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Auditing Employee Timecards

June 7, 2013

I've always wanted to be a Private Investigator. I find it exciting to think about discovering clues, finding the next piece to the puzzle, and following the trail to figure out ‘Whodunit’. We are constantly leaving trails. It might be from the contribution receipt for the sack of clothes donated to the local charity, the restaurant ticket after an evening meal, or the email after ordering new exercise equipment online. Following these trails tell investigators who we are, what we’ve done, and when we did it. Kind of scary when you think about it! It’s like leaving your footprints in the snow. Virtual TimeClock answers the same who, what, and when questions when auditing employee timecards.

As a busy manager or business owner, you've finally ditched the old paper timesheets that held no employee accountability or that cumbersome mechanical punch clock. The time spent manually calculating worker hours is a thing of the past. Virtual TimeClock is powerful, yet easy to use, employee time clock software that calculates the totals at the touch of a button, leaving you to just review employee timecards and make sure all is well before sending the hours to payroll. But wait, you notice an 'M' next to one of the timecard entries. The legend at the bottom of the timecard report lets you know that this is a 'Modified Entry'. Who changed something? What did they change? When did they change it? These are all fair questions to ask, questions that can be easily answered with the program audit logging features available in Virtual TimeClock.

Not only does Virtual TimeClock record the name of the user who made the timecard modification, but it also records when the modification occurred, what the original data was, and what it was changed to. Let's look at an audit log entry from the Virtual TimeClock software:

2013-05-17 4:51:28 PM [1311099] - Modified Timecard Entry.
Edited by: Howard Brown (verified by password).
Record ID: 422
User: Cook, Mary
Entry Date: 5/17/13
Old Start: 5/16/13 at 1:00 PM
New Start: 5/16/13 at 1:00 PM
Old Stop: 5/16/13 at 5:03 PM
New Stop: 5/16/13 at 6:03 PM

Who made a change? Howard Brown.
What did he change? He changed Mary Cook's timecard stop time for 5/16/13, adding an hour of work from 5:03 to 6:03 PM.
When did he change it? He changed it on 5/17/13 at 4:51 PM.

This provides a tremendous amount of accountability. You have the answers to who, what, and when right at your fingertips. Timecard modifications will and do happen. Now you can verify that those modifications fit within your established business practices.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your Virtual TimeClock audit log:

  • Inform your employees that Virtual TimeClock records all modifications to timecard entries. This will help them remember to follow your designated channels for making changes or adding missed punches. Let them know that this protects both the employee and the employer because the original timecard entry is always recorded, ensuring the integrity of actual time worked.
  • Review your audit log each payroll period for timecard modifications. The revealed information can then be used to determine where training needs to occur. For example, a certain worker routinely forgets to change activities or clock out, and so his manager is constantly modifying his timecard entries. This worker needs a reminder lesson in when to use the time clock. Reviewing your audit log will also help you identify unauthorized modifications.
  • If time clock administration is being accessed frequently, investigate why. It may be that your administrative password has been compromised, allowing workers to bypass security in order to perform unauthorized actions. Or you may need to adjust some security settings and user access levels to allow certain employees their own access to specific program functions.

You'll discover many other interesting uses for the audit logging features in Virtual TimeClock. The only question left to answer is why a given timecard entry was modified. Virtual TimeClock may not be able to answer the 'why' question for you, but now you definitely know what was changed and who to ask about it!

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