The best time tracking software for you depends on whether you’re looking to ensure accurate payroll for hourly staff, assign labor costs to jobs, or use employee hours to track projects and bill customers—or all of the above.
In this guide, we considered time tracking solutions for all those use cases. Providers offering a free plan, a mobile app, and multiple clock-in options, among other features, were rated favorably.
To find the best time tracking software for small businesses, we evaluated 20 solutions and narrowed it down to our top seven recommendations.
- Clockify: Best overall time tracking software for employers and freelancers
- Deputy: Best for seasonal businesses that keep employees on standby
- Homebase: Best for free work hour tracking in one physical location
- TimeCamp: Best for employers, contractors, or freelancers looking for a lightweight project management tool
- ClockShark: Best for construction businesses that need to capture actual work hours of field employees
- QuickBooks Time (formerly TSheets): Best for QuickBooks users who need to track billable hours and monitor the work hours of their hourly workforce
- Harvest: Best for small business owners and freelancers looking for free time tracking, invoicing, and expensing tools
If you’re looking for budget-friendly solutions, our guide on the best free time tracking software has several great options.
Best Time Tracking Software Quick Comparison
Minimum Paid Plan Monthly Pricing
$4.99 per user
✔ (does not include time-tracking)
$2.50 per user
PIN code, facial recognition, voice command
✔ (for one location)
$24.95 per location
$7 per user
$15 + $3/user
web punch, PIN code
$20 + $8/employee
PIN code, facial recognition
$12 per user
✔ (extra fees)
Check our best time and attendance software guide to see other providers and what businesses they best serve.
Clockify: Best Overall Time Tracking Software for Employers and Freelancers
Clockify tracks hours for unlimited projects for an unlimited number of users for free. This 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 even send invoices to bill clients for the hours that you and your team worked on projects. Its robust time tracking features for its free option and affordable paid plans made Clockify our top pick.
It has a simple-to-use online time sheet where you can log hours, including time tracking apps to monitor work hours from computers, smartphones, and web browsers. However, its apps are different from Homebase and Deputy’s time clock tools, which require employees to clock in/out. With Clockify, 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 4.15 out of 5 in our evaluation. It got a perfect mark for pricing since it offers a free plan, affordable paid plans of less than $10 per user, and transparent pricing. It also got high marks for ease of use and popularity. However, it scored low for reporting because it doesn’t allow you to create custom reports.
Clockify Standout Features
- Flexible time tracking: Time tracking is an important tool for employee management. With Clockify, you’re not limited to tracking time on specific devices. You can access its online timer on iOS and Android mobile devices, computers, and web browsers (Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge). 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, 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.
- Computer screenshots: Clockify’s screenshot recording app allows you to show clients your work progress. It takes screenshots of your computer screen every five minutes while your timer is running. This is perfect for freelancers who want to provide detailed work updates to clients.
- Invoicing: You can create invoices based on tracked time and send these as PDF documents to bill clients—provided you purchase Clockify’s Standard package. If you need an online timer with free invoicing, Harvest is a great option. However, if you’re a QuickBooks user, 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.
Deputy: Best for Seasonal Businesses That Keep Employees on Standby
If you’re looking for a flexible, simple-to-use time tracking software that works well for inconsistent time tracking needs, Deputy is the right tool for you. 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 re-enter their data —plus they can stay in the loop while they’re off. Aside from that, it makes it easy to capture clock-ins/outs of hourly staff and export time sheets for payroll processing. And it offers a standalone scheduling solution and paid tiers that include both time tracking and scheduling tools.
Deputy earned an overall score of 4.10 out of 5 in our evaluation with high marks in ease of use, reporting, and popularity. The score for this provider was pulled down by the lack of built-in invoicing tools and no free option for time tracking. Integrating its platform with third-party solutions can also be challenging given the occasional data sync and connection glitches. Some users said that while Deputy is generally easy to learn and use, integrating it with solutions like ADP Run and Gusto can be difficult at times.
Deputy Standout Features
- Affordability: Although it does have a free tier available for its US customers, the time tracking feature is not included. However, 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.
- Online time clocks: 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.
- 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.
Homebase: Best for Free Work Hour Tracking in One Physical Location
Homebase is great for small businesses, especially restaurants and retails shops, with one physical location because it has more features that you can access for free 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, plus its budgeting and labor cost controls help you stay within your targets.
Based on our evaluation, Homebase earned an overall rating of 4.05 out of 5. It didn’t get a higher score because it lacks invoicing capabilities and doesn’t integrate with third-party scheduling systems (since it has its own scheduling solution) or accounting and project management software—features that would have further streamlined client billing, budget monitoring, and task tracking processes.
Homebase Standout Features
- Per-location pricing: The other time tracking software in this guide charge monthly fees on a per-employee basis, but 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, TimeCamp, Deputy (for US-based customers) and Harvest also have free tiers, none have the applicant tracking and job posting solutions that Homebase offers.
- Intuitive interface: Homebase has an easy-to-use platform with intuitive controls that enable 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 by jobs, 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.
- Online time clocks with secure clock-ins: Turn any computer, point-of-sale (POS) device, tablet, and smartphone into an online time clock with Homebase’s time tracking apps. 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, Harvest, QuickBooks Time, and Clockify do.
Check out our Homebase review to see whether it fits the needs of your business.
TimeCamp: Best for Employers, Contractors, or Freelancers Looking for a Lightweight Project Management Tool
TimeCamp is another time tracking software that, like Clockify, offers a free tier with unlimited projects and user seats. Its automated time tracking feature captures time and assigns it to the right client or project, which helps with project tracking and management. It didn’t top our list since it lacks multiple clock-in options and because it doesn’t have integrations with payroll software. It also has a lower number of average user reviews on G2 and Capterra as of this writing.
Scoring 4 out of 5, TimeCamp earned perfect marks in pricing and reporting. It also rated highly in billable hours and job labor costing features given its productivity, invoicing, and online payment tools. Many users even said that TimeCamp is a good tool for monitoring hours spent on projects and provides useful reports about their daily work routine and productivity. It scored lowest in popularity because of its limited number of reviews.
TimeCamp Standout Features
- Attendance and leave management: Not only does its time tracker help you log hours for projects, but it can also be used to monitor clock-ins/outs and overtime. And, similar to Clockify, it has leave management capabilities to help you track vacation, sick and holiday leaves.
- Productivity tools: TimeCamp has a wide range of online tools to help monitor work productivity. It tracks idle time and monitors the hours spent on websites, apps, and documents. With its productivity assistant feature, you can set goals and measure your productive and idle hours. You also have the option to activate its computer screenshots function in case you want full transparency and present proof of work to clients. TimeCamp has a private time mode that you can turn on if you want to take breaks.
- Project management features: TimeCamp is the only software in this list that has an automated time tracking feature that allows users to set up keywords for clients or projects. Once TimeCamp detects the keywords, it automatically assigns this time to the right client or project. The web-based and desktop apps can then run silently in the background. Users can also monitor project profitability with its broad range of reporting features.
- Invoicing and client payments: TimeCamp has smart invoices that you can easily generate and send to clients via email, a private link, or a PDF file. Clients can even pay you directly from the invoice through PayPal. However, you have to upgrade to at least its Pro plan to get these features. For a more budget-friendly option, consider Harvest since it offers its invoicing and online payment tools for free—provided you need only one user seat and two active projects.
Read more about pricing, features, and its alternatives in our TimeCamp review.
ClockShark: Best Time Tracking Software for Construction Businesses
Time theft is a serious concern for construction companies with workers that spend all day in remote locations. ClockShark can help you rest easy with facial recognition, GPS tracking, geofence notifications, and pictures to show the progress of the job. With its crew punch feature, a supervisor can clock in for his staff using ClockShark’s mobile app. It tracks hours by job and service code, plus its time data can be exported to popular payroll and accounting programs.
What’s also great about ClockShark is that it provides you with one platform to track time, manage jobs, and collaborate with team members on all of your work tasks. It also streamlines the process of organizing jobs since it stores all documents, in-app communications, client information, and progress updates for every job.
Scoring 3.78 out of 5, its online time clock can help you track actual hours spent on jobs and tasks. 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
- Multiple time clock options: In addition to mobile time tracking apps for iOS and Android devices, ClockShark has a web-based time tracker that works on laptops and desktop computers. If you require secure clock-ins, its “KioskClock” apps for smartphones and tablets support PIN codes and facial recognition scans.
- Job and customer management: While Clockify and Harvest have similar job and client management functionalities, their 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 time sheets 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. Meanwhile, its geofencing capabilities help to remind employees to clock in/out as they enter/leave the job site.
Read our full ClockShark review.
QuickBooks Time: Best for QuickBooks Users Requiring Billable Hours Monitoring & Hourly Workforce Time Tracking
QuickBooks Time (formerly TSheets) is terrific for monitoring the costs of freelance jobs and the attendance of your hourly workforce since its time tracking apps are versatile. Its web and mobile apps (for iOS and Android devices) can track hours spent on jobs, while its time kiosk solution captures clock-ins/outs via PIN code entries and facial recognition scans. It even offers PTO management, employee scheduling tools, and budget estimates versus actuals reporting. QuickBooks users can easily integrate data from QuickBooks Time and make payroll processing more efficient.
Scoring 3.7 out of 5, it earned high marks in employee time tracking, ease of use, and popularity. On the other hand, QuickBooks Time scored poorly in reporting and pricing because its reports have limited customizability, it lacks a free option, and its paid tiers are more costly than other providers—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
- Versatile time tracking apps: QuickBooks Time has time tracking apps that work across devices—from computers to smartphones and tablets. It also is the only provider on our list of best time tracking software that offers both an online time clock for capturing your hourly workforce’s clock-ins/outs and an online timer for tracking billable hours to invoice clients.
- Secure clock-ins: QuickBooks Time has a clock kiosk that serves as a dedicated time tracking terminal for your hourly employees working in the same location. Aside from PIN codes, it supports facial recognition scans to help prevent buddy punching. However, if you want your employees to use voice commands when clocking in/out, consider Deputy.
- 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.
- Seamless QuickBooks integration: QuickBooks Time connects well with other QuickBooks products (like QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Payroll) for streamlined invoicing and payroll runs. It also integrates with online payroll services (like Gusto and ADP) to allow easy transfers of time data for employee pay processing.
To learn more about its capabilities and see if it fits your needs, read our full QuickBooks Time review.
Harvest: Best for Small Business Owners & Freelancers Needing Free Time Tracking, Invoicing & Expensing Tools
Harvest offers its time tracking, invoicing, and expense reporting tools for free—provided you have only one user and two active projects. This makes it a good option for freelancers and small business owners with a few employees looking for an efficient way to monitor project time and work tasks. It also has a paid plan that comes with unlimited seats and projects.
Harvest earned an overall score of 3.68 out of 5 in our evaluation. It received perfect marks for billable hours tracking and job labor costing, followed by popularity and pricing. However, Harvest lost points since it doesn’t support GPS tracking and facial recognition scans, plus it has limited task management tools. Although it connects with more than 50 third-party software, it lacks integration with payroll, scheduling, and POS solutions.
Harvest Standout Features
- Desktop and mobile time tracking apps: Harvest has simple-to-use time tracking apps that work on laptops and desktop computers, including iOS and Android mobile devices. However, unlike Deputy, its mobile app isn’t compatible with the Apple Watch. It also doesn’t have a time clock kiosk for capturing the actual work times of your hourly workforce.
- Expense reporting: Harvest is the only time tracking software we reviewed that lets you log business expenses, take photos of receipts, and tag the transactions as billable. You can even turn details of tracked expenses into invoices that you can send to clients.
- Robust third-party integrations: Harvest partners with over 50 third-party solutions that include accounting software, analytics and reporting apps, project management systems, and productivity tools. Its integration with Stripe and PayPal has even enabled it to accept online payments from clients. However, unlike Deputy, Homebase, and ClockShark, it lacks integration with scheduling and payroll software.
Read our Harvest review.
How We Evaluated the Best Time Tracking Software
We started our search with 20 time tracking software, comparing each product’s ease of use, pricing, and online user reviews. We also looked for essential features like secure clock-ins/outs, geolocation tracking, invoicing, pre-built reports, mobile time tracking apps, and the capability to allocate hours to jobs. We even considered the provider’s integration options with third-party software like payroll and project management solutions.
Based on our evaluation, Clockify is the best overall time tracking software, especially for freelancers and employers needing a way to monitor billable hours. It earned an overall score of 4.15 out of 5 with high marks for pricing, ease of use, and popularity. What’s great about Clockify is that you can track time for an unlimited number of users and projects for free.
For freelancers looking for an efficient way to track billable hours, check out our best time tracking software for freelancers and self-employed workers.
To see our full evaluation criteria for best time tracking software, click through the tabs in the box below.
20% of Overall Score
We checked to see if the provider has a free plan and transparent pricing for its paid tiers. We also considered the cost of paid subscriptions and gave those that are priced $10 or less per employee monthly extra points. For this criterion, only Clockify and TimeCamp got perfect scores. While Deputy has a free plan for its US-based clients, we didn’t give additional points since it does not include time tracking features. Harvest and Homebase scored 4 out of 5 because its pricing for paid plans are higher than $10 per month.
20% of Overall Score
The best time tracking system includes at least basic tools, such as exportable time data, multiple time clock types, breaks and PTO tracking, and administrator alerts. Plus, having access to mobile apps and a self-service portal are also ideal. Only QuickBooks Time got a perfect score for this criterion. Deputy, Homebase, and ClockShark almost got 5 but they lacked multiple clock-in options, bringing their scores down.
20% of Overall Score
Time tracking solutions that allow users to allocate hours by job code, compare budget versus actual hours, and generate invoices to bill clients were rated highly. Additional points were also given to those that can export time data to software that can calculate profit and loss by jobs for easy project management. Deputy and Homebase scored the lowest here (2.5 out of 5) since they lacked invoicing tools, direct integration with project management tools, and the capability to generate reports that compare budgeted time/cost versus actual data.
20% of Overall Score
Having a time tracking software that is intuitive and easy to learn is a must. We also looked at whether the provider offers live phone support, training, quick system implementations, and integration options with payroll, accounting, and scheduling systems. Homebase met all of our requirements for this criteria.
10% of Overall Score
Aside from having access to standard and pre-built reports, users should be able to customize reports. Homebase, TimeCamp, and Deputy got perfect scores here; the others didn’t because of limited report customizability.
10% of Overall Score
We considered online user reviews, including those of our competitors, wherein any option with an average of 4+ stars is ideal. Also, software with 1,000 or more reviews on third-party sites is preferred. TimeCamp scored the lowest in this criterion (3 out of 5), mainly because it has less than 1,000 reviews online as of this writing.
Tracking time by hand is time-consuming and difficult to monitor. Time tracking apps can help alleviate the stress of having to manually compute work hours and prepare time sheets since its system will do that for you. Some even allow you to assign time to jobs and service codes, build staff schedules, track billable hours, and invoice clients.
Based on our evaluation, we found Clockify to be the best time tracking software for small businesses and freelancers. It can efficiently capture when hourly employees start and stop working, plus it has a project management feature that allows you to export hours information to software to calculate profit or loss by job. Best of all, it has a no-frills free tier that lets you monitor hours worked for unlimited projects and unlimited users. If you need more advanced options, it has affordable paid plans starting at $3.99 per user, per month. Sign up for a free plan today.