The 7 Best Time and Attendance Software Solutions in the UK 2023

Rob Binns

Based on our meticulous research, we've found that Kelio by Bodet is the superior time and attendance solution for UK businesses. Its user-friendly and intuitive interface makes it a very versatile software that can help you easily take care of job costing, planning, and personnel administration.

With homeworking becoming increasingly more popular, switching to a robust time and attendance solution is a critical business decision. When you're on the hunt for a time and attendance software, there should be 3 main criteria on your shopping list: flexibility, ease of use, and integrability with your existing payroll service. If you find this trifecta of features, then you'll have a robust time and attendance software in your hands.

But which time and attendance software package is right for your business? Even though we recommend Kelio as the top choice, your business will have its own specific needs. To compare providers and quotes, fill in our quick and free quotes comparison tool that will help you find the supplier that works for you.


The best time and attendance software for UK businesses in 2023

We compared the leading time and attendance software solutions on the market, analysing the features and totting up the benefits. Our top 7 time and attendance software providers are Bodet, Planday, Advanced, Actin Time, TimeTrex, Replicon, and Chronicle Computing.

Below you’ll find our top 7 time and attendance software reviews, which include pros and cons, key functionality and USPs (unique selling points), and (where we could find it!) pricing info, too.

If you’re a bit short on time, though, you can start comparing time and attendance quotes with us – right here, right now. Our free 30-second questionnaire lets us get to know your exact software requirements, which we then use to pair you with one or more leading time and attendance system suppliers.

If we can match you up successfully, these providers will be in touch soon, offering tailored time and attendance software quotes and advice. Again, our form is free, and takes less than a minute – ideal if you just want to get straight down to business. Hit one of the buttons below to dive in!

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What is time and attendance software?

Time and attendance software is an application that tracks your employees’ hours as they arrive at and leave work.

Is it about spying on your employees? No. Is it about implementing a quicker, more effective, and basically foolproof approach to workforce management? Absolutely!

The data that your time and attendance software collects feeds straight into your payroll and HR systems. This helps ensure that you’re paying staff the right amount, and makes things easier when it comes to organising the rota. Time and attendance software also enables you to stay on top of employee taxes and holiday pay, and understand patterns relating to absenteeism or lateness.

Time and attendance software is almost always cloud-based, meaning it’s accessible from your browser, rather than on a pre-installed system only. This makes the software super mobile – you can manage staff records and juggle shift patterns from wherever in the world you happen to be working.

Oh, and the software usually makes up just one half of a complete time and attendance system. You’ll also want to consider what a clocking-in device can do for you – it’s a machine that allows your staff to physically check in, using either a card, fob, or their own biometric data (such as a fingerprint or facial pattern).

Here, we won’t be focussing on the hardware side of things – although we do that in great detail in our guide to the top 10 clocking-in systems for UK businesses.

For the best time and attendance software, though, read on.


Kelio by Bodet

Best for its range of versatile products

Bodet’s flagship time and attendance software, ‘Kelio’, has spent about three decades being fine-tuned and perfected – and it shows. Kelio’s user-friendly and intuitive interface underpins the software’s unfettered versatility. After all, Kelio doesn’t just handle time tracking – it takes care of job costing, planning, and personnel administration, too. Reporting is a breeze, while you can customise pretty much everything to your business’ setup. Our only grumble is a minor one – Bodet’s pricing isn’t transparent, so it’s tough to know exactly what your ongoing costs for Kelio will be, which could potentially be expensive. However, if you want a service that won't stretch your wallet, we ‘d recommend taking a look at Planday.

To find out more about Bodet’s impressive range of time and attendance tools, head to our Bodet review.

Pros

  • Adaptable to remote, office, and warehouse conditions alike
  • Monitors hours and absences in real time, and provides live reports and alerts
  • Comes with over 150 years of experience

Cons

  • Can't access pricing information immediately online...
  • ...though we’re pretty sure Bodet’s industry-leading technology doesn’t come cheap!

Planday

Best for employee collaboration

Unlike most of the other time and attendance software solutions here, Planday doesn’t require a physical clocking-in machine to operate. Rather, your staff can simply check in for work via their smartphones, using Planday’s slick, user-friendly app. Shift planning is a breeze, with colour-coded, drag-and-drop rotas helping you stop up any gaps in the staff calendar. However, the sad bit is that it doesn't let you auto-populate rotas, so if you're looking for a supplier that covers this base, we'd encourage you to direct your gaze towards Advanced, which has a feature known as Auto-Rostering.

Reporting features help you drill down into the metrics that matter, while a chat tool helps you keep in touch with employees while connecting them with each other. This makes shift swaps a breeze, and helps staff let management know in case of lateness or absence.

Planday time and attendance software interface on a smartphone, punch clock functionality

Planday’s geofencing technology allows your staff to sign in for work when they get close, and add notes to inform of any issues or lateness


Oh, and did we mention? Planday is highly affordable.

You’ll pay a monthly fee of just £1.99 per user, per month for Planday’s cheapest plan, ‘Starter’. With payroll reporting, basic labour cost tracking, and templates for employee and job role scheduling, it’s a feature-rich time and attendance software package.

Starter

Plus

Pro

Enterprise 

£1.99£2.99£4.99

Bespoke

For teams with more comprehensive needs, ‘Plus’ offers value at the price of £4 per user, per month. It adds overtime management and advanced reporting, plus employee file management capabilities.

Basically, Planday offers all the tools you’ll require to spend less time managing your staff, without getting bogged down with the hardware.

You can try it free for 30 days.

Pros

  • Affordable, with a generous 30-day free trial
  • Simple to use, sporting a striking, aesthetically pleasant interface
  • Highly rated online
  • Strong customer support

Cons

  • Lacks the functionality to auto-populate rotas
  • Not supported by any physical devices for employee attendance data capture
Did You Know?

“Buddy-punching”, where an employee clocks another employee in, costs companies about £322 million per year. Therefore, having a robust time and attendance software is crucial!


Advanced

Best for employee self-service tools

Advanced (formerly Mitrefinch) works with you to understand your business’ needs, and tailor a software package that's a snug fit for the size and nature of your workforce. You can adapt Advanced’s time and attendance software in almost limitless ways, with a variety of scheduling and rota functions. You can avoid having too many employees away on holiday simultaneously, and track unusual shift patterns with ease. Moreover, Advanced empowers your employees to take their calendars into their own hands – they’ll have the ability to view their data, and request time off in real time. Advanced also has a shiny new feature called Auto-Rostering. In short, it's an automatic rostering module that has been designed to ease the burden of complex staff rostering, saving you time and money. With it, you get access to roster templates, skills mapping, and an employee trade board.

The somewhat frustrating part is that Advanced – like many other providers – isn't transparent about their rate so if you want a solution that you know is cheap and user-friendly, we'd recommend looking into Planday.

Like all time and attendance solutions, Advanced has both its drawcards and drawbacks. On the bright side, its range of software products – including HR and payroll, plus modules for workforce and absence management – are all split out, so you’ll only pay for the specific features you need.

On the other hand, Advanced doesn’t advertise any of its rates online… so this particular investment is a tough one to budget for!

Up next: Advanced Time and Attendance System Review

Pros

  • Boasts mostly excellent customer reviews
  • Payroll and other reporting functions integrate with your existing software
  • UK-based support
  • GDPR compliant

Cons

  • Rates aren’t transparent
  • Not as customisable as some of the other time and attendance software providers here
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Actin Time

Best for integrating with external software

Actin Time is a great option if you're looking for a workforce management system that can double as an army knife for integrations. It can be easily integrated with softwares like Sage, Pegasus, Earnier, IRIS, ADP, CIPHR, MoorePay, and more. Therefore, it's likely Actin Time will melt seamlessly with your pre-existing payroll software infrastructure, which not only saves you headaches but also money. Aside from its great compatibility with external software, Actin Time also has generous customer suport. They offer free nonobligatory time and attendance advice, and 100% hand-holding experience from the offset. However, the set up at the beginning and customisation can be a bit clunky at the start, so if you're looking for a provider that is known for a sleek interface, we'd say to look at Kelio or Replicon.

Like all time and attendance solutions, Actin Time has both its drawcards and drawbacks. On the bright side, it has a solid range of external software you can pair it with, helping bulk up your workforce management muscle. It also promises great customer support, which is important to have during your onboarding process.

On the other hand, Actin Time doesn’t advertise any of its rates online… so this particular investment is a tough one to budget for!

Up next: Advanced Time and Attendance System Review

Pros

  • Great range of compatible external software, like Pegasus and Sage
  • Wide range of experience in multiple industries
  • Solid customer support

Cons

  • Rates aren’t transparent
  • Can be a bit clunky at the beginning as you customise it

TimeTrex

Best open source time and attendance software

We’ll level with you. If you’re looking for eye-catching, stylish time and attendance software, skip back to Planday – because TimeTrex isn’t for you. Still, despite having only looked modern around the time of the dot-com boom, there’s plenty to love about TimeTrex. Because what it lacks in visual flair, it makes up for in its industrious, no-frills approach. Easy to get the hang of and with all the essential payroll, scheduling, and leave management functions you’d expect, TimeTrex should tick most of the boxes for small UK businesses. The downside is that TimeTrex lacks a polished interface, so if this is a definite for you, Replicon or Kelio might be the answer.

And we haven’t even got to TimeTrex’s best feature yet – that it’s completely open source.

This means you can mess around with the code, using it as a blank cheque upon which to write the unique requirements of your team. You’ll need to be fairly tech-savvy, of course – but, for the right type of business, the flexibility that open source time and attendance software provides is truly liberating.

Pros

  • Sufficient (albeit basic) mobile app
  • Free demo available
  • Deployable as both a cloud-based and on-premise solution

Cons

  • Feature-wise, TimeTrex lags behind the other suppliers here
  • TimeTrex’s (fairly rudimentary) interface lacks polish
  • Prices aren't transparent

Replicon

Easiest time and attendance software to use

Replicon’s wide range of time and attendance software products and pricing plans means there’s something for businesses of all shapes and sizes to enjoy. And, while those prices are a little tough to get your head around initially (see below for what we mean here!), at least you’ll know exactly what you can expect to pay. Add in Replicon’s smooth user experience (UX), industry-specific feature roll, and litany of effusive customer reviews, and it’s one of our top time and attendance software picks. Having said that, Replicon is quite expensive, so if you want something more affordable, take a look at Planday.

TimeAttend Quick Start

TimeAttend Plus

Workforce Management

Global Time and Gross Pay Automation

$3 for up to 5 users, $5 per additional user

$12 

$19 

Bespoke

Replicon is slightly pricier than other options analysed on this list. The cheapest plan allows you to work an operation of 5 users for $3 per user, per month, having to put down an extra $5 per additional user (keep in mind their prices are only advertised in USD).  You can choose to upgrade to TimeAttend Plus or Workforce Management for up to $19 per user, per month, which tend to be their most popular options due to a greater access to features. If you have more money to invest and want the more robust option, you can reach out to their sales team for a bespoke quote.

For small businesses, we'd recommend opting for the TimeAttend Plus package. Larger enterprises will likely be using Replicon's more lucrative (bespoke) offers.

Pros

  • 24/7 support
  • Free 14-day trial available
  • Replicon provides regular live and on-demand webinars

Cons

  • Prices are billed in US dollars, and difficult to get to grips with
  • And, all told, it’s pretty expensive!
  • Its reporting features are a bit lacklustre

Chronicle Computing

Best for data visualisation and reporting

Like all good time and attendance software, Chronicle is completely cloud-based, allowing you to access information about your staff from anywhere in the world. Chronicle also works with any app, in any browser – all you need is an internet connection. Pick Chronicle, and you’ll (literally) never be out of touch with crucial information about your staff and business. The sad part is that Chronicle is not as customisable as other providers, so if you want a time and attendance solution that you can mold in any direction your heart desires, Replicon or Actin Time might be the options for you.

Chronicle's savvy software solution lets you track time and attendance data in real time, while you can generate hour and payroll reports – and stay on top of wage bills – in a matter of clicks.  Crunching your business’s key data is simple, and the engaging graphs and charts Chronicle produces are as simple to export as they are to understand.

Did You Know?

Chronicle claims they can save you a tidy 5% a year on your staffing bills. We can’t tell you exactly how, though, because the company doesn’t showcase its prices online.

Best of all, though, is Chronicle’s attractive, vibrant interface. Straightforward to use, and with an easy learning curve, Chronicle is ideal for time and attendance software newbies.

Pros

  • Free demo available
  • Completely UK-based customer support
  • Works with a wide selection of clocking-in hardware
  • Includes a WhatsApp live chat feature for convenience

Cons

  • Not as customisable as some of the other time and attendance software solutions here
Verdict

Based on our first-hand research and insights, we think the best time and attendance software is Kelio by Bodet. Its user -friendly and intuitive interface gives it lots of flexibility, which is a definite must if you're on the hunt for a solution that will melt straight into your operation and spare you future headaches. However, if you feel that Kelio isn't for you, we'd also recommend taking a look at Planday because of its sleek color-coded, drag-and-drop rotas that make shift planning a painless task.

If you're still unsure about which time and attendance software to go for, don't fret! Our free quote comparison tool can help you reach your own verdict. Simply provide us with a few details about your business and we'll match you with the suppliers servicing your area.

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Once all that’s taken care of, you'll receive tailored, no-obligation quotes from top time and attendance system software suppliers. It’s that simple.

FAQs

What is open source time and attendance software?
‘Open source' refers to software solutions that make their source code freely available. This means that others can redistribute and change it – that you can view, copy, and tweak the code to produce an application that’s expertly tailored to the specific requirements of your business.

Open source time and attendance software is typically very easy to get hold of through the internet. And, in many cases, it’s free!

Of course, taking a fairly complex piece of source code and turning it into a fully-functioning business application isn’t the easiest thing in the world – but, if done well, you’ll get a system that’s infinitely more scalable than a typical, off-the-shelf time and attendance software solution.

What is cloud-based time and attendance software?
Most – if not all – time and attendance software these days is cloud-based. 

Put simply, this means that your business’ time and attendance data is stored ‘in the cloud’ – on the servers of your software provider, rather than in a data storage facility housed on your business’ own premises.

Put even more simply, it means you’re not restricted to managing the system from  a single computer, or from a set of devices in a fixed location. You can view, update, and share data in real-time, from whenever, wherever.

What is timesheet software?

Though often (incorrectly) used interchangeably with the time and attendance software we’ve been discussing here, timesheet software is actually a more basic – yet more budget-friendly – solution for businesses.

While timesheet software’s functionality is more or less limited to rota organisation and payroll processing, time and attendance software encompasses a much broader range of functions. That includes workforce management, HR integration, and access control – not to mention seamless interactivity with the clocking-in terminals and business security systems you’ll want installed on your premises.

To learn more about what time and attendance software’s stripped-back alternative can do for your business – and explore top UK providers, of course – head to our guide to the best timesheet software.

How much does time and attendance software cost?
Time and attendance software costs vary from provider to provider. Some, such as Planday, start at £2 per user, per month, while most don’t advertise their prices at all. This is usually because time and attendance software prices are bespoke, and will typically be tailored to your business’s team size, along with the features you require.

Like other SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) products, time and attendance software is leased. This means that – unlike with the hardware, which you’ll purchase outright – you’ll pay a monthly license fee to use the software.

For a full rundown of what you can expect to pay when you invest in a time and attendance system, explore our guide to time and attendance prices.

Of course, the easiest (and quickest) way to getting acquainted with the most accurate time and attendance software quotes is still through our free questionnaire. You already know how it works – simply hit one of the buttons below to get going. Happy researching!

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Written by:
Rob Binns
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.