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Timeclocks: How to Choose the Right One for You

Timeclocks How to Choose the Right One for You

Some timeclocks may not be compatible with each time and attendance system therefore the timeclock you choose could play a role in the time and attendance system you decide to choose.

  • Timeclocks can help business owners increase productivity of their employees and reduce time theft.
  • Timeclocks can be classified as RFID, punch cards, biometrics, passwords IVR, and mobile.
  • Tablets as well as access control systems work as time clocks too.
  • This post is designed for small business owners who are looking for the best time clock for their employees.– Every every year U.S. employers are able to lose $11 billion through the theft of time. A large portion of this is due to employees who steal a couple of minutes every day. This could be avoided by implementing a robust timing and attendance program.

With the variety of time and attendance systems increases it’s not difficult to find timeclock options for your company. You can pick an independent timeclock or an attendance and time management system that has timeclock functions. It’s all dependent on the nature of your business and what you think is the best to monitor your employees.

Timeclocks are important.

Monitoring employee time and attendance is a common business practice that’s often ignored. Although it’s not the most glamorous thing but it’s essential to track what time your employees are working. Your company must be at its most productive Therefore, you need to stop employees from lying not just how often they are working, but about how hours they work every day. Apart from a proper timing and attendance program, it’s essential to locate the ideal time clock to suit your needs..

The best timeclock that your company needs to guard against time theft depends on the amount of trust you have with your employees. Certain businesses may not care whether employees leave at 4:55 every day and then put five p.m. on their timesheets. Others might appreciate those five minutes of efficiency every day.

Different types of timeclocks

Here are a few of the various types of timeclocks and their benefits and drawbacks.

Punch card

The punch card was the original timeclock and some companies still use it.

  • What it does: Employees place a timecard inside the punch clock, which stamps the time on it. Managers then manually record the timestamps in the payroll.
  • Advantages What is the primary benefit of these timeclocks is their ease of use as it doesn’t require any the latest technology to insert an electronic timer into the clock.
  • Pros: These stand-alone clocks are not connected with cloud-based systems for time and attendance. Because they’re not digital, you have to manually enter the times onto the punch cards that you use in the payroll software. This can lead to mistakes.
  • Price: Punch card systems seldom cost more than $250.

Barcodes, magnetic swipes, and RFID

The timeclocks are based on a system of credentials which an employee has with them.

  • What it does: With magnetic swipe timeclocks, employees have the badge with an electronic stripe which they swipe to enter their time. Barcode clocks let employees scan the barcode on their card to keep track of the time they clock in or out. Certain readers employ RFID (radio-frequency authentication) which allows employees to check in with a tap on their card or fob near or on the scanner.
  • Benefits The badge cards can be easy for employees to carry around their necks or carry in their wallets. One advantage of RFID timeclocks is that they usually utilize proximity cards. They can read these cards about 10 feet away in certain cases.
  • Pros:A disadvantage of this kind of time clock is that users may lose their credentials and leave them in their home, or even have them stolen. Additionally, certain types of credentials, like magnetic stripes, become worn out with time and require replacing.
  • Prices: Some RFID timeclocks are less than $100, however, magnetic swipe timeclocks could be purchased for $250-$350.


As you type in an unique code number for accessing your smartphone PIN/password timeclocks link employee timesheets and access codes.

  • What it does: These clocks feature the number pad, and employees are required to enter their personal identification number (PIN) or a password that they have created each time they check in and leave every day.
  • AdvantagesMany pin clocks function with barcode or magnetic swipe cards to authenticate two people adding another additional layer of safety.
  • Pros: The problem arises when an employee is either unable to locate the password or loses it. It is also possible for altering the password, as employees ask colleagues to enter their PIN on their behalf in the event that they arrive at work late or don’t present.
  • Prices: You can get an encrypted timeclock or a password at a cost of between $130 and $230. The more expensive alternatives, like biometric timeclocks typically contain password entry and PIN options, too.


The biometric clocks are one of the most advanced and technologically advanced tools for time and attendance accessible.

  • What it does: Many of these timeclocks make use of USB fingerprint scanners to allow employees to enter work. There are more advanced alternatives to fingerprint scanners like facial recognition and Iris scanners.
  • Advantages Fingerprint readers and biometric clocks are great for businesses that do not have enough personnel or the technology to keep track of their timeclocks. They are especially appreciated by companies worried regarding “buddy punching” where employees clock in and out to their coworkers. According to research from Intuit, buddy punching cost U.S. employers $373 million. Biometric timeclocks typically depend on fingerprints of employees which means there’s a slim possibility of fraud.
  • Con: The main disadvantage of biometric timeclocks is variable scanner’s quality. Low-end models may not be able to detect the subject accurately and result in false negatives. Fingerprint scanners must be cleaned regularly to ensure that scans are accurate and to keep them clean. When timeclocks stop working they could be an obstacle for businesses, because the technology has to be cleaned or fixed. Additionally, companies should be extra cautious to ensure that employees’ fingerprints and other biometric information is secure.
  • Price: Biometric timeclocks typically cost between a few hundred and a thousand dollars, but you can find fingerprint-only clocks for as little as $25. However, prices can be higher than $1,000 dependent on the biometric employed and the type of connectivity you want.

“It’s quite difficult to get around these systems, however they do have their drawbacks particularly if they’re not very precise or require your employees just a few minutes to get their clocks in or out.” stated Ravi Dehar who is the head of growth for Homebase.


Today, many employers are getting rid of wall-mounted timeclocks and instead have employees who clock into and out on their smartphones or laptops.

  • What it does:With most time and attendance systems, employees are able to record their arrival and departure in an online database. These systems also allow you to easily handle the entirety aspects of employees’ requests for time off. A lot of these systems are integrated with payroll systems that are popular that help prevent mistakes when it comes to the transfer of information into your payroll software.
  • Benefits Mobile and online timeclocks are great for employees from distant locations that do not be able to access the firm’s clock device. Certain timeclock applications include geofencing, which tracks the location of employees as they enter and out. This makes sure that employees are working where they’re supposed to be.
  • Pros: The potential downside of this simple-to-use and time-saving alternative is the possibility of time theft. If employees upload their own time sheets online, it’s much easy to steal the few minutes they spend each day. There are companies that might not be concerned if employees punch in at 4:157 p.m. and reports it as 5 p.m. If they’re doing excellently. If you’re worried about the slightest bit of time every now and then, however it may be a bit of extra effort to check the amount of hours employees put into their work when using an online or mobile timer, especially if those employees are remote.
  • Prices: Mobile timeclock companies usually charge per month, per user. The good thing is that these costs can be extremely low, usually as low than $2 for each employee. If you’re looking to add more features it is possible that you will end in spending a significant amount of money per month for each employee. But, you won’t need to worry about setup or maintenance of hardware. Are you looking for a time and attendance system to use for your company? Take a look at our suggestions for the most effective system for time-and attendance. ]


Interactive voice response lets employees punch in and out on the phone.

  • What it does:Workers call a preset number and then follow a series of instructions to record their times. Certain IVR platforms permit you to specify a specific number where employees has to call from. If it is a landline and you want to make sure employees are working from the location you would like they to be.
  • Benefits As nearly everybody has a mobile phone throughout the day, IVR timeclocks enable clock-ins and outs at any time, anywhere.
  • Con: These types of systems are still in use however, mobile apps have mostly replaced these systems.
  • Price: Some time and attendance systems offer IVR features included in the monthly cost. If you do need to purchase an IVR system, you may be facing a price of many thousand dollars.

Tablets with Kiosk mode

Businesses can reuse mobile devices, including tablets, as timeclocks , to reduce costs.

  • What is it:Many applications allow you to use tablets as well as Androids and iPads in kiosk mode. This limits the use of a single app. Certain systems allow you to take pictures of the person who is clocking in and out to stop the practice of buddy punching.
  • Benefits The tablet’s administrator can open it and reset it back to normal settings. You could place it at the office’s entryway and solely run your timeclock application. If you’re seeking the simplest solution then this is an excellent option. It’s also a great alternative in field-service teams. The shift manager can offer the tablet to everyone on the job site can be able to clock into and out.
  • Con: The mobile device that you use for time clock won’t be accessible for other business purposes when using kiosk modes. If you don’t have a lot of tablets and need to run other apps for business regularly A dedicated time clock could be a better choice for you.
  • Prices: Most tablets suited for small-scale business use will are priced at around $1000.

Control of access

Certain products function as both a timer as well as an security system for access.

  • What it does:When an employee uses their password, key card or biometric scanner to enter an area it will be recorded by the system the time and use it as a date and time. There is also the option of requiring an anti-passback system that requires employees to utilize credentials to leave an establishment. This is used as a clock-out. It is usually coupled with a separate timeclock which is used to take break-times or meals.
  • Advantages The combination of access control and attendance and time lets employees perform both tasks with just one click. The anti-passback features that are standard used in Access Control systems stop employee time theft as well as buddy punching.
  • Con:If you don’t already have an access control system for your business, then purchasing one to purchase an alarm clock and a different system is likely to be unnecessary. The only notable negative for access controls may be the cost and complexity of installation. But, low-cost and user-friendly options are available.

Timeclocks with the best ratings to take into consideration

With these considerations in mind We recommend four timeclocks, primarily for small-sized businesses of all sizes. They tick all the boxes listed in the previous paragraph:

  • The best timeclock for punch cards: Allied Time USA Small Business Time Clock ($119)
  • The best PIN and RFID timeclocks: uAttend Cloud-Connected Touchscreen Time Clock ($179)
  • The best biometric timeclock: UAttend BN6500 biometric fingerprint time clock ($169.25)
  • The best online timeclock: OnTheClock ($2.70 to $3 per month, per user)

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