29/05/2024

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8 Best Time Tracking Software For Small Businesses In 2023

8 Best Time Tracking Software For Small Businesses In 2023

Effective time tracking is make or break for small businesses. Tight profit margins mean you have to count every dollar. And without a way to accurately record hours, you risk paying staff for unworked hours and overspending on labor. 

But tracking hours can be challenging. Employees often forget to clock in or take long breaks, and you can’t always be on premises to check. Plus, you don’t have time to keep watching the CCTV or calling at the start of shifts.

That’s probably why you’re looking for time tracking software for small businesses to record hours accurately and efficiently. 

To give you a head start, our article compares the top six platforms in 2023. We take an in-depth look at each app’s features, pricing, and user experiences based on recent reviews from G2 and Capterra. That way you can choose the software that’s right for your business and not have to swap to another one a few months down the track.

Best 8 time tracking software solutions for SMBs

Here’s a quick glance at the software we’ll compare:

  1. Homebase: Best all-in-one team management solution
  2. Clockify: Best for tracking and billing clients
  3. Deputy: Best for viewing attendance in real-time
  4. Buddy Punch: Best for verifying home office clock ins
  5. ClockShark: Best for checking off tasks
  6. QuickBooks Time: Best for tracking traveling employees
  7. Time Clock Wizard: Best for hybrid teams
  8. Sling: Best for international companies

1. Homebase: Best all-in-one team management solution

Homebase lets you track employee hours, create instant timesheets, and sync with payroll.

Designed with small businesses in mind, we offer features any little shop or independent cafe would need like scheduling, payroll, and recruitment. We’re also affordably priced with a choice of paid plans so we suit most budgets, whether you have two employees or closer to fifty.

GPS and geo fencing

Old-fashioned time tracking methods like sign in sheets and punch clocks are unreliable because employees can easily forget or punch in for each other. Homebase’s GPS time clock eliminates that possibility by having staff clock in via the mobile app and verifying their location.

But that’s not just for on site staff. You can also create virtual fences for off site teams so they don’t have to clock in at a central location. 

Sync with scheduling and payroll

Employee management doesn’t start and finish with time tracking. Before you record shifts, you need to assign them. And after you’ve tracked hours, that information goes to payroll. But you don’t want to handle all those tasks across different apps.

That’s why Homebase has in-built scheduling and payroll so you can quickly:

  • Collect employee availability
  • Create schedules with templates and automation
  • Track those hours on the time clock
  • Automatically generate timesheets
  • Turn timesheet data into payroll 

Employee mobile app

Homebase’s standout feature is its mobile app. Staff can not only clock in and out but receive alerts about upcoming shifts and record breaks. That means you’re going one better than recording late starts and helping team members arrive on time.

There are also scheduling, payroll, and chat features for employees and managers. Your team can share schedules, request shift swaps, and check wages. 

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
All-in-one solution Prioritizes hourly workers
Choice of devices for clock-in No option for tracking in apps
Flexible pricing plans
Budget friendly charge per location
Designed for small teams
Sync with schedules and payroll

Pricing

Homebase’s basic time tracking features are free for teams at one business location with twenty employees or less. We also offer three paid plans, but it’s worth noting most of our time tracking tools are available in Essentials, which is the lowest cost plan.

Here’s a breakdown of all the options we offer so you can make the most informed choice for your business:

  • Basic. Free for one location and up to 20 employees. It has basic time tracking tools alongside scheduling, POS integrations, and email support.
  • Essentials. $24.95 per month per location. Everything in Basic, plus advanced time tracking and scheduling plus performance tracking, integrations with popular payroll apps, and access to live support.
  • Plus. $59.95 per month per location. Everything in Essentials, plus hiring tools, time off controls, and departments and permissions.
  • All-in-one. $99.95 per month per location. Everything in Plus, plus labor cost controls, business insights, HR and compliance, and onboarding tools.

Payroll is available as a separate add-on for $39 per month plus $6 per active employee. Customers can also commit to an annual plan and save 20% on their total cost.

User ratings

As of July 2023, Homebase has a 4.2/5 (100+ reviews) rating on G2 and a 4.6/5 (900+ reviews) rating on Capterra.

2. Clockify: Best for tracking and billing clients

If you run a graphic design or marketing agency, you need to track employee and client hours. Otherwise, you’ll accidentally end up charging clients for business meetings and lunch breaks. Clockify makes this easy with a feature that lets you differentiate between billable and nonbillable hours.

Top features

  • In-app tracker
  • GPS time clock
  • Shared kiosk
  • Timesheets
  • Built-in Pomodoro timer

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Free plan available Pricing per employee isn’t cost effective for large teams
Customisable No payroll integrations
Easy to set up Sometimes “slow and unresponsive”

Pricing

Clockify has a free account with basic time tracking features and the following paid accounts:

  • Basic at $4.99 per employee. Includes pins for kiosks and in-app tracking.
  • Standard at $6.99 per employee. Everything in Basic plus user permissions for timesheet edits and reminders.
  • Pro at $9.99 per employee. Everything in Standard plus screenshots, analytics, and geofencing.
  • Enterprise at $14.99 per employee which is for larger businesses and includes a custom subdomain.

What customers say

As of July 2023, Clockify has a 4.5/5 rating (out of 150+ reviews) on G2 and a 4.7/5 rating (out of 4500+ reviews) on Capterra.

3. Deputy: Best for viewing attendance in real-time

Businesses with lots of specialized roles like gyms and walk-in salons need to keep track of employees throughout the day. That way you know exactly which staff are available when a customer comes in for a quick training session or a trim. Deputy makes keeping tabs on your team easier by displaying every employee who’s on shift and their break times.

Top features

  • Overview of attendance
  • Biometric and GPS time clock
  • Timesheets
  • Newsfeed for updates

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Available in eight languages Inflexible pricing plans
Simple to learn Pricing per user may not be cost-effective for large teams
Intuitive Slow load speeds

Pricing

Deputy has one paid plan, which costs $3.50 per employee per month and includes the full range of time tracking features. There’s also the option to add scheduling tools for $4.90 per employee per month or request custom pricing if you have over 250 employees.

What customers say

As of July 2023, Deputy has a 4.6/5 (out of 200+ reviews) rating on G2 and a 4.6/5 (out of 600+ reviews) rating on Capterra.

4. Buddy Punch: Best for verifying home office clock ins

Tracking employees who work from home can be challenging. Although you can see whether they’ve active on Slack, you don’t know whether they’re at their desk. Perhaps they’ve logged in from their bed and gone back to sleep.

Buddy Punch offers you the option to take a webcam photo of each employee at the start of their shift. That way you know who’s on task and who’s taking a coffee break.

Top features

  • GPS time clock
  • Webcam clock in
  • Shift, task, and time off tracking
  • Reporting payroll

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Built-in payroll for an extra cost Fixed rate plus charge per employee may not be cost effective
Easy to learn No scheduling tools in the lowest cost plan
Makes clocking in and out easy System gets bugged

Pricing

Buddy Punch has two paid plans:

  • Standard: $3.49 per employee per month plus a $19 base fee. Includes time and time off tracking.
  • Pro: $4.49 per employee per month plus a $19 base fee. Everything in Standard, plus notifications and attendance reporting.

There’s also the option for an Enterprise plan with custom pricing.

What customers say

As of July 2023, Buddy Punch has a 4.8/5 rating (out of 150+ reviews) on G2 and a 4.8/5 rating (out of 850+ reviews) on Capterra.

5. ClockShark: Best for checking off tasks

Sometimes it’s just as important to track tasks as hours. If employees leave the premises without finishing their duties, one of their team members has to pick up the slack. 

Or worse, if the tasks are turning off lights and locking doors, you could face higher utility bills and security issues.

ClockShark helps by letting you set questions for teams to answer when they clock out. That way they’ll be less likely to forget to do important jobs like setting the alarm before they close your business for the night.

Top features

  • Custom clock out questions
  • GPS time clock
  • Task tracking

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Ease of use Fixed rate plus charge per employee may not be cost effective
Quick onboarding process No “hard clock in time” to prevent early punch ins
“Top notch” customer service “Too complicated” for remote workers to use

Pricing

ClockShark offers two paid monthly plans:

  • Standard: $16 plus $7 per employee. Includes time tracking and GPS tools.
  • Pro: $30 plus $9 per employee. Everything in Standard plus departmental management and clock-out questions.

What customers say

As of July 2023, Clock Shark has a 4.7/5 rating (out of 250+ reviews) on G2 and a 4.7/5 rating (out of 1500+ reviews) on Capterra.

6. QuickBooks Time: Best for tracking traveling employees

Anyone who’s managed traveling employees like taxi drivers or delivery crews knows how much harder it is to track them. But if they take longer routes or make lots of unnecessary pitstops, you’ll have higher labor costs and mileage. That’s why Quickbooks has a location tracking system that shows you where staff are on a map.

Top features

  • GPS time clock
  • Location and mileage tracking
  • Alerts and notifications

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Wide variety of integrations Fixed rate plus charge per employee may not be cost effective
Option to add QuickBooks payroll Location tracker drains smartphone “battery life”
Simple to use Occasionally clocks employees out “for no reason”

Pricing

Quickbooks Time offers two paid plans:

  • Time premium: $20 per month and $8 per employee. Includes basic time tracking, scheduling, and the ‘who’s working’ tool. 
  • Time elite: $40 per month and $10 per employee. Everything in Time Premium plus geofencing and project management tools.

What customers say

As of July 2023, QuickBooks Time has a 4.7/5 rating (out of 6500+ reviews) on G2 and a 4.7/5 rating (out of 6500+ reviews) on Capterra.

7. Time Clock Wizard: Best for hybrid teams

Time tracking can be chaos if you have onsite, offsite, and traveling workers. But that’s the reality for some real estate agencies and law firms nowadays. Time Clock Wizard can help by letting staff clock in via kiosk or webcam depending where they’re working from that day. You can also use its location tracker to check whether employees who are out visiting clients have made an extra coffee stop.

Top features

  • Time clock
  • Location tracking
  • Webcam clock in
  • Task management

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Charge per location Few integrations
Option to add built-in payroll Higher cost than some competitors

Pricing

Time Clock Wizard has the following plans:

  • Free: Unlimited employees. 
  • Value: $24.95 per location per month for unlimited employees.
  • Pro: $44.95 per location per month for up to 50 employees.
  • Enterprise: $199.95 per location per month for unlimited employees.

Time Clock Wizard also offers payroll as a separate add-on for $59.95 plus $12 per employee.

User ratings

As of July 2023, Time Clock Wizard has a 4.7/5 (out of 50+ reviews) rating on G2 and a 4.3/5 (out of 80+ reviews) on Capterra.

8. Sling: Best for international companies

Keeping record of employees across time zones can pose a challenge as it’s easier to get hours confused. Then, you risk under or overpaying your staff. However, Sling offers a solution to this problem by letting you schedule and track hours in each team member’s local time as well as your own.

Top features

  • GPS time clock
  • Location tracking
  • Timesheets
  • Notifications and alerts

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Free scheduling features Charge per employee may not be cost effective
“Easy to use” “A lot of notifications”
Sometimes the app got “frozen or kept loading”

Pricing

Sling has a free plan but this only offers scheduling and communication features — not time tracking. They also have a 14-day free trial.

Sling has two paid plans:

  • Premium: $2 per user per month. Includes time tracking, clock-in controls, and geofencing. 
  • Business: $4 per user per month. Everything in Premium plus leave management and reporting features

What customers say

As of July 2023, Time Clock Wizard has a 4.4/5 (out of 80+ reviews) rating on G2 and a 4.6/5 (out of 100+ reviews) on Capterra.

What to consider before choosing a time tracking software for your small business

Time tracking apps aren’t one-size-fits-all. Before you choose a platform from this list, think about which features suit your business the best. 

The following questions will help narrow down your choice:

  • Besides time tracking, what features does it have? Running a small business usually goes beyond time tracking to scheduling, payroll, and recruitment. Look for an all-in-one solution to avoid switching between different apps to do all your tasks.
  • Does the mobile app do everything I need it to? Employees not only use the app to clock in but receive alerts, check payroll, and chat with you. So, make sure both the desktop and smartphone versions have all the tools you need.
  • Is it easy to learn and use? Staff have to use the time tracker every day. If it’s intuitive, they’ll be happier with the app and less likely to get confused. 
  • What other apps can I integrate with? Depending on your industry, you may rely on other software like point of sale (POS) and project management. A good time tracker lets you sync with popular software so you can sync data seamlessly.
  • Is it budget friendly? When apps charge per employee, the cost can stack up. An affordable time tracker will offer a low fixed rate.
  • Will it let me scale? All-or-nothing pricing plans force you to add features you’re not ready for. Choose software with tiered plans and add ons so you only pay for what you need.

Which time tracking software suits your small business?

If you don’t track employee hours accurately, you’ll record all the late starts, early finishes, and long breaks as time worked. Then you’ll struggle to keep your labor budget down.

But you don’t have to wait at the front door of your business and check your watch. You can let time tracking software record everything from shifts and breaks to overtime.

If you have a specific challenge, you might choose a niche solution. For example, agencies with hourly workers may choose Clockify to bill their clients correctly.

But in most cases, Homebase is the all-in-one solution your small business needs. We have a range of clock in options that sync with timesheets and payroll to suit every industry.

You can also take advantage of our built-in scheduling and chat features on the same app. That means you can streamline time tracking and handle all your other employee management tasks in one place, hassle-free.