5 Best Mobile Clock In and Out Apps for Small Businesses 2024
Updated: 1st February 2024 18:06
What is a mobile time clocking system?
In a similar way to old-fashioned time clocking machines, mobile clock in apps are used to record employees' hours worked, breaks and overtime. However, mobile systems come with additional benefits.
Due to their cloud-based nature, mobile apps can be implemented into a small business with very low initial cost. They also don't require professional installation, unlike traditional clock in machines. As employees use their mobile devices to track their time, they are able to clock in anywhere - meaning time can be clocked from remote locations across the world.
What should you look for in a mobile clock in app?
There are hundreds of mobile timekeeping solutions to choose from, which can vary hugely in price and come with a multitude of features. Some key features which you might want to look out for are:
- The ability to record GPS data or geofence clock ins. The main benefit of mobile apps is their remote capabilities - but this can also be a huge drawback if employees choose to clock time when they're not really at work. Look for an app which can record an employee's GPS location when they clock in, so you can ensure they were on site on time. You could go one step further and select an app which allows geofenced clock ins; clock in attempts outside your set area will be automatically blocked, saving you the legwork of checking the GPS log every day.
- Biometric abilities. Most apps do require employees to set a secure password or pin, but these can easily be shared with colleagues who are attempting to clock in for one another. Adding a biometric element to your clock in process (such as facial recognition) can secure your business against buddy clock ins.
- Job or rota management. Depending on your business, employees might also need to know what job they're working on each day, or what time their shift starts. Keeping this information within one central app makes things more streamlined for both you and your team.
- Security and privacy features. Privacy and data protection are another big concern when choosing a time tracking app, especially if you operate within the UK or EU and need to comply with GDPR. If your employees are downloading their timesheet app to their own device, they'll want to be sure their data is secure and isn't being misused.
- Cost. Striking the right balance is key when it comes to having a comprehensive time clock app that is also affordable. We have detailed the usual expenses for a business with 30 employees, focusing on the tier that is most commonly needed by companies for these time clock applications. This information will help you understand the cost implications without compromising on essential features.
5 Best Time Clock Apps
- Best for: small businesses, remote workers and temporary work sites
TimeKeeper's app can be downloaded both to individual mobiles, or set up in 'kiosk' mode on a tablet to allow multiple employees to clock in via one device. Employees can also be given the option to clock in on the web too, or track time manually at the end of the day or week.
Clock ins through their mobile app can include a photo and facial recognition check, for total security to prevent fraudulent clock in attempts. GPS stamping and geofencing can be enabled too, to ensure your team is where they say they are. Geolocation data is only recorded when your employees clock in or out though, so you can rest assured that their privacy is protected.
The mobile app is simple to use - to start tracking time, employees only need to tap one button. TimeKeeper also has a design refresh in November 2023 so it's up to date for 2024.
The app offers lots of useful additional features too, like tracking time against unlimited jobs, viewing company documents or requesting holidays.
All of these features are included in the standard subscription cost of £3.50+VAT per employee per month. There are additional bonus add ons at a cost if you need to track visitors, instant message employees and personalise to your company logo and colours.
As all the features are included per default, for 30 employees, you'd be looking at a cost of £105 per month.
- Best for: individuals, creatives and freelancers
Clockify's time tracking options include a mobile app, as well as desktop extensions. Their free plan is great if you're an individual or small team who just need to simply track time - however, you'll need to upgrade to access features such as kiosk mode, GPS tracking and overtime reporting.
You can track time against multiple projects, as well as tracking time spent on breaks, so you can calculate the true cost of labour for each project you work on.
Clockify has an initial free offering but for feature parity with other time clock apps here, you will have to opt for their Pro tier at $9.99 per user per month (when billed monthly).
For 30 employees on their Pro tier, you'd be looking at a cost of $299.70 per month.
- Best for: small teams or freelancers with billable hours
Toggl offer a few digital solutions - their 'Toggl Track' app is used by businesses who need to track their team's billable hours, in order to ensure clients are charged the correct amount. Their app is simple to use, and the multitude of integrations mean it's easy for your team to track time.
Toggl's time tracking solution is designed to focus on project management, accounting for your employees time worked across a number of jobs and generating intelligent reports. However, there's no GPS recording or facial recognition, meaning it won't suit every business.
Toggl Track is free up to 5 users for some basic time tracking features, however similar to Clockify, you will require a paid plan at $10 or $20 per user per month depending on the requirements in your business.
For 30 employees on their Premium tier, you'd be looking at a cost of $600 per month.
- Best for: larger businesses and multi-nationals
Connectteam's app has the most features of all the apps we've reviewed here. Whether you are looking to track time, message your team or post company updates, everything you can think of can be done within their app. For a lot of smaller businesses, you may find you're paying for features you don't need, and it might be complicated for employees to use.
The app also tracks employees' live GPS location - something to be aware of if you're an EU or UK based business.
Connecteam has a number of modules on offer for different functions of the app. They generally give you a fixed price up to 30 users at $59 per month per module. After 30 employees, they charge a per user fee ranging from $1.80 to $3.60 depending on your requirements.
It's a bit trickier to work out the price, however if you wanted the Operations & Communications modules for 30 employees, that would cost $118 per month, coming to a cost of $3.93 per user per month.
Quickbooks Workforce (Quickbooks Time)
- Best for: Quickbooks accounting users
If you're already a Quickbooks user, you might opt for their own branded time tracking solution. The QB Workforce app allows employees to track time against different jobs, with GPS tracking when employees are on the clock. The biggest advantage is the integration to Quickbooks, for easy payroll management.
Compared to many of the other solutions in this article though, the app isn't the easiest to use, due to the multitude of additional features that have been added recently. It's also one of the more expensive apps available, at £8 per user per month for their Elite plan.
Quickbooks Time Premium Tier costs £6 per user per month plus a £16 base fee per month.
So for 30 employees, you'd be looking at a cost of £196 per month.
© 2024 TimeKeeper is a trading name of Artificialdev Ltd. All rights reserved.
Built in Belfast, N.Ireland. Company Number: NI647093, VAT Number: GB337245501