Best Employee Time Clocks for Employers in 2023
The best employee time clocks have robust systems that support multiple clock-in/out options, have biometric and facial recognition technology, and provide customized reporting. Some systems enable employees to clock in or out through a website or app. These digital time clocks provide users with better time-tracking flexibility while offering more advanced features, such as GPS-based clock-ins, customizable reports, and project- or task-based time allocation.
This guide considered 18 time clock solutions, looking at each product’s ease of use and time-tracking features, and narrowed the list down to our top five recommendations.
- Homebase: Best overall for small businesses with only one location
- Lathem PayClock Online: Best for businesses with both in-office and remote employees
- Timelogix: Best for companies needing a wall-mounted biometric time clock
- uAttend JR2000: Best for businesses sharing employees across departments
- Icon Time TotalPass P600: Best for businesses planning to scale to a maximum of 500 employees
Top Employee Time Clocks Compared
Paid Plans Monthly Fees
Wall-mounted Time Clock Device Costs
Built-in Employee Scheduling
$24.95–$99.95 per location
$4–$10 per month per device
PIN code, fingerprint, badge, facial recognition
PIN code, fingerprint, facial recognition, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) card*
PIN code, fingerprint, and RFID card
PIN code, RFID card, and web punches
*The type of clock-in/out option varies, depending on the time clock device.
Note that all time clocks on this list have mobile apps with offline time tracking that syncs data once your internet connection is restored.
If you’re interested in learning about more online employee time clocks, check out our top time and attendance software picks.
Need help choosing the best time clock to use for your employees? Answer this three-question quiz and find one that best fits your business’s needs.
Find Out Which Time Clock Is Best For Your Business
Homebase: Best Overall Employee Time Clock
- Free plan includes online time clock apps, attendance monitoring, employee scheduling, job postings, and applicant tracking
- User-friendly interface
- Can handle unlimited employees
- Free plan limited to one location
- Geolocation tracking, geofencing, paid time off (PTO) accrual tracking, and overtime alerts are only included in paid plans
- Software lags from time to time
- Free plan: Covers one location and unlimited employees
- Three paid plans:
- Essentials: $24.95 per location monthly
- Plus: $59.95 per location monthly
- All-in-One: $99.95 per location monthly
- Job posting boosts: Starts at $79 per post
- Payroll: $39 plus $6 per active employee monthly
- Access to “HR Pro” advisers and resources: $99 per month; free if subscribed to the All-in-One plan
Homebase is optimal for small businesses, especially companies with one physical location needing a feature-rich online solution to help track employee time, reduce scheduling errors, and process payroll smoothly. It provides free time clock software and employee time clock apps that work on computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Apart from letting you create staff schedules and capture time entries, it offers team communication, job posting, and applicant tracking tools—all at no cost. If you upgrade to a paid subscription, you can access premium features like geofencing, overtime and late employee alerts, early clock-in prevention, and auto-scheduling.
Overall, Homebase earned a score of 4.6 out of 5 in our evaluation. It posted scores of 4 and above in most of our criteria, with perfect marks in pricing, reporting, and popularity among users. Time and attendance is the only criterion where it didn’t rate at least 4 (scoring only 3.75). Despite tracking time, PTO, and breaks efficiently, Homebase doesn’t have the physical time clock the other providers on this list offer.
Many users still appreciate its time-tracking tools that make monitoring attendance easy for employees and employers alike. Some, however, said that its mobile app can be glitchy and loads slowly at times.
Homebase Standout Features
- Feature-rich free option: Homebase’s free plan is packed with features. You can create work schedules, capture and monitor employee attendance, post jobs, and track applicants at no cost—provided you have only one business location. Only Homebase has hiring tools and a free option, though all the providers except Icon Time come with built-in employee scheduling.
- Per-location pricing scheme: Homebase’s per-location pricing scheme makes it easy for you to grow your workforce. You don’t have to pay for additional user seats, provided your employees work in the same location. This is unlike the other providers in this guide (except Icon Time TotalPass P600), which charge monthly software fees per employee.
- Online employee time clock: With its time clock apps, you can turn computers, tablets, and smartphones into time-tracking devices. The app even works on point-of-sale (POS) systems—a functionality that none of the other providers we reviewed have. With Homebase, employees can clock in/out via PIN codes and answer screening questions before clocking in. You have to upgrade to its paid plans if you want PTO management, geofencing, and GPS tracking tools. However, if you’re looking for physical time clocks, we recommend the other providers here as they offer wall-mounted time-tracking devices.
- Efficient time and scheduling tools: Homebase’s online tools can help you streamline time tracking and scheduling processes. Its features include automated timesheets, daily labor reports, administrator alerts for late clock-ins and overtime, and a drag-and-drop schedule builder (Icon Time doesn’t have this). It even lets you allocate hours by job and track employee time with multiple roles and wage rates.
Read our Homebase Review to learn more about its features.
What Homebase Is Missing
- Physical time clock devices: Instead of physical time clocks, Homebase offers time clock apps that work on computers, smartphones, tablets, and POS systems. If you’re looking for a physical device that comes with basic time and attendance software, we recommend Lathem or Icon Time TotalPass P600.
- Multiple clock-in/out options: While the time clocks of the other providers on this list support several clock-in/out types, Homebase’s time clock apps only accept PIN code time entries.
Lathem PayClock Online: Best for Companies Needing In-house & Remote Time Clock Options
- Clock-in/out options both in-office with a wall-mounted device and remotely online
- Can view clock-in/out data right on the screen of the time clock
- Database is hosted by Lathem so no software to download or network to maintain
- Does not offer a free plan (does have a 15-day free trial)
- Does not have the ability to track PTO or breaks
- Pricing is per month and can get pricey the more employees you have
Lathem PayClock Online Pricing
- Physical time clock: Lathem PC700/PC600 is priced at $4/month or $48/year; other clocks range from $6/month to $120/year.
- Time and attendance software
- Standard Plan
- 0–10 employees = $35/month
- 11–25 employees = $50/month
- 26–50 employees = $75/month
- 51–75 employees = $115/month
- 76–100 employees = $160/month
- 101–150 employees = $250/month
- Enterprise Plan
- $3 per employee monthly ($50/minimum)
- Annual plans range from $500 (up to 10 employees) to $3,600+ (150+ employees)
- Standard Plan
- Employee badges = $45 per badge
- Hardware support plans = $49.99–$89.99
Lathem PayClock Online is a cloud-based employee time clock and time and attendance software for employers with on-site employees as well as remote employees who need to clock in/out wherever they are. Employees can clock in/out through multiple devices–either through a wall-mounted time clock (with options for face recognition, fingerprint scan, badge scan, and more) or via online software and mobile app.
Its employee time and attendance system delivers compliance with wage and hour laws, reduces employee time theft, stops unauthorized overtime, and provides detailed information on labor hours for reporting. Additionally, Lathem PayClock Online offers pay-as-you-go pricing plans with no long-term contracts, as well as unlimited support without any set-up fees.
Overall, Lathem PayClock Online scored 4.3 out of 5 in our evaluation. A score of 4 or higher was earned in nearly every category (popularity, reporting, security, and ease of use), with the exception of pricing (due to the lack of a free plan) and time and attendance functionality (due to the lack of PTO and break tracking and inability to allocate hours by job code). The software excelled in its ability to provide customizable reporting, multiple clock-in/out options, integrations with payroll software, and offline clocking options.
Lathem PayClock Online Standout Features
- Variety of clock-in/out options: Whether your employees clock-in/out at your place of business or while working remotely, Lathem PayClock Online offers multiple options for clocking in/out—using a company badge, facial recognition, fingerprint, web punch, mobile app, and more. Each method has built-in security to eliminate buddy punching, streamline employee scheduling, and improve payroll reporting.
- Integration with payroll software: Lathem PayClock Online easily integrates with your payroll processing software, including QuickBooks, ADP, Paychex, and more. This integration makes it simple to record clock-in/out information within the software and easily upload it to your payroll software system, making processing payroll quick and efficient.
- Extensive reporting capabilities: As one of only two providers on our list with a perfect score for reporting (Homebase is the other), Lathem PayClock Online offers nearly 50 standard reports. Its reports can be for the team as a whole or by employee and cover payroll, attendance, scheduling, and management, among other categories.
What Lathem PayClock Online Is Missing
- Free plan: While Homebase offers a free plan for small businesses with only one location, with Lathem PayClock Online you must pay for their software and time clock devices with either their standard or enterprise monthly plans. However, Lathem does offer a 15-day free trial to allow businesses time to determine if the software and time clocks are right for them.
- Tracking capabilities: Lathem PayClock Online does not allow you to track break or paid time off hours within its system. For this type of tracking, we recommend Homebase. Another drawback is the inability to allocate hours recorded by job code (Homebase, Timelogix, and uAttend all do this).
Timelogix: Best for Manufacturing Companies & Warehouses Needing a Wall-mounted Biometric Time Card Machine
- Time clock and software come with unlimited support and data hosting, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Has physical time clocks and mobile apps with geolocation capabilities for tracking attendance of field employees
- Limited integration options
- Occasional system glitches
- Customer support is unresponsive at times
- Physical time clock: Timelogix TL200 costs $349.99; other Timelogix employee clocks range from $199.99 to $499.99
- Time and attendance software
- 1–10 employees: $20 per month
- 11–20 employees: $40 per month
- 21–30 employees: $60 per month
- 31–40 employees: $80 per month
- 41–50 employees: $100 per month
- More than 50 employees: Contact Timelogix for a custom quote
For businesses such as manufacturing facilities and warehouses that prefer a physical employee time clock in lieu of a software app, Timelogix offers wall-mounted machines with flexible clock-in/out options. It supports several time entry types—from RFID cards and fingerprint scans to facial recognition and PIN codes. Unlike Lathem PayClock Online, which charges a monthly or annual fee to use their time clocks, Timelogix time clocks are paid for up front with a one-time fee.
Aside from physical employee time clocks, it provides a cloud-based time and attendance solution, which includes staff scheduling, online timesheet editing, and mobile apps with GPS clocking functionality. It can also handle unlimited locations and administrators, plus you get unlimited support and data hosting.
If you want a reasonably priced employee time clock with a smart card, fingerprint biometrics, and PIN code time capture capabilities, then the Timelogix TL200 is a good option. Note, however, that you need to pay a one-time fee to purchase the unit and monthly fees to use Timelogix’s cloud-based system.
Overall, Timelogix scored 3.65 out of 5 in our evaluation of best employee time clocks. It earned a perfect score in security and high marks (4 and above) in time-tracking functionality given its overtime and break-tracking tools, alerts, and multiple clock-in/out options to help prevent buddy punching and time theft. However, its limited report customizability and the lack of a free plan prevented it from ranking higher on this list. Plus, it isn’t as popularly rated as Homebase or Lathem, with many Timelogix users complaining about occasional app glitches and poor customer support.
Timelogix Standout Features
- Multiple time clocks: Aside from time clock apps with geolocation features that work on iOS and Android devices, Timelogix offers physical time clocks, which can be mounted on walls. Its machines have built-in Wi-Fi, touch-screen displays, and an offline mode that saves time entries to its internal memory if the internet goes down and sends all the data to the software once the connection has been restored.
- Secure clock-in/out options: Unlike Homebase, which only accepts PIN code clock-ins/outs, Timelogix’s time clock machines support facial recognition, fingerprint scans, PIN codes, and RFID card taps.
- Time and attendance management: With Timelogix’s time and attendance software, you can view employee time entries in real time, edit electronic timesheets, set rules for overtime and breaks, and select the time devices from which employees can clock in/out. However, like most of the systems on this list (except Icon Time), you have to pay monthly fees to access its time and attendance solution.
- Employee scheduling: In addition to creating employee work shifts, you can assign a project, job, or location to a schedule. Timelogix even lets you manage “out of shift” time, allowing you to approve or disapprove extra minutes that your staff worked before and after their scheduled shifts.
What Timelogix Is Missing
- Free plan: Unlike Homebase, it doesn’t have a free plan for its time-tracking software. You may want to consider Icon Time TotalPass P600 if you don’t want to pay monthly fees for a time and attendance solution since its time clock device comes with free software. If you’re still undecided on which time clock to use, check our free time card calculator, which can help calculate the total hours your employees worked in a week. Or, you can use our free downloadable timesheet templates to track employee hours.
- Strong report customization: While Timelogix lets you create custom reports by selecting pre-identified data ranges, you can’t add your own data fields to further personalize reports. For robust reporting tools, we recommend Homebase or Lathem.
uAttend JR2000: Best for Companies Sharing Employees Across Departments
- Intuitive self-guided setup wizard
- Employees can track jobs directly from the time clock
- Monthly plan covers two time clocks and includes unlimited data storage and comma-separated values (CSV) file data exports
- Connects only with QuickBooks Desktop
- Monthly subscription is more expensive compared to similar time clocks
- Occasional time clock and mobile app glitches
- Physical time clock: The JR2000 costs $179; other uAttend time clocks cost anywhere from $119 to $399
- Time and attendance software
- 1–9 employees: $22 per month
- 10–19 employees: $37 per month
- 20–49 employees: $65 per month
- 50–99 employees: $99 per month
- 100 or more employees: $129 per month
- Cloud account for additional time clocks: $10 per time clock monthly
- Additional administrator seat: $6 per seat monthly
- Data exports in formats other than CSV: $5 per month
uAttend offers wall-mounted employee time clocks that support multiple clock-in/out options. Your employees can even track inter-departmental jobs and submit department transfer requests directly from the unit, making it ideal for companies assigning employees to multiple departments throughout the day or pay period.
Its JR2000 time clock can capture employee attendance via PIN code entries, biometric fingerprint scans, and RFID card taps. It even has built-in Wi-Fi, allowing seamless transfers of employee time data from the time clock into uAttend’s cloud-based software. What’s also great about this device is that it has a wide touch-screen display, allowing you and your employees to easily see time clock details and set up system controls.
Scoring 3.35 out of 5 in our evaluation, uAttend posted ratings of 3 and above in nearly all of our criteria, with perfect marks in time and attendance functionalities. It posted low scores in reporting (has limited report customizability) and pricing (its monthly software fees are pricier than the other providers on this list). Still, many users like that it is easy to set up and use with flexible clocking options and good customer support. However, others said that its biometric scanner is slow to recognize fingerprints at times.
uAttend JR2000 Standout Features
- Multiple clock-in/out options: Its JR2000 model supports RFID ID, fingerprint, and PIN code time entries and connects via Wi-Fi or LAN. uAttend also offers a wide range of physical employee time clocks that support several clock-in/out options—from facial recognition to fingerprint scans.
- Department transfers directly from the time clock: If you have employees who work across departments, they can track jobs and request department transfers directly from uAttend JR2000. None of the other employee time clock providers on this list have this functionality.
- Helpful setup wizard: Like Icon Time TotalPass P600, you can easily get uAttend’s time clock up and running by using its self-guided setup wizard. The guide is intuitive and only requires an internet connection so that you can pair the device with your online uAttend account, set up the time zone, and then start using the time clock.
What uAttend JR2000 Is Missing
- Robust integration options: uAttend only connects with QuickBooks Desktop, while the other providers integrate with several third-party software.
- Customizable reports: uAttend provides real-time reports, but the customization options are limited. You also have to pay extra if you want to export reports in file formats other than CSV. If this is a dealbreaker, then you might want to consider Homebase or Lathem.
Icon Time TotalPass P600: Best for Small Employers Planning to Scale to a Maximum of 500
- 50-employee capacity at base cost (can be upgraded to 500)
- No recurring monthly software fees (its basic time and attendance software is built into the time clock)
- Time and attendance software includes employee scheduling tools
- Web punch licenses and proximity card badges (in excess of the initial items provided) cost extra
- New clients get free customer support only for the first 30 days; you have to purchase a “care pack” annually to get unlimited email and phone support
- Time clocks are more expensive compared to similar providers
Icon Time Pricing
- Physical time clock: The TotalPass P600 costs $499; other Icon Time time clocks cost $349 and $549
- Web punches (pack of five licenses): $99
- 10 Proximity card badges: $39.99
- 25 Proximity card badges: $59.99
- TotalPass P600 care pack: $180 per year, per time clock
With Icon Time TotalPass P600, you get a time clock that can handle up to 500 employees. This makes it an ideal solution for small businesses with plans to scale. Apart from onsite time tracking, it has a web punch functionality that lets your employees clock in/out from tablets, smartphones, and computers—provided an internet connection is available.
Unlike Timelogix and uAttend, you don’t need to download and install a timekeeping system to make the time clock work, as Icon Time TotalPass P600 has basic time-tracking software built right into the unit. In addition, you don’t have to pay monthly fees to use the system. You only need to purchase the unit, plus optional add-ons for proximity cards, web punch licenses, and customer support.
Overall, Icon Time Total Pass P600 scored 3.15 out of 5 in our evaluation, with high marks in ease of use and user popularity. However, it doesn’t have break tracking, early clock-in prevention, and robust report customization tools. These limitations prevented Icon Time from ranking higher on our list.
Icon Time TotalPass P600 Standout Features
- Free software access: Compared to the three other physical time clock providers on this guide, Icon Time doesn’t charge monthly fees for its basic time and attendance software. You also don’t need to download its system separately since it’s built directly into the time clock.
- Web punches: Icon Time TotalPass P600 is the only physical time clock on our list that supports web punches, allowing you to select employees who can also clock in/out via a web browser. However, if you prefer a digital time clock, consider Homebase since its time clock apps work on computers and mobile devices.
- Robust email alerts: What makes Icon Time’s email alert function stand out from the rest of the providers here is the type of notifications that it sends. Aside from clock-in/out alerts, it notifies you of employees approaching daily, weekly, and consecutive overtime. You can also create alerts for low and high work hours, including notifications for software updates and data backup reminders.
What Icon Time TotalPass P600 Is Missing
- Biometric fingerprint scans: While Icon Time TotalPass P600 supports clock-ins/outs made through RFID taps, web punches, and PIN code entries, the device doesn’t accept fingerprint scans. For those looking for biometric time clocks, consider any other providers on this list (except Homebase).
- Robust knowledge base: Apart from a few video tutorials and online product brochures showcasing some of its time clocks’ features, Icon Time doesn’t have many help articles posted on its website. If you’re looking for something that offers articles, then Homebase is a good option.
How We Evaluated Employee Time Clocks
Aside from pricing and ease of use, we looked for essential features like time capture options, break and PTO tracking, and reporting tools. Then, we rated each based on the following criteria:
20% of Overall Score
We checked if the provider has a free plan and transparent pricing for its paid tiers. We also considered the cost of subscriptions and gave those priced $10 or less per employee monthly extra points. Only Homebase has a free option, but this covers just one business location. For physical time clocks, Icon Time TotalPass P600 is reasonably priced since you only have to pay for the device. With uAttend and Timelogix, you have to pay monthly software fees and a one-time device fee.
20% of Overall Score
The best employee time clock includes basic tools, such as exportable time data, multiple time clock types, break and PTO tracking, and administrator alerts. Plus, having access to mobile apps and a self-service portal is also ideal. uAttend CB4000 received perfect marks here, while Icon Time TotalPass P600 scored the lowest.
20% of Overall Score
20% of Overall Score
Having a time clock and time-tracking software that are intuitive and easy to learn is a necessity. We also looked at whether the provider offers live phone support, training, quick system implementations, and integration options with payroll, POS, and scheduling systems.
10% of Overall Score
Aside from having access to standard and pre-built reports, users should be able to customize reports. Homebase received a perfect score here, having met all of our reporting requirements.
10% of Overall Score
We checked reviews that actual users left on third-party sites like G2 and Capterra. Homebase received a perfect rating here, with Timelogix in last place given its 2.5 out of 5 score.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best app for employees to clock in and out?
The best time clock app does more than just allow your employees to clock in and out from their mobile devices–it will allow you to send and approve PTO requests, create schedules, post jobs, record expenses, and track locations. Our top picks include Homebase, Clockify, and When I Work. Learn more in our Best Employee Time Tracking Apps article.
How do you use a time card machine?
Each time card machine or software has a unique way for your employees to clock in and out. Some use a punch method where the employee will place a piece of paper into the time card machine that records the day and time of the punch. Others use biometric data, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition to clock the employee in and out. Some software, such as Icon Time Total Pass P600, uses a pin pad where employees enter their unique pin code to clock in and out.
All of the options we reviewed in this guide would work well for a small business. They can help business owners and their HR teams efficiently manage employees. Our top pick for employee time clocks is Homebase, as it provides single-location businesses with a free online time clock to use that includes timekeeping, scheduling, and hiring tools. Start tracking your employees’ work time for free.