Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of HR departments choose the right time clock software so they can track employee work hours and police time theft.

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Zenefits

Zenefits is an all-encompassing HR SaaS platform designed specifically for small to midsize businesses. The Zenefits People Platform includes a robust offering spanning HR, Benefits, Payroll, Well-being and Performance apps that c... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 113 recommendations

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Rippling

Rippling makes it easy to manage your company's Payroll, Benefits, HR, and IT—all in one, modern platform. It brings all of your employee systems and data together, and helps automate your busy work. Take onboarding, for exa... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 98 recommendations

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isolved

isolved is an employee experience leader, providing intuitive, people-first HCM technology. Their solutions are delivered directly or through their partner network to more than five million employees and 145,000 employers — who us... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 84 recommendations

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BambooHR

BambooHR is a cloud-based HR management software solution for small and midsize businesses. BambooHR offers small and growing companies a human resource information system (HRIS) that includes an applicant tracking system (ATS), t... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 83 recommendations

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WorkforceHub

TimeWorksPlus is a cloud-based time, attendance, and leave management system for small to mid-size businesses. This software can capture time data from web-based clocks or physical clocks for employees onsite, mobile, and working ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 79 recommendations

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UKG Ready

UKG Ready (formerly Kronos Workforce Ready) is a flexible and seamless HR solution that provides a connected people experience to easily manage the entire employee journey, from a single solution. Designed for flexibility and ease... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 76 recommendations

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TimeClock Plus

TimeClock Plus is a cloud-based workforce management solution designed to make the day-to-day of your organization more efficient. TimeClock Plus also offers dynamic scheduling and job costing features that can be configured to an... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 76 recommendations

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Paycor

Paycor creates HR software for leaders who want to make a difference. Paycor's Human Capital Management (HCM) platform modernizes every aspect of people management, from the way you recruit, onboard and develop people, to the way ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 74 recommendations

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HQ Platform

Infinity is a cloud-based construction management solution that helps small to large enterprises manage HR operations, field layouts and building information modeling (BIM) services. Users can configure role-based access across pr... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 60 recommendations

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Zira

Zira is a cloud-based employee scheduling and performance management system designed to automate complex team processes. Zira tools include a web-based manager and admin application that is ideal for creating and publishing schedu... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 42 recommendations

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RepliconFrontRunners 2021

Replicon's advanced timesheet functionality lets businesses track valuable information including check-ins/outs, task progress, and billable/non-billable hours. The invoice module allows users to build custom invoices, examine pay... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 35 recommendations

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PurelyHR

PurelyHR is a cloud-based leave management solution for small to midsize businesses. The system’s core modules allow HR departments to track staff leave requests and approvals as well as manage diverse time off policies and hierar... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 31 recommendations

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Buddy PunchFrontRunners 2021

Buddy Punch is a cloud-based time clock solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. Key features include overtime calculating, GPS tracking, PTO accrual, time card approval and job costing. Buddy Punch enables employees to... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 25 recommendations

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CloudBiometry

CloudBiometry is a cloud-based employee timekeeping application that can be accessed from any browser. With no software installation necessary, CloudBiometry can also be run on a free Android app. CloudBiometry helps businesses im... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

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Workzoom

Workzoom by Nortek is the all-you-need cloud-based people management platform that helps clients simplify HR, payroll, benefits, time, recruiting, performance, learning, expense management and much more. Workzoom has all the funct... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

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Ascentis

Ascentis offers a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) suite designed for midsize companies of all industries. It includes HR and benefits, recruiting and onboarding, talent management, time and attendance and payroll. ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 14 recommendations

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ezLaborManager

ADP's ezLaborManager is a cloud-based workforce management solution that helps small businesses to automate the time and attendance processes and manage payroll preparation. ezLaborManager enables users to prepare payroll and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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NOVAtime

NOVAtime is an automated time and attendance solution suitable for companies of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises. This cloud-based system offers simple online interfaces for administrators and supervisors... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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Planday

Planday is a cloud-based employee scheduling platform suitable for businesses of almost any size or vertical. In addition to scheduling, Planday also allows managers to oversee employee hours, vacation requests, shift-swaps, payro... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

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Synerion

With modules for time and attendance, staff scheduling and more, Synerion Workforce Management Solutions suites are suitable for organizations of all sizes looking to cut labor costs and automate worker attendance. Able to b... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 16, 2021

What Is Time Clock Software?

Time clock software is a tool that allows organizations to capture employee work hours electronically. While basic time clock software supports clocking in time using computers, there are also more advanced options that allow employees to clock in using mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Approving employee hours in Zenefits

Approving employee hours in Zenefits

Time clock software is available as a stand-alone tool (e.g., TimeClick), but is more often part of a workforce management suite with integrated applications such as personnel tracking and payroll. For example, work hours captured by a time clock application can be automatically entered into an integrated payroll application to calculate accurate wages

If you’re looking into replacing your organization’s time clock system, or are buying one for the very first time, this helpful Buyer’s Guide will take you through what you need to know about employee time clock software and apps before you make a purchase.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Time Clock Software?
Common Functionality of Employee Time Clock Software
How Much Does Employee Time Clock Software Cost?
On-Premise vs. Cloud-based Time Clock Software
Is This Different From Time and Attendance Software?
Security Features to Look for in Employee Time Clock Apps

Common Functionality of Employee Time Clock Software

Looking at the many employee time clock software options, here are some of the common capabilities you can find:

Clock in and out Track hours with a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Manual time entry Manually enter or change logged hours.
Time tracking See how many hours anyone has worked in a given time period.
PTO tracking Track the accrual and usage of paid time off (PTO).
Payroll integration Use time clock data to calculate accurate wages and overtime pay.
Reporting Generate time and pay reports.

In addition to the features above, some employee time clock platforms have advanced functionality for things like:

  • Job costing
  • GPS tracking for remote workers
  • Employee shift scheduling
  • Labor regulation management

How Much Does Employee Time Clock Software Cost?

The cost of employee time clock software depends on what type of licensing model your vendor uses: perpetual licensing or subscription licensing.

With perpetual licensing, you pay for the software upfront to use it indefinitely. This requires a considerable investment initially, but costs decrease substantially over time. Don’t be surprised to pay $10,000 or more with this model.

With subscription licensing, you pay to use the software on a monthly or annual basis. Your subscription price may be a flat fee, for example, $20 per month, or it could be based on how many employees will use the system—something like $5 per employee per month.

Depending which licensing option you go with, and which deployment option you choose (see below), be sure to budget accordingly. As our Total Cost of Ownership Calculator shows, the costs for each option tends to equal out over time.

Software Advice Total Cost of Ownership Calculator

Software Advice Total Cost of Ownership Calculator

On-Premise vs. Cloud-based Time Clock Software

With time clock software, and most software in general, there are two deployment options that buyers can choose from: on-premise and cloud-based (also known as web-based or software-as-a-service).

On-premise time clock software is hosted internally on your company’s own servers. This deployment model enables you to manage your own data and connect to the system without needing an internet connection. If you don’t have your own servers though, or an IT team to manage them, this option may be impractical.

Cloud-based time clock software, on the other hand, is hosted on the software vendor’s servers and is accessed using a web browser and internet connection. The nice thing here is that the vendor handles all of the hosting, maintenance and upgrade duties. Should your internet connection cut out though, you won’t be able to access your time clock software.

Is This Different From Time and Attendance Software?

When it comes to software products related to managing employee work hours, there are a lot of names that get thrown around, e.g., time clock software, time tracking software, time and attendance software, employee scheduling software.

Don’t fret. Time clock, time tracking and time and attendance software all mean the same thing. All of these systems have functionality for employees to clock in and out and for managers and HR departments to track hours worked.

The one exception is employee scheduling software. These platforms track hours, but they also often include more advanced functionality for things such as shift scheduling, shift switching and schedule distribution. If that sounds more like what you’re looking for, check out this guide to employee scheduling software.

Security Features to Look for in Employee Time Clock Apps

A big reason the employee wall clock has persisted for so long in all of its variations with thumb readers and elaborate passcodes, is simple: You want to be sure your employees are who they say they are, and that they’re actually working between when they clock in and when they clock out. It’s a valid concern. In a 2015 survey, we found 43 percent of employees exaggerate how much time they work during shifts, resulting in substantial payroll losses.

Photo ID clock in with Asure

Photo ID clock in with Asure

When researching employee time clock apps, look out for some of these security features to prevent your employees from committing things such as time theft (when a worker clocks in or out and doesn’t work) and buddy punching (when an employee’s friend clocks in for them):

Possible Security Features in Employee Time Clock Apps

Photo ID Require workers to take a picture when they clock in and out.
Lockout periods Ensure employees can only clock in and out during certain times.
Alerts Receive an email or text when an employee starts late or leaves early.
E-signature Have employees sign with their finger or mouse when they clock in and out.

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Employee Time Clock Software, March 2021

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Time Clock Software products in North America.

Learn how products are chosen

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.