Lately, I have seen some business owners with field workers replace TSheets.
So, Recently we analyzed 4 TSheets alternatives to answer the following questions:
- Why do business owners with field employees abandon TSheets for other alternatives?
- What are the best TSheets alternatives?
- How does each of the 4 TSheets alternatives perform against TSheets and against each other?
- What steps should you take in picking the suitable TSheets alternative for your business?
We looked at more than 10 GPS time tracking apps and handpicked those that are most suitable for tracking field employees.
And today I’m going to share what we found with you.
This should help you choose the best alternative for TSheets without spending hours reading through lengthy, sales pages of each provider’s website.
Table of content
Reasons Why Business Owners with Field Employees Drop TSheets.
We found out, after talking to hundreds of business owners who switched away from TSheets, that the main reasons why they leave TSheets are:
Ease of use
I am curious, is there any other reason why you would like to switch away from TSheets?
I would send you specific information to help you in finding the best alternative if you tell me your reason below:
How TSheets competitors perform on the three main reasons why people leave TSheets
I found out that the number 1 reason why business owners leave TSheets is the absence of mileage tracking:
As a business owner with field employees, being able to reimburse employees for your mileage traveled can maximize tax savings. US workers can get a $0.58 deduction for every business mile in 2019:
I recently had a chat with someone from TSheets to confirm a fact. TSheets does not automatically track mileage:
Basically, TSheets has a feature called “custom fields" which they can turn on, so an employee can manually enter their mileage in their timesheet.
If you have used TSheets, this is what it means:
Your employee wants to report their mileage traveled for a specific job or task.
The administrator of the TSheets account will have to go into TSheets and click on the “Feature Add-ons” tab:
Then they would have to choose the “Custom Fields” option:
And the “Custom Fields” pop up window will appear, for them to click on the “Add Field” button:
Then the “Field” window will appear so and they will fill the field information and click on save:
And now they are able to add their mileage manually to their timesheet:
Key Takeaway: TSheets does not do automatic mileage tracking and their walk around to track mileage is manual, time-consuming and burdensome.
In fact, take a look at the feature requested by these business owners running GPS tracking apps:
So, you surely are asking yourself the question:
Are there any alternatives to TSheets automatically tracking mileage?
During a conversation with a Mary, who was looking for an alternative to TSheets and moving to Timeero she had the following question:
“About the GPS and mileage tracking, how does it work?” and continued…
“From one job to another?, cause that is what I need, sometimes I have guys coming to the shop to pick up tools and I ask them to drive from shop to Jobsite, then sometimes they need to go to Home Depot and back to the site and sometimes to another job or even 3 to 4 jobs in a day,” Mary remarked and waited impatiently for my answer.
“For mileage tracking, whenever the employee clocks into a job it starts tracking mileage for drives, once they clock out it stops,” I replied:
I spent hours researching on ClockShark’s website to find information about mileage tracking:
Frank, a team member of mine sent me this screenshot when I was almost giving up:
As you can see, ClockShark’s users only dream about automatic mileage tracking.
JT Abbott lastly replied to the comments in March 2020, about 3 to 4 years after the request for automatic mileage tracking. From all indications, this is not a direction ClockShark is planning to take too soon.
The task of finding out if VeriClock did mileage tracking was a more difficult one for me.
After digging around their website and tool for many hours, I landed on the page shown in the following screenshot:
Read for yourself and you will see that mileage tracking is not a focus for VeriClock.
When I set off to research Hubstaff and mileage tracking, I was a little frustrated because of the hours I spent researching about VeriClock and ClockShark.
Fortunately, figuring out if Hubstaff did automatic mileage tracking took me less than 10 minutes as I found the following:
In fact, Hubstaff promises that mileage tracking will soon be available so wait and see if it ends up happening. I will have my ears on the ground and will update this post once I find something new.
Would you love to be the first to know when I hear about something?
Key Takeaway: TSheets does not do automatic mileage tracking and their work around to track mileage is manual, error-prone, time-consuming and burdensome.
So if your reason for dropping TSheets is mileage tracking, you might want to take a deeper look at Timeero.
Many business owners who were looking to remove TSheets claimed it was expensive. So I wanted to answer these questions:
What is the cost of TSheets?
How does TSheets compare to the 4 alternatives in terms of cost?
I researched the prices of each provider to expose the total cost of ownership so you don’t fall into the trap of hidden costs.
I spent a whole Saturday in my research as you may have noticed how confusing each provider’s pricing can be.
It becomes even more confusing when you try to compare the pricing from one provider to another. It’s really hard to just answer the simple questions:
- How much will this provider cost me per month or year?
- By how much are they cheaper than their competitors?
Even these questions are tricky to answer, and bring forth even bigger questions:
- What are business owners really paying for?
- For features?
- Or for their business needs? Are there hidden costs?
What are the minimum viable features and how much do they cost for each provider?
It is very easy to get distracted when comparing prices of software as providers show off their shiny features.
But you don’t buy features!
You buy a solution for your business needs:
Example: The first entry on the table below under TSheets, $6.75 was calculated by:
By the minimum viable features we mean, the most essential features businesses with field employees needs to meet their GPS and time tracking needs:
The minimum viable GPS and time tracking system include:
For field employees, administrators and managers need to know who is working. Where they’ve been throughout the day (GPS breadcrumbing to show a trail path traveled).
Geofencing to ensure they were working at the job location. Automatic clock in on arrival at the job site.
Mileage tracking capabilities for reimbursement.
Communication or messaging tool.
Ability to take photos of work done for proof of work.
So my goal here was to cut the noise and help you see the price of a minimum viable GPS and time tracking system for each of the 5 providers investigated.
To do this, I spent hours on the pricing pages of each GPS tracking system under investigation.
I systematically pulled out the features required for the minimum viable GPS and time tracking system and evaluated what it costed:
If you take a look at this pricing from Hubstaff, you notice their free plan is close to useless, as it cannot solve many business needs.
What about the “Basic” plan?
In fact, it has limited payments, meaning a limited number of times you can export and pay your team for what they have worked. Do you really want this to be limited?
What about third party software integrations? Do you have only one?
I have seen many business owners ask about integrations with Quickbooks, but I think many businesses need more than just Quickbooks to integrate with their GPS and time tracking system.
So let’s take a look at the cost categories. What I mean by this is, what do they actually sell in their pricing?
I noticed there were 5 main cost categories which can help you easily compare the price across the board:
Features: The more features you get, the more you pay (e.g, looking at the diagram above, Timeero and Vericlock don’t charge you per feature.)
User Accounts: The more users you get, the more you pay.
Base Fee: A fixed monthly base fee (e.g Hubstaff does not charge a base fee, while all other providers do.)
Monthly or Annual payment: Pay less if you pay per year instead of per month (e.g Only VeriClock does not give you a discount if you pay annually vs monthly)
Integration: The more third-party integrations you need, the more you pay (e.g TSheets, Timeero and VeriClock do not charge you for each third party integration.)
Now, let’s take a look at the price comparison for a minimum viable system:
I found out that TSheets is indeed the most expensive of the providers in this study.
Key Takeaway: TSheets is the most expensive of all 4 providers investigated.
Timeero is the most cost-effective of the 4 TSheet alternatives we investigated:
Ease of Use
There’s generally a lot of confusion about ease of use in the software space.
Even when you read reviews, people are vague about the ease of use of the various GPS time tracking apps.
To keep it simple and relevant, I picked up three important but obvious criteria around ease of use to investigate:
- Number of steps(clicks, scrolls) to accomplish a user scenario
- Number of windows to accomplish a user scenario
I carried out the investigation by accomplishing a task in each of the apps:
How Easy is it to Schedule a Shift?
The user clicks on the “Schedule” tab in the menu and the calendar window appears.
Then he would have to choose a “day” to assign a task to the right person:
Then the “Field” window will appear so and they will fill the field information and click on the “Publish” button:
The user clicks on the “Schedule” tab on the menu:
Then he will have to select the “Add Shift” option:
Then, the “Add Shift” window will appear so and he will fill the field information and click on save:
The user clicks on the “Schedule” tab on the menu.
And, the “Calendar” window will appear for him to click on the “Add Schedule” button:
Then, the “Create Schedule” pop up window will appear so and he will fill the field information and click on save:
The user clicks on the “Schedule” tab on the menu:
Then, the “Calendar” window will appear, for them to click on the “day” to assign a task to the right person:
Then, the “Add Shift” window will appear so and he will fill the field information and click on the “Publish” button:
The user clicks on the “Schedule” tab on the menu.
And, the “Schedules” window will appear, for them to click on the “Add Shift” button:
Then, the “Add Shift” window will appear so and he will fill the field information and click on the “Add Shift” button:
Key Takeaway: TSheets is not very user friendly as it uses a “windows” navigation system and it has a lot of clutter.
TSheets is also packed with a lot of features as they’ve been around for a long time. So it can be annoying and frustrating to navigate around.
All 4 TSheets alternatives under investigation here use a “normal web” navigation system which generally leads to fewer steps in accomplishing a task and less confusion.
Now It’s Your Turn
I hope this guide made it easier for you to choose the most suitable TSheets alternative for your business.
Now I’ll like to turn over to you:
What is the #1 reason you were looking for a TSheets alternative?
Is it due to the absence of mileage tracking?
Or maybe due to price considerations?
Or maybe you have a question about something you read?
Either way, let me know by starting a chat on the bottom right below.