BambooHR is our choice for the best time and attendance system for automation. This full-service HR software has a base plan that includes valuable HR features, like HR management, employee self-service, hiring and onboarding, reports and alerts, and employee surveys. Users can also add on extra features, such as time and attendance, payroll and performance management. The software is customizable, and users can choose from several workflows and approvals to automate. The software is cloud-based and intuitive, so administrators, managers and employees can easily access it from any location.
BambooHR Editor’s Score: 94/100
Why BambooHR Is Best for Automation
Although most time and attendance systems are designed to help you save time, BambooHR takes this one step further by enabling a variety of workflows and approvals. Instead of manually moving employee data through the time and attendance process, users can set up workflows that automate steps with triggers and alerts, and funnel tasks to the necessary people. In addition, requesters and admins can check activity progress to gain status visibility. Not many competitors offer this feature, but it can be extremely useful for identifying bottlenecks so you can streamline your processes further.
BambooHR also offers automation tools for the software’s dashboard functionality. Employees can use the software to access self-service functions and take control of their information, and admins can customize each employee’s access level.
Key takeaway: BambooHR lets you automate the approval process for your most common workflows, as well as view progress bars.
- BambooHR can automate HR workflows, such as employee onboarding, time tracking, performance management and payroll.
- The BambooHR dashboard is intuitive and easy to navigate.
- Users can set policies based on people, departments and locations.
- BambooHR does not list pricing online.
- BambooHR does not include employee scheduling features.
BambooHR lets you automate a variety of HR processes, and this automation contributes to the overall long-term usability of the service. However, because BambooHR offers so much customization, you may experience an initial setback in short-term usability while you set up your approvals and workflows. Once your approvals and workflows are established, the BambooHR dashboard is very easy for employees and managers to navigate and use, and it can streamline several HR functions.
Employees can use the web-based dashboard to track hours worked, request paid time off (PTO), view company calendars and organization charts, check timesheets and fix timecard errors. They can even access employee training programs, which not all competitors offer.
Tip: Employees can use the BambooHR mobile app to perform many of the same functions the web browser dashboard offers. However, some users reported that the mobile app isn’t quite as easy to navigate. If a mobile app is your top priority, test it out before making a commitment.
BambooHR offers a variety of HR features to help you streamline your HR functions, like approvals and workflows, time tracking, PTO management, HR management and payroll.
Here are some of the services you receive with BambooHR:
|Automation||BambooHR has prebuilt and customizable approval workflows for users to automate their HR processes.|
|Time tracking||With the time tracking add-on, you can track employee hours (worked, OT, holidays), create timesheets, set approval workflows and export reports to payroll.|
|PTO management||You can set PTO policies and accruals based on people, departments and locations. Employees can use the self-service functions to check their PTO balance and submit requests.|
|Payroll||You can use BambooHR’s in-house payroll service or integrate with a third-party payroll provider.|
Many of the HR functions BambooHR offers can be automated. By creating customized approvals and workflows, the software automatically funnels human resources tasks to the appropriate next steps. For example, you can set up automations for PTO management, time tracking, timesheets, payroll, alerts and notifications, reports, and more. Unlike many competitors, BambooHR can also streamline other HR management functions, like applicant tracking, employee hiring and onboarding, training tracking, data protection, and employee compensation.
Approvals and workflows help speed up your HR processes by delegating tasks and removing bottlenecks. Although they can take a bit of time to set up in a way that is completely customized to meet your needs, these workflows are incredibly useful.
BambooHR also offers prebuilt workflows to help speed up your setup time. For example, if you want to automate a common HR process, such as promotion requests, the software can automatically send the initiated request to all key stakeholders for approval (e.g., executive, finance member, HR member). BambooHR will send out automatic email alerts to these members and allow them to approve or deny the requests with just a few clicks. BambooHR lets requesters and approvers check approval progress bars to see the current status of requests. This efficient and transparent process speeds up the approval process and reveals any bottlenecks.
If you add the time tracking function, you gain access to several time and attendance features. For example, employees can clock in and out within the BambooHR software or mobile app, and then the software automatically generates employee timesheets for hours worked, overtime and holiday hours. Admins can customize individual access for users to review, edit or approve employee hours.
BambooHR can send automatic reminders to employees each pay period to ensure that they input the correct hours for that period. The software can also track hours worked on specific projects, clients, locations or tasks. With the mobile app, managers can use GPS tracking to ensure employees are working at the correct locations. If an employee worked overtime, the software can automatically calculate overtime pay.
Businesses can create approval workflows so that employee timesheets are automatically sent to managers for review and approval at the end of each pay period. The approved employee hours recorded in BambooHR will appear in a report that you can export to your payroll system. These automated processes can help your business streamline operations, maintain legal HR compliance and reduce errors.
Admins can customize automated PTO policies and accruals based on teams, individuals, locations and departments. When an employee submits a PTO request, it can be automatically sent to the appropriate manager for approval or denial. Once the manager has reviewed the request and taken action, the software automatically sends their response to the employee and updates the employee’s PTO balance.
Employees can use the self-service functions to check their PTO balance and requests, and there is a PTO calendar to keep everyone on the same page. Users can access PTO reports if necessary.
You can use BambooHR’s internal payroll service (with the payroll add-on) or integrate with your preferred payroll service provider. If you add the in-house payroll service, BambooHR can streamline your payroll processes by automatically filing payroll taxes and end-of-year forms. Employees can use BambooHR to access self-service payroll information, like pay stubs, direct deposit details and withholdings.
Most competitors we evaluated let you integrate with third-party payroll providers, but very few offer their own in-house payroll services.
BambooHR differs from many of the other time and attendance solutions we reviewed because the time and attendance system is not the company’s core offering. Instead, BambooHR offers two HR packages (Essentials and Advantage) that come with features such as HR management, employee hiring and employee onboarding. The company also provides the option to add payroll, time tracking and performance management features.
BambooHR offers month-to-month plans that are priced per employee, but the company does not list its pricing online. Some user reviews say BambooHR base plans begin around $6 to $8 per employee per month, but you will need to contact a representative to receive a custom quote. The software comes with a seven-day free trial, which can be a good way to test out the features before you make a commitment.
Key takeaway: BambooHR plans are priced per employee. Users looking for time and attendance features will need to inquire about the time tracking add-on.
BambooHR’s cloud-based software can be accessed on web browsers and mobile devices. The company offers a seven-day free trial, but you will need to contact a support rep to get started with a paid plan that meets your HR needs.
Through approvals and workflows, BambooHR can greatly simplify your overall HR process. The initial setup for customizing the automations takes a little more effort than we saw with some competitors. However, to help speed up your setup time, BambooHR offers prebuilt workflow templates for common workplace processes.
One benefit of setting up BambooHR is the integrations with third-party applications. If you don’t want to use the company’s in-house payroll system, you can integrate with a third-party payroll system. BambooHR also has an open API and app marketplace, so there is a good chance you will be able to integrate with many of the business applications you already use.
Another company that offers time and attendance automation and strong third-party software integrations is Rippling. Check out our review of Rippling to compare the services.
BambooHR offers a wealth of online resources, including blogs, a content library, a webinar library, HR guides, an HR glossary, HR software calculators and HR crisis recovery information. If you are looking for direct support, you can reach a support agent via email or phone Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. MST. This level of customer support is pretty standard in the time and attendance industry.
BambooHR is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and it has a B- rating. Although we like to see our best picks accredited, this is not necessarily a reflection of the type of service you will receive with BambooHR. The company has thousands of positive customer ratings on other review platforms.
One potential drawback of BambooHR is that, unlike many of its competitors, it does not list pricing on its website. Some users claim that BambooHR can be expensive, but the pricing depends greatly on factors such as how many employees you have, and which features and add-ons you need. To get a pricing estimate, you may need to contact the company directly.
Although the lack of transparent pricing is not a dealbreaker for everyone, it is something to consider. If you need a low-cost time and attendance system, check out our review of OnTheClock and our review of When I Work.
Another limitation of BambooHR is that is does not come with the employee scheduling features that many competitors offer – for example, drag-and-drop scheduling, schedule templates, and shift swaps and drops. However, the software does integrate with third-party employee scheduling platforms.
We spent weeks researching and analyzing time and attendance systems to identify the top solutions on the market. We looked at features, pricing, integrations, usability and customer support, and we got hands-on experience with demos and product videos when possible. When looking for the best time and attendance solution for automation specifically, we prioritized features such as workflow automations, dashboard usability, policy creation and customization.
What Is a Time and Attendance System?
A time and attendance system is a digital solution that employees use to clock in and out via web browsers, mobile apps and tablet kiosks. Although the specific features and hardware vary among systems, businesses often use time and attendance systems to track employee hours and locations, schedule employee shifts, manage paid time off, track job and project expenses and communicate with team members.
How do you log in to BambooHR?
Depending on your settings, you can log in to the software using your email and password or use the single-sign-on feature to log in with your Gmail account. The login process is the same for both the web dashboard and the mobile app.
How much does BambooHR cost?
The total cost of your BambooHR plan will depend on the features you need and how many employees you have. Although you will have to contact a representative for a customized quote, user reviews claim the base plans begin around $6 to $8 per employee per month.
We recommend BambooHR for …
- Businesses that want to automate HR workflows (e.g., employee onboarding, time tracking, performance management, payroll).
- Businesses that want an easy-to-use dashboard.
We don’t recommend BambooHR for …
- Businesses that are looking for advanced employee scheduling features.
- Businesses that want to view immediate pricing online.