If you need a short intro on what a timesheet is and how it can help your team and business, read this article first.
Let’s cut to the chase. I’ve reviewed the top 5 best timesheet software based on their core features: time management, time reports, time tracking, invoicing, and resource management.
Paymo – Timesheet
Paymo started out as a standalone time-tracking and invoicing app that gradually developed into a full-fledged project management software.
The focus on time-tracking is still there, though. Logging time is as simple as ever. Click and drag anywhere on the timesheets area to relog your time either as a duration or interval. Just mention the project and task, leave notes, and you’re done. The time entries will show up as time entries color-coded by project, so you can better distinguish between them.
Besides adding time entries like this, you can also add them in bulk for one person over a week. Speaking of which, the timesheet comes with several views. Active timers allow you to see all running timers in parallel at the same time. Quite ideal in a remote setup since you don’t have to check in on your team constantly. The rest are the daily/weekly/monthly views, plus the Agenda one for filtering time entries in a spreadsheet.
In itself, the timesheet area is highly customizable. If you go to Settings, you can change the snap interval to range from 5 to 30 minutes and choose whether to display the task or project name first on a time entry card. There’s even a folded vs. unfolded view of your time entries for monitoring purposes so that you can view them without any free “time windows” one after another:
As for reporting, there are static and live reports which update themselves automatically every time someone opens them. The cherry on top—they are fully customizable. Choose which parameters to show up on the report and in which order to get as much detailed information as possible. When done, share them with your clients or team, export them as a PDF/Excel/CSV file, or print them as a last resort.
Besides manually logging time entries, Paymo’s intuitive time-tracking module offers several ways to record time. There’s an in-app stopwatch in the lower-left corner of the collapsable menu. A desktop widget with Idle Time Detection in case you’ve been AFK and forgot to clock out. An automated time tracker called Paymo Plus does automatic time tracking for you. Just leave it running in the background and pair the time entries with their related tasks in Paymo. And a mobile app timer that can prove helpful if you’re working on the go. A built-in Pomodoro timer is available as well.
NOTE: For those who want to work or study in increments of 25 minutes, read our most recommended Pomodoro apps.
Paymo lets you turn timesheet data into an invoice with just a few clicks and get paid accurately thanks to its accounting module. Choose between 95 currencies when billing your clients and 15 language templates that you can personalize (either via CSS/HTML or the WYSIWYG builder) to reflect your own brand better. Your clients can send the money online via Paymo’s native online payment gateway, PM Payments. It’s only available to US clients, though. There are other options, such as PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net. Pack these with the estimates and expenses, and you’ve got yourself more than a timesheet add-on.
Speaking of project management tools, Paymo provides a resource scheduling module to work alongside your timesheets. You can schedule employees, see their current workload, and manage employee time off by leave type (sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, unpaid time off, sabbaticals) along with their subsequent (non)billable hours.
All-in-all, Paymo ticks the boxes on all timesheet software criteria. A time entry approval feature would be great, allowing you to submit entries that managers later approve. The benefit is that there are fewer errors and better time allocation. Another way to minimize or avoid erroneous or double entries is to lock time entries, which Paymo does not have just yet.
Whether you work hourly with your clients or project-based, recording your work hours boosts job productivity and project profitability.
- free plan: for one user
- starter: for one user only, at $5.95/user/month
- small office: $11.95/user/month
- business: $24.95/user/month (minimum 5 users)
Platforms: web, iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux
ClickTime – Timesheet
ClickTime is an online timesheet software that helps you schedule and allocate employee time and create reports and employee analyses.
ClickTime features three main views: day, week, and timesheet. Day and Week View are similar in functionality, allowing you to track your time using a stopwatch, manually or offline. Similar to adding bulk time, Quick Day copies time entries from a specific date, duplicating entire workdays.
Pay attention, though – you can still undo your entries after you hit Quick Day, but if you save the changes, the entries become locked. The only way to edit the entries is to switch to Quick Week and manually edit/delete them. As for Quick Week, you cannot undo your action, so you have to be careful not to make any logging mistakes.
As for reporting, ClickTime’s “Business Intelligence and Analytics” feature offers over 80 reports for time-usage trends, insights, and visualizations. If you’re not content with what they offer, you can create your own templates from scratch. The option to set lockdown permission hides sensitive data from employees (you can include or exclude certain employees and grant bulk access to them).
Regarding scheduling, ClickTime allows you to allocate your employees’ resources, see their available work hours, and schedule them to maximize their productivity. In addition, employees can track billable and non-billable hours. They can either use the in-built time tracker or add time entries manually.
Having said this, with online timesheet software comes the need for more flexibility when correcting past data, such as wrong tasks, hours, or projects. Moreover, the time entries are too rigid, and you cannot enter overtime easily. If you try to enter overtime, it will notify you that you logged over the maximum number of hours.
The bottom line is that ClickTime works great as a company timesheet software, with advanced tools for managers and admins and reports that you can export in various formats. Still, its competitors offer great invoicing tools and other project management features around the same price range. If you only need the analytics feature, then ClickTime is the software for you.
- free plan: no
- starter: $12/user/month
- team: $16/user/month
- premier: $28/user/month
- enterprise: custom
Platforms: web, iOS, Android
TSheets – Timesheet
TSheets (now QuickBooks Time) is a timesheet software option that provides employee time tracking and invoicing. TSheets is a good fit for businesses needing robust audit trail reporting. In a sense, it is the digital timesheet software version of the traditional timesheet reporting: tracking attendance, as it offers GPS location tracking, real-time coordination, and geofence time tracking.
One way to ensure your employees clock in and out is to use the Time Clock Kiosk, which has biometric functions like facial recognition for better security if you are operating outside the office or working remotely. In addition, it offers geofencing, reminding employees to clock in or out of their workplace or even automatically once they are in/out of bounds. This feature is extremely helpful if your business runs on rosters and shifts.
Idle time detection is a much-needed feature. Why? While testing TSheets for its review, I may have forgotten to clock out. Oopsie! So you can imagine an entry worth a few hundred hours. Granted, a pop-up prompted a confirmation for clock-out since the timesheet was well over the maximum of 10 hours.
When it comes to employee monitoring, TSheets offers a Who’s Working widget, which gives a real-time map view of who is working and where. It promises increased accountability as more employees and teams work remotely and find it inconvenient to keep checking in with their manager, which could interrupt their workflow.
The reporting module offers great features such as Tardies, Scheduled versus Worked, reports by pay period, date range, and so on. All the data is useful for payroll management and auditing, which TSheets is strong on. Nevertheless, it has no invoicing option, so TSheets might or might not be a good fit depending on your business. As for resource scheduling, TSheets doesn’t allow you to schedule future time for yourself or your employees, which is problematic if you want to manage future project estimates or upcoming work shifts.
So, TSheets is by no means a simple timesheet software. At a hefty price, it offers features such as GPS location tracking, real-time coordination, and geofence time tracking. If you need less invasive timesheet features, plenty of other timesheet reporting software should be considered.
- free plan: no
- freelancer: $15/single user/month
- simple start: $25/user/month
- essentials: $50/user/month
- plus: $80/user/month
Platforms: web, iOS, Android
Harvest – Timesheet
A great timesheet software option is Harvest, which offers many integrations and timesheet solutions such as time tracking, expense reporting, and invoicing for small business needs.
Harvest is good when it comes to timesheet management. The Day View and Week View are very similar in design; the only visual difference is the number of rows – one box for daily and seven for weekly. It seems that Week view is great for adding time in bulk and taking a quick glance at your week before submitting the timesheet for review. Both views allow you to copy rows from your most recent timesheet. In addition, it has automatic reminders, prompting you and your employees to log work hours until a specific date.
While it’s great that Harvest has an in-built timer, finding it can be a hassle. You have to toggle Day View to access the timer. If you’re like me, always using the Week View, you’ll spend quite a while figuring out where the timer is. There’s a browser extension, desktop app, and mobile version, making it easier to access the timer without accessing the web app.
When it comes to accounting, Harvest has a wide range of features. You have the option to send retainer fees or create estimates so that your clients can have a rough estimate of your services. In addition, multiple billing rates match every type of work (flat fees, hourly rates), so you can create invoices for billable and non-billable hours. And an automatic invoicing option allows you to turn billable time into invoices and then send it to your clients via email. In return, you can see when the clients have viewed or paid the invoice.
Plus, a wide selection of visual reporting enables you to support your team and keep projects running smoothly. You can enter the workload capacity for each team member in terms of the number of hours per day/week.
One downside is that it lacks real-time employee monitoring. While you can keep tabs on your team’s workload capacity, there is no real-time monitoring to see what everyone is working on at that particular time. For other project management features such as scheduling, resource management, and team collaboration, you will need its sister app, Forecast. This one helps you estimate the workload better, but it comes at an extra buck out of your pocket.
To sum up, Harvest is the kind of timesheet management software that’s really cool – if you only need it for timesheets, invoicing, and billing. If you don’t have the extra budget to include Forecast, consider investing in a more robust project management software.
- free plan: one user, two projects
- pro: $12/user/month
Platforms: web, macOS, iOS, Android
Hourstack – Timesheet
Hourstack is an online timesheet software option that offers basic time tracking and reporting features to monitor time across multiple workspaces.
Hourstacks’s Kanban-like dashboard stands out as its top feature. The dashboard is intuitive and user-friendly, allowing you to create time entries and drop them much like stickies on a Kanban. One distinct feature is that each entry has its own “allocated” and “actual” time. This is valuable because by consistently logging your hours, you get better at estimating, planning, and executing your tasks. Moreover, there’s a rollover function (for the next day, week, or month) to move your tasks to a later date, but you have to pay attention if you are using it retroactively – “Next Day” refers to your current workday. Although you can’t add time in bulk, you can duplicate a specific task but only for the same day.
Like most web-based timesheet software, you can manage multiple workspaces, export your data, and manage teams. After you set up teams and assign user roles, availability, and permissions, Hourstack allows you to easily create custom reports highlighting allocated hours vs. actual hours, along with entries, labels, and projects. You have the option to generate reports around users, teams, projects, labels, or none of the above.
While the feature to add actual versus allocated hours is great, the stopwatch could use an upgrade. There’s no dedicated panel for it, so finding it for quick access is tricky. You can pause it except when you complete your task, and it eventually accumulates in a single time entry no matter how many distractions or breaks you take. Some employees, like me, might want to see detailed time-tracking activity to improve their work habits or performance.
Hourstack is your basic timesheet software option if you don’t need advanced timesheet tools. While Hourstack is a good project management software option, it would be great if it offered more payroll and accounting features, such as invoicing, estimates, and expenses. As it lacks most payroll management features, it comes at a steep price for the team and enterprise plan if you compare it to its competitors that already offer robust accounting features.
- free plan: no
- personal: $7/single user/month
- professional: $15/user/month
- enterprise: custom
Platforms: web, iOS, Android
Core features & software comparison chart
Any good timesheet software has the following functionalities and features, which are self-explanatory:
- Timesheet management. Can you manage time entries on various views, add time in bulk, and sort or filter time logs?
- Time reports. Can you generate time reports based on time entries? Reports could be static or live, meaning that they get updated every time you access them.
- Time tracking. Can you track your time in real-time (using a stopwatch), add time intervals, and time in bulk?
- Invoicing. Can you generate an invoice based on outstanding time entries? What about expenses and estimates?
- Resource scheduling. Can you manage time off, such as paid leaves? Can you manage bookings or your team’s schedule on a timeline?
Having said all this, here is a timesheet software comparison chart to recap their best features.
Core features when looking for timesheet software.
A full-fledged timesheet software unifies time management, time reports, time tracking, invoicing, and resource management. Don’t hesitate to adopt a timesheet solution for your organization, team, or project.
Tracking time isn’t really that complicated, and using timesheet software simplifies the entire process. Plus, most timesheet software out there have an onboarding procedure and come with instructional guides and tutorials. All you have to do is pilot it for a month or two, and you’ll see all the benefits – most importantly, less frustration and less time wasted on admin tasks.