To consider time clocks in this century is almost Dickensian. We don’t like to think about the connotations that they can bring with them, of an abused workforce or tyrannical bosses. Or, an early very primitive form of employee surveillance.
They caused a certain amount of unease when they were first introduced in America in the 1890s. Times change, though, and from there, we went through a punch card system to the computerized systems we have today. They still exist, and finding the best time clocks for small business can be necessary.
It can be good for the employee, as it can be used as an accurate measure of the number of hours worked. That is important for employees on hourly rates, and it is also convenient for a small business, saving those in payroll a lot of time.
The Dickensian days of the ruthless exploitation of workers are, mostly, though not entirely behind us. The time clock can be an asset to both workers and the company. So, let’s look at some of the best time clocks for your small business and find the perfect one for you…
- 1 Top 10 Best Time Clocks for Small Business To Buy In 2020 Review
- 1.1 1 uPunch Time Clock Bundle – Best Easy Setup Time Clock for Small Business
- 1.2 2 Touch-Free Small Business Time Clock – Best Touch Free Time Clock for Small Business
- 1.3 3 Pyramid 3500 Multipurpose Time Clock and Document Stamp – Best Date Stamp Time Clock for Small Business
- 1.4 4 uAttend BN6500 WiFi Biometric Fingerprint Time Clock
- 1.5 5 Lathem Heavy-Duty Maintenance-Free Thermal Print Time Clock – Best Offline Time Clock for Small Business
- 1.6 6 TotalPass B600 Biometric Fingerprint Employee Time Clock – Best Time Clock for SMEs
- 1.7 7 NgTeco Time Clocks for Employees Biometric Fingerprint Digital Time Clock Machine – Best Excel Based Time Clock for Small Business
- 1.8 8 Allied Time Calculating Time clock – Most Efficient Time Clock for Small Business
- 1.9 9 Allied Time USA AT-3000R Digital Time Clock and Date Stamp – Best Value for the Money Time Clock for Small Business
- 1.10 10 AMANO PIX-25 PORTABLE TIME CLOCK/DATE STAMP – Best Portable Time Clock for Small Business
- 2 Best Time Clocks For Small Business Buyer’s Guide
- 3 Got Everything Else For Your Small Business?
- 4 So, What Are The Best Time Clocks For Small Business?
Top 10 Best Time Clocks for Small Business To Buy In 2020 Review
1 uPunch Time Clock Bundle – Best Easy Setup Time Clock for Small Business
This time clock from Upunch is an excellent example of a very cost-effective timekeeping clock. It seems to try and combine the actual operation of punching the information in with modern technology. It has some exciting features, though, that put it in the modern world for both employer and employee.
Workers can use their cards up to six times each day, though that might not be necessary. It depends on whether the company demands to know more than what time you arrive and what time you leave. It will also cover lunch breaks and coffee or tea breaks if they need that information.
Before payday, the business can enter the data from the card in the free cloud-based software. This will then track the employed time and produce pay reports based on the information. The figures can then be sent to the company’s payroll system. Or if there isn’t one, it can be handled manually. It will handle either weekly, two weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly pay cycles.
All you need to get started…
The machine comes as part of a bundle to allow the user to commence using it immediately. This bundle includes the device, of course, plus 100 cards for time records, an ink ribbon, and two keys. There are also card racks for storage near the machine with ten slots for workers’ cards.
This is a convenient and easy to use system that covers most of the requirements that employers and employees require.
- Very easy to use.
- Some good reporting systems built-in.
- Bundled with all you need to get started.
- Lacks enough equipment for a larger workforce.
2 Touch-Free Small Business Time Clock – Best Touch Free Time Clock for Small Business
There are small businesses working within tight budgets and where technology is at a premium. That is not uncommon for the smaller growing business. If your business falls into that category, then this time keeping clock may be of interest.
This is simple to use and simple to set up. It lacks a lot of the extra features that some more expensive systems will provide, but it will record the essential information you need. It is just a simple punch-in machine that you might call a ‘no-frills’ timekeeping device. Set up, as we said, is easy and takes 2-3 minutes. And, if you have any problems, there is a customer call center for advice.
It is called a ‘Touch-free’ clock for a good reason. Employees do not have to touch it to record their time data. You simply drop in the time card, and it will automatically align it up and print, nothing to push or press. In today’s uncertain world, the less potential contamination, the better, so this little clock is a step ahead of us.
It will provide a clear timekeeping record for each employee on an individual employee’s card. However, it will not add up time. The manufacturer has a free online app you have access to that calculates the hours etc. Hours can be listed in either AM or PM and in various formats within a 24-hour format.
A bigger bundle…
It comes as part of a bundle that includes 100 time cards. There are also two racks for card storage, two ribbons for printing, and four keys for security reasons. Please note, though, this machine will only operate with cards supplied by the manufacturer.
This is a very basic system, but one that is simple and efficient. Some employers and employees will prefer that. It’s also set at a decent price point, making it an attractive option.
- Easy to set up and use.
- Records just the basic data.
- Attractive price point.
- Some employers will need more information supplied.
3 Pyramid 3500 Multipurpose Time Clock and Document Stamp – Best Date Stamp Time Clock for Small Business
This product from Pyramid is a little more than a timekeeping clock. It has the essential functions of employee timekeeping, but it is a bit more complex than the usual punch-in system that notes employees’ timings.
It will also work with any documents that are important or time-sensitive in delivery. There are 14 pre-programmed statements for papers that may be time-sensitive. These may include legal documents, lists of attendance, or critical incoming mail. The setup is obviously going to be a little more complicated than a straightforward timekeeping machine.
Date stamp for documents…
There is a document feed on the side and an alignment indicator. This then is a machine that will keep employees time records, but it will also time and date stamp important incoming documents. For any date anomalies like short months or leap years, it will reset itself.
It seems like an ‘all bells and whistles’ system, but it does have one major drawback. It cannot connect to a computer, and, as most payroll is computerized, that is a problem. You will therefore have to manually calculate and then enter the hours from the time cards. That, we would have thought, would have been the first feature built-in.
It comes with a ribbon, twenty-five-time cards, and two keys, and, notably, it will only use Pyramid ribbons. The price point is set above the average too. We think it’s useful for document recording but doesn’t calculate and enter time records, so useless for some.
- Good document recording features.
- Requires calculating and entering employee’s time records to a payroll system.
4 uAttend BN6500 WiFi Biometric Fingerprint Time Clock
This is where technology takes over and seriously offends some people. It is an interesting debate, and we spoke to an employee who works with this biometric system. In her view, it is an insult and a demonstration of mistrust between employer and employee. Her opinion, of course, but understandable.
This is a system where you have to pay a significant amount for the machine and then have to pay a subscription based on the number of people that use it. That is dressed up as an ‘access to customer support’ package, something they should supply anyway.
Nevertheless, let’s see what it offers…
This machine eliminates people clocking in for each other, and checks on you whenever you take a break and reports that information to payroll. It “enforces company rules” by automating what is going on. This would apply to lockouts, shifts and anything else decided important enough to be included.
It is a system that relies on certain fundamentals, and when they go wrong, it doesn’t work. Password selection is just one of them.
Nowhere near the best…
We are not going to spend time discussing the relative negative points of this machine. It will suffice to say it is not something we see any benefit in at all, least of all from staff who might object to it. So, definitely not one of the best time clocks for small business, in our assessment.
- Hard to find any, really.
- Assumes a degree of mistrust of employees.
- Doesn’t address employee benefits.
- Not the most reliable of systems.
- Tricky to get it working.
5 Lathem Heavy-Duty Maintenance-Free Thermal Print Time Clock – Best Offline Time Clock for Small Business
Its visual appearance dominates this time clock. The large LCD screen takes center stage and is very easy to read.
It incorporates Whisper Print Technology that removes the need for printer ribbons, so that will reduce the physical maintenance costs of running the machine. The settings required to print as you need are easy to operate, and there are several different formats included for printing. It will print in a 24-hour format or in am or pm hours from 1 to 12. The layout also includes weeks, days, months, or by date.
This is quite a heavyweight machine being made from steel. It measures 8 by 6 by 9.8 inches and weighs five and a half pounds! The package includes 2 security keys and a power adapter, plus 25 time cards. It will only operate with Lathem E8 thermal cards.
Back to the LCD…
Let’s go back and look at the front of the machine and the LCD. It is clear and easy to read, and the time and date are very visible. There is also a blue light that will turn green when the card is properly lined up to print. When the Tru-Align system is aligned correctly, it will print automatically.
There is no need for an internet connection, as all information is stored in the unit. It is, however, quite an expensive option.
- Good visuals.
- Easy to set up operations.
- No need for an internet connection.
- Relatively quite expensive.
6 TotalPass B600 Biometric Fingerprint Employee Time Clock – Best Time Clock for SMEs
Here is another Biometric time clock. This machine, though, has no monthly subscription per employee. It does, however, have a hefty purchase price. It can handle time calculations of up to one hundred employees. And, if that isn’t sufficient, then it can be expanded to two hundred and fifty or even up to five hundred. Not so much a time clock for a small business, though it will cater to smaller numbers.
It is operated by a finger scan that gives absolute verification for every punch made on a card. If that isn’t enough, there is a built-in camera for photo evidence. Be careful; it is watching you.
It will even track employees who work off-premises through Web Punch licenses. You get fifteen designated for those who work off-site included in the package.
Some employees can take advantage of the proximity verification. For that, they just need to pass their card across the screen for instant verification. Take note, though, proximity passes are not included and have to be purchased separately.
It has various connectivity options, including USB and WiFi. This time clock can be used as a stand-alone system, or you can network locally through LAN. It will also accommodate a more comprehensive collection of data and can be set up as part of a WAN, or wide area network. It can therefore send the information on the time cards directly to a dedicated payroll system for processing.
The operating buttons are all located on the front and are easy to see and use. Included in the package are two security keys, the 15 web punch licenses, and a power supply with a fifteen-foot USB cable.
There are some comments by some users that the biometrics don’t actually work. That may be worth checking before purchasing at this price point.
- A sophisticated system.
- Variety of information gathering.
- Can be used on or off-site.
- Very expensive.
7 NgTeco Time Clocks for Employees Biometric Fingerprint Digital Time Clock Machine – Best Excel Based Time Clock for Small Business
There seem to be a lot of biometric machines out there. Are employers considered to distrust their employees that much by the manufacturers?
This system can control up to 100 fingerprints, and it has a total capacity of 10,000 records. The sensor has good optics and can read a variety of fingerprints. These might be on dry or wet hands. It doesn’t require any extra software to be downloaded as the software is already built-in, and will transfer the information directly to your payroll system.
It works using the Excel program. That will cut down on time in the processing of salaries for employees. But of course, it will only work if you have a computerized payroll. If you haven’t that facility, then time to move on to another machine.
It is easy to fit to a wall, and there is a mobile app where you can download reports. To do this, you do have to connect via the same WiFi as the machine. Potential data loss is not a problem in the event of a power cut. To cover this problem, there is a built-in backing up procedure.
The machine is nicely laid out with a clear sizable screen and easy to see controls.
As always, with these machines that rely on an internet connection, if it fails, you can’t use it. Simply put, no internet, and it won’t work. If you are in an area where reception is unreliable, then a contingency plan needs to be in place to cover this scenario. It is set at a decent price point, though.
- Nicely laid-out front panel.
- Some useful reporting features.
- Attractive price point.
- Will only work with an internet connection.
8 Allied Time Calculating Time clock – Most Efficient Time Clock for Small Business
Here is a basic time recording system that is easy for employees to use. Its appealing design and essential functions make this a contender for one of the best time clocks for small business out there.
This is one of those systems where if you are going to employ automated time checks, it is easy to use. It will calculate overtime as well as regular hours, and it will do this either with daily or weekly calculations. The calculations are performed on the employees time card.
This, in our view, is by far the best and most transparent way. There are no buttons to press; just drop the card in the top of the machine, and it will do the necessary. No alignment is required, and the amount of contact with the device is virtually nil. This is an essential issue in the world we live in at the moment.
Setup and efficiency…
Setup for the employer is relatively easy and is menu-driven. There are also options for lunch break deductions or adjustment and rounding up if necessary.
It is fixed to the wall easily and measures 11.75 by 11.25 by 9.25 inches and weighs seven pounds. We think this is a nicely made and easy to use machine. If it has one downside, it is that it does not handle 24/7 working cycles with overlapping shifts.
The price point is set slightly higher than the average for this sort of machine. However, its simplicity and efficiency are more than worth the extra.
- Nice design.
- Easy to use.
- Uses time card for calculations.
- Easy to read at a glance.
- Will not work with overlapping 24/7 shifts.
9 Allied Time USA AT-3000R Digital Time Clock and Date Stamp – Best Value for the Money Time Clock for Small Business
We stay with Allied Time for another example of a simple to use and efficient system. The purpose of a time clock for a small business is to accurately record hours worked. This is not only for the benefit of the employer who has to work out what to pay the employee, but also for the employees to make sure they get what they are due.
Punch cards were one of the original designs. Many would say they are still the best way of accomplishing that. The punch card is a simple process. This machine, though, is a little more than just a timekeeper. It will also stamp a date on the receipt of important documents, and you can select from thirteen different preset messages on processing.
It is easily set up, and you can choose between a twelve or twenty-four-hour time format. The alignment of the time card is easy to ensure the print is within a required spacing. It can also be adjusted for either left or right print and can be set for auto or manual use. As the employer, you can also set a security password if you choose.
It does, though, not add up the information on the card; that is a manual operation. It’s a simple and basic system, but it works well and is good value for the mid-range price point it has.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Competitive price point.
- Can timestamp important documents.
- Need to add the contents of each employee’s time card manually.
10 AMANO PIX-25 PORTABLE TIME CLOCK/DATE STAMP – Best Portable Time Clock for Small Business
To finish our look at time clocks for small businesses, we conclude with a different idea. This is a portable time clock that doubles up as a date stamp. This clock has atomic clock functionality, which makes it able to produce accurate timings. It has a variety of print styles that can be set and automatically changes the date, month, and year. The machine will print out on the time card timings in tenths and hundredths of minutes.
Other possible benefits?
There are no set time cards for this machine; it will print on any card or even plain paper. It has a battery backup system that allows it to be portable, which also acts as a prevention of lost data in the case of a power cut. Whilst it can be carried around, it can also be fixed to a wall.
Just clip and unclip…
It comes with a backplate that you place on the wall. The clock snaps into place when you want to use it in one place, and it clips out for moving. It is not what you might call a compact machine for carrying with you as it measures 11 by 9 by 9 inches and weighs 5 pounds. It is a very basic timekeeping system and only prints the time and the date. All pay calculations need to be performed manually, and we think it’s quite an expensive option.
- Can be fixed or used as a portable machine.
- Simple to use.
- Doesn’t need specific time cards.
- Quite expensive.
Best Time Clocks For Small Business Buyer’s Guide
The reason that a small business buys a timekeeping clock is for collecting information for calculating pay. Hours worked by an employee can be recorded and collated, and then the correct due amount paid. It works for both employer and employee, but some time clocks go a stage further.
They will download an employee’s hours to a payroll program, and that will do the calculations for you. Some, though, are manual. Some use biometrics and employee fingerprints to operate. We can see why some employees might not be happy with that, and some go even further and take photos.
You get what you pay for in this regard…
The latter biometric and other similar computerized systems are going to be more expensive. Some even have the extra cost of a monthly fee on top of buying the machine.
If you are buying a machine that requires a WiFi link, think carefully. If the link goes down, then the system goes with it. That could cause a nightmare to work out who is in, who is owed what, and when.
In some people’s eyes, the simple manual systems are still the best, and we can understand that.
Got Everything Else For Your Small Business?
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Back to time clocks…
So, What Are The Best Time Clocks For Small Business?
We’d go for something simple—basically, a card-operated machine with the least employee interaction as possible. Therefore, we would go for the…Allied Time Calculating Time Clock
Our choice as the best time clock for small businesses out there.
Enjoy your purchase!