Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - December 2008

There are lots of things to be thinking about as another year comes to a close. It may be time to start counting and reconciling inventory. Or you may need to start thinking about what reports your accountant is going to need. Some of you may be getting ready to perform year-­end adjustments in your accounting software in preparation for a new fiscal year.

We get lots of questions at the end of the year regarding what year-­end procedures need to be performed with Virtual TimeClock. This edition of our ‘Tips & Tricks’ Newsletter will provide you with the information you need to close out another successful year with Virtual TimeClock.

Carry over unused leave.
If your leave accrual is based on the calendar year, then run the Accrued & Used Leave report to determine how many leave hours each user has remaining. The accrual anniversary date is listed for each worker on the report. This is important because all of the year-­to-­date (YTD) totals on the report are based on the accrual anniversary date. The key to knowing how many hours are available for carry over is in understanding what the different columns on the report mean.

This is also the time to update any new leave accrual rates for workers based on your business rules.

Here’s a quick Tip:
In the upcoming Virtual TimeClock Pro 2009 release, you’ll be able to quickly enter leave for any group of selected workers for any number of user-­defined leave categories. Plus the Accrued & Used Leave report will display hours in either decimal or time format, just like your timecard reports!

Enter 2009 paid holidays.
Since we’re fresh on the topic of paid leave benefits, now’s the perfect time to enter all the paid holidays your workers will receive for the next calendar year. From the Actions menu, choose Add Leave Entry. You can add all of the holidays for the upcoming year. The paid holidays won’t show on the worker’s timecard reports until the payroll period in which they occur.

Close the last payroll period.
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 time deduction rules change over time. By closing periods, reports for a closed period retrieve the historical totals rather than calculating hours, wages, overtime, and time deductions based on the current settings for each worker. In Virtual TimeClock, closing a period performs two tasks:
  • Virtual TimeClock calculates and writes the hours, overtime, and gross wages for the current payroll period to the database.
  • Virtual TimeClock increments the current payroll period to the next period using your current payroll cycle settings.

Virtual TimeClock does not require the closing of one payroll period before allowing timecard entries in a new one, so it’s not problematic if you’ve never closed a payroll period. However, now would be a good time to get caught up. This will ensure your historical totals will accurately reflect historical payroll settings, and will cause the current period to display correctly when viewing timecard reports. 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. Once you’re current, simply choose Close Period from the Administration menu to quickly close the current payroll period.

Here’s a quick Tip:
In the upcoming Virtual TimeClock Pro 2009 release, it’ll be easier to close open payroll periods and reopen closed payroll periods.

Perform year-­end data backup.
Even if you’re already backing up your TimeClock data on a regular basis (and I know you are!), you may want to perform an additional manual backup after closing the last payroll period for the year. This gives you a snap shot of your TimeClock data for the complete year, even though data for previous years is always instantly available. Manual backups are as easy as choosing Backup from the File menu, choosing your backup folder destination, clicking the Backup button, and waiting a few seconds for confirmation that the backup was successful.

Here’s a quick Tip:
You may be tempted to rename your backup file to make it easier to identify later. Just remember to keep the name of the file less than 32 characters or you will be unable to restore the backup file. Also, the date and time stamp recorded within the brackets of the backup file name will be ignored when the file is restored.

Well, I hope that takes some of the mystery out of your Virtual TimeClock year-­end procedures. The bottom line is that none of these procedures have to be performed right at the end of the year, that time is stressful enough. Your Virtual TimeClock software will continue to run just fine without performing these procedures until the end of year busyness slows down a bit.

All of us at Redcort Software hope you have a joyful Christmas and a wonderful New Year’s celebration!

Until next month,
Jeff Morrow