Just as a coach needs to understand their team’s strengths before making a game plan, small business owners need employee rosters to help them schedule, pay, manage time off, and communicate with their staff. And employee rostering software can help with all of those tasks.
Rostering software helps ensure that all shifts are filled, workloads are balanced, and team members are available when they’re needed. But employee rostering tools also store essential staff data like availability, contact details, job and wage information, tax documents, and even performance analytics. And as central databases, they help business owners stay compliant and enable them to streamline their team management processes.
With so many options on the market, we want to help you find a rostering software option that’s right for you. So, we’ve put together this list of the six best employee rostering software solutions in 2023, which breaks them down by top features, pros and cons, and pricing to make sure you’re getting the best return on your investment.
Key features to look for in employee rostering software
Scheduling and time tracking are essential employee rostering software features. But a rostering platform can help accomplish other tasks, too, and many options come with a wide range of additional tools. Let’s look at a few to keep an eye out for:
- Built-in payroll — Payroll tools mean you don’t have to export employee hours and wages to third-party accounting software. Instead, you can run payroll and pay team members directly from the same software you use for rostering, scheduling, and time tracking — saving you hours of extra work every payday. And some platforms, like Homebase, automatically convert tracked hours into timesheets that are ready for payroll, so you won’t have to worry about doing wage calculations yourself.
- Automatic alerts — You shouldn’t have to send a mass text to your team when you publish or make updates to your schedule. That’s why top employee rostering options instantly notify your entire team when the new schedule is ready for them to view. And if the software has time tracking capabilities, it can also alert you when staff clock in late or forget to clock out.
- Time-saving features — Anyone who’s had to create a weekly employee schedule knows it can be a chore. That’s why you should look for software tools that let you create schedule templates to use on a recurring basis. And if your platform of choice comes with an auto-scheduling feature that builds timetables for you based on previous data, even better.
- Employee self-service — Team members deserve to feel like they’re in control of their work experience, and self-service apps make that possible. A well-designed rostering platform should be easy for your team to use and allow them to update their availability, ask for time off, swap shifts, and claim open hours.
- Integrates with a range of other tools — Small business owners need apps that work together, not a bunch of disconnected systems and spreadsheets that require repetitive data entry. And while all-in-one human resources (HR) platforms are ideal, make sure your software of choice connects seamlessly with at least the apps you’re already using. Look out for integrations with your current point-of-sale (POS) system, as well as your budgeting and reporting apps.
- Mobile app — When running a small business, every day brings new challenges and surprises. It’s easier to weather the unexpected when employees can easily receive updates, trade shifts, and communicate with their coworkers from their mobile devices.
- Free or affordably priced — A budget-friendly tool can save you money now, but what about in the future? Will the cost of your subscription skyrocket as your team grows? Depending on your business needs, you may prefer an option with a per-location pricing model that covers a large number of employees rather than a per-user plan.
Our top employee rostering software pick in 2023 (+ the rest compared)
As an in-depth employee rostering software and feature-packed platform, Homebase is the winner and obvious standout for 2023.
Homebase’s employee roster stores all relevant staff information in one easy-to-access dashboard — no need to jump back and forth between various pages to find everything you need. Our platform also has a user-friendly schedule builder that’s complete with auto-scheduling features and reusable timetable templates. Plus, it includes tools for time tracking, full-service payroll, team messaging, hiring and onboarding, and HR and compliance.
That said, other solutions might suit your business better depending on your current circumstances. You may prefer a tool like Buddy Punch, which has several options for preventing time theft. Or you might be looking for more in-depth project management functions like those Monday.com offers.
That’s why we’ve highlighted the best use case for every platform we cover in our comparison list:
- Homebase: Best all-in-one solution
- Connecteam: Best for mobile management
- Monday.com: Best for delegating tasks and projects
- Buddy Punch: Best for versatile time tracking options
- QuickBooks Time (formerly TSheets): Best for job scheduling
- Deputy: Best for wage and hour compliance
Comparison chart: Top employee rostering software in 2023
|Plans range from free to $99.95 per location per month with unlimited employees.
Save 20% on all plans if you sign up for annual billing.
|Plans range from free to $119/month.
|Plans range from free to $20/month per user.
|Plans range from $3.49/month per user to $4.49/month per user, plus a base fee of $19/month.
|Plans range from $30/month to $200/month.
|$3.50 for Scheduling, $3.50 for Time & Attendance, and $4.90 for Premium.
A breakdown of the 6 best employee rostering software
1. Best all-in-one solution: Homebase
Homebase is an all-in-one team management and human resources platform. But that doesn’t mean we’ll ask you to pay for extra features you don’t need. We help small business owners stay organized and compliant without having to hire an HR team or invest in pricey software.
- Employee roster where you can store everything you need to know about your team — like contact info, birthdays, emergency contacts, wages, and certifications
- Intuitive schedule builder with auto-scheduling and template tools
- GPS time clock that automatically turns hours into timesheets that are ready for payroll
- Geofencing tools to make sure team members sign into work at the right place
- Automatic notifications when schedules are published
- Easy-to-use shift-swapping features
- No show, late clock in, and late clock out alerts for managers
- Built-in team messaging capabilities and free mobile app
- Hiring and onboarding templates, dashboards, and workflows
- An extensive library of HR templates, guides, and training materials
- Native, full-service payroll
Pros and cons
Homebase customers love how user-friendly the platform is, which is especially important for small business owners who might be using complicated Excel spreadsheets to manage everything. And automatic alerts for shift covers, shift swaps, and time off allow managers to make work less stressful for their team, even when they’ve got a lot on their plate.
Our platform also has a sales and labor reporting dashboard that lets users predict future revenue, which makes it easier to avoid understaffing or overstaffing throughout the year.
But Homebase’s real gems are its schedule templates and auto-scheduling functions. Managers love that they can build schedules faster with the ability to reuse previous templates. It’s even possible to label templates, so they’ll never be at a loss as staffing demands fluctuate. And if users have a well-established small business schedule, they can allow Homebase to automatically fill in the timetable with data based on the previous 60 days.
- Essentials — Everything in Free, plus payroll integrations, team communication, performance tracking, advanced scheduling and time tracking, and access to live support for $24.95 per month per location.
- Plus — Everything in Essentials, plus hiring tools, retention and performance tracking, time off controls, and departments and permissions for $59.95 per month per location.
- All-in-one — Everything in Plus, plus HR and compliance, new hire onboarding, labor cost controls, and business insights for $99.95 per month per location.
You can add payroll tools for an extra $39.95 per month plus $6 per employee. And right now, you can save 20% on all plans if you sign up for annual billing.
2. Connecteam: Best for mobile management
Made for those who manage “non-desk teams,” Connecteam is a platform that’s designed so small business owners can take care of everything from their mobile devices. Even so, it’s a versatile system — Connecteam has a variety of features for scheduling, time tracking, communication, and labor compliance.
- Employee information and document storage
- Schedule builder with shift duplication and template tools
- Shift reminders and self-service shift-swapping features
- Task management with forms and checklists
- GPS-enabled time tracking
- Team messaging
- Labor and compliance tools
- Employee surveys
Pros and cons
Connecteam is an excellent option for businesses that are transitioning from using Excel, and users especially appreciate how they can make unique time clocks for different departments. That’s handy for keeping all billable client work separate and organized.
However, Connecteam doesn’t have its own payroll tool, so you’ll have to rely on integrations with Gusto or QuickBooks to pay employees.
Connecteam has three “hub” packages: Operations, Communications, and HR & Skills.
The Operations hub has scheduling, time tracking, and task management features, and the paid plans include:
- Small Business — Free for up to ten users.
- Basic — $29 per month for up to 30 users. Extra users are $0.50 per month.
- Advanced — Everything in Basic, plus extra features like time tracking tasks. $49 per month for 30 users. Extra users are $1.50 per month.
- Expert — Everything in Advanced, plus GPS features and automation. $99 per month for 30 users. Extra users are $3 per month.
3. Monday.com: Best for delegating tasks and projects
Monday.com is a popular project management tool that helps keep in-office and remote teams on task and working efficiently. With workload planning and a built-in time tracker, it lets users bill clients accurately while preventing overwhelm.
- Over 200 project and task management templates
- Workload and capacity management dashboards
- Customizable automations for project workflows
- Time tracking for client work
Pros and cons
Monday.com’s templates work for managing everything from content calendars to job applications and recruitment. And because the platform is free for two users, you can try the templates out before you implement them for your team. Plus, customers say Monday.com makes managing team projects more efficient.
However, it doesn’t have tools for shift scheduling, document storage, or payroll, so it may not be suitable for small business owners with hourly wage-earning, shift-based teams.
Monday.com’s free plan only includes two users. Otherwise, the paid plans include:
- Basic — Unlimited tasks, projects, customers, and boards for $10 per user per month.
- Standard — 250 automations per month, a calendar view of workload, and Gantt charts for $12 per user per month.
- Pro — 25,000 automations per month and time tracking for $20 per user per month.
- Enterprise — Advanced reporting and analytics, tailored onboarding, and premium support for a custom price.
4. Buddy Punch: Best for versatile time tracking options
Some industries require more time tracking security than others, which is why platforms like Buddy Punch offer so many options to prevent time theft or security incidents. On top of that, it also includes employee rostering, scheduling, and payroll tools.
- Employee dashboard for storing contact details
- Drag-and-drop schedule builder
- Geofencing and webcam clock ins to make sure the right people are signing in at the right work locations
- IP address locks prevent employees from punching in from the wrong device
- PTO accrual management
- Full-service payroll
Pros and cons
Buddy Punch users enjoy the extra security that webcam selfies and IP address locks provide. They also appreciate how the platform allows them to track breaks so they stay compliant with labor laws.
But as an employee rostering platform, Buddy Punch isn’t as easy-to-use as some of the other options on this list. You have to store employee contact information in one dashboard and payroll and tax information in another, which means clicking between different pages to find what you need. Customers also complain the mobile functionality and customization possibilities are limited, making it less convenient for multi-location teams.
Buddy Punch charges a $19 base fee for its Standard and Pro plans.
5. QuickBooks Time (formerly TSheets): Best for job scheduling
As part of the Intuit and QuickBooks family of products, QuickBooks Time (formerly TSheets) simplifies time tracking and scheduling for various kinds of teams. It’s a particular favorite of business owners in the construction and landscaping industries because it allows them to track time and projects seamlessly as employees change job locations throughout the day.
- Time tracking tools
- Scheduling capabilities
- Mobile time tracking app
- Integrates with the QuickBooks suite of tools for business accounting
Pros and cons
GPS tracking makes QuickBooks Time practical for business owners who employ a moving project crew or a team of delivery workers. With this tool, they can always see where staff members are and what they’re doing. It also means supervisors can clock in whole crews with one click rather than requiring individuals to sign in separately.
However, QuickBooks Time doesn’t have a dedicated employee rostering tool like Homebase does. You’ll have to use Quickbooks Payroll to keep your staff information organized.
You can try QuickBooks Time for free for 30 days. After that, the paid plans include:
- Premium — Time and attendance features for $20 per month and $8 per user per month.
- Elite — Project tracking and geofencing for $40 per month and $10 per user per month.
6. Deputy: Best for wage and hour compliance
Deputy is a staff scheduling software tool that also has features for time tracking and labor compliance. As an employee rostering solution, it allows users to store and manage information about wages, training data, roles, and payroll within individual staff profiles.
- Time tracking tools
- Schedule builder
- AI-powered auto-scheduling capabilities
- Employee profiles for storing team member information
- Mobile time clock app
- Labor compliance tools
Pros and cons
Like Homebase, Deputy helps users stay compliant with alerts and notifications for missed breaks and overtime hours. One unique function, though, is its active attestation feature. This allows employees to confirm after every shift whether they — not their managers or supervisors — requested to work overtime, leave early, or miss a break. This helps businesses maintain a clean labor compliance record should any legal issues arise.
But bear in mind that, unlike Homebase, Deputy doesn’t have built-in payroll or team communication tools, which means staff will have to rely on other apps to stay in touch and get paid.
Deputy has a Scheduling plan and a Time & Attendance plan for $3.50 per user per month. Its Premium plan lets you combine both Scheduling and Time & Attendance for $4.90 per user per month.
Say goodbye to scheduling and compliance headaches with Homebase
An employee rostering software tool keeps your team information in one place, and it’s more important than you might realize. It won’t just make scheduling faster or your records more organized — it’ll help you stay legally compliant with state and federal labor laws and make tax filing much less stressful.
Homebase goes above and beyond compared to other employee rostering software options. With our app, there’s no need to click through multiple dashboards to track down wage information, availability, performance and attendance data, and tax documents. Homebase keeps everything stored right in the staff roster, which you can find when you head to the Teams dashboard.
And even though Homebase is more comprehensive than the other options on this list, we’re still the most scalable. Our free plan has basic scheduling, time tracking, and messaging features for up to 20 employees. Plus, our per-location pricing makes our platform much more cost-effective as your team grows.
**The information above is based on our research on employee rostering software. All user feedback referenced in the text has been sourced from independent software review platforms, such as G2 and Capterra, in April 2023.