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The Best Time Clocks for Small Businesses

In this blog post we breakdown the best timeclocks for small businesses. Read on to find out more!

It’s no secret that running a small business can take a lot of time and energy. As a business owner, there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep track of your employees’ every movement. This can be especially difficult if many of them work at different locations. However, the integration of a time clock can help to ease your worries.

Managing your employees’ time and attendance can be a challenging task, but it doesn’t need to be. Using time-tracking software in small businesses can help to save time, money, and effort. It gives you the capacity to track and monitor when and where your employees are at all times. With the swipe of a card, use of a pin number, or fingerprint biometrics, your workforce can punch in and out of shifts in an instant.

The American Payroll Association (APA) calculated that it takes as long as 6 minutes to review a single employee timesheet. Manual transcription is costing businesses tens of thousands a year. Many believe timesheets are seriously flawed with inaccuracy, inflexibility and are very time-consuming. But to every problem is a solution. A time clock will guarantee precision and help to eliminate human error or even fraud. But primarily, it will ensure that you save money. This is why small business owners are left with little choice but to implement this change.  

A time clock will significantly boost your productivity and improve employee engagement. But before investing, what should small business owners be looking for?

What to look for in a time clock

It’s obvious that you’ll be searching to find a time clock that fulfills your business needs. But before rushing to market, you must first identify your business’s needs. Typically, users-to-be look at the method of sign-in, features, and software compatibility. We’ve listed some of the most important elements that a time clock should have: 

  • Accurate recording of attendance data
  • Payroll integration or compatibility with other accounting software
  • User-friendly interface for employees
  • Excellent customer service from product provider

The initial cost of a time clock varies, but can sometimes be expensive. It’s essential that prices within the market stay competitive to ensure they don’t deter small business owners. Before making an investment, owners must consider running costs. But also installation and maintenance fees. If a time clock provides the reliability you’re searching for, then you can bet it’s going to make your business operations much easier.

Let’s take a look at some of the best-performing time clocks that can improve your business’s performance.

The best time clocks for you

We’ll first begin with ZK Technology. As big advocates of their fingerprint and face recognition time clocks, we can promise you that they’re stacked with numerous benefits. The most valuable input we can offer is the knowledge that these time clocks have become indispensable for many of our clients and their operations. ZK’s best of breed models provide the simplicity you need. Easily integrated with most accounting software, your employee hours can be easily calculated for you. All the while they’re continuously in search of an improved user experience. And that’s why their time clocks are so highly recommended. 

Not only do ZK offer a vast range of models, but also the expertise to help customize your process and meet your business needs. However, this simple user-friendly approach does come at a cost. Tailored more towards the established small businesses, these time clocks cost a little more than average. Although they have proven to be easily operable and hugely cost-effective. You should expect to pay a reasonable price, but it will be worth every penny.  

Let’s look at two of their highest-performing time clocks.  

ZK US905 Fingerprint Time Clock   

The US905 model represents the latest easy plug-in solution that supports both WIFI and Ethernet connections. It comes with the reliable and durable fingerprint mechanism to ensure your business eliminates any threat of buddy punching. But if that’s not your method of magic, then you can opt for barcode, mag stripe or proximity clock in.  

It’s fair to say that its assets don’t stop there. This product allows you to back up local and external data as and when you please. And as the latest of this ZK series, it boasts a larger screen, 8 new customizable function keys and expanded transaction capacity. With up to 8,000 fingerprint templates and 10,000 ID cards, your business is given room to grow. Too good to be true! 

Based on current market value, expect to be set back around $400. For a company that wants a basic ZK option to better their time and attendance management, this is a safe option. You can check out more of the US905’s features and decide if it’s for you. 

One thing has to be said. Although we love the price and techy features, it’s difficult to ignore facial recognition as the latest must-have in the market.  

ZK uFace 800 Face Recognition Time Clock  

The uFace 800 represents a dual-mode facial and fingerprint biometric model. And there’s no doubting its high on the wish list! 

Typically, smaller businesses choose this product for its facial recognition. Although if necessary, fingerprint, password or RFID clock in methods are available. Storing up to 1,500 facial and 3,000 fingerprint templates, it provides the perfect adequacy for smaller businesses. It comes with enhanced face detection and verification speed, which means it’ll never miss a trick.  

Guess what? You’ll no longer need to worry about finding the perfect spot for this time clock. WIFI or GPRS can be used for wireless connection which means it’ll work just about anywhere. But if you do happen to encounter any power shortages, a backup battery pack lasting up to 4 hours will be your saviour. Better still, ZK recognize the importance of inclusivity in business culture. That’s why the new multi-language feature can be of great value to some.  

Just when you thought we were done, we’ve got more to tell you. The intelligible user interface and menu design is suitable for small business owners who care for both aesthetics and productivity. At a lowly price varying around $500, you won’t be put out of pocket. Time to invest? 

We can guarantee that this option will preserve many minutes in your day. Ironically, we could spend most of it discussing the benefits this product will have for you. But we advise you take a further look on the ZK Technology website.    

Now let’s discuss other popular choices that may interest you. 

uPunch HN4000 Calculating Time Clock 

The uPunch model represents an affordable option for small businesses at $395. As one of the most budget-friendly choices in the market, it’s an attractive proposition for many owners. Users can punch in and out using paper time cards. The system’s 4 punch-a-day capacity offers a precise time clock that ensures starts, finishes and breaks are all accounted for.  

White uPunch time clock with timesheet

Conveniently, the HN4000 allows you to maintain flexibility by using it as either stand-alone or in conjunction with uPunch’s free cloud-based software. This software can automatically calculate hours for up to 50 employees, making it a perfect fit for a small business. Through new enhancements, this model can set punch rounding options and calculate both daily and weekly overtime. All lunch and break deductions too. Any changes will be presented through the choice of weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or semi-monthly pay period options.   

Employees can manually enter time card data anywhere, anyhow. So long as they’re using a device connected to the internet. The data can be exported to payroll systems to streamline your time-tracking activities. The simplicity of the product keeps the user’s contribution to a minimal, which is what we love about it.  

You probably love the sound of this product. But the best news is still to come. If you choose to buy this product you’ll get 50 free time cards and a system stacked with major business benefits! 

Why not clock-on to this great deal? 

Acroprint Biotouch Time Clock 

The Acroprint Biotouch is ideal for 1-20 employees. As a small business owner, you’ll be dealing with countless tasks per day. So you’ll be looking to save time and money any way you can. Voila. This ready-to-go time clock is not only excellent at time-tracking, but time-saving too. No software to install or networks to configure. And best of all, no more buddy punching!  

Its price of $199.99 is fair and many small business owners seem to agree. The simple steps make it a great time-saving addition and thus, a popular choice. By registering an employee’s fingerprint, you can be certain that it’s them clocking in. But if biometrics is not for you, then you can choose for employees to swipe in by magnetic card or by pin number. However please be warned, these options do come at an additional cost! 

When your data is captured, you can transfer it to your computer via USB. From here you can keep a close eye on costs and attendance, and choose the payroll settings that work for you. Easy, right? 

This is another perfect solution for the smallest of the smaller businesses. Don’t waste another hour! 

Allied Time AT-2700 Non-Calculating Time Clock 

Without the bells and whistles of its more expensive counterparts, this manual time clock is perfect for a small business owner looking for a more hands-on approach. Designed for simplicity, this model is more than capable of supporting up to 25 employees punching in and out.   

At a lowly cost of $139, the AT-2700 really is a plug it in and go. Conveniently, the price reflects a bundle which contains the time clock, 2 ribbons, 25 time cards and 2 metal case keys. Plus lifetime support and a two-year factory warranty! 

The time clock will record and print the employees punch at the exact time and date. Because of no fingerprint mechanism, it cannot prevent buddy punching. This will likely mean it loses some appeal. Also, it doesn’t calculate automatically. But thankfully, Allied Time USA provide a free online app which allows you to make calculations. Should it be necessary, their customer support can help you set this up too.  

The no-frills approach may not be for all. But it definitely has benefits for some. Especially the newer businesses on the block. 

Calling all start-ups, invest your time in this clock!  

Our verdict 

It’s hard not to sit on the fence with this one. Time clocks can be useful from small start-ups to small-medium enterprises. And it really is complex trying to distinguish which time clock suits each business when they all require different needs. That being said, it’s essential for any business to try to grow as much as possible, and the latest technology is fundamental in maximizing efficiency and productivity. While some businesses may struggle for funding, this is an investment that makes sense.

The recent external issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that face recognition has gained momentum. This leads us to believe that under these current circumstances, the ZK uFace 800 time clock is the best value. We’ve seen first-hand that our clients have operated efficiently using ZK products, which is another important reason for our choice. It’s also the reason that we partner with ZK to offer their best in breed clocks to our users.

In a time where technology is consistently developing, small businesses owners should look to keep up with the trend. It might just be that the latest developments create that extra profit or productivity. Or even just comply with new regulations. Importantly, ZK doesn’t just provide great products, but great service too. So if you’re still unsure on whether their models a good fit for your business and the challenges you face, then they encourage you to schedule a consultation. 

As long as your finances present the opportunity, then choose the most technologically advanced. Keeping track of your employees can be time consuming whichever way you do it. But the clear theme in the time and attendance market is that the more you spend, the more accurate and efficient your data.    

Find a time clock that can help your business perform at the highest level. Achieve its goals. And support its people. Spend the cash and never look back.  If you’d like to find out more about Celayix’s partnership with ZK, or our own time and attendance features, be sure to reach out to a Solutions Advisor here!

Written by Helen Long

Written by Helen Long

Helen is the Marketing Team Lead at Celayix. She has been working with Celayix for over 2 years, overseeing all things digital marketing. She has experience in content creation for different types of businesses and using SEO to gain those all important rankings!

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