Managing a small business can be tricky, and one of the biggest challenges is keeping track of your team’s hours and wages. That’s where Deputy can be useful. The employee management platform helps managers write schedules, monitor hours, and maintain timesheets.
But despite its advantages, Deputy doesn’t suit everyone. Some businesses, like small shops and cafes, may find the granular settings too complicated for their needs. Others might want a more comprehensive solution that includes payroll and communication tools so they have everything they need in one place.
That’s why we’ve researched the best Deputy alternatives for you. This article will explore the features, pricing, and user experiences of each software solution to help you make the right choice for your business.
The top 9 Deputy alternatives
- Homebase: Best all-in-one solution for small businesses
- When I Work: Best for small, very simple operations
- QuickBooks Time: Best for variety of integrations
- Skedulo: Best for healthcare workers
- Connecteam: Best for monitoring mobile teams
- ZoomShift: Best for seasonal businesses
- 7shifts: Best for restaurant scheduling
- Sling: Best for global teams
- OpenSimSim: Best for basic needs
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1. Homebase: Best all-in-one solution for small businesses
If you find Deputy overcomplicates things, choose Homebase instead. Our employee management platform simplifies and streamlines tasks like scheduling, time tracking, and team communication. Homebase also has a wider selection of features for small businesses, including payroll, compliance tools, and expert HR assistance.
Plus, Homebase matches Deputy where it matters. First, we have a mobile app that all your employees can use. That means you can manage your team from anywhere — even your home — and divide your attention between different business locations more easily. Meanwhile, staff can access self-service features like shift swaps, cover requests, and flexible pay benefits.
A lot can go wrong with scheduling — somehow, you need to accommodate both staff preferences and business needs and stay compliant with state laws. That’s why you need scheduling software like Homebase and Deputy, which allow you to:
- Automatically create schedules based on availability, labor costs, and staffing requirements
- Build a library of schedule templates you can reuse whenever you like
- Let employees self-schedule, so you can save time organizing swaps and covers
But unlike Deputy, Homebase has a simple interface and one-click scheduling capabilities, which are great for small teams. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to set up the software or train staff how to use it. Plus, Homebase includes basic scheduling tools within the free plan.
Time tracking software like Homebase and Deputy are key to happy employees and healthy profits. They let you accurately record hours so you’re never under nor overpaying staff. They also help your team keep to their schedules with alerts and reminders.
But best of all, Homebase saves you time with its built-in accounting features. That means you can sync timesheet and payroll data in one place instead of switching between apps or manually entering figures.
Small businesses don’t typically have accountants on staff, so owners have to shoulder the responsibility. So, why not use Homebase to auto-calculate wages and taxes and then send all your payments out instead?
Homebase is also a flexible accounting solution, after all. We have built-in payroll features, so you won’t have to pay for and learn how to use another app. But you also have the choice of popular integrations like Gusto and QuickBooks if you’re already using those platforms and don’t want to make a change.
HR and compliance
It’s uncommon for small businesses to have dedicated HR managers in-house. However, they’re just as much at risk of penalties due to compliance issues as larger businesses.
That’s why it’s such a game changer that Homebase provides live access to an experienced HR team. They can advise you on challenging situations like terminations and help you create policies that work for your business and create a positive employee experience.
We also provide compliance tools to help with daily team management tasks. For instance, alerts warn you when staff members approach overtime so you can reassign the shift or make sure they leave work on time. And our document management system notifies you when vital paperwork and certifications are about to expire.
What makes Homebase stand out from the competition is its versatile free plan. You can access basic scheduling, time tracking, and communication tools for one location without spending a cent. After that, there’s a choice of three paid plans:
- Essentials for $24.95 per month to access more advanced scheduling, time tracking, and team communication features.
- Plus for $59.95 per month to get hiring tools, PTO and time off controls, and departments and permissions.
- All-in-one for $99.95 per month for HR and compliance, onboarding tools, and labor cost management.
You can opt into Homebase payroll on a separate plan for $39 per month plus $6 per employee. Homebase customers can also save 20% when they commit to an annual plan right off the bat rather than the month-to-month option.
Get your team in sync with our easy-to-use, all-in-one employee app.
2. When I Work: Best for very small, simple operations
When I Work is a cloud-based employee scheduling and time tracking software solution. Customers praise it for its intuitive design and ease of use, which means it won’t be difficult to introduce to your business.
Plus, When I Work is a cost-effective solution for lean teams as it charges a small fee per employee. So, if you’ve only got three team members, you can easily beat the prices of competitor software. The flipside is larger or growing businesses may find that When I Work’s costs add up and make it a less affordable option.
- Scheduling: Assign shifts and tasks to employees. Receive progress reports on how much of a digital checklist workers have completed via the When I Work app.
- Time tracking: Allow staff to clock in and out using the app and convert their hours into timesheets. Also, use labor cost controls to receive alerts when employees approach overtime and prevent them from picking up extra shifts.
- Communication: Connect with your entire team, groups, or individual employees.
When I Work offers two paid plans:
- Standard for $2.50 per employee per month with the option to add time tracking and early cashout tools for another $1.50 per employee.
- Advanced for $6 per employee per month, and you can also add the same tools as the Standard plan for $2 per employee.
3. QuickBooks Time: Best for variety of integrations
QuickBooks Time (formerly known as TSheets) is an employee management solution from Intuit. That means you can easily sync your QuickBooks Time data with all of Intuit’s other products, including accounting, payroll, and payment processing. It also integrates with tools as diverse as:
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Data management
- Reporting and analytics
- Scheduling: Allocate jobs or shifts depending on your business type. Then, make edits to schedules and notify team members if necessary.
- Time tracking: Let employees clock in and out of work using the app. Check who’s working and their location throughout the duration of their shifts.
- Project management: Compare each project’s estimated hours and expenses against actual data to assess your progress.
QuickBooks Time has two paid plans:
- Premium for $20 per month, plus $8 per user per month.
- Elite for $40 per month, plus $10 per user per month.
Other QuickBooks products like payroll and accounting are separate and cost extra.
4. Skedulo: Best for healthcare workers
Managers in the healthcare industry may appreciate Skedulo. As well as scheduling, the tool lets you find the most suitable employee for a client and dispatch them. That means your company can respond faster to situations like medical emergencies or mental health crises. Skedulo also allows users to mark team members as ‘on call,’ unlike many competitors.
- Scheduling: Automatically assign shifts based on availability, skill set, and proximity. Also, respond to urgent call-outs by dispatching workers and tracking their progress on a pipeline.
- Communication: Send instant messages or arrange virtual meetings via Skedulo’s Zoom or Microsoft Teams integrations.
You have to contact Skedulo for pricing information.
5. Connecteam: Best for monitoring mobile teams
Connecteam’s main appeal is its support for mobile workforces. The platform lets you track staff’s locations so you can monitor their journey times and mileage more easily. This makes it simple for businesses like delivery services and construction companies to ensure team members don’t take too many long routes or make unnecessary pit stops.
For larger enterprises, Connecteam has a wider range of relevant tools than some other Deputy alternatives. You can access features like training, quizzes, and rewards management within the HR & Skills hub.
- Scheduling: Assign jobs by customer, site, or project. You can also allow employees to claim open shifts.
- Time tracking: Use the Deputy time clock to let staff sign into their shifts wherever they work. Then, use GPS tracking to verify their times and locations.
- Quizzes and courses: Create custom training courses with questionnaires to test staff knowledge.
- Rewards: Give employees tokens for their hard work and good performance, which they can cash in for gift cards.
Connecteam offers a free plan with basic features for up to ten users. It also has paid plans for the Operations, Communication, and HR & Skills hubs:
- Basic for $29 per month
- Advanced for $49 per month
- Expert for $99 per month
- Enterprise, which has custom pricing for unlimited features
6. ZoomShift: Best for seasonal businesses
When you’re only busy for a few months out of the year, software subscriptions can be an unnecessary expense. That’s why seasonal businesses like ski resorts and beach bars may appreciate ZoomShift’s pricing plan — you can deactivate employees or put your entire plan on hold whenever you like. That way, you’ll save money by only paying for ZoomShift features when you need them.
- Scheduling: Save time by creating reusable templates and letting employees self-schedule.
- Time tracking: Use the ZoomShift time clock on both the desktop and mobile app to record staff hours.
ZoomShift has three paid plans:
- Starter for $2 per employee per month.
- Premium for $4 per employee per month.
- Enterprise with custom pricing, which is best for businesses with over 100 employees.
7. 7Shifts: Best for restaurant scheduling
Designed with restaurants in mind, 7Shifts is a versatile employee management system. It solves many unique challenges for businesses in the food and beverage industry. For example, 7Shifts lets you take care of tip pooling according to the rules that suit you and your team. And you can schedule employees by department, business area, and location — which is ideal for restaurant chains with different types of staff and seating areas.
- Scheduling: Use granular settings to assign shifts based on role, location, and more. Also, run analytics to predict staffing requirements.
- Time tracking: Allow employees to clock into work using photo capture or geofencing for accurate timekeeping.
- Hiring and onboarding: Post jobs and track each candidate’s status throughout the interview process and their first months in the position.
- Communication: Use the team chat app, announcements, and SMS notifications to contact employees.
7Shifts has a free plan for up to 30 employees and three paid plans:
- Entree for $34.99 per month with a limit of 30 employees and 50 locations.
- The Works for $76.99 per month, which is also limited to 30 employees and 50 locations.
- Gourmet for $150 per month for unlimited employees and locations.
8. Sling: Best for global teams
With Sling, you can schedule employees, track their hours, and use the built-in messenger to coordinate all of the above. What differentiates this software solution from the competition is the World Clock feature, which lets you schedule team members in different time zones. That means you can see employees’ local times in different countries and assign them shifts more easily. For instance, if you have remote team members who are five hours ahead, you won’t accidentally schedule them when they’re supposed to be sleeping.
- Scheduling: View and edit schedules according to people’s local time zones.
- Time tracking: Have team members clock into work via the mobile app or a kiosk station on a desktop device.
- Team communication: Message individuals, custom groups, or the entire team so everyone only gets information that’s relevant to them.
- Task management: Create checklists for specific roles and shifts and then receive notifications when employees complete them.
You can access basic tools on Sling’s free account or choose between two paid plans:
- Premium at $2 per employee per month for time tracking, geofencing, and labor cost controls.
- Business at $4 per employee per month for leave management and reporting.
9. OpenSimSim: Best for basic needs
If you’re on a tight budget, OpenSimSim may be for you. The employee management software has a free plan and a lower starting price than many other Deputy alternatives. However, it still shares all the same tools as Deputy, plus communication.
But the tradeoff is OpenSimSim also has far fewer integrations than its competitors. That means it might work best as a temporary fix while you’re starting out rather than a long-term solution for a growing business.
- Scheduling: Assign shifts or reuse schedule templates from your library. Then, notify employees when their timetables are ready via the OpenSimSim app.
- Time tracking: Turn your tablet into a kiosk or let team members use the mobile app to clock into work.
- Communication: Use public and private chats to send important messages or check in with staff.
For one location and ten or fewer employees, you can access OpenSimSim’s free plan. There are also three paid plans:
- Starter for $15.99 per location per month for up to two locations. Request shift confirmations and block off important days.
- Premium for $39.99 per location per month for five departments. Includes most of the time tracking and compliance tools.
- Enterprise with custom pricing for unlimited business locations.
Which Deputy alternative is best for your small business
While Deputy is one of the top employee management platforms, it lacks essential features like payroll and communication. Its tools may also be too complex for your small business. In that case, you might be looking for similar alternatives that avoid these problems.
Homebase is an all-in-one solution with an intuitive design that’s easy to set up. There’s no steep learning curve or hours of training necessary with our tools. We also include all the basic management features small businesses need, like scheduling, time tracking, and communication, as well as more advanced ones, like payroll and compliance. With Homebase, you can run your business more efficiently without worrying about whether the software will do everything you need it to.
Get your team in sync with our easy-to-use, all-in-one employee app.
**The information above is based on our research on Deputy alternatives. All user feedback referenced in the text has been sourced from independent software review platforms, such as G2 and Capterra, in March 2023.