Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Virtual TimeClock '10 Year In Review

We've been very pleased with the response we've received this year from customers and the media regarding our latest Virtual TimeClock software releases and the other time and attendance resources we've introduced. And I'm very excited about what's coming in 2011, especially the employee overtime control measures included in Virtual TimeClock '11.

Here's a recap of the highlights from 2010:

As you can see, this makes for a busy and satisfying year. And we have some exciting plans for 2011 to keep Virtual TimeClock at the forefront of the time and attendance industry!

Jeff Morrow
Virtual TimeClock Product Specialist

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Free Time and Attendance Tools

The Internet has certainly changed the way we access and interact with information. Unfortunately, much of the information you encounter on the Web is outdated, inaccurate, misleading, or just so disorganized it's of no practical value.

Since we're in the business of time and attendance, we get asked a lot about overtime laws and overtime rules for each state. So I started thinking, "If people are asking us, they must not be able to easily find the answers they need elsewhere." With that in mind, we decided to expand our time clock software web site to offer businesses looking for helpful time and attendance resources with some handy reference tools. We thought gathering these tools "under one roof" so to speak would be a great way to help business owners and HR professionals find some of the answers they're looking for.

This reference tool brings together an easy-to-use summary of daily, weekly, and any premium pay rules for every U.S. state and territory.

This reference tool includes a set of calendars of common holidays observed by U.S. businesses and all of the U.S. federal holidays for four consecutive years.

These free time and attendance resources join our free time card calculator that provides employees with an easy way to total daily and weekly hours in a convenient printable timesheet.

Jeff Morrow

Friday, October 8, 2010

Time Card Software Reviews - Can They Be Trusted?

I find reading reviews helpful when I'm researching something new. For example, if I'm looking for a new pair of running shoes, I always appreciate reading honest feedback from other consumers about things like comfort and fit. I'll also check side-by-side comparisons or reviews of different running shoes to see how they rate against one another in various categories. I expect these comparisons and reviews to be relatively objective and unbiased. Being raised on Consumer Reports, I'm still naive enough to believe that's how it works everywhere. Well, my eyes have been opened.

TopTenREVIEWS is a site that includes rankings, reviews, and side-by-side comparisons for products and services in categories such as software, electronics, web services, mobile, movies, music, and video games. All these categories, incidentally, represent $565 billion in consumer spending each year. No wonder TopTenREVIEWS wants a piece of the action. Their main goal is to send you to a site they're promoting and hope you buy the product. Because if you do, they get up to 60% of the sale!

They have a time card software review site that has changed little in the last 4 years. If you're willing to give them $1,500, then they'll review your product and reshuffle the listings based on the review results. For another $1,500 they'll make a short video of your time card software review as well. If that's not enough, when a consumer clicks on the affiliate link to buy your time card software then they'll take a 30% or higher commission on the sale!

What do you think that says about the time card software publishers who have to buy their reviews? I'm so glad Virtual TimeClock doesn't need gimmicks or spam-review sites to prove it's one of the best time card software products on the market. Our independent time clock software reviews support this. These are not 'pay for placement' sites, nor do they require you to become an 'affiliate partner' like TopTenREVIEWS.

Mac|Life Magazine - Review of Virtual TimeClock '10 Pro Edition
CPA Technology Advisor - Virtual TimeClock Simplifies Time Tracking
Macworld Magazine - Review of Virtual TimeClock '10 Network Edition
CNET - Review of Virtual TimeClock '10 Basic Edition

It's widely known that spam-review sites rank products that earn them more money higher, contain inaccurate and outdated information, and shouldn't be relied upon. The TopTenREVIEWS motto is "We Do the Research So You Don't Have To". I vote they change that to "We Sell Reviews So You Get Outdated and Biased Information".

Jeff Morrow
Virtual TimeClock Product Specialist

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Virtual TimeClock + Payroll Integration = Worry Free Payday

I'm always a little anxious when we release a new version of our employee time clock software. It's not because I'm worried about it not working like it should since I know the engineering is solid and the QA team has run it through the paces. I think it's more because I want each of our customers to be able to use all of the new features. I know that's not practical. Although each new release of Virtual TimeClock contains new features and functionality that help our customers reduce payroll costs and make their time and attendance processes more efficient, not all customers may find those features useful. For some, their office workflow renders certain features unnecessary. For others, it's different business rules.

I must confess that the anxiety I usually feel with a new time clock software release was conspicuously absent with Virtual TimeClock '10 Release 2. And I think the reason is that the new payroll integration with leading payroll service providers like SurePayroll, Paychex, and PayChoice provides functionality that all of our customers need, since all of our customers deal with payroll on a regular basis. This new release even provides payroll integration with AccountEdge accounting software. Even better, we've partnered with SurePayroll, the leading online payroll service, to provide Virtual TimeClock software users with special pricing and benefits. So not only does this new employee time clock software release help reduce your payroll costs with flat monthly rates, it reduces data entry errors as well. Both of which save you money.

A worry free release gives all of our customers a worry free payday.

Jeff Morrow
Product Manager - Virtual TimeClock

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Maintaining Labor Compliance

Small business owners can spend many hours processing payroll each pay period. And this does not include all the time spent trying to stay current with labor laws and business regulations. Business expansion becomes a double-edged sword as hiring more employees often means bringing on additional payroll specialists to accommodate your company's growth and monitor increasing payroll compliance. Many companies turn to outsourcing their payroll processing and labor management to help cut costs and leverage revenue. Whether you choose to outsource your payroll processes or keep them in-house, payroll time clock software will help you maintain labor compliance by enforcing employee accountability, ensuring overtime rules are followed, reporting other payroll income, and tracking employee time and attendance.

Learn how employee time clock software can help simplify your payroll processes by reading our new online article called Maintain Labor Compliance With Payroll Time Clock Software.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Choosing the Best Payroll Time Clock Software

It is not unusual to spend hours collecting and totaling employee time cards each payroll period. Hand written time sheets are usually filled out the day before payroll is due, and time cards from a mechanical or electric time clock are usually full of hand written notes explaining missed or late punches. All of those notes have to be deciphered, interpreted, and corrected before payroll can be processed. This just increases the time and effort required to prepare payroll for input into your payroll software, or sent to your accountant or payroll service. Payroll time clock software makes it easy to go from time clock to paycheck in a few simple steps by automating your payroll process. So whether you choose to outsource your payroll processes or keep them in-house, the best payroll time clock software will help you avoid labor intensive payroll processing by instantly applying your business payroll rules, generating accurate payroll reports, quickly exporting your payroll data, and automatically archiving your payroll records.

Learn what sets apart the best payroll time clock software by reading our new online article called Payroll Time Clock Software - Choosing the Best.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fresno Mayor Highlights Virtual TimeClock in State of The City Address

In her May 27, 2010 State of the City Address, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin highlighted Virtual TimeClock and Redcort Software as a leading technology company in California's 5th largest city.

Here's a three minute clip:


Jeff Morrow has been lobbying for some new t-shirts. On the front it says "Redcort Software". On the back it says, "You gotta come to Fresno". Thanks for the shout out Mayor Swearengin!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Standing in the Spotlight

We all like to be recognized for our efforts. Of course, some like the recognition more than others. Some just enjoy doing their jobs well and remaining out of the spotlight and behind the scenes. But it's always nice to know you're appreciated and that the work you're doing is not going unnoticed. So you can imagine our surprise and delight when our Virtual TimeClock software was mentioned by name in the recent State of the City 2010 Address by Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin.

Mayor Swearengin was describing things that Fresno City Hall is doing, and going to do, to promote local businesses. She went on to describe several technology firms that are headquartered in Fresno, including Redcort Software. She acknowledged our contributions to the global economy because of our international presence. We now have employee time clock software users in over 50 countries! She mentioned our relevance to current technology trends because of our recent Macworld time clock software review. Finally, she captured our corporate culture perfectly when she described being able to sit down and have a cup of coffee with the founder of our company. He's even been known to pick up the phones after hours and help customers get their time clock software back up and running after a computer crash!

Like I said at the beginning, it's nice to be recognized for your efforts. But that's not why we do what we do. We strive to be the best time and attendance software company because of the internal satisfaction we receive from knowing we're doing things to the best of our abilities, even when we're not standing directly in the spotlight.

Jeff Morrow

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Computer Time Clock Software is the Best Choice For Time and Attendance Tracking

The 1990s were an important era for small businesses as more and more companies embraced the new Computer Age birthed by wide spread acceptance of the Internet and moved their business practices to a digital format. This age has often been characterized by the ability to freely transfer information, and to have instant access to information that would have been difficult to find or retrieve before. General ledgers, employee payroll, and banking were quickly moved from labor intensive paper bookkeeping to electronic storage and processing. Time and attendance practices followed the trend as computer time clock software started to replace mechanical punch clocks. Software based time and attendance systems greatly reduced the amount of time needed to prepare employee time cards for payroll processing by automatically totaling employee hours and overtime. Time card software also reduced the reliance on mechanical or electronic punch clocks that were subject to failure and expensive to replace or repair. This shift has allowed business owners to reap the benefits of reduced operating costs because computer time clock software is inexpensive, east to maintain, increases employee accountability, is efficient, and makes payroll processing easy.

Find out why time clock software is the best choice for employee time tracking by reading our new online article called 5 Reasons Computer Time Clock Software is the Best Choice For Time and Attendance Tracking.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Computer Time Clock Software for Punch Clock Replacement

When the first employee punch clock was invented in 1888, its only purpose was to record the time employees entered and left the factory. The date and time information stamped on the original timecard gave the factory owner an official record of the time worked by each employee. Today, punch clocks are expensive to buy, difficult to maintain, reduce employee accountability, are inefficient, and make payroll processing difficult. In our current technologically advanced business environment, computer time clock software is the best choice for punch clock replacement.

Learn the reasons why every business needs to get rid of their punch clock by reading our new online article called Computer Time Clock Software - 5 Reasons You Need a Punch Clock Replacement.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Comparing Time and Attendance Software

There are many reasons businesses choose to update their employee time and attendance systems. For some, the cost of maintaining mechanical and electronic punch clocks make them impractical choices when cutting costs is paramount to survival in a difficult economy. Others are wanting to hold employees accountable with something more than a paper timecard or manual timesheet. In other words, they are looking for an accurate and impartial way to pay employees for actual hours worked. If any of these reasons sound familiar, then employee time and attendance software may be the perfect option for your business.

Learn what questions to ask when comparing employee time clock software by reading our new online article called Comparing Time and Attendance Software - 4 Questions to Ask.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Choosing Employee Time Clock Software

If you are an owner or manager of a business, you know the frustrations that come with trying to keep track of employee time and attendance. There are lots of options available, depending on your needs. If you would like to move away from mechanical punch clocks and paper timesheets, then employee computer time clock software may be exactly what you need to help your business simplify payroll processing, ensure attendance compliance, and manage labor costs. Not all time and attendance software programs are created equal, so it is important to find the right time tracking system for your business. If a free download is available from the vendor, then you should give it a try. Just make sure that the free time clock software download has all the same features as the actual program you will be asked to pay for. When reviewing time and attendance software, make sure you consider what features the program has to offer, what reports are available within the program, how user friendly the program is, and whether help is available during and after the time clock software review process.

Learn how to choose employee time clock software by reading our new online article called Choosing Employee Time Clock Software - 4 Easy Review Criteria.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Employee Time Clock Software Benefits

A traditional timesheet allows employees to record when they start and end specific tasks. For some employees, this just amounts to starting work in the morning and punching out at the end of the day. For others, this may involve keeping detailed start and end times for various activities, projects, or jobs throughout the day. Whatever your business needs, time and attendance software allows your employees to record this information much more easily, accurately, and objectively. Employee computer time clock software can help lower the operating costs of your business by making payroll processing more efficient, ensuring attendance compliance, making labor costs more visible so you can lower them if necessary, and helping automate the billing or invoicing of your clients.

Learn the benefits of employee time clock software by reading our new online article called Employee Time Clock Software - 4 Money Saving Benefits.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Job Security

Google's 'Search Stories' campaign led me to ponder my last 25 years as a software developer. The result is my story in 60 seconds. I called it Job Security.

While not directly related to our employee time clock software, it does give a little back story and a hint at the future!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Taking Time Off The Clock

As the leader of a business that publishes employee time clock software, we help employers all over the world easily manage their employee time and attendance. I find it a little ironic that my current inspiration has come from some time far away from the punch clock.

Having been immersed in the thrill of leading our fast growing company, I've somehow managed to go nearly eight years without taking a real, completely disconnected, extended vacation. My resolution for 2010 was to remedy this imbalance in my life. So my wife and I decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary by returning to Hawaii for the first time since our honeymoon twenty-two years ago. By the time I returned to work 12 days later, I was deeply impressed by the importance of unwinding, altering the pace, and changing scenery. The following are a few of the things I continue to reflect on a week after my return:

Anticipation adds to the enjoyment of doing.
Prior to our trip, several friends recommended we pick up a travel guide called Maui Revealed. In the week leading up to our departure and while we were gone, my wife and I spent a number of evenings reading the book and discussing things we would like to do and see. Maui Revealed turned out to be an unusually informative, frank, and even funny read that greatly added to the enjoyment of our vacation.  Something unexpected arrived with our reading - the joy of anticipation. We found ourselves looking forward to adventures with excitement. Many experiences were enriched with insights and observations that we most certainly would have otherwise missed. I return from vacation with a renewed appreciation for anticipation. I've made a commitment to be more intentional about anticipating upcoming events in my professional and personal life.

If you haven't experienced wonder lately, you're not completely alive.
One of the our favorite activities on Maui was snorkeling. I cannot begin to explain the sense of wonder I felt each time I drifted along in warm, salty ocean, joining effortlessly in the unhurried life of huge sea turtles and tropical fishes of an amazing array of colors and sizes. The backdrop of coral in pink and blue and green, together with the sea life that lives among them, left me feeling like I was swimming in an enormously beautiful aquarium. Only this was completely organic and therefore unlike man's attempt to capture and imitate the beauty of nature. These adventures comforted me with the knowledge that I belong to a benevolent maker of unimaginable creative genius. Unexpectedly (but I guess not surprisingly) I've discovered a renewed freshness in my own creative impulses.

Life is richer when you enjoy others.
Another unexpected highlight of our trip was the Wednesday evening we spent at Warren and Annebelle's in Lahaina Town on Maui. We started the evening with such fantastic food, service, and conversation that I would have gladly paid double for the privilege. A two hour show followed that completed one of the most enjoyable evenings we have had together. Warren Gibson is a close-up magician with hilarious comedic timing and pretty amazing showmanship. The evening reminded me how important it is to break from my own world of activity to enjoy someone else's talents and abilities. We have committed to one another that we're going to get out a little more often!

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
It's an old truism, I know. But the truth is that as the vacation ended, I returned with a new vividness in my life. As I rode my bike that first day back, I was struck by the sights and sounds and smells in the beautiful park I ride through on my way to work. I wondered how long I had been so dull towards the world and people around me.

It's one thing to know, or even say, that there is more to life than the pleasure of a job well done, even a job well loved. It's quite another to experience more of life by actually stepping completely away from the daily routine and responsibilities.  I welcome the balance and perspective it has brought as I once again find it's time to punch the clock.

Keith DeLong
Redcort Software

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Whatever Happened to Customer Service?

We take customer service for our time and attendance software very seriously. When customers need help with their time clock software, or prospective customers have questions about Virtual TimeClock, we want to leave them delighted by the experience. But have you ever tried to define customer service? Some would certainly say it's how well a company consistently meets the needs of its customers. But that sounds like the focus is on the company meeting some minimum level of customer acceptance, and not on the customer whose needs may be unique and not even fully known. I think the definition of good customer service can only come from the customer. If customers are delighted by the service they receive, then that's good customer service. Even though companies try to objectively measure customer service success, it's essentially individual and subjective. What it takes to delight one customer may be qualitatively and quantitatively different from what it takes to delight another.

I had a recent customer service experience that I'd like to share. I had the unpleasant duty of needing to switch my broadband from DSL to cable, which meant switching Internet service providers. I called to set everything up, a 6 month promotional rate and then 6 months at the regular rate. Of course, it took longer than I expected. Of course, I was skeptical of the promotional promises. Of course, I had been lied to by the time the transaction was completed. But it was done, I wouldn't even need to think about it for another year, or would I?

Then I received my first invoice. I wasn't billed at the promotional rate I had agreed to when signing up. Score: Jeff = 0, ISP = 1. So I called the number on the invoice as directed if I had any billing questions. The live attendant said I'd need to call a different number before 6:00pm in order to get help with a billing question. I was thanked for my business, well wished, and asked if anything else could be done for me. Score: Jeff = 0, ISP = 2. The second call (before 6:00pm this time) went something like this: "We don't even offer a promotion for that amount", "We have a promotion that almost matches, but it requires phone service and you didn't order phone service", "The computer won't let me just enter an amount, I have to have a promotional code". I was told my best bet would be to start an instant online chat with someone in sales. Again, I was thanked for my business, well wished, and asked if anything else could be done for me. Score: Jeff = 0, ISP = 3. So I moved on to the infamous online chat. This time I was told that promotion was no longer available, but they'd see what they could do. Questions, waiting, more questions, more waiting. I was finally offered a solution that seemed satisfactory. I couldn't get the 6 month promotional rate I was promised, but I could get a slightly higher rate for a longer period of time. I immediately jumped at the opportunity because 1) this promotion may not be available after the next 5 minutes, and 2) it saved me more money in the long run than the original, and that's a good thing. Again, I was thanked for my business, well wished, and asked if anything else could be done for me. For the first time I could answer, "No thanks, you've done enough." So here's my little customer service analysis based on this recent experience.

What they did wrong:
  1. Don't lie to your customers, ever.
  2. Don't dangle a carrot in front of your customers and then yank it away because they don't meet some hidden qualification.
  3. Don't put the blame on another person, the computer, or the "system".
  4. Don't make your customers do all the leg work to get their issue resolved.

What they did right:
  1. Kept accurate, up-to-date documentation in my record that even included the original promotional amount I was offered.
  2. At least 1 person took responsibility until a solution was found.
  3. Found something better for me, rather than just an equivalent offer.

Let me leave you with an analogy. Boiled chicken can meet certain of my nutritional needs, but it doesn't have much flavor. It doesn't delight the palette to say the least. But take your boiled chicken and combine it with other ingredients to make kung pao chicken, and now you've got a dish that delights the senses (at least mine, remember customer service is a subjective experience). I know Redcort Software has learned a few things about customer service after nearly 15 years in the time and attendance software industry. And I hope we continue to provide customer service that delights the senses of each individual we come into contact with.

Have a comcastic day!

Jeff Morrow

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How Do You Want to be Remembered?

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, I decided to do a little research on the man who's inspired the color, the clover, and the corned beef. Legend has it that St. Patrick was responsible for driving all the snakes from Ireland. That's not a bad thing to have on your resume, that is, if your island had a problem with snakes (biologists don't think there ever were any snakes in Ireland).

This got me thinking about how I want to be remembered. I mean, there could be a lot of empty space on a grave stone between the year you're born and the year you die. It's hard to come up with a one-liner that summarizes your life. Should it be your main accomplishment, a favorite quote, your life motto, a mission statement, or maybe just a simple R.I.P?

Naturally, this flowed into my work environment. How do I want Redcort Software to be remembered? Maybe even more appropriate is how I want Redcort Software to be known in the time and attendance industry right now? I'd like Redcort Software to be known for our mission (what we've set out to do), our values (how we go about doing it), and our reputation (how others think our values support our mission).

Our Mission
We've made it our mission to develop, publish, and support time and attendance software that helps free businesses from the unproductive cycle of repetitive tasks and unavailable information. This means our time clock software incorporates features that make the lives of our customers easier. We've eliminated the time spent gathering and totaling timecards from manual punch clocks and hand written timesheets. Our Virtual TimeClock software greatly reduces payroll errors with automatic rounding rules and break deductions. That's why we added a powerful report writer, so you can quickly get your time clock data the way you need it for your accountant, management team, or payroll company.

Our Values
We value excellence. This means we're committed to working hard to produce and support time and attendance software products that exceed the expectations of our customers. That's why we've never outsourced product development or technical support overseas. We believe nobody can help, listen to, and anticipate the needs of our customers like we can.

We value our customers. This means we're committed to doing business the old fashioned way. You'll always talk to a live person during regular business hours. And if you leave a message after hours, we'll always call you back promptly the next business day. Our regular time clock software releases are a direct result of listening to our customers and what they need to simplify their payroll, manage their labor costs, track their employee attendance compliance, and organize their businesses.

We value each other. This means we're committed to recognizing the value in others by expressing appreciation, acceptance, and concern for those we come in contact with.

Our Reputation
Our customers are responsible for transforming Redcort Software into an industry leading time and attendance software publisher. We have the privilege of serving tens of thousands of time clock software users in over fifteen countries around the world. Just take a look at this small sample of Virtual TimeClock software users and what they're saying about our time clock software and our service.

I think all that could fill up the space on a corporate grave stone quite nicely. How do you want to be remembered? Unfortunately, snake exterminator is already taken.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Pareto Principle Is Alive and Well

You probably know what the Pareto principle is, although you may not know it by that name. It’s more commonly referred to as the ’80-20 rule’. It’s named after an Italian economist who at the beginning of the twentieth century observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. He applied his observation at home and discovered that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas! It’s basically a rule of thumb that describes how something is shared by a particular set of participants. For example, you may see this rule in action as you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time, or spend 80% of your time with only 20% of your friends.

I saw the Pareto principle alive and well with our latest time clock software release.  Here’s what I mean. Roughly 80% of our new timeclock software feature requests are for similar new functionality. This means that out of all of the feature requests we’ve received over the last several years, approximately 8 out of 10 customers consistently ask for similar new features or functionality (20% of the pea pods). The engineers were definitely able to tap into this principle when planning and developing Virtual TimeClock ’10.

Let me give you an example. The ability to track and limit the time employees have been on paid breaks has been a top requested new feature for some time. And while it seemed like a simple request, this feature required a tremendous amount of engineering effort to make it a reality. The same is true for tracking unpaid worker time and leave. Implementing these two requests completely changed timecard reports, how leave is accounted for, and how activities are tracked. However, implementing these two items at the same time with the related reporting improvements fulfilled an enormous number of our user feature requests. We also knew the 80-20 rule was in effect for the requests themselves. For every person who took the time to request these features, we knew there were many more Virtual TimeClock users who wanted the functionality but simply hadn’t submitted a request.

Rather than going for cool new eye candy, a glamorous new buzz word feature, or something a little less strenuous to implement, engineering decided to pull out all the stops and make Virtual TimeClock ’10 do more of what our users wanted it to do. It wasn't the easiest, cheapest, or quickest route to a new release. At the same time it was certainly the right thing for us to do. Virtual TimeClock ’10 gives our customers the tools they need to more effectively manage their employee time and attendance and payroll costs. 

What does this mean for the future? Well, it definitely means biometrics, web clients, and integration with new payroll products. These things are important to us because they’re important technologies for our customers. As always, we’re letting our users drive our innovation for each Virtual TimeClock software release. The Pareto principle may just be a natural phenomenon, but it’s a great way for us to focus our efforts on the things our customers really need.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Virtual TimeClock '10 Release

In these challenging economic times, businesses are working very hard to maintain profitability. Our customers tell us that controlling labor costs is a top priority today. Virtual TimeClock '10 builds on the strengths of past versions with useful new cost control features.

Most significantly, the new release enables employers to easily track paid and unpaid breaks and lunches, as well as manage unpaid leave. We also upgraded our timecard report writer to make access to the new information easy and intuitive.

Get more information on Virtual TimeClock '10 here:
Virtual TimeClock '10 Press Release

Check out the new release and get a free download here:
Virtual TimeClock '10 Home Page