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March 27, 2011

Time Clock MTS Version 3.1.4 Released

Time Clock MTS Version 3.1.4 has just been released. This release adds the new Tips Summary Report, cleans up the changes made when we Setup the Dedicated Internet Time Server, and the Time Breakdown Report now displays times in HH:MM:SS format properly.

As always, if you've got any questions or you find any problems with this new release please contact us for help.

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 10:03 AM


March 25, 2011

Time Clock MTS Version 3.1.3 Released

Due to the problems with Boulder time servers and the setting up of a dedicated Time Clock MTS time server I've done a rush release of Time Clock MTS version 3.1.3. This new release adjusts the Time Server dropdown on the Tools->Options Security Settings Screen by removing the non-functional time servers and adds the new dedicated server as the default. Note, that I've added the new server twice, once using the IP address and once using the domain name. The IP address may need to be used until the domain name record propagates around the internet (which it should do in the next 48 hours). I'll remove the IP address entry in the next release of the software.

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 10:18 AM


Dedicated Time Clock MTS Time Server Now Available


Setting up the New Time Server

I am pleased to announce that we've just spun up a dedicated internet time server for users of Time Clock MTS. Here's the details of the time server:

Host Name: time.timeclockmts-online.com
IP Address: 97.107.133.228

You might need to use the IP address to refer to this new time server until the DNS record propagates (which it should do within 48 hours or so). To use the new dedicated time server log into Time Clock MTS as the administrator and go to the Tools->Options Security Settings Screen (see the screenshot above). Select "Custom Time Server" from the Internet Time Server dropdown and then enter either the host name or the IP Addrss for the new server. Click the Check button to make sure everything is working then click Save to save the changes.

The next release of Time Clock MTS will set this new time server as the default, and ideally this will be the end of the sporadic time server problems we've had over the last couple of years.

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 9:41 AM


Problems with timefreq.bldrdoc.gov Time Servers

It appears that the first three time servers that Time Clock MTS can use to set the system time are no longer functional, this is due to extreme load on those servers. The time servers involved are:

time-a.timefreq.bldrdoc.gov
time-b.timefreq.bldrdoc.gov
time-c.timefreq.bldrdoc.gov

We've tested the following servers and they appear to be working just fine:

utcnist2.colorado.edu
nist1-chi.ustiming.org
nist1-lv.ustiming.org
nist1-ny.ustiming.org
nisttime.carsoncity.k12.mi.us

So for the time being we'd suggest you switch to one of these or enter the details into the custom time server field on the Security Settings Screen. We're investigating the possibility of setting up our own time server to ensure a more reliable system. Stay tuned for more information.

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 8:13 AM


March 16, 2011

Employee Tip Tracking Video Available

After a couple of days work I'm happy to say we've just posted up a new Time Clock MTS Flash Demo. This one covers the new Employee Tip Tracking features that were added in Version 3.1.1 of Time Clock MTS. If you were wondering what this is all about head of over and take a look at the Employee Tip Tracking Flash Demo.

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 1:56 PM


March 13, 2011

Detecting when an employee forgets to clock in or out


The Missing Punches Report

The recent release of Version 3.1.2 of Time Clock MTS and the addition of the new Missing Punches Report made me realize that we'd never posted up a blog explaining how users of Time Clock MTS could detect when an employee has forgotten to clock in or out. So, here we have a few methods doing this:

1. Make use of the Employee Status Report at the beginning or end of the work day. Run at the end of the work day an employee who has forgotten to clock out will still be shown as clocked in. Conversely, an employee who forgot to clock in at the beginning of the day will still be shown as clocked out.

2. A quick visual scan of the Employee List Interface at the beginning or end of the work day can serve the same purpose as running the Employee Attendance Report described in point one.

3. Periodically run the Punchcard Report. A quick scan of the hours worked over the reporting period should quickly highlight any extra long periods between clock in and outs. You should also look out for extremely short clock periods (for example when an employee forgets to clock in one morning and that afternoon clocks in and back out immediately). Both these indicators can be a sign of an employee forgetting to clock in or out.

4. Institute a policy that requires employees to enter a note when they've forgotten to clock in or out and realize this when they go to clock out at the end of the day or back in the next day. Use the Employee Notes Report to find these notes.

5. Make use of the Missing Punches Report. This report checks the employee clock in / out activity on a day by day basis over the chosen reporting period. Any day that shows an odd number of clock events is reported as potentially missing a clock in or out. The logic behind this is is that if an employee forgets to clock out then that day will show an unbalanced number of clock events as will the day before.

Got any other suggestions of how Time Clock MTS can be used to detect when an employee forgets to clock in out? Why not Contact Us and let us know!

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 7:38 AM


Time Clock MTS Version 3.1.2 Released

I've just released Version 3.1.2 of Time Clock MTS in response to a couple of requests from a new user. This user has just thrown out a highly customized time clock system that was developed for their own company but because of maintenance issues and high on-going cost of ownership they have decided to use a commercial offering. There were a couple of reports that the user thought would make Time Clock MTS a lot more useful and I agreed so these reports have now been added. Here's a list of what has changed in this new release:

  • Added the missing punches report. This report lists off all instances during the reporting period that an employee has an odd number of clock in/out events in a single day. This (as it turns out) is a fairly good indicator that an employee has forgotten to clock in or out during that day.
  • Added the employee notes report. This report lists off all clock in / out events during the reporting period that have a note and displays the note.
  • Fixed the database modification code that adds the employee tip tracking tables for MySQL users.
  • Fixed the detailed punchcard with full notes report that didn't show the full note occasionally.
  • Fixed a problem with the main program window that could sometimes disappear when the edit times window was open.

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 7:07 AM


March 7, 2011

Employee Tip Reporting


The Employee Time Clock Screen

This Time Clock MTS How To Article covers how to report on Employee Tip Tracking in Time Clock MTS.

Reporting on Employee Tips as an Employee or as the Time Clock MTS Administrator

An employee can report on their own tips from the employee time clock screen (shown in the screenshot above) by selecting their name from the employee list and clicking the Tips button. Note that employees may need to enter their PIN or scan a fingerprint to access their own tip diary. Employees being able to report on and print their tip diaries is a key requirement of the IRS who state explicitly that:

You can use an electronic system provided by your employer to record your daily tips. If you do, you must receive and keep a paper copy of this record.

The Time Clock MTS Administrator can report on any employees tips by logging into Time Clock MTS as the administrator. They can then select any employee from the employee list and click the Tips button to report on that employee.


The Employee Tip Tracking Screen

Running a Report

Reports are run from the Employee Tip Tracking screen shown above. The Employee Tip Diary Report is run by clicking the Print Diary button. The Employee Tip Diary Summary Report is run by clicking the Print Summary button. It is important to note that the period that is reported on is the same as that selected on this screen. So if you're viewing the tip diary for the current month to date then any reports run will be for the same period.


Employee Tip Diary Report

The Employee Tip Diary Report

Seen above, the Employee Tip Diary report may be of a suitable format to constitute an employee tip diary and when this blog article was published contained all the information displayed on the IRS Form 4070A Employee's Daily Record of Tips. Note that regardless of other settings within the software (such as those not allowing employees to view or print their timecards) that employees can always print or export their tip diaries as per IRS requirements.


Employee Tip Diary Summary Report

The Employee Tip Diary Summary Report

Seen above, the Employee Tip Diary Summary report may be of a suitable format to constitute a summary of tips received by an employee. When this blog article was published it contained all the information displayed on the IRS Form 4070 Employee's Report of Tips to Employer. Note that regardless of other settings within the software (such as those not allowing employees to view or print their timecards) that employees can always print or export their tip diaries as per IRS requirements.

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 8:41 AM


How to Record and Edit Employee Tips


The Employee Time Clock Screen

This Time Clock MTS How To Article covers how to to use Time Clock MTS to record new tips received and edit existing recorded tips. Note that because of the critical need for employees to manage their own tip diary that both employees and the Time Clock MTS administrator can add, edit, and delete tips.

Enable Tip Tracking

Before anyone can add, edit, or delete tips the Time Clock MTS administrator must enable tip tracking. The process to do this is described in the Enabling Tip Tracking How-To article.

Tip Tracking as an Employee vs Tip Tracking as the Time Clock MTS Administrator

Employees and the Time Clock MTS administrator have access to exactly the same tools for adding, editing, and deleting employee tips. However, if you've got the Employee PIN feature or Employee Fingerprint Security turned on then these security features are applied when employees try to access the tip tracking features. The security features are not applied when Time Clock MTS is in Administrator Mode.


The Employee Tip Tracking Screen

The Employee Tip Tracking Screen

Employee tips are managed from the Employee Tip Tracking screen which can be seen above. This screen is accessed from the Tips button on the employee time clock, a screenshot of which is shown at the top of this article. The employee tip tracking screen is basically an interactive tip diary. The time range that tips are displayed from can be selected from the time period drop down box. A tip can be edited or deleted by clicking the Edit or Delete link next to that tip. A new tip can be added by clicking the Add Tip button. The functions of the Print Diary and the Print Summary buttons will be covered in a subsequent How-To article.

Employees could use this screen to record their tips in a couple of ways. They could record each and every tip received individually, in which case their tip diary would contain a lot of entries but these would of course be summarized at reporting time. The alternate way is for employees to total up tips received during their shift and to just enter one summary tip that covers everything they received.


The Add/Edit Employee Tip Screen

Adding or Editing an Employee Tip

When you add a tip or edit a tip you'll be shown the screen above. As with most Time Clock MTS screens users must fill in the details and click the Save Tip button to save the changes. The employee tip screen allows employees to record direct tips received from customers or other employees, tips received from credit or debit cards, and tips paid out to other employees as well as who those tips were paid out to. Numeric values can be entered in the value fields on this screen with either a keyboard or via the keypad buttons on the right of the screen. Things to note on this screen include the requirement for the employee to select the date the tip recorded was received, and that they must select who tips are paid out to if a value has been entered into that field. Note that Time Clock MTS automatically records the date that a tip was recorded and this cannot be changed.

Any tips added or edited while the Time Clock MTS Administrator is logged in will be flagged as such by the system. These tips will be marked with a "##" symbol on the Employee Tip Diary Report.

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 6:04 AM


March 6, 2011

Setting Up Employee Tip Tracking


Interface Settings Screen

This Time Clock MTS How To Article covers how to configure Time Clock MTS to allow your employees to record, track, and report on any tips they receive while working.

To enable employee tip tracking in Time Clock MTS just follow the steps below..

  1. Log into Time Clock MTS as the administrator. How you log in as the administrator was covered in this Time Clock MTS How To Article.
  2. Go to the Tools->Options->Interface Settings screen and you'll be shown the screen at the top of this article.
  3. Check the Enable Tip Tracking checkbox.
  4. Select the Employee List Interface option from the Data Entry dropdown. Note that tip tracking does not curently work if you're using the keypad interface.
  5. When you're happy with your selection press the Save button to save the changes.

  6. The Employee Time Clock Screen
  7. Logout of the Time Clock MTS administrator account and you should see the employee time clock screen looking like it does above. Note that the Tips button is now visible. Your employees can now start recording tips received by clicking this button.

We'll cover how to record and report on employee tips in subsequent how to articles.

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 11:46 AM


Employee Tip Tracking Quick Tour Page Posted

We've just posted up a new page to the Time Clock MTS Quick Tour. This new page, the Employee Tip Tracking Page, briefly covers the new employee tip tracking features. If you're wondering what these new parts of Time Clock MTS do then it might be worth taking a quick read!

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 11:32 AM


March 5, 2011

Time Clock MTS Version 3.1.1 Released

I've just uploaded a new version of Time Clock MTS which includes a bunch of new features and a couple of important bug fixes. The biggest improvement to the system is an employee tip tracking system. This will be the subject of a couple of subsequent blog posts and probably an animated time clock demonstration. The total list of changes to V3.1.1 can be found below:

  • The punchcard and job punchcard reports now display the full notes entered by employees.
  • The employee accrual start date now defaults to the date that the employee record was created.
  • A button with a star graphic has been added to the Enter Job Code screen. Clicking this pops up a screen listing all Job Codes allowing employees to select one easily. Not sure what I'm talking about? Try taking a look at the Job Tracking Time Clock page for more information.
  • A new setting has been added to the Security Settings screen. The setting, Auto Logout Administrator (5 Minutes Idle) causes the administrator account to be automatically logged out when the computer is idle for 5 minutes.
  • Employee tip tracking system added. Turned on via a the Enable Tip Tracking setting on the Interface Settings screen. This allows employees clocking in and out via the Employee List Interface to enter their tips via the Tips button. New screens have been added to manage tips, add tips, edit tips, and delete tips.
  • Added the employee tip diary report. This report is a close copy of the IRS 4070A Employee Tip Diary form.
  • Added the employee tip diary summary report. This is a close copy of the IRS 4070 Employee Report of Tips to Employer form.
  • Added some new settings to the timeclock.ini file to allow people to manually set the driver used for MS SQL Server or MySQL database connections. To be used with caution.
  • The Time Breakdown Report now has an employee total time column.
  • Put a new fix/handler in place for Time Clock MTS users who experience network drop outs.
  • A fix has been put in place for a very rare error on the Add/Edit Shifts screen.
  • Fixed an obscure bug the employee list view when only disabled employees were defined.
  • Fixed a problem with employees that were disabled still being credited with holidays.
  • Fixed a problem with the report screen where sometimes the last report generated could be displayed instead of the current one.
  • Fixed a layout problem on the time breakdown report for employees Full Names less than 10 characters.

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 12:21 PM


March 3, 2011

Staff Time Clock for Doctors

I've been doing some digging through our Time Clock MTS customer database looking at the types of businesses that use the software. More than 8,000 companies now use Time Clock MTS and I thought that some trends may have emerged. It's clear that Time Clock MTS is a popular choice for doctors clinic and medical clinics. A quick search for medical related terms indicates that more than 400 general practitioners, health clinics, and specialists like dermatologists and radiologists use the software. This is about 5% of the Time Clock MTS user base and other than retail based businesses is the biggest industry segment that makes use of Time Clock MTS. So, if you're looking for time clock software for your doctors surgery, your medical clinic, or your specialized practise then Time Clock MTS could be just what you are looking for!

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 11:49 AM


Staff Time Clock for Dentists

As I mentioned in the Time Clock Software for Doctors entry I've been mining through the Time Clock MTS customer database. I can't say that I'm an expert on things medical but what seems to be an allied area of business to me is that of dentistry. So, I've done some searches through our customer database and have found upwards of 200 businesses operating in this area that use Time Clock MTS. While I don't fully understand what all these different types of dentistry businesses do I see general dentistry practises, orthodontics specialists, endodontics specialists, and pediatric dentistry specialists all making use of Time Clock MTS. So, if you're looking for time clock software for your dentist surgery, or your specialized dentistry practise then Time Clock MTS could be just what you are looking for!

Posted by By Mark Nemtsas at 11:49 AM