Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - November 2014

Did you know your Virtual TimeClock requires routine maintenance? Just like an automobile, your employee time clock software requires periodic care to ensure you're getting the results you expect. In this month's 'Tips & Tricks' newsletter, we'll share why closing payroll periods is an important part of maintaining your Virtual TimeClock.

What does it mean to 'close a payroll period'?
Virtual TimeClock uses current wage, overtime, and rounding rules you've configured to total your employee timecards for the current period. When you close a payroll period, the software saves the totals that you used for payroll as a permanent record in the time clock database. You can run reports for these employee hours in the future and receive the same totals as the original reports. If you do not close periods, these historical hours are recalculated each time you run a report. Since wage, overtime, and rounding rules often change over time, running historical reports using your current payroll rules can result in the historical hours totaling differently than when you actually paid them.

What happens if I don't close payroll periods?
The most obvious symptom caused by not closing payroll periods is that your employee timecards will always default to an old payroll date. The Date Range popup says it's the Current Period, but the dates are wrong. You can waste a lot of time manually changing the dates every time you run a report. The incorrect current period date affects more than just your reports. Virtual TimeClock uses the same current period date range when exporting time clock data, preparing your payroll export file, and selecting what timecard entries to modify in the Entry Editor.

Another less obvious symptom of not closing payroll periods is that it may start taking longer to run reports or create export files of historical employee hours. This is because the time clock has to sort through all of the punch times from the open periods in order to calculate the total hours and overtime for the date range you've selected. Closing payroll periods makes reports faster because Virtual TimeClock will always use the stored totals from a closed payroll period rather than recalculating the totals all over again.
Quick Tip:
If you haven't closed your payroll periods in awhile, it's easy to get caught up. Turn on time clock administration and go to Configure Payroll Period. Verify your payroll frequency and then set the start date for the payroll period you're currently in. Once you apply the changes, Virtual TimeClock will bring all your payroll periods current.

When should I close the payroll period?
Since wages, hours, and overtime are never re-totaled once a period is closed, you must close the period after you've made any changes to employee timecards for the period. When employee hours are ready to be submitted to payroll, you're ready to close your payroll period in Virtual TimeClock.
Quick Tip:
Here are the steps for closing the payroll period.

What if I find an error in a recently closed period?
If you need to change a timecard after a payroll period has been closed, you can easily reopen the period, make your changes, run new employee timecards, and then close the period once again. Remember that all hours in the reopened period will be recalculated using your current payroll rules. As long as you've not changed your payroll rules, there's never any harm in reopening a period.
Quick tip:
It's easy to reopen a closed payroll period. Just turn on time clock administration, go to Configure Payroll Period, and click Reopen a Period.

Our goal here at Redcort Software is to create time and attendance software that's easy to use and reduces the amount of time busy business owners spend managing staff timecards. We're thankful you've chosen to partner with us in doing so.

P.S. - Redcort Software's offices will be closed on November 27 and 28 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S.