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Online Time and Attendance System Buying Guide for 2020

Online time and attendance systems can benefit businesses, both small and large, in many different ways. With so many solutions available, though, it can be incredibly challenging to find the best one to meet your needs. If you’re on the market for an online time and attendance solution, here is everything you need to know about precisely what they are, what they can offer your business, and how to choose the perfect system.

What are an online time and attendance system?

An online timecard system allows employees to punch time through an internet-connected device, including a computer or laptop, a tablet, or a mobile phone. Some solutions even offer the ability to punch time via text message. Whenever a worker punches in or out, data is instantly transferred to the online time and attendance software and visible to management in real-time.

These solutions do more than track when an employee arrives or leaves for work. They can also monitor employer location through GPS or geofencing. They can also manage paid time off and track accruals. Additionally, some solutions allow you to create employee schedules, run customizable and detailed reports, and alert you when an employee misses a shift or goes into overtime.

Many of these systems offer both an on-site and cloud-based option. An on-site solution stores data on servers within your business, whereas a cloud-based solution stores data in the cloud on servers hosted by the chosen vendor.

4 Best Free Time-Clock Software Systems for Employee Time Tracking

The Pros and Cons

Perhaps one of the most significant pros of using an online time and attendance system is eliminating the need for manual time tracking. All employee time tracking data is collected electronically, with all regular and overtime work hour calculations are done for you. It significantly reduces the chance of any errors occurring. It also frees up time for those who had previously spent manually tracking and calculating employee work hours.

Another benefit of using such a system is that they typically manage all of your needs in one easy to access system. This includes monitoring time-off requests, accruals, creating schedules, tracking employee availability, and more. Having all of these features housed in one system is cost-effective, boosts productivity, and can streamline your employee management processes.

The biggest con of using cloud-based time clock software is that they are often more expensive than traditional time tracking methods, such as having employees manually write down their hours each day. Another potential downside is that the solution may be challenging to implement if you have employees who aren’t ready to adopt a modern system.

The Costs

The cost of online time and attendance software varies depending on the solution you choose. Some have a one-time licensing fee, whereas others have a monthly or annual subscription cost. Some require you to pay per location or employee, and others offer a flat fee with unlimited sites. So you will have to do your due diligence to find a solution that meets your needs and falls within your allotted budget.

Most online time clock solutions do not provide their customers with hardware; instead, customers would use pre-existing devices to access the internet. If you have an extra computer lying around, that could easily be set up in a centralized location, and all employees can punch time from that device. No other hardware would need to be purchased.

What to look for in an online time and attendance system

With so many time tracking solutions on the market, it isn’t easy to know which one is right for your business. When you start researching different systems, here are some essential features you should look for:

  • Accurate Time Tracking: The best online timesheet software will accurately track employee work hours down to the second. So rather than paying employees for their time scheduled, they will only be paid for their time worked.
  • Mobile Compatibility: With more employees working remotely, it is more important than ever to get a compatible system with mobile devices and accessible anywhere. Not only does this give remote workers and employees out in the field the ability to track their time, but their location can be captured, so management knows where they are during their shift.
  • Easy to Use: You will want to invest in a time clock solution that is easy to use and navigate. The system should not be too challenging to learn and shouldn’t require training hours by you and your employees.
  • Payroll Integrations: Choose a solution that integrates with your payroll software. This will allow you to seamlessly transfer data from one system to another resulting in fewer clerical errors and more accurate paychecks.
  • Alerts & Reminders: Some solutions offer alerts or reminders when employees are nearing overtime or forget to punch in. This feature can be beneficial when it comes to managing your employees and controlling your labor expenses.
  • Audit Logs: In the event of an audit, it is crucial that you can easily access audit logs as it pertains to employee time, time off, or even scheduling. Choose a solution that has an extensive audit log available that is easy to read.


Now that you have all the basics down when looking for online time and attendance software, you should be ready to decide which solution is right for your business and your workers. Such an investment, while it may cost you in the short run, can literally save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run. So what are you waiting for? It is time to start your search and make a sound business investment today!

Jeffery D. Silvers
Love and share my articles, I will be happy to react on it ! Spent 2002-2009 promoting weed whackers in Edison, NJ. Earned praise for importing junk food for fun and profit. Spent 2001-2006 exporting teddy bears in Atlantic City, NJ. Had some great experience investing in tattoos in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Spent 2002-2007 selling action figures in the aftermarket. Enthusiastic about working on basketballs on the black market.