We’re looking at time and attendance systems this week at Business Pundit. Our overall choice for the best time and attendance system for small businesses was stratustime. However, it’s not the only system on the market and while it’s brilliant for use in bricks and mortar premises – we did feel that for a company with a mobile workforce there was another great option.
Tsheets is our choice for the best mobile time and attendance system for small businesses because it delivers, by far, the most flexible methods for clocking in and out remotely.
Why Did We Choose TSheets?
We chose TSheets for a variety of factors and these include:
TSheets was formed in 2006 by two men. Matt Rissell is the current CEO and Brandon Zehm remains as the company’s chief programmer. They’re based in Eagle, Idaho. That means they’re a good bet for remaining in business for many years to come. Software companies rarely have decades of history but having survived for more than 10 years is a good indication that they’ll weather any future storms effectively.
That matters because you don’t want to have to retrain your workforce on a regular basis to get used to new systems each time a vendor goes out of business.
Value for Money
We found Tsheets to be decent value for money. It’s slightly more expensive than our best budget time and attendance system for small businesses uAttend but it’s not ridiculous. There’s a base charge each month of either $20 or $100 depending on the number of employees you have. Then it’s an extra $5 a month per employee that will be using the system.
You’ll find that if you want to use their scheduling functionality that you have to pony up an extra $1 a month per user and users that check in using the SMS service are billed at an extra $1.50 a month. As with all forms of time and attendance software it’s very important that you conduct a return on investment analysis before committing to a system. Not every business requires time and attendance monitoring and it should pay for itself if you’re going to make the leap.
There’s an attractive discount of 20% for companies that are willing to pay a year’s fees up front. That’s big enough that you won’t be losing out on interest rates from the bank.
Ease of Use and Functionality
If time and attendance software is a pain to use; people won’t use it. You’ll end up at the end of each month entering a ton of data corrections and that’s costly and wasteful. The good news is that TSheets is very easy to use and it offers a ton of functionality that represents value for money.
Firstly, this is our recommendation for mobile time and attendance software and the company provides a huge array of options for clocking in and out on the move. You can log in via a laptop, a smartphone, a telephone, via SMS and even via Twitter.
Mobile support is only for Android and iOS though so Windows phone and Blackberry users will need to look elsewhere for their mobile time and attendance software.
In addition to time tracking; the software also tracks locations via GPS using the mobile app. This can be very handy for ensuring that your employees have been where they say they have been. This is pretty much a unique feature to Tsheets. However, we’d advise some caution implementing this feature as it has the potential to raise serious privacy concerns in certain categories of worker.
We also like the fact that if a work crew has a supervisor; the supervisor is able to clock the entire crew in or out without everybody in the team doing so. It’s a nice touch which saves a little time and increases the reliability of the service.
While mobile support is TSheets big selling point there’s no shortage of support for staff in the office either though they rely on people clocking in and out via a web portal rather than using traditional time clocks.
You’ll find that you can also schedule employees through TSheets making shift management easier. They can also request time off for holidays or for sick leave and this can be approved/denied by the appropriate manager/leader in the business.
The overall software from both an employee and managerial perspective is easy to navigate with a clear menu structure.
Once nice feature of Tsheets is free integration with many major payroll services; something that wasn’t included in uAttend where it costs an extra $5/month.
As you’d expect from time and attendance software; Tsheets contains a good variety of analytical tools and automated reports. You can also generate a map of where an employee has been in the day if they’re using the mobile app to check in and out.
Customer support always matters when it comes to business applications. They offer live telephone support from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday (EST). We found that when we tested this service that their customer support staff were friendly and very effective.
We also liked the fact that they weren’t in the slightest bit “salesy” instead they preferred to concentrate on our needs and ensuring that they were met.
Their website also includes a very comprehensive knowledgebase if you prefer to troubleshoot your own systems yourself.
Drawbacks of Using TSheets
As with all of our best in breed time and attendance system providers; we’d like to see more substantial customer support hours and at least some coverage on weekends. However, given that all the providers we spoke to offer limited hours – this isn’t something that’s easy to overcome by switching providers.
The one thing that Tsheets doesn’t do that other systems do, though, is support traditional time clocks. You can’t set up a punch card machine or magnetic swipe machine with Tsheets. This may be problematic in some traditional bricks and mortar environments.
Otherwise, Tsheets is an excellent time and attendance system with some serious technological advantages over its competitors.