Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - February 2011

Last month we spent some time talking about the new shifts feature and ways to control employee overtime. We showed you how to set up your clock in and out rules, how to assign those rules to user schedules, and the new reports that take advantage of the new shifts feature for both labor cost reporting and tracking employee tardiness. This month I want to hit a few more highlights from the Virtual TimeClock ‘11 release and then invite you to participate in helping our engineering team prioritize some current and upcoming projects.

Program usability
The buzzword around Redcort Software during the Virtual TimeClock ‘11 development cycle was ‘self-documenting’. New features needed to be easily understood by the average user without needing special or inside knowledge. This means everything from field labels within the Shifts window to the names of new reports didn’t leave any room for guessing what they do.

Not only did we work hard to make Virtual TimeClock more self-documenting, we added new program shortcut buttons to help guide the user to related areas in the time clock software program. Here’s a perfect example, when you’re in the Access panel of a user record making someone a manager, you can click the new Security Settings button to jump directly to the Security tools window so you can make adjustments to manager access rights. When you’re all done, just click the new User Access button to jump right back. Keep your eyes open for these new shortcuts scattered throughout the program.

Here’s a quick Tip:
As part of the enhanced navigation in Virtual TimeClock ‘11, pre-selecting an employee from the worker list in the main time clock window automatically keeps that user selected when entering numerous administrative functions.

New help docs
A self-documenting program helps reduce the need for bulky user guides and bloated training materials. The new Administrator Quick Reference replaces the old user’s guide and should make it easier to administer your time clock because of the new screenshots and easy to find topics. Give the Employee Quick Reference to new employees as part of their orientation so they know how to set up their password and begin using the time clock right away. Both are available from the Help menu. This should make it easier to quickly find out how to perform those functions you may not do very often, like adding new users or reopening payroll periods.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Grab the Installation & Setup Guide from the Help menu if you need to reinstall and set up your time clock software after a computer crash or hard drive failure. It will help you configure a new time clock database if you can’t restore your data from a backup.

Server Manager
The Server Manager program got some nice changes with the ‘11 release. The most noticeable are the new icons on the Status panel that make it easier to determine the status of the server functions. The Server Manager also received some of that self-documentation we mentioned earlier. If the IP address of your time clock server computer changes, you’ll now be prompted to select a new IP from the Configure panel when you launch the Server Manager. There’s been some other ‘behind the scenes’ changes that should make it easier to manage your networked time clocks.

Here’s a quick Tip:
For our Mac Network Edition users, changing the computer name no longer causes a duplicate client ID error.

Future projects
We periodically ask for your input on new features currently under development, or what new features you’d like to see added to Virtual TimeClock. This month, we’d sure like to get your feedback on some projects that are either under development or planned for the future. This will help us plan resource allocation and prioritize our projects. Please reply to this email and rate the following new projects as High, Medium, or Low, with High meaning ‘Very Important’ and Low meaning ‘Little Interest’ for your business.
  • iPhone/iPad Time Clock Client app – workers can clock in and out when away from the office. Managers and administrators can view worker hours, edit entries, and add manual or leave entries.
  • iPhone/iPad Time Clock Admin app – allows time clock administrators to manage users and other Lists, and perform other administrative functions.
  • Biometric integration - allows workers to clock in and out using a finger swipe or touch.
  • Scheduling web app – create and maintain employee schedule calendars from any computer with a web browser.
  • Time and Billing program – bill for professional time by assigning billable hours to a customer, case/project/job, and activity, then print customer invoices. Fully integrated with your time clock software for hourly employees.
  • Personal Time Clock Client – a single user time clock that only displays the time and status of a single logged in user.
  • PIN Time Clock Client – large organizations can allow their workers to clock in and out from a time clock station using an assigned PIN or password rather than scrolling through a long list of users in the main window.
  • Virtual TimeClock Admin app – a separate program with single password login to perform all of your time clock administration. This would allow us to release a Virtual TimeClock user edition with no administrative function so your users would have no temptation to try and access sensitive administrative functions.

Here’s a quick Tip:
If there are other features or functions that you’d like to see added to Virtual TimeClock, or other programs that would help increase the productivity of your business or organization, please let us know by responding to this email and giving us the details.

I look forward to your feedback. New features like clock in/out rules and payroll integration with leading payroll providers are the direct result of regular customer feedback.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow

PS – Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins soon
Don’t forget that DST begins March 13.  As long as your computer handles the time change automatically, Virtual TimeClock will always record the correct time for you!