In today's fast-paced, tech-based society, it's best to leave paper time cards behind. If you haven't already made the switch to time tracking software, now is the time to do it.
When you use time tracking apps to track employee hours, you can improve your company's accuracy and efficiency in one fell swoop. In addition to providing a concrete record of your employees' working hours, the best time tracking app for small business use will cut down on the amount of time spent on payroll. There are numerous other benefits as well, all of which contribute to your company's bottom line.
Nearly half of the companies based in the US have already switched to time tracking software. When you consider the fact that these systems can cut back on payroll processing times by up to 35 percent and reduce total payroll hours by more than 20 percent, the reasoning behind the switch is obvious.
The question is, which of these time clock apps is the right fit for your small business? To help you answer that question, we've put together this list of the top employee time tracking systems on the current market.
Best Time Tracking App For Small Business
This is an excellent choice for remote employees, thanks to the GPS tracking feature that allows them to clock in and out no matter where they are. They can also check their time, make notes, and put in requests for time off—all from a distance.
Connecteam's management feature allows you to track the employee's GPS location, so you can tell where they are at all times. This ingenious system will even provide reports on how resources are used during working hours. Best of all, the system is affordable and easy to set up.
Connecteam offers a free trial to interested employers. For 14 days, you can take advantage of the system's benefits to find out if it's the right fit for you. Paid plans start at $39 per month.
Timecamp is a good resource for freelancers and team members who need to track working hours for their clients. It consists of a desktop app that tracks time entries on its own. This leaves you more time to focus on the critical aspects of your position, from attracting small business leads to general marketing. You can also use the system to create invoices at the press of a button.
The software can be used to create its payroll system, which can be a huge perk if you find yourself struggling to track vacation and PTO time. It can be integrated with other tools as well, including project management and accounting software.
Like Connecteam, Timecamp has a 14-day free trial available for potential members. For single users, the platform is free. Paid plans are reasonably priced at $5.25 per user per month.
One of the most user-friendly time tracking apps available, Toggl allows you to track hours in real-time or enter them manually—whichever is most efficient. The mobile app will send you reminders if you forget to clock in and out at the appointed time, which is especially useful during busy periods.
The system integrates with over 100 other apps, including Asana, Xero, and Trello. If you would prefer to round time entries up or down to the nearest 5, 10, or 15 minutes, Toggl has you covered. It's also an excellent way to track which projects are being worked on, at what time, and how many hours are spent on each one.
Toggl Track's free trial period lasts for a generous 30 days. That should give you enough time to decide whether the program is worth the monthly fee, which is also relatively low at $10 per month for each user.
Harvest's stopwatch feature gives you the option of tracking time entries in real-time, but you can also enter the hours manually if you prefer. That way, you'll get the perfect blend of convenience and accuracy.
This mobile app can be used on either smartphones and desktops, depending on your company's needs. To track expenses and time spent at work, snap a photo of your receipt and add a brief note, then save the info to the system.
Like Toggl Track, Harvest offers a 30-day free trial. Single users are also eligible for a free plan, but paid plans start at $12 per month per user.
If you're the type of manager who finds themselves scrambling to coordinate team schedules, Everhour could be the time tracking app for you. The system tracks employee availability in addition to time worked, so you can find out which team member is available when. Better yet, it syncs up with other productivity apps like Asana, allowing you to populate the Everhour system with project details that would otherwise be stored somewhere else.
When you use Everhour, you'll have the option of entering a maximum number of hours per day for each team member to work on specific projects. You can set the limit weekly if that works better for everyone's schedules. Team members can also request time off within the app.
Everhour's color-coded interface makes it easy to determine availability. Time off is gray, while available hours are green. Any session that went over the preset time is listed in red.
While the system is free for up to five users, this version cannot integrate with project management apps. There's a $5 per user per month charge for the system's Basic plan, but note that it requires at least five users.
HourStack's calendar-style layout sets it apart from most of the competition and endears it to users who like to map out their work schedule in advance. The time increments are represented in a block format, a visual trick that can promote effective time management.
While most other time tracking apps focus only on the here and now, HourStack lets you set aside time for projects later on. If you only want to spend a single hour on a particular task, or if you don't think it will take longer than an hour, the system will help you stay on track.
HourStack's visual appeal goes even further with its color-coded project management system. You can use various colors to help you differentiate multiple tasks. This isn't unique to HourStack, but it's a helpful feature nonetheless.
Pricing for HourStack begins at $5.60 per month for a single user on the Personal plan. If you opt for the Professional plan, which allows for unlimited guest use and reporting, you can expect to spend $12 per user per month.
Why You Should Use A Time Tracking App
We've already touched upon the main benefits of time tracking software, but that was only the beginning. Let's take a closer look at how this technology can contribute to your company's bottom line.
Mistakes are inevitable when it comes to payroll, but the best time tracking software can help to reduce those odds. According to the IRS, about 1/3 of employers make payroll-related errors. These mistakes can be quite costly when they add up over time.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all businesses must keep and retain accurate records of all working hours for at least two years. If you use a time tracking app to store the information, you'll always have it at your fingertips. This comes in handy if you're ever required to present the data for government inspection.
When you can see exactly how many hours the employees have worked within the pay period, you'll be able to help your team manage their projects without going into overtime. The software enables you to check everyone's hours and offer extra time to those who need it most.
Have you ever wondered how often you're paying the employees to run out for coffee? Maybe certain employees are padding their time by "forgetting" to clock out until they've driven halfway home. A GPS location stamp will let you know precisely where the employee was when they clocked in or out with specific systems.
Some time clock systems will round up a few seconds here and there, leading to employees being paid for the time they didn't work--even overtime, in some cases. These errors might seem minor, but they can be costly if they happen regularly. A time tracking app will eliminate this problem by keeping the time accurate, right down to the second.
Speaking of overtime: If you don't want your employees to go over 40 hours per week, the time tracking software will keep you posted when it happens so you can remedy the situation. In most cases, the employee was just in a hurry and forgot to punch out, but you should still be aware of it. That way, you can set up reminders in the future.
About Time Theft
Time theft is a genuine problem for small business owners. Studies have shown that nearly 90 percent of employees waste time when they're at work. More than half will waste about an hour a day, which contributes to a lot of money spent on low productivity.
Some types of time theft might seem innocent enough, but they all amount to the same thing. These are the most common forms of time theft:
- "Buddy punching"--asking a friend to clock you in before you've arrived at work
- Forgetting to clock in or out, then manually adjusting the time in your favor
- Arriving at work late or leaving early
- Taking long paid breaks
- Working overtime without prior authorization from supervisors
- Engaging in personal activities during work hours (including texting)
Accurate tracking is a crucial step in eliminating time theft. If you're lax about time management, the workers won't be confident that their paychecks are accurate. You might also lose customers as a result of the low productivity rate. The best time tracking app for small businesses will boost employee morale and improve customer satisfaction at the same time.
Finding a great time tracking app is in your company's best interest, leaving more time to focus on other aspects of the business, like finding the perfect digital marketing software for small business to boost your top-line sales.