If you need to track hours worked, you can use a free time clock app like Homebase, or a physical punch clock like those made by Lathem or Acroprint. Using a time clock app instead of punch clock has a few advantages beyond the enormous amount of money you’ll save.

1) Prevent early clock-ins

With a time clock app like Homebase, you can prevent early clock-ins, which can add up. An employee clocking in to their shift a few minutes early, multiplied by the number of employees on your team and over the course of a full month can end up being hundreds of dollars! On average, businesses that prevent early clock-ins save around $200 per month.

With a physical punch clock, you have no control over when your employees can clock in.

2) Clock-out reminders

If your employees forget to clock out of their shift, and you’re using a punch clock, you’ll have to do some time-consuming detective work to update their time card with the correct clock-out time. If you use the Homebase time clock app, we’ll send your employee a notification when they haven’t clocked out and their shift was scheduled to end. When they reply to the message, we’ll update their time card automatically with the correct clock out time.

3) A mobile time clock

With Homebase, you can empower your employees to clock in and out right from their mobile phones! You’ll be able to set a radius around an address, and when your employees enter that zone, they’ll be able to clock in. They won’t be able to clock in while they’re still at home. It’s great for catering and off-site businesses that involve customer visits, like plumbers or drivers. It’s more convenient for your team, and you’ll also save on labor costs because you won’t need to pay your team to head into the store, clock in, then head to the off-site appointment.

With a time clock machine like Acroprint or Lathem, there’s no choice — your employee has to be on-site to clock in (unless you decide to allow someone else to clock in for them, or have them report their hours later, but those are both slippery slopes).

4) Late clock-in notification

A time clock app like Homebase will let you know when an employee is late for their scheduled shift and hasn’t clocked in yet. It makes it a lot easier if you have multiple locations you’re managing, or you’re otherwise away from your business. A physical punch clock could never do that!

5) Approaching overtime notice

Homebase can also notify you when an employee is about to hit overtime (in most places, that’s after they’ve been working for eight consecutive hours or 40 hours in a week). Armed with that information, you can arrange for a replacement or just keep a note of the overtime cost. With a punch clock, you’ll have no insight or control over when someone is about to hit overtime — especially tricky when you’re tracking hours worked over multiple days.

6) Shift feedback

When an employee clocks out on the Homebase time clock, you can prompt them to rate their shifts. We’ll track shift ratings over time, so you’ll get an a better picture of tough shifts, and help balance your schedule to improve your employee satisfaction and retention.

7) Payroll and scheduling integrations

Homebase has built-in shift scheduling and integrates with popular payroll providers, making running payroll a breeze. No more spreadsheets or tabulating hours — you’ll see everything in one place, with any time card errors highlighted for easy resolution. It’ll take just minutes to review and run payroll with Homebase. With a punch clock, you’ll have to enter the hours in to your payroll provider or spreadsheet program, then calculate pay, and then run payroll — often an hours-long process for managers.

So what are you waiting for? Start saving hundreds of hours — and thousands of dollars — every year with Homebase.