Thursday, December 23, 2010

Upgrading Your Basic Time Clock

One of the reasons why Virtual TimeClock is one of the best time and attendance solutions is because of its ability to grow with your business. Even though it makes sense to purchase punch clock software that can handle your current number of employees, it's a good idea to plan for future expansion so you can minimize the cost of upgrading or expanding your time and attendance system.

Virtual TimeClock Basic Edition makes a great entry level time clock for small businesses. It's easy to use, tracks all hours and overtime, and calculates timecards for payroll processing in seconds. This makes it the perfect time clock software solution for businesses with up to 3 employees. Best of all, it's easy to expand. Your Basic Edition data can be easily converted to work with Virtual TimeClock Pro Edition. As your needs expand and you need to track time for additional employees, your time clock software will scale right along side the growth of your business so you can easily update your time clock to unlimited employees.

Upgrading from Basic to Pro Edition
1. Download and install Virtual TimeClock Pro Edition.
2. From the Welcome window click Open Your Database.
3. Select your Basic Edition database and click Open.
4. Click Continue to acknowledge you're converting your database.

That's it! Virtual TimeClock handles all the behind the scenes conversion activities to bring your time card data into your new time clock software.

Jeff Morrow
Technical Support Team

Friday, December 10, 2010

Virtual TimeClock '11 Sneak Peek with Pictures!

Last month I was able to bring you some information regarding the new shifts feature in Virtual TimeClock '11. Well, this week I was able to get something even better. I think you're going to love these screenshots.

This new feature revolves around user schedules that can be assigned a different shift for each day of the week. Shifts are composed of start and stop times that can be customized with different clock in and clock out restrictions, which gives you tremendous flexibility depending on how you want to manage employee overtime. Clock in restrictions allow you to record an early clock in as the shift start time or prevent early clock ins altogether outside of a user-defined grace period. Allowing users to clock in early but not starting until their actual shift start time is called a 'Courtesy Clock In'. Early clock ins can be overridden based on a new security access setting.

Clock out restrictions work in a similar fashion to control late clock outs. Plus we've added a new automatic clock out feature.

You'll also notice in this screenshot of the Shifts window an option to set a shift differential to use when calculating gross wages on your timecard reports.

Worker Actions
Virtual TimeClock '11 has a new dialog for performing actions like clocking in and out, changing activities, going on break, or heading out to lunch. Workers are clearly alerted when their punch time violates their shift restrictions, including trying to clock in on an unscheduled day. The new security setting determines whether an override is allowed and what user access level is needed to perform the override.

Well, I hope that whets your appetite for Virtual TimeClock '11. I know this new shifts feature is going to be a valuable tool for controlling employee overtime.

Jeff Morrow
Technical Support Team

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Time Clock Software Features

Have you ever wished a software program could do more? Software developers love user feedback, and we're no exception. Messaging, leave & attendance tracking, timecard notes and payroll integration are just a few examples of new features that were added to Virtual TimeClock based on requests from time clock software users.

Each request we receive is taken seriously. If it's a new request, it's added to our feedback database and assigned a tracking number along with the contact information of the customer. If the feature or functionality has been requested before, then the request count is updated and the contact information of the customer is recorded so we can send notifications, seek clarification on the nature of the request, or announce beta testing opportunities.

During each development cycle, the engineering team evaluates requests based on three criteria:

  1. How many customers have requested the feature.
  2. How well does the feature fit with existing time clock features or functionality.
  3. How much engineering time and effort will be required to implement the feature.

While we can't promise new features or forecast release dates for software in development, we'll certainly let you know if your feature request has been implemented in a new time and attendance software release. So drop us a note and let us know what more you'd like your employee time clock to do.

Maggie Hofer
Customer Service Team

Time Clock Software Errors

Virtual TimeClock uses an efficient, fast and reliable SQL database engine. This means data corruption is virtually non-existent. However, hardware failure can certainly influence the integrity of your payroll time clock. That's why it's so important to back up your punch clock software regularly. Cryptic error messages can be alarming, so Virtual TimeClock will always return a very specific error code if there's a problem reading or writing to the database. Customers report the following error codes several times a year.

Error 13 - Insertion failed because database is full
This error is a result of a full hard disk. It's usually encountered when trying to clock in or out because there's no more room on the computer hard drive for the new record. It most commonly happens when running your time and attendance software on an older computer. You'll need to move Virtual TimeClock (the Virtual TimeClock Server if you're using the Network Edition) to a different computer or try and free up some space on the hard disk.

Error 14 - Unable to open the database file
This error is encountered when launching the program and will occur for one of two reasons. The most common is because the database has been moved to a different computer and permissions have changed on the database file or the database folder. Make sure the database file and database folder heave read & write permissions for everyone. The second reason you may see this error is because the database file is no longer in the location that the program is looking for it, or the name of the database file has changed.

Although errors with your employee time clock are rare, it's important to report them so we can help you quickly get your time clock software up and going again.

Jeff Morrow
Technical Support Team