Best time and attendance system of 2024

The best time and attendance systems provide an easy way for managers and employees to track working hours and schedules.

Best time and attendance system: quick menu

While there are other applications for time management, time and attendance software makes it easy for the management of shift patterns and periods of time off, such as holidays. This ensure that employees are properly compensated for their time at work in a simple but easy to manage platform.

As with many business apps these days, modern time and attendance software systems are provided through the cloud as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution. This makes for a very accessible platform where the service can be accessed through a browser, regardless of the machine's operating system, and almost always built to be mobile friendly for smartphone access.

As well as being able to manage working hours, time and attendance software will commonly feature a communications platform to make it easier for employees and managers to make changes and communicate them. An umber also integrate with common HR software platforms as well as payroll software, for easier accounting.

Here we'll feature what we think are the best in time and attendance system solutions.

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Reader Offer: 14-day free trial

Reader Offer: 14-day free trial
TimeTracker is an easy, efficient cloud-based time tracking solution which an option to includes billing and invoicing. Start today with a 14-day free trial. 

Preferred partner (What does this mean?) 

Reader Offer: 14-day free trial

Reader Offer: 14-day free trial
When I Work is a simple-to-use time management and payroll system. Run from the cloud, it has several nice features - like geofencing and and automatic logout prompts - and is free for users with fewer than 75 users.  Start today with a 14-day free trial.

Preferred partner (What does this mean?

Reader Offer: 31-day free trial

Reader Offer: 31-day free trial
Deputy is a robust all-in-one cloud software platform for the management of schedules and timesheets. Pricing is based on a tiered structure and is free for business with fewer than 100 shifts per month. Start today with a 31-day free trial.  

Preferred partner (What does this mean?

The best time and attendance systems of 2024 in full:

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Best overall

(Image credit: TimeTracker)

1. TimeTracker

Easy efficiency with timesheets

Reasons to buy

Low cost
Integrations available
Free trial

TimeTracker by eBillity is a time tracking solution for time management, payroll, and billing. The system runs from the cloud and can be accessed via the web or through apps for Android or iOS. It also creates automatic backups so you won't lose your data, even if you lose your internet connection.

The software itself aims to automate the process of time management, with easy clocking in and out via digital time cards that can be used from multiple locations. It can schedule breaks, and provides easy editing of timesheets with the ability to make changes before submission for payroll. Managers can also check employee locations with GPS tracking.

Of course, analytics are included, to allow managers and business owners to run reports to gauge efficiency and effectiveness.

There's also an option to cover billing and invoicing, which can automate expenses and integrate with Stripe for making payments. A number of integrations are available to support this, including QuickBooks, Xero, ADP Workforce, and Sage. There's also an option to support legal document services.

For the basic time management software there's a base fee per user, though if you want to use the billing service there's an additional charge to each fee. A free trial is available.

Prices start at around $7 per user per month when billed annually.

Best free

(Image credit: When I Work)

2. When I Work

Free time management for small businesses

Reasons to buy

Geofenced clock in
Clock out reminders
Free for up to 75 users

When I Work is a platform that aims to simplify time management and payroll. As expected, it runs from the cloud, which allows easy access via a smartphone app for Android or iOS. And more interestingly, it comes with a few particularly nice features.

One of these is that while it facilitates clocking in and out via the app, When I Work geofences this to only work in a designated area so that an employee must be physically present to do so. It also provides notifications to employees if they forget to log out, and therefore helps prevent misunderstandings and mistakes that can affect payroll.

There's also a standard scheduling app to manage shifts, organize overtime, approve time off requests, and manage expenses. Then there is a communications platform built into this so that managers and employees can chat privately about scheduling and shift availability.

The app is free for any business with up to 75 users, and covers the basics of scheduling, availability, and communications. Paid plans are available for more users with more features depending on the number of additional features required. Enterprise users looking for API access, SSO, and personalized options will need to call for a quote.

When I Work's starting price is a very reasonable $2.50 per user for standard scheduling.

Best comprehensive

(Image credit: Deputy)

3. Deputy

Heavy-duty solution for distributed attendance

Reasons to buy

Facial recognition
Dynamic reports
Personal tasking

Deputy provides an all-in-one cloud software platform for the management of schedules and timesheets, payroll, POS, and communications. 

The online scheduling app allows multiple roles, departments, and even locations to be managed from a single dashboard. Drag and drop functionality allows new shifts and work patterns to be created simply and easily – alternatively, custom scheduling templates can be built to create automated shift patterns. Employees can be automatically notified of changes to shifts, and can swap shifts directly with others using the app.

Geolocation and/or facial recognition software can be used to ensure a safe and secure way for employees to sign in, and missed breaks that could cause compliance issues can be flagged. Dynamic reports can then be used to work to more efficient schedules and ensure department budgets stay on target. 

Personal tasking is also available as a feature, which allows managers to assign specific tasks to specific employees, who are then notified and can subsequently confirm when the tasks have been begun or completed within the Deputy communications platform, which also provides customized newsfeeds and posts.

Pricing works on a tiered structure, with the cheapest level focused on basic time and attendance services, with the Premium tier offering all services. The Time and Attendance plan starts at around $3 per user per month. There is also a free trial available. 

Best for integrations

(Image credit: Replicon)

4. Replicon

Be productive with your shift planning

Reasons to buy

Distributed workforce
Covers employees and contractors
Chatbot for easy queries

Replicon's Time and Attendance software is one of a number of business productivity and efficiency platforms offered by the company. It's primarily targeted at businesses with a distributed workforce that might otherwise be difficult to manage with a single system. This includes not just full-time and part-time workers, but also remote employees, contractors, and fieldworkers, all of which can be managed using a centralized cloud system.

The service can cover all aspects of time tracking, not least clock in/out, breaks, and activity tracking. It also deals with absence management, including a self-service option for time off, as well as shift assignments and scheduling plus availability. Everything can be brought together for payroll, even where pay and tax codes may vary, making it easier to manage team productivity and labor costs. 

Management can be achieved via a web interface, though employees can easily make requests for shift changes and raise queries via a mobile app. The communications platform also includes a chatbot to talk through availability and entitlement, as well as answer basic questions as required.

Replicon's Time and Attendance platform can integrate with QuickBooks, Sage, Xero, ADP, SAP, and Oracle, as well as Replicon's other productivity and efficiency software.

A free trial is available, though you'll need to contact a sales rep for pricing.

Best for small business

(Image credit: StratusTime)

5. StratusTime

Easy online time management

Reasons to buy

For small businesses
Many integrations
No minimum contract

StratusTime is a cloud-based time and attendance management platform that aims to deliver accurate hours logging for wages and time-keeping for small businesses.

There are a number of different ways for employees to login and clock in, from the traditional single-point kiosk, or from multiple point-of-service systems on the shop floor. Employees can also be tracked, as well as track their own hours and wages due so that any potential problems can be identified and addressed quickly and easily.

The system integrates with a large number of HR and payroll software packages, so it's easy to ensure that the system can collect and transfer data as and where it needs to. Payroll systems it works with includes Abra, ADP, Ascentis, Execupay, Pensoft, and Prime Pay.

The advantage is that manual data entry is kept at a minimum by ensuring that as much is automated as is possible.

StratusTime requires you to speak to a sales rep for custom pricing information.

We've also featured the best employee scheduling software.

Time and attendance system FAQs

Which time and attendance system is best for you?

When deciding which time and attendance system to use, first consider what your actual needs are, as budget options may only provide basic features, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a more expensive platform is better suited to you. Additionally, higher-end software can usually cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require from your time and attendance system.

How we tested the best time and attendance systems

To test for the best time and attendance systems we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, then we tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each time and attendance platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.

Read more on how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar.

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Brian Turner

Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.