7 Best Employee Time Tracking Software in 2023
As a small business owner, employee time tracking is essential to balancing your expenses and labor. Monitoring your employees’ work hours is vital. It will not only benefit your budget but will likely improve productivity as well.
When you track time properly, you’ll be able to see how many hours your team is devoting to each task on their list and identify and correct any inconsistencies with your timesheets. An accurate report of how much your employees work on average can save you money by getting a more precise look at your team’s billable hours.
So what’s the best way to ensure you’re monitoring your team’s labor and productivity? The answer lies in time-tracking software.
With so many tracking software options out there, it can be challenging to sift through them and find the one that works best for you. This article will review some of the best time-tracking apps and software available in 2023, along with their pros, cons, and pricing. Let’s have a look.
- Employee time tracking is vital to ensuring your costs stay low and productivity stays high.
- You’ll first need to ensure your business is equipped with the right time-tracking apps for your needs.
- There are many time-tracking apps available for businesses, and it’s integral to your business to find one that works best for you.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
Top 7 Employee Time Tracking Systems
1. FreshBooks – Best Overall
The FreshBooks time tracking software is easy to use. It helps maximize business productivity by allowing employees to clock in anywhere. We have a Chrome extension called FreshBooks Chrome Timer. This integrates with your Chrome browser to start time tracking at a click of a button. Employees can also clock in via the mobile app—perfect for remote work.
Each team member has access to project time tracking for specific client projects. Because it’s linked to your FreshBooks accounting software, you can automatically see project budget and create invoices too.
All you have to do is input the rate for the time worked, and our system will calculate the billable hours. Our system lets your client receive, approve and pay invoices immediately.
Weekly and monthly views of your tracked time help to spot any inefficiencies with your workforce. Creating time-tracking reports is also simple.
Other features of the FreshBooks time tracking platform include:
- Timekeeping for teams of all sizes
- Ability to record billable hours for particular clients
- Detailed note functions for time entries
- Automatic billing for your tracked hours
- Daily, weekly, and monthly bills for tracked time
- And more
Best of all, our time tracking software is completely free as part of our comprehensive plans for small business owners. You can access our project management tools as part of our monthly plan. You can learn more about our all-in-one solution here.
Price: Included in all of our monthly subscriptions. Plans start at $6 per month.
2. Clockify – Best Free Employee Time Tracking App
Clockify is one of the most popular time-tracking apps on the market today. Its free plan is incredibly powerful. Most won’t need to upgrade to the premium plans. If you do, the software is inexpensive, making it an ideal starting point for small businesses.
The free plan includes unlimited tracked hours for unlimited users. The interface is easy to navigate and allows for quite a lot of detail. You can add notes to each project. Each team member can track time for individual tasks within a project.
The key feature of Clockify is its long list of integrations. As one of the original time-tracking tools on the internet, Clockify has partnerships with almost every web app. You can connect it to Asana, Todoist, Wrike, Google Calendar, Gmail, Hubspot, and more. It also connects to a wide range of integration apps that allow you to personalize how you use the app.
Clockify is mostly a time-tracking desktop app with integrated project management tools. It’s a powerful option for any business owner with any business size.
Price: Pricing plans start from $3.99 per user/month
3. Toggl Track – Best for Notifications
Toggl is another favorite regarding time tracking. This is the ultimate lazy person’s time tracker. It’s incredibly intuitive and simple to use. The clever app integrates with your browser and triggers you to start the timer for certain websites. You can set these websites ahead of time so that your employees are reminded to track time.
It’s built to be as low a barrier to entry as possible. The automation and calendar integration makes Toggl so easy to use.
The one con is that it has no client invoicing capabilities. However, with over 100 app integrations, you can connect it to your accounting software. Toggl is also one of the more expensive subscriptions on the list.
Price: Free for up to 5 users. Premium plans start from $9 per user/month
4. Jibble – Best Mobile Time Tracking App
Jibble is a modern employee time clock app that may surprise you. Beyond its fun name, Jibble gamifies time tracking.
The advanced mobile app has face recognition capabilities. Your employees “jibble in” from their mobile phones, and the AI will confirm their identity. It’s a fast way to clock in from anywhere.
Jibble is ideal for small business employees in construction, manufacturing, retail, and more.
It’s also perfect for those on a budget, as it is free forever! Unlimited users with no premium option.
5. TimeCamp – Best for Personalization
TimeCamp could rival Clockify as the reigning cloud-based software solution. It’s very popular among small business owners because of the customization.
You can set customized billing rates and generate detailed reports at the click of a button. The tracker runs in the background, so it doesn’t interfere while you are working. TimeCamp is an automatic time tracker, too, which makes it easy to use.
This is a very simple time-tracking app that has invoicing abilities. You can adapt the system to suit your business needs with multiple integrations.
Price: Free for unlimited users. Premium plans start at $5.25.
6. Timely – Best for Automated Time Tracking
Timely is a brilliant software. With automatic time tracking of employee hours, it records what you work on and groups it together. That way, it’s simple to allocate your work to specific projects. You can even train the system to assign project tags to your work time log automatically.
This is so helpful for hands-off time reporting. If any of your staff are forgetful, Timely has them covered.
Beyond that, the Timely dashboard is quite unique. It gives a snapshot of project progress using visual calendar representations of time entries.
The main drawback is that you can’t set up repeat time-tracking events.
Price: From 10$ per user per month
7. Rescue Time – Best for Employee Productivity
Rescue Time was originally created as a productivity-tracking app. The concept behind it is to track the time spent on all kinds of platforms. This includes social media and email, which may be distracting during work hours.
Therefore Rescue Time is perfect if you intend to track time to improve employee productivity. Employees can set their own goals. For employee hours, for example, the goal is to do x hours of focused work.
The app allows you to block certain distracting websites during work hours. You’ll get personalized reporting on what employees do online.
Because this app is based on productivity levels, it’s not great for client time tracking. You can’t create client invoices from the time reports.
Employees also don’t enjoy this tracking tool’s “spying” employee monitoring aspect. Assuming that employees can be 100% on work activities during the workday is unrealistic. Checking social media a few times a day is not necessarily idle time.
Features of Employee Time Tracking Software
In general, there are a few key features for tracking employee time productivity that you should look for. Here are a few functions to keep an eye out for when choosing a time-tracking app:
Firstly, it’s vital that your chosen time-tracking program actually tracks time. It should be easy to use for your employees and should be easy for project managers to interpret after the fact.
Look for time-tracking that also factors into your employee schedule. It can be very helpful when analyzing your employee time tracking data to see how their hours relate to their days on and off.
Absence and Leave Management
Your time-tracking tool should also have a function for managing absences and leave. This will ensure all reports and analytics reflect days off when displaying information on tracked time and productivity.
Your chosen employee time-tracking app should include a feature to approve timesheets. Whether you’re a small business manager or an HR rep for a larger company, timesheet approval leads to greater assurance and oversight.
The best time-tracking software seamlessly integrates into your existing payroll system. This will save your team time when it comes to calculating and dispersing payroll.
Reporting and Analytics
Lastly, it’s essential that your employee time tracking app of choice offers the choice to generate reports and analytics. These can provide useful insight into how your team spends their time at work.
How to Choose an Employee Time Tracking App
Now that you know what to look for when searching for a time-tracking solution, how do you choose from the many options available? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Business Needs and Objectives
What exactly do you need time-tracking for? Is it for productivity? For internal insights on which tasks take more labor? Is it in order to bill clients for the time spent by your staff? Answering these questions will help narrow down your search.
It’s a good idea to search for time-tracking software with a clean, easy-to-use interface. You should never be more than just a few clicks away from all the tools and resources you might need.
Integration with Other Systems
Look for time-tracking tools that integrate nicely with your existing procedures, such as payroll software, scheduling, and absences. The more you can seamlessly work your time-tracking into your current system, the smoother the transition will be.
Customization and Scalability
Try to look to the future and consider what changes you might need in your time-tracking software. Will your team be growing? Shrinking? Depending on the project, can you switch from general time tracking to tracking billable hours? These will all influence your time-tracking needs—answer these questions to help you decide on employee time trackers.
Data Security and Privacy
It’s important to protect your company’s data; employee time tracking is no exception. Ensure whichever option you go with offers high levels of security, privacy, and protection, such as SSL encryption and firewalls.
Lastly, ensure the option you choose fits your company budget. These tools are meant to save you money, so don’t break the bank on an option that costs too much for your needs—especially with so many free or low-cost time-tracking apps on the market.
Benefits of Employee Time Tracking Software
Employee time-tracking apps offer countless benefits to business owners and staff alike. These benefits include:
Accurate Time Tracking
These tools are great for getting more detailed, accurate insights into how your employees are spending time throughout the day. This can be great for optimizing processes and setting priorities for the future.
Time trackers tend to result in better productivity since your employees will be aware of exactly how much time is elapsing per task. This tends to lead to more productive work and less wasted time.
Better Resource Allocation
Employee time tracking app allows you to see where your employees’ time is going, allowing you to allocate better resources and money to the departments and projects that need it most.
Improved Project Management
Using time-tracking software gives you a better sense of how much time each task in a project is taking. This can be very helpful for creating accurate estimates and proposals in the future.
Reduced Administrative Burden
Lastly, time-tracking software can help you reduce the workload of menial administrative tasks around timesheets and payroll. It leaves the job of tracking start and end times to your staff, meaning you only have to deal with finalized timesheets rather than raw data. This will save you time and money in the long run.
Time-tracking solutions come in many different forms. The good news is that many of these software solutions are free or have a free trial. We recommend you try a few out to see what works best for your workforce.
If you’re looking for an efficient, capable, and secure time-tracking app that will help make the entire process more straightforward on your end, try FreshBooks. Our cloud-based employee time tracker is easy-to-use, has useful reporting functionality, and will integrate seamlessly into your existing systems.
Click here to learn more about FreshBooks.
FAQs on Employee Time Tracking Software
More questions about choosing the right employee hours tracking software for you? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
What does time-tracking software do?
Time tracking software allows your employees to quickly and easily track how much time they’re dedicating to certain projects, clients, or their job in general. It allows for the generation of timesheets and other reports, simplifying payroll.
Which is the best timesheet software?
Though there are countless options out there for timesheet software, we’d like to suggest you give FreshBooks a try. Our cloud-based solution is practical and easy to use, and it integrates smoothly into any digital system you may already be using. Click here to learn more and try FreshBooks for free.
How do employers keep track of employee hours?
Some employers still use more traditional methods of time tracking, such as clock-in/clock-out systems or even pen-and-paper recording (or a digital equivalent). However, more and more employers are turning to employee tracking software and other tools to make the process simpler and more efficient.
What are the 2 ways to track the work hours of an employee?
The two main methods of employee time tracking are manual timesheets/time tracking (employees record their times in and out, and the total number of hours and billing is calculated separately) and automatic employee time tracking (where employees start and end a clock, and total hours and costs are calculated automatically).
Is time tracking good for employees?
Time tracking tends to be a great way to keep track of labor costs and improve productivity. Most employees like to get insight into where their time goes, just as their employer does. With that said, many employees dislike productivity trackers (software that prevents or monitors ‘downtime’), which can be invasive and imply an employer’s mistrust of their staff.
About the author
Kristen Slavin is a CPA specializing in accounting, bookkeeping, and tax services for small businesses. In addition to her 16 years experience in the accounting field, she also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. In her spare time, Kristen enjoys camping, hiking, and road tripping with her husband and two children. In 2022 Kristen celebrated opening her own firm; K10 Accounting. Learn more about her services: www.k10accounting.com