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TSheets Review: Best Time and Attendance System for Businesses with a Mobile Workforce

Sheets time and attendance system

After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend TSheets as our 2017 pick for the best time and attendance system for businesses with a mobile workforce. 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.

TSheets offers numerous ways for employees to clock in and out, tracks remote workers' location throughout the day, and is easy to use. TSheets costs $5 per employee, plus a $20 monthly base charge for businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

TSheets is an ideal system for businesses with employees who sometimes or always work outside the office because of the variety of ways time and attendance can be managed remotely. Of all the services we examined, TSheets offers remote employees the most options for clocking in and out. With this system, on-the-go workers can use laptops, mobile apps, telephones, text messages or Twitter to record the hours they work each day.

The TSheets mobile app, available on iPhones and Android devices, lets employees clock in and out, track the time they work on specific projects, view time sheets, and see which of their co-workers are also working. Additionally, employees can use the app to see their schedules, receive notifications of schedule changes, and ask for time off.

The mobile app also tracks remote employees' locations throughout the day. Besides logging exactly where employees are when they clock in and out, the mobile app records their specific location every 10 minutes. With this feature, managers get a clear picture of where their remote workers are spending their time each day. Most of the other services we investigated don't offer this detailed level of tracking for remote workers.

The TSheets mobile app not only logs where works start and end their shift, but also tracks their location throughout the day.

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 mobile app also has a special feature for those in charge of managing an entire crew while out in the field. With this tool, supervisors can clock an entire group of workers in and out at one time. This tool works even if the smartphone being used is out of a service area. In those instances, the time sheet data is stored offline. When cell service returns, the supervisor can click the "sync" button to immediately send the time card data for the entire crew back to the system.

In addition to the mobile app, employees can punch in and out via a mobile website that is accessible from any smartphone, and by texting, tweeting or dialing in from any telephone.

TSheets isn't just a system for mobile employees. Time and attendance can be tracked and managed for those who work inside the office as well. With this system, employees can clock in and out online from any computer. TSheets gives employees the option of punching in and out in real time or manually entering their hours each day.

TSheets recently unveiled its TSheets kiosk. Employers can set up the kiosk in a central location inside their business on any internet-connected computer or tablet. Employees can use it to clock in and out using a four-digit PIN.

One fun feature of TSheets that its competitors don't offer is the ability to set different sounds to play when punching in and out. For example, the system can play drums or a whistle when someone clocks in, and a hallelujah or a yee-haw clip when they clock out. 

To help you avoid overtime costs, you can create alerts that notify you via email, text message or Twitter when workers are closing in on the end of their shifts. Additionally, you can send automatic alerts via email, mobile push notifications or text messages to employees to remind them to clock in and out.

Besides tracking when employees come and go each day, the system also manages paid time off (PTO). TSheets can keep track of vacation, sick and holiday accruals for every employee. Employees can also log in to the system to ask for time off. Managers are notified of the request and can then approve or deny it.

The system also has scheduling capabilities. The scheduling software allows managers to build and share schedules with employees and to assign jobs and shifts. Employees can see the latest schedule in real time by logging in to the system or on the TSheets mobile app. They can add their schedules to any calendar app that supports iCal. This includes any iOS, Google or Outlook calendars.

TSheets includes a comprehensive scheduling tool that allows managers to build and share schedules. The schedules integrate with any calendar app that supports iCal.

Another valuable aspect of TSheets is the Who's Working feature. This digital in-and-out board allows employees and managers to see in real time who's working, what each person is working on and how long they've been working on it.

TSheets is a cloud-based service that doesn't require any hardware or software to install or maintain. You can access the system online from anywhere.

The online portal is easy to navigate, with each section clearly labeled. For employees, sections include My Time Card, to clock in and out and review the hours they've worked; Who's Working, to see which of their co-workers are on the clock; and Submit Time, to send managers completed time cards.

The TSheets system can be accessed from any computer, tablet or smartphone that connects to the Internet.

Supervisors have access to additional sections, including Manage Employees, which allows them to add employees into the system, set overtime rules and determine which parts of the system each worker has access to; Paid Time Off, which lets them add in vacation or sick hours; and Reports, which allows them to view labor-management data. TSheets offers time card, payroll, approval and project reports that each include customizable filters. Reports can be viewed from a company overview perspective or drilled down to the details of an individual employee.

The Add On tab is where administrators can insert tools into the system, such as those for payroll integration and invoicing. The services TSheets integrates with for free include the following:

  • Intuit Payroll
  • Xero
  • QuickBooks Online
  • QuickBooks Desktop
  • Square
  • Square Payroll
  • Gusto
  • Expensify
  • Qvinci
  • Reckon
  • Flint
  • Results
  • Activehours
  • Cougar Mountain

With TSheets, employees can add themselves into the system on their own. New employees automatically receive an email that prompts them to enter their own details. They create their own usernames and passwords and view a welcome video explaining some basics about the system.

TSheets also has an automatic break feature that's designed for employees who take consistent breaks each day. Rather than having them try to remember to clock in and out for those breaks, the system automatically deducts a predefined break period from their time sheets.

Other valuable features include a path map that visually shows an employee's location throughout the day, a desktop app for Google Chrome and the ability to edit timesheets via mobile devices.

Unlike other providers, which often have setup or cancellation fees, TSheets only charges a monthly fee based on the number of employees you have. For businesses with fewer than 100 employees, there is a $20 monthly base charge, plus $5 per employee. Businesses with more than 100 workers pay the same $5 per employee, but the base fee is $100 a month. 

These prices are all based on monthly payments. However, if you pay for a whole year in advance, you save 20 percent. This is an attractive incentive that many of the other providers we investigated don't offer.

There are only two other charges you may incur. Access to the scheduling software is an extra $1.25 per user, per month. There is also an additional cost of $1.50 per month for each worker who clocks in and out via a telephone or text message.

We were impressed with how upfront the company is with its pricing. Unlike providers that require you to call for a price quote – which often ends up being just an estimate of what your true costs would be – TSheets outlines everything clearly on its website.

Another bonus is that TSheets offers a 14-day free trial period, during which you aren't required to provide any payment information. It's only when your free trial expires that you are asked to add in payment information. If you choose not to activate your account, there is no need to cancel anything.

We found TSheets' customer service to be top-notch. To gauge what you can expect from the support team, we called the company multiple times posing as a new business owner interested in time and attendance systems. Every time we reached out to TSheets, helpful and friendly representatives immediately answered our calls.

During each of our calls, we received detailed answers to all our questions that left us with a clear understanding of what TSheets offers. None of the customer service representatives we spoke to were pushy about trying to land our business. At no time did they prod us for details about our business, or when we would need the service. Instead, the reps seemed more interested in making sure we had answers to our questions. This is an approach many of the other providers we spoke with didn't take.

We also tested the company's live chat support. Each time we posed a question, it was answered within seconds, and the information was just as detailed and consistent as what we got over the phone.

Support is available by phone between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. (MST) Monday through Friday and via live chat between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. (MST). The TSheets website is also full of helpful resources. It has an extensive knowledgebase that answers questions on account setup, billing, payroll integration, running reports and any other area of the system. Additionally, it has a very detailed user guide that walks you through every step of the system.

TSheets is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau. According to the BBB website, as of April 2017, there were only three complaints filed against TSheets over the past three years. All three complaints were from customers looking for refunds on their annual payments. You can read more specifics about the complaints on the BBB website. It's important to note that many of the time and attendance system providers we reviewed had some criticism levied against them with the BBB. Despite the complaints, TSheets has an A rating with the BBB.

The biggest drawback to TSheets is that it isn't compatible with traditional time clocks. While this isn't an issue for businesses that are solely tracking mobile workers, it could be a problem for those companies that are also monitoring on-site employees. The new TSheets kiosk, however, may alleviate some of those concerns for employers. While the kiosk does offer some of the same functionality as a time clock, it doesn't offer some of the same features to prevent buddy punching, such as biometrics. If a traditional time clock is a priority for you, we would encourage you to consider another time and attendance system, such as stratustime, our pick as the best time and attendance system for small businesses, or uAttend, our pick for the best system for very small businesses.

Another potential negative is the number of payroll integrations TSheets offers. Many of the other time and attendance systems we researched had a much more extensive list of payroll programs it connected with for free. It's worth noting, however, that for a one-time fee, you can configure TSheets' time cards to integrate with any payroll solution that accepts flat files. Nonetheless, this will be an added expense that not every other provider charges for.

Small Businesses
stratustime
Read Review
  • Clock In/Out Options
    Physical time clocks, mobile website, telephones, web kiosk and computers
  • Cost
    $4 per employee, per month
  • Free Trial
    No
  • PTO and Scheduling Tools
    Yes
Very Small Businesses
uAttend
Read Review
  • Clock In/Out Options
    Physical time clocks, computers, mobile app and telephones
  • Cost
    $18 per month for up to 9 employees
  • Free Trial
    No
  • PTO and Scheduling Tools
    Yes
Mobile Workforce
TSheets
Read Review
  • Clock In/Out Options
    Mobile app or website, computers, text, Twitter, telephones and kiosk
  • Cost
    $5 per employee, plus $20 base fee per month
  • Free Trial
    14-Days
  • PTO and Scheduling Tools
    Yes
Larger Employers
TimeClock Plus
Read Review
  • Clock In/Out Options
    Physical time clock, mobile app, computer and telephone
  • Cost
    Between $24 and $36 per employee, per year
  • Free Trial
    No
  • PTO and Scheduling Tools
    Yes

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.