The 6 Best Clock-In Clock-Out Apps for 2024

Keeping track of hourly workers accurately and efficiently sets your business up for success. You can make sure you’re not overpaying in labor while still compensating your team fairly. And staff won’t get stressed out by unnecessary scrutiny or inconvenient time tracking methods.

All this is why investing in a clock in clock out app can be a game changer. This kind of popular software can record shift times quickly and accurately with minimal hassle for your staff. However, as Google will tell you, there are hundreds of apps out there, and you have to figure out which one would work best for your business needs and preferences.

This article explores the best clock in and out apps on the market to help you make an informed choice. We take a detailed look at each option’s features, pricing, and user experience to reveal which one might work best for you.

What is a Clock-in and Clock-out App? 

A clock-in and clock-out app is a kind of software that allows hourly workers to record their shift start and end times electronically. These apps are replacing old-fashioned time tracking methods like punch clocks and spreadsheets because they’re more accurate and convenient. Clock in apps are also difficult to tamper with, so there’s no risk of staff recording the wrong shift times or signing in for each other.

Time-tracking apps vary according to industry needs, but most small business versions have the following features:

  • A time clock with GPS, biometric, or photo verification
  • A mobile app that employees can use to clock in and out
  • Break and attendance tracking
  • Staff notifications and reminders about upcoming shifts
  • Alerts for managers about missed breaks and no shows
  • Automatic timesheets
  • Scheduling and payroll tools

Why Are Clock-in and Clock-out Apps Important for Small Businesses?

Clock in and clock out apps are important for small businesses because they’re the best way to record employee hours accurately. This has a knock-on effect across many areas of the company:

More Revenue

Clock-in apps play a crucial role in managing labor costs for small businesses. When employees arrive late, and their time isn’t accurately deducted from their wages, it results in unnecessary labor expenses. By using clock-in apps, businesses ensure they only pay for the actual hours worked, leading to more controlled labor costs and potentially increased revenue.

Easier to Spot Patterns in Attendance

Identifying attendance issues is simpler with clock-in apps. These apps can highlight patterns, such as employees who are consistently late. Understanding these patterns enables managers to address potential issues, like challenging commutes or poor time management, and work towards solutions.

Improved Team Morale

Fairness in the workplace is key to maintaining high team morale. When some employees work their full schedule while others are frequently late, it can lead to feelings of unfairness among punctual staff. Clock-in apps ensure that employees are paid only for the time they work, promoting a sense of fairness and potentially boosting team morale.

Greater Insight into Labor Demand

Accurate time tracking provided by clock-in apps helps businesses understand their staffing needs. By analyzing past timesheets, managers can better forecast labor requirements for future shifts, leading to more efficient staffing and potentially reduced labor costs.

More Seamless Data Management

Clock-in apps automate the timesheet generation process, reducing the need for manual data entry. This automation saves significant time in paperwork, lowers the risk of payroll errors, and can reduce the stress associated with managing employee hours.

Fewer Compliance Issues

Effective time tracking is essential for compliance in various areas. Clock-in apps help monitor overtime, ensuring employees are paid correctly or shifts are adjusted as needed. They also assist in ensuring employees take required breaks and help document persistent lateness, which can be crucial for formal employee evaluations or warnings.

6 Best Clock-in and Clock-out Apps

Although there are many time clock apps out there, these stand out above the rest:

  1. Homebase: Best all-around app for small businesses
  2. TimeCamp: Best for in-app tracking
  3. Clockify: Best for tracking billable hours
  4. Connecteam: Best for tracking traveling crews
  5. Buddy Punch: Best for range of clock in methods
  6. Deputy: Best for variety of integrations

1. Homebase: Best All-around App for Small Businesses

A screenshot of a no show alert on the Homebase dashboard.
Homebase’s time clock app tracks hours and alerts you about issues like missed breaks and no shows.

Homebase lets employees clock into work effortlessly, records hours accurately, and creates instant timesheets. Our platform is also affordably priced, so you get a comprehensive set of human resources tools at a cost that won’t cut into your budget. Not to mention, customers compliment us on our easy setup and user-friendly interface, so you can enjoy the benefits of accurate time tracking from day one.  

Integrated timesheets and payroll

A screenshot of Homebase's timesheets dashboard.
Homebase’s time clock app syncs with timesheets to give you super-accurate reports of employee hours.

Our time clock tool syncs with our built-in timesheets and payroll features. That way, you don’t have to enter the timesheet data yourself and risk inconsistencies and errors. In addition, you can use Homebase to automatically calculate wages based on:

  • Hours worked
  • Paid and unpaid breaks taken
  • Overtime
  • Rates
  • Tips earned

Homebase timesheets also let you analyze how your business is performing, for instance, by importing sales data to compare it against labor costs and determining where you’re under or overspending on hours.

Remote time tracking and geofencing technology

If your business has on-the-go teams, checking the time they start and finish shifts can be challenging. Homebase’s time clock can track your remote workers without you having to call employees up or ask them what their colleagues are doing. You can also set up geofences around specific locations, so no one can sign in until they arrive at work. 

In addition, our time clock tool can give you a GPS snapshot of each employee’s location when they start their shifts for extra verification. That way, you can oversee teams without having to visit several work sites or asking them to travel to central locations to sign in and out of work. 

Anti-time theft and buddy punching technology

A screenshot of the time clock on the Homebase employee app.
Homebase’s mobile app allows you to verify arrival times without imposing on staff.

When colleagues clock in for one another — or “buddy punch” as it’s often called — managers can’t tell who arrived on time and who was late. Homebase has a way to eliminate this problem. If you ask your team to download our app and clock in when they arrive at their work location, employees won’t be able to punch in for each unless they relinquish their phones. And if you think someone might try that, you can also request photo verification for an extra layer of security.

Pros and cons

Pros

👍 All-in-one solution

👍 Free plan

👍 Designed for hourly teams

👍 Beginner-friendly

👍 Range of time tracking tools

👍 Built-in payroll, scheduling, and chat app

Cons

👍 Prioritizes features for small businesses

👍 No option to track the time spent on tasks

Pricing

Homebase’s basic time tracking features are free for teams at one location with twenty employees or fewer. But to take advantage of all that our platform can do for you, we recommend one of our paid plans with advanced time tracking tools.

Here’s a breakdown of all the options we offer:

  • Basic. Free for one location and up to 20 employees. It has basic time tracking tools alongside scheduling, POS integrations, and email support.
  • Essentials. $24.95 per month per location. Everything in Basic, plus advanced time tracking tools, performance tracking and scheduling tools, integrations with popular payroll apps, and access to live support.
  • Plus. $55.95 per month per location. Everything in Essentials, plus time off controls, hiring tools, and departments and permissions.
  • All-in-one. $99.95 per month per location. Everything in Plus, plus labor cost controls, business insights, HR and compliance, and onboarding tools.

Payroll is available as a separate add-on for $39 per month plus $6 per active employee. Customers can also commit to an annual plan and save 20%.

What customers say
As of June 2023, Homebase has a 4.8/5 (out of 43.6K reviews) rating on the App Store and a 4/4/5 (out of 18.2K reviews) on Google Play.

2. TimeCamp: Best for in-app tracking

Overlapping graphics of the TimeCamp time clock app on mobile and laptop interfaces.
Source

Office-based businesses sometimes need to track how long staff members spend on different apps, as well as monitor their hours. Doing so lets them determine which platforms are most efficient and which they need to scrap.

If that sounds like you, TimeCamp may be a good fit. The software has kiosks where employees can check in as well as a desktop plug-in, so you can track team members’ activity across different computer applications.

Top features

  • Time kiosk feature
  • Desktop app tracking
  • Task and project tracking
  • Timesheets

Pros and cons

Pros

👍 Unlimited users and tasks on the free plan

👍 “Clean layout

👍 “Easy to use

Cons

👍 Charge per employee isn’t cost-effective for large teams

👍 Users report “lagging” and “delay[s]” that lead to inaccurate time tracking

Pricing

TimeCamp has three plans:

  • Free: Time clock kiosk and app at no cost for unlimited users and projects.
  • Basic: $3.99 per user per month. Everything in Free, plus attendance, time off, and overtime tracking.
  • Starter: $7.99 per user per month. Everything in Basic, plus billable time tracking.
  • Pro: $10.99 per user per month. Everything in Starter, plus billable rates, custom roles, and timesheet approvals.

There’s also the option of the Enterprise plan with custom pricing.

What customers say

As of June 2023, TimeCamp has a 3/5 (out of 50+ reviews) on the App Store and a 3.8/5 (out of 600+ reviews) on Google Play.

3. Clockify: Best for tracking billable hours

Overlapping screenshots of a clock in on Clockify's employee app.
Source

Many small businesses, like design agencies and marketing companies, have to differentiate between billable and nonbillable hours. Otherwise, you could end up charging clients for time that staff spent in an internal meeting. That’s why Clockify has the option to track both employee hours and projects to ensure you correctly record and categorize all the work your team does.

Top features

  • GPS time tracker
  • Time kiosk feature
  • Built-in Pomodoro timer
  • Reminders to start and stop the manual timer

Pros and cons

Pros

👍 Free plan

👍 No limits on how much time employees can track

👍 “Easy to use and set up

Cons

👍 Charge per kiosk user, unlike many competitors

👍 “A bit slow and unresponsive

👍 “Outdated” user interface

Pricing

Clockify has a free account with basic time tracking tools and an app. It also offers four monthly paid plans:

  • Basic: $4.99 per employee and $0.99 per kiosk user monthly. Everything in the free account, plus pins for kiosks and break management.
  • Standard: $6.99 per employee and $1.49 per kiosk user monthly. Everything in Basic, plus leave management and reminders for employees to log time.
  • Pro: $9.99 per employee and $1.99 per kiosk user monthly. Everything in Standard, plus GPS tracking and extra controls and permissions over who can edit time logged.
  • Enterprise: $14.99 per employee and $2.99 per kiosk user monthly. Everything in Pro, plus a custom website and the ability to log in as any employee.

What customers say

As of June 2023, Clockify has a 4.6/5 (out of 1.7K reviews) on the App Store and a 4/5 (out of 1.75K reviews) on Google Play.

4. Connecteam: Best for tracking traveling crews

Overlapping screenshots displaying Connecteam's GPS tracking feature.
Source

Similar to Homebase, Connecteam has geofencing capabilities for offsite teams. So, you can create virtual fields with boundaries where employees have to check in.

If you have traveling team members like delivery drivers or cleaning crews, Connecteam also lets you track their movements. That’s helpful if you need to check that people aren’t taking diversions or making unnecessary pit stops en route to clients.

Top features

  • GPS time clock
  • Geofencing
  • Location tracking

Pros and cons

Pros

👍 Free plan

👍 Supports 10+ languages

👍 “Customizable

Cons

👍 Limited number of users

👍 “Time-consuming” 

👍 “A lot of upgrades are required

Pricing

Connecteam has a free plan for up to ten users with unlimited features. There are also four paid plans, which are as follows:

  • Basic: $35 per month for one time clock and up to 30 employees. Includes timesheets, notifications, and GPS clock in verification.
  • Advanced: $49 per month for three time clocks and up to 30 employees. Everything in Basic, plus automatic clock outs and geofencing for up to 10 sites.
  • Expert: $99 per month for six time clocks and up to 30 employees. Everything in Advanced, plus GPS location tracking and reporting tools.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing for unlimited time clocks. Everything in Expert, plus unlimited reporting.

If you have more than 30 employees, Connecteam charges per extra user.

What customers say

As of June 2023, Connecteam has a 4.3/5 (out of 500+ reviews) on the App Store and a 3.8/5 (out of 1.92K reviews) on Google Play.

5. Buddy Punch: Best for range of clock in methods

A graphic of the Buddy Punch tool on a landscape screen, with a pop out of a profile picture.
Source

If your business has a variety of departments, perhaps you manage a warehouse or manufacturing facility, you may struggle to find a clock method that suits everyone. But Buddy Punch has a range of verification options, so you don’t need to choose. For example, office workers can use stationary webcams while their on-the-go colleagues can opt for QR codes and facial recognition. However, it’s worth noting that many states are banning biometric clock in methods like some of those Buddy Punch offers.

Top features

  • GPS time tracking
  • QR code, facial recognition, and webcam verification
  • Task tracking with job codes
  • Flexible user controls and permissions 

Pros and cons

Pros

👍 A variety of clock in options

👍 “User-friendly

Cons

👍 Inflexible paid plans

👍 Fixed rate and charge per employee

👍 “Lagging issues

👍 “Glitches with punching in and out

Pricing

BuddyPunch has three paid plans:

  • Standard: $3.49 per user and $19 base fee per month. Includes GPS time tracking, time off tracking, and notifications.
  • Pro: $4.49 per user and $19 base fee per month. Everything in Standard, plus reports on early, late, and absent employees.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing. Everything in Pro, plus API access.

What customers say

As of June 2023, Buddy Punch has a 4.9/5 (out of 500+ reviews) on the App Store and a 4.6/5 (out of 150+ reviews) on Google Play.

6. Deputy: Best for variety of integrations

Screenshots of the employee version of Deputy's time clock app on a tablet and a mobile.
Source

Like Homebase, Deputy integrates with a variety of popular payroll, point of sale (POS), and project management software solutions. That means no matter what type of business you have, you can probably connect to all the tools you need. The downside is that Deputy doesn’t have a built-in payroll tool like Homebase does, so there’s no option to handle time tracking and accounting tasks within the same app.

Top features

  • Task tracking capabilities
  • Biometric and GPS time clocks
  • Payroll and POS integrations

Pros and cons

Pros

👍 Option of a temporary plan for seasonal businesses

👍 Versions in over seven languages

👍 “Flexibility

Cons

👍 Inflexible paid plans

👍 Minimum costs apply

👍 “Confusing to use at first

Pricing

Deputy offers all its time tracking features within one plan for $3.50 per user per month. You also have the option to pay extra for scheduling tools.

What customers say

As of June 2023, Deputy has a 4.7/5 (out of 2.6K reviews) on the App Store and a 4.7/5 (out of 13.6K reviews) on Google Play.

Stop watching the clock with the right time tracking app

Introducing a clock in and out app to your small business is a major step toward more accurate and efficient employee management. You can be sure you’re paying the right wages without having to stay on the premises all the time.

But which to choose? Depending on what kind of small business you have, you might need TimeCamp’s desktop app tracking plugin or Buddy Punch’s webcam verification feature.

However, in most cases, Homebase is the standout option. Our time clock has a range of verification methods to enable employees to clock into work, including GPS, PIN codes, and photos. This tool also generates accurate timesheet and payroll data, which means you never have to worry about under or overpaying staff. And our features don’t stop there — we also have built-in scheduling and communication features to manage and coordinate team members more effectively. 

And best of all, Homebase is easy to learn and use. Before long, your team will be so used to the new clock in system that you’ll have forgotten all about scrambling with time cards or checking the cameras.

Remember: This is not legal advice. If you have questions about your particular situation, please consult a lawyer, CPA, or other appropriate professional advisor or agency.

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