Time-tracking software

Time-tracking software is a category of computer software that allows its users to record time spent on tasks. This software is used by employees and employers in many industries, including hourly workers and also professionals who bill their customers by the hour, such as lawyers, freelancers and accountants. It can be used together with multiple other tools like project management software, customer support and accounting to name just a few. It is an electronic version of the traditional paper timesheet. Tracking time can increase productivity, as businesses can better understand what practices lead to wasted time.[1] This type of software encourages accountability for large businesses, and allows business owners to keep all time data in a central location which allows easier data analysis by human resources departments.[2] Features offered by time-tracking software include:

Types of time-tracking software

Allows users to manually enter time spent on tasks.
Automatically records activities performed on a computer.

Time-tracking software can be:

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.

Employees enter the duration of the task but not the times when it was performed.
Employees enter start and end times for the task.
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.
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.
The system records active and idle time of employees. It might also record screen captures.
The system determines the working status of employees based on their location.

See also


  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. http://www.fastcompany.com/3024249/10-time-tracking-apps-that-will-make-you-more-productive-in-2014
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