Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - March 2008

Daylight Saving Time is coming three weeks early again for some of us this year, and so is this month’s ‘Tips & Tricks’ Newsletter. I’m sure anxious to start enjoying the longer sunny evenings after we set the clocks forward an hour. So don’t forget, regions in the U.S. that participate in Daylight Saving Time (DST) ‘spring forward’ on the second Sunday in March and ‘fall back’ to standard time on the first Sunday in November.

That makes this the perfect time to discuss how Virtual TimeClock is affected by the seasonal time change.

How does the time change impact my Virtual TimeClock?
For most users, there’s no impact at all! Virtual TimeClock records all time stamps from the computer hardware running the TimeClock database. In other words, Virtual TimeClock records the time as reported by your computer. As long as your computer handles the time change automatically, Virtual TimeClock will always automatically record the correct time for you.

Here’s a quick Tip:
If you have worker shifts that cross the time change, you do need to manually add or subtract an hour for that shift, depending on the time of year.

I know we have lots of new users out there, so this is also a great time to review the importance of closing payroll periods.

Why is the current period date wrong when I try to print timecards?
Virtual TimeClock is using the current period dates set in your payroll cycle settings. You’ve likely neglected to close your past payroll periods. Don’t worry, it’s easy to get caught up!

Why is it important to close my payroll periods?
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. 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.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Once all entries for a payroll period have been entered, reviewed, and corrected as necessary the payroll period should be closed. From the Administration menu, choose Close Period.

Why do timecards sometimes display zeros instead of the total hours worked?
There may be several reasons for this, although the most common is because new timecard entries have been made in a payroll period that’s already been closed.

Here’s a quick Tip:
See the August 2007 edition of our ‘Tips & Tricks’ newsletter for the other reasons timecard reports may display zeros instead of hours worked.

How do I reopen 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.

Here’s a quick Tip:
It’s easy to reopen a closed period. From the Administration menu, choose Payroll Period. 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.

I hope this month’s newsletter helps smooth the seasonal time change and gets your payroll periods back on track.

Until next month,
Jeff Morrow