Top 7 Leave Management Software To Use In 2023
Learn how tools like Vacation Tracker can help you ditch the pain of using Excel spreadsheets, and transform your company’s leave management process forever.
Why use a leave management software?
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve experienced manual PTO tracking blunders at least once in your life.
Maybe the leave request you sent to HR 3 weeks ago still hasn’t been approved. Perhaps Jenna from Accounting decided to take a 10-day vacation right during busy season without any prior notice. Or maybe your boss keeps asking for a monthly leave report but the leaves you approved are lost within the countless emails in your inbox. The reasons are endless.
To counter these problems, most small businesses make it work with paper-based methods like paper forms and emails (even in 2022 — crazy, right?), while others get by with managing their PTO on a range of Excel files — which doesn’t always work well either, as you can see here. The smart ones, however, delegate all their tasks to reliable tools like dedicated leave management software, as you’ll come to see further down.
Hence, leave management is a crucial part of every business and is something that should be automated in order to keep your business running like a well-oiled machine. But first…
What should you look for in a leave management software?
So you’ve read the benefits, made your choice, and are ready to ditch Excel spreadsheets forever. You’re starting to look for new leave management software for your business, and you want to narrow down the options. But what are your next steps? Our article will walk you through the process of choosing a new leave management software. For starters, here’s what you should look for.
- An easy request and approval process: The leave management system should allow employees to easily submit leave requests and managers to easily approve or reject them.
- Flexibility in operating: No two businesses are the same. Hence, your leave management software should be flexible enough to allow for the creation of custom options to meet the specific needs of your organization.
- Seamless integration with your current tools: The system should be able to integrate with other collaboration tools to ensure that leave information is accurate and accessible to employees from within their workspace.
- Offer bang for your buck: Unlike many HR systems, which can be expensive, leave management software is designed to offer value for money, providing businesses with the tools they need to streamline their PTO tracking processes without breaking the bank.
- User-friendly interface: Your leave management system should have a user-friendly interface that is easy to use and navigate to ensure that employees and managers can use the system without needing any training or onboarding.
Top 7 Leave Management Software To Use In 2023
So now that we’ve established the features you need to prioritize when looking for a product, let’s dive into some of the best leave management software in the market, shall we?
1. Vacation Tracker: best for small and medium-sized businesses
If there’s one tool that should be on your list for leave management software to check out, it’s gotta be this one!
Put an end to the hassle Excel brings with Vacation Tracker — an all-in-one leave management solution designed to help your team get real-time visibility, accurately track, report, and self-manage their PTO. With over 100,000 users worldwide, Vacation Tracker is a leave management tool that helps growing companies and organizations of all kinds easily keep track of and automate their employees’ leaves.
No matter which workspace your team works from — Slack, MS Teams, Google Workspace, or even their email — Vacation Tracker meets you right where you are, and seamlessly integrates with your existing workflow.
Fully customizable interface
Vacation Tracker’s fully customizable approach to leave tracking offers users a flexible and convenient way to manage their PTO and one that’s built to fit into how they work — not vice versa. From Locations, Leave Types, Leave Policies, and Departments to even Accruals, users can tailor the app to suit their company’s needs.
Simple leave request and approval process
1 click is all it takes to approve a leave request, and 3 clicks are all it takes to send one. Whether you’re an Approver or the one requesting leaves, the process of doing so on Vacation Tracker is ridiculously easy. No more stacks of paper forms or lost leaves over email chains!
Vacation Tracker’s tailored notifications make it easy to stay informed about who is taking time off and when without having to constantly ask for updates. With this feature, you can set up daily or weekly Notifications that are tailored to the entire organization, to specific departments or locations, or even to users with custom labels. Get the information you need to plan and coordinate time-off, right at your fingertips.
With the Administrator Dashboard, you’ll have all the information and tools you need to manage your team’s time off in one convenient location. Administrators and Approvers can easily approve or deny leave requests, set leave types, manage notifications, customize settings, and much more.
External calendar sync
Keep your schedule organized by integrating Vacation Tracker with iCal, Google Calendar, or Outlook. This ensures that your leave information is synchronized across all of your platforms so that you can stay on top of your schedule. This way, you’ll have access to up-to-date leave information, no matter where you are!
Automated PTO accruals
The PTO accruals feature eliminates the need for manual calculations of employee leave balances. Simply choose the interval (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) and the app handles the rest. With this feature, you won’t have to worry about manually calculating or losing track of your time off ever again.
Configure locations & departments
Vacation Tracker allows you to create and configure multiple Locations if you have team members in different places. With this feature, you can manage leaves for multiple departments, regardless of their location. Each department can have its own set of Approvers, customized notifications, and reports, making your job 10x easier to do.
Built-in leave reporting
With Vacation Tracker’s in-built reporting feature, users can easily generate and export reports as CSV files. All they have to do is select the people they wish to send the reports to and the time they’d like the reports to be sent. These leave reports can be automated to be sent out on a preselected day each month as well!
Organize by custom labels
Got people from different cultures, departments, and locations working on a major project for an important client? Organize these users and their leave data by assigning them specific labels to ensure they’re able to work around any potential public holidays, leaves, and deadlines.
Users can choose between either the Core or Complete plan according to the features they’d like to use.
The Core plan is ideal for smaller teams looking to automate their leave tracking process. It starts at a base price of $25 per month for up to 25 users, then $1 per user per month. Additionally, the Complete plan is perfect for teams that require more advanced leave tracking and are using the accruals system. It includes everything in the Core plan, along with advanced features like PTO accruals, automated leave reports, user labels, and hourly-based leave requests.
P.S. For a limited time, you can also save up to 2 months of Vacation Tracker by signing up for the Annual plan! Get one invoice for the price of 10 — sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? Sign up below to get your free demo.
2. BambooHR: ideal for automating all HR processes
BambooHR offers a range of features that enable businesses to streamline their HR processes, including time tracking, attendance tracking, employee onboarding, payroll management, performance reviews, and applicant tracking. It essentially is a cloud-based system that simplifies HR tasks, giving businesses the freedom to focus on their core operations.
With a comprehensive suite of HR tools, BambooHR is a good solution for businesses that are looking to optimize their HR processes entirely. However, we’ve featured some of their best features for PTO tracking below.
Since BambooHR is an external PTO tracking software, it provides businesses with secure, reliable data storage and access, giving them the peace of mind that all their HR data is safe and secure, compared to the old-school, prone-to-error manual ways of leave management.
Who’s Out Calendar
The Who’s Out calendar feature by BambooHR is a handy tool for planning ahead and avoiding being understaffed during the holidays. This calendar displays which individuals will be absent on any given day in the future, making it easy to schedule leaves and work around deadlines.
Unlimited PTO policies
You can create an unlimited number of policies on your BambooHR account. This includes setting up a PTO policy for one team, adjusting accruals based on location or department, having an individual policy for each employee, and more.
Customizable approval workflow
With BambooHR, up to five people can be included in the approval process for each PTO policy, ensuring that all requests are promptly evaluated. Managers can immediately approve a request with a single click, as well as add a comment of support or an explanation if the request is denied or requires adjustment.
Since BambooHR is designed to serve as a complete HR solution, it does have a more expensive price tag attached to it. Users can get either the Essentials or Advantage plan, along with extra Add-ons if necessary. Just like Vacation Tracker, BambooHR is priced on a per-employee, per-month basis for companies with more than 20 employees and they charge a monthly flat rate for teams exceeding that.
There are no prices listed on the website, but you can get a free price quote based on your company’s needs here.
3. E-days: a convenient online staff PTO planner
E-days is another configurable leave management system that helps businesses streamline their administrative tasks and gain valuable insights into their workforce. By automating processes and eliminating the need for manual spreadsheet tracking, E-days helps reduce the workload of HR departments, allowing managers and employees alike to make complete, informed decisions about their PTO.
Automated scheduled reports
With this feature, you can schedule automated leave reports to run on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. This means that you can get up-to-date information on your workforce attendance and absences on a schedule that works best for you.
Remote set up process
Since E-days is a web-based leave management software, their website states that there is nothing to download or install and the tool can be set up remotely — usually typically within 7-10 working days.
iCal calendar integration
With E-days, using iCal feeds will allow you to sync their in-app leave calendars with any web-based calendars such as Outlook, Gmail, and more.
Track PTO carryover and accruals
Lastly, E-days also allows for automatic carryover of unused leave, with options to set limits on the maximum number of days allowed and to track holiday leave. It also has the ability to pro-rate entitlement balances across different calendar years and rota patterns, just like Vacation Tracker.
While customers have to personally request a price/quote from the E-days website, they can choose from 3 plans: Essentials, Expert or Elite. Their website states that 50 licenses cost around £1200. However, pricing is determined by the size and complexity of your needs, the features you would use and the size of your company. They don’t offer a free trial, but you can book a demo here.
4. LeaveBoard: to save time on employee management
LeaveBoard, a cloud-based leave management software, is designed to automate HR administration tasks such as regulating employee data, tracking work attendance, and managing PTO in a simple way. Whether you are a manager looking to better manage your team’s leave, or an employee seeking an easy way to request time off, LeaveBoard has the tools you need to make HR administration a breeze.
Generate HR reports
HR reports in LeaveBoard make it easy to gain instant transparency into employee attendance, helping you to make informed HR decisions. Additionally, with just a few clicks, you can generate valuable tailored HR reports that can help you to make better hiring, promotion, and planning decisions.
Employee attendance tracking
Users can easily know who’s in and out of the office at all times with employee attendance tracking on LeaveBoard.
Integrated into Slack
LeaveBoard integrates with Slack, allowing you to easily book sick leaves and vacations directly from your favorite communication tool. With the /lb command, you can access the leave management software directly from Slack, making it easy for team members to request PTO and for managers to approve those requests.
Automated accrual policies
Just like Vacation Tracker, LeaveBoard also offers the feature of customizing your company’s PTO accrual policies. The accrual policies in LeaveBoard are user-friendly and can be automated, saving you the time and hassle that comes with doing manual calculations.
Currently, LeaveBoard has three pricing plans. The Free plan accommodates up to 9 employees and contains basic features to automate leave management. However, at $1.35 per user per month, the Pro plan has more advanced features for bigger teams. For companies bigger than 81 employees, the Enterprise plan is also available.
5. AttendanceBot: a complete HR solution
AttendanceBot is a chat-based HR management app designed to help businesses solve their time tracking, absence management, vacation tracking, and employee shift planning challenges. Since it’s a more comprehensive HR system, it is more complicated to use for just leave management purposes, making it harder to onboard your team into the platform. However, we’ve broken down some of its most notable features below.
Easy leave requests and approval
Requesting and approving leaves on AttendanceBot is almost as easy as it is on Vacation Tracker. All it takes is just a few clicks to send leave requests, and another to approve them instantly.
AttendanceBot is available on Slack and Microsoft Teams, allowing users to manage and keep track of PTO from within these tools.
Users can clock in and out by sending messages to the tool, to better track time spent working on specific projects or tasks and get reminders to do so accordingly as well.
AttendanceBot users can easily invite the app to their team’s channel and receive automatic summary notifications in the morning and evening. This feature helps everyone to plan their work and stay up-to-date on attendance.
Needless to say, AttendanceBot is definitely on the pricier end of the leave management software space. Its plans are as follows:
- The Standard plan at $6 per user per month for teams that need effortless tracking & visibility basics
- A Pro plan at $9 per user per month for organizations that value automation and admin controls
- Lastly, the Premium plan at a whopping $12 per user per month for enterprises that prioritize robust, tailor-made simplicity
6. Calamari: focused on employee leave and attendance management
Calamari is a cloud-based HR solution that offers two modules: leave management and clock-in/out services. It helps with efficient time tracking management, giving you the timesheets, reports, and employee monitoring tools for easily managing your workforce. Furthermore, users can also take advantage of the online leave management tool, which automates PTO calculations and offers an absence calendar that integrates with popular applications such as Google Apps, Jira, Slack, and more.
Manage multiple types of leave
Like in Vacation Tracker, Calamari allows you to manage a variety of absences, including PTO, sick leave, maternity leave, vacations, personal days, and more. Thus, this flexibility makes it easy for businesses to track and manage all types of time off, ensuring that all employee time off is accounted for,
Custom leave approval flows
Calamari offers a flexible, multi-level approval process that can be customized to reflect your company’s structure. With Calamari, accepting an application can be done by a regular employee, a supervisor, or even a substitute, depending on your company’s needs.
Shared absence calendars
With Calamari, you can track your employees’ vacation, days off, and remote work using shared calendars. You can easily synchronize these calendars with popular applications such as Google Workspace, Office 365, iOS, and Apple, using an iCal feed.
Android and iOS apps
For added convenience, Calamari also offers apps for Android and iOS devices, allowing you to access your essential HR activities wherever you are. With Calamari, you can manage leave requests, track employee attendance, and generate reports, all from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet.
Calamari’s leave management module is priced at $2 per user per month, with a minimum of $20 billed monthly, which includes all basic features within the app.
Other options for teams are the Clock in/Clock out plan at $2.5 per employee per month (with a $25 minimum monthly) and the Core HR plan at $1.5 per user per month ($15 minimum monthly).
7. Sage HR: software to streamline your current HR processes
Last but not least, we have Sage HR — a fully-featured HR platform with modules like leave management, timesheets, shift scheduling, and expenses & performance. With Sage HR, you can integrate workforce management and automate repetitive tasks, saving you time and hassle. This tool is ideal for businesses of all sizes, and its user-friendly interface makes it easy to use, even for those with limited HR experience.
With Sage HR, every employee can easily access their account to view their balances, request time off, see who is away, and quickly access important company information with little onboarding.
Detailed leave reports
Creating detailed time-off reports is quick and easy in Sage HR. Simply generate a report to see the progress of individual and team time-off data, providing valuable insights into your HR processes.
Sage HR also offers mobile apps for both iOS and Android, allowing you to access the platform on your phone. This convenient feature makes it easy to manage HR tasks on the go.
Sage HR’s dashboard is very similar to Vacation Tracker’s. It provides a convenient, centralized location for all of your HR information, saving you valuable time that would otherwise be wasted scrolling away through your inbox and Excel sheets.
Users can pick between the Payroll, Core HR plan, or both according to their needs. The Payroll plan cost $3 per employee and a $20 flat fee per month. In contrast, the Core HR plan costs $7 per employee per month and includes the leave management features briefly described above.
It's time to make the switch to automation
Phew — you made it to the end! With so many options on the market, it sure can feel overwhelming to choose the right leave management software for your business.
All in all, whether you are a manager looking to better manage your team’s leave or an employee seeking an easy way to request time off, leave management software can help you succeed. By taking your business’s unique needs into consideration and comparing the features and pricing of different tools, you can find the perfect leave management solution for your business.
We hope this article helped you make the right choice! Start your free trial today to see how leave management software like Vacation Tracker can transform your business for the better.