Time and Attendance Services
Knowing exactly when your employees are showing up for work each morning and leaving at the end of the day is of critical importance in 2019. Businesses that aren't accurately tracking their employees' time could be costing themselves thousands of dollars a year.
The Best Time and Attendance Services and Software For 2018
Time Tracking and Management
Best Time and Attendance System for Time Tracking and Management
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.
Best Time and Attendance System for Larger Employers
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.
Best Time and Attendance System for Growing Businesses
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.
Best Time and Attendance System for Offsite Staff
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.
Best Time and Attendance System for Small Businesses
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.
Best Time and Attendance System for Very Small Businesses
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.
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Research from the American Payroll Association shows that three-quarters of businesses are affected by employee time theft. Whether it's from coming in a few minutes late, leaving early or taking long lunches, the study found that the average hourly worker cheats their employer out of anywhere between 50 minutes and 4.5 hours of work time a week. That translates into potentially tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue each year.
To reduce time theft and improve their overall tracking of employee attendance, many employers are turning to time and attendance systems for help. With this software, businesses streamline the employee time tracking process. Time and attendance systems make it simple for employees to clock in and out each day, and give employers a real-time look into the hours each worker is putting in.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a time and attendance solution, such as whether the solution offers ways for employees to track their time, whether it offers added features like paid time off management and scheduling, and if the solution fits in your budget and provides the type of customer support you want. With so many options to choose from in 2019, we want to help you narrow down the choices.
This guide highlights 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. It also highlights our picks for the best time and attendance system for time tracking and management, the best system for larger employers, the best system for growing businesses, the best time and attendance system for remote employees, the best solution for small businesses and the best system for very small businesses.
The companies we choose as best picks in 2019 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.
What to Expect in 2019
In 2019, we expect increased use of biometrics in time and attendance systems. Currently, several systems are compatible with fingerprint scanners. However, as employee concerns and lawsuits about how these scans are being stored and used, more employers may opt for facial recognition biometrics.
Instead of taking a fingerprint scan, facial recognition biometrics scan the employee's face or eyes. This can be as simple as taking a picture of the employee when they clock in or out to ensure they aren't buddy punching or as sophisticated as taking a retinal scan of the employee's eyes.
The level of biometrics hitting the market is becoming more complex and secure, and we expect more time and attendance system providers to build these features into their core platforms.
Additionally, we think a growing number of businesses will take advantage of these offerings. Biometrics can save businesses money other than by just preventing buddy punching. By using facial or even fingerprint scans, employers don't have to spend money on magnetic stripe badges that they may have otherwise used for clocking in and out. Depending on the size of your workforce, that can provide considerable savings.
It is important to note that when businesses do start employing the use of biometrics, it's imperative that they have clearly written guidelines in how the information will be used and stored. In addition, all of this information must be shared with your employees. Having this all spelled out upfront can help save your organization from messy lawsuits down the road.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are other areas that providers will continue to expand on in 2019. Many of these companies are still learning the full scope of just how beneficial AI and machine learning can be for time and attendance software.
The more they learn and understand the capabilities of what they can achieve with this type of technology, the more features and tools they can start adding into their systems.
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 revolves 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 time clocks. Depending on the provider and the type of timeclock, these devices can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
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.
Below, read our reviews of other time and attendance software applications.
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.
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
- 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...
My gut instinct is that if the trust level is that low, management is doing a poor job recruiting good people and earning the trust and respect of those employees. You have uncovered the tip of a much deeper issue.
Hi Alex, I wouldn't recommend using free time tracking software. While it might sound a good way to start off, it has several limitations and drawbacks. For example: 1) Limited customer service. These businesses are not like Google that can support endless free customers. Sometimes it takes a certain time to catch up with features it has to offer. And since you chose free tracker, you’ll have to learn everything on your own. Did you know that for example, Toggl charges $95 for a 30...
Peter, For just time tracking & expense logging you can probably "make do" with Google applications. I'd use a google form for employee data capture. This limits them to just adds as well as blocking access to recorded data. Good Luck! Doug
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)...
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...
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.
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List of the The Best Time and Attendance Services and Software 2019
Datamatics Management Services
Datamatics Management Services offers several different time and attendance solutions. Timesheets Plus is a web-based system that includes employee and manager self-service workflows, configurable business logic, mass edit capabilities, multi-level security and multiple data collection options. The TC-1 is an on-premises enterprise system that operates on the Windows platform. Features of the system include attendance tracking, absence management, job payroll preparation, reporting, access control, time entry device integrations, IVR, data exchange and a PC time clock.
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TIMECO offers time and attendance solutions for workforce management and data collection, which include time and attendance, distribution of labor tracking, scheduling, employee self-service, timesheets, and seamless integration with any ERP or HR/payroll system. Features of the system include a dashboard view, benefit accruals, exception tracking, leave requests, clock integration, email alerts and export capabilities.
TimeStation is a time and attendance system that's quick to set up and easy to use. It runs on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices that have front-facing cameras. Using the Fast-Scan technology, employees can punch in and out in less than a second, and because TimeStation runs in the cloud, there are no software programs or servers to maintain. Managers can see who's in, and run time and attendance reports anytime, anywhere. With the self-service portal, employees can review their activity, clock in and out, run reports, and create or edit time entries. Managers have full control over which functionality each employee has access to.