Drawbacks of Free Time and Attendance Software

Written by Asim Qureshi
By Asim Qureshi, CEO Jibble

Hi, I’m Asim Qureshi, the CEO, and co-founder of Jibble, a cloud-based time and attendance software. I have several years of experience in building and scaling software products and teams across various industries and markets. Before I founded Jibble, I worked as a VP at Morgan Stanley for six years. I’m here to help you uncover the drawbacks of using free time and attendance software.


In the bustling world of modern business, managing time and attendance has become vital for optimizing workforce efficiency. As companies strive to stay ahead of the curve, they attempt to find the perfect software solutions that can seamlessly streamline these essential processes. Among the array of choices available, free time and attendance software often emerge as an alluring option, promising cost savings and easy-to-use tools that seem like a dream come true for budget-conscious businesses.

While the prospect of “free” software may sparkle brightly, businesses must exercise caution and look beyond the shimmer to identify potential drawbacks that come with such offerings. In this article, we will delve into the drawbacks of free time and attendance software, uncovering the trade-offs and limitations that could be lurking beneath the surface. From limited functionalities to timesheet errors, it’s essential to recognize the drawbacks so you can make a well-informed decision.

1. Limited User Access 

The first significant drawback of using free time and attendance software is the limitation it imposes on user access. With these free solutions, businesses often face restrictions on the number of users who can access the software simultaneously. This can become a real problem, especially for growing companies with expanding teams.

As a workforce expands, businesses may need to onboard new employees or provide access to multiple managers, supervisors, and HR staff. Unfortunately, free software may cap the number of users allowed, forcing businesses to either upgrade to a paid plan or leave some team members without access to the time and attendance system.

While many free software may serve small teams or startups with a limited number of users, they may not be the best fit for larger or rapidly growing enterprises. To ensure seamless workforce management and unhindered access to critical time-tracking features, businesses may need to consider paid options that offer scalable user access and accommodate their organizational growth.

However, it’s important to note that although some free software imposes limited user restrictions, there are a number of other free time and attendance software that can cater to an unlimited number of users. Jibble is one of them!

2. Integration Challenges

The second drawback of using free time and attendance software is the integration challenges businesses may encounter. Integration with other essential tools and software is important for seamless and efficient workforce management. However, free solutions often come with limited or no integration options, making it challenging to synchronize time and attendance data with other systems, such as payroll, HR management, calendars, or project management software.

For businesses relying on various software applications to streamline their operations, this lack of integration can create silos of data, leading to inefficiencies and manual data entry. It may also result in data discrepancies and errors, as information has to be manually transferred between different systems, increasing the risk of inaccuracies and confusion.

In contrast, paid time and attendance software solutions often offer extensive integration capabilities with popular platforms, which allows businesses to connect their time-tracking data with other critical tools they use.

3. Lack of Customization

While free time and attendance software may offer basic functionalities, they often lack the flexibility and tailor-made features needed to suit an organization’s unique requirements and workflows.

Each business has its own set of workforce management needs and processes. From tracking specific types of time-off requests, and managing shift rotations, to implementing complex overtime rules, customization plays a huge role in aligning the software with the company’s specific policies and practices.

However, with free software, businesses may find themselves limited in terms of configuring the software to match their requirements. They may not have the option to add custom fields, create personalized reporting templates, or set up automated workflows according to their unique preferences.

As a result, businesses might be forced to adapt their internal processes to fit the constraints of the free software, which can lead to inefficiencies, redundant tasks, and a lack of optimization in workforce management.

4. Timesheet Errors

The fourth drawback of using free time and attendance software is the potential for timesheet errors. Free software may lack certain features or accurate algorithms, leading to inaccuracies in time tracking and attendance records. 

For example, free software may lack automated time deductions which allows employees to submit incomplete or incorrect timesheets without being alerted to potential mistakes. Let’s say an employee doesn’t clock out during their break time. This means that their employers have to tediously adjust their timesheets. The absence of built-in safeguards can lead to a chain reaction of errors that affect payroll accuracy and overall workforce management.

Furthermore, free software may not have the ability to track specific activities or project hours with precision, potentially leading to miscalculations in billable hours for clients or internal cost allocation.

5. Technical Support Limitations

Technical support limitations are the fifth and final drawback for businesses relying on free time and attendance software. While these cost-effective solutions might offer basic functionality, they often fall short in providing comprehensive technical assistance, leaving businesses with potential challenges when encountering issues or needing guidance.

Free time and attendance software providers may offer limited support options, such as relying solely on self-help resources like FAQs or community forums. While these resources can be helpful for answering basic queries, they may not be sufficient to address more complex technical problems.

As a result, businesses using free software might experience delayed response times when seeking assistance, impacting their ability to resolve issues promptly. Prolonged downtime or unresolved technical difficulties can hamper workforce management operations and create frustration among users.

Furthermore, some free software providers may not offer live chat or phone support, making it challenging for businesses to access real-time assistance when needed. The lack of direct and immediate support can hinder businesses from efficiently managing their time tracking and attendance processes, leading to potential inefficiencies and data inaccuracies.

Final Thoughts

In summary, free time and attendance software can be a tempting choice for businesses looking to cut costs. However, it’s essential to be aware of potential drawbacks that might arise with certain free solutions. These concerns include limited user access, integration challenges, technical support limitations, and timesheet errors.

Remember, not all free software will necessarily have these limitations, and some may offer satisfactory features and support. When considering time and attendance software, you have to find a balance between cost-effectiveness and the level of functionality and support required to meet your business needs.