Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - August 2007

I am absolutely amazed sometimes at how fast life seems to be flying by. I looked at the calendar this morning and had to do a double take, August is already half over! What ever happened to July, or June for that matter? Time continues to march on despite our protests or best efforts to stop it. The most we can do is try to cover up it’s effects, and even that doesn’t last for very long.

Speaking of time, we get a number of support requests each month related to the appearance of ‘missing’ time on timecard reports. Sometimes worker timecard entries just show zeros in the regular hours worked column. Sometimes the total hours for the worker are completely missing. And sometimes manually adding up all of the worker hours does not seem to equal what the timecard report says they should be.

So this edition of our ‘Tips & Tricks’ newsletter is all about finding ‘missing’ time.

Why does the timecard report display zeros instead of hours worked?
There are three reasons why the timecard report will display zeros in the regular hours worked column instead of actual hours worked. The first is because the worker is marked as salaried in the employment section of their user profile. A salaried worker’s timecard will list all of the start and stop work times without totaling the hours unless you choose to enable the totaling of salaried worker hours in the Calculations control panel.

The second reason why the timecard report will display zeros in the regular hours worked column, and the most common, is because new timecard entries have been made in a payroll period that has already been closed. Simply reset you periods closed through date and run your timecard reports again to see the hours included for the new entries.

The third reason has to do with how Virtual TimeClock handles the rounding of hours. This will be discussed in more detail next.

Here’s a quick Tip:
See the February 2007 edition of our ‘Tips & Tricks’ newsletter (our most popular newsletter!) for more information on closing payroll periods, why closing periods is important, when to close a period, and how to reopen a closed period.

Why do the hours worked not match the start and stop times?
That’s an easy one. Virtual TimeClock performs it's rounding on the actual start and stop work times, not the total hours worked. Let me give you a visual that may help.

With quarter hour rounding enabled, you would see the following results:

A start time of 9:11 is closer to 9:15 than 9:00 so it rounds to 9:15
A stop time of 12:10 is closer to 12:15 than 12:00 so it rounds to 12:15 9:15 to 12:15 is 3 hours

A start time of 9:08 is closer to 9:15 than 9:00 so it rounds to 9:15
A stop time of 12:07 is closer to 12:00 than 12:15 so it rounds to 12:00 9:15 to 12:00 is 2.75 hours

Here’s a little puzzle I’ll let you figure out on your own:
A start time of 9:08
A stop time of 9:22
The timecard report shows 0:00 in the regular hours column. Why?

Here’s a quick Tip:
Since Virtual TimeClock stores the actual start and stop work times to the exact minute, you can change your rounding settings at any time and see what effects they have on your current timecard reports.

Why do the total hours of each column not match my own totals?
There are two ways to display totals on your timecard reports: decimal or time. Six hours and fifteen minutes can be displayed as either ‘6.25’ or ‘6:15’. Remember that when you add up hours and minutes in time format that every 60 minutes is another hour of work. Therefore ‘6:48’ and ‘6:34’ adds up to 13 hours and 22 minutes, not 12.82 hours. When you choose to display totals in decimal format Virtual TimeClock handles all of these time conversions for you.

Here’s a quick Tip:
For more information on customizing your timecard reports, check out the article on our web site at Custom Timecard Reports.

Why does there appear to be a one or two minute difference between daily hours reported as worked and the total hours worked for the period?
Remember how we said there are two ways to display totals on your timecard reports? Well, this is an effect of how numbers are displayed in decimal format. 20 minutes is one third of an hour, so 20 + 20 + 20 = 60 minutes. However, in decimal format 20 minutes is represented as .33, so .33 + .33 + .33 = .99, not quite a full hour. The article below does a great job reviewing the mathematics behind these ‘missing’ minutes.

Here’s a quick Tip:
For a more information on how Virtual TimeClock reliably totals employee hours, see the article we’ve written at Accurate Timecard Totals.

So you see, time isn’t ‘missing’ after all. It all begins with a proper understanding of how your Virtual TimeClock system is configured to report hours worked. Please give us a call or drop us an email if you need any more help reading your timecard reports.

Until next month,
Jeff Morrow