Homebase vs. Deputy (2023)

It’s exciting when your small business starts to grow. But if you don’t get a handle on the extra workload, those positive feelings can quickly turn to panic and dread.

Many small business owners use HR apps like Homebase and Deputy to streamline their workflow and free up time. You can speed up tasks like scheduling and payroll while making fewer errors.

But don’t waste your time with an app that’s not right for your business. Read our comparison of Homebase and Deputy on their key features, pricing, and best use cases to find the best fit.**

Why choose Homebase instead of Deputy in 2023?

Homebase is the best choice for small businesses due to its comprehensive range of HR tools. You can take a staff member right from hiring through to onboarding, scheduling, and payroll in the same place. That’s essential when you’re busy running a business and need to keep your operations as simple as possible.

On the other hand, Deputy only offers scheduling and time tracking. That means instead of streamlining your workload, you have to learn to use and juggle different apps.

Homebase is also more intuitive and easy to implement. Users rate us highly on ease of use so you’ll have fewer teething problems as you launch the app. Deputy users say the platform has complex features and a steep learning curve so it’s better for tech-savvy business owners or large companies with dedicated IT staff.

Comparison chart: Homebase vs. Deputy at a glance

Homebase Deputy
Employee scheduling
Time tracking
HR tools
Team messaging
Labor compliance
Support for departments or worksites
Task management
Hiring and onboarding tools
Mobile app
Early pay access for employees
Customer service phone, chat, and email phone, chat, and email
Pricing Plans range from free to $100 per location per month

Homebase Payroll costs $39/month base fee +

$6/month per active employee

Plans range from $3.50 to $4.90 per user per month
Cost for most comprehensive plan for a business with 1 location with 20 employees $80/monthly (annually)

$99/monthly (monthly)



How Homebase and Deputy stack up against each other

The main difference between Homebase and Deputy is the range of their features. Deputy mainly focuses on scheduling, time tracking, and messaging and other essential tools like payroll are only available via integration. On the other hand, Homebase is an all-in-one HR solution that also includes accounting and hiring tools.

They also differ in pricing. Homebase charges per location which means you don’t pay extra as you hire more staff. Whereas Deputy charges per employee so it’s more cost-effective for very small teams of two or three people.

Another difference is their target markets. Although both apps cater to the retail, hospitality, and restaurant industries, Homebase has a greater ratio of US customers. This has allowed them to cultivate a team of HR experts specialized in US labor laws. On the other hand, Deputy has a more international customer base and their app supports eight languages.

An in-depth breakdown of Homebase’s fees and features

Caption: Homebase’s versatile scheduling tools let you create error-free timetables based on your team’s roles and availabilities


Writing schedules is probably one of your most demanding tasks so prioritize finding an app with autoscheduling to save you time. Homebase’s autopopulation and template features let you create instant schedules based on employee roles and availability at the click of a button. You can also ease your workload while giving staff more autonomy with the range of self-scheduling tools like open shifts, shift trades, and covers.

But time isn’t your only concern. You can also check you’re within budget by using our versatile forecasting tools to check your labor-to-sales ratio. The figures are on a sidebar so you don’t have to switch between tabs on our platform.

Time and attendance

Another way to stick to your budget is by using time tracking tools. Homebase’s range of time and attendance tools ensure you’re recording your team’s hours correctly and not overpaying on wages:

  • A multi-device time clock: Employees can download the app onto their phones and tablets for more accurate time tracking. Use labor cost controls like early clock-in prevention and automatic clock-out to spare yourself from having to amend your timesheets.
  • Timesheets: Automatically create timesheets based on data from your schedule and each employee’s time clock. Then transfer the information to Homebase payroll or your integration of choice.
  • Support for remote workers: Create virtual fences for off-site employees so they can clock in wherever they are.

Most of the time tracking features including the time clock and timesheets are available via the free plan.

Team messaging

The most efficient HR apps tie all their features together with communication tools. That’s why Homebase has a free chat app and we’ve integrated other tools seamlessly into our platform.

The entire team can message each other individually or in custom groups so nobody gets bombarded with unnecessary IMs. Admins can also filter staff by who’s working so it’s easier to check in when you’re off-site. Use message confirmations to make sure everyone has seen important updates like schedule changes or new passwords.

You can also use shift notes to leave messages for employees on their timetable. Leave a to-do list, notify them about potential problems, or even leave them encouragement with a challenging task.

HR tools

Most small businesses can’t afford dedicated HR personnel so Homebase provides a robust set of HR tools and services instead. These can help you stay compliant with state and federal regulations and avoid hefty fines.

  • Access to HR professionals: Run your policies by experts and seek advice on tricky situations like terminations.
  • A custom-made employee handbook: Take a 30-minute phone interview to receive a bespoke handbook.
  • Compliance alerts: Discover when labor laws change so you can adjust your practices and don’t incur penalties.
  • Time off, break, and overtime management: Ensure employees get enough breaks while staying compliant. Get notifications when employees approach overtime so you can adjust their hourly rate to meet the regulations or redistribute their extra hours.

Caption: Homebase streamlines the hiring and onboarding process making it a great option for businesses with fluctuating staff numbers

Hiring and onboarding tools

Hiring new staff and getting them settled into your business can be a full-time job in itself. So, Homebase has tools to streamline every step of the process:

  • Create a job advert using a template from our extensive library
  • Post the advert automatically to all the popular job sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter
  • Track and manage each candidate on the hiring dashboard
  • Add the successful candidates to your staff roster
  • Request and collect all their essential documents using the messaging app and e-signature tools
  • Store and manage all their onboarding documents in Homebase’s secure cloud storage


The best HR apps combine scheduling and time tracking features with payroll so you can pay your team quickly and accurately. Homebase’s payroll automatically converts your timesheets into wages and autocalculates any taxes you need to withhold.

Whereas Deputy only supports scheduling and time tracking so you have to rely on other apps to complete your payroll. That means learning how to use more software and potentially having to switch if the partnership ends.

Employee happiness tools

While scheduling and time tracking are important to running your business smoothly, they’re nothing compared to your employees. So, Homebase has a selection of features to support your team.

One popular tool is the early cash-out option. Team members can request a portion of their wages via the app before payday. This gives them tight control over their finances and lets them pay for sudden emergencies without dipping into their overdraft. Plus, there are no extra fees for you or your staff.

You can also track performance metrics like on-time arrivals and record specific details about achievements in the manager’s logbook. Then, you can shout out staff publicly on the app so everyone can join in congratulating them.

Mobile app

The Homebase app has a 4.8 rating on the App Store and a 4.4 rating on Google Play as of February 2023. Admins have access to scheduling and time tracking tools. Employees can view their schedules, arrange swaps or covers, and get early access to wages. And everyone can use the messaging system.

Homebase pricing

What sets Homebase apart from Deputy and many of its competitors is its comprehensive free plan. You can access basic tools in:

Homebase also has three paid plans. The $20 monthly plan has helpful extra tools like late alerts and shift notes. Then, the $40 monthly plan lets you manage operations more efficiently with overtime tracking and permissions. You get full access to all Homebase’s features like new hire onboarding and HR support with the $80 monthly plan.

You can also add payroll to any plan for another $39 per month plus $6 per employee. So, if your business already has an accounting system, you have the option to keep it instead of changing all your processes. Homebase integrates with most of the popular payroll solutions like Gusto and ADP.

An in-depth breakdown of Deputy’s fees and features

Source: https://www.deputy.com/features/scheduling-software
Caption: Deputy’s main focus is scheduling and time tracking with a range of features to support small businesses


Like Homebase, Deputy has auto-scheduling and self-scheduling tools as well as reusable templates to save you time.

Although Deputy also has labor forecasting, you can only access this feature in the Enterprise plan priced toward medium to large businesses. So, Deputy might not be a cost-effective option for small businesses.

Time tracking

To help you record your staff’s hours accurately, Deputy has timesheets and a time clock like Homebase. You can also let staff clock in using biometric verification. If you’re in one of the states or countries that allows this practice, this may be an interesting option for you.

However, Deputy doesn’t have built-in payroll like Homebase, which means you have to manually export your timesheet data or choose from its range of integrations.

Team messaging

Deputy has messaging features like Homebase with a few extras. As well as filtering groups by availability, you can also search by staff scheduled later that day. That means you can leave messages for the evening or night shift without unnecessarily including the day staff.

There’s also a news feed that supports text, images, and video. Employees can contribute but you have to approve their messages. Homebase’s equivalent is its announcements feature that lets you pin important messages to the app dashboard.

HR tools

There aren’t as many HR tools available on Deputy as on Homebase. You can access wage and hour compliance tools but no HR consulting services. Plus, many of the advanced compliance tools are in the Enterprise plan meaning you have to upgrade to a plan for larger businesses to use them.

Task management

If you’ve got remote crews or freelancers, Deputy’s task management tools can help you oversee their work. Admins can write checklists and assign them to employees on an individual or recurring basis. To make sure tasks get done, you can also send reminders and also receive notifications from your staff.

While Homebase doesn’t have a dedicated task management tool, you can assign roles and departments to clarify staff’s responsibilities. Then you can use shift notes to get into specifics.

Source: https://www.deputy.com/gb/features/employee-onboarding
Caption: Deputy gives you the option to onboard your employees with them for a one-off fee

Hiring and onboarding tools

Deputy has similar onboarding tools to Homebase like document management and storage. These can help you settle in new hires quickly. However, there’s an extra fee for these features and there aren’t any hiring tools.

Deputy also doesn’t integrate with any job sites so you have to manually enter the successful candidates into your system.

Employee happiness tools

To support employees, Deputy has a manager journal where you can note exceptional work or areas of improvement. Then you can give your employees constructive feedback backed by data and observations. Deputy’s manager journal is a close equivalent of Homebase’s manager logbook.

Deputy also has training management where you can store and track certifications but this is only available on the Enterprise plan.

Mobile app

Deputy has two mobile apps, one per module. As of February 2023, they are:

  • Scheduling rated 4.3 on Google Play and 4.8 on the App Store.
  • Time clock rated 4.3 on Google Play and 3.9 on the App Store.

If you only plan to use one of the Deputy modules, having the choice of two apps may be useful. Otherwise, it’s more time efficient to use Homebase and access everything in one place.

Aside from schedule and time tracking management, Deputy also shares Homebase’s messaging tool. Admins can also upload videos if they wish.

Deputy pricing

Deputy has a 31-day free trial but doesn’t offer a free plan. Otherwise, there are four paid plans:

  • Scheduling for $3.50 per user per month with all the team availability and schedule management features.
  • Time tracking at $3.50 per user per month to access the time clock and timesheets.
  • Premium for $4.90 per user per month for a combination of all the scheduling and time-tracking plans.
  • Flexi for $2.50 per active user and $0.50 per inactive user. This allows you access to the Premium plan and you can change each employee’s active status weekly.

Businesses with over 250 employees are also eligible for a custom-priced plan. And you can onboard each employee for a one-off fee of $4.50.

Homebase vs. Deputy’s integrations compared

Integration Homebase Deputy
Restaurant 365
Quickbooks Online

Homebase vs. Deputy’s scalability

Both Homebase and Deputy offer features and deals to help growing businesses.

Homebase has a free plan with basic scheduling and time-tracking tools for one location. That means you don’t even have to pay until you’re ready. Then we charge per location so your costs don’t increase as your team does.

Deputy offers a flexible plan with a lower rate for inactive employees. You can change this weekly to tightly match your costs to your labor needs as you get more business. But this is still less cost-effective than solutions like Homebase that only charge per location.

And Deputy doesn’t have flexible pricing plans. There’s only a choice of the basics or the advanced features in the Enterprise plan for businesses with 250 employees or more. That means growing businesses have to choose between the two and can’t add on features as they need them.

**The information above is based on our research on Homebase vs. Gusto. All user feedback referenced in the text has been sourced from independent software review platforms, such as G2 and Capterra, in February 2023.

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