Employee attendance tracking systems – software trackers, apps, & manual sheets compared

Last checked and updated on 14 April 2022

Do you need to keep track of employee attendance? If so, there are a few different ways that you can do this, and a number of employee attendance tracking systems.

You can use a manual system, such as attendance tracking sheets, registers or Excel spreadsheets.

You can also use an electronic attendance tracking system, such as employee attendance tracking software or apps.

In this blog post, we will compare the different types of systems and help you decide which is the best option for your business!

What is employee attendance management?

Employee attendance management is the process of recording and managing employee absences. This includes tracking when employees are absent, how long they are absent for and why they are absent.

There are a few different ways that you can track employee absences:

  • Manual systems: using attendance tracking sheets, registers or Excel spreadsheets.
  • Electronic systems: using employee attendance tracking software or apps.

Why should employers use employee attendance trackers?

There are a few key reasons why employers should use employee attendance trackers:

  • To comply with the law: businesses must keep accurate records of employee absences in order to comply with employment law.
  • To manage staff effectively: by tracking employee absences, employers can identify patterns and see which employees are more likely to be absent. This can help employers to manage staff more effectively.
  • To ensure adequate cover is available: by tracking employee absences, employers can ensure that there is enough cover available for when employees are absent.
  • To reduce costs: businesses can save money by reducing the amount of time that employees are absent.

Types of employee attendance trackers

There are two main types of employee attendance tracking systems: manual and electronic. Let’s take a look at each of them in more detail:

Manual employee attendance tracking systems

A manual system is one that is operated manually, without the help of any electronic devices. The most common type of manual system is a paper-based system, where employees mark their attendance on a sheet of paper. This can be done in a number of ways, such as signing in and out, ticking a box or writing down the time they arrived and left.

Attendance tracking sheets

Another type of manual system is an Excel spreadsheet. This is where employees track their own attendance by entering their start and end times into a spreadsheet. This can be a good option for businesses that have a small number of employees, as it is easy to manage and track.

Get our free attendance tracking templates
See our separate resource page for a collection of free downloadable Excel spreadsheet templates for time tracking, payroll, absence tracking and more.

Pros of manual systems

There are a few benefits of using a manual system:

  • They are cheap to set up and use.
  • They are easy to understand and use.
  • They can be adapted to suit your specific needs.
  • They are good for businesses with a small number of employees.

Cons of manual systems

There are also a few drawbacks to using a manual system:

  • They are time-consuming and labour-intensive to operate.
  • They can be easily inaccurate, as employees can forget to mark their attendance or make mistakes.
  • They are not suitable for businesses with a large number of employees.

Electronic employee attendance tracking systems

An electronic system is one that uses electronic devices to track employee attendance. The most common type of electronic system is an attendance tracking software. This is a computer program that helps you keep track of employee attendance. It usually has a user-friendly interface, so it is easy to use.

Another type of electronic system is an RFID or NFC attendance tracking system. This uses special tags or cards that employees swipe or tap on a reader to mark their attendance. This is a good option for businesses that have a lot of employees, as it is quick and accurate.

Pros of electronic systems

There are a few benefits of using an electronic system:

  • They are quick and accurate to use.
  • They can be adapted to suit your specific needs.
  • They are good for businesses with a large number of employees.
  • They can be operated remotely, so you can track employee attendance from anywhere.

Cons of electronic systems

There are a few drawbacks to using an electronic system:

  • They can be expensive to set up and use.
  • They require a reliable internet connection to function properly.
  • They may not be suitable for businesses with a small number of employees.

Employee attendance tracking software

There are a number of different types of employee attendance tracking software on the market. To help you decide which one is right for your business, we have compared the pros and cons of the most popular ones.

TimeTrex attendance tracking software

TimeTrex is a popular attendance tracking software that allows businesses to manage employee time and attendance. It has a user-friendly interface and can be adapted to suit your specific needs. It also has features such as overtime tracking, leave management and payroll integration.

Pros of TimeTrex

  • It is a comprehensive software that covers all aspects of employee attendance management.
  • It has a user-friendly interface that is easy to use.
  • It can be adapted to suit your specific needs.
  • It integrates with popular payroll software, such as QuickBooks and Sage.

Cons of TimeTrex

  • It is a expensive software, with pricing starting at $149 per month.
  • It requires a good internet connection to function properly.

BambooHR employee attendance tracking software

BambooHR has a popular attendance tracking software that is competitively priced. It allows businesses to manage employee time and attendance, as well as track sick days and holidays. It also has a number of useful features, such as overtime tracking and leave management.

Pros of BambooHR

  • It is a comprehensive software that covers all aspects of employee attendance management.
  • It is competitively priced.
  • It has a number of useful features, such as overtime tracking and leave management.

Cons of BambooHR

  • It does not have a user-friendly interface and can be difficult to use for businesses new to attendance tracking.
  • It is not as adaptable as other software on the market.

Humanforce attendance tracking software

Humanforce is a popular attendance tracking software that is designed for small businesses. It allows you to track employee time and attendance, as well as absences and holidays. It also has a number of handy features, such as leave management and overtime tracking.

Pros of Humanforce

  • It is a affordable software, with pricing starting at £14.99 per month.
  • It is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface.
  • It is perfect for businesses with a small number of employees.
  • It has a number of handy features, such as leave management and overtime tracking.

Cons of Humanforce

  • It does not have as many features as other software on the market.
  • It is not as adaptable as other software on the market.

Which employee attendance tracking software is best for your business?

So, which employee attendance tracking software is best for your business? The answer depends on a few factors, such as the size of your business and the type of industry you are in. Here are a few tips to help you decide:

If you have a small business with a few employees, then BambooHR is a good option. It is fairly priced and has a number of useful features.

If you have a large business with a lot of employees, then TimeTrex or another comprehensive software is a good option. It has a user-friendly interface and can be adapted to suit your specific needs.

If you are in an industry where accuracy is important, such as healthcare or accounting, then an electronic system is the best option.

If you are in a remote location or have a poor internet connection, then an electronic system may not be suitable.

If you are unsure which system is best for your business, consult with a specialist attendance tracking company. They will be able to advise you on the best system for your needs.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best employee attendance tracking software?

The best employee attendance tracking software depends on a few factors, such as the size of your business and the type of industry you are in.

What is the best attendance tracking software for small businesses?

The best attendance tracking software for small businesses is BambooHR. It is affordable and has a number of useful features. It is perfect for businesses with a few employees.

What is the best attendance tracking software for large businesses?

The best attendance tracking software for large businesses is TimeTrex or another comprehensive software. It has a user-friendly interface and can be adapted to suit your specific needs. It is perfect for businesses with a lot of employees.

What is an electronic attendance tracking system?

An electronic attendance tracking system is a system that records employee attendance data electronically. This data can then be accessed and analysed using software or a web-based application. Electronic systems are often used in businesses with a large number of employees. They are also used in industries where accuracy is important, such as healthcare and accounting.

What is a manual attendance tracking system?

A manual attendance tracking system is a system that records employee attendance data manually. This data can then be accessed and analysed using software or a web-based application. Manual systems are often used in businesses with a small number of employees. They are also used in industries where accuracy is not as important, such as retail.

Is an electronic attendance tracking system better than a manual attendance tracking system?

An electronic attendance tracking system is often seen as being better than a manual attendance tracking system. This is because it is more accurate and can be accessed and analysed using software or a web-based application. However, this depends on the specific needs of your business. If you have a small business with a few employees, then a manual attendance tracking system may be more suitable. If you have a large business with a lot of employees, then an electronic attendance tracking system is the best option.

Can I use an electronic attendance tracking system if I have a poor internet connection?

An electronic attendance tracking system may not be suitable if you have a poor internet connection. This is because it relies on an internet connection to function properly. If you are in a remote location or have a poor internet connection, then a manual attendance tracking system may be more suitable.

How much does an electronic attendance tracking system cost?

The cost of an electronic attendance tracking system will vary depending on the type and size of the system. However, it is generally more expensive than a manual attendance tracking system.

How much does a manual attendance tracking system cost?

A manual attendance tracking system is cheaper than an electronic attendance tracking system. This is because it does not require any special equipment or software. The cost will depend on the type and size of the system.

What are the pros and cons of an electronic attendance tracking system?

The pros of an electronic attendance tracking system are that it is accurate, can be accessed and analysed using software or a web-based application, and is suitable for businesses with a large number of employees. The cons are that it requires an internet connection to function properly, is more expensive than a manual attendance tracking system, and may not be suitable for businesses in remote locations.

What are the pros and cons of a manual attendance tracking system?

The pros of a manual attendance tracking system are that it is cheaper than an electronic attendance tracking system, does not require any special equipment or software, and is suitable for businesses with a small number of employees. The cons are that it is less accurate than an electronic attendance tracking system, can only be accessed and analysed using software or a web-based application if it is converted into electronic format, and may not be suitable for businesses in remote locations.

Which system is best for my business?

The best system for your business will depend on the specific needs of your business. If you have a large business with a lot of employees, then an electronic attendance tracking system is the best option. If you have a small business with a few employees, then a manual attendance tracking system may be more suitable. You should also consider the internet connection of your business and whether you are in a remote location.

How do I set up an electronic attendance tracking system?

The process of setting up an electronic attendance tracking system will vary depending on the type and size of the system. However, you will generally need to purchase software or a web-based application, install it on your computer, and create a login for each employee. You will also need to create a schedule of when employees are working.

How do I set up a manual attendance tracking system?

Setting up a manual attendance tracking system is easier than setting up an electronic attendance tracking system. You will need to purchase some attendance tracking sheets, registers or Excel spreadsheets, and create a schedule of when employees are working. You can also use a time clock to track employee attendance.

What should I consider when choosing an attendance tracking system?

When choosing an attendance tracking system, you should consider the specific needs of your business. You should also consider the size and type of the system, the internet connection of your business, and the cost.

What is the difference between an attendance tracking system and an employee time clock?

An attendance tracking system is a software or web-based application that is used to track employee attendance. An employee time clock is a physical device that employees use to mark their arrival and departure times. Employee time clocks are often used in manual attendance tracking systems.

How much does an attendance tracking system cost?

The cost of an attendance tracking system will vary depending on the type and size of the system. Electronic attendance tracking systems are more expensive than manual attendance tracking systems. However, electronic systems are more accurate and can be accessed and analysed using software or a web-based application.

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Important – The information provided in our articles is intended to be for general purpose use only, and not advice for you or your business. We strive to publish accurate information, but encourage you to fact-check and seek expert guidance. We recommend that you always speak to a qualified professional to get advice about how to operate your business under your specific requirements and circumstances.