Looking for time tracking software
Features: Time tracking software must accurately record how employees spend their work days in terms of hours worked, tasks completed, projects and breaks. The products will also track billable hours for professionals who bill clients by time spent working on their projects. Other important features of time tracking software are timesheet processing for payroll, billing and invoicing; reporting and analytics to provide managers with up-to-date information on project progress and employee productivity; and third-party integrations to ensure timekeeping data can be shared with HR, finance, sales and other business departments.
As workgroups become more dispersed, mobile time tracking increases in importance for employees and managers. Mobile time tracking apps let employees clock in and out of workplaces and give managers and colleagues in the office insight into their status and the progress of the projects remote workers are working on. Other considerations when choosing a time tracking solution are the functionality of its timers, how automated its time entry processes are, its overviews and reporting capabilities, how easy it is to import and export data, messages (breaks, overtime, etc.), and how easy the systems are for employees and managers to access.
Integrations: The most popular integrations offered with time tracking software focus on linking the systems to HR, accounting, sales and other business processes. Most time tracking products for SMBs and large enterprises link to Salesforce and other CRM systems, as well as Jira and other project management tools. They also connect with team communication apps such as Slack and productivity apps that include Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace and G Suite. Other common integrations are QuickBooks and other accounting systems, payroll products like Gusto and Paychex, Workday and other workforce management software, and ERP products like SAP and Oracle Netsuite.
Most time tracking software vendors offer APIs to their customers. For example, the REST-style Open Web API available to TimeCamp users allows collecting, manipulating, and exporting timekeeping data to a company’s internal and external systems. Similarly, Clockify’s REST API allows companies to share data between the timekeeping software and their own tools to generate custom reports, automate timekeeping operations, and otherwise improve their timekeeping practices.
Mobile access: An increasingly distributed workforce presents many timekeeping challenges for both employees and managers. The best time tracking software comes with a mobile app that lets employees clock in and out from remote workplaces and keeps managers and colleagues back in the office updated on their status and progress on their projects. All eight vendors we selected have mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, and several offer timekeeping kiosks—both hardware and software varieties—that act as central punch clocks for teams of workers.
The benefits of mobile time tracking include increased efficiency and productivity, increased engagement of remote workers, clearer communication and more effective collaboration. Among the challenges of managing a mobile workforce are ensuring the privacy and security of employees’ personal data and the company’s sensitive information, training employees in the use of remote access tools, sharing data from mobile devices with other business systems, and effectively monitoring employees. without violating their privacy.
Privacy and Security: The intrusive nature of time tracking software may surprise some workers. While it’s natural for managers to be concerned about how telecommuters in particular spend their workdays, the productivity reports generated by products like Time Doctor can make efficient employees feel like they’re being penalized for their productivity. The solution is to choose time tracking solutions that are transparent about how they work and what information about employees they share with managers and others.
To address employee concerns about surveillance, lack of control over their data, and data accuracy, companies must clearly communicate their data collection policies, give employees control over their personal data, and implement appropriate safeguards to prevent sensitive information from being disclosed or misused. The vendors on our list encrypt data in transit and at rest using standards such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit. They also comply with SOC 2 Type 2 and ISO 27001 for securing data stored on cloud servers. Many also comply with EU GDPR standards and HIPAA rules for handling sensitive health information.
Automation: Machine learning and other AI technologies play a key role in the automation of many timekeeping functions. The innovations promise to improve the accuracy and efficiency of time recording and increase a company’s productivity. The insights gleaned from AI-based time tracking systems provide new perspectives for business decision makers in areas such as resource allocation, project management and employee performance. Among the AI-based time tracking features are time tracking capable of automatically categorizing time spent on tasks and suggesting time-saving techniques, as well as virtual assistants that integrate with calendars, email and other productivity tools to reduce the amount of time employees spend on administrative tasks.
One of the most important innovations in timekeeping software is the ability of systems to leverage historical timekeeping data to predict future trends and improve business decisions. This ability is especially notable for project managers to set deadlines and anticipate potential stumbling blocks. AI-powered systems hold the promise of making timekeeping more accurate by identifying gaps in timekeeping and pointing out incorrect and potentially fraudulent time reporting.