Friday, April 22, 2011

iPhone Time Clock

Customers have been asking for a Virtual TimeClock iPhone app for some time. I'm happy to announce that we're now in the position to make this happen. In fact, engineering is finalizing the user interface specifications as I type this. Those of you who use our employee time clock software on a regular basis know we work really hard to make the user interface intuitive and the steps needed to perform routine activities efficient. That can sometimes be a challenge with a desktop app. It can be an even bigger challenge with an iPhone app because you're trying to maximize functionality in a limited amount of screen real estate. "What's the big deal?" you ask, "You just gotta clock in and out. There are a dozen time tracking apps in the App Store that already do that." That may be true, but here's one of the things that will set ours apart from the competition.

Most time tracking apps fall into two different categories. They're either a mobile replacement for a paper timesheet, which means you manually enter a start and stop time for each day and then the app will calculate the hours for you. Most of these can't handle overtime rules, and some of them won't even let you make multiple entries per day. I'm not entirely sure what you gain by using a timesheet app like this. The second group of time tracking apps function like timers. You select a task and then start the timer. You stop the timer, pick a different task, and then start the timer again. This can be especially handy when you're billing time for different customers, but what do you do with the data you've collected?

The new iPhone time clock app for Virtual TimeClock will have the advantage of connecting to your existing time clock server. This means the data will be collected from a mobile device, sent to your time clock server, and be instantly available to other time clock clients, both desktop and mobile. You'll be able to capture payroll hours and labor hours per job or activity from a mobile time clock, and that data will be instantly available to those who need it for processing payroll or billing your customers. How's that for our first foray into iOS development?

Jeff Morrow
Virtual TimeClock Product Specialist

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time Clock System Reviews

Reading product reviews is helpful when researching something new. If you're looking for a new pair of running shoes, you can appreciate the honest feedback from other consumers about things like comfort and fit. It's also nice to check side-by-side comparisons or reviews of different running shoes to see how they rate against one another in various categories. You expect these reviews to be relatively objective and unbiased, but that may not always be the case. The Internet has certainly changed the way we research products and services. Deploying a new time clock system can be a significant investment, so researching the best employee time clock software for your business is an important process not to be taken lightly.

Learn what pitfalls you'll want to avoid when researching your new time clock system by reading our new online article called Time Clock System Reviews - 4 Pitfalls To Avoid.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Self Documenting Time Clock Software

If you've ever used an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch then you know that Apple has taken great pains to make them easy to use. Easy to use doesn't mean simple in the sense of lacking features, but simple in terms of being uncomplicated. They've put a lot of time and effort on the back side to make it easy to use on the front side.

Here's a perfect example. My daughter recently got the latest generation iPod Touch. Without any coaching, reading of instructions, or calling the help desk, she was using the new device, downloading apps, and having a great time within minutes. Now it could be that teenagers just have a sixth sense that allows them to instantly adapt to new technology, but I think it's more than that. Apple has revolutionized the way we interact with the technological world, both in the realms of software and hardware. We sometimes refer to this as self documenting, which means you don't have to have special background knowledge or external documentation to get something set up or to work the way you want it to. Self documentation means the gadget, software program, or app guides you through everything you need to know to get it up and running. This can take the form of wizards, tips, or leading questions that get you where you want to go quickly and intuitively.

We've tried hard to do the same thing with our employee time clock software. Let's face it, there are two types of people in the world, those who read instructions and those who don't. I happen to be an instruction reader, my daughter is not. If she had to read a twenty page users guide just to get her iPod Touch up and going, it would not have been pretty. Self documenting software caters to both kinds of people, it's intuitive enough not to frustrate the 'no instructions' types like my daughter, and yet provides enough hand holding for people like me who need a little reassurance every now and then. I truly believe you can have our free time clock software trial up and running in minutes, even if you're not technologically savvy. If you can't, then let me know because it means we've still got some work to do.

Jeff Morrow
Virtual TimeClock Product Specialist

Friday, April 1, 2011

Getting Started Using Employee Time Clock Software

There are many reasons businesses choose to begin using employee time clock software. The two most common are to make the payroll process more efficient and to hold employees accountable for their time and attendance. Processing payroll is a labor and time intensive activity that contributes nothing to the bottom line of your business, and yet it's indispensable for keeping your business operating smoothly. Gathering timecards from a mechanical punch clock or collecting paper timesheets, adding up all the employee payroll hours with a calculator, applying different overtime rules, and converting the hours worked to decimal format for easier payroll entry all require a tremendous amount of time and effort, every single payroll period. Employee time clock software can help consolidate or even eliminate most of these procedures.

Learn how to have a successful time and attendance implementation by reading our new online article called How To Get Started Using Employee Time Clock Software.