Gone are the times when workers had to punch a card upon arrival at work. There’s now a huge range of mobile employee clocking in systems (also known as time and attendance systems), all with their own intuitive timesheet software.
Our experts looked at a range of clocking in systems, all of which aim to relieve the HR woes of UK businesses.
We found that a good clocking in system lets you plan timesheets with ease, whilst also tracking overtime and holiday requests.
After hours of research, we’ve compiled a list of the best clocking in systems, which will help improve the efficiency of your business. These systems are smart, intuitive and scalable – to suit businesses of all sizes.
Eager to dive straight in and start comparing quotes? After 15 years of experience, we know how essential time is for your business, so we’ve created a quick and easy tool to help you get answers. Start getting to grips with top suppliers, and receive tailored time and attendance system quotes for your business.
Or you can jump straight into our guide to the best clocking systems for UK businesses, as chosen by the experts.
Top 10 clocking in systems
We crunched the features, the functionality and ease of use of the long list of clocking systems on the market. Our top ten favourites are Bodet, Mitrefinch, Planday, ISGUS UK, TimeTac, Kronos, Chronicle, Clockrite, TimePilot, and ATS. We’ve reviewed each one; click below to navigate to the one of your choice.
Clocking in systems are a great way of tracking the comings and goings of your staff
Bodet’s Kelio clocking-in machines boast visually stunning customisable touch screens, which are a pleasure to use for both employee and employer. The terminals can be combined with a fingerprint sensor, card reader or both.
As well as recording information, Bodet’s system can display personal data like holidays, sick days, and overtime to employees when they clock in. It also offers the ability to send time off requests directly to management from the device.
Bodet is one of the leading companies in time-related equipment in Europe, and has subsidiaries in several European countries and the UK. The first tower clock was installed by Monsieur Bodet in 1868, and they now produce everything from sports timekeeping boards to clocking software, as well as their excellent Kelio terminals and biometric clocking in devices – launched in 2016.
Employers have access to real time attendance data with Bodet systems. They also have options for rota planning and room access control systems. Plus, mobile options and a number of payroll and HR reporting functions.
Installation, training, maintenance, and configuration for Bodet clocking systems is all supported by a team of experts based at their headquarters in France.
Pricing is tailored to each customer, so you'll have to enquire with Bodet directly to get a quote. Alternatively, you can take a moment to complete our quick, free quote-finding form. Just provide us with a few details about your business, and you'll receive with quotes tailored to your specific needs and industry.
- Intuitive mobile options add a new dimension to your HR management
- Overseas-based support team not ideal for UK businesses
Best for tailored solutions
Mitrefinch have a reputation for excellence in managing secure environments and successful fraud prevention. Their clocking in machines are all designed and manufactured in-house and the data can be used for payroll and scheduling. Every mobile option you would expect from a top rated system is included as standard.
Mitrefinch is a UK-based company responsible for developing the very first computerised staff clocking system, in the early 1980s. This innovation led to the company being featured for their ‘technology of the future’ on the television program Tomorrow’s World, and they have continued to lead the way with biometric clocking systems.
Mitrefinch also has a reputation for developing additional software and systems to suit its clients. This bespoke approach is key to its excellent security. It frequently tailors its technology for larger companies of over 100 employees. There are options for both a one-time license and subscription.
Pricing is tailored to each customer and depends on the solution you choose for the unique demands of your business.
- Bespoke approach to time and attendance means a tailored solution for your business
- Online reviews speak highly of customer support services
- Not recommended for businesses with less than 100 employees
Best for shift planning
The Planday app user interface is simple and intuitive. For extremely complex operations more sophisticated reporting may be required. That said, Planday can export clocking data to payroll and be used to generate other kinds of reports. Scheduling with Planday can be difficult to set up initially, but is then easily modified or duplicated afterwards.
Planday is a Danish company that has had a UK office since 2014. It is primarily geared towards businesses where people are employed in shifts, and is well reviewed by users online.
The employee end of the clocking in system is an app that can be installed onto smartphones and other devices. Workers are able to log their arrival from their phone at a location set by their employer.
Planday works a bit like a social networking site, making shift data visible in real time. Employees can swap shifts or vacations, so management need only approve the swap, instead of organising it.
Pricing is very reasonable. At £2 – £4 per user / month, Planday offers some of the cheapest time and attendance software on the market.
- Social network-like approach brings you data in real time
- Might not be as suitable for businesses not working on a shift system
4) ISGUS UK
Best for customer support
ISGUS offer modular systems of real-time staff clocking and access control management. Data can be harvested for project management, holiday scheduling and payroll systems. It provides industry-tailored solutions and excels in providing systems that promote flexible and remote working, making the most of mobile and cloud technologies. Its digital employee sign in machines are tamper-proof and elegant.
Isgus was founded in 1888. In the more than 130 years that have elapsed since, it's gone from patenting mechanical clocks for watchmen to today’s hi-tec biometric equipment and staff management systems.
Reviews of customer support are excellent – particularly in urgent cases, when there is a guaranteed two-hour call back time. It also uses GoToMeetings for remote video help.
The ZEUS user interface works well across a range of mobile devices, tablets, and computers, but is more well-suited to companies with over 25 employees.
Pricing is tailored to each customer, and ZEUS doesn't offer much indication of how much it charges. For more information about how much you can expect to pay for time and attendance software, check out our ultimate guide to time and attendance system pricing – it lives up to its name!
- Accessible, easy to use clocking in machines
- Not the best option if your business has less than 25 employees
Best for user-friendliness
TimeTac is an Austrian company that aims to provide user-friendly clocking software, to monitor projects, resources, holidays and supply payroll data. The data from this system can be seen in real time, and is cloud-based. Software can also be tailored to customers’ needs and updated to adapt to business growth and development.
Timetac doesn't produce its own hardware, but the company has a ‘Green IT philosophy’ – meaning it makes sure its software is compatible with your existing IT infrastructure.
One major benefit of using TimeTac is its excellent user manual with a searchable help function, meaning a system can be installed and operational in minutes.
Pricing is not the most competitive, but there is a free trial for 30 days. After this, employee time tracking will cost roughly £3 per employee and project tracking £6 – 8. Leave tracking will cost you an extra £1 – £1.50. A monthly base fee of around £12 to £15 per account comes with more options.
- Flexible software that’s adaptable to the needs of your small business
- One of the more expensive time and attendance solutions on the market
Some clocking in systems allow your staff to use their biometric data to check in
Best for scalability
Kronos systems is capable of the complex data triage required by very large companies with thousands of employees in thousands of different roles. It will manage payroll data, make holiday scheduling relatively straightforward, and work with security settings for smart locks that only allow access to selected individuals.
Kronos is arguably the most well known of employee clocking systems. The company is based in the US but has offices all over the world.
It has a variety of biometric clocking in machines, including fingerprint clocking in machines, but they can be scaled down to track computer login data.
On the employer side, its cloud-based approach has the advantage of being modular – so company growth and diversity can be anticipated.
Kronos can monitor different roles in different locations and for different pay rates, even if all these things are happening to the same person on the same day – such as doctors working in clinics that specialise in different areas, from research to consulting. The advantage of this level of detail comes in knowing where to place staff for maximum efficiency.
Pricing is tailored to each customer. However, you can browse bespoke quotes for your business from Expert Market-approved suppliers by completing our quick, free quote-finding form. It takes about 30 seconds, and you can be sure that all rates you rate are tailored to the unique demands of your business.
- Highly scalable system to grow with your business
- US-based company not as attuned to the unique needs of UK businesses
7) Chronicle Computing
Best for cost-effectiveness
Chronicle has been driving UK businesses for over 30 years. Its cloud-based solution lets you tap into key information relating to your staff on the go, and it can conveniently be downloaded and set up in as little as five minutes.
Chronicle’s intuitive software generates payroll reports and tracks attendance data in real time. Plus, it reckons it can save you about 5% a year on your staffing costs. Not too shabby!
Chronicle Computing offers a huge range of clocking devices to match the unique demands of your business – even supplying waterproof systems for areas of food production and high splashback risk.
It also offers a range of intuitive low cost options – from biometric and smartphone systems to low cost proximity clocking devices.
Chronicle’s clocking systems provide durability and are easily customisable. And another great thing? You’ll get time and attendance data sent straight to your smartphone, tablet, or computer. So no matter where you are in the world, you’ll never miss a trick.
Pricing depends on your needs – Chronicle's solutions are bespoke, and there's no clear-cut pricing structure knocking around anywhere. That said, Chronicle does offer instant free trials for those looking to try before they buy.
- Lets you create simple, visually accessible reports in moments
- Doesn't yet offer weekend support
Best for innovation
ClockRite offer a range of clocking systems for small businesses, compatible with various technology including proximity fobs or cards, and fingerprint verification. The systems come with reporting functions and can export data directly to Sage or an excel spreadsheet for payroll creation.
ClockRite offers a range of proximity fobs and cards as well as fingerprint clocking machines and innovative facial recognition systems.
The company will supply and install their systems for you, then support customers in-house from its head office in Derbyshire.
Pricing varies depending on the clocking in systems and hardware purchased. A proximity clocking machine with 25 badges is £282.00 inc. VAT. Wireless fingerprint clocking machines (for up to 25 employees) are £468.00 inc. VAT, and outdoor system cost £450.00 inc. VAT.
- Wide range of impressive technology supporting its clocking in systems
- Not the most cost-effective solution on the market
9) Stanley Security
Best for solution options
Stanley Security is all about options; whether you're after a small business time and attendance system, large business time and attendance system, or a solution that's a little more unique. Combine a time and attendance system with its other business security options for a complete smart security solution.
Stanley Security is a division of Stanley Black & Decker (the company behind the famous Stanley Knife).
With a value of over 10 billion USD, the Group has the capital it needs to create superior products. Stanley Security itself has more than 300,000 satisfied customers on its books, which is strong evidence of its success.
Thanks to its security technology, Stanley Security products have assisted around 170,000 police cases. This figure goes to show just how important it is to own a business security system.
Offering advanced hardware options, cloud-based software, and even a complimentary business audit on offer, Stanley Security is certainly a supplier to consider.
Pricing starts at around £36 per month for small business time and attendance system packages and around £110 per month for large business packages. Just bear in mind that you would be tied into a 60-month contract at those prices.
- Large range of innovative hardware options
- Long contract lengths
10) Auto Time Systems (ATS)
Best for range of clocking in devices
ATS is another UK company who break their range down into three distinct groups: time and attendance software, the hardware to go with it, and access control systems. They offer a range of cloud-based software with mobile data options and scheduling and resources management.
ATS offers a range of clocking machines, from ones that will literally punch a card, to swipe-card systems, to a full range of sophisticated biometric clocking technology. Its machines are sourced from competitors (such as Bodet), but they have their own telephone technical support team.
Its dedicated system support operates during business hours Monday to Friday, but remote login and site visits are also available.
Pricing will vary according to the hardware and software you select.
- Cloud-based software ideal if you’re not based on-site
- No weekend or round-the-clock customer support
There you have it – our top 10 picks of the best clocking in systems available to UK businesses. And the list doesn't even end there – honourable mentions go to time and attendance software from Safescan and uAttend, too. But how do you decide which clocking in system supplier is the best fit for your business?
By letting us help, that's how. Simply take a moment to provide us with a few quick details about the solution you're looking for. We'll assess the unique requirements of your business, and match you with top clocking in system suppliers, who'll provide you with tailored quotes.
It's free, and takes less than a minute. Give it a try!
What is a biometric system?
Sounds cool, right? A biometric clocking system is one that uses ‘human data’ in the clocking in process. It uses fingerprints, handprints and even facial recognition technology to verify that your employees really are who they say they are. This helps eliminate the risks of ‘buddy punching‘ and helps cut out wasted wage spend.
How much does a clocking in system cost?
Prices will depend on the kind of hardware you’re after. If you want a lot of people to access your business’ time and attendance data you may have to pay more. Broadly, it’ll depend on the size of the solution you require, the amount of staff you have, and the unique needs of your business as a whole. Even more so, the supplier you choose will make all the difference.
What are the benefits of using a clocking in system?
✔ Cut costs and save time
Clocking in systems give you accurate information about when your staff are clocking in. Accurate information means accurate wage bills. And getting rid of those perplexing payroll discrepancies will save you time chasing up loose ends. And also save you lots of money!
✔ Manage lateness
Every employer has heard it. “It’s only five minutes, what’s the big deal?” Well, five minutes late for five days a week equals a big chunk of wasted wages over the course of year. Time and attendance systems empower you the data to detect lateness and help get rid of it.
✔ Plan for the future
Time and attendance systems let you plan rotas and timesheets as far in advance as you’d like. It’s easy to work around employee absences and factor in sick days. You can cater to the individual schedules of each of your employees, to keep everyone happy.
✔ Streamline your workload
A clocking in system integrates with your HR records and payroll. It cuts out dead time spent juggling employee records and despairing over endless stacks of paper. And with cloud-based T and A systems now more common than ever, you can manage your business from anywhere. Like, a beach maybe?
Is a clocking in system right for my small business?
That depends – do you employee people, and do those people work from a fixed premises? If so, your business can benefit from a clocking in system. It's just a better, easier way of making sure your office staff are on top of comings and goings.
And it's not about keeping an eye on your workforce, because you don't trust them. Nope; clocking in systems are actually more about equipping yourself with the info you need to reward your most loyal, dedicated staff members – the ones arriving early, leaving late, and going the extra mile every day.
So, is it right for your business?
Well, that depends. If you want to show your team members that you recognise their efforts, while making life a whole lot more simple for your back office staff, then yes – it is! And it doesn't matter whether you're a startup with a handful of employees, or managing a skyscraper full of staff – time and attendance software is scalable, and designed to grow with your business.
To dip your toe into the inviting benefits that clocking in systems promise, simply take a second to complete our form with a few details about your business. We'll just ask about what industry you're in, how many employees you'd like to track, and when you'd want the system installed. It takes less than a minute to fill in, and when you're done, you'll receive quotes from leading clocking in system providers – all tailored to your business and sector. Simple!