These 4 time-clock solutions can help boost your business’s productivity and profitability.
If you have hourly employees, you need a system to record their in-times and out-times. You also need to ensure that the system is infallible—employees should not be able to bypass it or mark proxy attendance.
A time clock solution can help you efficiently track and manage employee time on the clock. The software lets employees punch in and punch out using mobile apps and biometric devices. Some products also let you track the GPS location of business smartphones to record time employees spend in the office or a designated remote location.
Despite these advantages, you might still have a hard time convincing your boss to purchase a time clock solution. You need to present a strong ROI case, which isn’t easy if you haven’t had hands-on experience with the software.
To solve this problem, we recommend that you try out a free time clock solution first.
By testing a free solution, you’ll be able to assess the usefulness of time clock software for your business without spending any money. This will make it easier to persuade stakeholders of the value of investing in a paid time clock solution later on.
To help you select the right free tool for your business, we’ve analyzed about 60 free time clock solutions in Capterra’s software directory to provide you with the best four choices.
What does “best” mean? Each of the four tools included in this article has a minimum user rating of 4.0 on Capterra’s software directory in the past year. You can find our full methodology here. Products are listed in alphabetical order.
4 best employee time clock software
ClockInEasy is a cloud-based time-tracking and timesheet solution for small and midsize businesses.
Its free version lets you add one user and includes timesheet, labor compliance, GPS tracking, and payroll management functionalities.
|Reviewers find the product’s reporting dashboards useful as they are able to see the total hours worked by each employee. They also mention that the facial recognition features help them reduce instances of buddy punching.||Some reviewers note that the tablet app is not as easy to use as the mobile app.|
Cost to upgrade: $5 per user, per month for up to 100 users for the Professional plan.
Highly rated by: About 90% of ClockInEasy reviews from 2018 to 2019 come from small businesses (fewer than 200 employees). Top industries are construction and pharmaceuticals.
Facial recognition-based clock-in and clock-out in ClockInEasy (Source)
Homebase is a cloud-based employee scheduling and time-tracking solution for small and midsize businesses.
Its free version lets you track all the employees working at a location (for instance, in the same office building or retail store) by using the GPS functionality. The features in this version include employee scheduling, time clock, recruiting, and reporting.
|Capterra reviewers say that they are able to easily define and administer employee schedules using the product. They also find the photo capture functionality effective in validating an employee’s attendance.||Some users report technical glitches that lead to clock-ins not registering accurately.|
Cost to upgrade: $19.95 for the Essential plan
Highly rated by: About 90% of Homebase’s reviewers on Capterra from 2018 to 2019 come from small businesses. Top industries are retail, restaurants, and mental health.
Time clock interface in Homebase (Source)
OnTheClock is a cloud-based employee time clock solution for small and midsize businesses.
Its free version lets you add up to two employees and offers GPS tracking, geofencing, fingerprint scanning, payroll reporting, leave management, and project costing functionalities.
|Capterra reviewers find the geofencing feature (which records time each employee spends at a specific location) helpful as it reduces the instances of buddy punching and employee absenteeism. Users also say that the mobile app helps them easily track employee time.||Some users find OnTheClock’s reporting functionality limited and feel that it could include more customization options. For instance, users would like to see the current reports customizable by date range.|
Cost to upgrade: $2.20 per user, per month for more than two employees.
Highly rated by: 95% of OnTheClock reviews on Capterra between 2018 and 2019 came from small businesses (less than 200 employees). Top industries are insurance and health care.
Time clock entry in OnTheClock (Source)
Time Clock Wizard is a cloud-based time clock and employee scheduling software for businesses of all sizes. The software lets managers add team members, track hours worked and leave time, and calculate their salaries accordingly.
Its free version supports up to three users and offers the employee time-tracking functionality. This plan also includes an email support option.
|Capterra reviewers find Time Clock Wizard’s payroll charts useful in accurately calculating payroll. They also find the GPS tracking functionality useful for validating employee attendance.||Some users report challenges while adding new users to the time clock application—the current steps are complex and the process could be made simpler.|
Cost to upgrade: $14.95 per month for the Value plan
Highly rated by: 97% of Time Clock Wizard reviewers on Capterra from 2018 to 2019 are from small businesses (less than 200 employees). Top industries are medical practices and IT services.
Employee scheduling in Time Clock Wizard (Source)
Get a quick snapshot of these top products with our free eBook
The final decision: Which free time clock software should you go for?
After you’ve gone through the list of the products, the next step is to select the one that best fits your business needs. Follow these steps to find the best product for your business:
- Compare the user limits in any free plans you are evaluating: Ensure that the product you select supports the required number of employees that you’ll need to track time for.
- Estimate the total cost of an upgrade: Make sure that the total upgrade cost will fall under your budget when the time comes.
- Read product reviews: After you’ve shortlisted products using the above two criteria, go through user reviews on Capterra to understand the usefulness of the product for your business.
If you’re currently using a free time clock solution or have any other product in mind, please let us know in the comments section below.
For more information on time clock software, you can read the following resources:
Products considered for this article fulfill the following criteria:
Must be free
For the purposes of this article, we classified a product as free if:
- It offers a free, standalone version of the software.
- It is not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product version after a limited amount of time.
The products that met the above criteria were then evaluated against our employee time clock definition: Time clock software automates the process of tracking employee in-time and out-time. This information helps you administer and manage HR policy related to the number of hours an employee needs to spend at their workplace.
This check verified the basic employee time clock capabilities and appropriateness for the category. A product was classified as time clock software if it contained the core functionality—online time clock and at least half of the common features—geofencing, hourly employee tracking, time and attendance management, employee scheduling, vacation/leave tracking, salaried employee tracking, reporting/analytics, payroll management, and mobile access.
Software that met the market definition also needed a minimum of 10 reviews published on the employee time clock software category page between July 12, 2018, and July 11, 2019. During the same period, the product’s rating also should be higher than 4 out of 5.
Listed pros and cons are derived from features listed on the product website and product user reviews on Gartner Digital Markets domains (Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice). They do not represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Capterra or its affiliates.
Looking for Time Clock software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Time Clock software solutions.