BambooHR time tracking: Key features, limitations, alternatives

by Time Doctor
BambooHR Time Tracking

Whether you have five employees or 5000, you need a way to track their billable hours and manage their attendance. 

For this, you may choose to go with BambooHR Time Tracking Software

BambooHR offers employee time tracking, attendance management, payroll processing, and benefits administration functionalities. 

In this article, we’ll give you a detailed BambooHR review, including its various features. We’ll also discuss where it falls short and provide an alternative time and attendance tracking solution you can use instead. 

This article includes: 

(Click on the links to jump to a specific section)

Let’s begin. 

What is BambooHR time tracking? 

BambooHR is a cloud-based Human Resources Information System (HRIS) suitable for a medium or small business. 

This HR software solution primarily focuses on onboarding new employees, managing people data, handling compensation, and strengthening company culture. 

However, it offers employee Time Tracking as an add-on. This includes: 

  • Clock-in and clock-out functionalities. 
  • Automatic timesheet creation. 
  • Overtime calculation. 
  • Streamlined workflows. 
  • Employee self-service features, and much more. 

Similarly, you can choose to integrate their payroll and attendance software as more add-ons to create your all-in-one HR software. 

Let’s explore some of these Time Tracking features in more detail. 

7 key features of BambooHR time tracking software 

Listed below are seven key features of the BambooHR time and attendance tracking system. 

1. Time tracking 

BambooHR Time Tracking notes employee clock-in and clock-out times to create accurate automated timesheets

The software also allows employees to enter manual time worked on a specific project or task. Similarly, supervisors and managers can quickly approve these employee timesheets with just a button. 

This transparency allows employees to see how much time they spend on a task and improve their time management. Employers can also track which tasks take too long and discover why that may be, i.e., recognizing and removing bottlenecks. 

You can also create a custom workflow that removes these bottlenecks. For instance, instead of sending timesheet reminders, you can automate the process, so employee timesheets reach you before the deadline. 

Additionally, this software automatically calculates overtime pay based on the different employment laws in US states and gives you all this employee information neatly laid out in a spreadsheet.   

2. Geolocation 

The BambooHR mobile app comes equipped with geolocation features, so your employees’ mobiles function as a time clock and a timesheet. 

This feature is handy if your employees need to be at specific locations or sites for work. Here, your employees need to have both Time Tracking and geolocation enabled on the app. Once they do, the app can start recording time without any extra effort on the employee’s part. 

By doing this, their mobile phone automatically starts recording their: 

  • Clock in time. 
  • Clock out time. 
  • Which projects and tasks they worked on (project tracking). 

As a result, your HR and payroll departments get accurate information on how many billable hours an employee recorded on a specific project. 

These precise employee timesheets further help speed up payroll processing as the department has all the information necessary to easily and quickly approve payments. 

3. PTO management 

It can be challenging to keep track of employee absences and which leave requests are still pending approval. 

BambooHR’s vacation tracking system makes this easier by sending you alerts in the app as well as your email. Employees also receive a notification when their requests are approved or denied, with an instant change in their leave accrual balance. 

This feature also allows you to set up unlimited PTO (Paid Time Off) policies, note if employees are on parental or medical leave, or set separate leave policies for individual employees. 

Your HR department can also track employee absences through the Who’s Out calendar which shows all current, precious, and upcoming leaves. These employee records allow you to adjust deadlines and even forecast demand during peak periods. 

The system also provides robust reports on trends in your absenteeism data, allowing you to adjust your attendance policy

4. Payroll processing 

Inaccurate payroll information can not only create problems in terms of tax filing but also erode employee satisfaction and trust. 

Instead, you can automate your payroll processing, save precious hours on data entry, and reduce potential payroll errors. 

BambooHR also takes care of your local, state, and federal taxes for US-based employees. If there’s a discrepancy, the payroll software will immediately flag it up so you can address it and keep your organization in the clear! 

All these employee records and sensitive information is secured using advanced data encryption. If you have any problems, you can also reach out to their customer support team. 

Using the system, you can ensure all your employees receive their salaries by their respective pay period, and it’s accurate each time. 

5. HR reporting and analytics 

Your HR department is always in need of data to chart trends in employee behavior and stop issues from snowballing. 

BambooHR can generate detailed reports on everything from employee absences to whether your workforce management software is improving productivity. 

As a result, they can be proactive when it comes to addressing dissatisfaction, reducing employee turnover. 

All these reports can also be easily approved by using BambooHR’s electronic signature system. Additionally, the system will track who has and hasn’t signed the paperwork, so you don’t have to chase anyone down. 

6. Automation 

As you can see, you can easily automate many BambooHR features to reduce the time it takes for data entry and improve workflows across the organization. 

For instance, you can set up an automated, custom workflow for the following:

  • Managing employee PTO.
  • Collecting employee timesheets.
  • Gathering signatures on important documents.
  • Approving promotions and bonuses. 
  • Adding payroll and timesheet data to an employee record.

With just a few clicks, you can streamline tasks to ensure no delays occur anywhere in the process. As a result, you’re able to focus on your core business areas while also providing an improved employee experience

7. Other HR management features 

Let’s briefly explore some more BambooHR features your Human Resource department might appreciate. 

A) Applicant Tracking System (ATS) 

BambooHR’s applicant tracking and recruitment system keeps all the applicant data neatly organized so your HR manager can focus on picking the right talent. 

Additionally, it streamlines the candidate experience, improving your company’s reputation. 

B) Easy employee onboarding 

Your HR professionals can easily collect all pertinent personal information as the system lets everyone electronically sign all paperwork. 

As a result, basic formalities such as setting up an email for the new employee are a breeze.

C) Mobile apps 

The BambooHR mobile app allows everyone to easily access basic functionalities and keep up with company-wide announcements. 

For instance, employees can apply for time off and receive approval on the app while supervisors keep track of employee absences. 

D) Performance management 

BambooHR’s performance management system gives supervisors automatic reminders and notifications for regular employee performance reviews. 

As a result, high-performing employees are immediately recognized and rewarded, while struggling employees receive the support they need. 

E) Employee satisfaction 

BambooHR utilizes the popular Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) survey so employees can submit anonymous feedback. 

This employee experience information is then turned into an employee engagement score, helping you improve your offerings. 

However, BambooHR isn’t infallible and has its downsides as well. 

3 major disadvantages of using BambooHR time tracking software 

There are three major areas in which BambooHR’s system falls short when compared to others in the market. 

1. Not ideal for global employee management 

BambooHR was created with the express aim of simplifying employee benefits, payroll, and tax filing for US-based employees. 

As such, a company with a global workforce might find many features missing or incomplete when serving all their employees, not just the North American ones. 

2. Lacks employee scheduling features 

While the tool integrates with third-party scheduling software, BambooHR itself doesn’t offer any scheduling options. 

So, if your business depends on easy employee scheduling and shift work, BambooHR might not be the right tool for you.

Read our top picks for employee scheduling apps here.  

3. Pricing information unavailable 

BambooHR doesn’t provide any pricing information on its website. This includes both the HR suite and any add-ons, including Time Tracking. 

You would need to contact a sales representative to get an accurate quote. 

As a result, it can be hard to ascertain how much the software would cost you in the short and long run. 

So, what should you do?  

An alternative to BambooHR time tracking software: Time Doctor 

If you’re looking for employee time tracking software that’s transparent and easy to use with a remote workforce, look no further than Time Doctor.

time doctor Time Tracking

Time Doctor is a robust employee time tracking and performance management system trusted by large as well as small businesses alike. 

The Time Doctor desktop app is available across Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems, along with an Android mobile app. 

Let’s explore some of Time Doctor’s key features. 

1. Time tracking 

Time Doctor provides an interactive and automatic time tracking feature

Interactive tracking includes a start/stop button. Employees can click on the button to start recording time for a given task and stop when they need a break or are done working. 

Time Doctor Interactive Time Tracking

On the other hand, employees can track time as soon as they turn on their computers using automatic tracking. The software silently tracks all work time without interfering with your employee’s work.

This aims to provide employers with accurate employee time data without any inconvenience to the employee. 

2. Idle time tracking 

To ensure timesheet accuracy, the software will also send employees an idle-time notification if they’ve been inactive for a certain amount of time. 

Managers can also set how much time should pass before employees receive this pop-up. 

Time Doctor idle popup alert

Please note that Time Doctor isn’t a keylogger; it simply verifies whether there has been any mouse or keyboard activity. 

3. Productivity reports 

Time Doctor also provides comprehensive productivity reports for each employee. 

Some of these include: 

  • Attendance report: Check whether an employee is present, late, partially absent, or absent
  • Web and app usage report: See how much time an employee spends on any site. 
  • Project and tasks report: View how much time it takes an employee to complete a specific task. 
  • Timeline report: Look at an employee’s daily activity, including when they take breaks and clock out. 
  • Hours tracked report: Track how many hours an employee spent working for a selected time period. 
Time Doctor hours tracked

Based on these reports, you can decide which tasks take the most time and how to change workflows, so your employees’ time is spent on more intensive tasks. 

4. Work schedules

Time Doctor’s Work Schedule feature allows managers and supervisors to create employee schedules and track the attendance of shift workers with ease. 

For instance, you can: 

  • Add and modify a single shift.
  • Make bulk shift edits. 
  • Set up different schedules for individual employees. 
  • Create flexible employee schedules for up to a week. 
  • Specify access permission for who can view or edit these schedules. 
  • Check employee attendance for each shift. 
Time Doctor work schedules

The feature also automatically adjusts shift timings for Daylight Savings according to the chosen time zone.  

5. Payroll integration

Time Doctor integrates with online payment services such as PayPal, Wise, etc., so you can quickly pay your employees – salaried and otherwise. 

Since you already have accurate employee data and time entries, this allows you to pay your hourly employees, contractors, and freelancers according to their recorded hours. 

Time Doctor payroll settings

Time Doctor also allows you to download these payroll reports in a spreadsheet, CSV, or PDF. 

You can avail all these features and more for just $7/user per month.

Wrapping up 

The BambooHR Time Tracking system has many features that can suit small and mid-sized businesses looking to streamline certain HR processes. 

However, for larger enterprises and those with a global, remote workforce, we find the BambooHR software lacking in certain respects, particularly when it comes to employee scheduling. 

Additionally, it’s primarily an HR solution rather than a time tracking one. 

Instead, it’s best to go with a dedicated productivity management solution, like Time Doctor, to increase employee engagement and productivity. 

Sign up for Time Doctor’s free 14-day trial today!

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