Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Than One Business Location?

Employee time clock software makes tracking weekly overtime easy, even if employees work at more than one of your business locations. A question we often get asked is, "What's the best Virtual TimeClock solution for my business if I have more than one location?" Well, the answer to that question depends on a couple of factors.

Stand Alone Time Clocks
Placing a stand alone employee time clock at each location makes the most sense if:

  • Internet connectivity is unavailable or unreliable.
  • Employees don't routinely work at the different locations.
  • You don't mind the potential inconvenience of going to each site to edit or collect timecards.
  • The locations represent separate business enterprises.

Network Time Clocks
Networking employee time clocks makes the most sense if:

  • Internet connectivity is available and reliable.
  • Employees routinely work at the different locations so need consolidated timecards to accurately track weekly overtime.
  • You want the convenience of editing and viewing timecards for all locations from your own computer.
  • You want to be able to monitor employee punch times in real-time from your own computer.
  • You want to take advantage of the cost savings of networked time clock software package licensing.

If you want to discuss your computer time clock licensing needs in more detail, please contact a member of our time clock software customer service team. If you need help getting your different locations connected to a networked time clock, check out our time clock software remote connectivity guide.

Maggie Hofer
Customer Service Team

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Missing Employee Overtime?

A major reason time clock software makes a great punch clock replacement is its ability to instantly total and separate hours worked into regular and overtime based on defined business rules. This is what saves your payroll specialist and bookkeeper so much time when preparing payroll time clock software hours for your payroll provider.

There are certain situations that cause all hours to be reported as regular hours on your employee timecards. Two of them are related to user settings, and the third is a time calculation setting. We'll look at the user settings in your Virtual TimeClock software first.

The most common reason an employee timecard doesn't calculate overtime is because the employee doesn't have an overtime rule assigned. This is usually not noticed until the first time a timecard is generated after the employee has been added as a new user to your computer time clock. Since a different overtime rule can be assigned to each individual worker, it makes it easy to place your employees on alternative work schedules.

To assign an overtime rule:
  1. From the Lists menu, choose Users.
  2. Select the user from the list of workers on the left pane.
  3. Click the Wages tab.
  4. Click the Overtime drop-down list to assign an overtime rule.
  5. Save and run the worker timecard again.

A second reason you may not see overtime calculated on an employee timecard is because the employee is a salaried worker. Salaried workers are exempt from overtime calculations in Virtual TimeClock. If you need to calculate overtime for a worker, change their wage type to hourly.

To check an employee wage type:
  1. From the Lists menu, choose Users.
  2. Select the user from the list of workers on the left pane.
  3. Click the Wages tab.
  4. Click the Type drop-down list to change the wage type.
  5. Save and run the worker timecard again.

The final reason you may not see overtime calculated on an employee timecard is less common. This time calculation setting only affects daily overtime rules. It controls how many hours a worker has to be off the clock before restarting daily overtime calculations. The default value is 4 hours off the clock. This means that if a worker goes more than 4 hours between shifts, then the accrual of daily overtime will start over with the second shift.

To check the hours off the clock for shift restart:
  1. From the Tools menu, choose Time Calculations.
  2. You'll see the shift restart setting in the Daily & Weekly Overtime section.

Jeff Morrow
Technical Support Team

Thursday, September 16, 2010

QuickBooks Accounting Software Integration

As we've discussed in the past, there are several different systems involved in the payroll process. Employee time clock software gathers and prepares employee hours for payroll by segregating regular hours, overtime hours, and paid leave for the payroll period into separate totals. Your payroll system generates the checks after multiplying the different hours categories by the appropriate rate for each employee and applying the necessary state and federal deductions. Finally, business accounting software is used to record the payroll journal entries into your general ledger.

The new Virtual TimeClock payroll integration feature allows you to export your employee payroll for use in uploading into several popular payroll systems like SurePayroll, Paychex Preview, Paychex Online, PayChoice, AccountEdge, and CheckMark Payroll. Many of these payroll providers offer accounting integration to QuickBooks so payroll journal entries can be automatically posted to your general ledger.

We've partnered with SurePayroll, the leading online payroll provider, to offer Virtual TimeClock software users a payroll time clock software solution that allows you to go from time clock to paycheck in a few simple steps. Add QuickBooks accounting integration, and the process is automatically completed by eliminating duplicate entry and the chance for errors.

SurePayroll provides accounting integration with the following Intuit QuickBooks products:

  • QuickBooks 2010 Pro, Premier, and Enterprise Solutions
  • QuickBooks 2010 for Mac
  • QuickBooks 2009 Pro, Premier, and Enterprise Solutions
  • QuickBooks 2008 Pro, Premier, and Enterprise Solutions
  • QuickBooks Pro and Premier 2003-2007 (Intuit has discontinued technical support and business services for QuickBooks 2007 and older, and recommends upgrading to QuickBooks 2010)

This means Virtual TimeClock + SurePayroll + QuickBooks = Worry Free Payday

Jeff Morrow
Technical Support Team

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tracking Worker Lunches

Some employers like to track the time workers are spending on their lunch breaks even though it's unpaid. You may want to do this for a variety of reasons, but the two most common are to make sure phone coverage or customer care is being adequately provided for, and the other is to make sure employees are not abusing their lunch breaks by taking excessive time away from the office.

The lunch tracking feature in your computer time clock software makes tracking worker lunch breaks easy to do. The first thing is to verify that lunch breaks are set up according to your business rules.

  1. From the Tools menu of your Virtual TimeClock software, choose Time Calculations.
  2. Change the worker lunch label if you'd like to be more explicit (like 'Unpaid Lunch').
  3. Verify lunch calculations are unpaid.

Now instead of stopping work to go on a lunch break, employees can click the Lunch icon on the toolbar in the main time clock window. Their status will change to 'Lunch'. When they come back from lunch, they simply double-click their name, pick what activity they're returning to, and enter their password. Time spent at lunch will be recorded in a separate 'Unpaid' column on your worker timecard reports.

If you don't want employees to use the lunch tracking feature, then you can remove it within your program preferences.

  1. From the Virtual TimeClock menu on Mac, or the Edit menu on Windows PCs, choose Preferences.
  2. Click the User Access tab.
  3. Uncheck Worker Lunch in the Toolbar Buttons section and save.

Maggie Hofer
Customer Service Team

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How Do You See Time?

Time can be a funny thing, especially when you're trying to switch between decimal and time calculations for the same hours worked. Let me give you an example. Total hours worked of eight hours and fifteen minutes can be displayed as either '8:15' when displayed in time format, or as '8.25' when displayed in decimal format. Both represent eight and a quarter hours. The conversion itself comes down to basic math. To covert minutes to decimals you need to divide by 60. To convert decimals to minutes you need to multiply by 60.

The dilemma is that workers typically like to see their timecards showing total hours worked as hours and minutes (it's a lot easier to understand 50 minutes than .83 hours), but decimal hours are usually required for payroll processing. The good news is that your Virtual TimeClock software will perform all of these calculations for you based on a single configuration setting.

  1. From the Reports menu, choose Report Writer.
  2. The Timecard Detail report should already be selected for you.
  3. Click the Format tab.
  4. In the Time Display section you can choose how to display total hours worked.

Check out the missing dollar riddle article for a great explanation on the time to decimal conversion dilemma.

Maggie Hofer
Customer Service

Time Clock Software Implementation Strategies

New Virtual TimeClock software users often ask us the best way to get their new employee time clock software off the ground and running smoothly. Since we've been helping businesses with their time and attendance needs for over 20 years, we usually have some suggestions! So here are some ideas and strategies for implementing your new employee time tracking system.

Previous Time Tracking Methods
How you were handling employee time tracking before plays a role in how employees, both workers and management, will respond to the new time and attendance system. Generally speaking, if employees were accustomed to going to a central location to punch in, like an employee break room, then they'll have a fairly easy time adapting to time clock software running on a computer in any central and convenient location. In other words, the habit of going to a dedicated place for punching in has already been established.

Companies that have been using paper timesheets to track employee attendance may experience a tougher transition. This is mostly due to the fact that most employees have not been held accountable for their time, and are likely filling out timesheets the day before payroll is due.

Time Clock Software Implementation Strategies
A common scenario, especially for larger businesses, is to go live with the new time and attendance system with only part of the staff. This gives you time to fine tune security settings and processes based on your business workflow and rules before rolling the system out to all of your employees. It also allows you the opportunity to experiment with different time clock station locations while impacting a minimum amount of staff. One of the keys to a successful implementation is making time clock stations easily accessible.

Since the early adopters become familiar with both the software and any new processes, they become excellent trainers for their colleagues that are to follow later. This staged deployment has several practical benefits, especially for larger organizations.

I hope this provides you with some ideas for deploying your new employee time clock software.

Jeff Morrow
Help Desk

Friday, September 3, 2010

How to Change Your Punch Time Display Format

Tracking and displaying time is at the heart of any time clock program so it's nice when your time clock software is flexible in how time and dates can be formatted. Your Virtual TimeClock software relies on the date and time formats set by your operating system to control the display of those elements in the time and attendance program, most noticeably in the main time clock program window and on your employee time card reports. This is what makes Virtual TimeClock so successful all over the world, it can adapt to just about any business environment and most cultural settings that require special date and time formatting.

A common request is how to display punch times in military time, which operates off a 24-hour clock.

How to change the time format on Mac
  1. Open the Date & Time System preference.
  2. Click Open International.
  3. Click the Formats tab.
  4. Click the Customize button in the Times section.
  5. Click the hour drop-down list and choose one of the 24-hour clock formats.
  6. Click OK and then restart your time clock program for the change to take effect.

How to change the time format on Windows
  1. Open the Date and Time Control Panel.
  2. Click Regional and Language Options.
  3. Click Customize this format.
  4. Click the Time tab.
  5. Click the Time format drop-down list and choose one of the 24-hour clock formats.
  6. Click Apply and then restart your time clock program for the change to take effect.

Jeff Morrow
Help Desk

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Moving Virtual TimeClock Made Easy

Moving employee time clocks can seem intimidating at first, especially when you don't know the first step. You may find it necessary to move your computer time clock to another computer that offers more convenient access to all your employees, like a break room or employee entrance. Or you may need to move your time clock software to a different computer because of hardware failure or personnel changes.

Here's a quick overview:
  1. If you're moving Virtual TimeClock Pro or your Virtual TimeClock Server, you'll need to make a backup of your database.
  2. After creating the backup file, you'll need a method of transporting your database file to the new computer, like a USB flash drive.
  3. Download your edition of Virtual TimeClock onto the new computer and restore the database.
  4. Activate your software license on the new computer.

We've got detailed instructions for moving employee time clock software on our website, including what to do if hardware failure prevents you from creating a backup file.

Moving is not so bad, especially when you don't have to pack any boxes!

Maggie Hofer
Customer Service