Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - July 2009

This is the time of year when we get lots of calls from both new and long time customers wanting to start tracking employee leave. Many of you purchased Virtual TimeClock to meet an immediate or particular need, but never got around to exploring the other functionality that could be really useful. Tracking accrued and used leave is a perfect example. Are you ready to ditch that spreadsheet and start tracking accrued and used leave benefits with your time and attendance software?

The good news is that now is the perfect time to get started, especially with the expanded leave module capabilities in Virtual TimeClock ‘09. Here are the highlights:
  • Add an unlimited number of leave categories.
  • Assign leave awards on a per worker basis.
  • View and print leave data with three new leave reports with full Report Writer support.
  • Display the Accrued & Used Leave report hours in time or decimal format.
  • Export leave entries for analysis in your favorite spreadsheet software.

Since it’s that time of year for the question, “How much vacation time do I have left?”, let’s devote this edition of ‘Tips & Tricks’ to helping you quickly and easily get started tracking accrued and used leave with Virtual TimeClock.

Adding Worker Leave Awards
First, you’ll need to add leave categories. Virtual TimeClock comes with several common leave categories like holiday, personal, sick leave, and vacation. You can add as many additional leave categories as you want by choosing Leave Categories from the Lists menu.

Next you’ll need to decide if your company gives annual awards or calculated awards. Here’s the difference: an annual award is given as a lump sum on the award anniversary date of the worker. This means the full balance is immediately available for use (80 hours paid vacation per year). With a calculated award, the worker has to actually work hours before any leave hours accrue and are available to be used (1 hour paid vacation per 40 hours worked).

Finally, you’ll want to add leave awards individually for each worker and leave category. From the Lists menu, choose Users. Click the Leave tab to open the leave panel for the selected user. You can now enter the award anniversary for each employee, new awards for the benefit year as either annual awards or calculated awards, and any leave carryover hours from the prior benefit year.

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 award anniversary date. If you allow the carryover of unused leave time, the carryover hours will need to be updated for each new benefit year.

Adding Leave Entries
Leave entries are unique in that they reflect time paid while not working. When adding leave entries, it’s easy just to enter the total time being taken off, like when a manager needs to record a paid holiday for all workers in the department. Leave entries can be entered for an individual worker, or a group of workers at the same time.

From the Actions menu, choose Add Leave Entry. Select the worker or group of workers you want to add the leave entry for by quickly checking or unchecking the worker names. Now just add the leave type and the dates. Since leave entries do not have a start and stop work time, the total hours recorded for the day are reflected in the regular hours column of the timecard report.

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

Checking Leave Balances
Once award anniversaries and accrual rates are assigned to workers, a special report is needed to display how much paid leave time employees have used, how much time they’ve accrued, and how much time they have remaining for each leave category. The Accrued & Used Leave report makes this information instantly available.

The Accrued & Used Leave report includes carryover leave from the previous year, year-to-­date accrued leave, year‐to-­date used leave, and the total year-­to-­date balance for each leave category. All year-­to-­date totals are calculated from the award anniversary of each employee. 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.

I hope this is all the introduction you need to start tracking accrued and used leave. As always, we’re available to help answer your questions or assist you with getting started. Next month we’ll take a look at the new overtime and time deduction rules.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow

PS – Punching The Clock Blog
Feel free to stop by our blog at Punching the Clock if you want an inside look at the people behind the world’s best time clock software.