Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where is the Virtual Timeclock Clock?

I helped a new customer this week who had common Virtual TimeClock Network edition question. As her employees had starting using the Virtual TimeClock software, they were noticing that the time recorded for starting and stopping work was several minutes different from the time shown in the clock on the computer. This of course was creating some controversy! What I loved about her support question was that she specifically asked for an answer that her employees would understand. Here's my reply:

Short Answer
The clock the employees sees when they clock in is NOT the clock that Virtual TimeClock uses for recording time. Virtual TimeClock gets its time stamps from the clock within the server computer.

This seems silly. Why do we do this? 
This is a security issue — otherwise people could easily change the computer’s clock forward or backward to manipulate Virtual TimeClock  to record anything they wanted. We’re all about accuracy with our time and attendance software so we work hard to discourage cheating.

What’s the solution?
There is an easy fix. All modern computers have a setting that tells them to regularly update their internal clocks with a very accurate (and impartial) Internet time server. If all computers stay synchronized with a single clock, they will always all display the same time.

What do I need to do?
To ensure that your server and client computers all consistently display the same time, you simply enable the automatic time setting feature on the TimeClock server computer and all TimeClock Client computers. Here's how:

Macintosh Computers
  1. Choose Apple menu, System Preferences and click Date & Time.
  2. Click the Date & Time tab.
  3. Select the Set date & time automatically checkbox.

Windows 7
  1. Click the Start button, Control Panel, and click Clock, Language, and Region, and then Date and Time.
  2. In the Date and Time control panel, click the Internet Time tab, and then click the Change Settings... button.
  3. In the Internet Time Settings dialog box, select the Synchronize with an Internet Time Server check box.

Enabling automatic time setting at the computer level ensures that employees will see Virtual TimeClock and their computer clock using the same time they clock in and out.

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