Time-tracking software

Time-tracking software is a category of computer software that allows its employees to record time spent on tasks or projects. The software is used in many industries, including those who employee freelancers and hourly workers. It is also used by professionals who bill their customers by the hour. These include lawyers, freelancers and accountants. The tool could be used stand-alone or be integrated with other applications like project management software, customer support and accounting to name just a few. Time tracking software is the electronic version of the traditional paper timesheet. Tracking time can increase productivity, as businesses can track time spent on tasks and get a better understanding of what practices causes the employees to waste time.[1] Time tracking software enhances accountability, by documenting the time it takes to finish given tasks. The data is collected in database and could be used for data analysis by the human resources departments.[2] Features offered by time-tracking software include:

  • Automatic generation of invoices to the professional's clients or customers based on the time spent.
  • Tracking of cost overruns for fixed cost projects.
  • workforce management packages which track attendance, employee absences, human resources issues, payroll, talent management, and labor analytics.

Types of time-tracking software

Timesheet 
Allows users to manually enter time spent on tasks.
Time-tracking/recording 
Automatically records activities performed on a computer.

Time-tracking software can be:

  • Standalone: Used only to record timesheets and generate reports.
  • Integrated as part of:
    • Accounting systems, e.g. timesheet data fed directly to company accounts.
    • Billing systems, e.g. to generate invoices, especially for contractors, lawyers, etc.
    • Project management systems, e.g. timesheet data used by project management software to visualize the effort being spent on projects or tasks.
    • Payroll systems, e.g. to pay employees based on time worked.
    • Resource scheduling, e.g. bi-directional integration allows schedulers to schedule staff to tasks, which, once complete, can be confirmed and converted to timesheets.

Timesheet software

Timesheet software is software used to maintain timesheets. It was popularized when computers were first introduced to the office environment[3] with the goal of automating heavy paperwork for big organizations. Timesheet software allows entering time spent performing different tasks.

When used within companies, employees enter the time they've spent on tasks into electronic timesheets. These timesheets can then be approved or rejected by supervisors or project managers.

Since 2006, timesheet software has been moving to mobile platforms (smartphones, tablets, smart watches, etc.) enabling better tracking of employees whose work involves multiple locations.

Time-tracking/recording software

Time-tracking/recording software automates the time-tracking process by recording the activities performed on a computer and the time spent on each of them. This software is intended to be an improvement over timesheet software. Its goal is to offer a general picture of computer usage. Automatic time-tracking/recording software records and shows the usage of applications, documents, games, websites, etc.

When used within companies, this software allows monitoring the productivity of employees by recording the tasks they perform on their computers. It can be used to help filling out timesheets.[4]

The American Payroll Association estimates that companies can save 2% of gross payroll costs each year by automating time tracking.

When used by freelancers, this software helps to create reports for clients (e.g. timesheets and invoices) or to prove work that was done.

Time-tracking methods

There are several ways companies track employee time using time tracking software.

Durational
Employees enter the duration of the task but not the times when it was performed.
Chronological
Employees enter start and end times for the task.
Automatic
The system automatically calculates time spent on tasks or whole projects, using a connected device or a personal computer, and user input using start and stop buttons. Users can retrieve logged tasks and view the duration, or the start and stop times.
Exception-based
The system automatically records standard working hours except for approved time off or LOA.
Clock-in clock-out
Employees manually record arrival and departure times.
Monitoring
The system records active and idle time of employees. It might also record screen captures.
Location-based
The system determines the working status of employees based on their location.
  • Resource-scheduling: by scheduling resources in advance, employees schedules can be easily converted to timesheets.

See also

References

  1. ^ Brooks, Chad. "Does Your Business Need Time Tracking Software?". Business News Daily. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Time Tracking Software Essay". AT. July 2, 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  3. ^ Raymund Flandez (23 August 2004). "Unanet's Software Lets Managers Watch Work in Progress". Washington Post. p. E05. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  4. ^ "10 Time-Tracking Apps That Will Make You More Productive In 2014". fastcompany.com. 6 January 2014.
1DayLater

1DayLater was free, web-based software that was focused on professional invoicing and collaborative working. It was aimed at companies of any size; from solo workers to large business enterprises. The company was closed and customer data returned in October 2013.The main function of 1DayLater was to help users create invoices for clients. It could also be used to build quotes and estimates, to track time and other expenses, work to budgets, and to track projects. Multiple users could simultaneously work on the same projects together.

The software was developed by two brothers, Paul and David King; after they experienced similar frustrations while working freelance, the brothers wanted to create a product that would let them track time, expenses and business miles in a single online location.

PC Magazine (PCMag) voted 1DayLater as one of the 'Best Free Software of 2010'

Astrid (application)

Astrid was a multi-platform to-do list and task management application that was created in San Francisco, CA in 2008. It was identified by the company's octopus icon. The service reminded users of scheduled tasks and was designed for limited integration with Google Calendar. Yahoo! acquired the company on May 1, 2013 and shuttered the Astrid service on August 5, 2013.

CEITON

CEITON is a proprietary web-based software system for facilitating and automating business processes such as planning, scheduling, and payroll using workflow technologies. The system is used by several media companies such as MDR, Yle, A+E Networks, Red Bull Media House and also by public financial institutions such as the Development Bank of Saxony.

Chrometa

Chrometa is a product of the software company Chrometa LLC, which is based in Sacramento, California. It is a Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X application designed for professionals that captures PC-based work time without user data entry. The product can also track time away from the PC through automated and manual timers and reminders. This approach is generally referred to as time capture.

Comparison of time-tracking software

This is a comparison of notable time-tracking software packages and web hosted services.

Everhour

Everhour is a team-oriented time tracking software product that was launched in 2015 by Weavora Consulting LLC, a web development company from Minsk, Belarus.

Fanurio

Fanurio is a time tracking and billing software application developed by Fanurio Time Tracking, a company founded in 2006. It is developed in Java and it is mostly used by freelancers. The application is a "2 in 1" product allowing both time tracking and billing.

Grindstone (time-tracking software)

Grindstone is a freeware Microsoft Windows desktop application that allows users to create and organize tasks and to track time. The application features a Task List window for managing tasks and time, a desktop gadget-like stopwatch for controlling the timer, and can produce reports and detect when the user is away. In addition, Grindstone can synchronize time tracking data for multiple users via a paid service called Task Force.

Harvest (software)

Harvest is a web-based time tracking tool developed and launched by Iridesco LLC in 2006.

Replicon (company)

Replicon, Inc. is a software company providing cloud time tracking applications including timesheet and expense management software, using SaaS, for automating employee time tracking, project time tracking, expense tracking and resource scheduling.

TMetric

TMetric is time tracking software operated by TMetric team, headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, that offers time tracking service for freelancers and small business owners who want to optimize their business processes and increase personal productivity. TMetric tracks time spent on tasks and projects from your work flow.

TSheets

TSheets is a web-based and mobile time tracking and employee scheduling app . The service runs in a web browser or on mobile phones. TSheets is an alternative to a paper timesheet or punch cards.

Taskwarrior

Taskwarrior is an open-source, cross platform time and task management tool. It has a command-line interface rather than a graphical user interface.

Taskwarrior uses concepts and techniques described in Getting Things Done by David Allen, but is paradigm-agnostic in that it does not require users to adhere to any given life-management philosophy.According to its author, Taskwarrior was created "to address layout and feature issues" in the Todo.txt applications popularized by Gina Trapani.With Timewarrior, the authors offer an accompanying tool to track time spent on projects. Configuration allows e. g. to define recurring breaks such as lunch time. The documention notes that "Timewarrior focusses on accurately recording time already spent, whereas Taskwarrior looks forward to work that is not yet done."

TimeSheet (software)

TimeSheet is a Time-tracking software developed by BusinessRunner.net in Netherlands. TimeSheet can be helpful in several situations but especially for freelancers who are getting paid by the hour or users who want to optimize or track their daily workflow.

TimeSheet automatically logs tasks based on user-defined rules, so user spends less time for managing.Reports can be exported to Excel or XML

TimeTiger

TimeTiger is a time and project tracking app developed by Indigo Technologies Ltd. in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Indigo was founded in 1997 and initially released TimeTiger in 1998.

Time Doctor

Time Doctor is a SaaS time tracking and productivity tool launched by the owners of Staff.com in 2012. It has desktop software, mobile and web based components.

A multi-functional time tracking software with CRM and white label capabilities.

Toggl

Toggl is a time tracking app operated by Toggl OÜ, headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia, that offers online time tracking and reporting services through their website along with mobile and desktop applications. Toggl tracks time based on tasks and projects, either through an interactive task timer or through manual entry.

ZipBooks

ZipBooks is an accounting software company based in American Fork, Utah. It produces the software of the same name.

Zoho Corporation

Zoho Corporation is an Indian software development company. The focus of Zoho Corporation lies in web-based business tools and information technology solutions, including an office tools suite, internet of things management platform, and a suite of IT management software. The company was founded in 1996 by Sridhar Vembu and Tony Thomas in Pleasanton, California, and now has offices in seven countries with its global headquarters in Chennai.

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