Time tracking apps help keep employees on track to ensure productivity, streamline project schedules, and bill clients exactly for work done. The best employee time tracking app lets you track productive hours with ease while also letting you monitor breaks, PTO requests, invoices, and more through mobile devices.
In this guide, we considered robust time tracking, billable hours, and job costing features on the mobile apps. Cost, ease of use, and reporting are also essential.
To bring you the best employee time tracking apps, we evaluated some two dozen solutions and narrowed it down to our top eight recommendations.
- Homebase: Best overall for small businesses
- Clockify: Best for businesses that employ freelance workers
- When I Work: Best for businesses with hourly employees across multiple locations
- QuickBooks Time: Best for QuickBooks users needing to track billable hours and monitor the work hours of their hourly workforce
- ClockShark: Best for construction businesses that need to capture actual work hours of field employees
- Deputy: Best for businesses with rotating staff
- Fingercheck: Best for startups and small businesses needing time tracking, HR, and payroll solutions in one
- LawBillity (formerly eBillity’s Time Tracker + Legal solution): Best for legal firms and agencies that require time tracking and billing features
Best Employee Time Tracking Apps Compared
Paid Plans Monthly Pricing
Send or Approve PTO Requests on App
Generate Invoice on App
View Standard Reports on App
App Offline Option When Wi-Fi is Down
$19.95–$99.95 per location*
$4.99–$14.99 per user*
$4–$8 per user
$20–$40 base fee + $8–$10 per user
$20–$50 base fee + $3–$8 per user
$2.50–$4.50 per user
$20–$39 base fee + $5–$8 per user*
$30 per user*
*Get discounts when you opt for annual billing.
Looking for something else? You may also want to check our guide on the best time and attendance software for small businesses. It prioritizes the overall software’s functionality vs how it works on mobile.
Homebase: Best Overall for Small Businesses
Homebase is great for small businesses, especially restaurants and retails shops, with one physical location because its free plan offers more features than many other providers do, even in their paid plans. Aside from tracking the actual work hours of your hourly workforce, Homebase lets you create staff schedules, post jobs, track applicants, and onboard new hires. It also comes with compliance tools, to ensure that standard breaks and overtime rules are followed, and budgeting and labor cost controls, to help you stay within your targets.
Based on our evaluation, Homebase earned an overall rating of 4.38 out of 5. It didn’t get a higher score because it lacks invoicing capabilities and reports accessing from the mobile app. However, it performed well in other criteria, such as pricing, mobile app time tracking features, ease of use, and popularity.
Homebase Standout Features
- Mobile app: Your staff can clock in and out using their own PIN codes, plus its GPS functionalities let you know exactly where employees are clocking in/out from. However, it doesn’t track time spent on tasks like ClockShark, QuickBooks Time, and Clockify do.
- Per-location pricing: The other time tracking software in this guide charge monthly fees on a per-employee basis, whereas only Homebase bills you based on the number of business locations you have. This is optimal for employers with plans to grow their workforce in one location since they don’t have to worry about buying extra user seats.
- Feature-rich free tier: Compared to the other time tracking software we reviewed, Homebase has a robust offering of free-to-use hiring, scheduling, and time tracking tools. You even get a built-in team messenger and a self-service portal where employees can manage their own information. While Clockify and Deputy (for US-based customers) do have free plans as well, neither has the applicant tracking and job posting solutions that Homebase offers. If recruiting tools are crucial for your business, you may look at Fingercheck’s paid plans, which also come with recruiting tools.
- Intuitive interface: Homebase has an easy-to-use platform with intuitive controls that enables users to create schedules, view actual work hours, approve time sheets, and more with just a few clicks.
- Efficient time and scheduling tools: Online time sheets, administrator alerts for late clock-ins and overtime, and a drag-and-drop schedule builder are just some of the tools you get with Homebase. You can allocate hours per job, and it can help you calculate employee hours and wages for payroll (including tip payments—which is great for restaurants). You even get reports that allow you to compare planned versus actual work hours and labor costs.
Check out our Homebase review to see whether it fits the needs of your business.
Clockify: Best for Businesses With Freelance Workers
Clockify is an excellent tool for employers and freelancers who need to monitor time on projects, as it captures all non-billable and billable hours worked. You can also send invoices to bill clients for the hours that you and your team worked on projects. What’s great about the software is that it lets you track hours for unlimited projects for an unlimited number of users for free.
Clockify’s app is different from Homebase and Deputy’s time clock tools, which require employees to clock in/out. Instead, your staff will simply need to type in the project name or task that they’ll work on and then click the start/stop button to record actual hours.
Clockify earned an overall score of 4.16 out of 5 in our evaluation. It got perfect marks for pricing, popularity, and reporting, and high marks for mobile app time tracking features. However, it took a hit on ease of use since its scheduling tool isn’t available on the app.
Clockify Standout Features
- Mobile app: Clockify’s mobile app, available for Android and iOS devices, lets you track time, see basic reports, request time-off, record expenses, and track locations. It’s also worth noting that the developer is very responsive to feedback they receive from users, with most responses provided within a day.
- Flexible time tracking: An important part of employee management is time tracking. Aside from mobile devices, you can also use computers and web browsers (Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge) to track employee time. However, you can’t track work hours via the Apple Watch as Deputy does. You also can’t set up a tablet as a centralized time tracking kiosk—a functionality that Homebase, When I Work, Deputy, and QuickBooks Time offer.
- Project and task monitoring: Clockify helps you track time by projects and tasks. You can even break down projects into several activities and categorize tasks by job type.
- GPS tracking: With Clockify’s GPS tracking tool, you can view and check all the client sites that your staff visited during a workday. This is an essential feature to have, especially if you employ field employees. However, you have to buy Clockify’s Pro package if you need geolocation tracking, unlike QuickBooks Time’s mobile app, which shows GPS points on the map for employees’ locations throughout the day regardless of which plan you choose.
- Invoicing: You can create invoices (via the app and using the browser) based on tracked time and send these as PDF documents to bill clients—provided you purchase Clockify’s Standard package. If you’re a QuickBooks user and need an online timer with free invoicing, then QuickBooks Time is a better alternative, as it connects seamlessly with QuickBooks Online, enabling you to generate invoices and manage payments.
Learn more about its features in our full Clockify review.
When I Work: Best for Businesses With Hourly Employees Across Multiple Locations
When I Work has an employee time tracking app that is best for startups needing to keep tabs on hourly employees’ clock-ins/outs at an affordable price. You can build a shift schedule in advance and alert employees when it’s time to clock in. The app is mobile-friendly and easy to set up. Its per-employee pricing is also beneficial for businesses with a few employees spread over multiple locations.
Scoring 4.14 out of 5, it obtained a perfect score for mobile app time tracking features. When I Work also got good marks (3.5 and higher) for pricing, ease of use, popularity, and mobile app billable hours and job costing tools. However, When I Work scored only 2.5 out of 5 for reporting since it doesn’t have plenty of canned reports options, although customization is possible.
When I Work Standout Features
- Mobile app: For employee time tracking, When I Work provides a time clock app as well as an employee scheduling and messaging app available 24/7. You can account for employee breaks, set clock-in rules, and use it to avoid buddy punching. As When I Work serves the needs of small businesses with an hourly workforce, it also includes a messaging feature to stay in touch with employees.
- Time and attendance: The When I Work app lets you track when and where your employees are working. Your team members can clock in from a tablet, such as an iPad mounted to the back entrance of your office or store, or staff can use the free mobile time clock app to clock in and out from their own smartphone. It also has a geofence option to prevent employees from clocking in before they’re on-site. Should you need other options, check our best time tracking software guide.
- Alerts and notifications: When I Work provides notifications to your employees. They’ll receive alerts when it’s time to clock in as well as reminders if they forget to clock out. It also offers a chat feature that lets employees contact managers or other team members, improving overall team communication and coordination.
- Reports and integrations: When I Work lets you export your data to small business payroll software like Gusto. It also includes a time sheet summary and clock in and out time. And, if you use When I Work’s free scheduling software, you’ll be able to see the difference between employee work schedules and the actual hours they worked. Paid account holders can use API tools to sync time worked data with other business software, like their point-of-sale (POS) system.
- Scheduling and leave management: While When I Work is a great time tracking app, it also excels in managing employee schedules, similar to most providers in this list. You can schedule your employees for shift work, which makes tracking time easy (as it automates reminders to employees based on criteria you set). Your team members can also request time-off through the employee time tracking app. Once you approve it, that time is marked off on the employee’s time sheet.
Learn more about its features and pricing details in our full When I Work review.
QuickBooks Time: Best for QuickBooks Users Tracking Billable Hours & Monitoring the Work Hours of Hourly Workforce
QuickBooks Time (formerly TSheets) is a useful tool for monitoring the costs of the attendance of your hourly workforce. Its mobile apps (for iOS and Android devices) can track hours spent on jobs and even offers PTO management, employee scheduling tools, and budget estimates versus actual reporting. What’s more, QuickBooks users can easily integrate data from QuickBooks Time and make payroll processing more efficient.
Scoring 4 out of 5, it earned perfect scores for popularity and mobile app billable hours and job costing tools. It also got high marks in mobile app time tracking, but it took a hit on pricing due to its lack of a free option and more expensive paid plans—monthly fees start at $20 plus $8 per employee. However, many users still commended QuickBooks Time for providing them with an easy way to manage time tracking and capture billable hours.
QuickBooks Time Standout Features
- Mobile app: QuickBooks Time lets you track employee hours, manage and view schedules, and request or manage PTO, leaves, or holidays. You can also view standard reports on your mobile device.
- Project tracking: QuickBooks Time lets you track labor estimates versus actual hours. It’s easy to check the status of the projects even while on the go.
- Geofencing and geolocation tracking: In addition to tracking where field employees are working, QuickBooks Time’s mobile app reminds your staff to clock in and out as they enter and exit a job site. And, like ClockShark, it displays GPS points on a map, showing a “breadcrumb trail” of the job/client locations that employees visited throughout the workday.
- Manage schedules: Like Deputy, QuickBooks Time has a scheduling tool that also works on the mobile app. You can create, edit, and publish shifts while setting notifications to ensure that employees are alerted when you make changes or publish new schedules.
To learn more about its capabilities and see if it fits your needs, read our full QuickBooks Time review.
ClockShark: Best for Construction Businesses That Need to Capture Actual Work Hours of Field Employees
While you can get time tracking, job costing, and scheduling tools with other providers in this list, ClockShark is specifically designed for construction and field companies. ClockShark’s crew punch feature, where a supervisor can clock in for his staff using ClockShark’s mobile app, helps minimize time theft, a common occurrence in fieldwork. Serving mostly construction companies, it received excellent feedback for ease of use and responsive customer service.
ClockShark scored 4 out of 5 and got its highest marks for popularity and mobile app billable hours and job costing tools. However, it doesn’t have a free option like Homebase offers, and while its monthly fees are reasonably priced (starts at $15 plus $3 per user monthly), it is still more expensive than Deputy. These factors, including the inability to create custom reports and user reviews of occasional mobile app glitches and GPS tracking issues, prevented ClockShark from ranking higher on our list of best time tracking software.
ClockShark Standout Features
- Mobile app: With the mobile app, employees can clock in and out wherever they are, even without an internet connection. Managers will also receive notifications for early clock-ins and outs, missing shifts, overtime, and for clocking in or out of the geofence. Administrators can also view the entire team on a map, schedule shifts, and navigate to the job site using the address on the app.
- Job and customer management: While Clockify has similar job and client management functionalities, its tools aren’t as robust as ClockShark’s. In addition to organizing job/client information, you can easily view which customers are associated with each project or job in ClockShark. You can also add files to client profiles, such as pictures of completed tasks and receipts. It even has a communication tool where you can share job details, provide updates, and discuss client issues with your team. ClockShark then saves all in-app conversations for easy reference.
- Built-in invoicing with online payments: ClockShark automatically adds tracked hours from online timesheets into invoices—provided you set the applicable tasks as billable. And unlike Clockify, which only allows you to create and send invoices, ClockShark lets you receive payments from customers. It partnered with JPMorgan Chase Bank to offer a secure platform where clients can simply click the payment button on ClockShark’s electronic invoices to transfer payments to your business account.
- Time sheet attachments: Construction workers and field staff who need to send information from the field to your main office can attach work files, notes, and job-related photos to ClockShark’s online time sheets.
- GPS and geofencing tracking: Although ClockShark’s Basic tier has GPS functionality, it isn’t as detailed as the geolocation tools included in its Standard to Expert tiers—which shows location breadcrumb trails on a map, similar to QuickBooks Time’s function but cheaper. Meanwhile, its geofencing capabilities help to remind employees to clock in/out as they enter/leave the job site.
Read our full ClockShark review.
Deputy: Best for Businesses With Rotating Staff
Deputy is the right tool for businesses with inconsistent time tracking needs. It has a Flexi Weekly plan option ($2 monthly per employee) that allows you to keep inactive employees in the system at a low cost, so when you schedule them again, you don’t have to reenter their data—plus, they can stay in the loop while they’re off. And it offers a standalone scheduling solution and paid tiers that include both time tracking and scheduling tools.
Deputy earned an overall score of 3.95 out of 5 in our evaluation, with high marks in ease of use, mobile app time tracking features, pricing, and popularity. However, its score was pulled down by the lack of built-in invoicing tools and the inability to view reports from the mobile app.
Deputy Standout Features
- Mobile app: Deputy’s time tracking apps can help you monitor employee attendance and manage your workforce from any Android and iOS device. Your staff can even clock in/out from the Apple Watch—a functionality that none of the other software in this guide offers.
- Affordability: Deputy has a free plan for customers in the US. Also, Deputy’s paid products are budget-friendly, with monthly fees that start at $2.50 per employee—making it the most affordable paid time tracking solution on this list.
- Touchless clock-ins: Deputy is the only provider on our list of best time tracking software that supports voice commands. Its Deputy Kiosk app for tablets uses voice commands and facial recognition scans to capture employee clock-ins/outs.
- Task assignments: With Deputy, you can add single and recurring tasks to staff schedules. Although it doesn’t record the actual hours that your employees spend on each task, it sends you notifications whenever an assignment has been completed. However, if you require a time tracker with start/stop controls for capturing hours spent on tasks, we recommend QuickBooks Time, Harvest, Clockify, or ClockShark.
Check out our Deputy review to know if it fits your business.
Fingercheck: Best for Startups & Small Businesses Needing Time Tracking, HR & Payroll Solution in One
Fingercheck helps startups and small businesses manage tasks such as hiring, onboarding, time tracking, benefits, payroll, benefits, and insurance. While Homebase also has similar features, Fingercheck has an edge with its benefits management tool. Its mobile app lets employees clock in/out with photo and GPS tagging, view schedules and time sheets, track PTO balances, and request time off. Employers can also view and approve time sheets, enter punches for employees, approve time off requests, preview and process payroll, run reports, and more.
While its plans are more expensive than other options in this guide, we recommend it for small businesses and startups because its overall value is worth the price, especially if used as an all-in-one HR solution.
Fingercheck’s overall score of 3.84 out of 5 is due to its perfect score for reporting and high mark for mobile app time tracking features due to its robust tools. It also got at least 3 out of 5 for popularity, billable hours and job costing features on the mobile app, and ease of use. However, its lack of a free option and more expensive plans—the time clock software starts at $20 per month plus $5 per user, per month—brought its score down.
Fingercheck Standout Features
- Mobile app time tracking: Time tracking with its mobile app comes with GPS features. Employees can also view schedules and request time-off, and managers can see who has clocked in/out, see what team members are doing, and approve absences requests. On top of that, workers can view their pay stubs and digital insurance cards, while managers can run payroll on the go.
- Unlimited and affordable payroll: Fingercheck allows managers to run payroll from their phones, after which employees are notified and can view their pay stubs from the app. Managers can also approve time sheets, add or edit direct deposits, and even edit tax forms.
- Employee access and engagement: With Fingercheck, employees can control and monitor their payroll information when they log in to their account. They don’t have to wait for the manager and there’s no need for disputes since everything is transparent. Thus, compensation becomes simple and quick.
- Employee benefits: Like the other providers in this list, Fingercheck helps you manage insurance policies, including disability, workers’ compensation, paid family leaves, and general liability. Your employees can also choose from different employee benefits including medical, vision, and dental.
- Hiring: Fingercheck helps you streamline your hiring process by letting you create job postings, assign hiring roles, embed application forms, create email notifications, rate applicants, run background checks, and onboard new employees—all from one dashboard.
LawBillity: Best for Legal Firms & Agencies Needing Time Tracking & Billing Features
LawBillity is eBillity’s rebranded offering of their Time Tracker + Legal solution, with an additional integration of legal billing and payments software. It is helpful for legal firms or those with remote employees that require time tracking and billing features. With the mobile app, you can track time, add, or edit time entries, enter hourly rates or use a flat fee, attach photo receipts to expense entries, create invoices, and process payments. You can turn your tracked time into LEDES (Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard) and LSS (Legal Services Society) invoice formats.
Scoring 3.46 out of 5, it got a perfect mark for its billable hours and job costing features on the app. It also did well for mobile app time tracking features, pricing, and ease of use. What prevented it from scoring higher is its reporting capabilities, as it doesn’t allow you to customize reports, and you’re forced to use the canned reports. LawBillity also didn’t score well for popularity since it lacked user reviews.
- Mobile app: LawBillity’s mobile app includes time tracking, expense, payment, and invoice tools. It even has an offline option, which means you can still track time without an internet connection. You can also use multiple timers—an option that only LawBillity offers—which is helpful when dealing with another client while you’re in the middle of something else. This means one timer is paused while the other one is running. When the second timer is stopped, you can resume the other one.
- Legal billing and invoicing: LawBillity enables its users to convert billable hours and expenses into invoices that are exportable in Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) and Legal Solutions Suite (LSS) file formats.
- Legal expense tracking: Easily track expenses by taking photos of receipts and adding it to a client.
- Set up rules for late payments: LawBillity lets you set up late fees to invoices for customers who don’t pay on or before the due date.
- Reporting: Know how your firm is doing by using insight reports, which can be sent to your email on a set schedule or accessed on-demand via the app.
- Branded client portal: Your clients can log in to your client portal to check outstanding invoices and pay online.
Read our TimeTracker by eBillity review.
How We Evaluated Employee Time Tracking Apps
The best employee time tracking apps monitor employee work time by providing an automated means for employees to clock in and out. They automatically calculate hours worked and let you export that data to your payroll software. Most also offer features like employee scheduling, time-off requests, and team member messaging.
Based on what a small business needs, we evaluated employee time tracking apps for:
35% of Overall Score
We looked for time tracking apps with robust time tracking features in the app. These include having solid features for both employees and employers, clocking in and out with the app, implementing and managing shift swapping, and PTO and break tracking. Plus points were added for apps that had GPS functionality and high mobile app user ratings. Homebase and QuickBooks Time got the highest marks for this criterion.
25% of Overall Score
We also looked at the app’s ability to enter job codes, generate invoices to bill customers, and see budget to actual hours. LawBillity and ClockShark scored perfectly for this criterion while Deputy did not get any points.
15% of Overall Score
We Looked at apps affordable for a small business to implement and use. We gave additional points to those with a free plan, transparent pricing, and quality plans with at least $10 per employee, per month. Clockify and Deputy shone the brightest in this criterion while QuickBooks Time scored the lowest due to its more expensive plans.
15% of Overall Score
We choose tools that both managers and employees find intuitive—those with available training and allow integration with payroll, accounting, POS, and scheduling software. We also gave plus points to providers with in-house scheduling features that are accessible in the app, live phone support, and responsive mobile app tech support. In this criterion, Deputy bested the others, while Clockify scored the lowest (3.38 out of 5).
5% of Overall Score
We gave additional points for providers that allowed access to standard reports on the mobile app and those that let you customize reports. Only Clockify and Fingercheck scored perfectly in this criterion.
5% of Overall Score
We also looked at providers with a high number of user reviews and good user ratings on popular review websites. Clockify, QuickBooks Time, ClockShark, and Deputy arrived strongest for this criterion, while LawBillity suffered the most due to the lack of user reviews.
After evaluating multiple employee time tracking apps, we found that Homebase is the best fit for most small businesses. It offers flexible and multiple pricing plans at unbeatable low prices. Its mobile app has everything that employers would need, including easy time tracking, shift swapping management, sending alerts and notifications, PTO and break tracking, and GPS functionality.
Employee time tracking apps can save you an enormous amount of administrative work while accurately monitoring employee time worked for overtime compliance and payroll purposes. With data stored in the cloud and exportable to your HR or payroll software, you’ll reduce the risk of making common errors that users tend to make with manual time card systems.
Out of the top eight providers we received, we recommend Homebase for employee time tracking. In addition to monitoring employee clock-ins/outs, it manages employee leave requests and approvals. Further, it provides employee scheduling, helps you find new employees through its job posting feature, and allows you to communicate directly with your staff.
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