Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - October 2010

I’m often surprised to discover customers running older versions of Virtual TimeClock, even though upgrades are free of charge when you’re enrolled in our software Maintenance & Support program. Common customer responses to my surprise include, “I haven’t had time to upgrade,” “Why upgrade when everything’s working just fine,” and even “I didn’t know upgrades were free!” So in this month’s ‘Tips & Tricks’ newsletter I want to give ten compelling  reasons to take advantage of the easy to install, free software upgrades that are included with your Maintenance & Support enrollment.

Add manual and leave entries for multiple workers at the same time
This feature was added in ‘09 R1. I know you’re all looking for efficiency, and what’s more efficient than “killing two birds with one stone”? Add manual entries for a single employee or all employees at the same time. This saves you a ton of time when needing to add paid holidays for all workers.

Assign multiple overtime and time deduction rules
This feature was added in ‘09 R1. Assign different daily and weekly overtime settings to each individual worker. This gives you a ton of flexibility for placing your employees on alternative work schedules. The same is true for automatic time deductions. Set your time deductions by employee classification rather than forcing all employees to use the same global deduction.

Run the time clock server as a background process
This feature was added in ‘09 R1. This is a very significant enhancement to the Virtual TimeClock Server. The server was entirely rewritten to run securely as a background process on your Microsoft Windows and Macintosh based servers. There’s also a TimeClock Server Manager program that makes it easy to install and manage the server and licensing. This addresses security issues, like no longer needing to run your TimeClock Server under a logged in user account, and convenience issues, like having the TimeClock Server automatically start after a system reboot.

Manage workers by location or business unit with display groups
This feature was added in ‘09 R1. Display groups are a powerful and flexible way to view and manage time clock software users by department or location. You can do things like limit what activities, out memos, and reports are used by each group of workers. Display groups work alongside the security module to set what managers are responsible for what workers, and how much access managers have to their workers’ information. The full power of display groups becomes evident with the Network Edition.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Instructions for setting up display groups can be found at Time Clock Display Groups

Enter timecard notes to track mileage, tips, jobs, or late arrivals
This feature was added in ‘09 R3. A timecard entry note can be easily added to any time clock or leave entry. Timecard entry notes can be used to report such things as mileage, tips, bonuses, commissions, and additional information related to job or project tracking. Timecard entry notes can also be used by employees to communicate with management concerning late or incorrect punch times because they display directly on timecard reports.

Add new leave categories and track unpaid leave
This feature was added in ‘10 R1. Create as many new leave categories as you want and set each one as paid or unpaid. This allows you to track unpaid time off like leave taken under FMLA, mandatory furloughs, or unexcused absences.

Here’s a quick Tip:
If you need help setting up leave accrual for the first time, check out our Time and Attendance Articles.

Track worker lunches and breaks
This feature was added in ‘10 R1. New status icons in the main time clock window show you at a glance who’s working, who’s not working, who’s on break, who’s on lunch, and who’s involved in an unpaid activity. This turns your time clock into a virtual In/Out board, and can even help you make sure workers aren’t abusing cigarette or lunch breaks. Plus, you can rename your worker break and lunch labels to anything you want.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Set up a limited paid break for 10 minutes and only pay your workers for 10 minutes!

Display leave and unpaid time in separate columns on timecard reports
This feature was added in ‘10 R1. Paid breaks and lunches are always included in the total hours worked for each employee. Limited paid breaks are only included in the total hours worked up until the maximum minutes threshold is reached, the remaining time will be reported as unpaid. All unpaid time is reported in a separate column. Leave hours are also displayed in a separate column on the timecard report to make it easier to report paid leave hours to your payroll provider.

Here’s a quick Tip:
If you have the activity summary enabled on your worker timecard reports then you’ll be able to see exactly how much time each employee is spending on breaks and lunches, whether they’re paid or not!

Integrate with popular online and desktop payroll providers
This feature was added in ‘10 R2. There’s an easy-to-use interface that allows you to export a specially formatted time clock file for use in uploading into several popular payroll systems. This will make your payroll process easier, more accurate, and less time consuming.

Here’s a quick Tip:
We’ve partnered with SurePayroll®1 to offer special pricing for Virtual TimeClock users.

It’s free!
The most compelling reason that you should upgrade to Virtual TimeClock ‘10 is because it’s free. That’s one of the benefits of your enrollment, so take advantage of it.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Step-by-step upgrade instructions can be found on the Time Clock Support page of our website.

If you’re still running version 5, then you can upgrade now to take immediate advantage of all these new features. If you’re running Virtual TimeClock ‘09, then you should already be benefiting from some of these features, but I would still encourage you to upgrade to Virtual TimeClock ‘10 so you can take advantage of even more.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow