One of the most effective tools for controlling labor costs is the time clock. And while punching a time card at a clock worked for many years, businesses can no longer afford to waste the effort it takes to manually fill out time sheets.

That’s why more and more businesses have moved towards virtual time clocks – software that allows employers to set schedules and employees to clock in and out of their jobs on digital devices. These tools range from simple clock-in-clock-out systems to robust software that includes live reporting and features for every type of employee.

We’ve rounded up five of the top employee time clocks that are perfect for small businesses looking to track time more efficiently and not spend too much money in the process. Each has its unique strengths, so read on to learn which virtual time clock is perfect for your small business.

1. Chronotek – Best for service-based companies.

We may be biased, but we truly believe that Chronotek offers the most trusted and useful time tracking software for businesses. Not only can employees clock in and out from anywhere and on any device, but supervisors are able to create and monitor schedules, communicate effectively with their team, and view a variety of reports.

Chronotek is the perfect time clock tracking solution for service-based businesses, like cleaning and security companies.

Price: $5 per employee per month, plus a $14 based fee each month.

2. Homebase – Best for brick-and-mortar stores.

Homebase offers the same as many time tracking software, with added features for hiring and onboarding. While the Basic plan is free and only covers one location, Homebase enables employees to track their work time, breaks, and time-off requests from any device. Employers can prepare timesheets for payroll, use the online schedule builder, and share team announcements. Many more features are available via the premium plans.

Homebase is an excellent option for brick-and-mortar small businesses looking for a free time clock.

Price: Free for one location. More features are available in premium plans.

3. When I Work – Best for complex scheduling.

When I Work allows supervisors to build complex schedules for large teams up to one week in advance (in the free version). Employees can clock in and out from their mobile phones or you can set up a terminal on-site for them to use. While When I Work is similar to other time tracking software and beats out the competition with being free for up to 75 users, the free plan does have serious limitations for businesses looking to cut back on time spent on payroll and reporting.

When I Work is the perfect solution for businesses with complex scheduling, like retail and restaurants, who simply want a time clock.

Price: Free for a single team or location with up to 75 users. More features are available in premium plans.

4. Humanity – Simple and useful for a variety of industries.

Humanity is another web-based time clock software that allows your employees to clock in and out from any device. Their auto-scheduling helps you automatically fill schedules by matching the correct person with the correct shift and time slots, saving you time. While the premium plans are more robust, the Starter plan allows you to simply manage and track schedules.

Humanity is simple but fits the basic needs for a variety of industries.

Price: $3 per user per month ($80 per month minimum).

5. Toggl – Best for project-based work.

Toggl is time tracking software built for project-based work. They are all about productivity and helping your team see where their time is spent. You can break down hours by projects, clients, and tasks to see what is profiting and what is holding your business back. If real-time tracking doesn’t work for your team, you can integrate your calendar, along with a variety of other apps and software.

Toggl is built best for businesses like marketing and design agencies but work for any project-based team.

Price: Free. More features are available in premium plans.

Choosing the right time clock software for your team isn’t easy with so many options out there. We hope this helped you narrow down your choices and find the perfect solution for your time tracking needs.