As a CEO of a time tracking software company, I need to know what my competitors are up to. That means I’m often researching about and/or playing around with their products… you know, it’s part of the job. Here, I share my findings from that research, giving credit to those competitors where credit is due, and being honest about which products I believe you really need to avoid. And so, there you have it, this review. And in it, I try to be honest, fair, and insightful.
This review covers:
- What Do Users Like About Deputy?
- What Don’t Users Like About Deputy?
- What Pricing Plans Does Deputy Offer?
- What are the Standout Features of Deputy?
- Selected Positive User Feedback
- Selected Negative User Feedback
- What are Deputy’s Review Ratings from Review Sites?
- What’s My Final Verdict on Deputy?
Deputy is a cloud-based solution for time tracking and productivity enhancement developed and presented by Deputechnologies. It is marketed as a reliable second-in-command whose mission is to Simplify Shift Work™ and envisions Thriving workplaces in every community™. These all sound like lofty ideals, so hop in and discover if Deputy indeed lives up to its promise.
Deputy is designed as an all-in-one solution for business needs such as scheduling in line with demand, preparing accurate payroll, and clear communications among team members. It streamlines employee admin tasks so that businesses can cut back on time and resources traditionally devoted to these processes, and focus on growing and producing high-quality output instead.
Armed with a wide variety of features, Deputy is so much more than just a time tracking and scheduling software. It is also used for employee engagement, shift, break, leave, performance, and task management, labor forecasting, and labor legalities compliance. All of these features are easily accessible on web browsers, kiosks, and mobile so that businesses can stay on top of time tracking and other management tasks from any location and on any device with ease.
Some of the things that make Deputy shine are its touchless facial recognition feature for clocking in and timesheet verification, accurate and real-time digital timesheets with automatic wage calculation, GPS locations stamps and geofencing, dynamic and actionable reporting to review and compare worked hours and profits, comprehensive break compliance, and facilitation of payroll with third-party integrations. It also has to be said that their scheduling tools are quite powerful, the employee engagement feature is spot-on, and the concept of the centralized communication newsfeed is beautifully conceived.
However, Deputy has its fair share of challenges as well, and as promised, this review will cover all sides of the story. The apps are glitchy and slow at times, and sometimes there is a significant lag in grabbing, starting, and ending shifts. Copying and pasting schedules can be a drag when the software overrides user preferences with pre-programmed options. Large and multi-location operations experience difficulties with GPS tracking. The mobile apps offer limited functionality, especially for Android. Its HR functionality is somewhat limited, and it offers very limited non-English languages for the interface.
What Do Users Like About Deputy?
- Touchless facial recognition
- Automatic wage calculation
- GPS tracking and geofencing
- In-depth reports
- Powerful scheduling tools
- Dynamic employee engagement
- Centralized communication newsfeed
What Don't Users Like About Deputy?
- Glitchy and slow performance
- Lack of functionalities in the Android app
- GPS difficulties with large and multi-location operations
- Limited HR functionality
- Limited non-English languages for the interface
What Pricing Plans Does Deputy Offer?
Deputy has five paid plan variants, each with a specific target, as well as a free trial period and discounts. Let’s take a closer look:
Deputy Scheduling Plan
The Deputy Scheduling Plan is designed for businesses that need a better way to create and manage schedules and communicate with their team.
At $3.50 per user per month, businesses get features such as unlimited shifts per month, employee scheduling, auto-scheduling, POS integration, PTO & leave management. They also get the news feed, tasking, open API, dashboard, meal & rest break planning, demand planning, SMS & email notifications, availability management, shift swap and find replacement, schedule templates, and 24/7 email support.
Deputy Time and Attendance Plan
The Deputy Time and Attendance Plan is intended for businesses that need to track attendance and seamlessly export timesheets to payroll.
For $3.50 per user per month, this plan gives businesses access to features such as unlimited timesheets per month, payroll integration, POS Integration, PTO & leave management, news feed, tasking, open API, dashboard, performance & journaling, time clock (biometric & geolocation capture), custom timesheet fields, and 24/7 email support.
Deputy Premium Plan
The Deputy Premium Plan addresses both the Scheduling and Time and Attendance targets and adds reporting into the mix.
Priced at $4.90 per user per month when billed monthly or $4.20 when billed annually, this plan has all the features of both Scheduling and Time and Attendance, plus reporting and the Shift Pulse™ employee engagement feature.
Deputy Flexi Weekly Plan
The Deputy Flexi Weekly Plan is designed for seasonal businesses that need all the features of the Premium Plan and the flexibility to pay only $2.50 per active user per week, and $0.50 per inactive user per week, billed monthly.
Deputy Enterprise Plan
The Deputy Enterprise Plan is for organizations with more than 250 members and complex custom configuration needs.
This plan has all the Premium features, plus SSO, advanced demand planning, advanced reporting and analytics, custom-built enterprise agreements, custom implementation, custom roles & permissions, custom organization structure, dedicated enterprise support, location & department level procedures, and training matrix. Pricing for this plan is custom, and prospective users must contact Deputy directly for a quote.
Free Trial and Discounts
Deputy doesn’t have a free plan, but it does have a generous free trial period that lasts up to 31 days to help users decide if the software is a good fit for their companies. During this period, businesses can try all features for free, and signing up takes only a few minutes. Users will not be asked for their credit cards, and 24/7 support is available.
If the entity that signs up is a charity or non-profit, they can receive a customized discount based on their qualifications. These are reviewed and decided on a case-to-case basis by Deputy. To apply for a charity or non-profit discount, prospective users must select “Charity” as their industry upon signing up.
What are the Standout Features of Deputy?
1. Deputy Time Tracking and Real-Time Attendance
Deputy captures hours accurately with its easy-to-use employee time clock. Time tracking is made very simple for employees with multiple clock-in and clock-out options such as the touchless facial recognition on kiosks that we’ve discussed above, as well as more traditional methods like using a PIN on shared devices. It can also be done through the Deputy website on a browser, or directly from mobile phones and even smartwatches. And if none of these are viable options, clocking in and out can also be done through SMS from a non-smartphone.
On the admin side, attendance and accountability are ensured with the use of GPS location stamping to show that employees are clocking in from the right place, or more drastically through geofencing which ensures that only employees within the virtual perimeter around the job site are allowed to clock in. These, in conjunction with facial recognition, ensure that buddy-punching and hours-padding are eradicated from the ranks.
The time clock also displays employee attendance in real-time, showing managers who’s present and on duty, who’s running late, and who’s on break time. This makes it easy to review and monitor coverage, and should the need arise, empty shifts can be filled in a matter of taps.
2. Deputy Payroll Integrations
The data captured by the Deputy employee time clock are automatically translated into timesheets that can be reviewed and verified with GPS location stamping and facial recognition and then approved individually or in bulk.
These accurate and verified timesheets cut down on admin tasks by automatically calculating the various pay rates for every employee, job, and location, including overtime and penalty, and can be exported to any of the many Deputy third-party payroll integrations with just one click.
Deputy integrates seamlessly with various payroll software to save time and provide even deeper insight into captured work hours data. These include the usual suspects such as Xero, QuickBooks Online, ADP, MYOB, Access WageEasy, and more. Users can even add their favorite payroll software with relative ease.
3. Deputy Auto-Scheduling
Deputy offers cutting-edge auto-scheduling assisted by AI that eliminates the need to build schedules shift by shift. This AI-powered feature creates schedules based on data analytics from multiple demand signals such as sales, foot traffic, season, occasions, and more. This takes the guesswork and agony out of scheduling and ensures that schedules are optimized with the most suitable workers in every shift.
Users can specify parameters and considerations for the auto-scheduling feature to follow, such as accurate labor forecasting for priorities like cost and shift equality, or even match preferences to create rosters that best match business needs. Shift lengths, start times, and other preferences can also be factored in to ensure that employees are kept happy and productive. All of these considerations can be specified in the initial setup and then reflected in custom schedule structures at the click of a button with Auto-Fill.
Best of all, Deputy’s auto-scheduling feature also takes legal compliance with wage and work hours laws into consideration, so employers have an automatic guard against legal violations that endanger businesses.
4. Deputy Employee Break Compliance
Speaking of legal compliance, mandatory breaks for meals and rest are covered by the law, and their lengths and frequency are dictated by the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. The states of California, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, and Oregon have tougher restrictions than most, and ensuring compliance to avoid potentially catastrophic and costly violations is difficult (if not totally impossible) with paper-based or manual scheduling.
Luckily, Deputy has break planning across all devices that enable businesses to create compliant schedules and manage both paid and unpaid meal and rest breaks. This is a very valuable tool that eliminates the employer’s worry about compliance with break legalities by harnessing the power of AI to create schedules that factor in complicated workplace regulations with ease.
With this feature, employers can be confident about scheduling multiple breaks in a single shift without sacrificing coverage, prevent non-compliant early clock-in and early break returns, have attestation showing compliance and all break details for company records, and ensure that employees are getting the downtime they need to ensure optimum performance.
Selected Positive User Feedback:
- “The most helpful feature for us is the “Training” which allows us to know which of our employees are qualified to undertake different tasks.” – Glenda M. (Source Capterra)
- “Deputy integrates easily with Rippling – it auto pushes approved hours to weekly payroll runs, (…) asset that minimizes the opportunity for human error.” – Caroline B. (Source G2)
- “Simplicity in its use. I also enjoy the ease of inputting employees into the system and the ease of placing employees into shifts.” – Adam G. (Source Capterra)
- “I love that I can copy-paste a schedule from last week and make minor adjustments for employees who have other rotating schedules to work around, or vacation days.” – Alicia C. (Source Capterra)
- “Push notifications are prompt and accurate – scheduling is simple and clear.” – Grant A. (Source G2)
- “My favorite feature is being able to navigate through my employees easily to check their time cards.” – Tiffany C. (Source G2)
- “Deputy allows me to track all the employees and easily view which hours were worked on which day and by whom.” – Austin K. (Source Capterra)
- “Nice UI, easy-to-use software. Fairly basic for timekeeping but seems like it could do the job well and be reliable.” – Matt L. (Source G2)
- “We are now able to keep a proper track of all employees’ attendance as well as distributing tasks to them.” – Albert A. (Source Capterra)
- “It is very convenient to pick up shifts as well as let them go.” – Ashley P. (Source G2)
- “Ease of use and security for each member of staff. With the addition of the onboarding facility, Deputy has become a vital part of our operation.” – Heather T. (Source Capterra)
- “It saves the company scheduler time, helps us keep the time off requests and scheduling organized, and has made it much easier to communicate the work schedule to our employees.” – Stacy M. (Source Capterra)
- “Deputy has made it much easier to track employees start and finish times and also the formatted time sheets speeded up the wages preparation process.” – Leanne F. (Source Capterra)
- “I liked the look of the app, and ability to drag and drop folks into the schedule.” – Elizabeth L. (Source Capterra)
- ”When it’s time for payroll, it takes two clicks, and it is uploaded to the payroll system.” – Verified User in Construction (Source G2)
Selected Negative User Feedback:
- “I truly get frustrated when it automatically adds your 30 min break if you did not take one.” – Jenna H. (Source Capterra)
- “The app isn’t fully functional. It could take a bit of time for the automated scheduler to do its thing.” – Grace T. (Source Capterra)
- “Integrating other financial applications was difficult. Doesn’t allow to customize.” – Alex B. (Source Capterra)
- “Scheduling employees and rounding times could use a bit of refining.” – Austin K. (Source Capterra)
- “The Android app doesn’t provide as many features as the iPhone app.” – Glenda M. (Source Capterra)
- “I wish it synced with my Google calendar. It has an outdated user interface.” – Troy M. (Source Capterra)
- “The app silences all music or sounds. I have to uninstall the app to get my music to play again.” – Samantha M. (Source Google Playstore)
- “I dislike how it will not let me override the error messages I get for the shifts that are copied and pasted from the week before. It will leave the shifts blank, and I have to go back and forth from the previous week and manually put in and override the restrictions.” – Solange P. (Source G2)
- “I wish the scheduling facility was easier to use on a mobile or tablet.” – Heather T. (Source Capterra)
- “Staff with Android phones and tablets are unable to access the news feed. The interface is outdated.” – Karen D. (Source Google Playstore)
- “The downside to Deputy is the incapability to customize the visuals within the design framework. It would be nice to have a feature that provides access to change colors and backgrounds per user.” – Samantha S. (Source G2)
- “Geofencing is not the best. This is ultimately why we quit using it.” – Verified User in Apparel & Fashion (Source G2)
- “This product could be better with an easier way to clock in and out; I feel like there are steps required for clocking in and out that should not be.” – Verified User in Law Practice (Source G2)
- “Sometimes exporting to Xero can be problematic. Customer service with this issue has been slightly lackluster, so it required a bit of fiddling.” – Jimi W. (Source Capterra)
- “When I’ve made changes to employee location, a variety of errors resulted – employee can’t clock-in, the employee sees whole organization’s timecards.” – David C. (Source G2)
What are Deputy's Review Ratings from Review Sites?
- Capterra: 4.6/5
- Play Store: 4.6/5
- G2: 4.6/5
- GetApp: 4.6/5
- PCMag: 4.5/5
- Software Advice: 4.5/5
- TrustRadius: 8.6/10
What's My Final Verdict on Deputy?
Deputy is a very good solution for businesses that need a complete admin and HR tool to increase productivity and streamline processes. In the course of research for this review, I’ve found out that it is an efficient second in command that when utilized properly, delivers amazing results. I think this is aptly reflected in the user reviews on several sites that we’ve checked out — nothing less than 4.5 stars, and I believe those ratings are truly well-deserved.
What I like the most about Deputy is that it is designed with progress in mind, and this is shown in the brilliance of its AI-powered automations in scheduling and break compliance. The touchless facial recognition clock-in is also a good initiative, especially in this post-pandemic era where sanitary concerns occupy an important space in our collective consciousness.
I also feel that Deputy is truly empowering for both employers and employees. The accountability guardrails provided by GPS tracking and facial recognition ensure that time theft is eliminated, but they’re not too intrusive like other software that borders on micromanagement. Deputy has this respect for the autonomy of the employee that balances very well with its mission to enforce accountability among the ranks. Another great feature that seeks to bridge the gap between employers and employees is the Shift Pulse™ feature which allows employees to have a voice, and for management to keep in touch with the reality and needs of their teams on the ground. Whatever brings harmony and positivity, I’m all for it.
But, just like any other software out there, Deputy has its share of imperfections, and as promised at the beginning of this review, I will be completely honest about everything.
First of all, the bugs and glitches really take away from what would otherwise be a pleasant experience with Deputy. Slow performance is also an issue, and I can see this negatively affecting non-desk staff in a major way, along with the difficulties encountered by mobile app users, particularly those on Android. And if you add the GPS challenges faced by multi-location and larger operations, we have a triple threat to businesses that might just be a dealbreaker.
The limited HR functionality can be remedied by rolling out new features over time, and I have great hopes that Deputy will keep on developing their product as we move forward. Perhaps they will also consider adding more languages to the interface so that it becomes more inclusive.
Despite these limitations, I would still recommend Deputy for any organization seeking a reliable and feature-rich HR management and shift scheduling solution. I look forward to seeing its present challenges and issues addressed in the coming years, and I’m sure its users do, too.
Deputy is hands down one of the best, if not the best, shifts scheduling app around.
And it has an awesome seamless integration with Xero.
Deputy has some bugs and glitches that take away from an otherwise positive user experience.