Thursday, December 31, 2009

Time Clock Software Year-End Procedures

It's easy to get distracted at the end of the year, so here's some information to help you stay on task and quickly close out another successful year with Virtual TimeClock.

  • Carry over unused leave awards and update any new leave award benefits based on your business payroll rules.
  • Enter 2010 paid holidays, they won't show on worker timecards until the payroll period in which they occur.
  • Check your scheduled backup, especially if you've recently upgraded or moved your time clock software.

Happy New Year!

Jeff Morrow

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Got Overtime?

If your business is required to track daily and/or weekly overtime, you'll need to make sure you assign an overtime rule to new workers. After creating the new user record in your Virtual TimeClock software, click on the Wages tab. You'll be able to select an overtime rule from the Overtime drop-down list.

Need to setup a new overtime rule? No problem, we've got instructions posted in a recent newsletter.

Merry Christmas from the entire time clock software support team!

Jeff Morrow

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time Clock Software Users: To Delete or Not to Delete

You have several options when it comes to dealing with Virtual TimeClock software users that are no longer part of your organization.

You can remove them from any display groups they belong to. This will remove their name from the time clock worker list, but they'll still appear in all timecard report selection lists for admin users.

You can mark their user record as inactive or terminated. This will automatically remove them from any display groups they belong to, and remove them from all timecard report selection lists. The historical record of all hours and overtime worked will be maintained and can be easily accessed by simply making the user active again.

You can delete the user. This should be a last resort as all of the historical timecard entries, leave awards, and messages are completely and permanently removed. A hard copy of all hours for the worker should be printed before deletion. Deleting a user is irreversible, so use it with care.

Jeff Morrow

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Using Time Clock Software to Track Students

We have lots of educational institutions using Virtual TimeClock. Some use it as a time and attendance system to track staff for payroll purposes. Others use it to track student worker hours. Still others are using our time clock software to track time spent by students in learning labs.

I recently worked with a large school district in Texas who is using Virtual TimeClock to track hours spent by special education students in tutoring labs. They have drastically reduced the amount of time spent on mandatory state reporting of compliance with the individualized educational plan for each special education student within the district.

I'm constantly amazed by how versatile Virtual timeClock is.

Jeff Morrow

Virtual TimeClock Out of Licenses

This seems to be the time of year for getting new computers. We've had a number of customers this week who've installed their time clock software on a new computer and tried to connect their time clock client, only to get a dialog stating that they're out of licenses.

Uninstalling Virtual TimeClock from the old computer doesn't free up the license. You'll need to remove the old client registration from your time clock server. Just follow the instructions in this FAQ to update your proper time clock client count.

Jeff Morrow

Monday, December 7, 2009

Virtual TimeClock '10 Sneak Peek

I recently cornered an engineer by the water cooler, walked discreetly back to his desk and got a sneak peek of Virtual TimeClock '10. Get ready for full time and attendance tracking with some of these gems:

  1. Track paid and unpaid leave.
  2. Optionally include paid leave in the calculation of overtime.
  3. Customize your timecard reports to include a separate paid leave column.
  4. Track paid and unpaid tasks.
  5. Create custom reports for unpaid leave and tasks.

Remember, this is unofficial and there's more to come... but I just had to share. Check out my previous post to see what you're missing if you haven't upgraded to Virtual TimeClock '09 yet.

Jeff Morrow

Twelve Reasons to Upgrade to Virtual TimeClock '09

I've answered a lot of support questions over the years, and received a lot of requests from users on how to improve Virtual TimeClock. I'm amazed by how many of those requests are addressed with the latest release of our time clock software. In the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas, here are 12 reasons to upgrade to Virtual TimeClock '09:

  1. Run the TimeClock Server as a background process.
  2. Assign overtime rules on a per worker basis.
  3. Create an unlimited number of leave categories.
  4. Manage workers by department or location with Display Groups.
  5. Enter timecard notes to track mileage, tips, jobs, or late arrivals.
  6. Assign time deductions on a per worker basis.
  7. New optimized SQL database is up to 100 times faster.
  8. Create custom reports based on selected workers AND selected tasks.
  9. Instantly modify a current time clock entry from the main window.
  10. Add manual & leave entries for multiple workers at the same time.
  11. Simplified reopening of closed payroll periods.
  12. Runs as Intel native Universal Binary on Mac.

Jeff Morrow

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Backup Your Time Clock Data

Theft, flood, fire, hard disk failure, and viruses. The words that strike fear into the heart of all business owners. It seems like every week we're listening to a customer describing one of these very real disasters and begging us to bring their time clock data back. Unfortunately, we can't restore what no longer exists.

I can't stress enough the importance of backing up your time clock software data. The Virtual TimeClock backup utility allows you to easily and quickly perform a one time manual backup, or schedule daily or repeating backups. The backup utility will compress your database, and also add a date and time stamp. Just follow the instructions posted on our website to help secure a little peace of mind.

Quickly restoring your employee time clock database from a backup file could mean the difference between minor inconvenience and major payroll hassles.

Jeff Morrow

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tracking Paid Leave

Since we're in the midst of the holiday season, we're starting to get lots of calls regarding how to track paid leave time with Virtual TimeClock.

We've got all the steps documented for you in one of our recent newsletters that makes it easy to turn your time clock software into a total employee time & attendance system. You'll learn how to add worker leave awards, how to add paid leave entries, and how to check leave balances.

Happy Holidays!

Jeff Morrow

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Moving and Upgrading Your TimeClock Server

We have easy to follow instructions for upgrading your time clock software from any prior version of Virtual TimeClock. However, if you're planning on moving your version 5 TimeClock Server to a new server computer at the same time, you'll need to know where your version 5 data file is located.

Documents>Virtual TimeClock User Data>'Your Company Name' folder>'Your Company name'.vtc

Just copy the .vtc file onto the desktop of the new server so it's easy to find when you run the TimeClock Data Converter utility.

Jeff Morrow

Friday, November 13, 2009

Virtual TimeClock '09 Release 3.1 Update

Virtual TimeClock '09 Release 3 changed the way timecard totals were calculated for closed, open, and future payroll periods. In some instances, future timecard entries were not included in timecard totals unless the payroll period was brought current. Release 3.1 is an important update because timecard entries in future payroll periods are properly included in timecard totals even when the payroll period is not current.

If you've already upgraded your time clock software to Release 3, then you only need to update your Virtual TimeClock Pro and Client software to Release 3.1. You do not need to update your Virtual TimeClock Server software.

Jeff Morrow

Friday, November 6, 2009

Printing Timecard Notes

If you're using the new Virtual TimeClock software timecard entry notes feature, then all built-in timecard detail reports will automatically print timecard notes by default. However, if you've created custom timecard reports then you'll need to enable the option to print timecard notes.

From the Reports menu, choose Report Writer. Select your timecard report and click the Options tab. Just click the Timecard Notes checkbox and save the new setting.

Jeff Morrow

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Upgrading Your Time Clock Software

We have detailed instructions for upgrading any prior release of your time and attendance software to Virtual TimeClock '09 Release 3 on our website. There are 2 sets of instructions, so make sure you follow the correct guidelines based on which version of Virtual TimeClock you're currently using. If you're not sure which version you're using, it's easy to check:

Mac - From the Virtual TimeClock menu, choose About Virtual TimeClock.
Win - From the Help menu, choose About Virtual TimeClock.

Happy upgrading!

Jeff Morrow

Monday, November 2, 2009

Virtual TimeClock Firewall Exception

When you upgrade your time clock software, you may need to add a new exception to your Windows firewall to allow the time clock clients to communicate with the new background service.

Instructions for adding an exception to your Windows firewall for XP and Vista can be found under our FAQs.

Jeff Morrow

Friday, October 30, 2009

Closing Your Payroll Periods

Things have been a bit hectic around here with the successful launch of Virtual TimeClock '09 Release 3, but it's been well worth it with the exciting response we've received to the new features.

With helping some of our customers upgrade their time clock software over the last couple of days, I'm reminded of the importance of closing payroll periods in Virtual TimeClock. Closing a payroll period allows Virtual TimeClock to total and save the hours, overtime, and gross wages for all workers using the current payroll settings, and advance the current payroll period to the next payroll period using your current payroll cycle settings.

If you run timecard reports and see any hours that are not totaled, make sure your payroll period is current.

Jeff Morrow

Friday, October 23, 2009

Moving Your Time Clock Software

I hate moving. Packing, unpacking, don't scratch the furniture! We've made it much easier to move your Virtual TimeClock software to a different computer by using the backup and restore function that's built right in. Visit the FAQs on our website for step-by-step instructions.

Just remember that Virtual TimeClock remembers all Clients that have ever connected to the TimeClock Server, so you'll need to remove the registered Client that's no longer in use if you're running the Network Edition and need to move a Client.

Alright, back up the U-Haul!

Jeff Morrow

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cross Platform Time Clock Software

As Apple Macintosh computers continue to gain popularity, it's becoming more and more common to talk to businesses that have a combination of Mac and PC computers on their network.

I was just asked again this morning if you can run a Mac TimeClock Server with a combination of Mac and PC TimeClock Clients. As far as I know, Virtual TimeClock is the only employee time and attendance system designed to run natively on both Mac and PC computers. So yes, network any combination of Mac and PC time clocks together (using either platform as the TimeClock Server), even over the web!

Jeff Morrow

Friday, October 9, 2009

Emailing Timecards

Just got off of the phone with one of our Canadian neighbors. She wanted to know how to email her timecards. Before you can email your timecards as an attachment you need to save them as a PDF.

On a Mac, saving a print job to a PDF is a standard selection in the print dialog. On Windows, I've used a free tool in the past called PDFCreator with success. I'm sure there are others available as well.

Jeff Morrow

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Exporting Your Time Clock Data

Questions about exporting timecard data seem to come in waves, so grab your surf board and let's talk about it.

You can export your time clock software data to a tab or comma separated text file. This means you can open and edit the data in any common text editor or spreadsheet software (like Excel or Numbers). You can also export directly to CheckMark Payroll.

If your payroll or accounting software supports text file importing (many do), then you're all set. Just choose Export from the File menu to get started.


Jeff Morrow

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Support Blog Inauguration

Hi, my name's Jeff, but my colleagues around here call me the time clock software guru. That's because 1) I've got that far away introspection look on my face most of the time, and 2) they know I've got the answers to most of their Virtual TimeClock software questions.

My intent is to use this blog to answer common customer questions related to life, liberty, and the pursuit of time and attendance software! So check back often for tips & tricks to help you use Virtual TimeClock more effectively.