their managers.

The timeclocks work with PIN codes, ID badges and biometrics, which use fingerprints and facial recognition. In addition to timeclocks, employees can also use internet-connected computers, mobile devices and telephones to record their time.

Pricing

While pricing varies from provider to provider, the cost structure time and attendance system providers use is typically based on the hosting option you choose – cloud or on-premises.  

The costs of on-premises system are mostly made up of one time, upfront expenses, while the cost of cloud-hosted systems revolve around monthly, per-employee fees. The prices for each type of system vary based on the provider, how many users you have and how many features you want access to.  

For cloud-based systems, costs can range anywhere from $1 to $10 per employee, per month. In addition, many time and attendance system providers charge set-up, implementation and training fees. Those costs vary greatly. Some providers charge as little as $100, while others have setup costs of several thousand dollars.  

While cloud-based systems are becoming increasingly more common, some providers still offer on-premises systems. These costs can range from a few hundred dollars to more than $10,000 for the software. Some on-premises solution providers also charge per employee licensing fees. These can be as little as $25 per employee to more than $100 per employee.  

The other cost to consider with time and attendance system, regardless of the hosting option, is for timeclocks. Depending on the provider and the type of timeclock, these devices can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Negotiation Tips

There are so many excellent and low-cost time and attendance solutions available that there's often no need to negotiate for a lower price. The only businesses that may need to negotiate price are those that purchase highly customized solutions, work one-on-one with a vendor, host the software on-site, or request price quotes from companies that don't publicize their costs.  

If you are considering a system that requires a price quote, be as clear as you can with the sales rep about your needs and speak up when features are offered that you don't understand or don't need. Always remember that you are talking to a sales person, not a personal IT consultant. It is the sales rep's job to sign you up for as many upgrades and add-ons as possible. If you are not assertive, you may pay for way more product than you need. Plus, it's always possible to upgrade if you need more features, so err on the conservative side when selecting features that cost extra.

Reviews

What Should You Expect Time and Attendance Systems to Do?

Implementing a time and attendance system is a solid investment for many businesses, because it offers several cross-organizational benefits. First, it provides employees with the ability to record their time more precisely and consistently. Second, for your HR and accounting staff, employee hours can be uploaded or synced to your payroll system. Finally, the software's functionality eliminates the time it takes to manually enter information and reduces errors that may occur when deciphering handwritten timesheets or manually keying in hours. Reducing such errors by using an automated time tracking program helps prevent timecard disputes and reassures employees that they're accurately paid.  

Time and attendance systems offer virtual timeclocks that you access through a browser or a mobile app. Most host your data on their servers, ensuring that it's securely stored offsite. Most applications are compatible with a variety of timeclocks, including standard models as well as high-security options equipped with badge or biometric scanners.   No matter which time and attendance software you select, there are certain features you should look for:   

  • Employee and administrative portals: Your employees can access their individual portals to clock in and out, see how much time off they've banked and request time off. You and your management team have additional controls that allow you to track employees' attendance and hours. You can also approve your employees' time-off requests.
  • In-and-out board: In real time, you can see whether your employees are in the office, on a break or clocked out. 
  • Tracking tools for performance and productivity: You can monitor your employees' daily progress on specific projects.
  • Customizable pay rules: You can adjust policies to fit the needs of your business. 
  • Reports: You can run a variety of reports for hours worked, time-off requests and other stats to help you manage your workforce.
  • Paid time off management: The system should be able to track your employees' time off accruals and allow them to request vacation and sick time and managers to either approve or deny those requests.
  • Scheduling: Many systems offer sophisticated scheduling tools that allow organizations to schedule shifts for individual or multiple employees in minutes. The scheduling tools can also be used to automatically monitor if employees are clocking in late or leaving early.
  • Notifications: The best systems can send email or other notifications to managers to alert them to when an employee arrives late, leaves early or is nearing overtime.  
  • Software compatibility: The software should be compatible with popular payroll systems so you can easily sync or upload data.
  • Customer support: The provider you choose should offer customer support that is available when you need it.

Our Methodology

To determine the best time and attendance system, we started by looking at a comprehensive list of nearly 80 time and attendance software providers. To narrow that list down, we separated all the vendors that had a good online reputation, such as those services that were consistently ranked highly by other websites.  

At periodic intervals, we queried business owners to see which services they used. When we got multiple business owners raving about the vendor they use, that company was also added to the final list of contenders.   Finally, we went through and visited each company's website. If a company stood out to us, we added them to the final list.  

We ultimately narrowed down our pool to: Acrotime from Acroprint, ADP, Boomr, Buddy Punch, Clockspot, ClockVIEW from Acumen, EPAY Systems, Attendance Enterprise from Infotronics, iSolved Time from Infinisource, Kronos' Workforce Ready, Mitrefinch, myGeoTracking from Abaqus, NovaTime, OnTheClock.com, stratustime from nettime solutions, TimeAttend from Replicon, TimeClick from Hawkeye Technology, TimeClock Plus, , Timesheets.com, TimeStar from Insperity, TSheets, uAttend from Processing Point and Webtimeclock.  

Next, we researched each provider by investigating its services, watching tutorials and how-to videos, and reading user comments. After narrowing the list down even further, we contacted the support teams of our finalists posing as business owners to gauge the type of customer service each provider offers.  

We analyzed each service based on the following factors:   

  • Time-tracking capabilities
  • Time off management 
  • Overtime/tardy monitoring 
  • Scheduling tools 
  • Available reports
  • Ease of use
  • Customer service 
  • Integration options
  • Mobile access
  • Cost 
  • Better Business Bureau complaints and rating

Common Time and Attendance Services and Software Questions & Answers

Have a time and attendance service or software question of your own?

Good question... Getting back from breaks. I know I need breaks, and I make myself have breaks in order to stay productive, but coming back to work can be a struggle. As for email conquering, there are a few steps I found to be extremely helpful: 1. The majority of your email traffic should SKIP your Inbox 2. Create a small number of designated folders. Five is a good number. This is where most of the traffic goes, to be checked a couple times a week. 3. Check email no more than 2-3 TIMES...

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Hi Aleksandar, While there are many other options for time tracking tools like Toggl, ManicTime, Time Tracking by AND Co, options for a completely free tool seem a little less. Some of these tools have a very negligible fee and also provide free versions, their free versions, however, impose some limitations on the team size. The paid versions definitely offer you a lot more features. Another alternative to this is to get a custom tool created for your business. Although it will require...

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Hi Jack, It's a great question, however it's not the hours of the day that counts, it's what you can within the hour of each day. It's all of question of balance and economics, with the most precious thing you have. Your time. You can't get it back and you can't go to the bank to get some extra time. As they say if you don't take a lunch break you can work 25 hrs each day. (well not so.) Now that I have your attention, there are a number of things you really should consider. 1)...

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Hi Sara, my suggestion would be to work with a coach creating a new habit & routine and maybe change an un-resourceful belief into a resourceful one. A tool that is very effective to use in conjunction with your new habit is called: Urgent / Important. Here's how it works: draw a 4 quadrant shape using a whole page Here are the titles for each: 1) Urgent & Important 2) Urgent but not important 3) Important but not urgent 4) Not important & not urgent Allocate / drop all your tasks...

Read More ▼

State of the Industry

Historically, time and attendance was tracked by hand. Employees wrote down on timecards when they arrived and when they left. When that became inefficient, manual punch clocks came into play. These clocks stamped the time employees arrived and left on a timecard, and provided more of an official documentation of an employee's attendance.  

However, the time and attendance field has evolved rapidly in recent years. Now, many organizations have traded in their paper timecards and manual punch clocks for digital cloud-based systems. The systems electronically monitor when employees come and go, regardless of whether they are working in the office or remotely; manage all time needs, like paid time off and scheduling; can be accessed from anywhere; and integrate with other critical programs organizations are already using, like payroll and human resources systems.  

Research from time and attendance system provider Replicon revealed just how important these solutions are. The study discovered that 96 percent employees say they have made mistakes when recording their time and attendance, with 86 percent saying they have challenges tracking their time.  

From an employer perspective, most survey respondents see the benefits in using a digital system. The Replicon study found that 56 percent of employers believe cloud-based solutions optimize the time tracking process.  

These systems have evolved so much that they can now eliminate buddy punching, which is when employees have their co-workers clock in or out for them. Today's systems include timeclocks that feature biometrics that require a fingerprint or facial scan to log into the system. 

The rise in remote workers has also caused an evolution in time and attendance systems. Mobile apps have expanded the use of time and attendance software to on-the-go workers. These apps don't only log when employees start and end their shifts, they also use geotracking and geofencing technology to record exactly where employees are clocking in and out from, or restrict the locations where punching can occur. This boosted functionality, combined with lowered prices due to cloud hosting and ready-made web applications, has made time and attendance software a buyer's market.

Time Management - Downloadable Guides

How to Kill Time Wasting Villains
How to Kill Time Wasting Villains

(and Become a Time Management Superhero)

Get the Whitepaper

With so many things going on in today’s world, it’s easy to find yourself being distracted with various time-wasters such as checking your Facebook feed, thinking about what you’re going to eat for dinner, or checking your text messages. There’s an old adage that says, “time is money”. So in principle, wasted time is wasted money. Find out how you can become a time management superhero and use your powers to increase productivity.

Map

Insperity
777 Main Street
Fort Worth, TX
Insperity
InfoTronics Attendance on Demand
22300 Haggerty Road
Northville, MI
InfoTronics Attendance on Demand
OnTheClock.com
10755 F Scripps Parkway
San Diego, CA
OnTheClock.com
Buddy Punch
2885 Sanford Ave SW
Grandville, MI
Buddy Punch
Pyramid Time Systems
45 Gracey Avenue
Meriden, CT
Pyramid Time Systems
TimeCard Manager
700 E Redlands Blvd
Redlands, CA
TimeCard Manager
TimePilot PC
340 McKee Street
Batavia, IL
TimePilot PC
ShopClock
7881128 St.
Surrey, BC
ShopClock
Sundial Timekeeping
8515 NE 219thStreet
Battle Ground, WA
Sundial Timekeeping
TimeClick
2072 North Main Street
Logan, UT
TimeClick
TimeClock Plus
1 Time Clock Dr.
San Angelo, TX
TimeClock Plus
TSheets
324 S State St.
Salt Lake City, UT
TSheets
iSolved Time
324 South State Street
Salt Lake City, UT
iSolved Time
Kronos
900 Chelmsford St
Lowell, MA
Kronos
Replicon TimeAttend
3 Lagoon Drive
Redwood City, CA
Replicon TimeAttend
stratustime
8840 E. Chaparral Road
Scottsdale, AZ
stratustime
Mitrefinch
79A Chapel Street
Newton, MA
Mitrefinch
NOVAtime
9680 Haven Ave.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
NOVAtime
TimeCamp
340 S Lemon Ave #4967
Walnut, CA
TimeCamp
Time Clock MTS
PO Box 605
Greenacres,
Time Clock MTS

Services

List of 26Best Time and Attendance Services and Software

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