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April 20, 2023

5 Best Time Clock Machines for Your Employees in 2023


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Tired of paperwork?

An efficient time clock machine is of paramount importance for businesses seeking to streamline their operations and ensure accurate tracking of employee working hours. Time is a valuable resource, and effective time management directly impacts productivity, labor costs, and employee satisfaction.

By implementing an efficient time clock machine, businesses can enhance their efficiency, improve payroll accuracy, enforce punctuality, and gain valuable insights for informed decision-making. 

In this fast-paced and competitive business landscape, investing in a reliable clock in clock out machine is a strategic step towards optimizing operations and maximizing workforce productivity.

What is a clocking system for employees?

A clocking system for employees, also known as time clock systems or time and attendance system, is a mechanism used by businesses to track and record the working hours of their employees. 

It provides an efficient and accurate way to monitor when employees clock in and clock out of work, ensuring that they are paid accurately and fairly for their time.

Does your business need a time clock machine for employees?

Whether or not a business needs a time clock machine or a clocking system for employees depends on several factors. Here are some points to consider:

Size of the workforce

  • If your business has a large number of employees, manually tracking their attendance and working hours can be time-consuming and prone to errors. A time clock machine or clocking system can automate the process, saving time and reducing administrative burdens.

Accuracy and reliability

  • Human errors in recording employee work hours can lead to incorrect payroll calculations and disputes. Employee clock in systems provide accurate and reliable data, ensuring that employees are paid correctly and fairly.

Payroll efficiency

  • A clocking system integrates with payroll software, making it easier to generate accurate payroll reports and calculate wages. This streamlines the payroll process, reducing the time and effort required for manual calculations.

Attendance monitoring

  • If attendance tracking is crucial for your business, a clock in system for employees provides an efficient way to monitor employee attendance. It allows you to identify patterns of tardiness or absenteeism, enabling you to address any issues promptly.

Punctuality enforcement

  • A clocking system helps enforce punctuality policies by recording the exact time employees clock in and out. This encourages employees to adhere to scheduled work hours and promotes a culture of punctuality.

Compliance requirements

  • Some industries have specific labor regulations that require accurate recording and reporting of employee working hours. Clocking in and out systems can assist in meeting these compliance requirements and provide documentation if needed.

Data analysis

  • Clocking in systems generates valuable data about employee attendance patterns, overtime hours, and labor costs. This information can be analyzed to identify trends, optimize staffing levels, and make informed business decisions.

5 top employee time clocking systems for 2023

Here are the top five best time clocking systems for 2023, along with their features, pros, and cons. This comprehensive list will assist you in choosing the most suitable system for your business, taking into account your specific requirements and preferences.


Atto, a time tracking solution, is designed to cater to the needs of small businesses seeking a comprehensive and user-friendly system for managing employee clock-in and clock-out times, as well as work activity. 

This application aims to enhance time tracking for employees, irrespective of their whereabouts, with the ultimate objective of minimizing payroll expenses and enhancing overall productivity.


  • User-Friendly Interface: Atto provides an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, allowing employees to quickly clock in and out.

  • Multiple Clocking Options: Employees can use various clocking methods such as mobile app clock-in, web-based clock-in, or physical time clock machines.

  • Real-Time Data: Atto provides real-time data on employee attendance, hours worked, and breaks, allowing managers to monitor workforce activity effectively.

  • Integration Capabilities: Atto seamlessly integrates with popular payroll software, streamlining the process of transferring time data for accurate payroll calculations.

  • Geolocation Tracking: Atto offers geolocation tracking, enabling businesses to verify the location of employee clock-ins and prevent time fraud.


  • User-Friendly: Atto is known for its user-friendly interface, making it easy for employees to adopt and use effectively.

  • Versatility: With multiple clocking options, Atto accommodates the needs of various work environments, including remote and mobile workforce.

  • Real-Time Monitoring: The real-time data provided by Atto allows managers to stay updated on employee attendance and address any issues promptly.

  • Integration: Atto's seamless integration with payroll software simplifies the payroll process and reduces administrative burdens.


  • Dependency on internet connectivity: The app's smooth operation relies on having a consistent internet connection, which can present difficulties in regions with limited connectivity or during instances of network outages.

Pricing Information

Select Atto as the optimal and budget-friendly time clock application that caters to the requirements of small businesses. Their pricing begins at $7.95 per user per month for 1-99 users, granting full access to all services. For businesses with 100+ users, customized plans are offered, which include the premium package's features alongside extra functionalities.

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Homebase is a comprehensive platform that assists small businesses in effectively managing various aspects of their operations. It provides tools and features to streamline work schedules, payroll clocks , and HR functions, among other things.


  • Employee Scheduling: Homebase offers robust scheduling features, allowing businesses to create and manage employee schedules efficiently.

  • Time Clocking Options: Employees can clock in and out using a web-based time clock, mobile app, or physical time clock machines.

  • Team Communication: Homebase provides tools for streamlined communication between managers and employees, facilitating collaboration and reducing communication gaps.

  • Labor Law Compliance: The system helps businesses stay compliant with labor laws by providing features like automatic break tracking and overtime calculations.

  • Payroll Integration: Homebase integrates with popular payroll software, simplifying the process of transferring time data for accurate payroll processing.


  • Comprehensive Features: Homebase offers a wide range of features beyond time clocking, making it a versatile solution for businesses looking for more than just attendance tracking.

  • User-Friendly Interface: The intuitive interface of Homebase makes it easy for employees to navigate and use the system effectively.

  • Affordable Pricing: Homebase offers cost-effective pricing plans suitable for small and medium-sized businesses.

  • Mobile App: The mobile app allows employees to clock in and out on the go, making it convenient for remote or mobile workforces.


  • Limited Reporting: Some users have reported that Homebase's reporting capabilities could be more robust and customizable.

  • Customer Support: While Homebase offers customer support, there have been occasional reports of slower response times.

Pricing Information

Homebase offers the following pricing plans:

  • Basic: Free for 1 location, up to 20 employees.

  • Essentials: $24.95 per location per month (discounted rate of $20) for unlimited employees.

  • Plus: $59.95 per location per month (discounted rate of $48) for unlimited employees.

  • All-in-one: $99.95 per location per month (discounted rate of $80) for unlimited employees.

These plans provide varying levels of features and functionalities to suit different business needs.

Lathem PayClock

Lathem PayClock is a solution designed to simplify employee time tracking and remote team management. With PayClock, businesses can effortlessly manage employee time and attendance from any location and at any time. 


  • Biometric Clocking: Lathem PayClock supports biometric clocking methods such as fingerprint or facial recognition, enhancing security and preventing time fraud.

  • Customizable Reporting: The system provides customizable reports, allowing businesses to extract and analyze specific time and attendance data.

  • Compliance Tracking: Lathem PayClock helps businesses track compliance with labor laws and regulations, ensuring accurate payroll processing.

  • Overtime Management: The system includes features for managing and tracking overtime hours, ensuring proper compensation and adherence to labor regulations.

  • Employee Self-Service: Lathem PayClock offers employee self-service capabilities, enabling employees to view their time records and make time-off requests.


  • Robust Security: The biometric clocking feature enhances security and accuracy in time tracking.

  • Custom Reporting: The customizable reporting feature allows businesses to generate detailed reports tailored to their specific needs.

  • Overtime Management: The system's capabilities for tracking and managing overtime hours help businesses ensure compliance and control labor costs.


  • Higher Price Range: Lathem PayClock may be more expensive compared to some other time clocking systems, especially for businesses on a limited budget.

  • Complexity: Some users have reported that the initial setup and configuration of Lathem PayClock can be complex.

Pricing Information

Lathem offers a flexible pricing plan for PayClock. For businesses with 10 or fewer employees, the Standard Pricing starts at $35 per month. For larger enterprises, the pricing is based on the number of employees at a rate of $3.00 per employee per month, with a minimum charge of $50 per month.


Timelogix is a solution designed to provide simple time and attendance tracking for small businesses. This platform offers an easy-to-use system that helps businesses efficiently manage employee work hours and attendance.


  • Biometric Clocking: Timelogix supports biometric clocking options like fingerprint or facial recognition, ensuring accurate and secure time tracking.

  • Cloud-Based System: The cloud-based nature of Timelogix allows for remote access to time and attendance data from anywhere with an internet connection.

  • Shift Scheduling: The system offers shift scheduling features, allowing businesses to create and manage employee schedules efficiently.

  • Geolocation Tracking: Timelogix includes geolocation tracking, enabling businesses to verify employee clock-ins based on their location.

  • PTO Tracking: The system provides tools for tracking and managing employee paid time off (PTO) effectively.


  • Biometric Clocking: The biometric clocking feature enhances security and eliminates the risk of time theft or buddy punching.

  • Cloud-Based Accessibility: Timelogix's cloud-based system allows for easy access to time data from multiple devices and locations.

  • PTO Tracking: The PTO tracking feature helps businesses efficiently manage employee time-off requests and balances.


  • Reporting Limitations: Some users have reported limitations in terms of generating customized reports with specific data filters.

  • Additional Costs: Timelogix may require additional costs for features like biometric hardware or advanced reporting capabilities.

Pricing Information

Timelogix offers a tiered pricing plan based on the number of employees. Here is a breakdown of their pricing:

  • 1-10 employees: $30 per month

  • 11-20 employees: $60 per month

  • 21-30 employees: $90 per month

  • 31-40 employees: $120 per month

  • 41-50 employees: $150 per month

For businesses with more than 51 employees, Timelogix recommends contacting their team directly to receive a personalized quote.


Replicon is a comprehensive time tracking software that provides a unified solution for businesses. It enables organizations to efficiently manage and track employee time across various projects, departments, and locations.


  • Time and Attendance Tracking: Replicon offers comprehensive time and attendance tracking capabilities, allowing businesses to accurately record and manage employee working hours.

  • Project Time Tracking: The system includes features for tracking time spent on specific projects or tasks, enabling project-based businesses to monitor resource allocation and project costs.

  • Compliance Management: Replicon helps businesses stay compliant with labor laws and regulations by automating compliance tracking, including overtime calculations and meal break enforcement.

  • Reporting and Analytics: The system offers robust reporting and analytics tools, allowing businesses to gain insights into workforce productivity, labor costs, and project performance.


  • Comprehensive Features: Replicon provides a wide range of features that cater to various time tracking and workforce management needs.

  • Mobile Accessibility: The mobile app allows employees to easily track their time and access relevant information from anywhere.

  • Compliance Automation: Replicon automates compliance tracking, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring adherence to labor laws.

  • Reporting Capabilities: The reporting and analytics tools offer detailed insights that can help businesses make informed decisions and optimize their operations.


  • Complexity: Some users have reported that the system can be complex to set up and configure, requiring some technical expertise.

  • Pricing: Replicon's pricing may be higher compared to some other time clocking systems, particularly for businesses with larger employee numbers or additional customization requirements.

Pricing Information

Replicon offers various pricing plans for different aspects of their time tracking software. Here is a breakdown of their pricing plans:

  • Project Time Tracking: This plan starts at $12 per month. It focuses on tracking time spent on projects and helps businesses effectively manage project-related tasks and activities.

  • Time & Attendance: This plan starts at $6 per month. It is specifically designed for tracking employee attendance and managing work hours, ensuring accurate and compliant time tracking.

  • PSA and PPM: This plan starts at $29 per month. It is aimed at businesses that require professional services automation (PSA) and project portfolio management (PPM) capabilities, providing comprehensive tools to manage projects, resources, and financials.

What makes a good time clock for employees?

Several features contribute to making a good time clock for employees. Here are some key aspects to consider:

User-Friendly Interface

  • A good time clock should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface that is easy for employees to understand and use. 

  • It should have clear instructions and prompts to ensure a smooth and efficient clock-in and clock-out process.

Multiple Clocking Options

  • Providing various clocking options gives employees flexibility and convenience. For example, a time clock may offer options such as swipe cards, key codes, biometric identification (fingerprint or facial recognition), or mobile clock-in through a dedicated app. 

  • This allows employees to choose the method that best suits their preferences or work environment.

Accurate Time Tracking

  • Accuracy is crucial when tracking employee working hours. A reliable time clock should have precise timekeeping capabilities, ensuring that clock-in and clock-out times are recorded accurately to the minute.

Integration with Payroll Software

  • Seamless integration with payroll software simplifies the process of transferring time data for payroll calculations. 

  • Good clock in and out systems should be compatible with popular payroll software, allowing for automatic data synchronization and reducing manual data entry.

Real-Time Reporting

  • The ability to generate real-time reports is valuable for businesses. A good employee punch clock should provide reporting functionalities that allow managers and HR personnel to access up-to-date information on employee attendance, hours worked, and overtime. 

  • This helps in monitoring workforce productivity, analyzing labor costs, and making data-driven decisions.


  • A time clock system should be scalable to accommodate the growth of the business. 

  • Whether a business expands its workforce or opens new locations, the time clock should be capable of handling increased capacity without compromising performance.

Support and Maintenance

  • A good time clock system should have reliable customer support to address any technical issues or inquiries promptly. 

  • Additionally, regular maintenance and updates should be provided to ensure the system functions smoothly and remains up to date.

Final points on the best time and attendance clocks

In conclusion, when considering the best time and attendance clocks for your business in 2023, Atto stands out as an exceptional choice. With its user-friendly interface, multiple clocking options, and seamless integration with payroll software, Atto offers a comprehensive solution for efficient time tracking. 

The inclusion of features like biometric clocking, real-time data monitoring, and geolocation tracking further solidify Atto's position as a top-notch system. By investing in Atto, businesses can streamline their operations, enhance productivity, and make informed decisions based on real-time insights.

FAQs related to time clock systems

How do you use electronic time clocks?

Electronic time clocks for employees are typically used by employees to clock in and out of work. The process may involve swiping an ID card, entering a unique code, or using biometric identification such as fingerprints or facial recognition. 

Employees simply follow the prompts on the electronic time clock to record their entry and exit times accurately.

How to set up a clock-in system for employees?

To set up a clock-in system for employees, you need to acquire a suitable time clock machine or time clock software. 

Install the system and configure it according to your business requirements, such as setting up clocking options and integrating with payroll software if needed. 

Train employees on how to use the clock-in system and ensure they understand the process.

What's the best clock-in clock-out machine for a small business?

The best clock-in clock-out machine for a small business is Atto. With its user-friendly interface and efficient features like mobile time tracking, geofencing, and real-time reporting, Atto provides a straightforward and reliable solution for small businesses to manage employee time and attendance effectively.

What employee clocking system is the simplest?

When it comes to simplicity, Atto stands out as a user-friendly employee clocking system. With its intuitive interface and easy setup, Atto simplifies the clock-in clock-out process for employees and administrators alike.

How much do employee clock-in systems cost in 2023?

The cost of employee clock-in systems can vary depending on factors such as the type of system, the number of employees, and the features included. 

In 2023, prices for employee clock-in systems can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, with additional costs for hardware, software licenses, and ongoing support or maintenance.

What is the difference between time attendance and access control?

Time attendance systems focus on tracking and recording employee working hours, including clock-in and clock-out times. They are primarily used for attendance monitoring and payroll purposes.

On the other hand, access control systems manage and control employee access to specific areas or facilities within a business, ensuring authorized entry and enhancing security. 

While there can be some overlap between the two, their primary functions differ, with time attendance focusing on time tracking and access control concentrating on facility security.

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