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Stratustime Review

Best Time and Attendance System for Small Businesses

A Business News Daily Review

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend Stratustime as our 2018 pick for the best time and attendance system for small businesses. 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.

Clocking in and out: Employees have five different ways to clock in and out and manage their time.

  1. Traditional timeclocks: The timeclocks are cloud-based and can collect information via fingerprints, magnetic stripes, barcodes, proximity badges and touchscreens. Employees can also use the clocks to review their hours, check their schedules, request time off and check their accrual balances.
  2. Mobile-friendly website: The mobile website lets workers manage their time via any smartphone or tablet. Employees can use the mobile website to clock in and out, transfer where their time is being allocated, submit their timecards, and request time off. Managers can use the mobile website to approve time off and review timesheets. The mobile-friendly site uses geofencing to define the locations where employees can punch in and out and geolocation technology to monitor exactly where employees start and end their shifts.
  3. Telephones: The IVR feature allows employees to call in from any phone to clock in and out, transfer their hours, submit timesheets, and check PTO balances. With this option, employers can restrict access to the system based on caller ID.
  4. Web kiosk: The Stratustime web kiosk can be used in place of or in addition to a traditional timeclock. The kiosk can be set up on any computer or tablet and be placed in areas of high employee traffic.
  5. Computers: Employees can manage their time from any computer connected to the internet. They can log in to Stratustime's online portal to manage all their time and attendance needs.

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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Job tracking: This tool logs how long employees work on specific projects.

PTO management: The system tracks PTO accruals, allows employees to request time off, and lets managers approve or deny those requests.

Scheduling: Employers can generate schedules for individual employees, departments or shifts. Besides designating when employees should start and end their shifts, the visual scheduler lets managers add in when breaks and meals should be taken. You can also click and drag schedules to copy them from employee to employee for quick assignment. 

Monthly fees: The base fee is $4 per month per employee. Included in the base fee are all the time and attendance tracking features, the scheduling tools, employee self-service access, and a variety of labor analytics. Some of the more advanced tools have an additional cost. Among the features businesses may have to pay extra for – which range from 10 to 50 cents per employee per month – are PTO management, mobile access, automatic alerts, job forecasting, advanced reports and a point-tracking system, which keeps records of when employees are absent or late. The representative we spoke with, however, said that Stratustime can often waive additional costs for some of these tools.

Implementation and training: In addition to the monthly fees, there is a one-time implementation charge. This price varies depending on the number of employees and how many tools you are having built into your system. For a business with 20 to 25 employees, we were quoted implementation fees of $1,200 to $1,500. The implementation charge covers the cost of Stratustime customizing the system for your specific needs. This includes adding employees to the system, setting up PTO accrual information, and creating alerts for when employees forget to clock in or are nearing overtime. In addition, managers and administrators receive special training sessions.

Timeclocks: The cost of the timeclocks varies greatly. The median price is about $2,500.

Cloud-based: Because Stratustime is based in the cloud, there is no software to install or maintain it, and it's accessible online from anywhere. The only hardware that you may need is timeclocks, but they aren't required to use the system.

Employee dashboard: For employees, the online dashboard is divided into six main sections: Actions, Schedules, Time Off, Messages, Timecard and Reports. Within these sections, employees can submit their weekly timecards; check their schedules by day, week or month; request time off; view a companywide vacation schedule; send and receive messages; review their previous timecards; and run reports on schedules and PTO accruals. The dashboard also includes small buttons that allow employees to quickly clock in and out.

Manager dashboard: The homepage provides a quick overview of the system. There is an "in and out" board, which shows who is currently working, the total number of hours someone worked during the week, and the most recent employees to clock in and out. The manager homepage also has a notifications bar that alerts supervisors to messages they have, employees who have forgotten to punch in or out, and PTO requests. This makes it easy to quickly see the tasks that need immediate attention. The homepage is customizable according to each manager's needs.

Reports: Managers can use the reports section to view data on things like projected wages, hours paid, weekly schedules and labor distributions. They can have regularly reviewed reports automatically emailed to them. For example, if you like to look at your staff's schedule at the start of each week, the system will automatically generate the report and have it waiting in your inbox on Monday morning.

Integrations: The system integrates with more than 60 payroll services. This allows you to easily transfer time and attendance data into your payroll without any added work. In addition to the integrations, Stratustime is available on the same platform as Paychex, an online payroll service. Paychex owns Nettime Solutions and offers Stratustime on its payroll platform, along with a variety of other HR services and employee benefit options.

Customer support: We were extremely impressed with the level of customer service we received from Stratustime. To gauge what customers can expect from the support team, we called the company multiple times, posing as a new business owner interested in time and attendance systems. Each of the representatives we spoke with gave us thorough answers to all of our questions, and they emailed us additional information on the service as soon as our calls were complete. The company offers support by phone and email from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

One downside of Stratustime is the implementation charges. While many of the other companies we analyzed don't have these fees, they also don't provide the same high level of service in setting up the system.

Other potential negatives of Stratustime are that the company doesn't offer customer support on the weekends or a live chat tool to quickly get answers to your questions.

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 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.