Time clocks let an employer know the exact hours an employee is working, and some clocks have the ability to deduct time spent at lunch or on breaks. The higher the number of employees, the more difficult it can become to keep track of hours and unpaid breaks. Some time clocks keep track of payroll, benefits and vacation time, which can save the time and the expense of doing it by hand.

Time Clocks: What to Look For

Time Clocks give a business an accurate measurement of the exact times that employees work. The clocks come in different types and with extra features. They can range from the standard time-stamp clock to more advanced types that use fingerprints, facial recognition, badges, PIN numbers and barcodes to let an employee check in and out.

Some time clocks are automatic while other models use computer software. Deciding what type would suit your business can depend on many factors. Some examples of time clocks are the Icon RTC-1000, Amano Atomic Time Clock and Pyramid Auto Totaling Time Clock.

Method of Identification
The method of employee identification used by a company when clocking in or out its employees can depend on the type of business and level of security. Smaller businesses may prefer to use time cards, badges or PIN numbers. Other methods used may include phone or computer entries, passwords or fobs. Larger businesses that have employees with access to potentially sensitive material may prefer fingerprints or eye or facial scans to ensure that the person entering is that employee.

Number of Employees
The number of employees a company has can help you determine what type of time clock is adequate for your business. Time clocks are available for as few as 25 employees or less for smaller businesses. Larger businesses can find time clocks that handle up to 10,000 employees or more.

Smaller businesses may only want a time clock that does just records the time its employees arrive and leave. Other businesses may prefer a time clock with expanded features to keep payroll records, monitor vacation schedules and track benefits. In addition, some time clocks deduct for lunch and breaks during the day.

Time clocks are available in different operation modes, such as electric or battery operated. Many of them use computer software to keep track of daily entries, and some also come with a battery backup in the event of a power failure.

For business owners with multiple employees, a time clock can keep track of the hours an employee works and, in more expanded models, it can keep track of payroll and benefit records as well as vacation time, lunch hours and breaks for each employee. Choosing the right time clock for your company depends on the time clock's capabilities, the number of employees you have and the level of sophistication needed for your business. For more information, check out our time tracking and management reviews.

Acroprint Review

The Acroprint BioTouch Time Clock lets you set up a work time clock using a USB stick without a computer. You can set the parameters you wish the machine to track and download employee data at payroll time.

Entering directions and specific factors the clock uses to track employee time lets you set up the payroll time clock in a functional way for your business. It can monitor up to 500 employees for both day and night shifts.

The time clock system will use the parameters you upload onto the memory stick and into the time clock. The portability of the memory stick without using a network at the work site means this time monitoring system works well remotely or at the workplace. In addition, since there is no software to install, it saves you time. Simply plug and unplug the memory stick.

This work time clock uses several methods to track employee arrivals and departures, including fingerprints, a fob, radio frequency identification badges or an employee PIN. Once employees clock in and out and the data is stored on the clock, you can download the data to the USB stick in order to process the payroll by opening the data on an Excel spreadsheet. When necessary, you can email the spreadsheet to your main office to process payroll.

The time clock is small enough to make using it at remote sites convenient. It measures 6.2 inches (w) x 1.5 inches (d) and 5.1 inches (h). The display screen measure 2.8 inches and has a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels. You can use the unit on the tabletop or hang it on the wall if you wish. It comes with screws and a mounting plate. The operating temperature is 32- to 104-degrees Fahrenheit, and use indoors is necessary. It does not work in direct sunlight or near a heat source, such as a heating vent.

Remote locations may suffer from frequent power outages and a battery pack with four hours running time is available for separate purchase. There is a single proximity badge included with the unit, and others are purchasable from the company.

This electronic time clock provides for 200,000 transactions. You can program holidays and make late or early starts or stops noticeable, highlighting them in red on the final, printable tally. Since the system uses biometric identification, signing in by one employee for another is difficult. A one-year warranty comes with the system. However, a warranty extension is available for purchase.

The Acroprint BioTouch Time Clock gives you portability in a small package. It lets you upload the input parameters and download data using a memory stick and does not require software or a network for use.

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Amano Review

The Amano Atomic Time Clock has a digital readout with large letters, is usable in manual or automatic mode and is programmable. This time card machine can make bookkeeping more convenient and provide an employer with a way to time date important documents and faxes.

The time punch clock comes with an operator's manual and two keys. This clock works with colored ribbons and 1790, 5200 and 5200-2 time cards. This clock measures 6.69 inches (w) x 6.56 inches (d) 6.44 inches (h) and weighs 3.6 pounds, so it takes up a small amount of space. You can hang it on the wall in a convenient area or use it as a desktop model. It offers multiple ways of identification, and you have a choice of languages to use to accommodate your employees.

One of the most important features of a time card machine is its accuracy. This one sets itself to the Atomic Clock for the highest accuracy possible in the United States and adjusts itself when necessary, including changes in daylight savings. This assures that the time is always correct. This clock also comes with a lithium battery for backup in the event of a power outage. However, even if the battery runs out, the clock stores its information. The battery operates for up to three years without any problem.

The method of identification of this time clock is through a card punch and stamp system with a visible window to watch as it records the time. It includes tamper-proof features because it is a keyed unit, which helps prevent concern about someone trying to falsify time records. In addition, this time clock system is usable for up to 100 employees.

A feature of this accurate time clock is the uncomplicated ability to operate the system and make changes to your desired specifications. While some time keeping clocks are more complex and can require input from customer service to operate, this one gives you the ability to set all the features yourself and even troubleshoot if you should have a problem. It also comes with a one-year warranty in the event of malfunction.

The Amano Atomic Time Clock is a card punch system that synchronizes with the atomic clock for accuracy and provides you with the ability to accurately keep time records and stamp important documents and faxes. This time clock is capable of handling up to 100 employees and has a lithium battery backup system in the event of power outages.

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Compumatic Review

The Compumatic XLS Biometric Fingerprint Clock lets you clock your employees in and out using a fingerprint system that eliminates double punching and keeps an accurate account of work hours. This time clock system comes with optional unlimited upgrades so you can add on as your company grows and has the capability of making multiple calculations to save on bookkeeping costs and time.

Included with the real time clock, you receive a mounting bracket and hardware, cables to connect it, power supply, software, and instructional material to help you set it up. You can customize the time cards to reflect when employees receive their wages, whether monthly or in shorter increments of time. The cards are convenient to use and reflect the times the employee enters and leaves, even if it is multiple times daily. It calculates overtime, breaks and wages for that pay period. You can qualify breaks on whether they are unpaid or paid and include overtime at different pay levels. Adding benefit hours, bonuses and department summaries on each employee are also possible with this machine.

This biometric time clock system can monitor time and payroll for up to 25 employees. However, it is expandable up to an unlimited number. You can use the system to connect multiple clocks. You can also use color-coding to make the cards more convenient to read, such as putting work hours in one color, overtime in a second color and gross wages earned in a third.

You can use this time clock to deduct unpaid breaks, lunch periods or unauthorized overtime and define the number of shifts and hours if your company works on a shift system. A flagging system lets you know when and the number of times an employee arrives late or leaves early as well as early arrivals and those who stay later than the scheduled time. This feature makes it more convenient for you to check where improvements or changes are necessary. In the event an employee leaves early, the time clock can deduct that amount of time.

Although fingerprint technology is not foolproof, it does supply a more secure system that helps avoid buddy punching and is a quick way to log in employees at work, avoiding lines and allowing them to reach their workstations faster.

The Compumatic XLS Biometric lets you use a fingerprint time clock to monitor your employees daily, and it records entry and exit of individuals as many times as needed each day. In addition, you can calculate your payroll, overtime and breaks and deduct unpaid periods.

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FingerTec Review

The FingerTec TA200 Plus time clock sports a TFT display with bright readable print. It enables fingerprint recognition, passwords and a radio frequency identification card. In addition, it allows you to add a business message for employees on the screen.

The ID functions used alone or in combination further secure employee input data. The software used with this electronic time clock lets the employee sign in quickly, which gets the workday started on schedule.

This time clock system lets you check on your employees in real time, enabling you to be sure the business is working the way it should. It also lets you incorporate door lock systems flawlessly using a DC 12-volt, EM output with 3 amps. Access to the time clock is restricted due to a keyless access. The system accommodates employees in different time zones.

The TFT display uses 65k colors, giving you a clear, rich demonstration. Verbal greetings are available in the language employees use in each locale. In order to transfer data smoothly, a USB port is available.

The housing for this time clock is made of ABS plastic, giving it durability. It measures 2.2 inches (w) x 7.87 inches (l) x 6.30 inches (h). The clock accommodates 10,000 workers and has a record capacity of 200,000 employees. Two RFID cards are part of the package, and additional cards are available for purchase. The unit is able to read cards and fingerprints from any angle, and the time it takes to verify an employee's identity is under one second.

The radio frequency used in this work time clock is 125 kHz at 64-bit. Transfer of information is by RS232, USB flash, RS485 and Wi-Fi is optional, and it uses multiple baud rates. The operating system performs at temperatures between 32- and 113-degrees Fahrenheit and with humidity of 20 to 80 percent. The power supply is 1 a2 volts with 3 amps direct current. A siren is an optional feature. The 3.8-inch display uses 65,000 colors. The verbal and written language used includes English as the standard. However, other language models are available, including Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese, among others.

The box includes a DC 12-volt power plug, a CAT5 cable and a USB extension. In addition, five RFID cards and bolts are part of the package. The weight for shipping is 3.5 pounds.

The FingerTec TA200 Plus time clock helps you keep track of employee attendance. It is versatile and operates quickly when identifying employees.

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Icon RTC-1000 Review

The Icon RTC-1000 Time Clock takes care of your payroll and employee work hours and is expandable. In addition, it's accessible from work, home or through the internet wherever you are. Built-in software makes this employee time clock convenient to use because it doesn't require a continuous internet connection.

The employee time clock comes with the clock itself, 15 badges that can be reassigned if necessary, QuickBooks and Paycheck programs with interface, 15 foot USB and Ethernet cables, a CD to set up the programs, a mounting plate that locks, two keys and the power supply. It also has one year of free support from the company. There are no added monthly fees.

This time clock system has several methods to clock in. If you choose to use identification numbers, you can set the PINs to have between three and nine numbers. You can also use assigned badges for your employees. The time clock can also function for up to 32 different departments.

This payroll time clock can track the work hours and earned income of up to 50 employees. However, it is expandable to 250, so you can upgrade this time clock in the future if the number of employees expands. You can customize the features in this clock to suit the needs of your business and can also get upgrades such as email alerts, extra badges and customized pin numbers.

You can set this work time clock for your company's pay period whether it's from one week to one month or in between. In addition, it can include overtime pay and deductions for breaks, lunch, holidays or other occasions. It's also capable of continuing to calculate pay and time without a continual internet, computer or server connection, which is a handy feature during power outages.

This time clock system operates by accessing the internet through any browser. It works with your computer, smartphone, Android, Mac or iPhone. You can also access the system remotely. A Windows-based computer is necessary for the Paycheck and QuickBooks features.

The Icon RTC-1000 Universal Time Clock is a versatile work time clock that can keep track of the hours your employees work, including lunch, other breaks, benefits and vacations. In addition, it keeps track of payroll and offers multiple options for upgrading as the company grows.

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Icon SB-100 Review

The Icon Universal Time Clock provides a practical way for small to medium-sized business to clock employee work hours and is usable with payroll programs to make bookkeeping more convenient. The employee time clock expands with you as your business grows, supports different pay schedules, and can calculate paid holidays and breaks.

In addition to a time clock machine, it comes with an interface for QuickBooks and ADP, 25 preassigned employee identification numbers, and 15 feet of both Ethernet and USB cable. It includes a mounting plate with two keys, a guide to help you set up and operate the equipment, a compact disc to guide you through the initial setup, and the power supply. With this system, you receive a 30 days of support service at no charge.

This time clock works with web browser access, including from your smartphone, Android or iPhone. It gives you the ability to access the system at any time with the addition of a remote access feature. Compatible with Windows 7 and Vista as well as Mac OS and OS X, you can access the website for this machine free of cost and receive technical support without charge for the first month. This machine can also calculate time cards without an internet connection, so no time is lost in the event of a power outage.

This time clock lets you choose from three methods of identification for your employees. Although it comes with 25 preassigned numbers, you can also choose to use badge identification or PIN numbers if you prefer. Initial purchase of this accurate time clock lets you add up to 25 employees. However, you can increase that number as your business grows, and you have the option to expand to an additional 225 employees. Another feature that benefits employees is that they can see what hours they have clocked in for the day and week.

The versatility of the timekeeper lets you set the monitored time to coincide with payday for employees, whether it is on a monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly or weekly basis. In addition, a built-in signature line lets you know quickly whether any employees dispute the time worked for that period.

The Icon Universal Time Clock lets you monitor work hours and payroll for your employees and makes bookkeeping more convenient. This time clock machine is expandable to an additional 225 employees, offers several options for access and has a keyed security feature to prevent tampering.

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Lathem Review

Lathem FR650 FaceIn eliminates the need for time cards or badges by using a facial recognition system to clock employees in and out of work, and it calculates gross wages. All the employee does is look at the time clock machine to have the time recorded. Buddy punching is not possible with this system, and it eliminates the need for badges, passwords or any other type of system where items are potentially lost or need replacement from time to time.

In addition to the rapidity of recognition and lack of need for a physical type of identification, this employee time clock is hygienic since the employee doesn't need to touch anything in order to clock in. This helps avoid the spread of germs through the workplace. The face reader works by mapping out 60 points on the human face and using those points to recognize the employee. Facial hair or eyeglasses do not affect the reader.

You can use this system by itself or connect it to your own computer network system. When using the reader as a stand-alone, you can transfer the information gathered by the facial scanner by using a USB drive to transfer the information. In this way, you can combine hourly and wage information to send to the payroll department in a central location.

The operational software comes with this time clock system, and employee work hours are transferable to payroll programs, such as QuickBooks. It also calculates wages, including overtime and overtime wages for California. Technical support comes free with this time clock system for the first month. Initial setup of the machine and software lets you install it quickly with well-explained instructions.

Measuring 3.5 inches (w) x 7.25 inches (l) x 5.25 inches (H) and lightweight, you hang this time clock from a wall in a convenient area for your employees. It is capable of logging the time for up to 50 employees but is expandable for up to 500 employees and can hold up to 150,000 time records. Ethernet comes built-in, and you can download employee data to transfer by using a USB stick. In that way, you can keep all the employee data together even though there are multiple locations.

Lathem FR650 FaceIn lets you use facial recognition as a time clock machine, eliminating the need for passwords, badges or other types of identification. This system provides security, lets employees enter and log into work quickly, and lets you gather all employee data in a central location.

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Pyramid Review

Pyramid 5000+ Auto Totaling Time Clock lets you set this clock for your company's pay period, whether monthly, weekly or bi-weekly. It also calculates payroll and has a security feature to prevent alteration of records. Also, the employee time clock interfaces with optional bell ringers and clocks so your company can synchronize the clocks in every section of your business.

The time card machine measures 7 inches (w) x 6.5 inches (d) x 7 inches (h) and weighs 3.5 pounds. Along with the clock, it comes with 25 employee time cards, two keys and the guide to operation. Time cards for this machine come in packs of 100, 500, 1000 and 3000. This convenient-to-operate time clock has a top feed for the cards that exit from the front of the machine, tallying the employee's hours and pay for that time period.

Up to 100 employees can use this time clock machine, and you can set it for monthly, bi-weekly or weekly pay periods. It makes bookkeeping more convenient and ensures accuracy of reporting. The keys that come with the machine let you keep it locked to help avoid tampering. A backup battery keeps your time clock in operation in the event of power failure and can run for 30 days if disconnected from the power.

The LED time and date display uses large letters, which is a convenience, and you can set it up in one of three languages. Time selections are for AM/PM or military time. You can also choose actual or rounded time. Daylight savings, leap year and other changes in day-to-day operation also calculate automatically into the time clock.

The time cards that come with the machine are dot matrix, which makes it readable and accurate. Ink cartridges produced by the company for this machine come in black only. You can add accessories such as a horn, bell or other clocks to synchronize with this machine to provide time-keeping accuracy throughout your company. Setup takes around two minutes, and the machine is ready for use.

Pyramid 5000+ Auto Totaling Time Clock can keep track of your employees' time and payroll with the accuracy you need for business, along with a backup battery in the event of power outage that can run for one month. Usable for businesses with up to 100 employees, set up of this time clock system is quick and convenient, and it's ready to use within minutes.

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Realand Review

The Realand A-C030T fingerprint-enabled time clock lets you monitor employee schedules using a fingerprint biometric, radio-frequency identification tags or a password. It provides a fast 0.8 second verification, which saves time.

This electronic time clock is usable as a fingerprint identification device at the workplace. The device uses RAMS software that is downloadable online without any extra charge, and when updates are available, you can upload them online without an additional fee. Verification uses a 200MHz CPU clock rate and a system operating frequency of 100MHz. The fast identification speed used in this device makes employee sign in and out speedy and prevents long lines at the beginning or end of the work day.

In addition to fingerprints, authorization uses RFID tags at 125 KHz with an EM4100 RFID transponder. This electronic time clock is able to use passwords for employee identification. Once the employee uses the desired method of identification access, the information goes into the RAMS software where it is stored in actual time. You can access the stored data online or off. A USB flash device is available to upload and download information. Interface with this electronic time card device is through a USB connection or TCP/IP.

Employee attendance capacity with this time clock is set at 1,500 to 2,000 worker capacity and 100,000 record capacity. The display language, offered in English, Spanish and German, is customizable for different languages if you need that in your business. Verbal prompts are available in the three base languages but allow you to customize for others. There is a timing bell incorporated into the program. This electronic time clock operates on 12 volts and 0.5 amperes of power using a direct current. This device uses predictive text input.

The size of the time clock terminal measures 5.28 inches (w) x 7.08 inches (l) x 1.42 inches (h), and it weighs less than one pound. The dimensions make it a highly portable device and one that is conveniently movable logistically. Its display is a 2.8-inch active-matrix LCD screen. The sensor for the fingerprint recognition uses 500 dots per inch. An ID card is not included in the box but is available separately.

The Realand A-C030T time clock allows you to monitor employee attendance using fingerprints, RFID tags or passwords and offers a 100,000 record capacity. It is compact and uses downloadable software without additional charge, and you can update the software as needed.

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uAttend Review

The uAttend BN6500 time clock works using a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection directly from your router and lets you access employee data from any computer. It saves data on the cloud and, with membership, you can do your payroll without being at the business location.

The time clock system allows considerable flexibility for both employees and managers or owners. Employees can sign in and out using a physical clock with a bright screen interface and fingerprint panel, through a phone app, or on the web. This is convenient, particularly when employees work in the field, at different work sites or telecommute. Employee data goes to the cloud so you can determine payroll and employee placement. This might be useful if an employee needs to go to a different work site during the shift. Since all data goes to a single repository, it makes the payroll process convenient.

This accurate time clock operates using a cloud-based account, for which you pay a monthly fee. You can set up different departments for both employees and supervisors, add overtime and evaluate time cards. You can eliminate early logins and late logouts and prevent fraudulent overtime.

You can incorporate holidays into the schedule and take off or add holiday pay according to the department in which the employee works. Sick leave uses a similar format. Also, this time clock gives you the ability to visualize where your workforce is at any moment.

Your account gives you the benefit of free customer service available during work hours and help to set up and maintain your desired program. It is convenient to track sick time and vacation time using this work time clock. Tracking break time to make sure employees' breaks meet compliance rules for the industry and clocking lunchtime is also possible. Depending on your business, you can set pay schedules to weekly, bi-monthly or monthly and can email payroll information to employees directly.

In many businesses, employees work in different time zones, and this electronic time clock lets you schedule that. You can also get report summaries for employees or departments and view employee time cards either singly or in groups. Reports can be customized to reflect departments, a single employee or the entire business. This flexibility lets you monitor your business's productivity.

uAttend BN6500 is a cloud-based time clock system that gives you flexible control over your employees. It lets employees log in remotely or at the work site and, since the software is in the cloud, updates and maintenance are available.

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