Accurately tracking employee time is crucial for businesses of all sizes. With the right time tracking solution in place, organizations can increase productivity, efficiency, and profitability. However, with the multitude of timekeeping tools on the market, it can be challenging to determine the best employee time tracking software for your needs.
For this reason, it is important to research the capabilities of the top tracking platforms so you can make an informed decision. The tool you choose should suit your company’s unique workflows and address major pain points. Taking the time upfront to evaluate vendors and features will ensure you select time tracking technology that delivers value across your organization.
Why Employee Time Tracking Matters
For construction firms, monitoring employee hours is not just a best practice — it is essential. With complex billing, changing job sites, hourly workers, and strict labor regulations, accurate and automated time tracking delivers indispensable data. The right timekeeping solution provides the foundation for billing accuracy, payroll precision, regulatory adherence, and operational excellence. Employee time tracking apps are a strategic investment that pays dividends across the board.
Improved Payroll Accuracy
Manual time tracking tends to result in errors that lead to incorrect payroll. This causes headaches for both employees and HR. Time tracking software eliminates mistakes by automatically calculating total hours worked each pay period for each employee. This ensures payroll is fast, accurate and compliant with labor laws.
Time tracking provides visibility into how employees spend their days. Managers can use individual and team productivity tracking analytics to identify areas of waste and inefficient processes. This allows them to streamline workflows and boost productivity. Employees also tend to improve their efficiency when they know their time is being tracked.
Enhanced Project Insights
Robust time tracking provides rich data regarding how much time is being allocated to specific projects and tasks. This gives critical insights into how to accurately estimate and budget for future projects. It also helps identify profitable vs. unprofitable projects so you can shift focus accordingly. With detailed task-level tracking, construction managers can analyze efficiencies to improve resource and schedule planning on projects. Time tracking also aids in identifying recurring issues that impact budgets across multiple projects so corrective actions can be taken.
Improved Client Billing
Professional services firms rely on accurate time tracking to bill clients appropriately. Without project-based time tracking, construction firms often end up estimating billable hours, which leads to missed revenue opportunities. Detailed time logs, including hourly logs spent on specific projects, ensure all billable hours are invoiced accurately so no revenue gets left on the table. Tight integration with project management and billing systems allows for seamless translation of granular time logs into accurate invoices. Time tracking streamlines client invoicing which improves cash flow.
Compliance & Cost Reduction
Auditing employee hours is necessary to comply with labor laws and regulations. Automatic time tracking provides necessary oversight to avoid fines and litigation related to compliance breaches. Managing labor costs is also critical to maintaining profit margins. Time tracking software enables improved labor cost control.
Given the immense benefits, implementing a reliable time tracking system is a smart investment for organizations of any industry or size. However, selecting the right software for your needs is key to realizing these advantages.
Must-Have Time Tracking Software Features
With the growing market for employee time tracking solutions, there are many features to consider when evaluating options. When comparing time tracking tools, it is important not to get distracted by bells and whistles. Instead, focus your search on systems that provide these fundamental features to meet your organization’s essential needs. These core capabilities are absolute must-haves for any robust employee time tracking system:
Accurate Time Tracking
Time tracking software should automate time tracking to eliminate reliance on error-prone manual processes. It should accurately log time worked across the organization down to the minute. Time tracking automation is essential to avoid the payroll errors and missed billable hours that come with manual data entry and spreadsheet tracking. Employees should not have to calculate their own hours worked or rely on memory when creating timesheets.
Time tracking precision provides the necessary data to generate payroll, invoice clients, and derive insights without sacrifices. Don’t settle for time tracking that still leaves room for human error.
Easy Timesheet Management
Timesheet management often becomes an administrative headache with manual or basic time tracking. Managing timesheets should be straightforward and efficient. At a minimum, the software should allow bulk timesheet approval, quick corrections, custom timesheet periods, and integration with payroll systems. Robust software automates approval workflows, corrections, and adjustments to simplify the process.
Managers should be able to quickly review and approve timesheets for an entire team with just a few clicks. Employees should also be able to correct accidental entries or add missed time on their own without paperwork. Custom timesheet periods are essential for matching your organization’s payroll schedule rather than being forced into weekly or bi-weekly timeframes. Finally, tight integration with your payroll system enables seamless data transfer eliminating manual re-entry and errors. Prioritize timesheet management capabilities to reduce administrative burden.
Reporting & Analytics
Robust reporting and analytics around employee time provide actionable insights. Look for features like customizable reports, project tracking, and labeling for tracking billable vs non-billable time. Time tracking data is most valuable when translated into strategic insights. The software should generate real-time reports and dashboards with visibility into productivity, projects, utilization rates, overtime costs, and more.
Managers should be able to drill down into the details and customize reports based on any parameters. When evaluating solutions, ensure there are ample reporting options tailored for each stakeholder from executives to project managers. Prioritize solutions with flexible labeling to classify and filter data like flagging billable vs administrative time. The reporting engine should enable easy extraction of metrics to uncover trends, identify areas for improvement, and support data-driven decisions.
Access Control & Security
The system should enable administrators to control access and permissions at a granular level. Employee privacy settings, data encryption, and role-based security protects sensitive data. Time tracking data contains sensitive information like employee hours worked, rates of pay, personal breaks, and more.
Robust security and access controls are critical. Administrators need granular control over who can view and edit data through role-based permissions.. Admins should be able to fully configure access rules to match company policies and data stewardship requirements.
Ensure any vendor provides airtight security measures like data encryption in transit and at rest, SSO capability, regular audits and protection against cyber threats. Time tracking data must remain private and secure.
Scalability & Integration
A common pain point is time tracking solutions that can’t keep pace as the business expands. As organizations grow, the software should seamlessly scale to accommodate more employees, locations, and timesheet volume. API support and integrations with existing business systems like payroll, billing, and ERP extend value.
Ensure the software can smoothly handle increased users, timesheet traffic, and data storage needs without compromising performance. The architecture should readily support adding locations and divisions as well. Prioritize cloud-based systems for maximum scalability.
Also, look for open API and integration capabilities to connect the time tracking data with other key business systems. For example, two-way sync with payroll or billing systems reduces manual effort. Integration with ERP or accounting systems strengthens data integrity across platforms.
Configuration & Customization
Each company has unique processes, policies, and needs. The system should enable tailored configurations like customized fields, tailored workflows, and automation for specific business rules without expensive development or consulting fees. Off-the-shelf time tracking software inevitably requires some modification to support your workflows.
Seek out platforms that offer low-code configuration tools for admins to set up custom fields, approvals, notifications, and business rules without an army of consultants. For example, easily create fields to track details like projects, activities or shift types. Build automated overtime approval rules based on your policies. Configure multi-step approval chains matching your hierarchy. Prioritize solutions allowing extensive customization so you can tailor time tracking to your exact needs both now and in the future as those needs evolve.
A mobile app enables employees to track time accurately and conveniently on the go. Managers can also review timesheets and run reports from anywhere via a well-designed mobile experience. In today’s workforce, a mobile-friendly solution is a necessity, not a luxury. Employees should be able to log hours, start timers, submit timesheets, and more all from their smartphones. For managers, mobile access to timesheets, reports, and analytics is critical for making data-driven decisions on the fly.
Ensure native mobile apps are available for both major platforms — Android and iOS. Give preference to vendors who design the mobile experience in tandem with the desktop software, not as an afterthought. Review mobile app ratings and feedback to confirm a seamless user experience across devices.
When evaluating your options, developing a prioritized list of must-have, nice to have, and optional features will help zero in on the best choice for your organization and use case.
Best Practices for Successful Implementation
Once you have selected the ideal time tracking software for your organization, proper planning and execution is key to a successful rollout. The best time tracking system in the world will fail to deliver value without thoughtful change management and training during implementation. Adopting these best practices helps ensure your time tracking initiative gets off to a strong start and drives maximum user adoption:
- Get Executive Buy-In: Having leadership onboard with time tracking initiatives is critical. Ensure executives understand the benefits and communicate support for adoption across the organization.
- Plan Communication Strategy: Develop a proactive communications plan to inform employees about time tracking changes. Be transparent about the reasons for implementation and highlight benefits to employees like payroll accuracy.
- Run in Parallel at First: When launching, run the new system in parallel with legacy processes for a short transition period. This allows kinks to be addressed before fully switching over.
- Analyze Data Frequently: Encourage managers to regularly analyze time tracking data to address issues quickly. Software analytics are powerful, but you must use them often.
- Continuously Improve: Solicit frequent user feedback after launch to identify areas for improvement. Refine configurations and processes to maximize benefits over time.
While selecting the right software is the first step, thoughtful change management and training are equally important to driving user adoption and value.
Why ExakTime Leads the Way in Employee Time Tracking
ExakTime offers premier timekeeping solutions tailored to construction industry needs. Our automatic time tracking software captures all hours at the job site to help optimize invoicing and revenue, and robust reporting provides insights into labor costs and productivity to improve project planning and accuracy. Configurable workflows streamline compliant payroll for construction crews. Integration with popular construction software simplifies billing and reduces overhead.
With ExakTime, firms gain an indispensable tool to track, analyze, and extract more value out of every hour worked. We become your trusted partner for maximizing profits and intelligence around time management.
- Industry-Leading Accuracy: ExakTime harnesses automated tracking technology to log employee time down to the minute. When you eliminate manual entry and the risk of human error, there are no more payroll errors or missed billable time due to inaccurate data.
- Powerful Customization: ExakTime enables unparalleled tailored configuration to meet your organization’s unique policies and processes without costly development or consulting fees. Easily create customized fields, design streamlined workflows and build business rules like overtime policies or shift differentials.
- Robust Reporting: ExakTime equips managers with real-time analytics and over 40 customizable reports to derive actionable insights from time data. Scheduling, budget vs actuals, project tracking, productivity, and more — the reporting possibilities are endless. For companies that need more data, we offer Advanced Analytics.
- Seamless Scalability: ExakTime’s architecture readily scales from 10 employees up to 10,000+ employees while maintaining performance and accuracy. Top-Rated Mobile Experience: ExakTime’s mobile apps for Android and iOS make time tracking easy for employees on the go and provide managers visibility. The apps are highly rated for user experience and provide access to all ExakTime features.
- Tight Payroll Integrations: ExakTime integrates seamlessly with many top payroll systems to instantly feed data, eliminating manual entry. This also enables exception-based payroll processing for faster processing.
- Unmatched Implementation Success: With seasoned implementation experts, ExakTime ensures smooth software rollouts and maximum user adoption. We offer hands-on, targeted training and 24/7 customer support.
Contact ExakTime to learn how our time tracking and team management tools can streamline processes, reduce errors and delays, and promote success.