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TimeClock Plus Review: Best Time and Attendance System for Larger Employers

After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend TimeClock Plus as the best time and attendance system for larger employers. 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.

TimeClock Plus is available in multiple service plans as a cloud-based or on-premise solution. It includes a multitude of features and works with a variety of time clocks.

TimeClock Plus OnDemand, the cloud-based option, costs between $1 and $3 per employee, per month, while the on-premise solution is a one-time cost of at least several thousand dollars.

What makes TimeClock Plus so appealing is the variety it provides in terms of how the system is run and its levels of service.

It's available as a cloud-based solution, or as an on-premise system that is installed and housed within your business. This was one of the few time and attendance systems we found that offered both options.

Both versions operate in exactly the same way and include all of the same features. The biggest difference, besides the price structure, is that the cloud-based solution requires no installation or maintenance. Additionally, all upgrades and support are included in your monthly fee.

With the on-premise version, you are responsible for fixing any problems that may arise. In addition, you have to handle the installation and don't have access to any upgrades.

TimeClock Plus also gives businesses several service plans to choose from: express, standard and professional. Each plan differs by cost and the number of features and tools it includes.

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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The express plan, which is limited in how it operates, is offered only to businesses with fewer than 20 employees. The two other plans can be used in organizations of any size.

Among the features and tools available in all plans are: web-based clock operations, basic overtime calculations, employee status and hours' views, automatic punch rounding, and automatic log off.

Additional features offered in both the standard and professional plans are: employee time-sheet entry, employee and manager approvals, time clock compatibility, mobile apps, simple scheduling, accruals, and messaging.

Features and tools available only to professional plan users are: advanced scheduling, time-off-request management, clock restrictions, advanced overtime, mass scheduling and automated reports, exports, and notifications. You can see a complete breakdown of all of the plans on the TimeClock Plus website.

We like the flexibility that TimeClock Plus offers. Being able to choose a service plan that best fits your needs helps ensure you pay only for features you use. Most of the other time tracking systems we considered offered only one service plan.

Depending on the service plan you choose, TimeClock Plus can handle some, or all, of your time-tracking needs. While the express plan is focused on recording when employees come and go each day, the standard and professional plans also include scheduling and time-off-management capabilities.

There are several ways that TimeClock Plus tracks when employees start and end their days. Express users clock in and out via a computer, while standard and professional plan users can also use a mobile app or PIN entry, a card reader, or a biometric time clock. Additionally, professional-plan users can punch in and out using a telephone.

The system also manages paid time off. Both the standard and professionals plans track vacation and sick-time accruals. In addition, the professional plan includes an entire time-off-management component that allows employees to ask for time off and managers to approve or deny those requests. We like that the entire process is handled within the system. Some of the other time tracking options we looked at didn't have such comprehensive time-off-management capabilities.

The standard and professional plans also include scheduling tools. The standard plan features a simple scheduling feature that only allows businesses to create basic shifts for workers, while the professional plan's scheduler allows managers to create, view and edit individual schedules, as well as complete weekly schedules for everyone in the company. Once created, schedules can be used to monitor and restrict when employees clock in and clock out, as well as track late arrivals and absences.

Overall, we like how this system, particularly the professional plan, handles all of your time-tracking and scheduling needs. Not all of the systems we looked into tracked time or handled time-off management and scheduling.

For what it offers, TimeClock Plus, especially the cloud-based option, was one of the most affordable time and attendance systems we found during our research.

TimeClock Plus OnDemand has a recurring monthly fee. The prices of each plan are:

  1. Express: $1 per employee, per month; $20 minimum monthly charge
  2. Standard: $2 per employee, per month; $40 minimum monthly charge
  3. Professional: $3 per employee, per month; $50 minimum monthly charge

In addition to the monthly charge, there is also a one-time setup fee for the standard and professional plans. This fee is $100 for the standard plan and $200 for the professional. One hour of training is included in the cost of the professional plan setup fee.

For the on-premise system, there is a one-time licensing fee. Since those costs differ for each business and are dependent on how many employees you have, we can't say exactly how much the on-premise system will cost you. For your reference, however, we were quoted prices of $2,000 for the standard software and $3,500 for the professional package for businesses that have between 50 and 60 employees. We were not provided pricing on implementation costs.

TimeClock Plus also offers a variety of add-on modules that businesses can insert into the standard and professional plans, including an auto-deduction module that allows employees to automatically deduct their break time, a multiple time zone module for businesses with locations in different parts of the country, and a shift-differential module that allows you to configure and pay a premium for hours worked during a specific shift. Each module differs in pricing.

The only other cost is for the time clocks. The company offers a range of time-clock options that cost between $1,000 and $2,400.

We like how simple TimeClock Plus is to use. The online portal has a clean interface that's easy to navigate. Upon logging in, managers are taken straight to a dashboard that highlights all of the tasks that need their attention, including time sheets that need approval, which employees are approaching overtime, which employees forgot to punch in or out, and any pending time-off requests. We like that all of these details are front and center. What's nice about the dashboard is that it can be personalized and prioritized for each manager's specific needs. Not all of the systems we looked into offered this level of customization.

The online portal also gives managers access to an employee-status page that shows which workers are clocked in, what job code they are working in, if they are on break, when they last punched in or out, and the number of hours they've worked. In addition, managers can set up alerts that are sent out when employees are late or take too long of a lunch.

Managers also have access to more than 50 labor-data reports, including those for payroll, job codes, accrual, cost codes and scheduling. Each report can be generated as an HTML, PDF or Excel file.

The online portal is equally as valuable for employees. It has a number of self-service features that allow workers to handle many time and attendance tasks on their own. When logged into the system, employees can view their hours for the week, current and future schedules, and paid-time-off accruals. The system also allows workers to quickly clock in or out, change job or cost codes, and request time off.

The time clocks are equally as simple to use. The touch screen clocks let employees punch in and out, log break time, and change job and cost codes. In addition, they have access to all of the self-service features available via the online portal, including the ability to see schedules and request time off.

TimeClock Plus also offers a mobile app for Android and iPhone users. With the mobile app, managers can review their dashboards, see which employee are currently working, and view and send messages to employees.

Employees can use the app to clock in and out, change job and cost codes, review their hours, read messages from their managers, and approve their time cards. The mobile app also uses GPS to record exactly where employees clock in and out from. Not all of the time tracking systems we looked into had mobile apps that included this feature.

TimeClock Plus integrates with more than 200 different payroll providers. This allows businesses to seamlessly transfer their time and attendance data into their payroll solutions. At the end of each pay period, TimeClock Plus can either create a file to import into your payroll software or automatically place the files directly into the appropriate fields within your payroll system. Among the payroll providers TimeClock Plus integrates with are ACS, ADP, Paychex, QuickBooks, PayChoice and Rapid Pay.

We were pleased with the level of customer service we received from TimeClock Plus. To gauge the type of support it offers, we called the company posing as a business owner interested in time and attendance systems.

Our call was immediately answered by a friendly and helpful representative who seemed eager to speak with us. During our discussion, the representative thoroughly answered each one of our questions. This person provided enough details to leave us with a clear understanding of how the system works, the features it includes, the different types of plans and hosting options available, and how much it costs. 

We appreciated that, unlike with some of the other time and attendance providers we contacted, the TimeClock Plus representative did not rush through our call. Some of the other people we spoke to seemed disinterested in taking the time to fully answer all of our questions.

We got the same high level of attention when we tested out the live-chat tool on the TimeClock Plus website. Each question we asked was answered promptly and in just as much detail as what we received over the phone.

Customer support is available by phone, live chat and email between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday. In addition, the TimeClock Plus website has an extensive knowledge base that covers everything from how to connect a time clock to the system, to how to edit employee hours. The knowledge base, which also includes how-to videos, was among the most comprehensive we found during our research.

Overall, there was very little we didn't like about TimeClock Plus. One potential negative was the overabundance of follow-up calls we received from the representative we spoke to. While we were pleased that during the call the representative wasn't pushy and seemed to understand our time line, they followed up with numerous calls on consecutive days to see if we had any other questions. While we can appreciate that part of the job of a sales representative is to follow up and try to secure a sale, the repeated calls did seem a little over the top.

Another potential negative was the cost of the time clocks. While the time clocks were some of the most sophisticated we found while analyzing time and attendance systems, they were also some of the most expensive. If you want a system that features time clocks for a lower cost, we would encourage you to check out uAttend, our choice as the best time and attendance system for small offices. This system also supports larger employers and offers time clocks for between $100 and $300.

One other downside is that TimeClock Plus doesn't offer a free trial like some of the other providers we examined did. However, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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.