Isn’t it quite exasperating to go and sneak over each of your employee and see what they are doing? The worst part is to set their clocks manually while working, to track their work shifts.
As the boss of a company, it becomes a big responsibility to see and track all the work done by them. Even if you employ someone to do that, it will still be difficult to stretch it so long using hands.
So, how do I check the work shift of my employees? How do I assign projects to them and track their work on these projects?
For all these tasks, what you really need is Robust Time Tracking. Well, the stopwatch isn’t going to do anything more than just recording the time. So, what should I do?
- Robust UI with a very detailed setup for Time Tracking.
- Time tracking via manual clock in and clock out timers.
- Two different time clocks, viz. timecard and timer, for personalized time
- Very easy and detailed configuration for modes like time tracking, billing, and paychecks.
- Good number of integrations from other software like QuickBooks, Reckon, Sage, Xero, etc.
- Automatic time sheets calculations along with a detailed report of the same.
- Top grade invoicing features and allows multiple payment gateways.
- Admins can export reports in more than 6 types of different file formats like xls, xlsx, txt, pdf, etc.
- Top class project management and follow up system, with provision of separate rates for each project and its tasks.
- Available on desktop as well as mobile
- Manual startup and closing of the time tracker.
- No dedicated employee monitoring system.
- Does not have screenshots features, nor does it have away time counter.
- Too much personalization can make it tough for novice users to grasp its working in earlier use.
- No keystroke or mouse activity monitoring in it.
- No data for productivity and efficiency of the employees, nor does it have proper performance comparison system.
- No alert system for long breaks, inactivity, etc. It does have no clock in and clock out alerts, on both mobile SMS and Email.
- UI has a very old office suite vibe along with small fonts and mediocre color scheme, which needs to be improvised.
- No project management based integrations like asana, GitHub, etc.
Here comes the lifesaver for you all work freaks! To do an amazing time tracking along with salary calculations and payments, you will need a Time Tracking Software.
Among such tracking tool, appears a robust product named eBillity Time Tracker. Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York; this tool has risen on top from its founding year 2008..
The main aim of this company was to aid the organization in tracking time and provide billing accordingly. Combined with billing, payroll, and legal category of the software, they have helped many companies in getting lag-free implementation of the services.
In this review, we are using the trial version of eBillity’s Time Tracker along with the Billing add-on. Now, it is time for us to check details of the tool and see if they have indeed given a robust tool.
Using The Tool
Before you jump on this train and get loaded, it is important to know the destination you will be heading. The main destination here is time tracking and automated billing of the employees.
With this, comes along other features like project tracking, cost calculation, client control, and so on. But first, the core concept of time tracking must be known.
The main aim of time tracking tool is to track work time and generate reports on actual work time, breaks, productive time, and so on. The conclusion is to get the performance of employees and then to calculate their salary structure.
Now, you may say that time tracking can be done easily using a stopwatch or a clock. Well, will a stopwatch keep track of your breaks, slack time and so on? Probably no, and so we need a tool to track all these times.
In case of eBillity Time Tracker, they have provided various features to do so. In the current version, they have given some extra add-ons along with regular tracking tool. They have included billing, legal document tracking, and a payroll option to automate salary crediting.
When it comes to eBillity, they have been generous in providing for the means to evaluate the software. They have given a full month free of charge trial product. In this, users can select any add-on from billing, payroll, and legal to be added in trial version of time tracker.
We have used the time tracking +billing for our testing based on current context. Now, let us see how the tool works.
The big difference that many advanced users will notice here is that eBillity’s time tracker does not come with a separate setup for a desktop app like other time tracking tools. They have given a time tracker for mobiles, windows store and on the kiosk app.
It is noteworthy that there is no native desktop app currently in it. This is one of the flaws in our view the tool has. The intention to not provide an automated tracker may be different for the developers but a feature to autostart tracking procedure must be done.
Other time trackers like Hubstaff, Time Doctor, DeskTime, etc. have given a dedicated tool to track the time. These software have automated it such that with every startup, it turns ON and starts tracking the work shift.
We will discuss time tracking in detail in next section. The other features it has is automated bill generation. They also support client logins and interaction.
We will discuss extra feature like billing too. Once the tracking is done, it will store all data, which can be later exported. There are several entries that will be reviewed in next section.
Main Features in eBillity’s Time Tracker
In the current section, we are going to use all core features as well as secondary features and see if they have provided good usability of the software.
For that, we will start with core feature of the package, i.e., time tracking.
As you can deduce by the term itself, time tracker is used to track time of employees. So, how does this tool tracks time?
How will it differentiate between breaks and work hours? Can it automatically calculate my payroll from it?
All these questions will be reviewed here, so just relax and keep reading. First of all, just like any traditional time tracker, eBillity uses a stopwatch to note the time.
Once you have arranged for the setup either on your phone, tablet, or Windows 10, you must first start the app. Isn’t it really annoying doing this every day? Reminds me of those old times office clocks!
Nevertheless, after manually starting the app and logging into the account, you will see a timer card. By default, the timer has a stopwatch mode, and there are two kinds of timer given by eBillity in this.
The first one we mentioned here is the Timecard. Just like any card with a timer on it, the UI is quite simple in it. The timecard has some typical details like current date and time, total elapsed time, pay status today, etc.
It also has a blank space for adding a description for clock in and clock out time. In the section just below it, you will see your name, project currently working on, and the project tasks.
There is a big button on the bottom of this card with Take a break, Clock-out, and Clock-in options. These terms are self-explanatory. This setup is constant for all timecards on all devices.
And so, whenever you start the app before your work, you will need to clock in to start the tracking procedure. There is also a button in green besides these named as Switch projects.
This button is used to switch the project and related tasks. The time tracker will note the duration of various projects along with total work shift hour. This was how the time tracker works in eBillity’s service.
Now, we talk about another clock, which is known as Timers. There are some hefty differences between both of these trackers.
While the timecard is very sleek and simple, Timer is more complicated and is for advanced users. The time tracking methods can be changed in general settings of admin account.
In the Timer UI, the timer top has a start, stop, and reset button. The top title bar will show the employee name, status in the company, and current date.
The next section has fields to add usernames, date, client project name, activity name, and description. You can see radio buttons for billing method( hourly or flat fee), work type( regular or overtime).
Users can also set the time limit for that project along with hourly rate for that task. And so, judging from this setup, Timers are indeed not for novice users. It is to be used for precise tracking of each task and activity along with individual rates.
This was how the time tracker worked in eBillity. Now we need to compare it with other similar tools. The first thing that is to be checked in the tracking method.
Just like other time tracking tools, eBillity has used similar stopwatch feature to monitor work hours. There are many differences in these tools. Most of the tools are highly advanced with many unique features, but eBillity had a very basic setup.
Other features in time tracking like billing and invoice making, mobile time tracking, employee database, and timesheet were given in it. But some things were missing, like the automated screenshots, and other employee monitoring tools.
Now, most of the time trackers today have upgraded their UI to include screenshots of the user’s screen. This is useful given that you can monitor staff members directly without the need for any physical walk.
Let us hope they add screenshots feature too in this time tracking tool. Other than this, the time tracker is 100% manual. This means that users need to enter the clock and then exit it manually. This does put it on a disadvantage than other time trackers.
There is no difference between a normal stopwatch on your phone and this. Only difference is that it can also calculate the price. This is the first thing they need to update with more sophisticated features.
Other similar products have full automation with a preset clock-in and clock-out times, which allows staff members some freedom. The breaks are also to be set manually, which becomes more annoying later on.
There were times while testing, over which some of our mates forgot to set the clock off. This resulted in getting over 72 hours of work shifts showing at the weekends. This can be rectified by using the delete time option, but doing such manual editing, again and again, is not UI friendly.
Overall, the time tracker function has all regular office features, but lack of automation is what makes it a bit less preferable than other tools like Hubstaff, Time Doctor, DeskTime, etc.
Now, let us see how to monitor your employees using this tool. As we have said before, there is no screenshot feature, and so we will have to look over the manual interface.
Employee monitoring is very different in this tool. Unlike other tools that give you full detailed list in a worksheet as well as graphical way, eBillity has a very basic method to determine the same.
There is no dedicated employee monitoring system in eBillity anyways. To cope up with this, users will need to use the employee time tracking sheets.
Now, the staff members can manipulate these sheets if they have access to it, unless you are a vigilant cat. Otherwise, they can simply hide behind the desk and surf Kardashians, and as a boss, you may not have a single clue about it.
There is a report section for time tracking too. In this report, admins can see the total work shift of each staff members. In this list, they can see time spent by them on each of projects and also total time shift of that day.
In the entries tab on top navigation bar, admins can view all reports generated by the tool regarding time shifts. The first sub-tab here is the Weekly Timesheets.
So basically, weekly timesheets will give you details about an individual’s shift in a given week. It will include the reports of each project, each client, and each task done in the stipulated time period.
However, there is an option to add manual data to this entry. Admins can add time from other shifts where clocks were not available. However, this again proves lack of automation in the tool.
Another thing noteworthy here is that, these records are editable, and this increases the chances of manipulations. Many monitoring tools have a strict rule where users cannot edit recorded times and can only add extra shifts outside the recorded time. This allows lesser chances for malicious manipulations.
The users can see all hourly based data too in this report. It can be exported into traditional CSV format. Users can look at the report via Week Work and in Payroll Period. The second tab gives further details about Time, Expenses & Notes.
This tab will yield the details about expenses, total time, and additional notes. One good thing provided here is the additional expense tab. In this, admins can add whatever expense they give to any staff, like in lunch, dinner, travel, etc.
These expenses can be automated on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The costing is automatically reimbursed as per cost and markup rates. So, this was all about the employee monitoring system in eBillity’s Time Tracker.
All in all, it still needs a hell lot of feature to make it to top in employee monitoring, which currently is almost invisible in this setup.
It is time to assess the project management system in eBillity’s services. This section is also very common in most of the time tracking tools. This is to aid these services in accurately tracking project time for each task and then evaluating the employees based on that.
To access the project list, admins and users can head on to the Project List Tab on the top of the navigation bar. This tab will show the list of all projects added by the staff and admins.
To add a project in the list, click on the Add Project button on the top. Now, it will ask you to input the new project details like project name, project description, IDs, status, billing info, billing rates, number of users, and leader of project.
Once you have filled all details of the project, you can now see it in the listing on main project page. On top of these project lists, admins can see the total cost incurred.
You can also export project data in CSV files. When you move further into settings of these projects, you can input project views, add time entries, add expense entry, add notes, add files, and send a direct email to all the recipients in company.
Many things can be added similar to the staff monitoring tool, like selecting same project for all members, time constraints for projects, or adding a date calendar in it. Many such unique features need to be added in it, since it is a mediocre feature currently among this category.
This was all about the project management system in eBillity’s Time Tracker tool. It can be made better in future, which is necessary given the competition from other players like Hubstaff, Time Doctor, etc.
Now we move on to one of the most key features in eBillity Time Tracker. Along with the usual time tracking, it is also known for its automatic billing calculations.
In the billing section, admins can control and see the salary output and distributions, alongside any other expenses and total cost incurred for each employee.
Billing section can also be used by accessing Billing Tab in main menu. Under the billing tab, there are several sub-menu items like billing history, invoices, client payments, adjustments, and statements.
Now, most of these things are known from the name itself. The first tab will show the history of all billing done till now.
The second tab is used to publish and review invoices. To generate the invoices, click on Add Invoice button. To generate a mass invoice, hit the batch invoices button.
Once you click these, it will prompt you to add details of invoice. In this section, admins can add all the details regarding salary of employees. Only admins have right to add or remove certain time based on the performance.
The section for mass invoice dispatch is also same. Only difference is that it will generate the invoice of selected employees together. Admins can also add an option to split this invoice.
Overall, the entire process of invoice generation was quite smooth. On the main menu, admins can finalize the invoice generated. This means that you need to un-finalize them before editing them again.
After invoice section, comes the client payments section, this section is to add payment for the clients. Since you have already added the list of clients in user section, you now only need to select Add Payment.
In this tab, select the name of client, add payment method, and other details and voila! You have successfully added an invoice for your client. The procedure is same as the one we conducted in for employee’s salary.
The next section is for billing adjustments. Admins can add credit/debit alongside refunds. Just as you did it in the payments section, both these things are also easy to configure.
The concluding section is Statements. As the name itself suggests, this section is used to add account statements. The admins can view account statements from here. They can also send them to the selected employee.
This was all about the billing feature in eBillity Time Tracker. Compared to other services, it has performed like them in terms of additional features and billing calculations. One more thing we felt that would have been better, was having a time correction system.
Since the admins can manipulate time in staff sheets, it will be good to lock or send a verification to the affected client too. They can utilize any other secure method for time tracking with least possible modification and more transparent system. Other than this, the billing calculator was great, and it will definitely serve the designated purpose with ease.
Now comes the main section through which admin can make a quick grasp of ongoing condition. This section is none other than main dashboard itself.
In this section, admins can not only view their own report but also see ON clocks, reports, and contacts. The first tab is Overview Tab, which displays a list of projects, time summary, and current clock.
Usually, there is a bar graph given by most comparable products for easy understanding of work shifts. Similarly, eBillity has given a bar graph to summarize the work shift. This graph can be resorted based on daily, weekly, or monthly reports.
The shift can also be seen based on billing status. Orange color code is used for unbilled section, whereas blue for pre-billed and green for billed section.
The upcoming section is bit more interesting. It will give you details about the location of an employee. Using a GPS tech, On The Clock is used to check on the status of active staff members. It will show admins location as well as current project they are working on.
This is a nice feature to keep a track on your staff members and see if there is unauthorized access to service from other locations. Overall, it is a nice UI addition.
Now, let us hit the last nail and review the main topic of this section, i.e., reports. To begin with, main report section can be found in the Reports tab on main dashboard.
The reports section is quite detailed, and so it will need both patience and understanding to use it properly. There are several tabs in it like user list, client entry, tax, rate, invoice, etc.
Let us check these options one by one. The first tab is Users section. In this tab, there is a lot of filtering given to sieve even an ant from a sandbag.
Admins can filter reports based on user group, username, clients name, projects, date, and with different types, like activity done, expense type and project type. Select the account manager and display option.
Click on generate report button. This is the main report. It will list out details like username, project name, client name, date and time tracked, and all the bill information. There is also a color scheme used to indicate time period. In the end, entire cost of bill is displayed in the end.
The report is indeed very detailed here. When compared to other tools like Hubstaff, Time Doctor, etc., the report is on par with them.
The next entry you can see is the client entry tab. As you can deduct from the name itself, this tab will lead to more info on reports of your clients. Just like the user report, there are many filters in client entry section too.
However, there are some different options here like client status, name of all the projects undertaken, and report button based on that.
The report will contain individual projects along with users involved and their time period on each project along with payment details.
Next tab is the Project Summary Tab. This section lists out details of the projects undertaken along with a list of billable/non-billable hours. It will also show list of status of these projects, with users involved in them.
Until now, we have seen that the reports section here is not missing any details to be included in it. Let us check out further now.
The subsequent sections are for Expense and Contractor. As we have discussed about the expense part before, any extra costs like travel, dinner, or so on which most companies usually bear are included in this report.
Contractors are used to track the servicer of work and their time shifts. The report auto generates the bills as per the rates specified. You also need to set the margin before you assign those rates.
Other general options you can see in report’s sections are taxes, realization by invoices, payments, and receivable accounts. There is also a productivity report that lets admin see the progress of their work.
It is done by showing you the list of clients and matters resolved in selected time period. They will also show the total bills and hours for each client in this report. Similarly, the rates can also be viewed for different users and clients.
The User Summary report is used to generate a final summary report for nominated users. There are a number of filters similar to user entry report given in here too. There is also a client summary report similar to this. A more detailed version of both these reports is seen earlier in user entry and client entry report.
Finally, there are two more summary reports. One of them is Timesheet Summary, and other is Payroll Summary. In the timesheet summary, admins can see the total work hours, billable, non-billable, or un-billed and pre-billed hours for each user.
Lastly, the payroll summary is used to generate final report of payroll for each employee. This will display admins with date, time, project, activity, details, and pay format like regular pay, overtime, double times, paid/unpaid breaks, and a total of all these.
As we can see from the complete list of reports in above section, it is very much evident that eBillity has indeed done a very good job in making such a robust report generation system.
Only thing we feel that can be added is improved employee performance report. If this system is employed along with facility to incur charges for productive apps, unproductive apps, and other similar monitoring, it can surpass other related products.
So, this was all about the details in reports section. All these reports can be exported in several formats like pdf, text, xls, xlsx, word, image, etc. and so admins are at full flexibility to choose output format as per their ease.
There are some more features worth noting down in eBillity’s Time Tracker. These features are secondary and only act as fillers in main application.
One of such features is Contact Addition. As the name suggests, contact addition is used to add contacts into your online diary in the eBillity account. Using this contact list, you can directly add/remove/edit the clients.
The contact section can be categorized based on a single user, client, or a project. The form field options change as per the selected contact type from these three.
This is actually a good way to add new users, clients, and projects. After this, in the billing section, admins can directly use drop-down list and select any of these accordingly.
Admins can directly send emails to these contacts from this menu. Overall, this feature is a unique place to collaborate with different identities in one place without any confusion.
The next sub feature is the Integrations. When it comes about these, most customers think it as new add-on and fear for extra charges.
But, in eBillity and any such software tool, integrations are like add-on which are used to provide extra feature and services, in collaboration with third-party tools.
In eBillity’s Time Tracker, the main integrations given are QuickBooks online, and other similar accounting tools like Xero, Reckon, MYOB, Sage 50, and Clio. For payroll and other software, Concur, and Gusto is used.
These are enough integrations, but many more can be added, especially calendars like Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, etc. They also integrations from project management tools like Asana, Basecamp, GitHub, etc.
Other than this, there is no other notable feature in this tool. The mobile version is a ditto copy of the windows 10 app. It also worked in same manner as the desktop app.
The UI on both desktop and mobile interface were quite robust. Although new users may get confused seeing so many manual options but rest assured, you can learn it very fast.
But, there was one issue we thought must be addressed in app UI. This thing was fonts and size of navigation tabs and the content in it. The title and content fonts can have a size bigger than current one, to be more sound visually.
The top navigation buttons for entries, project, client, billing, and admin need a retouch in appearance along with sub-tabs for a better look. In our view currently, they can stress the eyes of far-sighted readers and so it must be addressed soon.
One more unique option that you will see is Create button on top right. Users can use it to directly add any new entries like time, expense, notes, invoice, etc. without worrying about searching for that particular entry.
One more thing we feel that needs a heavy emphasis on, is having a dedicated native Windows or MacOS app. This setup must be directly available on their site. It must have background monitoring like other tools as Hubstaff, Tahometer, Time Doctor, etc.
Both time counters, timecards and timers are decent for manual usage. If better automation can be added to them, it will be much better.
Overall, the features eBillity has endowed its time tracker with are amazing. You can accurately track your individual project time, billing rates, expense, and more such things as discussed above. As pointed out earlier, more integrations and tools with features for employee monitoring are lacking from it currently.
eBillity’s Time Tracker has indeed left very few loopholes to be pointed out for critics. Except for certain things that we have mentioned earlier regarding automation and integration, it is very dynamic software for time tracking.
Using entire tool will give you a good feel of accounting. Since everything will feel like manual handling, it will give the operator a good exercise while using it. The UI appearance certainly needs an update to get a more modern vibe out of it.
We can expect some unique features in further updates, but in current version, it does require a good amount of human effort. Compared to tools like Hubstaff, DeskTime, Time Doctor, etc., eBillity has tough competition when it some to automatic calculations and employee monitoring systems.
Overall, we’d say that if you are looking for a budget time tracking tool along with an amazing billing and payment features, eBillity is definitely a choice. This tool can be readily used on mobiles and desktops and so the reach is acceptable too.
Let us know if you love this software or not? Does it need more features and integrations? Feel free to comment below your views on it.