Friday, August 27, 2010

Switching Employee Leave Tracking Systems

Virtual TimeClock is more than just a simple punch clock replacement. It provides full time and attendance tracking with payroll integration. If you're tracking employee leave in with some other system, you may want to consider switching the leave tracking responsibilities over to your employee time clock software. Depending on when you want to make the switch, there are a couple of options for bringing over those leave balances depending on how you're accruing leave benefits.

Of course, the best time to make the switch is when starting a new benefit year. If you're switching mid-year and you're accruing benefits based on an annual award, then you can just enter the current employee balances as carryover into Virtual TimeClock. You'll just need to adjust the carryover based on your business rules at the end of the benefit year and set up the new annual award amounts.

If you're already accruing benefits based on a calculated award, then you can still enter current employee balances as carryover into Virtual TimeClock, but then you'll need to either adjust the calculation rate based on the time remaining in the current benefit year, or set the employee's award anniversary to the date you want to start using your employee time clock software to start tracking leave. You'll still need to adjust the carryover and accrual rate at the end of the benefit year.

Jeff Morrow
Help Desk

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Secure and Flexible Time Clock Software

One of the brilliant design features of Virtual TimeClock is how the main time clock software window functions as a virtual in/out board. This let's you quickly determine who's in and out with just a glance. This is also what allows you to easily deploy Virtual TimeClock as a time clock station that can be used by multiple workers. To make the punch in and out process as quick as possible for all time clock users, they aren't asked to login to the software at first launch. However, they are required to enter a password before accessing any of the functions within the time clock program.

For some time clock administrators, this may become tedious as they move around within the time clock program performing their different administrative functions. There is a way to quickly disable password protection temporarily so you don't have to keep entering your password. From the Tools menu, choose Enter Administrative Mode. Now enter your administrative password. You'll see the phrase ADMINISTRATIVE MODE displayed in the lower left-hand corner of your time clock.

To restore password protection on your time clock, simply exit and re-launch the program, or choose Exit Administrative Mode from the Tools menu. Remember, this only disables security on your time clock, security is still enforced on all the other computer time clocks on the network.

Jeff Morrow
Help Desk

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Time Clock Software Features

Virtual TimeClock has certainly changed over the years. Many of those changes are the result of ideas and feedback that come directly from our customers, the ones who use our employee time clock software everyday. We regularly release software updates to incorporate some of those great ideas. Of course, those upgrades are free for customers enrolled in our time clock software maintenance and support program.

We love to get feedback about our employee time clock software! Here's how you can request a new feature. Contact us by telephone or email. Describe what you what like to see added to the time clock program, how you would use the new feature, and why it's important to you. As part of our engineering review, we evaluate feature requests based on three criteria:

  • How well does the requested feature fit logically with our existing feature set?
  • How much engineering time and effort is needed to implement the requested feature?
  • How many other customers have requested the feature?

We can't promise that your new feature will be included in the next software release, but we'll definitely let you know if it does get included.

Maggie Hofer
Customer Service

Friday, August 13, 2010

Reopening Closed Payroll Periods

In order to use your employee time clock software effectively, it's important to understand the role of closing payroll periods. Closing payroll periods performs two functions:

  • Virtual TimeClock calculates and writes the total hours, overtime, and gross wages for the current payroll period to your time clock software database.
  • Virtual TimeClock advances the current payroll period to the next period using your payroll cycle settings.

Why Closing Payroll Periods Is Important
When viewing or printing timecards, Virtual TimeClock will always use the stored totals from a closed period rather than recalculating the totals again. This is important because wages, overtime, and time deduction rules may change over time. By closing payroll periods, reports for a closed period use the historical totals rather than calculating them all over again using the current settings for each worker which may have changed.

Reopening A Closed Payroll Period
Remember that closing a payroll period causes all of the totals for the period to be written to the database. Therefore, your time clock software will not allow you to add, modify, or delete entries in a closed period in order to preserve the integrity of the totals for that period.

If you need to perform edits to timecards in a closed payroll period, you'll need to reopen the period. From the Tools menu, choose Payroll Period. In the Current Period section, enter the start and ending dates of the payroll period you want to reopen. Save the changes, make your timecards edits, and close the period again.

Jeff Morrow
Time Clock Software Support Specialist

Time Clock Software License Errors

There are several license errors that you may receive from time to time when using your employee time clock software. Some are more common than others, and several only occur when using networked time clocks.

Pro Edition License Errors
The only license error message you're likely to see with Virtual TimeClock Pro is if you upgrade your time and attendance software and you're not enrolled in our software Maintenance & Support program, or you're enrolled but haven't entered your most recent license keys.

On program launch you receive a message stating that your installed license is not valid with the latest release of the software.

If you're not enrolled in our time clock software maintenance program, you can either purchase a discounted upgrade license, or you'll need to roll back to your licensed version of the software. If you're enrolled, you'll need to enter your newest license key according to the instructions on your license registration email. If you need another copy, contact us and we'll be happy to send one off to you. Your program will run in evaluation mode for 300 timecard punches until a valid license key is entered.

Network Edition License Errors
In addition to the same license error message that's seen with Virtual TimeClock Pro, there are two other license errors you may encounter.

When Pro Client launches, you get a message stating that you're out of licenses.

When a Pro Client connects to the TimeClock Server, it registers its computer information and uses up a license. This error usually occurs after moving a Pro Client to a different computer or your old computer dies and you get a new one. You'll need to remove the old registered client computer from the Licenses panel of the TimeClock Server. This will free up a license to be used with your new computer.

When Pro Client launches, you get a message stating that your client ID is in use by another computer.

Just like the out of licenses error message, you'll need to remove the referenced client computer from the Licenses panel of the TimeClock Server. This error usually occurs after your IT team has been moving around and renaming computers.

Virtual TimeClock always provides very specific messages if there's a licensing issue. Just carefully read the error message dialog for information on what the problem is and instructions on what to do next.

Jeff Morrow
Time Clock Software Support Specialist

Friday, August 6, 2010

Converting Version 5 Data files

We've got a detailed time clock software upgrade guide that will walk you through the upgrade process from version 5. Usually, the Virtual TimeClock data converter utility will automatically find your version 5 data file. However, you may want to take this upgrade opportunity to move your employee time clock software to a different computer, or maybe migrate from a stand alone time clock to networked time clocks. If that's the case, you'll need to manually select your version 5 data file for conversion.

Your Virtual TimeClock version 5 data file will always be stored in the documents folder of the user account that runs your time clock software.

Macintosh HD:Users:Your User Account:Documents:Virtual TimeClock User Data:Your Company Name folder:Your Company Name.vtc

Windows Vista
C:\Users\Your User Account\Documents\Virtual TimeClock User Data\Your Company Name folder\Your Company Name.vtc

Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\Your User Account\My Documents\Virtual TimeClock User Data\Your Company Name folder\Your Company Name.vtc

The '.vtc' file is your actual data file and can be transferred to the new time clock computer so you can select it when running the conversion utility. Just make sure the data file you're converting is on the local hard drive. See the Troubleshooting page of the upgrading guide if you need help finding the data file currently in use by older versions of Virtual TimeClock.

Jeff Morrow
Time Clock Software Support Specialist