- Employee tracking apps help you streamline your employees' accountability, client billing and multi-location supervision.
- The best time and attendance apps are When I Work, TimeClick, OnTheClock, Clockify and ADP.
- The best GPS employee tracking apps are QuickBooks Time, Timesheet Mobile, allGeo, Timeero and Hubstaff.
- This article is for small business owners looking into employee-tracking apps.
Knowing exactly when your employees are working and what exactly they are working on can be difficult for business owners juggling multiple employees. That's why many turn to employee tracking apps. Employees can use these apps to clock in and out of work and indicate what projects they are working on. Some also allow your team to tag their work hours by client, and others include location-based tracking. With so many employee tracking apps and time and attendance systems available, it is important to understand what you want to track and why when you're choosing a solution for your business.
Why tracking your employees is important
The first key reason to track your employees is to ensure they are working when they should be. Employee tracking apps and time and attendance solutions give you detailed insights on when your employees are starting and ending their shifts each day. This not only gives your staff some accountability, but also prevents you from paying your employees for time they aren't working.
Second, many employee tracking apps can give you an idea of exactly what your employees are working on. Are they working on the projects they should be? This function is especially important if you bill your clients hourly. With automated timesheets that show the number of hours spent on a project you're billing per hour, you'll know what to charge your clients and have the proof to back up your prices.
Tracking employees who work outside the office is also important. Many employee tracking apps include geotechnology that shows where they are at what time, so you can ensure they are working from the places they should be. Additionally, you can determine how well your employees are using their travel time for business – specifically, how much time they might be losing that could be spent working.
Whether you're tracking employees' locations or activities (or both) during work time, you can use the data to observe patterns in your team's work. If you realize that a recurring work task typically takes a certain amount of time, for instance, budget for that time in your project management. If you see an employee taking much longer than this amount of time, work with them to find out where the process can be sped up or if something is hindering them.
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How to track your employees
To swiftly handle all your employee tracking concerns, you'll likely work with two primary types of employee tracking apps:
- Time and attendance tracking systems. The best time and attendance systems do more than just record when your employees clock in and out. They can also run timers as your employees work on tasks and tag each activity with relevant information. Such information could include the corresponding project or client for billing purposes. Additionally, time and attendance tracking apps may include shift-planning tools, invoicing features and numerous third-party integrations.
- Geotracking apps. With geotracking apps, you can determine where your employees are stationed for work without personally traveling to their worksites. This feature is important, as supervisors who travel between worksites to check on their employees may lose up to 11 hours per week doing so. With geotracking apps, you get all this time back for actual work.
Other ways to track employees include pen and paper, manual timeclocks, and web browser monitoring. However, these tools are more limited in scope and don't show you what your employees are working on and when. That's why the list of employee tracking apps below only contains recommendations for time and attendance and geotracking apps.
Key takeaway: Time and attendance and geotracking apps keep your team accountable, facilitate client billing, and save hours on in-person visits to offsite work locations.
Time and attendance tracking apps
These are some of the best time and attendance tracking apps for small businesses:
OnTheClock includes all the fundamental employee tracking features at a modest price point, and its customer reviews are excellent.
- Shift scheduling
- Clock-in and clock-out time adjustments
- Automated breaks and timecards
- Employee alerts and reminders
- Billing tools and integrations
- Tip, overtime and payroll reports
- OnTheClock is free for businesses with only one or two employees.
- If you have three or more employees, you'll pay $3 per employee at most. If you have more than 400 employees, though, you'll need to contact OnTheClock for a custom quote.
2. When I Work
When I Work is an ideal option for businesses looking for shift-scheduling tools. Some When I Work plans include additional features such as paid time-off (PTO) management, photo clock-in (which ensures that onsite employees don't clock in for absent ones) and overtime alerts.
- Schedule builder
- Hours scheduled vs. hours worked
- Labor costing
- Confirmation that employees have viewed their schedules
- Pay rules and schedule requirements
- Attendance and timesheet reports
- Overtime alerts
- Unpaid break detection
- Early clock-in prevention
- Photo clock-in
- PTO management
- Team messaging
- Recruiting tools
- When I Work's scheduling and messaging tools cost $2 per employee if you have fewer than 100 employees. If you add time and attendance software to your scheduling and messaging tools, you'll pay $4 per employee.
- When I Work offers custom pricing for companies with over 100 employees, and you can request a free demo.
Tip: To ensure that When I Work suits your needs, take advantage of the service's 14-day free trial before making a formal commitment.
TimeClick is best suited for traditional offices and 9-to-5 teams, given its clock-in and clock-out, overtime, and PTO capabilities. This is an on-premises software solution.
- Employee database
- Records of hours worked, including overtime
- PTO and holiday management
- Night-shift function
- Option to input and edit mass entries for employees working the same shift
- Modifications to time records
- Employee messaging
- Time tracking by client or project
- Dozens of report templates
- TimeClick charges a one-time licensing fee. There are no additional bills unless you purchase a support plan. There are four licensing plans to choose from:
- Prime costs $199 for use on one computer. Ongoing support costs $99 per year.
- Premium costs $399 for use on up to five devices. Ongoing support costs $109 per year.
- Plus costs $499 for use on up to 10 devices. Ongoing support costs $129 per year.
- Platinum costs $649 for use on up to 25 devices. Ongoing support costs $159 per year.
Did you know? All TimeClick plans, other than the Prime option, include mobile clock-in and clock-out functionality.
Clockify is ideal for tracking remote employees. Employees can use it via desktop app, mobile app or web browser to track their hours worked by project. Clockify is also well known for its PTO features and integrations with customer relationship management (CRM) software and project management apps.
- Manual or timed employee tracking by client and project
- Dashboard of employee activities, including time off and breaks
- Time-off tracking, with several categories
- Extensive integrations and Zapier API
- Setup checklist for easy start
- Clockify's free plan allows unlimited users. It includes time tracking, projects, reports, integrations with third-party apps, an API, and support.
- There are four paid plans that vary in price and features. If you pay annually, the plans range from $3.99 to $11.99 per user per month. If you pay monthly, the cost ranges from $4.99 to $14.99 per user per month.
ADP is best known as a leading payroll provider and professional employer organization (PEO), but it also offers comprehensive time and attendance software. ADP's time and attendance features allow you to oversee productivity, cost controls, compliance and schedules. Additionally, if you use ADP for your payroll or other HR services, the time and attendance software integrates seamlessly with your other ADP tools.
- Labor reporting compliance
- Time-off tracking, including paid sick leave
- Online schedule management
- Optional facial recognition clock-in and clock-out functionality
- Lateness and absence tracking
- Overtime tracking
- Employee shift swapping
- Skill-based scheduling
- ADP provides custom quotes based on the specific services and tools you need and how many employees you have.
Key takeaway: The best time and attendance apps are OnTheClock, When I Work, TimeClick, Clockify and ADP.
These are some of the best geotracking apps for small businesses:
1. QuickBooks Time
QuickBooks Time, previously known as TSheets, is a geotracking solution that employees can use to clock in and out from anywhere through laptops, mobile devices and apps, text, or Twitter. It is currently the only geotracking app that lets employees use social media to clock in or out. It also alerts you as an employee's shift nears the end.
- Versatile employee clock-in and clock-out options
- Employee schedule overview, including who else is working
- Time tracking by project
- PTO tracking and management
- Shift planning
- Calendar app integrations
- Standard reports
- QuickBooks Time Premium costs $20 per month and includes access for one administrative user. Each additional user costs $8 per month. This plan includes all the above features.
- QuickBooks Time Elite costs $40 per month and includes access for one administrative user. Each additional user costs $10 per month. It includes all Premium features plus mileage tracking, geofencing and several other extras.
Hubstaff is a GPS employee tracking solution with basic features for tracking employees' time and computer usage. It also includes automatic payment tools and, at higher pricing tiers, comprehensive geotechnology tools such as mobile GPS tracking and fleet tracking.
- Random screen captures
- Mouse and keyboard usage tracking
- Mobile GPS tracking
- PTO management, including holidays
- Client project and budget tools
- Fleet tracking
- Unlimited job site support
- Free Forever is Hubstaff's free plan for one user. It lacks GPS tracking features but has basic functions for time and activity tracking, screenshots, and pay management.
- There are three paid plans that vary in price and features. They each require at least two users and range from $7 to $20 per user per month.
3. Timesheet Mobile
Timesheet Mobile is a geofence-enabled employee tracking app with additional scheduling and messaging features. It also includes PTO management and – unlike many other employee tracking apps – COVID-19 screening tools.
- Employee location tracking and geofencing
- COVID-19 screening
- QuickBooks, Xero and AccountingSuite integrations
- Autopunch and violation alerts
- Team and project messaging
- Dial-up interactive voice response (IVR) clock-in and clock-out options
- The Basics plan has a base fee of $14.99 per month plus $3.49 per employee per month. It allows unlimited punch-ins and punch-outs but does not include several of the above features, including IVR and geofence alerts.
- The Per Punch plan costs $29.99 per month plus 15 cents per punch-in or punch-out. It bases these rates on an assumed two punches per employee per day and 22 workdays per month, so your rates may vary.
- The Small Business plan costs $29.99 per month plus $9.95 per employee per month. It allows unlimited punch-ins and punch-outs.
- The Medium Business plan costs $149 per month plus $2.49 per employee per month. It includes all Small Business plan features.
allGeo is a field service company that also offers employee geotracking functionality through a real-time location-tracking app and a GPS timeclock app. With both, you can create custom geofences and tracking workflows.
- Real-time employee arrival and departure alerts from geofenced areas
- Automatic location, timeclock, payroll history and customer visit reports
- Field-collected pictures, signatures, tasks, notes and custom forms
- Real-time communication between field employees
- If-this-then-that (IFTTT) workflows based on employee, location and time
- Real-time shift planning
- Directions for employee travel and mileage minimization
- allGeo's location and mileage trackers cost $5 per user per month if billed annually, or $7.50 per user per month if billed monthly. They each include visualization dashboards, route planning, 50 push notifications per month and inactive-employee app alerts.
- allGeo's timeclock and tracking tools vary in price based on the technology you want and whether you prefer annual or monthly billing.
- Manual timeclock with GPS: $5 per user per month if billed annually; $7.50 per user per month if billed monthly
- IVR/SMS timeclock: $5 per user per month if billed annually; $7.50 per user per month if billed monthly
- Automatic timeclock with geofencing, for 50 worksites: $10 per user per month if billed annually; $15 per user per month if billed monthly
- Field data, timeclock and tracking bundles: $10 per user per month if billed annually; $15 per user per month if billed monthly
Timeero offers GPS time tracking, mileage tracking and scheduling tools. It also includes tools for reporting, job costing and geofencing.
- Customizable geofencing
- Job management and budget tracking
- Time-off management
- Facial recognition
- Payroll and accounting integrations
- Real-time employee work overviews
- Route reviews
- Timeero Monthly has a base rate of $10 per month, plus $5 per user per month.
- Timeero Enterprise is a custom pricing plan for businesses with over 250 employees.