Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - July 2010

I put my pool filter on a timer this year for the first time. It’s amazing how much freedom this deceptively simple clock has provided. I could always run the filter system manually and get the desired results, but then I sometimes felt like a slave to the pool filter. What do I do when I’m out of town? How do I run the filter at night after I’m already asleep? Simple questions, but questions that determine the difference between a green pool and a clear one. After taking a few minutes to learn the basic settings of the timer, my pool is now being filtered and cleaned around the clock, care free!

The same holds true for your Virtual TimeClock software. Taking a few minutes to master some basic settings can multiply Virtual TimeClock’s usefulness to your business. This month we’ll be looking at some easy to learn settings that can make your employee time and attendance tracking a lot easier. All of the settings we’ll be reviewing in this newsletter can be found by choosing Time Calculations from the Tools menu.

Total Rounding
This setting determines what rounding rule is currently in affect. Rounding rules are applied to each start and stop work time when calculating timecard totals for printing or exporting. You can choose not to round at all, or have the start and stop times rounded to the nearest tenth (6 minute intervals) or quarter hour (15 minute intervals). Regardless of the rounding rule in use, the actual start and stop times for each activity are recorded and displayed to the exact minute.

Here’s a quick Tip:
The rounding rules you set in Virtual TimeClock are applied to the actual start and stop work times, not the total hours worked for the entry.

Time Display
This setting determines whether total hours worked are displayed in time or decimal format. For example, total hours worked of eight hours and fifteen minutes can be displayed as either ‘8:15’ when hours are displayed in time format, or as ‘8.25’ when hours are displayed in decimal format. This is a global setting that changes how total hours are displayed in the Entry Editor, on the Accrued and Used Leave Report, and exported reports.

Here’s a quick Tip:
The time display setting for timecard reports can be changed within the Format panel of each specific report. From the Reports menu, choose Report Writer. A fun article related to displaying total hours in decimal format can be found at Time and Attendance Articles.

Daily & Weekly Overtime
These settings control how daily and weekly overtime is handled when there are multiple daily shifts, or paid leave within the work week. The first setting determines how much time a worker needs to be clocked out before a new shift starts and resets daily overtime calculations. By default, daily overtime calculations will restart after being off the clock for 4 hours. The second setting determines whether paid leave is to be included as hours worked for the purpose of calculating weekly overtime. Let’s take a look at an example. If you paid 8 hours in holiday pay for Monday, then an employee worked 8 hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and worked 10 hours on Friday, then how much overtime do you owe? That depends on your business rules. By default, the 8 hours for the holiday would not contribute to weekly overtime. This means you’d be paying out 8 holiday and 34 regular hours. However, if you enable this setting then you’d be paying out 8 holiday, 32 regular, and 2 overtime hours.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Including paid leave in weekly overtime calculations is not a standard practice and causes all leave hours to be treated as either regular or overtime hours. With this setting enabled, Virtual TimeClock won’t display leave in a separate column on printed or exported timecard reports.

Job Costing
This setting is used to enter the average hours worked per week by salaried workers and is used when printing activity or departmental reports with the gross wages feature enabled. The labor cost (or hourly burden) of a salaried worker’s hours is computed by dividing his or her salary by the average number of hours worked per week. So with a weekly payroll period, the labor cost of a salaried employee making $1,000 a week would be $25 an hour based on a 40 hour average work week. This allows you to perform complete labor cost analysis for your jobs and projects across all types of employees.

Here’s a quick Tip:
For more information on tracking jobs or projects with your time clock software, check out the article at Time and Attendance Articles.

Worker Breaks & Lunches
The worker break and lunch functionality is a great way to track time spent on these special activities. They can be paid, only paid until a maximum time threshold is reached, or unpaid. Paid breaks and lunches are always included in the total hours worked for each employee. Limited paid breaks are only paid until the maximum minutes threshold is reached with the remaining time being reported as unpaid. Unpaid breaks and lunches will not be included in the total hours worked for each employee, and will even be listed in a separate column on the employee timecard report.

Here’s a quick Tip:
The worker break and lunch icon labels can be customized to match the workflow of your business. You’ll see your custom label on the toolbar in the main time clock window, on the toolbar in the Entry Editor, and on any menus with selections related to worker breaks and lunches.

Just like a pool timer, understanding a few simple settings in your Virtual TimeClock software can help ensure hands free employee time and attendance tracking.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow