Thursday, June 3, 2010

Job Tracking with Virtual TimeClock

Many business owners think of employee time clock software as a secure and impartial means of keeping employees accountable for their hours worked. They just want to make sure they're not underpaying or overpaying employees. Since you're already keeping track of employee hours for payroll purposes, why not use those same hours to perform labor cost analysis or help accurately bill your clients.

The key to job or project tracking is setting up different activities within your time clock program. Activities are used to track the current status of your employees, what they're currently working on, or where they might be working. For example, you may want to use activities to track tasks, jobs, clients, or employee location. Employees may work on several jobs or projects throughout their workday and can quickly switch from one activity to another. Activities can be paid, only paid until a maximum time threshold is reached, or unpaid depending on your business workflow needs.

Here's a brief description of the activity setup window available from the Lists menu. The activity type determines when the activity is available for use. Activities that are available for both time clock and manual entries can be selected when starting a new shift or switching to a new activity from the main window of your time clock program. They can also be used for manual timecard entries. For example, when a worker misses a normal punch time, or to give a worker credit for time worked off-site or away from regular punch clock access.

Activities that are available only for manual entries are used to record timecard entries for activities like jury duty, travel time, and off-site training. These activities aren't available from the drop-down lists in the main time clock software window since they're typically only used in special situations.

The activity calculation determines whether this is a paid activity, or an unpaid activity used for tracking purposes only. Time spent on unpaid activities will display in a separate column on your timecard reports.

Combining job tracking with the timecard notes feature built right into your employee time clock creates a great way for recording and tracking information related to jobs and projects. We've got an article about managing labor costs that you may find helpful as you start tracking jobs with your time and attendance software.

Jeff Morrow
Time Clock Software Specialist

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