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Five cloud-based employee timekeeping tools

No matter what your business is, if the law says you have to pay employees an hourly wage, you’re going to need to keep accurate track of the time they spend at work.

It’s just that simple. And not simply due to the fact that this is a highly protected area of labor law and you don’t need to wind up asking your cousins, who also happen to be attorneys, if they’re up for some pro bono work. This comes down to the fact that these are your employees, they work hard, and they deserve to be compensated for the time they work for you.

Gone are the days of the old, reliable punch clock. In its place have come a slew of new applications to accurately track employee time, breaks, and pay your staff fairly with minimal overages and underages. Here are five solutions that do the task well and are worth looking into:

Tsheet’s Approvals Report screen shows you which employees have worked a given number of hours and who’s due for overtime in a given period.

Tsheet’s Approvals Report screen shows you which employees have worked a given number of hours and who’s due for overtime in a given period.

TSheets

• tsheets.com

• Tier 1, self-employed: Free.

• Tier 2, 2-99 users: $5 per month per user plus $20 per month base fee.

• Tier 3, 100+ users: $5 per month per user plus $100 permonth base fee.

Sort of the big kahuna in the time tracking industry, and for good reason. From the start, Tsheets was able to hit the ground running, developing one of the first native time tracking and employee scheduling apps for the iPhone in 2008. The application can currently be run on iOS and Android devices and can be used by any web browser, making it perfect for users on the go.

As a company, TSheets knew it had to be compatible within its industry and the other formats out there, so it integrates with payroll and accounting formats such as QuickBooks and Square. Perhaps the coolest thing about TSheets is that it’s able to incorporate GPS, employee alerts, and reminders, and breaks in easily, allowing for a tighter timeline and more accurate count of how much time has been worked, where your employees are, and how much is due. Other neat bells and whistles include PTO, vacation, employees being able to request that their shifts be covered on the fly, and holiday options as well as a handy “Who’s Working” window, allowing employers to get a quick overview of who’s clocked in at a glance.

TSheets is available as a 14-day free trial and is definitely worth checking out.

Timesheets.com allows you to pull up employee profiles, complete with headshots, position, and hours and PTO accrued.

Timesheets.com allows you to pull up employee profiles, complete with headshots, position, and hours and PTO accrued.

Timesheets.com

• timesheets.com

• $99/year base plan

• Non-profit: $3.60 per user per month.

• Full Plan: $4.50 per user per month.

• Full Plan with Photos: $5.50 per user per month).

Upon first seeing Timesheets.com as a product name, there may be some instinct not to take it as seriously as it should be taken. The name itself seems like a throwback to the late 90’s/early 2000’s.

This is not a mistake that’s to be made here. Timesheets.com is up, it’s running, it functions exclusively through its web site. And while it takes on some prodigious tasks, but it handles them well. Case in point, go to the web site and you’ll see hourly time clock features, project billing features, mileage features, receipt storage, as well as vacation and HR functionality and the minutiae within each category (up to and including state-specified regulations). This combines with a good price point, a 14-day trial, as well as a 20 percent  discount for non-profit organizations.

Perhaps the nicest feature upon visiting the web site is the fact that a specialist is ready and waiting to engage you via a chat window, which can also be closed if you don’t have any issues that need their attention. While this is something like a happy puppy waiting to jump up and greet you, you get the feeling that they want your business and will do what it takes to retain it.

It’s easy to create an employee roster in Deputy.

It’s easy to create an employee roster in Deputy.

Deputy

• deputy.com
• Web-based, iOS, and Android

• Scheduling Tier: $2 per user per month.

• Time & Attendance Tier: $2 per user per month.

• Premium Tier: $3 per user per month

• Enterprise Tier: Call to discuss pricing.

You can chuck the ball from the cheap seats and still win the game. That seems to be what Deputy is going for, the company eschewing an annual fee for straight per-user subscription fees and prices beginning as low as $2 per user per month in the process.

In addition to a robust feature set with its Web-based, iOS and Android clients such as hour tracking, PTO, employee scheduling, employee clock-in and clock-out, and an on-site time clock, Deputy caught our attention with its Flexible Weekly Plan, which acknowledges that there are businesses that might work minimal hours for a period of time, then work an excessive number of hours during a concert, festival, or special event. In short, this has a vendor or food truck owner in mind and has offered a pricing plan just for this new, growing segment of the market. Not a bad approach and when combined with lower price points and a secure server in which files are stored on, this presents a winning combination for its clientele.

TrackSmart TimeClock can pull up the payroll, hours, and other details for a designated shift.

TrackSmart TimeClock can pull up the payroll, hours, and other details for a designated shift.

TrackSmart TimeClock

• tracksmart.com

• Web, iOS and Android

• Basic Tier: $22 per month billed annually or $24 per month for up to 15 employees.

• Plus Tier: $44 per month billed annually or $49 per month for up to 35 employees.

Premium Tier: $64 per month billed
annually or $69 monthly for up to 60
employees.

• Enterprise Tier: $89 per month billed annually or $99 monthly for up to 100 employees)

There’s a difference between products that try to do literally everything at once and products that are designed around a series of tasks and do this well.

TrackSmart’s TimeClock represents the latter, functioning as a Web-based platform alongside corresponding iOS and Android apps that allow employees to clock in and clock out, while allowing employers a full range of tools such as report generation, approve time off requests, send in-app messages to staff, automatically schedule shifts, background checking of local state and labor laws and more. This, combined with a good support number to call in case of emergencies and a 14-day free trial, make for an attractive package

Harvest lets you easily access a project view as well as see the budget status for each project.

Harvest lets you easily access a project view as well as see the budget status for each project.

Harvest

• getharvest.com

• Web, iOS, and Android

• Free Tier: Free for 1 person and 2 projects

• Solo: $12 per month for 1 person and unlimited projects

• Team: $12 per person per month for 2 or more people and unlimited projects

Harvest functions as a web-based platform with iOS and Android clients and allows users to track their time, create and submit invoices, and keep an eye on expenses, the Harvest app dividing tasks into both standard hours as well as overall projects, which is both useful and interesting.

Still, it’s the little things that make a difference. Cool bells and whistles like being able to send automated payment reminders to clients as well as being able to take pictures of receipts and automatically send the data to invoices come in handy.

Harvest is available as a 30-day free trial with the company offering up nice discounts such as 10 percent  off if a user pays for a year in advance, teams of more than 50 people receiving a 15 percent discount if they pay for a year in advance, non-profits and educational institutions receiving a 15 percent  discount when paying monthly and a 25 percent discount for paying for a year in advance, and Harvest installations in a classroom setting being completely free.

While no timekeeping and management software will ever solve every problem, the right ones will make things run that much more smoothly. Give these a shot, see how it goes, and don’t stop until you find the best one for you.

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