Four PTO software solutions every small business owner should know

Paid time off, or otherwise known as PTO, is an iconic element of modern work culture around the world. At some companies, PTO is simply a given, allowing employees to take off their paid time off during the year when it best suits their schedule.

In other cases, some workers will receive time off work, but not necessarily receive any compensation while not on the clock.

In recent years, there has been a growing debate about how much PTO is sufficient, and given the state of the modern workplace, where some offices are now entirely virtual or remote, while others operate on a hybrid basis – paid time off can be monitored. Difficult to manage if you are a small enterprise with inadequate equipment.

A survey report found that more than 56% of US employees admit that they still have unused PTO days from 2020.

During the height of the pandemic, where most employees were either forced to take leave or had their benefits forfeited, many realized that the mismanagement of employee leave could hurt a business’s bottom line performance.

An article published by Psychology Today found that when people relax, daydream, or simply do nothing, their bodies produce alpha waves in the brain that help spark insight and innovative ideas.

Finally, research shows that working longer hours doesn’t mean workers are achieving more – or that they’re not being more creative or active in the workplace.

Thus, the question begins to diverge, how do small businesses and startups manage their PTO to ensure employees get the time they need, while also having enough time to rest without affecting business operations?

Four PTO software solutions

The easiest solution these days comes in the form of technology, and this is true in many cases. From managing cash flow and inventory to tracking orders and creating digital strategies that target the right set of customers – everything can be done through technology.

Let’s find out what are the best PTO software solutions for small businesses.


Affordable, straightforward, and well-designed platform that caters to small businesses. Gusto began as a payroll service, dedicated to small businesses, but in recent years the company has developed additional tools and resources that now allow small and medium-sized companies to plan and structure employee PTO and vacation schedules.

The platform offers users a tiered subscription plan, making it easy for small enterprises to choose the most financially suitable option. Additionally, Gusto enhances efficiency in human resources and helps managers create a tailored PTO policy for the business.

The integrated system allows employees to track and monitor their schedules, as well as have access to reporting tools and be able to see direct changes to their schedules in real time.


BambooHR is a fully automated software system designed specifically for small businesses. The software platform comes with automatic leave approval and allows business owners or managers to effortlessly structure employee leave schedules.

With BambooHR, users will be able to access a variety of tools and resources, including multiple employee notifications, a time-off calculator, and PTO balance updates.

The integration of tools and systems means that both employers and their employees will be able to access PTO schedules and PTO balances.

Finally with BambooHR, we see how automation and straightforward system design provide a simplified user experience for both employers and their employees.


Often seen as an HR management tool that equips small businesses with the tools they need to set up and design PTO policies, Zenefits comes with a comprehensive set of features and resources that give business owners more seamless control over scheduling, payroll and PTO tracking.

For starters, the platform can automatically calculate accrued PTO days for employees, and instead of having HR or a designated employee approve leave requests, Zenifit can help automate the entire process.

Additionally, the platform has a simple pricing structure and plans are priced per employee member, which tends to be a bit higher for businesses and startups with multiple employees.

While the price point may not be the most attractive part of Zenefits, it connects to other parts of the HR ecosystem and allows for easier PTO management.

HR Cloud

HR Cloud was designed with the idea of ​​giving small and medium enterprises more control over how they want to manage their PTO schedule. With this in mind, HR Cloud allows users to create fully customized time-off schedules and policies, designed only with the business in mind and what employees need.

On top of that, the platform offers more than traditional PTO scheduling tracking, as it helps monitor employee jury duty, sabbaticals, and even seniority. This means that instead of tracking these parameters elsewhere or manually, the system will help comply with local jurisdictions and laws, while also ensuring that it follows company policy.

HR Cloud is what the name suggests and is a complete cloud-based system accessible by both employees and employers.

Last thought

Having the right PTO software system not only makes it easier for employers to control, but also eases employees’ minds and provides a sense of transparency.

While not every company or small business can manage their PTO the same way, these software systems are designed to help streamline the calculation and management of PTO, increasing employee productivity and ensuring fair access to accrued time off.

First published on ValueWalk. Read here.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Ylanite Koppens; Thank you Pexels!