Time Clock Software Blog

A Blog from the authors of Time Clock MTS, a cost effective time and attendance software solution

Version 2.1.0 Released

Some new features were added and minor bug fixes addressed in Version 2.1.0 of Time Clock MTS as released today. Changes made include: Users can now set a first day of week start time. So for whatever reason, you can have your work week (and all calculations) start at 9:00AM on Mondays if you require. You can now set any day of the week to be paid as overtime, so for example Sundays could be set to be paid as overtime if required. Note that clock ins or outs can be excluded from these calculations if you use the Exclude From Overtime setting on the Edit Times screen. Overtime will not be doubled up though, even if daily overtime limits are exceeded on a day paid as overtime. Employee name field on employee maintenance page now will display double byte characters (Cyrillic, Japanese etc). Employee badge number cannot be entered as a note. This is to prevent double scans of mag cards or barcodes while using the keypad interface. Fix to employee note screen that gave an unhandled error after a zero length note was... read more

Time Clock MTS and Bar Code Readers

In the last weblog entry about time clock software and magnetic card readers I talked about using Time Clock MTS without a keyboard and using magnetic swipe cards to interact with this. In this entry I’ll cover the user of bar code readers with Time Clock MTS. Bar codes allow the storing of normal text data in printed form and the data can be read by a bar code reader very quickly, and most importantly, reliably. Bar codes themselves can be printed from a normal printer on any computer, all you need is a bar code font package (which are very inexpensive) and then you’ll be able to print bar codes from various specialized applications or even from MS Word or Excel. The bar codes themselves can user different formats (such as Code 128, Code 25, or Pharmacode), but which one is used doesn’t matter much to Time Clock MTS. You can use Time Clock MTS with a bar code scanner whether you’re using the Keypad Interface (see image above) or the Employee List Interface. This article deals with the setup required for the Keypad Interface and but if you want to use a barcode scanner with the Employee List Interface you should follow the detailed instructions show in this article instead. Similar to magnetic card readers, the simplest bar code readers can plug into the keyboard port (PS2 Port) or USB port of a PC and output characters to the PC in exactly the same manner as a keyboard would. If your reader can’t do this then you’ll most likely find that it comes with some software that... read more

Time Clock MTS and Magnetic Card Readers

If required Time Clock MTS can be used without a keyboard by using a touch screen or a magnetic card reader or a barcode reader. Today I’ll talk about using Time Clock MTS with a magnetic card reader. In its most simple form a magnetic card simply has normal text characters (like those you’d type on your keyboard) stored in the magnetic stripe on the card. In fact, some of the simplest magnetic card readers can plug into the keyboard port or USB port on your computer and output text characters to the computer EXACTLY the same way that a keyboard does. This is known as a “keyboard wedge”. If your card reader doesn’t allow this you’ll usually find that it comes with some software that allows it to emulate a keyboard, which is known as a “software wedge”. So, for example, if you had a magnetic card with the characters “hello world” stored in the magnetic strip and you had a magnetic card reader plugged into your keyboard port (or emulating a keyboard with a software wedge) and you scanned the card while you had a text editor (like MS Word) running then you’d see the characters “hello world” appear on your monitor. And in all likelihood you’d get the “enter” or “return” character at the end of the line. Most magnetic card readers output the “return” character at the end of the data scanned from a magnetic card by default so that you know you have all of the data from the magnetic card. If you’re using the Employee List Interface of the software and you want... read more

Time Clock Rounding Rules

Rounding of time clock data is both legal and commonly practiced in many areas. Typically time clock rounding rules allow rounding of employee attendance information either up or down based on predefined time segments. Usually these time segments are either 6 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. Normal arithmetic rounding rules are used, so for example: Rounding set to 15 minutes, an employee clocking in between 8:00:00AM and 8:07:29AM will have their time rounded down to 8:00:00AM. Rounding set to 15 minutes, an employee clocking in between 8:07:30AM and 8:14:59AM will have their time rounded up to 8:15:00AM. Which Time Clock Rounding Rules your company decides to use depends on the local regulations in your area. In the interests of fairness (and probably legality) a balanced rounding approach should be used, as this favors neither the employer or employee. However, some localities allow the use of time clock rounding rules that ALWAYS ROUND UP clock in times and ALWAYS ROUND DOWN clock out times. This is clearly favorable to the employer and should be used with caution (if it is used at all). Whatever time clock rounding rules you choose to adopt be assured that Time Clock MTS is able to perform the rounding automatically and accurately for you. You can setup Time Clock MTS to do your time clock rounding automatically using the Payroll Settings screen from within the... read more

Version 2.0.6 Released

A minor release today fixing up some bugs. These include: Report section template fields are now added correctly for MySQL database users. Fix to allow the employee name to be displayed as double byte characters (such as Cyrillic, Chinese or Japanese) in the last action area. A fix to an overflow error if a string longer than 9 characters was entered via the keypad interface. You may also notice that I’ve split the Tools->Options->Payroll Settings page into separate Payroll Settings and Overtime Settings pages. This is to allow for some new payroll and overtime settings that will be added soon (such as being able to flag a week day as overtime and restricting employees to clocking in/out to their assigned shift... read more

Time and Attendance Reporting

Monitoring of employee attendance is a key requirement if you are to minimize employment costs and improve business efficiency. Some of the key benefits to a business that has an adequate time and attendance reporting system include: Easier identification and elimination of time card fraud. Identification of areas of excess overtime and elimination of the cost by increasing staffing levels or improving efficiency in other business processes. Management has a more accurate picture of the real cost of employment. More simplified compliance with overtime, vacation and occupational health and safety requirements. Improvements in business efficiency and payroll accuracy. All of these are positive things for any business. But to be able to deliver on any of these benefits a time and attendance reporting system must be: Timely, there is no point having a time and attendance reporting system that delivers reports 6 weeks after the fact. Accurate. Flexible to allow easy compliance with your payroll rules and local labor requirements. Simple to administer and run. You do not want to be handing back efficiency gains and cost savings from your time and attendance reporting system because it is large and unwieldy and takes a lot of time to run. Computerized and interface with de facto standard office software such as Microsoft Office. Able to collect time and attendance information from multiple locations within the business and store the information centrally. Time Clock MTS is a time and attendance system that will allow you to do all of this and more. Why not download the free 30 day trial... read more
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