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Best Time Tracking Software You Should Consider Using in 2022

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Time tracking software enables workers to either passively or manually track the time spent on projects, tasks, and other deliverables. This software is used by employees and employers in many industries and helps small- and mid-sized business (SMB) owners stay organized and up-to-date in managing their employees’ time.

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1 Listing in Time Tracking Software Available.

1. Paylocity

SellerPaylocity
HQ LocationSchaumburg, Illinois
Company WebsitePaylocity
LinkedIn Page4,591 employees on LinkedIn®
Deals on SaaSDekhoPaylocity Deals Page
Year Founded1997

Our all-in-one software platform gives HR pros a way to easily manage daily tasks in payroll, benefits, talent, and workforce management. But what makes us different is that our technology is backed by a culture that truly cares about our clients’ success.

Choose Your Time Tracking Software:

Choosing Time Tracking Software can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. The best thing to do is make a list of your must-haves and compare the possible tools on SaaSDekho to select the right software for your team.

Or, Schedule a Call with our SaaS Consultant and they’ll guide you in your SaaS Discovery and Buying Journey.

Spotlight Categories in HR Software:

Core HR | Corporate LMS | Video interviewing


What is Time Tracking Software?

Time is a valuable resource for any business, but many companies do not have a strong understanding of how each employee spends their time. Time tracking software helps to solve that issue by automating the process of tracking the time that employees spend on certain projects or tasks, providing data that goes beyond typical timesheets. From that data, businesses can use analytics tools to gain insights into different aspects of their operations, such as identifying which tasks employees are spending the most time on, which team members have the capacity to take on additional responsibilities, or which projects are most profitable for the company. This data can be useful for companies of any size, from enterprises to small businesses. 

These solutions also streamline recordkeeping by seamlessly transferring employee time entries to payroll systems and timesheets, making it more efficient to generate detailed invoices for clients. While accurate time tracking is especially crucial for businesses that depend on charging their clients for billable hours—such as law firms, accountants, construction contractors, or creative agencies—these products can be useful for companies across a variety of industries.

What are the Common Features of Time Tracking Software?

The following are some core features within time tracking software that can help users automate tracking of how employees spend their time:

Task timer: At the heart of time tracking software is the ability to monitor how much time an employee spends on a certain task. Users set up tasks describing what they are working on and then click to activate the timer while they work on a certain task, pausing the timer or changing the task as needed. Some products allow users to enter hours after they are done with a task instead of tracking it in real-time.

Project management: In addition to tracking individual tasks, time tracking products enable users to track the time spent on larger projects that often include multiple discrete tasks. Project-level tracking enables supervisors to monitor project budgets, track progress toward completion of a project, and forecast timelines. Customizable rates enable companies that depend on billable hours to set different rates for tasks depending on what kind of work is being done or which project the task is a part of.

Time clock: For businesses that just want to track general employee working hours, some products contain a digital time clock that enables employees to clock in and out to track their overall work hours for each day. This keeps employees from filling out timesheets manually and helps them track time automatically. For a small business with limited HR resources, it can also increase efficiency when it comes to keeping accurate payroll records.

Application-based tracking: Sometimes tracking products can detect which software program or website a user is currently working on on their device and automatically start a timer for a certain task. This automatic time tracking functionality helps reduce the common problem of employees forgetting to start the timer, which leads to less accurate time records. 

Customizable reports: One of the biggest benefits of time tracking software is the ability to run a variety of reports utilizing data collected from employee time inputs. Basic reports include summaries of the time spent on different projects on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Managers can typically customize these reports based on the level of detail they want to see, including breakdowns of timesheet hours logged on specific tasks within a project. Other examples include reports analyzing work time per employee and which times of day or days of the week employees are doing the most work. Some platforms offer the ability to automate these reports and have managers receive them via email on a regular basis.

Automated reminders: A common source of frustration with time tracking software is employees forgetting to submit their timesheets or record their work hours. To save managers from badgering their employees for updated time logs, many products offer automated email reminders to be sent out if employees fail to log the required number of work hours for a given period.

Project dashboard: For an updated view of how a project is progressing, project dashboards give managers a way to gain that insight on a single screen. These dashboards can display a variety of metrics, including how many work hours employees have spent on the project, how much of the project’s budget has been used up, and whether a project is on track to be finished by its deadline. 

Team dashboard: Dashboards showing how much time each team member has worked—and what each person has spent their time on—are useful for determining which employees have the capacity to take on additional projects and which ones might be in danger of burning out. 

Invoice generation: One of the main reasons companies use software to track time is to be able to easily use that information to bill clients. Invoicing functionality automatically takes detailed timesheet data and organizes it into an invoice that companies can export and send to clients for billing purposes. For products that don’t have an invoicing tool built into the platform, often have the ability to export the raw time entries to an invoicing tool.

Mobile app: While many companies rely on a desktop app or web app for time tracking software, an important feature for companies that have remote workers or field-based workers is a mobile app that enables employees to track time no matter where they are. These apps often synchronize time entries across devices, so employees can switch from one device to another. Location-based tracking features in mobile apps, including geofencing capabilities, enable managers to see not just when employees are working but where they are, which can help companies deploy workers to various job sites.

What are the Benefits of Time Tracking Software?

Increased productivity: Time tracking solutions help businesses optimize the work capacity of a company or team by providing insight into the work employees are doing on an hourly basis. Using this data, teams can identify nonessential tasks and reprioritize projects, timelines, and deadlines. Time tracking software is often used in conjunction with task management tools to determine which tasks are essential and which ones should be left behind. Knowing how much time employees are spending on their tasks can also help managers reallocate projects according to which employees have the bandwidth to take on more work. On an individual level, a time tracker provides employees with the ability to take ownership of their workloads. Some companies might implement a time tracking tool as an incentive for bonuses, thereby increasing a sense of urgency and engagement around tasks. These solutions help employees set reasonable goals and hit them on time, improving productivity and time management.

Improved planning for future projects: Tracking how much time employees spend on projects provides insight into the time and resources needed for future projects. It can be difficult to predict how long a project will take if it is a new kind of project for the firm or different from the work the company has done in the past. Tracking the time that employees spend on it can help managers make assumptions about similar projects in the future and improve budgeting and deadline creation. Analyzing how long past tasks took can also help individual employees determine if they have the bandwidth for a particular task. Integrations with project management tools also help a business gain a holistic view of project data that could be helpful for planning future projects.

Accurate client billing: Implementing time tracking software can help businesses improve quotes and estimates to guarantee accurate and fair billing and payment. When quoting a pricing estimate for a potential client, these solutions run reports on different types of tasks to determine the length of time it will take for accurate pricing. For ongoing projects, these solutions can track all tasks and the billable hours allotted with clear evidence as to the time spent on each task, making it more efficient to send a complete invoice when the project is complete. Providing a breakdown of exactly how many billable hours were spent on each task also provides transparency for the client and builds trust because they can have greater confidence that they are being charged fairly for the work that is being done. A time tracker can often integrate with billing software to bill clients for the precise work that has been accomplished.

Efficient payroll reporting: Much as a time tracker streamlines the process of billing clients, they also improve the efficiency of running the company’s own payroll. Time tracking software products help determine how many hourly workers should be paid, whether they are full-time employees or freelancers. These rates can vary depending on the employee’s role or the kind of work they are doing. These solutions may also track employee vacation, overtime, and leave time.

Who Uses Time Tracking Software?

Company leadership: Knowing how much time teams are spending on various tasks or projects can help the organization’s leaders make strategic decisions about budgeting resources and whether they need to adjust their strategic plans. For example, time tracking software can help identify which kinds of projects or activities are most profitable, which might encourage leaders to change the kinds of clients they are pursuing. Having visibility into employee workloads can also help leaders determine if they need to allocate employees to different teams or hire additional employees. 

Project managers: For individual teams, project managers are frequent users of time tracking tools. Dashboards that show the current status of projects and how much time employees are spending on different tasks can help those responsible for project management determine if they need to make adjustments to a project’s scope or the team members working on it. Data from past projects can also help project managers accurately forecast deadlines and budgets for future projects. 

Employees: The actual tracking of time falls to individual employees. They are responsible for starting the software timer when working on a specific task (or letting an automated system start the timer for them) and then switching the task when they start working on something else. Managers can then use the time data captured by employees to guide conversations about workloads and progress on projects. 

Freelancers: Similar to how a company’s employees would use a time tracker, freelancers use it to monitor how much time they are spending on projects. Freelancers are often paid by the project or by the hour, so keeping track of work done on a project is important for accurate client billing.

Time Tracking

What are the Alternatives to Time Tracking Software?

Alternatives to time tracking software can replace this type of software, either partially or completely:

Spreadsheets software: Instead of letting time tracking software automatically capture and organize data on the time employees spent on different tasks and projects, some businesses rely on spreadsheets to organize this information. Spreadsheets are common software products that most businesses have access to and have been around long enough that many employees are likely comfortable using them. However, they lack the automation present in time tracking software, which forces users to manually monitor how much time they spend on projects and then manually input that information into a spreadsheet. Sharing that information and running reports is also more difficult than it would be with time tracking software. 

Task management software: For businesses that need a solution for managing the tasks that make up larger projects, but don’t necessarily need to know exactly how long each task took, task management tools are a good option. These products create to-do lists for employees with deadlines and details on tasks that can also be attached to larger team projects or goals. While these solutions are effective ways to manage a multifaceted project and track the progress of various activities, they typically lack time tracking software’s ability to monitor how long each task takes and generate analytical reports based on that time data. Depending on a company’s time tracking needs, that could be good enough.

Software Related to Time Tracking Software

Related solutions that can be used together with time tracking software include:

Project management software: These solutions assist managers, team leads, and employees in managing team goals, projects, and tasks. Integration with time tracking solutions provides managers with the data they need to set realistic goals and deadlines.

Business instant messaging softwareIntegrations with messaging platforms provide greater visibility for the time data that time tracking software collects. These business instant messaging integrations can retrieve time tracking data to show how long employees are spending on tasks or display reports based on the time data.

Accounting software: Integrating time tracking and accounting software will provide accurate and recurring invoicing, expense tracking, and payroll solutions.

Analytics platformsAlso known as business intelligence (BI) platforms, these solutions give businesses insight into their company’s data. Integrating BI platforms with time tracking software will help businesses analyze data on how employees spend their time. 

Challenges with Time Tracking Software

Software solutions can come with their own set of challenges. 

Employee perception: How time tracking solutions are received by employees depends much on how managers implement and use them. Time tracking solutions are a transparent method of keeping people accountable for when they are working, without having a manager constantly keeping an eye on them. However, they can also be perceived by employees as representing a lack of trust on the part of managers that employees will work hard and be as efficient as possible. Assuming the time data is not being used to bill clients, employees might wonder why it matters if a certain project took longer than expected as long as they got it done. Conversely, time tracking software has the potential to foster more trust between managers and team members. Managers sometimes use time tracking data to guide conversations about whether employees are spending too much time on less important tasks or how well the employee is managing their existing workload. This sends the message that managers want to be partners in helping employees be as productive as possible while still ensuring their work is sustainable for the long term. On an individual level, time tracking software can improve employees’ time management if they use time tracking data to identify time wasted on less important tasks.

Measuring productivity for certain roles: Time tracking software is not applicable to all types of jobs, including sales and some creative and marketing roles. In positions that do not depend heavily on constant output, a time tracking tool might not provide the best feedback. Managers will need to gauge how to best manage employees that don’t rely on a tight schedule of continuous task completion.

Implementation: If a company moves from a very relaxed system of time tracking to using time tracking software, employees may be reluctant to begin using it. Employees who are not accustomed to using time tracking software might forget to start or stop the timer as they switch tasks, which can make it difficult to get accurate estimates of how much time each task is taking. Additionally, if the software interface is not user-friendly, employees may be slow to adopt it into their daily routines.

Which Companies Should Buy Time Tracking Software?

The data that time tracking software provides on the work employees are doing can be beneficial for businesses across a variety of industries. However, certain kinds of businesses can especially benefit from time tracking software: 

Law firms: Billing is an essential part of running a law firm since lawyers are typically paid an hourly rate that varies depending on the lawyer or the kind of work they are doing. Keeping an accurate record of how attorneys spend their time greatly improves the efficiency of invoicing clients.

Accounting firms: While accounting firms sometimes charge flat fees for projects, it is common for firms to charge clients an hourly rate for their services. Like law firms, accounting practices vary their rates depending on the seniority of employees, so time tracking software can help these businesses keep accurate records.

Creative agencies: Accurate employee time data helps creative agencies see how much time different tasks take and enables them to better predict budgets and timelines for projects. This means agencies can pitch clients with more accurate estimates for a project’s completion time and budget. In the end, time tracking can generate accurate invoices. 

Technology and IT services: Workers in the technology field often have to keep track of billable hours for certain projects, such as web design or app development. IT consultants often have to travel to client sites and record what work they do and how long it takes. Time tracking software can streamline the process of tracking these activities.

How to Buy Time Tracking Software

Requirements Gathering (RFI/RFP) for Time Tracking Software

There are many issues to consider when deciding to implement time tracking software throughout a company or department. Each business and team has unique needs and will need to consider some or all of the following: business size and team member count, onboarding process, software cost, vendor customer support options, information input required for accurate time tracking, mobile compatibility, and customization.

Compare Time Tracking Software Products

Create a long list

An initial list of potential time tracking solutions should include any products that meet the company’s basic feature requirements. At this point, buyers should just be aiming to get a sense of the options that at least meet essential needs, such as being able to track time for different tasks and the ability to generate a variety of analytical reports. 

Create a shortlist

After a long list has been created, it’s time to look at each product in more detail to determine if it sounds like it will meet the needs of the company’s employees and managers. This should include evaluating additional features of each product beyond the ones identified as essential to determine if that additional functionality would further automate the process of tracking employee tasks.

Conduct demos

When the time comes to contact sellers for a demo, buyers should have a sense of the features each product offers and be ready to evaluate how well those features work. One key aspect to consider during the demo of time tracking software is usability since employees will be more likely to keep accurate time records if the software interface is intuitive. Buyers must consider how many clicks it takes for an employee to start tracking a task or switch to a new task, and whether the software can automate some of these manual steps, such as by automatically determining which software program an employee is using and tracking time accordingly. Demos can also be helpful in evaluating the kinds of reports that time tracking software can generate since detailed reports often aren’t available on public-facing product websites. Reports should be customizable, relatively easy to generate, and must display a variety of time metrics that managers can incorporate into their strategic planning processes.

Selection of Time Tracking Software

Choose a selection team

When choosing a time tracking solution, it is important to involve any relevant stakeholders who might be using the product to ensure choosing the product that will meet everyone’s needs. This likely includes managers or project managers, who would be responsible for analyzing the time that employees are spending on various tasks and making decisions accordingly. It might also include the company leadership if C-suite executives will be using time tracking data to set larger priorities for the business.

Negotiation

After narrowing in on a preferred product, it’s time to negotiate a pricing package. Buyers must consider the pricing model of the software, such as whether the seller charges a flat monthly fee or, more commonly, charges a fee based on how many user seats the buyer needs. Buyers should also note if they can negotiate to add more user seats to a package that would otherwise meet their needs. They might also consider negotiating a discount in exchange for signing a multi-year contract. 

Final decision

The final decision should rest with the most likely users of the software, such as managers and their employees. All parties should consider whether the software is likely to streamline the process of tracking time spent on tasks.

What Does Time Tracking Software Cost?

Modern time tracking software is typically cloud-based and is priced on a SaaS model. Many sellers charge their customers a monthly fee based on how many seats the client needs to purchase for their company. Some time tracking software sellers offer a free version of their product with restrictions such as a limited number of seats or more basic time tracking features.

Return on Investment (ROI)

When considering ROI for time tracking software, companies should consider how much time they are saved by automating the process of monitoring how employees are spending their time. They should also consider to what extent time tracking software helps the company be more efficient and profitable by revealing the employee tasks that are most essential and refocusing work on those tasks. 

Implementation of Time Tracking Software

How is Time Tracking Software Implemented?

Time tracking software is typically cloud-based, although some sellers offer products that can store data locally.

Who is Responsible for Time Tracking Software Implementation?

Generally, implementation will involve any stakeholders at a company who will be involved with tracking employee time or analyzing time tracking data. That includes company leaders, project managers, and individual employees. Representatives from the time tracking software seller also typically assist with implementation. 

What Does the Implementation Process Look Like for Time Tracking Software?

Implementation is a matter of installing the app on devices that employees will use to track their time and configuring the software to work with the buyer’s workflow. Time tracking software sellers will also help companies set up integrations with other software products, such as accounting software, expense management software, and calendar software. 

Time Tracking Software Trends

Remote work

As remote work has become increasingly common, time tracking software sellers are adapting. The cloud-based data generated by time tracking software helps managers gain visibility into what each of their team members is doing without having to be constantly checking in with updates. Platforms are increasingly building in the ability for users to sync data across devices and record time using mobile apps, which provides more flexibility for workers who are in different environments. Location-based time tracking also gives businesses another source of data that they can use to inform how they deploy their teams and maximize efficiency.

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