If you run a construction business, you know the bottom line matters. With rising costs and the labor shortage, you want to ensure your business is capital efficient. Labor tends to be the highest expense for most construction businesses, so you must track that accurately.
Hence it’s essential to keep track of your employee's or contractor's hours.
How do you keep track of construction employees' hours?
It’s simple. A construction time clock can help you accurately track your employees’ work hours and labor costs. Also, a good construction timesheet app will help you track more than just time.
So, here is the list of our top 5 time tracking apps for construction.
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1. Timeero - The Best Time Clock App for Construction
Timeero is the ultimate app to track employee time, location, and mileage. If you run a construction business and want to ensure your team members are where they need to be and doing what they need to be doing, then Timeero is the top choice.
Here are several things Timeero can do for your business:
GPS Tracking - You can't be everywhere as an owner or manager. Hence, tracking employees' whereabouts when they are on the clock can help ensure that your guys are where they need to be.
Labor Costing - payroll and labor tend to be the most significant expense for many businesses. For that reason, you need software to track time to the very second and provide accurate time reports. With Timeero, you can track time and labor costs in real time and historically.
Job Costing - track the number of hours spent on a specific job or project and be aware if you are over budget. Employees need to pick a job or project before clocking in. This way, you won’t have to spend time wondering what “Job on the corner of iHop” is. Check out our article to learn more about job costing software for construction.
Geofencing and accountability - It is inappropriate to clock in for a job while having breakfast. Nor is it appropriate to have a coworker punch in for you when you haven’t arrived on site. Time theft is difficult to stop using paper timesheets. With Timeero, you can restrict employees from clocking in unless they are on-site. It can also clock out employees when they leave the job site. This way, you are only paying for hours on site.
QuickBooks, Accounting, and Payroll Processing - While capturing time and labor is essential, exporting the data into your accounting or payroll software is very important too. Timeero integrates with QuickBooks and many payroll products and can help you automate the workflow.
Customer Support - one of the biggest reasons users love Timeero is because of the responsive and fantastic customer support. You get access to fast phone, email, and chat support. In addition, the support team will work with you and your crew to ensure they are fully onboarded and ready to start tracking!
While a free 14-day trial is available to test Timeero, with no credit card required, Timeero doesn’t have a free plan.
Timeero has straightforward pricing with no additional or hidden fees.
It starts from $4 per month for access to basic functionalities for up to 10 users.
You can subscribe to a monthly plan or choose an annual subscription for a discounted price.
2. Exaktime - Construction Time Clock App for Big Teams
Exaktime is one of the older time clock apps for construction businesses. It comes with a web application and mobile apps for iPhone and Android. It also has a desktop on-premise version, which is slowly being retired in favor of a cloud version.
Exaktime also integrates with several different payroll and accounting software systems, so you can rest assured knowing you can export your data.
There is a wide range of mixed reviews on Exaktime. So reading their iOS, Android, and G2 reviews is a good idea. Below are the pros and cons after talking to past Exaktime customers and also from combing through several reviews:
JobClock Hornet is the biggest thing we like about Exaktime. It is a tough, rugged hardware clock built for the job site. It automatically sends workers’ hours to the cloud. However, you need a data plan to use JobClock.
GPS Time tracking app that periodically captures location.
Equipment tracking - Exaktime lets you track how long an employee has used a piece of equipment. Employees can do this when clocking in.
AccountLinx allows you to export your data from ExakTime into CSV format.
It is one of the more expensive time-tracking solutions on our list. In addition, Exaktime is the only solution requiring you to sign an annual contract upfront.
The online interface is not very user-friendly. It is old, cumbersome, and, according to reviews - difficult to use.
The system runs very slowly. It takes a long time for the system to load data for employees and administrators. We’ve heard several complaints about this.
The GPS tracking is not live, which can be a big problem if you need to see where employees are in real time.
customer service could be faster to respond. They take several days to answer customer requests.
Pricing starts at $8/user with a $50 base fee and an annual contract. Many GPS time clocks for construction will give you a month-to-month option, so be sure this is the right option before getting locked into a contract. Teams comfortable paying upfront and committing to an annual contract might benefit from Exaktime.
3. QuickBooks Time - Best for Project Tracking
QuickBooks Time, formerly known as TSheets and now owned by Intuit, is a popular time-tracking software. Even though it’s a general time clock app, it is used by several construction companies, contractors, and field service businesses. It also comes with a web application and mobile time tracker that your crew can use to clock in and out.
It works well with Intuit QuickBooks Online and Desktop. The makers of QuickBooks own QuickBooks Time, so you can expect it to work well with QuickBooks.
It lets you track projects. Projects are an essential feature for construction companies since you can track actual time work vs. estimated time on each project. Project managers can get notified when they are about to exceed budgeted hours on a specific project.
GPS Tracking of your field crew. With QuickBooks Time, you can see where your field crew is traveling. You no longer have to wonder if your workers are on-site or not.
Clock in crew members from the phone. The crew lead can clock in crew members from the QuickBooks Time smartphone app.
QuickBooks Time is not user-friendly for employees or admins. On the desktop, there are many windows to be dragged and dropped around.
Confusing, hidden, and expensive pricing - The features valuable for construction are only on the Elite pricing, which is $10/user/month with a $40 base fee. In other words, the pricing that makes sense for construction starts at $50/month for a single user. Other features require extra charges that aren’t clear on the pricing page.
Based on our testing, GPS tracking is not detailed. We noticed that GPS pings were not frequent enough to capture detailed movement activity. We compared the same route driven on Timeero vs. QuickBooks Time
It lacks integrations with other accounting and payroll software. Because Intuit owns QuickBooks Time, there isn’t any incentive to connect to many payroll and accounting software.
QuickBooks Time starts at $8/user/month with a $20 base fee. In addition, there are extra charges for specific add-ons and features.
4. Workyard - Best for Construction Companies With Big Budgets
Workyard is a relatively new construction time tracking software. It used to be a construction staffing company but switched to time tracking over the last few years. Workyard primarily focuses on construction and contractors. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of Workyard.
Workyard has good GPS tracking functionality. For example, it will notify you when a worker visits a site and reports the visit duration on each site.
You can track Workers' Compensation. Workyard is the only solution that allows you to track and apply workers comp in labor costs calculations.
Track Projects. You can track project labor activity and data all within Workyard.
Track Mileage. Workyard allows you to capture mileage traveled for work. Tracking mileage is useful for mileage reimbursement.
The most expensive out of all the solutions we’ve covered. However, being expensive does not necessarily equate to higher quality service. Compared with the other products we’ve tested, we don’t think its value justifies the price point.
It lacks a tablet app for clocking in/out with photo capabilities. Many construction companies like to have a clock-in/out tablet on-site with face verification.
You cannot clock in crew members. If your business relies on the crew leader to clock in employees, then Workyard will not be an ideal option.
The introductory pricing is $58 ($8/user with a $50 base fee). Workyard is the most expensive out of all the different construction time clock vendors we’ve discussed here. Features like labor costing, project tracking, and certain QuickBooks functionality cost almost double with a ($16/user and $50 base fee).
5. Busybusy - Best for Equipment Tracking
Busybusy is a time-tracking app for construction and other remote worker industries. It offers web and mobile applications for teams to track time without an internet connection.
With Busybusy there are multiple ways to clock in and out. For example, construction workers and supervisors can log time through mobile and kiosk apps. In addition to time tracking, Busybusy lets you track the whereabouts of your equipment.
Equipment tracking - if you own heavy equipment, you will love Busybusy. You can track equipment location and how long each piece of equipment is used. You won’t have to worry about where your equipment is.
GPS time clock with breadcrumbing. Like most construction time clocks mentioned here, Busybusy lets you track employee GPS location.
Free pricing option - Busybusy offers a free pricing plan that has some valuable features.
Budgets - with Busybusy you can set and track labor budgets. The labor budget primarily consists of hours spent on a project.
According to user reviews, the app crashes a lot. Users have to uninstall and reinstall several times to get it to work.
It does not offer a communication tool to allow employers to communicate with employees.
The GPS tracking lacks detail. It did not show the entire path traveled. From the drive we did, it only picked up 3 points, as shown below.
This same drive was compared to Timeero. You can see there are fewer GPS points on Busybusy compared to Timeero. This is severely lacking for accountability purposes.
Busybusy has a free option that lets you do basic time & equipment tracking. The paid option starts at $11.99/per user per month.
What to Look for In Your Ideal Time Clock App for Construction?
Again, there are many options out on the market, but when it comes to construction time tracking, certain features are a must-have.
Mobile Apps With Offline Capability
Your ideal time clock app should have a mobile app. It’s table stakes when it comes to time tracking these days. Your on-site staff needs to clock in and out from their mobile devices.
Offline capability also means they’ve got to be able to punch in and out when an internet connection is not available. If the app doesn’t have offline capabilities, your crew will most likely not embrace the technology. The last thing you want is for your staff to complain that they can’t clock in because there’s no service in their area.
Have you ever wondered if your crew is working where and when they claim? The ability to track employees' locations while they are on the clock is crucial. It’s essential to do it for accountability and safety reasons. If so, you are not the only one. You can easily put this problem to rest with GPS tracking and time stamps.
An app that only captures the clock-in and out locations is not enough. This is because an employee could clock in, leave the job site, come back, and clock out.
You want an app that will track movement once employees clock in. This way, you can see movement activity logs while they are on company time. If they leave the site and go somewhere else, the app should be able to record the movements.
When you combine geofencing with GPS and time tracking, it adds extra accountability to the work process. For example, using geofencing, you can restrict employees from punching in unless they are at the job site. If you are using paper timesheets or Excel spreadsheets, there is a chance some workers are claiming time for work even though they weren’t at the job site.
Also, by choosing a time clock app with geofencing, your employees can receive notifications to clock in or automatically clock in when they arrive on the job site. Geofencing can efficiently remind employees to clock in or ensure they are consistently clocked in when they are on site.
A geofence time clock can also automatically clock out employees if they leave the job site. This way, you know you are only paying for hours on-site.
For example, if you are using QuickBooks Online or Desktop, you will want a time clock app that can send over time into QuickBooks. The time entries could be marked as billable hours to generate invoices, bills, or expenses in QuickBooks. Also, when integrated with QuickBooks, you can map contractors or employees in QuickBooks to employees or contractors inside the time clock app.
Job & Labor Costing
The ability to accurately do labor costing is important. Businesses run on tight margins, so you will want to track time accurately and use that in your job or labor costing. Labor costing is just a small section of job costing, and the best time clock apps for construction can help you easily capture labor hours. In addition, the best apps can help you quickly generate detailed reports and alert you if you are going over the budget for a specific job.
Every business runs differently regarding operations and how things are done. For example, some businesses prefer to have employees clock in and out from a central location. Some construction time clocks will come with a tablet app that allows employees to punch in a specially assigned PIN code before punching in and out.
Some of these so-called kiosk-style time clocks may even come with facial recognition or photo capture to ensure that those clocking in are really who they say they are. In addition, the PIN code and face recognition can add an extra layer of accountability to minimize buddy punching.
Ease of Use and Customer Support
Ease of use and customer support is sometimes easily overlooked until things aren’t working out like they are supposed to. Ensure the app offers phone, live chat, and email support. Unfortunately, many apps out there will only offer you email support.
In addition to customer support, the company you go with should offer onboarding for your crew and the office admin who will manage the time clock application. Most apps will offer some training materials, but the best time clock companies also provide human support.
If you are looking for an app that checks all the above boxes, you should start a trial of Timeero. Timeero is a top time clock app used by many construction companies in the US and around the world.
Timeero Is the #1 Time Clock App for Construction.
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