If you’re looking for an automatic time tracking solution to help streamline field service operations, there are many innovative options on the market. But how do you know what’s right for your business? What features should you look for in a system?

ExakTime and Timely are two popular time-tracking systems that provide different solutions for companies looking to streamline tracking. While Timely was not built for a specific industry, ExakTime is designed for construction and field service teams. Let’s explore the definition and benefits of time tracking, then compare these two solutions.

Defining Time Tracking Software

Time tracking software provides organizations with automated and centralized oversight of employee work hours and productivity. The systems capture detailed time data across an organization’s various projects, tasks, clients and other activities.

A core capability is timesheet recording, where employees log their hours worked each day and timesheets are created automatically in the background. All time entries are linked to specific projects, clients, tasks and other relevant activities, allowing detailed tracking of where efforts are focused. Some solutions also monitor and flag idle computer time to identify periods of potential inactivity.

For managers, time tracking generates invaluable productivity metrics and insights into how time is being utilized across individuals, teams and the organization as a whole. The data enables better resource planning and optimization. By understanding how many hours a team spends on actual work, managers can adjust factors like billable rates and equipment utilization.

These systems can also integrate directly with billing and invoicing to ensure clients are accurately charged based on work completed. And seamless connections with payroll systems leverage the time data for automated salary and wage calculation.

Robust time-tracking solutions provide a wealth of reporting on capacity utilization trends, budget adherence and progress against schedules. Advanced systems offer features like GPS location tracking and geofencing to verify remote employee attendance. Managers can also closely monitor overtime based on time records to ensure it is justified. All of this data ultimately enables superior project budgeting and cost planning.

The Importance of Accurate Time Tracking for Construction/Field Service

For construction companies, having an accurate and efficient way to track time on projects is critical. Time tracking provides many significant benefits:

  • Streamlined Workflow: With robust time tracking, managers can see where crews are working and  when they are on-site . This oversight means projects stay on track.
  • Track Different Job Sites: Construction companies often juggle multiple job sites simultaneously. Solid time tracking allows them to allocate labor across projects and ensure accurate time tracking.
  • Increased Accuracy: Manual time tracking using paper timesheets can lead to errors. Automated time tracking reduces mistakes, forgotten hours and time theft.
  • Link Time to Costs: With precise records of time spent on tasks, managers can better estimate costs and bid competitively on future projects.
  • Payroll Automation: Many time tracking solutions integrate with payroll systems. This eliminates manual calculation of hours and ensures workers are paid properly.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Construction companies must comply with wage, hour and labor regulations. Digital time tracking creates an audit trail showing proper payment.
  • Better Decision-making: Time-tracking data helps construction firms identify inefficient processes and make smart resourcing choices to boost profits.

Robust, specialized time tracking delivers these advantages and more. Now let’s look at two popular options—ExakTime and Timely.

ExakTime Review

ExakTime is a leading time tracking solution for construction and field service companies. Key features include:

  • GPS Time Tracking App: Employees can clock in/out from their phone using GPS to validate location. Supervisors can spot issues like timecard buddy punching.
  • Photo ID Capture: Employees clocking in snap a selfie for identity verification, reducing time theft.
  • Rugged Time Clocks: ExakTime offers onsite hardware time clocks that sync data to the cloud. These withstand harsh conditions.
  • Powerful Reporting: ExakTime generates 40+ reports on overtime, prevailing wage compliance, cost tracking, etc.
  • Payroll Sync: ExakTime integrates with payroll systems for seamless data transfer and accurate pay.

ExakTime provides robust functionality tailored to construction industry needs like verification, oversight and integration with existing systems.

Timely Review

Timely is an AI-run time tracking solution that’s centered around time tracking. Its functions include tracking time, projects, teams and plans. Timely is not built for a specific industry. Instead, it’s used for accounting, creatives, lawyers, remote workers and other professional fields. This system integrates with apps like Asana and ClickUp. Because it’s not built for a specific industry, it does not have hyper-specific features,

ExakTime vs Timely: A Comparison

Industries Served

Exaktime is designed specifically for the construction, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and other field service industries. It offers capabilities tailored to the unique needs of these industries like:

  • GPS, geofencing and photo verification to provide oversight of remote crews and prevent time theft.
  • Easy tracking of multi-rate pay for prevailing wage projects.
  • Scheduling and equipment usage tools Custom fields for tracking phases, cost codes, activities and steps.

In contrast, Timely serves many desk-based industries including law, accounting, agencies, education and more. It lacks the critical features required for field service and construction. It cannot track time without a computer/mobile device and has limited GPS and location-tracking functionality. Ultimately, Timely is a general-purpose time tracker not specialized for the needs of field service operations.

Customer Support

ExakTime provides exceptional white-glove customer service tailored to construction industry needs:

  • Award-winning US-based Support: Available via phone, email or text.
  • Account Management: Dedicated rep trains admins and provides ongoing optimization.
  • Custom Onboarding: Workflow analysis and system configuration guidance.
  • Employee Training: Train-the-trainer programs and roll-out assistance, plus regular live training and access to a library of recorded sessions.
  • Industry Expertise: Reps understand construction and field service needs.

While Timely provides some online and email support, it is more self-service-focused without construction expertise.


Timely focuses very narrowly on passive, automatic computer and web use tracking. While easy to use, it lacks capabilities purpose-built for field services:

ExakTime Field Service Features

  • Photo ID verification to prevent buddy punching
  • Supervisor check-in and kiosk mode
  • Permission-based access 
  • Robust reporting 
  • GPS geofencing and exact location tracking
  • Equipment tracking
  • Multi-rate pay for prevailing wage
  • Field access to schedulesAccess control to prevent off-hours clock-ins
  • Offline mode for continued operation with no cell service

Timely Features

  • Automatic computer use tracking
  • Productivity monitoring
  • Simple time entry approval
  • Project and task tracking
  • Online/offline indicators
  • Idle time detection
  • Web and app usage breakdowns

For companies managing complex field operations, ExakTime delivers significantly more tailored functionality.

How Do I Know What Time Tracking Solution is Right for Me?

Considering these differences, it’s time to think about what type of time-tracking system is right for your business. This requires careful evaluation of your company’s industry, use cases and requirements. Construction, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and other field service firms have unique needs that generic solutions may need to address.

First, assess your primary service area and field operations model. Do you take on prevailing wage government contracts that require strict certified payroll compliance? Managing both office administrative staff and field technicians also complicates tracking.

Next, examine your specific tracking needs. Do workers  need to clock in and out from job sites without computer access? Are you juggling multiple complex projects across different locations that make centralized oversight difficult? Verifying field employee locations via GPS geofencing could be crucial. 

Certain payroll requirements should also influence your choice. Does prevailing wage work mandate handling different pay rates for certain employees? What are your certified payroll reporting needs? Will you need to integrate time data with your payroll system seamlessly?

Robust reporting and analytics should be considered as well. Do you want highly customizable reports on overtime hours, cost overruns, schedule adherence and more? Real-time visibility into field workforce attendance and location could be a priority. And comparing costs and productivity across different projects can inform resourcing decisions.

Ease of use will impact adoption. How user-friendly does the system need to be for field staff? Can it work offline when internet access is unavailable? Straightforward configuration for admins is also key.

Finally, assess customer support needs. Is prompt, US-based assistance preferable? Does the provider understand construction industry challenges? Will you need help customizing the platform? While simpler solutions like Timely work for basic computer-tracked time, complex field service organizations require specialized solutions like ExakTime.

Tips for Implementation

Once you’ve decided on a system, whether you’re going all-in or getting on a starter plan, proper implementation is key. To start, it is crucial to get buy-in from managers and stakeholders who will rely on the system to motivate their teams. Make sure to clearly communicate timelines, training plans and objectives to all staff so they understand what is changing and why it benefits them.

The administrators who will configure and manage the system day-to-day should receive in-depth training first. Hands-on demos and onboarding sessions should also be provided to employees rather than simply handing out user manuals. Consider starting with a limited pilot deployment for one crew or department to work out any kinks before broad company-wide implementation. Automating data syncing between the time tracker, payroll, billing, ERPs and more via APIs can greatly smooth the transition.

Frequently auditing time sheets and utilization reports will help spot any issues early before they spiral. Finally, surveying users for feedback and quickly addressing concerns demonstrates responsiveness and builds goodwill during a major transition. With proper planning and training, rolling out a time-tracking platform can be a straightforward process resulting in adoption success.

Choose ExakTime

If you’re looking for time-tracking software for your construction or field service business, look to ExakTime. Our innovative but easy-to-use system is designed specifically for construction and field service teams. Our system was built by experts who understand the nuances and needs of these businesses. With your team spread out, you need a central solution that keeps hours accurate, is easy to use and delivers quality insights for managers.

With ExakTime, you’ll benefit from our robust solution that goes beyond just tracking time. From implementation with payroll systems to generating  reports, we’ve got the tools you need to efficiently manage and grow your business. With our technology, you’ll free up valuable time you can use to better your company. Get started with ExakTime today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What industries does ExakTime serve?

ExakTime is designed for construction, electrical, plumbing and other field service companies. It offers tailored capabilities for these industries.

Does ExakTime offer mobile apps?

ExakTime has Android and iOS mobile apps that construction workers can use to clock in/out via GPS from any location.

Can ExakTime track my crews across multiple job sites?

Absolutely. ExakTime provides oversight of all your crews across as many projects and job sites as you have.

Does ExakTime integrate with payroll systems?

Yes, ExakTime offers seamless integration with over 100 different payroll systems to automate data transfer.