Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - April 2007

I don’t know about you, but I am certainly enjoying the warmer Spring days. Although it does seem like the outdoor chores grow exponentially with each degree the mercury climbs. There’s grass to mow, weeds to hoe, bushes to trim, sprinklers to repair, and flowers to plant. All of these jobs around the house recently reminded me of how easy it is with Virtual TimeClock to keep track of the time spent on different jobs or activities at your business.

This month’s ‘Tips & Tricks’ Newsletter addresses two related questions that we commonly receive about using Tasks in Virtual TimeClock Pro. One question comes from new users: ‘What is the difference between a task and an out status memo?’ More experienced users often ask a related question: ‘How can I easily track the time spent on different activities or jobs that my employees are working on?’

What is the difference between a task and an out status memo?
This is a great question. Confusing these two will cause you to count 'off the clock' time as 'on the clock' time and vice-­versa. Tasks are activities you pay an employee to do. It is time 'on the clock'. Conversely, Out Status memos are notes left when employees are 'off the clock' and not being paid. Out Status memos are not stored in worker timecards. They are temporary memos that are placed in the Status column of the TimeClock until the worker clocks back in. Tasks, on the other hand, are stored with the start and stop work timestamps for each timecard entry.

For some great ideas on how to use Out Status memos, and even how to create a Custom Memo, see your December 2006 issue of the ‘Tips & Tricks’ Newsletter.

How do I track the different jobs my employees are working on?
We have already established that tasks are activities you pay an employee to do. These activities can be anything for which you want to track time. Some employees perform the same activity day after day, while others switch between multiple activities throughout the workday. Virtual TimeClock allows employees to switch from one task to another with the click of a button.

Perhaps these real life uses of Virtual TimeClock tasks will give you an idea or inspiration for your business:
  • Printing Industry – track labor and work in progress by assigning each job a unique task
  • Media Production – use tasks to track labor costs for each client or stage of development
  • Manufacturing – define tasks to segment Acquisition, Manufacturing, Packaging, and Distribution labor
  • Market Research – create new tasks ‘on the fly’ for each customer contact to track billable hours
  • Medical / Dental – setup tasks for procedures or equipment and compare labor costs to reimbursement

There are dozens of others uses that I’ve heard from our customers. You are only limited by your imagination. You can be as general or specific as you wish. In all this detail, don’t miss the big picture: Tasks allow you to effortlessly and accurately track time spent on different activities, jobs, clients or locations. We even have users employing tasks to monitor time spent on paid breaks!

For more information on using Virtual TimeClock to track your labor costs, check out the article on our web site at Managing Labor Costs.

How do I get the information when I want it?
I know what you’re thinking, ‘This is all great, but can I easily get to the information when I want it?’ Of course! The Timecard Report Writer is an extremely flexible report writing tool that comes built in with Virtual TimeClock Pro. We have even already included some task report templates for you! Use the Timecard Report Writer to create and save your own custom reports or modify the existing reports to get the task level detail you need for any range of dates.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow

P.S. ­‐ I got a sneak peek at our upcoming Virtual TimeClock 5.5 release today. You’re going to love some of the practical new features we’ve added. Make sure to keep your Maintenance and Support enrollment current to continue receiving each new release for free!