Best Time Clock Software

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We researched 30 different time clock tools for different types of businesses, narrowing the group down to our top six choices. Throughout the process, we found Buddy Punch to be the best option for most. It’s versatile enough to match your everyday workflow, regardless of how and where you work. Plus, it integrates with just about every payroll software and comes with built-in scheduling tools.

The Best Time Clock Software for Most

Buddy Punch Logo

Buddy Punch

Best for Most

Regardless of how and where you work, Buddy Punch’s fully-featured intuitive time clock software is versatile enough to work how you do. Plus, enjoy the benefit of opting in or out of scheduling features so you never have to pay for functionality you don’t need.

Buddy Punch has a straightforward interface and it’s versatile enough to meet your needs. Every plan comes with all of Buddy Punch’s time clocking features, making it an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes. 

You can opt-in or out of scheduling features, so you’re not stuck paying for something if you’re never going to use it. Plus, it works with eight payroll solutions and includes a built-in Zapier integration for infinite customization.

The Best Time Clock Software to Consider: 

  1. Buddy Punch – Best time clock software for most
  2. Deel – Best for tracking time for remote employees
  3. Homebase – Best if you want to build schedules for free
  4. 7Shifts – Best for fast-paced restaurants, breweries, and bars
  5. Rippling – Best if you don’t already have a payroll solution
  6. ClockShark – Best for field service teams that jump from site to site
  7. Virtual TimeClock – Best for traditional clocking stations with no monthly fees

When Does It Make Sense to Invest In Time Clock Software?

Time clock software makes it easier to manage time effectively for your business. It helps all business models and sizes. Even complex businesses less obvious like field service, healthcare, tech, and legal. 

If you have hourly employees, chances are you have something to gain by investing in the right time clock software for you and your team. 

It makes sense for teams with hourly employees because the right software can help you:

  • Optimize and automate your payroll processes
  • Access paid and unpaid time off management tools
  • Get a clear picture of possible overtime and absences
  • Gain insight into how your employees spend their time
  • Track mobile and job site hours for field service teams
  • Stay in compliance with labor laws and regulations
  • Avoid employees clocking in for each other

Plus, it may even save you money since it provides accurate clock in/out times for your employees and prevents early clock-ins resulting in more accurate budgeting and labor costing throughout the entire business. 

However, time clock software isn’t for everyone. If your needs span beyond time clocking and time management for hourly employees, time tracking software is an excellent alternative for freelancers, solopreneurs, and salaried employees. 

The bottom line: If you have hourly employees, time clock software can take away the headache of manually handling and managing your team’s hours. Plus, you can set it up to automatically sync with your payroll software. 

#1 – Buddy Punch — The Best Time Clock Software for Most

Buddy Punch Logo

Buddy Punch

Best for Most

Regardless of how and where you work, Buddy Punch’s fully-featured intuitive time clock software is versatile enough to work how you do. Plus, enjoy the benefit of opting in or out of scheduling features so you never have to pay for functionality you don’t need.

It doesn’t matter how many employees you have. Buddy Punch makes it easy to track hours and manage schedules from anywhere, at any time.

Why? Because Buddy Punch is 100% web-based.

Meaning you can configure it from anywhere without disrupting your everyday workflows. 

And unlike the other options on our list, pricing is based on the number of employees you have—not on the features you need. 

So, you get all of Buddy Punch’s time clocking features regardless of how much you’re paying to use the software every month. Only have five employees but still want a powerful time clock tool with customizations and logic-based rules? 

It comes with everything you need to accurately track time for your small team without the big-business price tag.

You can use GPS restrictions, automatic photos, facial recognition, QR codes, and pin number configurations to limit where employees can clock in and eliminate buddy clocking for good. 

Want to let employees clock in from their phones, but only when they’re actually inside the building? No problem. Want to set up a clocking kiosk by the front door that snaps a photo of everyone as they clock in? Buddy Punch has you covered. 

If you have multiple locations or job sites, you can set these up in the system so always know who’s working where and for how long. 

Custom job codes give you even more control and insight by allowing employees to clock to different projects, clients, or jobs throughout the day. 

You can then use those hours to create accurate invoices for your clients, develop more accurate proposals, identify bottlenecks, or ensure everything’s running as it should. 

In terms of compliance, there are more than a dozen pre-built overtime rules you can use as is or customize to match your policies. The system also includes automatic break and lunch calculations so no one has to punch in and out throughout the day. 

All plans also include PTO tracking and time off requests. You can set up custom PTO types for holidays, vacations, sick leave, bonus time, or whatever types you offer. 

And setting up accrual rules to match your PTO policy takes just a few clicks. 

If you don’t offer PTO, you can turn it off entirely so it doesn’t clutter the UI or allow employees to accidentally enter time off on their time cards. 

Buddy Punch’s middle tier includes everything we just talked about plus powerful drag-and-drop scheduling tools as well. We love that you can opt-in or out of scheduling functionality so you don’t have to pay for features you’re never going to use. 

The scheduler makes it incredibly easy to create schedules, modify them, publish them, and send notifications to those who are on them. 

While creating schedules, you can pull in employee availability as well as requested time off to ensure there aren’t any overlaps or conflicts.  

Doing so helps minimize open shifts and shift swapping after the schedule’s live. However, your team can still swap shifts with their manager’s approval directly within the app if they need to. 

When you use Buddy Punch’s time clocking and scheduling tools together, you can limit when and where your team can punch in based on their scheduled shift. You can even configure automatic punch outs at the end of their scheduled shift in case anyone forgets to clock out.

This powerful combination ensures your time cards are accurate with minimal editing required before running payroll. 

Speaking of payroll, there are eight pre-built integrations with popular payroll tools, including QuickBooks, ADP, Gusto, Paychex, and more. 

The QuickBooks integration features automatic syncing between the two tools. But the rest require exporting time cards and importing them into payroll. There’s also a Zapier integration that lets you connect with more than 750 other business apps to build custom workflows. 

Buddy Punch’s pricing depends on the number of users. Here’s a look at pricing for 1-4 employees:

  • Time and attendance – $25.99 per month
  • Time + Scheduling – $35.99 per month
  • Enterprise – $45.99 per month (includes SSO and open API access)

The time and attendance plan includes all of Buddy Punch’s time clocking features and is a great fit if you already have a scheduling tool or don’t need one. 

You can always upgrade later to unlock scheduling features if you want to try them out or end up needing them down the road. The enterprise plan only makes sense if you need open API access. 

There’s no free tier, but you can try any plan free for 14 days to see if it’s right for you. 

#2 – Deel – The Best for Tracking Time for Remote Employees

Deel logo


Best for Tracking Time for Remote Employees

If you have employees working across multiple countries and time zones, Deel helps you track the time they work with its intuitive software. Deel allows you to create a policy for the expectations for remote employees, too. It tracks clocking in and out and measures tardiness for each employee.

With a remote workforce that’s spread across the globe, tracking time worked can become a headache for HR departments. Deel excels as a time tracking software package for both full-time and part-time remote workers, no matter where they are living and working.

When your remote employees must track their time for hourly wages or so you can generate billable hours, Deel allows them to do so accurately. If you make use of independent contractors who need to track the number of hours they work, Deel’s software works for them, too.

Deel generates reports on any tardiness from employees, should they need to begin working at a certain time.

As part of the Deel templates related to tracking time worked, your company can set specific guidelines for these employees to follow. Consequently, you don’t have to worry about confusion about the way remote employees should track their hours. You can implement any unique rules your company uses for remote workers inside the policy. 

Deel policy template request form page.

Having a clear policy about tracking time and about the consequences of beginning the workday late is especially helpful for remote workers. Supervisors can be certain remote workers are on the correct page regarding expectations.

Deel’s templates also help you set your policies with local labor laws in mind. 

Should you require independent contractors to submit hours worked as part of an invoice, Deel helps them generate reports with this information available. This ensures that the accounting department receives consistent invoices that have the necessary information, speeding up the process of paying invoices.

Additionally, Deel provides the ability to track time off requests and paid time off through the software. Remote employees have constant access to your policies regarding these items. They can clearly understand what types of absences are excused and unexcused. They also know what guidelines they must follow to be eligible to take time off from work.

Having well-informed remote workers and giving them clear guidelines to follow regarding time worked is important to keeping them feeling comfortable with the work conditions.

Should you have different regulations to follow regarding time off based on the location of the employee, Deel can help you track it accurately. If you offer remote workers vacation, sick leave, maternity leave, parental leave, and other types of leave, and if these types of leave can be either paid or unpaid, Deel simplifies tracking everything.

Not only can you approve or deny time off requests through the Deel interface, but you also can quickly view the past time off requests from any particular employee. 

You even can approve or deny all time off requests at once, rather than considering the requests one by one.

For those companies operating with a global workforce, Deel offers additional features that greatly simplify the work that your HR team must perform to manage the remote workers.

When you need to run payroll across your global workforce, Deel automates many aspects of the process. The automation reduces the possibility of errors and of failing to take local employment laws into account.

Through Deel, the software runs payroll in local currencies, based on the location of the remote employee. The software supports several dozen different currencies.

It also can calculate tax withholdings based on the local currency of the worker, taking all tax regulations into account. 

By allowing Deel to automate the running of your payroll, you simply need to update the software with any changes to the wage rate for individual employees. The software takes care of the rest. 

Should you need to make changes to the types of benefits of a particular employee, a quick update within Deel takes care of it. Deel then applies those benefits to the local regulations and rules in the employee’s country of residence.

Another aspect of Deel that should appeal to companies trying to reduce the complexity of managing a remote workforce globally is the easy-to-use interface.

Deel’s designers place all the primary features of the software in main menus. Should you need additional details within any menu, you can make use of submenus. By hiding extra features inside the submenus, Deel keeps the overall interface less cluttered, helping your HR team pick up the process of using the software quickly.

Deel offers a number of different pricing plans. We’ll list the basic costs, but you may see a higher cost if you select add-ons.

  • Deel HR – Free
  • Contractors – Starts at $49 per month
  • EOR – Starts at $599 per month
  • Global Payroll – Contact sales for pricing

You also can contact Deel to receive a free demonstration.

#3 – Homebase — The Best If You Want to Build Schedules for Free

Homebase Logo


Best for Free Scheduling

Want built-in scheduling tools without having to pay extra? Homebase offers essential time clocking features plus built-in scheduling tools on every plan—even the free one. Build an unlimited number of schedules with as many employees as you need without paying a penny, today!

If you’re looking for a more affordable way to clock time and create schedules in one place, Homebase is the way to go. 

Rather than paying extra for scheduling functionality, it’s included with every plan—even the free one— at no extra cost. You can create an unlimited number of schedules, communicate with each other in the app, and empower your team to punch in and out from anywhere. 

If you’re a single location business, you can do all of this and more with Homebase without paying a penny. 

Homebase’s scheduler is 100% drag-and-drop, making it easy to create visual schedules in a matter of minutes whether you’re using your phone or computer. Plus, you can drag and drop shifts, roles, or individual employees, depending on what works best for you.

The software automatically accounts for time off info and employee availability, as well. 

You don’t have to switch between three different tabs or scan through your emails to ensure your schedule makes everyone happy. 

It’ll also alert you if there’s a conflict or an open shift that isn’t assigned to anyone. 

Before you publish, you can view your schedule by role to ensure the right people are scheduled at the right times. For example, you can use this to ensure there’s always a manager on the clock during open hours. 

You can also view it by employee to ensure everyone gets enough time to rest in between shifts and monitor overtime potential beforehand. 

To make your life easier, Homebase includes numerous schedule templates you can use over and over again to speed up the process. You can customize them to match your needs or simply copy and paste shifts from a previous schedule to the one you’re working on now. 

Whether you have rotating shifts, employees on call, dynamic schedules, schedules that don’t change much from week to week, Homebase supports it all. 

Plus, you can schedule as many full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees as you’d like without ever needing to upgrade or pay more every month. 

When you’re done with your schedule, you can publish it and send automatic notifications to your entire team in one click. No texting or emailing back and forth required. 

Your team can view the schedule any time from the Homebase mobile app or using any web browser. Plus, managers and employees can configure automatic reminders for upcoming shifts to reduce absences and confusion. 

When life happens, your team can request shift trades from anywhere and managers can approve or deny those trades at any time. 

The software also comes with a built-in communications tool so employees can talk to each other directly in the app to keep all workplace conversations in a centralized location. 

Regardless of where your employees work, Homebase automatically calculates overtime and subtracts breaks so you don’t have to worry about staying in compliance on your own. 

And your team doesn’t have to worry about clocking in and out multiple times per day. 

When someone clocks in for the first time on a given day, you can also have them fill out a health screening survey to help limit the spread of COVID-19. This feature comes complete with alerts for managers if there’s an issue or detected symptoms. 

At the end of a shift, employees can enter in tips if they need to as well, making it a great solution for business with tipped employees. 

Overall, Homebase is the best free scheduling and time clock solution we’ve seen. Although it comes with all schedule features, there are a few limitations of the free plan when it comes to clocking functionality. 

For example, you can’t use GPS or geofencing, configure late employee alerts, set up managers, or implement verified clocking safeguards like photo verification. 

You also can’t set up auto clock outs at the end of a shift, prevent early clock ins, or track PTO accruals. So, you may find the clocking features a bit limited if you want to set up advanced rules and safeguards. 

But upgrading is incredibly affordable with Homebase’s per-location pricing. There are three paid plans to choose from, including:

  • Essentials – $14 per month per location
  • Plus – $35 per month per location
  • All-in-One – $70 per month per location

All plans include unlimited employees, scheduling, and the mobile app. However, the paid plans come with more advanced control and clocking capabilities, and the All-in-One plan includes onboarding features, HR tools, and open API access. 

Sign up for the free forever plan or a 14-day trial to see if Homebase is right for you today!

#4 – 7Shifts — The Best for Fast-Paced Restaurants, Breweries, and Bars

7Shifts Logo


Best for Restaurants

Manage dynamic schedules and time clocking with 7Shifts, the only solution designed specifically for fast-paced restaurants, breweries, bars, and other quick-service businesses. Start for free and upgrade as you need to with affordable per-location pricing.

Restaurants are notorious for having chaotic schedules, understaffed shifts, and thousands of moving parts behind the scenes.

Most time clock tools aren’t built for such dynamic industries and are missing essential features you need to tame the chaos to make matters worse.

Thankfully, 7Shifts fills that gap in the market with one of the only solutions designed specifically for businesses in the food and beverage industry. So, you can finally say goodbye to that clunky time clock software that doesn’t quite work the way you need it to.

Whether you’re a one-location bakery, a budding local chain of pizza joints, a nationwide coffee shop, a regional juice bar, or a college town brewery, 7Shifts does it all.

One of its best features is the AI-powered scheduling tool. All you have to do is click “schedule,” and the software does the rest. It picks from all of your available staff members and creates an optimized schedule based on their availability, role, and skill level.

The tool takes labor costs, sales forecasts, and estimated demand into consideration. 7Shifts’ labor budgeting tool lets you set projected sales goals and labor targets, then build a schedule to match rather than the other way around.

It’s powerful enough to look at historical sales data from your business and thousands of others to determine which shifts are overstaffed or understaffed before you hit publish.

You can even factor in the weather since it plays a role in how busy you’re going to be.

Weather predictions come from historical forecasts, built-in weather data from NOAA, sales data from other businesses, and seasonality to give you accurate forecasts that help ensure you’re not under or overstaffed.

It does all of this behind the scenes without you having to lift a finger.

When the software’s finished working its magic, you can make adjustments as required and hit publish in a matter of minutes rather than hours.

Besides automatic scheduling, 7Shifts’ integration list certainly has restaurants, bars, and breweries in mind. With 22 different POS integrations—including dozens that other providers don’t offer—and other restaurant-specific tools, you can build a hyper-focused solution that works exactly as you do.

When you connect your POS and time clock solution, you can do things like automatically syncing staff accounts between the two tools, build schedules based on your sales data, and optimize your workforce based on your top priorities.

With the manager dashboard, you can track real-time sales data vs. labor hours throughout the day to help you control labor costs. 

You’ll also have access to powerful reports designed to help you identify your least profitable shifts, overstaffing or understaffing issues, and more.

You can even use sales data from your POS to plan labor for different roles. Doing so means you always have the right number of servers, cooks, hosts, bartenders, and managers on the clock based on your sales predictions for any given day.

The dashboard also pulls in data to help you identify peak hours that may require some extra hands on deck.

Whether your team clocks in using your POS system or their mobile devices, you can easily enforce clocking rules even when you’re not there. The software automatically checks your schedule to make sure anyone clocking in is actually on the schedule. 

If they’re not, they’ll get an error message, and you’ll get a notification. 

For an added layer of verification, you can automatically snap a photo to ensure no one’s stealing your time.

All plans also come with a pre-shift health screening survey to help you and your team do your part in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

There are four pricing plans to choose from, including:

  • Free – One location with up to 10 employees (no POS integrations)
  • Appetizer – $17.99 per month for up to 20 employees (no labor budgeting)
  • Entree – $39.99 per month for up to 30 employees
  • The Works – $69.99 per month for unlimited employees

All plans are priced per location and each tier unlocks more advanced features you upgrade. The free plan is a great place to start if you have basic needs or want to take it for a test drive before investing. 

However, we highly recommend upgrading to at least the Entree plan to unlock mobile punching and all POS integrations with sales and labor data. 

Sign up for a free plan or a 14-day free trial to see if 7Shifts is right for you today!

#5 – Rippling — The Best If You Don’t Already Have a Payroll Solution

Rippling Logo


Best for Time Clocking + Payroll Functionality

Looking for both pieces of the dynamic payroll and time clocking software duo? Rippling offers everything you need in a modular solution with streamlined and automated HR functionality at its core. Get everything you need to build streamlined HR processes that run on autopilot.

If your business is brand new, you’re hiring your first employees, or are unhappy with your current payroll solution, Rippling is an excellent choice. 

It’s an HR, IT, and Finance platform with add-ons for payroll, benefits administration, talent management, time and attendance, device management for IT, expense management, corporate cards, and bill pay. It’s modularity makes it an affordable choice if you don’t yet have HR and payroll already in place. 

Getting everything under the same roof means you don’t have to worry about integrations. And you can rest easy knowing your clocking system will play well with your payroll solution. 

The base employee management package comes with every plan. It includes onboarding and offboarding automations, document management with e-signatures, basic task management capabilities, custom workflows, the Rippling mobile app, and open APIs. 

It’s a great place to start organizing and automating your HR processes as you grow your business and hire your first employees.

Rippling time and attendance screenshot.

Combined with the payroll and time clock add-ons, you get everything you need to track time, ensure accurate payroll runs, and automate the entire process with ease. 

With these three tools in one, you can streamline and automate most of the behind-the-scenes processes that you’d normally have to hire someone for or spend countless hours doing yourself. 

So, despite the fact that Rippling’s a bit more expensive than the other options on our list, it’s much cheaper than hiring someone or using up your own time. 

However, the real benefit is that you can have an entirely hands-off payroll process. With most time and attendance tools, you still have to do a few manual actions to run payroll, like exporting and importing time cards. But with Rippling, it’s 100% automated. 

Your team can clock in with one tap or click using their phone, a computer, or a permanent clock-in kiosk. 

From there, all timecards are automatically synced over to payroll so you never have to wait or click anything to make it happen. You can choose to manually approve time cards or let them run automatically. 

You can also create custom rules that trigger a manual approval. For example, you could have a rule that requires manual approvals for all overtime hours before payroll runs. 

After you finish approvals, that’s it. There are no spreadsheets or files to export. In less than three clicks, you can cross payroll off your to-do list. 

Despite how easy it is to use, Rippling is also highly customizable to match your needs. You can set up custom triggers, rules, conditions, and logic based on how you work. Want to automatically increase pay by 1.5x for overnight or weekend hours? No problem. 

All you have to do is create the rules once and the software does the rest, complete with notifications for different situations to help you keep an eye on your team. 

Want to know if someone didn’t take a break, was more than 20 minutes late, or is close to hitting overtime? Rippling will shoot you an email or a text to let you know so you stay on top of your team’s hours. 

You can also verify employee punches with QR codes, geolocation restrictions, and automatic photos to ensure no one steals your time. 

The time and attendance add-on makes it easy to monitor your workforce in real time and view advanced labor costing data so you can make better scheduling decisions on the fly. 

For example, you can group costs by project, location, role, or employee to create custom reports that’ll help you identify expensive shifts, over-budget locations, understaffing, and understaffing at a glance. 

Rippling also comes with built-in labor compliance for all local, state, and federal regulations tied to each employee’s work location. 

It automatically enforces overtime pay, lunches, breaks, and time between shifts so you don’t have to worry about figuring it out on your own. 

Although you won’t need payroll integrations, there are 500 other integrations you can use to create custom workflows for different areas of your business. 

Pricing starts at $8 per month per employee and goes up as you add more add-on modules. 

However, Rippling’s modularity means you can start with the basic employee management, payroll, plus time clocking tools and add more functionality as your needs change. 

Request a custom quote to learn more and get started with Rippling today!

#6 – ClockShark — The Best for Field Service Teams that Jump from Site to Site

ClockShark Logo


Best for Field Service Teams

Managing mobile field service teams has never been easier. ClockShark includes GPS tracking, geofencing, an intuitive mobile app, a drag and drop scheduler, PTO management, and more to help you hold your mobile team accountable and ensure accurate time cards with ease.

Employees that are always moving around are hard to keep track of, especially if you don’t have the right tools. Is one of your technicians making a pit stop at the gas station to grab some coffee on the way to their next job but clocking it to their timesheet? 

Maybe your cleaning crew took the scenic route or rushed through a job so they could chill for an hour before heading back to home base. 

Or perhaps they clocked in at a stop light 10 miles from their assigned job site. On top of all the unknowns, scheduling jobs to minimize driving and wasted time can feel like a nightmare. The good news is that ClockShark gives you the insight and control you need to ensure accurate time cards, create better schedules, and hold your team accountable.

Like most time clock software, employees can clock to specific jobs, locations, and projects using their phones or a kiosk at the job site in two taps or less. 

And those not in the field can use the web-based app to clock in at their computers as well. 

However, GPS snapshots and advanced geofencing settings are what make it stand out from the competition. When someone clocks in or switches jobs, ClockShark automatically ties their GPS location to each punch to ensure everyone’s where they’re supposed to be. 

For longer-term job sites, like construction projects, you can set up a custom geofence around the site to ensure no one clocks in until they’re actually there. You can also use geofencing and custom notifications to ensure your team stays at the job site all day. 

Want to know if someone bounced out early or left for a few hours and came back? No problem. If someone’s clocked in and leaves the job site, you’ll be the first to know. 

For field employees who move around throughout the day, ClockShark takes GPS snapshots to a whole new level with real-time GPS tracking. Administrators and managers can log in at any time to see a map view of everyone’s locations, complete with breadcrumbs that detail where they’ve been all day. 

It’s great for accountability, but it’s also useful if you need to dispatch someone to an emergency call. You can pinpoint the closest technician to put out the fire as fast as possible. 

Replaying historical driving routes is also an effective way to optimize future routes to decrease drive time and fit more appointments into your schedule. 

Plus, your employees can use built-in GPS to load the fastest route to their next job in one tap. 

And they can rest easy knowing that the moment they clock out for a break, lunch, or at the end of the day, the software stops tracking their location to preserve their privacy. 

Another standout feature is the ability to attach photos, documents, and notes to timecards. While it sounds simple, it’s an excellent way to share information with employees who aren’t in the field. 

It’s also useful for sharing job-related information with other team members. For example, a technician can outline the work they did at a client’s house so the next person dispatched there has a solid understanding of what happened at the last appointment. 

The new tech can come in armed with the info they need or pick up where the last tech left off for a seamless customer experience. 

ClockShark also has a built-in scheduler you can use to schedule shifts, outline future appointments, and assign upcoming jobs. 

It’s 100% drag-and-drop, plus it’s easy to use and comes with built-in notifications for those who have upcoming assignments. And employees can pull up their schedules from their phones so always know where they’re supposed to be. 

The scheduler also makes it easy to handle updates on the fly when things change. 

If an emergency call comes in and you need to reroute someone to a new location, you can do so right in the scheduler and it’ll automatically alert them where to go. As such, you don’t have to worry about ongoing back-and-forths to let them know something changed. 

ClockShark offers eight different payroll integrations including QuickBooks, ADP, Sage, Xero, Paychex, and Gusto that make running payroll a breeze. 

Plus, you can use the Zapier integration to connect with more than 1,000 other apps so you can create custom workflows that match how your business works. 

There are three plans to choose from, including:

  • Basic – $15 per month base + $3 per user per month
  • Standard – $25 per month base + $6 per user per month
  • Pro – $45 per month base + $8 per user per month

The Basic plan includes time tracking, basic GPS tools, and essential task tracking features. However, we highly recommend at least the Standard plan for most. 

It comes with the built-in scheduler, advanced GPS and geofencing options, the ability to assign managers, and all of ClockShark’s third-party integrations. The Pro plan comes with PTO management and other advanced features if you need them. 

Sign up for a free 14-day trial to see if it’s right for you and your team today!

#7 – Virtual TimeClock — The Best for Traditional Clocking Stations with No Monthly Fees

Redcort Logo

Virtual TimeClock by Redcort

Best for Traditional Clocking

Tired of paying expensive monthly fees for dozens of features you don’t need? With Virtual TimeClock, you pay once and own the software forever. Whether you have one clocking station or dozens, affordable lifetime licenses start at just $199.

If you have a traditional in-person office environment where everyone clocks in using a traditional clocking kiosk, you don’t need the advanced features or mobility of the other options on our list. 

And you shouldn’t have to pay extra for things you don’t need. Which is where Virtual TimeClock comes in. 

Rather than paying ongoing monthly fees, you pay once and own the software forever. 

You can install it as a standalone kiosk using Virtual TimeClock’s new single-purpose kiosk mode, on your team’s computers for remote and admin clocking, or a combination of the two. However, there is no mobile app so users won’t be able to clock time on the go. 

Its interface may feel a bit dated compared to other options, but it’s one of the most straightforward time clocks on the market because of its focus on usability. 

The Pro version includes one license and an unlimited number of employees, making it an incredibly affordable option if you only need one clocking station. 

With it, admins and managers can issue company-wide announcements that your team can see when they clock in. Your team can also use it to communicate with each other and their managers when things come up. 

For example, one of your employees can request a day off in a few taps. And managers can let everyone know about an upcoming meeting or offer praise for high-performing employees. 

Admins can set up granular overtime rules at the employee level, making overtime and compliance management easier than ever. Have salaried employees that hit overtime after 45 hours, but hourly teams who hit overtime after 37.5 hours? 

With Virtual TimeClock, you can set up these rules and apply them to the applicable employees in a few seconds. 

You can also set up as many jobs, tasks, activities, and projects as you need to so your team can clock time to the right activity. Doing so means you get hyper-accurate reporting you can use to make decisions, send off invoices, and manage your budget over time. 

Another thing we love about Virtual TimeClock is that PTO accruals and management is included for free with the Pro Edition and above. 

Others charge for it or require you to be on the top tier to get it, so the ability to create fully custom carryover, usage, and accrual rules is excellent. 

It even comes with built-in scheduling. You can easily assign shifts or create custom schedules based on your needs and enforce clocking rules to ensure accurate time cards. 

Want to prevent early clock ins and late clock outs? No problem. All you have to do is enable the feature, set your rules, and the software automatically looks at scheduled shifts to ensure employees are following the rules. 

And if you have problems with “clocking congestion” with everyone clocking in at the same time, you can turn on courtesy clocking. 

It lets employees clock in before their scheduled shift with the understanding that their time isn’t recorded until the shift starts. Employees who get there early can clock in and sit in the break room until 8 am, at which time they can get right to work without having to worry about getting in line to punch the clock. 

The Network Edition is great if you need more than one clocking station or want to install the software on your team’s computers. 

While you still have to pay for each license, you get bulk discounts to make your system more affordable. The more licenses you have, the less you have to pay for each one. 

It comes with all the same features of the Pro edition and then some. 

For example, employees can clock in and out from different locations if they have to go somewhere else throughout the day. If someone has to go from the eastside location to the west at lunch, they can clock in at one location and punch out at the other. 

You can also designate specific computers for administrators and managers so they can approve time cards, run payroll, and pull reports from their preferred location. 

Regardless of the edition you choose, Virtual TimeClock integrates with nine payroll tools. 

However, all of them require you to export and import time cards into your payroll software. So, it’s not as fast or streamlined as some of the other options on our list, but it gets the job done and eliminates the need for manual data entry. 

There are three editions to choose from, including:

  • Basic – $99 for one device with up to three employees 
  • Pro – $195 for one device with unlimited employees
  • Network – $295 – $1,795 depending on the number of licenses

Pricing includes 30 days of free customer support to help you get started plus ongoing bug and maintenance updates. 

However, annual software upgrades to the newest version release aren’t included. 

You can pay an additional $75 per year for unlimited customer support and updates with the Pro Edition. Pricing starts at $125 per year (depending on the number of licenses you have) with the Network Edition. 

Sign up for a free trial to see if Virtual TimeClock is right for you today!

Methodology For Choosing The Best Time Clock Software

We started with a list of 30 options and narrowed it down to eight recommendations for time clock software using the following criteria.

Clocking Functionality that Doesn’t Disrupt Your Day

Ideally, your software offers a frictionless way for you and your team to track time in a way that doesn’t interrupt how you work. 

The best configuration for you depends on your industry and work environment. 

So, we developed a definitive list of features that should come with the ideal solution for remote workplaces, highly mobile teams, businesses in the service industry, and traditional in-person environments. 

From there, we took our complete list of 30 time clock solutions and crossed off the ones that don’t come with everything you need. 

For work-from-home environments, the key is offering a flexible way for your team to clock in and out from home using either their phones or computers. So, the time clock software you choose needs to be compatible with every device and operating system. 

However, you should also look for features that hold your team accountable. 

GPS snapshots, for example, can give you peace of mind that your employees are actually at home when they clock in or start clocking time to a different project. 

For this type of environment, we recommend Buddy Punch or Rippling. 

If you have a traditional in-person work environment, that level of mobility and flexibility isn’t as important. Everyone’s coming to the same physical location, so they can all use the same kiosk or clocking station. 

Instead, you should look for validated clocking features like finger print scanning, automatic photos when someone clocks in, or QR codes to eliminate buddy clocking. 

These features let you rest easy knowing that nobody’s abusing the system and your timecards are as accurate as possible. 

For traditional clocking stations, we recommend Virtual TimeClock. 

For restaurants, breweries, retail locations, coffee shops, and other service businesses, in-app communication, scheduling, and POS integrations can make or break your clocking software. 

We don’t recommend choosing one that doesn’t come with all three. 

Whether you want employees to use your POS system or their phones to clock in, make sure you can prevent early clock ins and buddy clocking as well. 

Employees should also be able to input their availability and PTO requests online, which you’ll be able to use as you start creating your next schedule. From there, the in-app communication tools can help your team swap shifts and cover open shifts with ease. 

The best time clock software for food and beverage businesses is 7Shifts. For everyone else, Homebase is an excellent and affordable option. 

Highly mobile teams, like field service providers and construction projects, require more advanced functionality since your team’s always on the go. 

Geofencing and GPS tracking are crucial to ensure your employees are at the right place at the right time. Without them, you have no visibility into where everyone’s at, what job they’re clocked to, and how long they’ve been there. 

Choosing the right software gives you a set of eyes in the field without having to be there. 

Some also offer basic dispatching tools to make scheduling service calls easier than ever, and the ability to attach documents or photos to time cards for added accountability. 

Don’t forget to pay close attention to the mobile app to make sure clocking on the go is straightforward and fast. This is where most interactions with the software happen, so it shouldn’t be disruptive or get in the way of starting the next job. 

Our top recommendation for mobile teams is ClockShark. 

Never Manually Enter Payroll Hours Again

Time clocking software is powerful on its own, but the real magic happens when it syncs with payroll. When it syncs well, you never have to worry about manually entering hours again. 

Not only does this save you loads of time, but it also means there’s less room for error. 

Both you and your employees can rest assured that paychecks are correct and nothing went awry while manually transferring hours from one tool to the other. 

Some time clocking tools sync automatically with specific payroll software. While it’s nice to have this automatic connection, it’s not very common. Instead, most integrations export time cards in the right format in one click so that you can easily import it into your payroll system. 

You may have to do a few manual reviews with this type of integration to make sure everything looks right before sending out paychecks. 

If everything checks out for the first few months, you can switch to spot checking your imported time cards instead. 

While you still have to make a few clicks, it’s much easier and faster than manual data entry. 

So, we highly recommend double-checking that the software you’re considering plays well with the tool you use for payroll. 

If there isn’t a direct built-in integration listed, not all hope is lost. You can look for a Zapier integration or leverage open APIs to build custom workflows that match how you work. 

Going this route is more complicated and will take more time to set up than simple one-click integrations. You may even need to hire a developer or get your IT team on board to help. But it’s more customizable and moldable to your needs, so it may be the best path forward depending on what you need. 

Drag and Drop Shift Planning Without Paying Extra

If you already have scheduling software you love or if you don’t need it at all, shift planning tools shouldn’t play a role in your final decision. However, if you need scheduling functionality, it’s important to think about how much you’re willing to pay to get it. 

Some time clocking tools only offer shift planning on higher tiers, a few offer it on every plan, and others don’t offer it at all. 

The best scheduling tools are drag-and-drop. They should also automatically pull in employee availability and requested time off to ensure you create a schedule with no conflicts. 

After schedules are finalized and released, make sure your employees can swap shifts and cover open shifts without leaving the software. 

If you’re a smaller team or on a tight budget, we highly recommend Homebase since scheduling features come at no extra cost—even on the free plan. You can start building your next schedule in a few minutes without paying anything. 

7Shifts is the best choice for businesses in the food and beverage industry. If neither of those apply to you, Buddy Punch’s time and attendance plan is the way to go.

For scheduling field service calls and appointments, you need something a bit different. Instead of shift planning, you should look for time clocking software that helps with route planning. 

When done well, the tool can even help assign emergency calls to the closest tech, complete with automatic schedule change notifications and routing directions to the new location in just a few taps. 

If that’s something you need, go with ClockShark’s standard plan. 

Tasks Done in Two Taps or Less

For your employees, clocking in and out should be the easiest thing they do all day. 

If it takes more than one or two taps, it’s too much. Whether they’re clocking on mobile, on a tablet, at a traditional workstation, or on their computers, it should be an unnoteworthy experience. 

It should also be easy for employees to input their availability, check PTO accruals, and request time off. It should be an equally uneventful experience, regardless of the device they’re using. 

Time clocking software should also be a breeze for admins and managers behind the scenes. 

Although it won’t be as easy as a few taps, you shouldn’t want to throw your computer out the window every time you have to use it. 

The best way to find out is to sign up for a free trial or a free plan. Pay close attention to how easy it is and what it looks like from an employee perspective on every device.

After a test pay period, you should be able to easily review, adjust, and approve time cards in one click. You should also be able to easily transfer hours from your clocking tool to your payroll software without any data entry on your part. 

If you plan to use advanced features like geofencing, scheduling, or GPS tracking, expect those to take a bit more time to learn. 

Ideally, you should be able to figure it out during your free trial so you’re ready to go when you add all of your employees. You typically get 14 to 30 days to try premium features for free, and we recommend taking full advantage of the entire trial before making your final decision.

Buddy Punch Logo

Buddy Punch

Best for Most

Regardless of how and where you work, Buddy Punch’s fully-featured intuitive time clock software is versatile enough to work how you do. Plus, enjoy the benefit of opting in or out of scheduling features so you never have to pay for functionality you don’t need.


No one wants to suffer through the pain of choosing the wrong software. And making that crucial decision isn’t always easy. 

The best time clock software gives you the ability to accurately track where your team’s time goes, streamline payroll processing for hourly employees, and support your team’s accessibility and hardware needs. 

To recap, our top recommendations are:

  1. Buddy Punch – Best time clock software for most
  2. Homebase – Best if you want to build schedules for free
  3. 7Shifts – Best for fast-paced restaurants, breweries, and bars
  4. Rippling – Best if you don’t already have a payroll solution
  5. ClockShark – Best for field service teams that jump from site to site
  6. Virtual TimeClock – Best for traditional clocking stations with no monthly fees

Don’t forget to use the methodology we talked about as you sort through making the best decision for you, your business, and your team. 

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