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uAttend Review: The Best Time and Attendance System for Small Offices

After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend uAttend as the best time and attendance system for very small offices. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology and a comprehensive list of time and attendance systems on our best picks page.

uAttend is a feature-rich system compatible with an assortment of wall-mounted time clocks and offers affordable prices for very small businesses.

uAttend has pricing plans that range from $18 a month for businesses with fewer than 10 employees to $99 a month for companies with more than 100 workers.

What makes uAttend such a valuable time and attendance system for very small businesses is that it features nearly all of the bells and whistles of many of its larger competitors for just a fraction of the cost.

With this system, employees can clock in and out via web browsers, smartphones or telephones. In addition, uAttend is compatible with a wide selection of PIN-code, ID-badge, fingerprint and facial-scan time clocks.

Many of the systems we looked at that were designed for very small businesses didn't work with traditional time clocks. With those, your only options for punching in and out were via computers or mobile devices. We like that with uAttend, you can use a time clock if you want to.

uAttend also manages paid time off (PTO). The system not only tracks vacation and sick time accruals but also allows employees to ask for time off and managers to approve or deny those requests.

Although most of the other systems we investigated tracked vacation time and sick time, not all of them included the tools to actually submit time-off requests. We like that the complete PTO process, from request to approval to accrual tracking, is managed within this system.

Editor's note: Looking for information on time and attendance systems? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

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Businesses can also track the time employees spend working on specific projects. The job-tracking tool logs the exact number of hours employees work on particular assignments.

Very small businesses will also find the scheduling tool to be quite valuable. Managers can create shifts and assign individual or multiple employees to each one. To help keep tabs on when employees are showing up late or cutting out early, supervisors receive instant notifications when workers punch in or out outside of their scheduled shift.

uAttend includes a "Who's In/Out" board, which provides a quick snapshot of the employees who are currently working and the exact time they clocked in at.

Overall, we think very small businesses will appreciate being able to manage all of their time tracking and scheduling from one system. Instead of having time sheets in one program, vacation calendars in another and employee schedules somewhere else, all of this information is maintained within the online portal.

The low cost and pricing structure also make uAttend an enticing option for very small businesses. Rather than charging per employee as most providers do, uAttend has five different membership plans based on a range of employees:

  1. 1-9 employees: $18 per month
  2. 10-19 employees: $29 per month
  3. 20-49 employees: $49 per month
  4. 50-99 employees: $79 per month
  5. 100+ employees: $99 per month

We like that the costs won't necessarily rise each time a new employee is hired. For example, if your business has five workers but adds two more in the future, your cost stays the same. That isn't the case with the other providers we examined, whose costs increase each time a new employee is added to the system.

Besides the monthly membership fee, there are several additional costs you may incur. One is for employees who use a telephone to punch in and out. Businesses are charged 6 cents each time a staff member calls the uAttend local number to clock in and out, and 8 cents when they call the toll-free number. 

There are also monthly charges for businesses that use numerous time clocks or want multiple administrators on the account. For example, businesses on the cheapest plan can use up to two time clocks. However, if you want to use more than that, there is a $10 charge per clock, per month. There is also an additional $6-per-month charge for each additional account administrator.

The only other monthly charge is for payroll exporting. Businesses exporting data to any payroll file, other than .CSV or ProcessingPoint, are charged $5 per month.

The time clocks from uAttend were among the least expensive we found during our research. While other time and attendance providers charged between $500 and $2,000 for time clocks, uAttend's range from $100 to $300. All of the clocks are plug-and-play-ready, send data in real time to the Web-based system and include lifetime guarantees. Should one of the clocks stop working, you can call a customer service representative, who will troubleshoot the issue or send a replacement for free if he or she can't fix the problem.

Another appealing aspect of uAttend is that there are no setup costs. Some of the other options we considered had low monthly fees, but charged hundreds — and, in some cases, thousands — of dollars in implementation charges.

We also like that there are no long-term contracts with uAttend. All memberships are paid on a monthly basis. So, if at any point, you decide that the system isn't fitting your needs, you can cancel without any charges.

uAttend is very easy to use. Because it's cloud-based, there's no software to load or hardware to install, other than the time clocks. You manage every aspect of the system by logging in to the online portal on the uAttend website. The online portal has a clean interface that's simple to navigate. Everything is clearly labeled, which makes it easy for you to find the tools and features you need.

Both managers and nonmanaging employees can access the system. Managers can add employees into the system; determine which methods each employee can use to clock in and out; set PTO accruals; approve or deny time-off requests; review, edit and approve time cards; and create schedules. Employees log in to the system to clock in and out, submit time cards for approval, request vacation days, and see their schedules.

With uAttend, you can see a summary report of the hours your employees work each pay period and how much paid time off they took.

The time clocks are also easy to set up and use. There are both Ethernet and Wi-Fi options. The Ethernet-connected time clocks plug directly into your network, while the Wi-Fi clocks connect wirelessly to your system.

The uAttend mobile app — which is available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices — lets employees and supervisors manage time while they're outside the office. Employees can use the app to clock in and out and review their time cards, and managers can use it to review, edit and approve time cards; see who is currently working with the Who's In Board; and view productivity charts. Managers can also designate specific areas from which each employee can use the app to clock in and out. This prevents workers from trying to start or end their day from places they're not supposed to be.

uAttend integrates with dozens of payroll services, including ADP, Paychex and QuickBooks, allowing you to seamlessly transfer all of your time-card data into your payroll system.

The system also offers managers a wide range of custom reports that provide details on their labor and employee data.

Overall, we were very impressed with uAttend's level of customer service. To get a feel for what you can expect from the support team, we called the company multiple times and sent messages via a live-chat tool, posing as a new business owner interested in time and attendance systems.

Each time we contacted uAttend, our calls were immediately transferred to a customer service representative who was friendly and willing to take as much time as needed to answer our questions. Unlike some customer service reps at other providers who were quick to rush us off the call, the uAttend representatives answered all of our questions thoroughly and thoughtfully.

During all of our calls, it was clear that the representatives were most interested in making sure we were comfortable with the system and its features. Too often during our research, we found customer service agents who would spend more time trying to land our business than answering our questions.

We got the same high level of attention when we used the live-chat tool. All of our questions were answered promptly and in as much detail as that given to us over the phone.

We were also pleased with the online demonstration we received. What's nice about uAttend is that anyone can sign up for a demo of the system via the company's website. During our demo, the uAttend representative walked us through every aspect of the system, making sure we knew all of its ins and outs. We appreciated the level of detail provided during the presentation.

The company provides customer support via phone, live chat and email from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday. Customers also have access to an extensive help guide that's built into the online portal. It features step-by-step instructions on how to use each aspect of the software and even includes screen shots to better illustrate the steps. The help guide covers everything from how to set up the time clocks and add employees into the system, to how to create schedules and generate labor data reports. 

While other providers we assessed were good at one type of customer service, very few provided such an outstanding level of support on multiple levels.

One potential downside of uAttend is that it doesn't send email alerts when employees are nearing overtime. Many of the other services we analyzed offered this type of notification. However, you can set up the system to send email alerts when employees clock in and out outside of their scheduled shift.

Another negative is that uAttend doesn't offer a free trial period. Many of the services we investigated let users test out the system for at least a couple of weeks before committing to it. But even though uAttend does not offer a free trial, if you cancel your uAttend service within the first 30 days of signing up, you are entitled to a complete refund.

Ready to choose a time and attendance system? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor's note: Looking for information on time and attendance systems? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.