Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - July 2008

Have you ever purchased a new gadget that does way more than you initially need or really even understand? If you’re like me, you start out with every intention of learning how to take advantage of those extra functions, but for some reason never find the time or get around to it. When it comes to software, it’s often worse. I install and use it at a basic level and then live with the nagging sense that I should be doing way more with the software than I am.

I talk with Virtual TimeClock users every week who express the same sentiments. They purchased Virtual TimeClock to meet an immediate or particular need, but never got around to exploring the other functionality that could be really useful to them. I think an extremely useful, yet neglected feature of Virtual TimeClock is tracking accrued and used leave. Since it’s that time of year for the question, “How much vacation time do I have left?”, I’m going to devote this edition of ‘Tips & Tricks’ to help you quickly and easily get started tracking accrued and used leave with Virtual TimeClock Pro.

How do I setup leave accrual benefits?
The Worker Leave Assignment window makes it easy to enter accrual information for each employee. You can quickly switch from one worker to another by using the worker drop-down list at the top of the window. You must first decide if you accrue leave based on a fixed annual amount (40 hours per year) or accrue leave by calculation (1 hour accrued per 40 hours worked) for each leave category: vacation, sickness, and personal leave. Each leave category can be separately accrued by one of these methods. It’s easy to get started, just choose the Leave control panel from the Administration menu. Click the Assignments button to open the Worker Leave Assignment window.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Remember that carryover hours are any remaining leave balances from the previous benefit year, which is always based on the worker’s accrual anniversary date. If you allow the carryover of unused leave time, the carryover balances will need to be updated for each new benefit year.

How do I add leave entries?
Leave entries can be entered for an individual worker, or groups of workers at the same time. All you need to know is the leave type and the dates. From the Actions menu, choose Add Leave Entry. You can enter leave for an individual worker, all workers, all full time, or all part time workers in a few simple steps.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Enter paid holidays for the entire year each January for all of your workers at the same time. They won’t display on worker timecards until the pay period in which they occur.

How do I check leave balances?
It’s easy to run the Accrued & Used Leave report anytime employees need to check their leave balances. They can quickly see if they have any carryover hours from the previous benefit year, how many hours have been accrued and used for the current benefit year, and what their current balances are for vacation, sickness, and personal leave. From the Reports menu, choose Accrued & Used Leave.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Run the Accrued & Used Leave report through the end of your benefit year to help you know how many hours are available for carryover into the next benefit year.

What’s new with leave in the upcoming 6.0 release?
Virtual TimeClock 6.0 adds a couple of really useful new leave functions. In version 6.0 you’ll be able to add an unlimited amount of new leave categories. Each leave category can be assigned as an annual award of hours or as a calculated award based on the number of hours worked. In addition, leave categories can be designated as paid or unpaid, which allows you to keep track of and report both paid and unpaid time off.

Here’s a quick Tip:
For each leave category in version 6.0, you’ll be able to optionally include overtime hours as hours worked when calculating leave awards.

Please let us know if there’s leave functionality or features you’d like to see in future releases of Virtual TimeClock Pro. Many useful features that you enjoy in Virtual TimeClock today are the result of past user requests. You can reply to this email or drop us a note anytime. Thanks in advance for your input and ideas!

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow

P.S. Don’t forget the upcoming Virtual TimeClock 6.0 beta program!

If you’re interested in being part of our Virtual TimeClock 6.0 beta program, then let us know.