Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - April 2011

If you’ve used Virtual TimeClock for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve noticed it has many other valuable uses besides making the payroll process more efficient and holding hourly employees accountable for their time worked. These include such features as built-in messaging, absence management, and tracking time spent on different jobs or projects. These other time clock software features are what make Virtual TimeClock a valuable tool for your salaried workers as well.

In this month’s newsletter, I’d like you to consider five reasons for having salaried employees use Virtual TimeClock.

Reason 1 – Replace your manual in/out board
This is perhaps the most powerful reason to use your computer time clock software for salaried employees. The main time clock program window already functions as an employee in/out status board by keeping track of where your hourly workers are at and what they’re working on. Here are some of the benefits of having your salaried workers use the in/out board as well:
  • Convenience - no more wallboards or magnets to update to see who’s in and who’s out
  • Efficiency - cut down ‘on hold’ time because phone calls are routed faster when you know where people are at
  • Emergency preparedness - run a status report to get an instant list of who may still be in the building
  • Worker management - at-a-glance status with visual indicators makes remote employee monitoring easy
  • Inexpensive - there’s no need to purchase or maintain separate in/out board software

Here’s a quick Tip:
The in/out board makes a great tool for receptionists and call centers to know when and where to route incoming calls or visitors.

Reason 2 – Improve office communication
The messaging module works right alongside the in/out status board and functions like a simple, self-contained email system. Employees can use messaging to notify managers of an appointment or request a day off. Managers can communicate directly with workers or broadcast notices of meetings or other company information. If you want an easy way to organize your business and improve office communication by using technology you already own, then deploy the messaging module across all employee computer time clocks.

Here’s a quick Tip:
A small envelope icon with the number of new messages is displayed next to the employee’s name when new mail is waiting.

Reason 3 – Track available and remaining vacation hours
Tracking accrued and used leave can be a labor intensive undertaking. If you’re already using your employee time clock software to keep track of vacation and sick time for hourly employees, why not do the same thing for your salaried employees? It sure beats using a separate spreadsheet just to keep track of PTO and eliminates the inconvenience of having to look up remaining leave balances whenever an employee wants to take a day off. You can keep track of all kinds of absences, including vacation, holidays, sick time, and personal time off. There’s really no limit to the types of paid and unpaid leave you can keep track of.

Time off can be accrued in two different ways. An annual award is basically a lump sum that gets deposited into the employee’s leave account at the beginning of the benefit year, which means the full balance is immediately available for use. With a calculated award, employees have to actually work hours before any leave hours accrue and are available to be used. This allows you to customize leave awards based on your benefit rules and for different lengths of service. If your salaried employees won’t be using the time clock to track their time, then you can only accrue their leave benefits as an annual award.

Here’s a quick Tip:
For detailed instructions on tracking employee leave with Virtual TimeClock, check out our time & attendance articles.

Reason 4 – Accurately bill clients for labor hours
One of the more common reasons that salaried workers use employee time clock software is so their labor hours can be accurately recorded against specific jobs for billing clients and customers. Since your time clock reports can be summarized by activities or department, you can run status reports to make sure you’re remaining within project budgets before the project ends. Your total labor hours can now be easily entered into your invoicing or accounting software for accurate and timely billing of your labor. Quickly add a timecard entry note to your reported client hours to explain job details or project tracking status.

Here’s a quick Tip:
The key to tracking labor hours accurately is to record new activities as they happen, so make sure each of your employees has easy access to a time clock computer for recording their time.

Reason 5 – Manage labor costs
Closely related to client billing is managing labor costs. By including employee wage information on reports, timecards can be summarized to provide you with both labor hours and dollar costs for any activity, task, job, or department. This will quickly show you actual labor hours and costs on a per job basis, allowing you to track changes in labor costs from job to job, or the same job for any time period.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Check out our support blog for information on how to set up salaried workers for labor costing.

I hope I’ve convinced you that having salaried employees use your time clock software can increase office efficiency and maybe even save you a little money.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow