Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - February 2007

Did you know that February is Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket month? I’m not kidding! Our past Presidents all have to share one day, but shopping carts get the whole month. I already knew February was African American History month and American Heart month, but it’s also National Hot Breakfast month, Library Lovers month, and National Bird Feeding month. The list goes on and on. It wasn’t long before I figured out, “Hey, I’m missing out on all kinds of great celebrations that I didn’t even know about!” Especially since February is National Snack Food month. Now there’s something to celebrate.

We don’t want you to miss out on all that Virtual TimeClock Pro has to offer, so we scour incoming phone and email contacts for common questions and requests. Here’s one that’s consistently at the top of the list: Why is the current period date always wrong when I print my timecard reports? The answer is the basis for this month’s ‘Tips & Tricks’ Newsletter.

Closing Payroll Periods
In order to use Virtual TimeClock effectively, it is essential to understand the role and function of closing periods within the program. In Virtual TimeClock, closing a period performs three tasks:
  • Virtual TimeClock calculates and creates a permanent record of the hours, overtime, (and optionally) gross wages for the current payroll period.
  • Virtual TimeClock records the last closed period’s date as the ‘Periods Closed Through’ date.
  • Virtual TimeClock increments the current payroll period to the next period using your current payroll cycle settings.

Why Closing Periods Is Important
When viewing or printing timecards, Virtual TimeClock will always use the stored totals from a closed period rather than recalculating the totals again. This is important since wages, overtime, and rules change over time. By closing periods, reports for a closed period maintain the historical totals rather than calculating hours, wages, and overtime based on the current settings for each worker.

When to Close a Period
Once all entries for a payroll period have been entered, reviewed, and corrected as necessary the payroll period should be closed. Simply choose Close Period from the Administration menu.

Reopening a Closed Period
Remember that closing a period causes all totals for the period to be written to the data file. Therefore, a payroll period that is inadvertently closed before the end of an actual payroll period will lead to incomplete timecard reports. Though new entries made in a closed period will be properly recorded, they will not be totaled when timecards are viewed and printed. Never fear, a closed period can be easily reopened so that all entries within the period can be properly totaled.

If Virtual TimeClock is using the wrong current period date when you go to print your timecards, it’s simply using the current period set in your payroll cycle settings. If you’ve neglected to close your past payroll periods, it’s easy to get caught up. Choose Payroll Period from the Administration menu. In the Periods Closed Through section, click the Modify button. Set the date to the day before your current period start date and click Reset.

This should be enough to get you started. For more information and details on closing and reopening payroll periods, please see the Closing Periods topic in the User's Guide chapter of your Virtual TimeClock Help system.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow