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No question, PTO management software is a must-have for growing teams. Imagine your entire team booking off the same day to go golfing without you realizing. That might be fun team building, but it’s not so fun for coverage in the workplace.

Manual PTO tracking is last century. The answer, of course, is PTO management software. It can help you make sure everyone is taking what they are entitled to without employee absences causing your business to be off kilter. 

You can see (and plan for) employee time off, spot issues and encourage people to take PTO more appropriately.

However, choosing between the bewildering array of PTO management software out there can be the real challenge.

Essential features of PTO management software.

PTO management software won’t do you any good if it doesn’t have the features you need. These are some of the staple features for employee PTO that will make things smoother sailing for your entire organization.

  • Creating schedules: Know and keep track of your team to make sure you’re properly staffed. (Remember what we said about everyone going golfing!)
  • Approval processes: Review requests for things like personal time, vacation time, sick leaves, and leaves of absence so you can have full view of coverage.
  • Ensuring accuracy of hours: Keep on top of employee work hours for more seamless payroll and to support compliance.
  • PTO allotment or accrual tracking: Whether or not it’s split between vacation and sick time, help employees know how many hours they have in the bank, how many they’ve used or how many they might miss out on if they don’t carry over into the new year.
  • Notifications for requests and approvals: This helps everyone from HR managers to business owners to staff members keep track of PTO requests. Notify managers when requests come in and notify employees if they got the stamp of approval for their time off.

You’ll find many PTO trackers or software have more bells and whistles, such as the ability to attach doctors’ notes, but you may or may not need things like that, especially if you still have a small team.

Best PTO management software for small business.

Knowing there are software solutions out there to help business owners like you with tracking employee time is the easy part. Picking the right PTO management software that meets your specific needs can feel overwhelming. You could even get trapped in choice paralysis. Or, worse, paying too much for features it turns out you don’t need.

Here are our top picks, based on the features we mentioned above, to help you narrow things down and make the right decision.

1. Time by Wagepoint

Time by Wagepoint is a platform designed to help you with all of your scheduling needs for hourly workers, but you can also use it to manage PTO for both hourly and salaried employees. It’s user-friendly, easy to learn and designed specifically for small businesses, so you won’t be spending money on features you don’t need or hours creating schedules.

Key features


Time helps you set up schedules for all of your employees, so you have full coverage and can easily adjust coverage when somebody makes a time off request (paid or otherwise). You can also add open shifts, requests for extra coverage, office closures and other things like that so the whole team is on the same page.

These are just a few of the features that take PTO management to the next level.

Accrual plans

Time lets you set up accrual plans for both sick leave and vacation, including recording unused PTO accurately so you can reconcile it when an employee leaves.

Direct PTO requests

Employees can request PTO themselves using the intuitive web interface or the mobile app. They can also send in shift change requests this way. It gives them the power to do these things themselves without having to message or meet up with a manager.

Easy approval processes

Time notifies supervisors and managers when a request comes in. From there, they can review the request, along with any notes the employee left about it, and approve or deny it right in the app or through the web portal.

Events and blackout dates

You can easily add events where you need coverage to the system, meaning there can be no PTO requests for those dates automatically.


Free trial: 14 days free

Up to 5 users: $20 CAD a month flat rate

6+ users: $4 CAD a month per active user

​“I love Wagepoint’s personal touches! I’m so impressed with the customer support we’ve received.” 

– Nicole Spinney, Manager, Olson’s GLO Estate Home for Special Care

2. Clockify

Source: Clockify

Clockify is most popular as a time-tracking utility for freelancers. It also works well for teams and includes some features for tracking time off, although those are considered advanced features and a part of their paid subscription plans.

Key features

Time tracking

Clockify gives employees the tools to track their time and what project they are working on. This can then be used to track time off eligibility.

Time off policies

You can create and store your time off policies in the app and define holidays. Think vacation policies, sick day policies and blackout dates.


The app allows employees to request leave directly asking the HR department or their manager and having them put it in the system. Then whoever manages those requests can approve or deny them in the web platform, mobile app or desktop app. One user did comment that the interface is “not super user friendly,” but that they’ve gotten used to it.

PTO balance tracking

Clockify tracks how much PTO somebody has used and how much they have left.


Free Plan

Standard: $5.49 USD per user per month

Pro: $7.99 USD per user per month

Enterprise: $11.99 USD per user per month

3. BambooHR

Source: BambooHR

BambooHR is a popular HR platform with a wide array of features and includes everything from an employee database to payroll to hiring and onboarding. The downside is that you may not need or want this much of a comprehensive solution and be overwhelmed.

Key features


Employees can make time off requests right in the app and the manager gets alerts via both email and mobile. It then automatically notifies the employee and adjusts their balance, although one employee did post a review saying they weren’t getting those notifications.

Time-off calculator

This allows employees to check their PTO balances, including future accrual. They can do this right from their phone, which gives them the tools to plan their time off more easily without constantly asking HR.

Multiple PTO policies

You can set up several paid time off policies in the app. Unlike many apps, BambooHR supports unlimited PTO, and you can even customize which employees those policies apply to. You can set accruals by role or location and create customized policies for as few as one employee.

Time off calendar

Managers can see at a glance who is out or scheduled to be out, making sure there’s adequate staffing and can schedule meetings for times when everyone will be available.


Core: Contact sales

Pro: Contact sales

4. Factorial HR

Source: Factorial HR

Factorial is another full-feature HR platform that brings a variety of HR tools together. It’s highly customizable, easy to use and automates time and payroll, among other things. It’s best to ask about the features up front though as one user claims they were oversold and found out they didn’t actually have access to features they needed without upgrading.

Key features


Factorial allows employees to make requests right in the app and managers to approve or deny with a single click, saving a lot of time.

Absence tracker

Factorial’s absence tracker allows you to easily see who’s out at any given time, before or after approving leave. You can also see accrued and used employee vacation time.

PTO policies

You can set different policies for different teams and easily set up vacation and sick time policies. You can also add custom absence categories such as maternity leave and paternity leave or administrative time off for inclement weather. There’s also the option to set up PTO carryover from year to year.

Calendar view

Get a bird’s-eye view of everyone’s time off with the calendar view. See where there’s overlap in booked time, see what’s coming up on employees’ schedules and also keep tabs on holidays.


Starts at: $4.50 USD per user per month

Customized pricing: Contact sales

5. Zoho People

Source: Zoho People

Zoho as a wider company has a wide variety of features for small businesses, ranging from sales to marketing to people management and beyond. You’ll find the PTO management under the human resources, Zoho People, offering. One user mentioned how better onboarding would have been great to help with getting to know all these features that they now regularly use.

Key features

Customizable leave policies

Customize leave policies by location, job roles or departments. You can even have multiple policies and add new leave types so that this PTO software has exactly the ones you need.

Compensatory PTO

Essentially, this feature lets you reward employees who are going the extra mile and spending extra time to complete a project. How? By giving them a day off. The software lets you set up an approval workflow to validate the time off.

Insights to manage absenteeism

Zoho People uses a Bradforce scoring system. With this, you can set up thresholds related to times absent so you know when to take a closer look to make sure they’re legitimate or if a bigger issue needs to be addressed before it gets out of hand.

Employee and manager self-service

Employees and managers alike have access to self-service tools for time-off requests, time-off calendars and more. This type of feature makes it easy for everyone to work together in the same platform.


Essential HR: $2 CAD per user per month

Professional: $3 CAD per user per month

Premium: $5 CAD per user per month

Enterprise: $8 CAD per user per month

People Plus: $15 CAD per user per month

6. LeaveBoard

Source: LeaveBoard

LeaveBoard’s cloud-based platform just does leave tracking. No payroll, no scheduling, just tracking leave.

Key features

Online request form

LeaveBoard doesn’t have an app, just an online form for employees to use to submit time-off requests. From that form, managers can approve or deny the request in a few clicks. It also supports work-from-home requests, for those days when you have mild sniffles and don’t want to stop working.

Personal HR dashboards

These dashboards help everyone stay in the know. Every employee has their own dashboard that they can use to check their time-off balance. Managers and administrators can see more, such as workforce analytics as well as attendance dashboards and dashboards for leaves of absence. 

Time-off calendar

LeaveBoard has a visual calendar to tell you who is in and out so you can track coverage with just a glance. One thing to keep in mind about this calendar is that if you have a long list of employees, the view becomes a bit clunkier. According to one user, sometimes the number of staff is too big and the dates at the top of the page can no longer be seen.

Time-off manager

LeaveBoard has a time-off manager that takes manual calculation off your plate. It can calculate accruals, carry-overs, sick leave and more. The system automatically calculates how many days off each team member is entitled to based on factors like work hours, company rules and holiday calendars.


Free (up to 9 employees)

Pro: $1.35 USD per employee per month

Enterprise: Contact sales.

7. Buddy Punch

Source: Buddy Punch

Buddy Punch is primarily for tracking hourly employees, but has a variety of other features, including a number of features dedicated to just PTO.

Key features


Buddy Punch gives you the option to directly edit individual balances (for example if somebody took PTO ahead of a storm and you decided to give it back), customize accrual rules and even who can see PTO. One thing Buddy Punch offers is the option for your entire team to see existing requests and approvals so they can have a hand in planning time off without putting stress on the team.

Time-off requests

Employees can easily submit requests, after checking their PTO balance and the time off calendar. You’ll get a notification when a new request comes in, or to free up even more of your time, you can put in an automated approval workflow. One person did have trouble with requests entering twice, but otherwise says it’s easy to work with.

Blackout dates

Buddy Punch has good support for blackout dates, allowing you to set busy periods where employees won’t be able to make vacation or other time-off requests.


Standard: $19 USD base fee plus $3.99 USD per user per month

Pro: $19 USD base fee plus $4.99 USD per user per month

Premium: $19 USD base fee plus $6.99 USD per user per month

8. GoCo

Source: GoCo

An all-in-one HR platform designed for smaller companies, which includes leave tracking features. With that in mind, however, you might find the platform has more than you actually need and some folks, like this user, say that the program is slow to load. While some time-off features are included in the basic plan, it’s not clear which are considered add-ons for additional costs.

Key features

Simple time-off requests

GoCo also gives employees the tools to request time off through the platform and makes approval on the manager side easy. Once approved, the PTO will sync will all your other calendars and timesheets so you don’t need to manually re-enter anything. 

Time off policy customization

You can customize individual leave policies and you can monitor balances to avoid overlap headaches and staff taking too much time off. It also gives the option for unlimited time off policies.

Customizable scheduling

Colour coding, recurring shifts and automatic notifications when shifts go live all make scheduling easier for everybody. When a time-off request syncs, for instance, you’ll be able to see it in this calendar so you know who on your team is in and when.


GoCo’s pricing packages are built on a base plan plus any additional features you need. Plans starts at $5 USD, but to get a sense of the complete price, you’ll have to go through the selection process on their website to get a custom quote.

9. Sage HR

Source: Sage HR

Formerly called CakeHR, Sage HR is part of an overall suite of software, including accounting, human resources, payroll and more. To get leave management you also have to have their Core HR product, which one user says is expensive for their business.

Key features

Customized leave policies

Sage HR supports setting up company-specific policies so that you don’t have to try to fit your company into an existing model. This includes unlimited PTO, and you can assign specific employees to specific policies.

Custom approval workflows

Requests can be made and approved/denied from your desktop or on the go from your phone. You can customize who requests are sent to for approval so that it doesn’t all fall on one person and even approve requests directly from Slack.


You can set Sage HR to automate reports that give you real-time insights into team or individual absences so you can tackle any concerns and make sure your team overall is supported.

Shared calendar

Make the time off process transparent by giving your entire team the chance to see who is off an when.


Free trial: 30 days

Core HR and Leave Management: Starts at $7 USD per employee per month

10. Jibble

Source: Jibble

Jibble is another stripped-down leave management tool with features including PTO management, time tracking and more. This one includes time tracking as well, tracking hours worked, overtime and more all in a free model. There are paid upgrade models that offer more features, although one user felt those options are a bit pricey.

Key features

Streamlined PTO requests

Requests can be sent in and approved on any device, and you can access the time off tracker wherever you are. Jibble sends automatic notifications to managers and employees when a request is approved or denied. Supervisors can also modify requests.

Entitlements and balances

Jibble has good tools for tracking exactly how much leave employees are using. The Time Off section of the platform gives you an overview of individual balances, carry-overs, amendments, entitlements and more.

Attendance tracker

This calendar sets out to improve employee productivity and overall transparency on your team. You can set up holidays and work schedules, and keep tabs on hours worked during work hours or days off.


Jibble helps you set custom policies and supports both paid and unpaid leave requests. You can assign policies to employees. It also supports granular requests for an hour or two, such as for a doctor’s appointment.



Premium: $3.49 CAD per user per month

Ultimate: $6.99 CAD per user user month

Enterprise: Contact sales

Choosing the right PTO management software for your team.

The right PTO management software depends on your budget, the size of your team, and even on your other time-tracking and/or HR software needs. Do you just need time tracking, or do you need a full-featured HR platform? Or do you just need a PTO management tool for the basics?

Learn more about Time By Wagepoint.

Time by Wagepoint has transparent and affordable pricing and a variety of time management features for small businesses. No fuss, no frills. Just the features you need, all at a great value. 

Book a demo today to get insights on how Time by Wagepoint can make a difference for you. Or, if you want to explore on your own, get started for free now.