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4 best time clocks for small business in 2024

7 min read
time clocks for small business

Whether your small business hires 1 or 100 employees, you need a timekeeping solution to help you keep track of the hours that your employees work. Although there are many benefits of using time clocks for small business, perhaps the most significant is that it helps you pay employees the right amount at the end of each payment period. This is especially important when you consider that, according to the American Payroll Institute, almost 49% of American workers seek new employment after just two payroll mistakes, such as being paid late or incorrectly.

So, what is the best time clock for small business? Which features should you be looking out for?

To help answer these questions, we have put together a short guide where we will showcase and compare 4 of the best time clocks for small business.

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What to look for in a time clock for small business 

Maintaining an accurate record of the hours that your employees work can be a challenge. You need to account for employee vacations, sick leave, and other forms of paid and unpaid leave. Plus, you need a system in place to ensure that employees are clocking in and out on time, sticking to their allocated breaks, and recording any overtime that they might work. In the past, all this was done manually with timesheets or manual punch cards, which was time-consuming and subject to human error. Thankfully, technology has evolved and these days there are countless digital time clocks for small business on the market that can automate and streamline the process.

So, what is a digital time clock?

A digital time clock is a form of HR software that you can use to track and record the hours that your employees work. It is an essential tool for managing employee attendance and payroll, especially for businesses with hourly workers

Here are some of the most desirable features to look out for in an HRIS time-tracking solution:

  • Mobile access: Employees can clock in and out using their mobile devices.
  • Scheduling: Helps managers schedule employee shifts and notify them of their schedules. This can help you avoid scheduling conflicts.
  • Overtime calculations: A time clock that automatically calculates overtime hours can save managers time and effort in calculating employee pay.
  • Leave management: Some time clocks allow employees to request time off, sick leave, or vacation time through the system. 
  • Reporting: Detailed reports on employee attendance, time worked, and overtime can help managers analyze labor costs and make informed decisions.
  • Integration: Look for a time clock that can integrate with your payroll system or other HR software. This can streamline your payroll process and reduce errors.

Benefits of using time clocks for small business

By using a digital time clock, small business owners can ensure accurate and timely payment of wages, and also keep track of employee attendance and work schedules. This can help with planning and scheduling and can also help prevent time theft or other forms of employee misconduct. The best time clock for small business solutions also include features for time and expense tracking so that you can keep tabs on how much time and money you are spending on your projects

Here are a few other benefits of using time clocks for small business:

  • Accuracy: Time clocks provide accurate records of when employees clock in and out, reducing the risk of errors in payroll.
  • Efficiency: A time clock automates the process of tracking employee attendance, saving time and effort for managers.
  • Cost-effective: By accurately tracking employee hours, businesses can reduce labor costs and avoid overpaying employees.
  • Compliance: Time clocks can help businesses comply with labor laws and regulations, such as overtime rules and break requirements.
  • Accountability: Time clocks create a sense of accountability among employees, as they know their attendance is being tracked.
  • Transparency: Time clocks provide a transparent record of employee attendance, which can help managers address attendance issues or disputes.
  • Productivity: By monitoring employee attendance, businesses can identify patterns of absenteeism or tardiness and take action to improve productivity.

Overall, time clocks provide a reliable, efficient, and cost-effective way for small businesses to manage their employee attendance and payroll, which can help improve the bottom line of your business and reduce compliance risks.

4 best time clocks for small business 

We’ve seen some of the features included in many time clocks for small business. Now let’s take a look at some of the most popular solutions currently on the market. This will help you determine which digital platform will best suit your business.

Let’s get to it. Here are 4 of the best time clocks for small business.


Factorial’s people management software includes a range of essential features for managing and tracking employee time off. Our powerful employee clock-in system is integrated with an all-in-one suite of HR solutions, including payroll, reporting, and performance management. This gives you maximum control over your workforce, streamlines and automates your internal processes, and provides you with a wealth of valuable employee insights that help you grow your business. 

With Factorial’s time-tracking features, you can:

  • Manage sick days, vacation days, and more with automated vacation requests.
  • See vacation days accrued, used, and remaining.
  • Use the calendar to review upcoming employee absences with ease.
  • View all upcoming sick leave, vacation days, and other types of leave at a glance.
  • Track time off to make sure each team is adequately staffed.
  • Implement vacation policies for the whole business or for different teams.
  • Set permissions to determine which supervisors will need to approve absence requests.
  • Approve and reject time off requests with one click.
  • Create custom absence categories as per organization needs.
  • Generate custom reports.
  • Create custom time off policies to meet your business’s needs.
  • Implement unlimited policies for different leave types.
  • Enforce custom time-off policies equitably.
  • Set the amount of paid time off that carries over from one year to the next.
  • Sync with Google calendar.
  • Access a mobile app enabling flexible and accessible employee requests with real-time updates through the employee portal.
  • Generate extensive time-tracking reports to keep track of any trends and valuable insights.
  • Integrate the solution with your payroll software to ensure payroll accuracy.
  • Track time and expenses for specific projects.

What’s more, with Factorial’s flexible and affordable pricing structures, you can choose the right plan for your business needs. We believe that this makes it the most comprehensive and cost-effective time clock for small business on the market.

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Buddy Punch

What is Buddy Punch?

A cloud-based time-tracking and scheduling application that allows employees to clock in and out using their mobile devices or a web-based interface. This solution tracks employee work hours, including regular hours and overtime, and generates reports that can be used for payroll and billing purposes. Additionally, Buddy Punch offers features such as scheduling, time off requests, and integrations with payroll and accounting software

So, what are the pros and cons?

Buddy Punch pros:

  • The software has a simple, intuitive interface that is easy for employees to use.
  • Employees can use the software to clock in and out from their mobile devices. This can be convenient for remote workers or those who work offsite.
  • You can customize the interface to meet the needs of your business.
  • The software offers customer support via phone, email, or chat.

What about the cons?

  • Doesn’t offer as many features as other time clock solutions.
  • Punching out sometimes glitches.
  • Some users report that there may be security concerns with employees clocking in and out using their personal mobile devices.
  • The software requires an internet connection to work, which can be a problem in areas with poor connectivity.
  • The geolocation tracking feature doesn’t always work accurately in all locations.


What is GoCo?

GoCo is a cloud-based human resources (HR) platform that helps small and medium-sized businesses streamline and automate their HR processes. The platform provides a range of tools and features to manage HR tasks, including employee onboarding, benefits enrollment, time tracking, payroll, compliance, and performance management.

So, what time-tracking features does it include?

For starters, GoCo’s time clock for small business includes features for monitoring employee attendance, time off requests, and overtime. Employees can request time off through the platform and managers can approve or deny requests, with notifications sent to both parties. Moreover, the feature also allows managers to view employee schedules and track employee attendance in real time, making it easier to avoid scheduling conflicts.

And what are the pros and cons?

GoCo pros:

  • GoCo’s time-tracking feature is easy to use, allowing employees to clock in and out through a web-based interface or mobile app with minimal effort.
  • The feature provides a centralized location for managers to manage time-off requests.
  • Managers can view employee schedules and track attendance in real-time, making it easier to manage employee schedules and ensure accurate payroll processing.

What about the cons?

  • GoCo’s time-tracking feature doesn’t offer as many features as other time-tracking solutions, which can be a problem if you have complex time-tracking requirements.
  • Software integration features are limited.
  • UI is not optimized so there are occasional glitches.
  • Subscriptions are expensive compared to other solutions like Factorial’s time clock for small business.


What is BambooHR?

BambooHR’s time tracking tool enables managers to set up custom time-off policies and manage time-off requests through a centralized interface. And because BambooHR’s solution also includes reporting capabilities, you also get insights into employee attendance and work hours. As a result, your managers can generate reports on employee attendance, overtime, and other time-related metrics, which you can use for payroll processing and other administrative tasks. Moreover, you can also integrate BambooHR’s time clock for small business with other payroll and accounting software, helping you streamline your payroll processes and reduce your reliance on manual data entry.

So, what are the pros and cons?

BambooHR pros:

  • The platform is robust and offers a range of features for large-scale enterprises.
  • The mobile app allows employees and managers to access important HR information and complete tasks on the go.
  • Great customer service.

What about the cons?

  • Some users have reported limitations with the mobile app, such as slow loading times and limited functionality.
  • Onboarding can take a while.
  • In addition, some reviews suggest that the interface isn’t very functional.
  • Finally, BambooHR does not include built-in scheduling features.

Summing up

So, there you have it. We hope that this guide to the best time clocks for small business helps you find the perfect solution for the specific needs of your business. Above all, remember that the solution that you pick needs to be robust, intuitive, and user-friendly. You also need to make sure that it includes all the tools and features you need to automate and streamline your end-to-end attendance and payroll processes, as we discussed above. That way, you can rest assured that you are issuing timely and accurate payslips at the end of each payroll period, helping you build a happy and productive workforce.

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Cat Symonds is a freelance writer, editor, and translator. Originally from Wales, she studied Spanish and French at the University of Swansea before moving to Barcelona where she lived and worked for 12 years. She has since relocated back to Wales where she continues to build her business, working with clients in Spain and the UK.  Cat is the founder of The Content CAT: Content And Translation, providing content development and translation services to her clients. She specializes in corporate blogs, articles of interest, ghostwriting, and translation (SP/FR/CA into EN), collaborating with a range of companies from a variety of business sectors. She also offers services to a number of NGOs including Oxfam Intermón, UNICEF, and Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership.  For more information or to contact Cat visit her website ( or send her a message through LinkedIn.

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