Top 5 Time Clock Apps For Small Businesses

Here are five things you need to know about time clock apps for small businesses:

  • The right apps can save you time and money.
  • They make clocking in easier on employees.
  • Geofencing tools help prevent time theft.
  • Prioritizing apps with integrations maximizes your ROI.
  • The best apps offer bonus features to address other business challenges.

If you are still tracking employee hours manually, then you know firsthand that this approach can lead to reporting errors. Even if you are careful to avoid errors, the process eats away at your work week, taking time away from other activities. 

The good news is that you can make tracking employee hours easy with time clock apps for small businesses. Not sure which app to choose? This list of the five top options will help you find one that meets your company’s needs.

What are time clock apps?

Time clock apps are software tools designed to log employee work hours and help you keep up with payroll expenses. Instead of manually signing in or punching a time card, employees can check in using their mobile app. Their hours are automatically tracked using your centralized database, allowing you to monitor everyone’s work totals and ensure team members receive the appropriate amount of compensation. 

Why you should invest in a time clock app for your business

Investing in a time clock app will help you in the following ways:

Save time with an automated time-tracking process

Automated scheduling and time tracking save you countless hours each week. You won’t have to manually create new schedules. Instead, simply transfer data from the previous week. If needed, make any necessary adjustments and send the schedule to your team.

Once people clock in, the app will track their time. Everyone’s time will be logged accurately. If someone forgets to clock out, the geofencing tools will help you determine when they left work. Talk about easy. 

Reduce the risk of time theft or inaccurate reporting

Letting employees manually adjust their hours opens the door for time theft. Even honest team members may accidentally make mistakes, which throws off your payroll. A time clock app prevents both issues. 

As soon as employees check in, the app starts tracking their hours. When they sign out, the clock stops. 

Decrease costs

The best apps don’t just track time, they also offer reporting tools. You can run analytics and identify payroll trends. Use these tools to identify waste and make better schedules. Imagine how much money you’ll save!

What to look for in a time clock app as a small business owner

Investing in a time clock app can offer huge benefits for your business. However, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you need to explore multiple options. The goal is to find the app that best fits your needs. 

If you are in the market for a small business app, you should take the following steps:

Consider your budget

The apps on this list offer one of two pricing models. The first is a per-user per-month price. The second is a per-location per-month price. The second type typically limits how many employees you can manage per location. 

Typically, the per-user option will be the best fit for your business. Find the platform that offers the most competitive price and mix of features. 

See which integrations the app offers

The best applications offer lots of integrations with other software. By combining multiple apps, you can consolidate your data and get a more comprehensive view of business performance. For instance, When I Work not only offers full-service payroll, but also integrates with top payroll apps like QuickBooks, Square, and Paychex. 

Identify any useful additional features, like a geofenced time clock or labor forecasting

The more tools an app offers, the better. Prioritize tools like:

  • Geofencing: Determine whether employees are really at work with virtual fences and GPS data.
  • Labor forecasting: Use historical data to determine future staffing needs.
  • Scheduling: Build each shift in one app to keep everyone on the same page.

Want more helpful ideas to streamline employee time tracking? Check out these payrolling tips for small businesses

Time clock apps for small businesses comparison table

Here is an at-a-glance comparison of several factors to consider when evaluating time clock apps.

AppsPriceFeaturesBenefitsFree trial
When I Work$2.50 to $8.00 per user per month Geofencing, GPS trackingUser-friendly, multiple tiers, great per-user pricingYes
Clockify$5.99 to $11.99 per user per month Free time tracker for individuals, reporting toolsTimesheets, dashboardsYes
Buddy Punch$3.49 to $9.49 per user per month Facial recognitionIntegrations, time-off trackingYes
Timely$5 per person per monthAutomatic time tracking, app integrationsProject planningYes
7shifts$0 to $135 per location per month No contracts, tip management Designed for hospitality sectorYes

Top 5 time clock apps for small businesses

Here are our picks for the best time clock apps for small businesses.

1. When I Work

    When I Work is one of the best time clock apps for small businesses. It has tons of features, including a user-friendly time clock and team messaging capabilities, making it easy to keep your staff in the loop. This all-in-one employee scheduling software saves time while also helping to keep your payroll logs accurate and up to date. 

    What makes When I Work so great for small businesses? In addition to being a full-service payroll software, the platform offers flexible per-user pricing. The entry-level tier costs just $2.50 per user per month. The platform also offers $5 and $8 per-user per-month options, giving you the freedom to purchase the ideal set of features for your business.   

    Key features:

    • Team messaging
    • User-friendly layout
    • Integrations
    • Geofencing
    • Automation
    • Reporting tools
    • Time tracking
    • Functionality for human resources 

    Sign up for a free trial of When I Work today. You’ll be glad you did!

    2. Clockify

      Clockify has a free feature for tracking your own hours. If you are managing a team, however, you’ll need a pro plan. This plan offers user-friendly tools that work on your smartphone, desktop, or laptop. 

      Keep in mind that this app is lacking in corrective capabilities. If someone forgets to clock out, adjusting their times can be difficult. The reporting tools are also pretty confusing to navigate. 

      Key features:

      • Dashboard
      • Reports
      • Timesheets

      3. Buddy Punch

        Buddy Punch is known for its user-friendly design and good customer support. It also makes it easy for you to track employees across multiple locations. You can customize many aspects of the software.

        However, many of the platform’s features don’t work quite as well as you’d hope. There are QR code clock-in capabilities, but many users report that their computers have difficulties recognizing the cards. Some users found the lack of integrations problematic, too. 

        Key features:

        • Messaging
        • Overtime calculations
        • Activity dashboards

        4. Timely

          Timely provides several useful integrations. This makes it easy to manage schedules and perform other business tasks. For instance, Timely integrates with Google Calendar, allowing customers to book appointments themselves. 

          However, many users complained that their clients couldn’t cancel appointments online. They found that the integration with calendar apps created more work than it eliminated.

          Key features:

          • Project planning
          • Automatic time tracking
          • App integrations

          5. 7shifts

            7shifts was built specifically for restaurants. Accordingly, it lets you manage tips right in the app. You can also use its flexible scheduling features to cover all time slots and avoid shortages. 

            However, there are some major shortcomings. If you mess up a report, you can’t edit it. Instead, you have to delete it and start over. Also, that tip management feature isn’t available with the standard app. You have to adopt the 7shifts payroll processing services to manage your tips in 7shifts. 

            Key features:

            • Per-location billing model
            • Several tiers
            • Volume discounts for franchises

            See how the When I Work time clock app can transform your small business operations 

            There are many great time clock apps for small businesses to choose from. However, When I Work offers the best combination of features and values. Additionally, it integrates with dozens of apps, several of which you are probably already using. 

            Sign up for a free trial and try When I Work today! 

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