Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - August 2008

Have you gotten to do everything you wanted to this summer? If not, there’s still time to sit by the pool and sip lemonade, or take off on your dream vacation. Sometimes it’s hard to squeeze everything I want out of the summer months. The days are longer, but so is the list of activities!

In the same way, I hope you’re able to get everything you want out of Virtual TimeClock. You already know that the Report Writer is a valuable tool to gather your timecard data and organize it in a variety of helpful ways. The built­‐in SQL database is designed to instantly total your employee timecards based on the criteria you select. We get a lot of feedback requests regarding the format of the timecard reports, like ‘Can I print the hourly wage for each employee?’, ‘Can I remove the task column? We don’t need that.’, ‘Can you add grid lines to the report so it’s easier to match employee names to hours?’, or ‘How do I send my report directly to Excel?’. All of these are valid requests, and are easy to accommodate with Virtual TimeClock’s export utility.

With the export utility, you can add the hourly wage to both summary and detail exports, and you can choose not to include the task name with each entry. The nature of spreadsheet software is to display the data in grids, and you can open the export file with any common spreadsheet software like Excel. This edition of our ‘Tips & Tricks’ newsletter will get you started using Virtual TimeClock’s export uIlity.

How do I export timecard data?
Timecard exporting allows you to output timecard detail or summary data to a standard text file, which can then be opened and edited in any common text editor or spreadsheet software, or formatted for import into any standard accounting or payroll software that allows text file importing.

From the File menu, choose Export then Timecards. Select whether you want your export file to be comma or tab separated and the date range. Select whether this is to be a detail or summary export. A detail export will export all start and stop times for the selected date range, a summary will only export the total hours for each worker. Select the users and fields you want to include in the export file, then click the Export button when you’re all done.

Here’s a quick Tip:
The Virtual TimeClock 6.0 detail export will separate the start date from the start time and the stop date from the stop time to allow greater flexibility with the export utility.

Here’s a quick Tip:
The user name and field order can be easily changed by dragging and dropping items to different places within the lists.

How do I get my data into my spreadsheet software?
There’s a couple of easy ways you can get the export information into your spreadsheet software. The following example works with Microsoft Excel.

If it’s a tab separated export file: when you right mouse click on the text file, choose ‘Open With’ and then ‘Microsoft Excel’. If Excel is not a choice then you will need to select ‘Choose Program’ and select Microsoft Excel from the list.

If it’s a comma separated export file: when you right mouse click on the file, choose ‘Rename’ and then change the ‘.txt’ extension to ‘.csv’. When you double‐click the file it should open right up in Excel.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Make sure you include field names in your export file. This will make identifying the contents of the different columns much easier when viewing the data in your spreadsheet software.

How do I export to CheckMark Payroll®1?
Virtual TimeClock supports an easy to use interface that prepares your timecard totals for direct import into CheckMark Payroll®. Virtual TimeClock supports both the U.S. and Canadian versions of CheckMark Payroll® for Windows and Macintosh OS X computers. The specially formatted timecard file contains employee names, regular hours, and up to eight optional fields that have been setup in the Hour Categories section of CheckMark Payroll®.

From the File menu, choose Export then CheckMark Payroll®. Select your region, operating system, and date range. Select the users and fields you want to include in the export file, then click the Export button when you’re all done. Refer to your CheckMark Payroll® User’s Manual for detailed instructions on importing your employee hours.

Here’s a quick Tip:
The eight optional fields allow CheckMark Payroll® to break out daily or weekly overtime, as well as vacation, sick leave, holiday, and personal time.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Your settings and selections are saved automatically when you close the export utility. This makes it easy to export data for the same users and fields each payroll period.

Payroll Survey
I know we have a lot of customers using a variety of different payroll services, representing both regional and national payroll companies. Undoubtedly, some of you are using online services, while others are processing payroll in­‐house with your own payroll software. We wanted to conduct a little survey to see how our customers are processing their payroll, and what payroll companies you’re using for this service. This will help us strategize as we consider making specially formatted timecard files available for direct importing into some of the more popular payroll packages. Just reply to this email and let us know how you’re processing payroll and what service you’re using. Thanks in advance for the feedback!

Have a great rest of the summer!

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.