Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - June 2010

Security is an important issue for most of us.  We’ve all heard the horror stories about identity theft, or maybe you’ve been the victim of property theft or vandalism yourself. We spend a lot of money and resources making sure our property is protected, and that our employees feel emotionally secure as well. Maintaining an alarm system, locking up valuables, and keeping your antivirus software up-to-date can certainly help.

In addition, you’ll want to make sure your time clock software offers the same feelings of confidence. Time clock security can be broken down into two areas: restricting unauthorized access to various time clock program functions and features, and making sure employee punch times are not being tampered with. Employees certainly deserve to be paid for all hours they’ve worked, and you need to hold them accountable for those reported hours. We’ve helped you address this issue by introducing new functionality in Virtual TimeClock ‘10 that allows you to set a limit on how long you pay for worker breaks or lunches. For example, you can setup a limited break for 10 minutes, and all other time beyond the threshold will be marked as unpaid until they return. This month’s Tips & Tricks Newsletter will help you address these areas of Virtual TimeClock security by giving you some practical tools and tips.

Keeping Virtual TimeClock Secure
Password protection is easy to use and controls access to most of the functions and features within Virtual TimeClock. When password protection is enabled from the Security tools window, you can change the default access settings for both workers and management. The default settings work great when you’re just getting started, but can be easily modified to fit just about any business work flow.

The Security tool window consists of five panels of related functions. Each program function is listed, along with the access settings for both workers and management. Some program functions verify the user password against the selected worker name. This prevents workers from viewing other worker’s timecards, for example. Or only allow managers to view timecards for workers within their own Display Group. Some of the access settings are applied globally, allowing access to the program function by any user with a valid password who meets the minimum threshold level.

Here’s a quick Tip:
The key to knowing which security functions are global and which are individual is to look at the user access columns. Those defined as ‘Worker Access’ and ‘Management Access’ are global. Whereas, those defined as ‘Individual Worker’ and ‘Other Group Members’ are selective.

Management Access
Management security access can be set for ‘Administrators Only’ or ‘Allow Manager Access’. Time clock software administrators have unlimited access to all time clock functions and can view data for any employee. Managers only have access to those time clock functions for the Display Group of which they’ve been assigned as a manager. You can have more than one time clock administrator and managers can be assigned to more than one time clock Display Group.

Here’s a quick Tip:
For step-by-step instructions on creating and assigning Display Groups, please see the time clock support blog.

Administrator Tools
Many times a time clock software administrator will need to perform several administrative functions within a short period of time. Normally, as you switch from modifying timecards, closing payroll periods, and printing monthly management reports, you have to enter your password for each new function. Putting the time clock in administrative mode disables security on just that one computer time clock so you can perform all of these functions with only one password entry. To enter administrative mode, choose Enter Administrative Mode from the Tools menu and enter your administrative password. To reactivate password protection, choose Exit Administrative Mode from the Tools menu and click the Continue button.

Another powerful administrator tool is the program audit log, which allows you to track changes to timecard punches by revealing what was changed and who changed it. Check out the April ‘09 Tips & Tricks Newsletter for some practical advice on auditing and reviewing your time clock program logs. If you missed that newsletter, just let us know and we’ll get another copy emailed right over to you.

Here’s a quick Tip:
When administrative mode has been enabled on a time clock, ‘ADMINISTRATIVE MODE’ will be displayed at the bottom of the main time clock window. You can also exit the time clock program to restore password protection.

Securing Your Time Clock Computer
Virtual TimeClock instantly, accurately, and impartially records every employee punch time. This means the time clock program interacts directly with the clock that’s part of your computer’s operating system by utilizing the time and date control functions that are already built into your computer. You’ll want to make sure you’ve setup adequate protection to prevent employees from changing the computer’s clock to manipulate their punch times.

There are basically two ways to secure your time clock computer:  You can restrict access to the the operating system time, or you can run Virtual TimeClock Network Edition. The TimeClock Server computer provides the timestamp for all timecard punches, so manipulating the system time on the local TimeClock Client computers has no affect on the actual time that’s recorded.

Here’s a quick Tip:
For detailed instructions on restricting access to the time controls on a variety of operating systems, check out our time and attendance articles.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow

PS - Virtual TimeClock ‘10 Release 2 Payroll Export Testing
If you use Paychex® or SurePayroll® for your payroll processing, please drop us a note and let us know. We may ask you to help us do some early testing on these soon to be released payroll exports.