Are you unsure of the benefits and differences between Hubstaff vs Harvest?
We are about to remove all your doubts.
If you, like many other business owners and managers, are looking to improve time tracking within your organization, you’ve probably heard of these two platforms.
In other words, Hubstaff and Harvest are some of the most popular rime tracking solutions currently available.
These two platforms, as well as many similar ones, are rapidly replacing paper timesheets and Excel sheets as proof of work.
If you want to find the best solution for your company, you will need to do some research.
Namely, different platforms have different approaches to time tracking and employee monitoring.
Thus, we are here to examine how these two compare.
Hubstaff – the Basics
Hubstaff is a feature-rich business software solution. It covers multiple elements of the business process. These include team management, time tracking, and productivity measurement.
The application is built to be completely automatic. In other words, the employees don’t have to interact with it whatsoever. Instead, it will automatically track their activities and track the time dedicated to them.
The monitoring includes screenshots of the devices employees are using. The data gets turned into rich and comprehensible reports.
What is Harvest?
Harvest is a time tracking platform that offers two different ways to capture employee time. On one hand, the process can be completely automatic. On the other, the employees can fill in their timesheets manually.
The software offers the option of adding notes to entries and connecting those entries to specific tasks and projects.
Tracking breaks and time off are also included in Harvest’s features.
If a team member forgets to submit their timesheet, the system can send them a reminder.
The Differences Between the Platforms
As you can deduce from our descriptions, Hubstaff has a higher level of automation.
It also offers a variety of employee tracking and monitoring features Harvest lacks.
On one hand, the automatic monitoring features will allow all team members to be as accurate as possible. On the other hand, though, these features will also impact the morale of the team negatively.
Namely, having all computer activity available to higher-ups communicates distrust in the employees.
In other words, the workers will feel like the employer considers every minute they spend away from their devices unproductive.
Certainly, this can be the case, but in most cases being away from the computer signifies meetings and business calls.
There are other differences between the platforms as well. So, let us observe them one by one.
1. Time Tracking
Time tracking is the main feature of both platforms. However, they approach this activity quite differently. Here is how.
A. Time Tracking with Hubstaff
As we have previously stated, Hubstadd relies on monitoring user activity. What does this entail though?
The system is completely automatic. So, the users (aka employees) don’t have to worry about time tracking. Instead, they can dedicate their time to their tasks.
The application observes all computer activity and compiles it into reports. managers and other users with higher permissions can see the statistics of the entire team, as well as of individual employees.
The feature called Activity levels tracks all computer use and divides it into active and inactive time. It does this by tracking mouse activity and keyboard strokes.
That is to say, all activity is recorded and accounted for. On the other hand, the time the keyboard or mouse isn’t used is marked as inactive.
Once the system records activity, it creates timesheets that show two main elements.
Firstly, you will be able to see the engagement of all employees. Secondly, you can keep track of the projects they are working on.
B. Harvest’s Approach to Time Tracking
Even though its level of automation isn’t as high as with Hubstaff, Harvest also offers automatic time tracking.
The employees can create to-do lists and choose different tasks from them. Then, they only have to start a timer that shows up next to each task.
Once the timer is started, the time is allocated to that task, project, and client. Once the team member finishes a task or starts working on something else, they can turn the timer off.
The time tracking feature has a little bonus. Namely, users can add their notes and comments to each task. This is very useful both to their coworkers and the management.
The lower level of automation guarantees some human error. However, Harvest has accounted for that as well. The employees can add time entries manually.
2. Employee Monitoring
This is one of the biggest differences between the platforms. We are well aware that different organizations have different needs when it comes to monitoring employee activity. let us see how Hubstaff vs Harvest compares.
A. Hubstaff’s Monitoring Features
The entire application heavily relies on employee monitoring. This is logical, as its basic function – time tracking – depends on measuring employee activity.
Other options, including screenshots, allow the management to make sure everyone is working on their tasks, rather than slacking off.
These aren’t the only ways to monitor the employees. Namely, Hubstaff tracks and lists all URLs they are accessing during work hours, as well as the time spent on each website.
Moreover, you will receive a list of all applications and programs the staff is accessing on their devices. This information is available in the form of reports with the entirety of work time divided in percentages.
All in all, there are basically no ways for the employees to “cheat” the system, as their every activity is recorded and reported on.
B. Harvest and Employee Monitoring
Harvest takes a diametrically opposite stand on employee monitoring. Namely, all information the app record is provided by the employees themselves, and there is no way to measure employee activity.
In other words, Hubstaff focuses on the results achieved by all employees rather than monitoring their devices.
This method of time tracking and employee monitoring lets the results speak for themselves.
Both methods have their benefits and disadvantages. For example, Hubstaff’s accuracy will help you identify issues earlier.
On the other hand, the employees will be happier with the method that doesn’t track their every move. Hence, it is up to you to decide which solution suits your organization’s needs more.
Business software has been on a steady rise since it became widely available. That means that many companies are already using one or multiple solutions.
If you are looking for a time tracking solution to fill the gap in your established suite, it is important to make sure the different applications are compatible and can work together.
Otherwise, you will be adding another step to your employees’ busy schedules. So, let’s see how Hubstaff vs Harvest compare when it comes to integrations.
A. Hubstaff Integrations
Hubstaff counts over 30 available integrations with different applications. These include
- Project management apps like Trello, Asana, Jira, and GitHub. Using them along Hubstaff allows you to measure the time dedicated to any project
- Communication tools like Slack. Let your employees communicate and collaborate like before with the addition of time tracking.
- Accounting and invoicing solutions including QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Payoneer, and PayPal. Calculate your invoices and receive payments directly through these solutions.
- Helpdesk solutions like Freshdesk and Zendesk to make sure your clients are happy and their issues resolved
B. Harvest and Integrations
Harvest also takes integrations seriously. Namely, the application offers over forty integrations from many different industries.
- Browser extensions for Firefox, Edge, and Chrome allow users to track their time directly on the web.
- Google and Outlook calendars will allow your team to stay synchronized. This way, you will be able to avoid all misunderstandings and over- or understaffing.
- Manage your invoices and payments with QuickBooks, Xero, Stripe, and PayPal integrations. Send accurate invoices and get paid directly through the app.
- Plan and track project completion through Asana, Trello, and Jira
- A handy Zapier integration allows you to connect Harvest to many other apps if they aren’t directly available.
4. Project Management
Projects are very often connected to rigid deadlines. That is why having a time tracking application that can also offer insight into project progress.
A. Manage Projects with Hubstaff
Hubstaff has all the data from your employees’ computer activity.
This allows you to keep an eye on all projects and their health.
You can divide jobs into smaller portions, and Hubstaff will make sure there are no misunderstandings. Namely, the app focuses on improving collaboration, transparency, and communication.
The employees will be well informed about all activities happening around the projects they’re involved in. This is a great way to make sure the projects are on track.
B. Harvest Project Management
Harvest doesn’t have much of a project management feature. However, users can create their to-do lists and track time for individual items.
These items can represent different tasks and are connected to clients, so the time is counted toward their projects.
Of course, it is up to the employee (which is a staple of Harvest) to manage their time and keep track of the projects.
You can also use one of the many integrations with project management software solutions. This way your staff can keep using the platforms they were already used to.
Time tracking in and of itself isn’t enough to have a clear picture of the state of your organization. Yet, time tracking software can help you get a 360 overview if it offers high-quality reports.
How does Hubstaff vs Harvest compare when it comes to reports?
A. Hubstaff Reports
Hubstaff offers seven different types of reports. the high level of automation guarantees the lack of human error. Yet, you should be careful since the platform only counts the time spent on a device.
- General reports are visible to all employees. This type of report allows for some time entry editing. Managers can approve the timesheets and overview employees’ weekly activities.
- Payment reports will help you keep an eye on unpaid billable hours, as well as all completed payments.
- Budget reports show the company budget and the way it is being utilized. Project and client budgets are tracked in different reports, and you can also see employee spending limits per week.
- Time off reports contain time off balances – accrued time off for each employee. They also present approved time off requests for easier scheduling.
- Attendance reports show employee availability.
- Invoice reports have two important functions. Firstly, they show all invoices. Secondly, they differentiate between paid and unpaid invoices. You can filter all items by the sender.
- Job site reports are important for field teams, as they show how much time was spent at a specific location. This is where Hubstaff’s GPS location feature comes in handy.
B. Harvest Reports
Harvest also offers a wide variety of reports, even though there is basically no automation.
- Time reports show total and billable hours for every employee, task, project, and client
- Detailed time reports show individual entries you can filter through if you need a specific piece of information. Administrators can edit time entries within these reports.
- Detailed expense reports show all expenses. Again, you can filter through the expenses by periods, expense categories, teams, clients, and projects.
- Invoice reports present all invoiced the company has issued in a specific period. You will be able to see the status of the invoice, as well as the issued and pay dates.
- Uninvoiced reports take care of uninvoiced hours per project
- Received payment reports give you a list of received payments in a specific timeframe with all necessary data.
- Contractor reports list all active and archived contractors, their tracked time, and costs.
6. Payroll Management
Time tracking software allows for an automated invoicing process. This way you’ll be able to remove an important item from your schedule and dedicate your time to other activities.
A. Hubstaff Payroll
As Hubstaff takes notice of all user activity, it has a great basis for a good payroll feature. And, it delivers. The app can calculate payroll for each employee accurately, and synchronize their pay with the timesheets for absolute accuracy.
B. Harvest Payroll
Harvest currently doesn’t have a payroll feature. You will need to calculate pay separately or use an integration.
7. Invoice management
Time tracking software solutions can help you create accurate invoices without having to do so manually. Let us see how Hubstaff and Harvest handle this feature.
A. Hubstaff Invoicing
Hubstaff has a dedicated invoicing feature. However, it is available only for users who have the Premium or Enterprise plan.
You can generate the invoice completely automatically or manually within the platform. The integrations with QuickBooks, PayPal, Transferwise, and Payoneer allow you to keep a record of all payments.
B. Harvest Invoicing
Harvest also offers an invoicing feature. The software turns tracked hours and expenses into invoices. Then, you can also use integrations to receive payments.
Interested in an Alternative?
Learning about Hubstaff vs Harvest has given you a general idea of the inner workings of these two applications.
The two solutions are hardy, give great results, and offer many useful features. Yet, there is no universal perfect time tracking solution for all companies.
If you are interested in a simpler, but equally accurate and useful solution, we suggest giving Time Analytics a try.
Why Time Analytics?
We wouldn’t be offering our app if it didn’t present some significant advantages.
1. A User-friendly Solution
Time Analytics is based on timesheets. These timesheets are completely filled by the employees. however, managing them is very simple for multiple reasons.
There are two options to track time – an automatic time clock and manual time entries. even when using the automatic mode, the employees can edit, add, and remove entries to achieve accuracy.
The interface is extremely clean and intuitive. It takes only a couple of minutes to fill the timesheets, even with very low computer skills.
Additionally, users can create favorites lists and templates where they only need to add very little data to complete the timesheet.
2. The Pricing
Time Analytics relies on timesheets filled in by the employees. that is to say, the program is relatively lightweight.
This means the price isn’t high, in contrast to both Hubstaff and Harvest.
Our solution delivers a plethora of reports that can help you make an informed decision about your next business step. It also only charges for currently active team members while keeping all former employee information intact.
3. Employee Management and Time Off Tracking
Time Analytics offers multiple time off request forms. This means that your employees will be able to request time off and have their requests approved directly in the program.
To put it simply, you won’t have to worry about schedule clashes or being understaffed, as you’ll have all information on employee availability at hand.
4. Task Allocation
Users with higher permissions (managers) can create tasks directly in the program. All tasks are directly connected to clients and projects. Then, the managers can allocate tasks directly to the employees and see the progress.
Both Hubstaff and Harvest are some of the most famous time tracking solutions currently on the market. While Hubstaff takes a more automated approach, Harvest relies on the employees to provide data.
Harvest may be less automated, but it doesn’t offer any monitoring features. Even though this can mean lower accuracy, it has its benefits. Namely, the morale is higher as the employees won’t feel spied on. This, in turn, means a lower turnover rate and less money spent on finding and training new employees.
If you aren’t happy with either option, you can give Time Analytics a try as well, as the solution has a lower price point and gives the employees more freedom.
We hope you have learned something new about both solutions, and are a step closer to making the best decision for your organization’s needs.