Friday, November 19, 2010

Time Clock Software Administrators

Some time clock software administrators may only use the time clock program infrequently because there may be another time clock administrator who oversees day-to-day time clock operations, or some of the routine functions like editing timecards or processing payroll has been delegated to a manager. Here are two security related items that directly impact time clock administrators.

Forgotten administrative password
There's no master or system password in Virtual TimeClock because every password belongs to a specific user account for auditing purposes. If you are a time clock administrator who's forgotten your administrator level password, give us a call and we can help you gain access to the program once again.

Administrative mode
Administrative mode is a great tool for performing all your employee time clock software tasks with a single password entry. Go to the Tools menu and choose Administrative Mode. Enter your password to disable security on just that time clock. When you're all done, go back to the Tools menu and choose Exit Administrative Mode or just quit your time clock to restore local security.

Maggie Hofer
Customer Service Team

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Virtual TimeClock '11 Sneak Peek

Engineering has been hard at work on Virtual TimeClock '11. This week I was able to sneak a peek at some of the new features. I must say that I'm very excited because this release addresses several of our top requests related to punch in and out rules. The new shifts feature is going to be an indispensable tool for those businesses looking for a way to get control of unauthorized overtime. Don't quote me on any of this, but here's some teaser information based on what I've seen so far.

Prevent early clock in
Let's say you set up a new shift rule with a start time of 8:00 am. You have 2 choices on how to handle early clock ins. You can either record all clock ins as the shift start time (clock in at 7:53 am but gets recorded as 8:00 am), or you can prevent early clock ins outside of a user-defined grace period. Plus, you can even define an override to allow an early clock in with manager approval.

Authorize late clock out
Likewise, let's say you set up a new shift rule with a stop time of 5:00 pm. You can either record all clock outs as the shift end time (clock out at 5:12 pm but gets recorded as 5:00 pm), or you can allow late clock outs beyond a user-defined grace period with manager approval.

Automatic clock out
Another great part of the new shifts feature is the ability to set an automatic clock out. For example, you can automatically clock out all workers who are still on the clock 15 minutes past their shift stop time. This should prevent missed punches at the end of the day when workers are a little too eager to get on the road or just learning how to use the time clock.

There's plenty more, and I'm only scratching the surface in terms of the power of this new employee time clock software tool. I'll keep you posted on new developments just as soon as I can sneak them out of the drawing room.

Jeff Morrow
Technical Support Team

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time Clock In/Out Board Software

I love the way the main time clock window functions as a virtual in/out board. It makes it so easy to know who's in, who's out, who's on break, and who's at lunch. Here are a couple of quick tips for maximizing Virtual TimeClock as your in/out board software.

Adding and removing display columns
You can choose what columns you want to have displayed on your in/out board, and each time clock can be different. On Mac, from the Virtual TimeClock menu, choose Preferences. On Windows PCs, from the Edit menu, choose Preferences. You'll be able to select what columns you want to show on your in/out board.

Name sorting and separate worker lists
You can also change the way your in/out board lists employee names. Maybe you want the first name listed first. Another option is to show employees in 2 separate lists. This is great because workers that are out are listed on one side and workers that are in are listed on the other. These settings are also found in the preferences for each time clock.

Sorting and adjusting columns
Your employee time clock software has way more flexibility than a traditional in/out board. You an click on the column name header to quickly change the sort order. You can also adjust the window size and column widths by using your mouse to drag the column separators in either direction.

Experiment with your time clock software preferences until you get just the look you want.

Maggie Hofer
Customer Service Team

Internet Time Clocks

One of the great features about Virtual TimeClock is the ability to network time clocks at different locations over the Internet. This allows you to monitor employee status real-time from the convenience of your own computer, and process payroll from 1 spot rather than having to make a trip to each remote office to gather the hours worked.

2 things must be done before using Virtual TimeClock over the Internet. The Internet connection at your time clock server computer location needs to use a static IP address, and you need to open a port on the router managing that Internet connection.

Static IP address
A static IP address is necessary to access your network from a remote location because a static IP address doesn't change. Have your Internet service provider (ISP) upgrade your Internet service to include a static IP address and have them update the router configuration at your time clock server location to use the new static IP address.

Port forwarding
You must also open a single port on the router at your time clock server location to allow remote time clock clients to connect. The employee time clock clients then connect to the router using the static IP address and the router forwards the information to the time clock server. This is commonly known as 'port forwarding' or 'port mapping'. To use port forwarding, you must configure TCP/IP manually on the computer running the time clock server so it uses a specific IP address rather than obtaining one automatically.

Since every router is a little bit different, you'll need to consult the user's guide that came with your router for the exact steps to set up port forwarding. We do have some router configuration examples on our website that you may find helpful.

Jeff Morrow
Technical Support Team

Friday, November 5, 2010

Daylight Saving Time and Your Time Clock

Since Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends November 7, you may be anxious as to how seasonal time changes affect your time and attendance software. The good news is that for most time clock software users, there's no impact at all.

Virtual TimeClock gets the time stamp for all punch times from the computer running your time clock software. With the Network Edition, the time clock server computer supplies the time stamp. So as long as the computer running your time clock software handles the time change automatically, Virtual TimeClock will always record the correct time for you. If you have worker shifts that cross the time change, then you'll need to manually add or subtract an hour for that shift, depending on the time of year.

Enjoy your extra hour of slumber!

Maggie Hofer
Customer Service Team

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Importing Time Clock Users

It's easy to add new Virtual TimeClock users when you have the appropriate security privileges. You may need to add a new employee to your time clock software so they can start recording work entries, or you may need to add a new manager to the time clock so they can begin to monitor their worker's activities. Of course, time clock administrators have unlimited access to all time clock functions. So what do you do if you want a manager to be able to add new users but you don't want to give them full administrative access? Importing users may be the solution.

You can import users at any time by creating a CSV (comma separated value) file. You can use Excel or a text editor to create and format the import file. Each line within the file represents a user and each comma within the line represents a field for that user.

Fields are imported in the following order:
Last Name,First Name,Middle Name,Address,City,State,Zip Code,Home Telephone,Employee Number,Social Security Number,Password,Wage,Department Name

Unused fields may be empty as long as each line contains exactly 12 commas separating the 13 fields. Each password must be unique, and in order for the new user to be assigned to a department, the department must already exist.

Now a manager can set up a new user so they can begin using your employee time clock without giving them access to the Users list window.

Jeff Morrow
Technical Support Team