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Top 5 Buddy Punch Alternatives 2024: Free & Paid Options

Samson Kiarie
Last update on:
January 5, 2024 7:31 AM
Published on:

Buddy Punch is a reliable time clock software that simplifies time tracking, attendance tracking, and payroll processing. Despite its strengths, the time tracking system has flaws that may push you towards Buddy Punch alternatives.

Limited punching automation and the inability to track mileage are reasons you might opt out of Buddy Punch. 

Before we discuss its best alternatives, let’s reveal where Buddy Punch falls short. 

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Why Use Buddy Punch Alternatives? 

If you're using Buddy Punch for your employee time tracking needs, you may have encountered some hiccups along the way.

According to reviews from different users, Buddy Punch has some niggles that can make the experience less than optimal, such as:

  • Minor glitches when clocking out: Sometimes, the app presents minor lags, which make clocking out a little bit tricky. 
  • Challenging to take pictures for facial recognition: Sometimes Buddy Punch says it has not taken the photo, whereas, in the real sense, it has. Sometimes, employees have to take multiple pictures before finally getting the go-ahead to clock in. 
  • Editing time entities can be complicated, especially for newbies, which epitomizes Buddy Punch’s steep learning curve. 

Luckily, you have many alternatives to consider until Buddy Punch smoothes its rough edges. If you’re short on time, here are the top Buddy Punch alternatives:

  • Timeero — Best Buddy Punch Alternative With Mileage tracking
  • QuickBooks Workforce FKA QuickBooks Time — Buddy Punch Alternative With Extensive Integration System
  • Hubstaff — Buddy Punch Alternative With No Facial Recognition
  • Deputy — Time Clock App With Robust Scheduling
  • OnTheClock — Simple Time Tracking App With No Mileage Tracking

Top 5 Buddy Punch Alternatives 

We’ll discuss how each time tracking software performs on three fronts: time tracking, employee GPS tracking, and employee scheduling. We’ll also mention the unique features that each tool offers, such as mileage tracking. Let’s get straight into it, starting with the best Buddy Punch alternative — Timeero

Timeero — Best Buddy Punch Alternative With Mileage Tracking

Timeero time and mileage

Timeero Pricing: 14-day free trial, from $4 per user per month.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly time tracking app
  • Automated time tracking with geofencing
  • Facial recognition
  • IRS-compliant mileage logs

Cons:

  • No web time tracking

Timeero is the best Buddy Punch alternative for a good reason. It outperforms Buddy Punch in all categories, from time tracking to employee scheduling, and offers mileage tracking capability — a feature you don’t get with Buddy Punch.

Time Tracking 

There are multiple reasons to choose Timeero over Buddy Punch, but we’ll highlight the main ones. The Android and iOS apps are easy to use, even for non-tech-savvy field employees. The app has made it a cinch for employees to switch jobs to mitigate potential wage determination and work classification errors. 

If you pay different rates for each project/task, Timeero helps you stay on top of your actual labor costs and tweak the workflows to maintain healthy profitability. If you ever hit a snag with Timeero, the customer support agents are within reach to help you out.  

Timeero enhances the accuracy of employee work hours using geofencing and facial recognition. If an employee punches in or out of geofence, you will receive a notification, and the app will flag their timesheet entry. Your employee will also be alerted that they’ve performed this action outside the borders.

Moreover, the Timeero clock kiosk lets you use facial recognition to thwart buddy punching. If the app detects a face mismatch, it blocks the employee from clocking in and instantly notifies you.

GPS Location Tracking 

timeero timesheets
Besides tracking employee time, Timeero streamlines field team communication with a messaging module

Timeero lets you maintain a bird’s eye view of your job sites and workforce with real-time employee GPS tracking. The “Who’s Working” tab displays the employee’s real-time location. You can zoom in on each employee to see when they clocked in and how long they’ve been working. 

The route replay and breadcrumbing technology keep you abreast of your field team activities. Besides recreating an employee's route while they were clocked in, you can click on the timely breadcrumbs to see when they were at a client location and even determine how much time they spent there. 

Employee Scheduling

Timeero solves another small business’ pain point; employee scheduling for the hourly and salaried workforce. Creating schedules is child’s play, and with color-coding, you can see at a glance who’s working on what task or project and when.

Beyond that, the solid notification system is primed to alleviate employee no-shows and boost time management. It notifies employees of an upcoming shift and keeps the manager in the know should an employee fail to clock in within 10 minutes of their shift.  

In addition, Timeero simplifies paid time off (PTO) management. While it doesn’t display an employee's PTO balance, it makes it easy for employees to request time off on their mobile devices. Timeero notifies the managers when an employee submits a request. Likewise, it notifies employees when managers act upon their time off requests.

Other Unique Features

According to the latest IRS rates, every business mile you track lower your taxable income by 67 cents. To that end, Timeero uses motion detection technology to track mileage only when the vehicle speed exceeds a predetermined threshold. This prevents the software from tracking mileage when the vehicle is stationary. 

Other notable Timeero features include comprehensive reporting and seamless integrations with payment and payroll software such as Gusto, Xero, PayChex, Viventium, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Rippling, and ADP. It also supports API integration if you need flawless data flow between the tools in your software stack.

To learn more about the best Buddy Punch alternative, check out our Timeero review.

QuickBooks Workforce (FKA QuickBooks Time) — Buddy Punch Alternative with Extensive Integration System

quickbooks time app
QuickBooks supports geofencing but doesn’t allow punching automation

QuickBooks Time pricing: $20 base fee Plus $10 per user per month

Pros:

  • Accurate time tracking
  • Easy Job tracking and project estimates
  • Solid employee scheduling and PTO management
  • Extensive third-party integrations system

Cons

  • Pricey (includes a base pay)

QuickBooks Time, now QuickBooks Workforce mobile app, stands on the shoulder of a behemoth, and as you’d expect, it’s an apt Buddy punch alternative. While it’s not on par with Timeero on the automated time tracking front, its ease of use and excellent PTO management makes it hard to ignore. 

Time Tracking 

This online time tracking software treads the same path as Timeero in terms of geofencing and facial recognition capability. It restricts employees from clocking in outside their designated work site.

GPS Location Tracking

quickbooks time timesheets
QuickBooks Time cloud-based time tracking module works without a hitch on the web, Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac devices

QuickBooks Workforce, FKA QuickBooks Time’s “who’s working” tab lets you maintain visibility into your work sites. It displays the location of all clocked-in employees and the projects they’re working on. You can derive helpful insights such as understaffed sites and decide the next available employee for an open shift in a nearby job site.

QuickBooks Workforce has a route replay feature, but since it doesn’t offer timestamps and breadcrumbs, it’s a comparatively less effective employee GPS tracking app for sales teams. This is because you can’t recreate an employee's exact route or determine their time at a specific location.

Employee Scheduling

Creating employee schedules with QuickBooks Workforce, previously known as QuickBooks Time, is easy. It lets you use color coding and a solid notification system to keep everyone on the same page about shift changes. 

The job tracking and project estimate give QuickBooks Workforce a leg up on other time trackers on our list. With these features, you can divide projects into easily-manageable tasks and specify deadlines and a workable schedule for your teams. 

Moreover, QuickBooks Workforce simplifies and streamlines PTO management. Employees can check PTO balances, request time off on Android or iOS apps, and get notified when the request is approved or rejected. 

Other Unique Features

QuickBooks Time also supports mileage tracking. As you can read in our Timeero vs QuickBooks Time comparison, the software had mileage tracking issues. However, once it overcame the initial hiccups, it tracked mileage seamlessly, even without an internet connection.

QuickBooks Time Integrations: QuickBooks Online, Gusto, Paychex, Square, ADP, Justworks, and OnPay, to name a few. 

Hubstaff — Buddy Punch Alternative With No Facial Recognition

Hubstaff app
Besides tracking time, Hubstaff streamlines project and human resource management

Hubstaff Pricing: 14-day free trial, Free for one user, $5.83 per user per month (for more than one user).

Pros:

  • Accurate time tracking
  • Employee productivity monitoring
  • GPS location tracking

Cons:

  • No facial recognition or fingerprint sign-in
  • No mileage tracking

Hubstaff is better suited for teams that spend time doing desk work like freelancers than field teams. Its suite of features shows why — besides time tracking, it provides productivity monitoring tools such as screenshots and activity level monitoring tools.

Time Tracking 

Accountants, attorneys, agencies, software development, and e-commerce teams will benefit from Hubstaff's user-friendly time tracking app. The apps sport intuitive user interfaces and support punching automation with geofencing to streamline usability further. You can set it to automatically punch employees when they enter or leave the workplace. 

This “discard idle time” is another exciting feature. Hubstaff detects when desktop activity drops, such as when an employee is on break, and presents a pop-up window when employees resume work, prompting them to discard the idle time. 

One quibble, though, Hubstaff doesn’t support facial recognition or fingerprint sign-in. If you’re looking to end buddy punching in your workplace, you’re better off using another software. So, if you're considering Hubstaff, read our article on Hubstaff alternatives, for a well informed decision.

GPS Location Tracking 

hubstaff timesheets
Hubstaff doesn’t have tools to prevent buddy punching, unlike our top two SaaS providers

Hubstaff's “map” section gives you a list of clocked-in employees and their location addresses. You can select an employee to view the project and task they’re working on and see how long they have been working.

If you manage a mobile workforce, you can view the route each employee took while clocked in. The app picks up all stops but doesn’t provide detailed timestamps or breadcrumbs to analyze field team activities.

Employee Scheduling

Hubstaff takes employee scheduling a notch higher than our top two picks. Besides creating employee schedules, you can create work orders and track time for various clients. In addition, Hubstaff comes with a full suite of agile project management tools, including sprint planning and management tools. 

Other Unique Features

The standout tool is the employee performance and productivity monitoring module. The module notes what your remote employees have been up to during work hours. You can see the apps and URLs they visited and even view screenshots to monitor their activities.

Like QuickBooks Time, Hubstaff has amassed vast integrations with third-party cloud-based software. Some notable integrations include Asana, ClickUp, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Wrike, Gusto, Wise, PayPal, QuickBooks, Freshbooks, and Slack, to name a few. 

Deputy — Time Clock App With Robust Scheduling

deputy time clock
Besides time tracking, Deputy streamlines leave management, project workflows, and invoicing

Deputy pricing: 31-day free trial, $3.50 per user per month

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use mobile apps
  • Robust shift schedule software
  • Extensive integration system

Cons:

  • No mileage tracking
  • Inefficient GPS location tracking

Deputy is a reliable Buddy Punch alternative if you need to schedule shifts and track time for desk-based teams. You can still use it for field teams, but we doubt it would be effective since it doesn't track mileage and GPS location. 

Time Tracking 

Deputy comes into its own when tracking time for hourly and salaried employees. The app is easy to use, even for total newbies. However, unlike our first three picks, where employees choose a task before clocking in, Deputy requires employees to choose an assigned shift.

While it restricts employees from clocking outside the geofence, it doesn’t support automatic punching. Geofencing and GPS location stamps prevent off-site punching, whereas touch-free facial verification thwarts buddy punching.  

GPS Location Tracking 

Deputy dashboard
Deputy is a robust scheduling software with advanced auto-scheduling and break compliance features

The app is majorly a time tracking and attendance tracking app; it’s no surprise it skimps GPS location tracking. While it doesn’t show employee GPS location, it gives you an overview of real-time employee attendance. You can see who’s on which shift, on break, or running late for their shift.   

Employee Scheduling

The availability of advanced scheduling features epitomizes the fact that shift scheduling is Deputy's primary capability. Besides enabling you to create employee schedules, the app gives employees live updates to keep them abreast of their upcoming shifts. 

Deputy has a built-in overlapping shift warning to prevent scheduling conflicts. Employees swamped with other duties can easily swap shifts with available team members to avoid potential understaffing difficulties.  

Other Unique Features

According to one study, depression, stress, or anxiety accounts for 51% of work-related health conditions. One of the best ways to mitigate work-related health cases is to ensure employees comply with your break and time-off rules. The Deputy “break compliance tool” helps you achieve just that. 

Deputy integrations: ADP, BambooHR, box, Dropbox, Gusto, and LastPass, to name a few.

OnTheClock — Time & Attendance Tracking Tool With no Mileage Tracking

ontheclock who’s in
OnTheClock has other workforce management tools besides time and location tracking

OnTheClock pricing: Free for up to 2 employees, tier-based pricing

Pros:

  • Easy time tracking
  • Project and job costing
  • Advanced PTO tracking 

Cons:

  • No mileage tracking
  • No facial recognition

As the name suggests, this app is built to ensure employees stay on the clock. But beyond time tracking, OnTheClock helps monitor employees’ GPS location and streamline payroll processing.

Time Tracking 

The Android and iOS apps aren’t as sleek and refined as Timeero or Hubtaff, but they get the job done. The time tracker leverages geofencing to stop employees from clocking in outside their job site. 

If an employee tries to clock in outside their designated job site, OnTheClock will send you an email notification with the time they attempted to log in, their name, and how far away they were from the assigned job area. 

OnTheClock doesn’t support facial recognition, but it supports fingerprint sign-in. However, you’ll have to invest in a digital fingerprint reader and spend an extra 50 cents per employee every month.  

GPS Location Tracking 

The “who’s in” tab lists all employees and their status: punched in or out. On the other hand, the “show map” tab lets you see the location of clocked-in employees. 

OnTheClock doesn’t track mileage or provide a route replay feature. However, it allows employees to enter mileage logs when punching out. Still, employees have to rely on other tools to track mileage. 

Employee Scheduling

ontheclock time tracking
While it’s easy to track time with OnTheClock, creating employee profiles and onboarding them can be an uphill task

The scheduling module isn’t as powerful as Deputy, but if you need a tool to ensure employees are where they need to be at the right time, it ticks that box. 

Moreover, the PTO tracking feature is a win-win for you and your employees. Employees can see their PTO balance and send in PTO requests with ease. On the other hand, you always stay on top of the PTO request, approval, and tracking process to maintain the proper staffing levels. 

Other Unique Features

OnTheClock offers comprehensive reports on many aspects of your workforce. You can generate job costing breakdowns and billable reports to get to the bottom of everything happening in your company. 

OnTheClock integrations: ADP, QuickBooks, and Gusto.

Get a Reliable Buddy Punch Alternative

If you’re looking for the Best Buddy Punch Alternative with mileage tracking capabilities, you can get started with either Timeero or QuickBooks Time. The odds favor Timeero because it betters Buddy Punch's performance and offers one of the most accurate and efficient mileage tracking systems. 

However, if mileage tracking isn’t top of your priorities, Hubstaff and Deputy are safe bets. However, as we mentioned in our guide, these apps carry some flaws. For example, Hubstaff doesn't support facial recognition, leaving the door open for buddy punchers.

Get an alternative to Buddy Punch that’s affordable yet reliable.

Sign up for a free trial to get a firsthand feel for Timeero features, including geofencing, facial recognition, and mileage tracking.
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AUTHOR
Samson Kiarie

Samson is a mathematician turned content marketer specializing in SaaS and Tech content. He focuses on the practical aspects of software systems while keeping abreast of the industry’s cutting-edge principles to create informative and engaging content. When he’s not writing, Samson spends time playing or watching soccer.

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