6 Reasons Not to Use a 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 six reasons not to use free time and attendance software as it might not be the most efficient and effective choice for managing your team.


Time and attendance software, the ever-reliable companion of businesses, diligently tracks employees’ hours like a dedicated time detective. It’s no surprise that the idea of “free” has its allure when it comes to managing your workforce. Who doesn’t love a good deal, right? However, before you dive headfirst into the world of “free” time and attendance monitoring, let’s pause and consider the potential drawbacks that might lurk behind that enticing label.

In this article, we will delve into six reasons not to use free time and attendance software as it can negatively impact you and your company. From the limitations of free software to potential compatibility issues and the possibility of exposing confidential data, we’ll explore the various challenges that you may encounter when using free software in your workplace.

Visual of time and attendance

1. Insufficient Time and Attendance Features

The first reason not to use free time and attendance software lies in its lack of advanced features that are integral for accurate time management. While some of these free tools might be great for basic clock-in and clock-out functions, you might miss out on more advanced tools like real-time attendance monitoring. Without this feature, it can be a bit tricky to catch attendance issues promptly and optimize your workforce efficiently.

Another cool feature in time and attendance software is geofencing, which allows you to set virtual boundaries around specific locations like your workplace or job sites. When employees enter or leave these areas, the system automatically records their attendance. However, this handy geofencing capability might not be available in the free plans, potentially leaving room for time theft and attendance recording hiccups.

2. Limited Reporting and Insights

The reasons not to use free time and attendance software are evident when it comes to reporting and insights. Unfortunately, free versions often hold back on giving you access to the full range of comprehensive reporting tools. These nifty tools are essential for understanding employee behavior and performance. Attendance reports, for example, give you a clear view of punctuality, absenteeism, and tardiness patterns, making it easier to spot recurring issues and tackle them head-on.

Without these powerful reporting and analytics features, free time and attendance software might not provide the critical data insights you need for strategic workforce management. It’s like having a cool toolbox, but some of the most useful tools are locked away. As a result, your ability to optimize workforce performance and make informed decisions might be somewhat hampered, preventing you from reaching your full potential and achieving growth and success. With the right reporting tools at your disposal, you can gather valuable insights and steer your organization in the right direction with confidence.

3. Difficulties Managing Employee Absenteeism

When it comes to managing employee absenteeism, free time and attendance software might leave you feeling a little underwhelmed. Free versions often miss out on the features that help employers keep track of different types of leaves, from vacation time to sick leave and personal time off. Without these tools, it can be a bit of a challenge to handle leaves efficiently, and that’s when things like inconsistencies, errors, and delays start to pop up. 

Imagine this scenario: You’re trying to create a well-organized schedule, but you don’t have real-time visibility into your employees’ leave statuses. Cue the potential disruptions in workforce scheduling and a tad of productivity hindrance. Both employees and managers might find it tricky to keep tabs on leave approvals, leading to confusion and delays. 

4. Compatibility Issues

When it comes to free time and attendance software, compatibility can sometimes play hard to get! Even if your business runs smoothly, the free software might not sync up as seamlessly as you’d hope with your existing HR system, where all those precious employee records and payroll data reside. When things don’t sync up, you could end up with potential data inconsistencies, and need manual work to sync information across different platforms. That’s when the risks of errors and time-consuming data entry start to creep in. 

Besides that, these free versions might miss out on the smooth moves of integration with your communication platforms. Many companies nowadays implement a work-from-home policy where they stay connected and keep the team spirit alive through platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack. Free time and attendance software may not provide the ability to integrate with such platforms, thus making it difficult to track employees’ attendance and productivity in one centralized place.

5. Lack of Automation

The lack of automation features stands as a significant reason not to consider using free time and attendance software. These cost-free versions often lack the comprehensive automation features found in premium solutions. Imagine grappling with absence management without the luxury of automated notifications for upcoming leave expirations. Without those friendly reminders, scheduling conflicts and disruptions might rear their unwelcome heads, throwing your carefully planned workforce optimization into disarray. And let’s not forget the potential time-tracking mishaps if there are no automated reminders for employee clock-ins – punctuality matters!

Additionally, free time and attendance software might leave you high and dry when it comes to essential automated scheduling tools. Instead of a smooth, efficient process, you could find yourself tangled in a web of manual handling for complex scheduling tasks. It can also be inconvenient to not have automated notifications and reminders for leave expirations or leave balance warnings. 

6. Potentially Exposes Confidential Data and Workforce Information

The final reason to not use free time and attendance software revolves around security risks that could affect your business’s sensitive data and employee information. Unlike premium software that invests in robust security measures, free versions may lack the necessary resources and expertise to implement and maintain strong security protocols.

Free software developers might not prioritize data security as they often rely on other means of generating revenue, such as data sharing. This could lead to inadequate security measures, making your business more vulnerable to data breaches and cyberattacks. When using free time and attendance software, there’s a potential risk of exposing sensitive employee data, including attendance records, personal information, and payroll details, to potential threats. Hackers and malicious actors are always on the lookout for opportunities to exploit security weaknesses, and free software might become a target due to potential inadequacies in its security infrastructure. It’s essential to carefully assess the security features of any software you choose to ensure the safety and confidentiality of your data.

Final Thoughts

While “free” might sound like a symphony to your budget-conscious ears, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks that can disrupt your workforce management. Free options often lack essential features, comprehensive reporting, and seamless integration, making it challenging to optimize time tracking. Moreover, the absence of automation and potential security risks can cause more troubles than benefits. Therefore, when it comes to managing your time and attendance efficiently, considering a premium solution might be the key to creating a harmonious and smooth workforce management experience.