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Q. We have a Vetro clock, and I recently ordered additional iButtons. There are no serial numbers on the iButtons I received. How do I assign them to employees without the serial numbers?

A. To assign iButtons with the Vetro clock, please follow the steps below:

  1. Open TimePilot Central and log in. Add any new profiles/remove old profiles from your software by clicking Setup > Profile Setup. When you are finished, click Setup > Vetro Data Manager or Clock Manager (which option you see depends upon your version of the software).
  2. Insert your USB drive into the computer, then right-click on the image of your clock and select USB Functions > Transfer Employee Setup. When prompted, remove the USB drive from the computer and insert into your clock.
  3. Press 99 > OK > your 6-digit password > menu item 3 ("Read USB Drive"). The clock will download the new profiles from the drive. When it's finished, remove USB drive.
  4. Now press menu item 4 ("Assign iButtons"). Scroll using the up/down arrows on the clock, and when you come to an employee who needs an iButton, tap their iButton to the IN probe. You will see the iButton's ID number appear on the screen. Scroll and repeat for anyone else.
  5. When you're finished, press OK to go back to the main menu. Insert your USB drive into the clock again and press menu item 1 ("Collect Data"). The clock will load the iButton numbers and names onto the USB drive. When the process is finished, remove the USB drive and insert it into your computer to finish the synchronization process.

Q. How does the employee's profile get into the Tap+ clock for it to recognize who is clocking in or out?

A. Actually, the Tap+ clock has no idea who's clocking in. It's essentially a recording device. When someone locks in or out, their iButton number is recorded in the Tap's memory. When the Tap is plugged into a PC running TimePilot Central, the data in the clock is downloaded into the database and the software matches up the iButton number with the employee's name. The Extreme Blue clocks work the same way. Vetro clocks are different: They "know" the employee's name, because they have to display it on their LCD screen when he or she clocks in or out.

Q. Is there a way to insert time for an employee and have it paid at an overtime rate? Example: An employee comes in at my special request and I want to pay them overtime, even though it is not a special day (Saturday or Sunday) and it is not over the hours needed for overtime.

A. Overtime will only be applied if it fits the overtime rules you have previously set. One way around that would be to manually insert an amount of time. For instance, if Bob comes in for 2 hours on his day off, but you want those 2 hours paid at an overtime rate of 2x regular pay, insert 4 hours of regular time and then add a note to the transactions in case you have to reference it later.

Q. I do not have a CD drive on my PC. How else can I get the software?

A. PCs without CD or DVD drives and becoming more and more common. All the software you need can be downloaded directly from our website using this link: http://www.timepilot.com/Support/Downloads1.php.

Q. How do I set the time on my Extreme Blue clock?

A. Each time you download your transactions from the clock to the app on your smartphone, the time on the clock is updated with the time on your phone. Alternatively, if you have someone at the site with our smartphone app and a gray management iButton, you can open the app and go to the Settings tab, then press Clock Administration > Set time/date. It will then prompt that person to tap the OUT probe with the gray management iButton to start the process.

Q. Sometimes my employees tap the out when they should have tapped in or vice versa, forcing us to make the correction in the TimePilot Central software. Why not just use one probe so they can’t make a mistake?

A. We’ve thought about that, but we believe that asking the system to assume whether a tap in is a clock-in or clock-out would cause more problems than it would solve. Let’s say there’s only one probe. On Monday, the first day of the pay period, an employee taps the probe to start his day, then forgets to clock out at the end of the day. The next day, when he clocks in, the one-probe system would register it as a clock out. And for the rest of the pay period, every clock-in would really be a clock-out, every clock-out would really be a clock in, and you’d have to correct every transaction. We think the two-probe system is a better solution.

Q. We have a Vetro clock running on our network. Last week we had an employee working for an hour or so when he realized he may not have clocked in. Is there any quick way of checking?

A. The quickest way would be to check his last transaction. Since your Vetro is connected to the network, all transactions will be recorded in TimePilot Central shortly after they occur. Single-click on his name in TimePilot Central to see his transactions only. The latest transaction shown will tell you if that employee is currently clocked in or not.

Q. Can I put two copies of the TimePilot software on the same computer for two different businesses?

A. No, but we have a better solution. You can only put one installation of the TimePilot software on a computer. However, if you have the Professional or Enterprise Editions of our software, the software can handle as many companies as you want.

In TimePilot Central, click the "Setup" menu at the top of the screen, choose "Company Setup," then "Add a Company." (Owners of our Retail Edition are limited to one company, but they can upgrade to Professional or Enterprise here.)

Note: Owners of all editions can install the TimePilot Central software on multiple computers on a network, but all installations must use the same TimePilot database.

Q. Can you explain the difference between transactions "with rules applied" and transactions "without rules applied"?

A. If you want to see the actual time a transaction took place, you would select the “Without Rules Applied” option. If you want to see how the transaction looks after rules like Rounding or Snap-To have been applied, you would choose the “With Rules Applied.”

Q. Quick question about the TimePilot app: When our foremen are using the app, is it using the data in our data plan?

A. Most of the time, no. It only uses your mobile phone's data when the foremen send the clock-in and clock-out data to the TimePilot software via Dropbox. The file size of that data is practically microscopic.

Q. Is it possible to set up a “station” in TimePilot Central for a job site that does not yet have the timeclock installed? We won’t be able to install our new clock at the site for another month, but we have staff working there and would like to be able to manually enter their times so that it shows up on the job site report for the new site.

A. Yes, you can enter new locations into TimePilot Central at any time by clicking Setup > Location Setup. You can then assign these locations to those employees and insert transactions for them until the clock is installed.

Q. How does our TimePilot PC system calculate the hours that are displayed when employees input their 4-digit ID number?

A. The clock will calculate the amount of hours for the current workweek. We made that choice because most overtime is calculated on the basis of workweek, not pay period.

Q. TimePilot Central’s transactions list sometimes just has a red X or black X instead of calculated time. What do the Xs mean?

A. An X in place of time means there’s missing data that’s preventing TimePilot from calculating an employee’s hours. They generally appear when an employee has forgotten to clock in or out, resulting in two successive clock-ins or clock-outs. The Xs can be in black or red; the red X is TimePilot’s best guess as to where the problem started. A past newsletter had a guide to symbols that appear in the TimePilot Central software.

Q. We’re planning to move the TimePilot database to a new server. How do I tell the TimePilot Central software where to find it in its new location?

A. After moving the database, start TimePilot Central and on the opening screen, before you enter your username and password, click the gray “Change Location” button at the bottom right corner.

On the next screen that appears, click “Open an Existing Database.” Navigate to the database's new location and double-click on the tpData.mdb file there. This will tell the software the location of the moved database and take you right back to the login screen. Now log in as usual.

Q. We’re always looking for ways to make our TimePilot system run more efficiently. Any advice?

A. The best advice we can give you is to ensure you are performing pay period extractions every pay period and to run our built-in database maintenance tool periodically. The database maintenance tool will remove any database bloat and correct any minor corruption that may contribute to slow performance. You can access the database maintenance tool from a computer running TimePilot Central by going to Start > All Programs > TimePilot IV > TimePilot Support Utility > Database Maintenance.

Q. When I started TimePilot Central, I received an error message about an “Unhandled Exception.” What do I do now?

A. The vast majority of unhandled exception errors can be solved by updating your TimePilot software to the latest version. In TimePilot Central, click the “Help” menu, then “Check for updates.” Update any part of the software indicated. If you get an error message while you’re updating by this method, here’s what to do:

  1. Click here to go to our Support Center's downloads page.
  2. Choose the file you need from the list and click the button to download it.
  3. Run the file to update your software.

Q. I just opened TimePilot Central, and the program is telling me there’s an update available. Do you have any tips to make the update go smoothly?

A. Yes: Before you start the update, close TimePilot Central. Re-start it after the update is finished. The changes introduced by the update won’t be available until you re-start the software.

Q. I recently took over responsibility for my company's TimePilot system and have some questions to ask your support technicians. What do I need to know before I call or e-mail?

A. You can save yourself time by knowing a few things about your system:

  • What is the name of the product you're calling about? TimePilot has a variety of timeclocks, and the technician's answers to your questions may well depend upon which product you own. Not sure? Click here to see photos of each.
  • What version of the TimePilot software are you using? To find out, click the "Help" menu in the TimePilot software, then choose "About."

Q. I have an employee who is a sub-contractor and is using TimePilot to submit his time. Our regular employees receive overtime pay, but the sub-contractor does not. How do I set this one particular employee up so he receives no overtime hours?

A. The key phrase here is “Pay Type.” When you set up TimePilot, you created a Pay Type, which is a combination of your company’s policies (including overtime) and assigned it to each employee.

For this sub-contractor, you’ll need to create a second Pay Type, with no overtime, and apply it to him or her. Here’s how:

  1. Start TimePilot Central and click the “Setup” menu, then “Add a Pay Type.”
  2. Give the new Pay Type a name and answer the questions that appear. When you get to “Do employees of this Pay Type qualify for overtime pay?” click “No.”
  3. When you’re done creating the new Pay Type, click “Save.”

Now you’ll apply the new Pay Type to the sub-contractor.

  1. Double-click the sub-contractor’s name in TimePilot Central to open their profile.
  2. In the “Pay Type” area, click the button to open the drop-down menu and choose the name of the new Pay Type you just created.
  3. Click Save.

Any overtime hours accumulated during the current pay period before making the change will be changed to regular hours and all hours will appear as regular house from this point on.

Q. We have Extreme Blue Enhanced and three construction sites with Extreme Blue timeclocks. Can one person load data from all three into their smartphone before sending the data to the main office?

A. Yes, you can collect from all 3 clocks with one smartphone before sending. If you use a USB drive to collect your data, you can also collect the data from all three clocks before returning to the main office and downloading it to the TimePilot software.

Q. If I had more than one TimePilot timeclock, would I be able to tell which location my employees are clocking in at? We have 4 to 5 jobsites running at a time and I need to be able to tell who clocked in at which location.

A. Yes. When you set up your clocks, you'll give each a name. If you give each clock the name of its location, each transaction in TimePilot Central will display the name of the clock where the transactions took place.

Look for a column called "Clock Name." Don't see it? It's probably turned off. To learn how to turn it on, see the lead article in this newsletter issue from May 2015.

Q. At the bottom of my TimePilot Central screen it says "Transactions need to be extracted!" What does that mean and how do I do it?

A. That message is telling you that transactions—the individual clock-ins and clock-outs by your employees—are building up in your database. When your pay period ends, we strongly recommend that you "extract" your transactions; in other words, that you remove them from Current Transactions and put them into a separate file. This May 2012 article from our newsletter will give you all the info you need.

 Q. We are currently using 3 Extreme Blue clocks with the Enterprise software. We want to add 2 Vetro clocks for in-house use. Can I buy the "Additional TimePilot Vetro Clocks" and use them with our existing software?

A. Yes you can. A hallmark of TimePilot Extreme Blue Enhanced, Tap+, Vetro and TimePilot PC is that all four products will work together.

To get the new Vetros up and running on your system, start TimePilot Central, then open Clock Manager by clicking "Setup" > "Clock Manager."

Once in Clock Manager, click its "Setup" menu and choose "New Clock Wizard." The wizard will step you through the setup process.

Q. We’re thinking about adding Extreme Blue clocks to our TimePilot system. I know we can collect the data from the clocks with our cell phone; how far away can I be from the clocks when I do so?

A. Exactly one arm’s length. The first step in downloading data from a clock is to tap the clock’s “Out” probe with the gray Management iButton. This is a security measure that tells the clock that you’re authorized to collect the data. From that point on, it’s an electronic “conversation” between your phone and the clock, and you can be as far as 20 feet away.

If you’re using Extreme Blue Enhanced, you can then send the data anywhere in the world, as long as you have a cell phone signal and the recipient has an internet connection.

Q. Is it possible to re-use the iButtons that were assigned used by employees who have left the company? I’ve tried to clear out the iButton # on their profile and make them inactive, but when I try to use it for a new employee, TimePilot says the button is still attached to that old user.

A. Yes—you can re-use the iButtons over and over. First, though, you will need to make sure any transactions belonging to the iButton’s previous user are removed from your “Current Transactions.” This can be done by extracting your pay periods until all of those transactions are gone from Current Transactions. (Otherwise, TimePilot won’t know whether a transaction belonged to the old user or the new user.) When all of the former employee's transactions are out of Current Transactions, you can then delete that employee's profile, freeing up the iButton. For more on extracting pay periods, click here.

Q. The best locations for our Vetro clocks aren't near power outlets. Do you have any solutions?

A. Yes, if you're putting the Vetro clocks on your network. We have an accessory, the Vetro Power Over Ethernet Kit, that will send the power the Vetro needs to operate over your network cable. The kits are $29 each and are easy to install. For details, click here.

Q. We use Extreme Blue Enhanced. Do I need to resend the profiles from TimePilot Central to the smartphones every time there is a change, for instance a new employee?

A. Yes, any time you add, delete or modify an employee, you should update the profiles on the app. The process is detailed on page 2 of your Quick Start Guide, but here’s a quick summary:

  1. Start Clock Manager and right-click the image of the phone that will receive the new profile(s).
  2. In the menu that pops up, click “Send Profiles to Phone.”
  3. In the phone app, tap “Settings,” then “Cloud Functions,” then “Get Profiles from Cloud.” It may take a few minutes for the data to arrive.

Repeat these steps for each phone.

Q. We have a Vetro clock, but we have forgotten its password. Help!

A. Start TimePilot Central and log in. Now click "Setup," then (depending upon your software version) either "Vetro Data Manager" or "Clock Manager." When this opens, right-click on the picture of your Vetro clock and select "Properties." This will show you its current password.

Q. We have been using TimePilot Extreme for the last few years, and would like to add more Extreme clocks to our system. Will the Extreme Blue work with our current system? We don’t want to use the app.

A. Yes, you can add Extreme Blue clocks to your system and they’ll function just like your current clocks. The Extreme Blue has a USB port in the same spot as the older clocks, and you can collect your data just the same way. We designed the new clocks with the USB port for exactly this purpose. (It’s also a good backup method if you use the apps and your smartphone runs out of power.) If at some point down the road you decide to use our iPhone or Android app to collect your data from the Extreme Blue clocks, you can do that, too.

Q. I recently ordered TimePilot Extreme Blue Enhanced. It came with a USB drive; what’s that used for?

A . It gives you a second way to collect your data from the clock. See the question above for details. To see how to use the USB drive, click here.

Q. We have a Vetro and one day this week after some of our employees had clocked in in the morning, the screen changed from the clock to blank with one vertical line. I restarted the clock to make it go away. What would have caused this?

A. This could have been caused by a spike in electricity from the wall outlet or a static shock to the clock. Neither will permanently damage the clock and rebooting the clock should resolve the issue. To do so, simply unplug the power cable from the clock, wait 20 seconds and then plug it back in.

Q. There is a column in TimePilot Central that says “Notes.” I’d love to be able to make a comment about an absence or why I’m paying this person for these hours. Is that possible?

A. If you have the Professional or Enterprise edition of our software, you can add notes to any transaction. To do so, double-click the transaction, and in the box that appears there will be a notes field. Enter the text and click “Save.” An envelope icon will appear in the notes column. To read a note, just double-click the transaction.

Q. We use a Vetro clock. Our region  has quite a few power outages, and every time the power goes out, we need to enter the password and reset the time/date. Is there a battery backup available? And will all the clock-ins and outs for the week still be in there?

A. In the event of a power loss, only the time/date will need to be set—there is no data loss. We have a battery backup specifically for the Vetro unit. You can learn more about it here.

Q. We have a Vetro clock in house now. We have another location and would like to buy a clock for that site too. We are running the clock standalone and download to a USB device. Can we download from the second clock and import in to the same database?

A. Yes. If you wish, you can even use the same USB drive and collect the data from both clocks before importing into the TimePilot database. Also, employees can clock in or out at either of the Vetro clocks.

Q. Is there any way to track how many days off an employee has taken all year?

A. One way to see how much holiday / sick / vacation / PTO time an employee has taken is to run a report and change the beginning date to show the whole year, or however much time you would like to view.

To change the start and end dates of any report, click the calendar icon next to the “From” and “To” fields, choose your dates, then click "Refresh."

Q. Can TimePilot Central run on a Microsoft Surface tablet? We're thinking about shifting from a PC to a Surface. The tablet does not have a CD drive, so can we download the TimePilot software from your web site and use our existing CD license key? And how can we move the existing database to the tablet?

A. You can run our software on a Surface tablet only if the tablet is running a full version of Windows (10, 8 or 7).

You can download all of the software directly from our website here.

To move the database to the tablet, you'll find the database location and copy the entire database folder from one computer to the other. Here is a link to an article in one of our past newsletters that will walk you through it.

Q. I'm thinking about using an iPad or Android tablet with my TimePilot system. Can this be done?

A. Yes, if you have a TimePilot Extreme Blue system and use our iPhone or Android app to collect time from the clocks. These tablets can also be used with TimePilot Extreme Blue Enhanced if you use them to collect your clock in and clock out data from the Extreme Blue clocks and forward the data to a PC running the TimePilot Central Windows-based software. They cannot be used with TimePilot Vetro, TimePilot Tap+ or TimePilot PC because they can't run the TimePilot Central software.

Q. I've received the TimePilot Tap clock that we're adding to our Vetro system. How do I set up the iButtons for this unit?

A. They're already set up. Employees can start using the Tap clock immediately. When you start the Tap Manager software and plug the clock into your PC to collect the data, the TimePilot software matches up the iButton number with the employee's name. For more on this topic, see the "Adding a TimePilot Tap Clock to Your System" Quick Start Guide.

Q. With Extreme Blue Enhanced, let's say an employee clocks in at clock #1 in the morning, clocks out at clock #2 for lunch, then clocks back in at clock #2 when lunch is done and clocks out at clock #1 at the end of the day. Two different iPhones are used to collect the data, one at each clock. Where would the hours be allocated, the clock at which the employee clocks in, or out?

A. Neither. Our clocks simply record an iButton number and the time and date. All of the calculating and allocation is done in the TimePilot software. The software looks at the iButton number and matches it to an employee's profile. You will be able to see at which clock each transaction took place by looking under the “Clock Name” column of the transaction. If you do not see this column, you can add it by right-clicking on the green column header, then choose the “Clock Name” column and save.

Q. Can I install the TimePilot Central software on more than one computer at a time?

A. Yes. You may have TimePilot Central installed on more than one computer as long as both computers have access to your TimePilot database.

If your database resides on your server, simply install TimePilot Central on the second computer, choose “Open an Existing Database” during the setup and point it to that location.

If you keep the database on the same PC as the original installation of TimePilot Central, you’ll need to share the folder where it’s located with the second PC.

To find the current location of your database, open our software and click Help > About and take note of the Data Path. The default location is directly on your C: Drive in a folder called tpData.

Q. Do you have any way of archiving past pay periods?

A. Yes. At the end of each pay period, we strongly suggest you "extract" your transactions. This moves the pay period's clock-in and clock-out data—plus all of your settings that were in effect during the pay period—into a separate file. You can archive your extracted pay periods to a CD, DVD, USB drive or a cloud service like Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive.

Q. Can I buy the basic Extreme Blue now and use it with just the app and later buy the software and use it as an "enhanced" version, or do I have to buy the enhanced version right away?

A. You can start with Extreme Blue and move up to Extreme Blue Enhanced later. To advance to Enhanced, you'll need the TimePilot Enterprise Edition software, which is $319.

Q. Is there a way to merge pay periods?

A. If you are looking to put two past pay periods together, you would first reverse extract those periods and then perform another extraction based on what you need. Our Support Center has an article with everything you need to know about reverse extraction. Click here to read it.

Q. How do I remove a company that is no longer being used from reporting when extracting data?

A. In TimePilot Central under Setup > Company Setup, you will have a list of any companies you have created. Highlight the company you wish to remove and select “Delete Company.”

Q. How do I get my employees’ time to report to the exact minute? If someone clocks out currently at 1:08 my system gives them credit for 1:15; an extra 7 minutes.

A. That’s called Rounding, and to get exact time, you’ll have to turn off Rounding in the TimePilot software or the TimePilot App.

In TimePilot Central, go to Setup > Company Setup > Select your company > Edit Company. In the box that appears, click the second tab (“Rounding”) and click the button next to “No Rounding.” Save and close the box. The software will convert all employee times in Current Transactions from rounded time to their exact time, and then re-calculate their work hours.

In the iPhone App, tap “Settings,” then “Time Format.” In the Android App, tap “Settings,” then “Rounding.” On the screen that appears you can turn off Rounding.

For more on rounding, please see this article from the TimePilot Central Help files.

Q. No matter how hard my employees push their iButtons on the clock, sometimes they aren’t clocked in. What’s going on?

A. There’s no need to push! The iButton probes on our clocks are not pressure sensitive, so pushing harder does nothing. To clock in or out, an iButton needs only to lightly touch the center of the probe and the rim at the same time. If you don’t get a clock-in or out immediately, slide the iButton slightly to the side to make sure it makes contact with the rim. It just takes a touch.

Q. I have several installations of TimePilot PC; how do I name them so I can see in TimePilot Central which installation is being used by my employees?

A. Changing the names is done at each installation of TimePilot PC. Start TimePilot PC and click the “Menu” button. Click “Options…” from the menu that appears, then click the “Settings” tab. Enter a name for the installation in the Location box. Now click the checkbox below the Location box—telling the software to assign the newly created location to any clock-ins or clock-outs that are done there—and click OK.

Now, when you view your employees’ transactions in TimePilot Central, the Location column will show the name of the installation where they clocked in or out. Don’t see the Location column? It’s probably not turned on. In TimePilot Central, click the “View” menu at the top of the screen, then choose “Show/Hide Columns: All…” Scroll down the list of column headers to “Location” and click the checkbox. Click “Save” and the Location column will appear.

Q. We would like to create a report which would include total hours per employee for a full year. Is that possible?

A. You always have the option of changing the dates on your report. Open a Summary Report and look on the top of the page just right of the center. You will see your starting and end dates for the report you are currently viewing. Simply click the calendar icon next to each date to change them. Once you are done, click the "Refresh" button. For more on reports, click here.

Q. The metal part of the iButton came out of the plastic keyfob. Can I glue it back in?

A. No glue is needed. Just put the iButton, printed side down, on a hard, flat surface, place the keyfob over the iButton and press down hard. It should snap into place.

Q. One of our Extreme clocks was stolen. Is there any sensitive information on the clock? If so, can someone else access it?

A. No. The only recognizable information the thief could get from the clock—and only if they have a Management Key—is the name of your company and the name you gave the clock. The clock records the iButton number of each employee who clocks in or out and the time of that transaction, but no names. (The names are kept in the TimePilot software or smartphone app.)

Q. Can one USB drive be used to collect data from multiple Vetro time clocks?

A. Yes. As many clocks as you wish.

Q. Will TimePilot work on a Mac? We just switched  from Windows to Mac.

A. The short answer is maybe. We've done some very limited testing on Macs running VMWare Fusion as well as Macs running Parallels, and TimePilot seems to run correctly, but we don't recommend it because it's difficult for us to support you.

To try it, you'll need two pieces of software:

  • Virtualization software. This software works with the Mac operating system to let you run Windows. Examples are VMWare Fusion and Parallels. Another possibility is Apple's Bootcamp.
  • Windows. You'll need a copy of Windows 10, 8, or 7.

If you really want to give it a shot, we have a 30-day, no-questions-asked return policy if you bought the system directly from us, so you can return it if it doesn't work for you.

Q. Can I have TimePilot Central show me an employee's latest transactions instead of his or her oldest? I have to scroll to the bottom of the list every time.

A. Sure. Just click the word "Date" in the green header at the top of the Transaction List in TimePilot Central. The transactions will sort by date, either from newest to oldest or oldest to newest. If the first sort isn't to your liking, click "Date" again and it will re-sort to the second option.

Q. We just bought a new computer. How do we move TimePilot from our old PC to the new one?

A. Here’s an article that will give you step-by-step instructions. It’s a pretty straightforward process; you’ll need your TimePilot software CD and registration number. The number is on the envelope that contained your CD or on the warranty documents that accompanied your system. Can’t find the number? Give us a call at 630-879-6400.

Q. I need to add an employee to our Vetro clock. How do I do that?

A. The process varies slightly, depending on whether your clock is on your network.

  • Vetro clock not on your network (we call this “Standalone Mode”): You’ll set up the employee in the TimePilot Central software and transfer the changes to your USB drive, then plug the USB drive into your clock and transfer the changes from the USB drive to the clock. That tells the clock that there’s a new employee. If your employees use iButtons to clock in and out, there’s one last step: You’ll need to assign the employee an iButton at the Vetro clock. For step-by-step directions on the whole process, click here or see the help files in TimePilot Central.
  • Vetro clock on your network (“Network Mode”): You’ll set up the employee in the TimePilot Central software and transfer the changes to your clock using Clock Manager (or Vetro Manager, depending upon the version of software you’re using). That tells the clock that there’s a new employee. If your employees use iButtons to clock in and out, there’s one last step: You’ll need to assign the employee an iButton at the Vetro clock. For step-by-step directions on the whole process, click here or see the help files in TimePilot Central.

Q. Can I just continue to use the same USB drive each pay period to collect the data from my Extreme clocks without first deleting the existing data files on the drive? Also, can I use the same USB drive to collect data from multiple clocks?

A. Yes, there's no need to delete any files from the USB drive. You may also use the same USB drive to collect from as many clocks as you like.

Q. I understand the Vetro clock will hold only so many transactions—does the data in the clock get erased after each download into the USB Drive or do I need to manually reset something?

A. They don't get erased after each download and there's no resetting needed. At any time, a Vetro's memory holds the last 12,000 transactions collected by the clock. Even when you download the data to the USB drive, the transactions remain on the clock until the 12,000 "slots" are filled, then as new transactions arrive, space is made for them by deleting the oldest ones. Because the transactions remain in the clock's memory for a while (depending upon how fast the slots fill up), they're a nice backup if you should lose your USB drive or your hard drive dies.

For instructions on how to "resurrect" your data from the clock, see the first question in the Q&A column in this newsletter from 2013.

Q. How long do the batteries on Extreme Blue clocks last?

A. Weather conditions and the amount you use your Extreme Blue are a factor, but in normal use, the four AA batteries should last at least a year. 

How do you know when the batteries need replacing? When you try to download the data onto your USB drive, the clock will only beep once, no lights will flash and no data will be transferred. That’s a signal that the batteries need changing. Your data is safe and the clock can still accept clock-ins and clock-outs—transferring the data to the USB drive takes more battery power than recording a clock-in or clock out.

We recommend using alkaline batteries. When you replace the batteries, make sure you get the new ones installed within about 15 minutes of taking the old ones out; any longer and you'll need to reset the time on the clock.

Q. If my company does not have its own network, is it still possible to connect a Vetro clock to my computer with a network cable?

A. No. You need to run the network cable from the clock to a router, and then another network cable from the router to your computer. Your router will assign an IP address for the clock that the computer will recognize, and then you can run the Vetro Data Manager software, which makes a software connection between the clock and the TimePilot software.

Q. How do I add vacation time for an employee?

A. You’ll use the Insert Time function. You can find it by clicking one of the black buttons at the top of TimePilot Central’s main screen (the sixth button from the left, to be exact).

With this function, a supervisor can insert a block of time for an individual employee into TimePilot Central. You can indicate the purpose of the inserted time in the “Transaction Type” field at the top of the box. Among the choices are Vacation, Sick Time, Lunch (if you don’t use TimePilot’s AutoLunch feature), Personal Time, Jury Duty, etc. You can designate the date and amount of time to be inserted and add a note explaining the situation.

Important: Be careful when picking a Transaction Type; depending upon the overtime policy you have set up in TimePilot, your choice here may or may not affect your employee's overtime hours.

By the way, you can also use this function to subtract time from an employee, if, for instance, an employee was paid inadvertently for hours they did not work in a previous pay period. To subtract time, click the "Negative Values" checkbox at the top right of the screen (the + signs will change to - signs next to the fields where you enter the amount of time added or subtracted) and continue as if you were adding time.

Q. Oops: I forgot to put July 4 in our holiday schedule. Is there a way to add it without having to make changes to all of our employees?

A. This is a perfect time to use TimePilot's “Check Holiday Transactions” feature. This feature looks at your holiday schedules and at your Current Transactions and adds missing holiday transactions. Here's how to use it:

  1. First, add the missing holiday to your holiday schedule(s) and save it (TimePilot Central > “Setup” menu > “Holiday Setup” > Click the schedule you want to change > “Edit a Holiday Schedule”), make the changes and click "Save." The date will show up in red, because it's in the past.
  2. Next, start "Check Holiday Transactions" (TimePilot Central > “Edit” menu > “Check Holiday Transactions”).
  3. In the box that pops up, click the down arrow and choose a date that occurs just before the date of the holiday you just entered in Step 1. In the example above, you might choose July 1.
  4. Click OK. The software will inspect the newly changed holiday schedule, see that the July 4 holiday is missing from the appropriate employees' work hours in Current Transactions and insert the missing transactions where needed automatically.

Q. If the Vetro is hooked up to our network, can we still pull data from it via USB?

A. Absolutely. It’s a good backup to have, especially if (when?) your network goes down and you need to get your payroll out. In a nutshell, you’ll plug the USB drive into the side of the clock, download the data to the drive, plug the drive into your PC and upload the date into TimePilot Central. Detailed instructions are in the TimePilot Central Help files and also are available here.

Q. Can an employee clock in at Vetro clock with their iButton and clock out with their personal ID number?

A. Yes. It’s no problem, and a good backup in the event an employee loses his or her iButton and hasn’t had a chance to get a new one from their supervisor.

When the employee enters their four-digit number on the clock's keypad, it will display their name as confirmation that they’ve entered the correct number. He or she then presses the "In" or "Out" key on the keypad to complete the process. The clock will display the employee’s name, date and time on its screen and beep twice to indicate that the process is complete.

Q. How do we delete employees in TimePilot Central who have been terminated from our company? We have a Vetro clock that we use with the USB drive.

A. In order to remove an employee from TimePilot Central, you’ll first need to make sure there are no transactions tied to that profile in your Current Transactions. If there are, perform an extraction. After that is performed, you can right-click on the profile and delete it.

Vetro customers who use the USB drive to transfer their data have one more step: After deleting the employee from TimePilot Central, you must also update the Vetro clock to reflect the change. Within TimePilot Central, go to Setup > Transfer Changes to Vetro Clocks Using USB. That will take your current employee list from TimePilot Central and place it on your USB drive. Next, plug the USB drive into the Vetro clock and select number 3 in the Administration Menu to apply the changes from the USB drive.

Here’s why we designed the software this way: Let’s say an employee works a regular shift for the first half of the pay period, and then leaves the company. If you deleted that person’s profile while his or her clock-ins and clock-outs were still in Current Transactions, you would end up with “orphan” transactions—transactions with no name attached. By requiring you to extract the pay period before you delete the employee’s profile, you are ensured of keeping a complete record of that person’s work hours.

Q. Can more than one TimePilot Vetro be used on a network?

A. Yes. You can use as many as you want. When you set up each clock, you’ll have the opportunity to give each a name. By doing so, each of your employees’ clock-ins and clock-outs listed in TimePilot Central will include the name of the clock they used.

Q. I need to move the Vetro clock from our office to our shop. If I unplug it, will I lose the data I have entered?

A. No. All your data is safe. The data is saved to "non-volatile" memory, which means that it's saved even if the power goes out. You will have to reset the time on the clock, however, unless you're using our optional Vetro Battery Backup. If you're using the Battery Backup, when you unplug the system from the wall outlet the battery will immediately kick in to power the clock and keep the time accurate. When you plug in the system at its new location, the Battery Backup will shift back to regular power and recharge the battery.For more on the Vetro Battery Backup, click here.

Q. We were looking to delete a couple of shifts that we no longer use. Is this possible?

A. Yes, you can delete shifts as you need to. However, before you can delete a shift, you will need to make sure the shift is not assigned to an employee who has transactions in Current Transactions. If the shift is assigned to an employee, you'll have to assign him or her to another shift (or "No Shift"). When you delete the shift, it will no longer show up from this point forward. The shift will still appear in your extracted pay periods. By the way, you can easily tell at a glance who has what shift in the "Shift" column in Current Transactions. If you don't see a column marked "Shift," here's how to make it appear:

  1. Right-click the green bar across the top of the Current Transactions screen. The Show/Hide Columns box will appear.
  2. Scroll down to "Shift" and click the checkbox. (You can add or subtract other columns here too.)
  3. Click "Save."
  4. Now you'll be able to see each employee's shift in Current Transactions.

Q. We recently updated our TimePilot software and I have noticed that it is rounding everyone's time to the nearest 15 minutes (for instance, when an employee clocks out at 5:08, it is rounded to 5:15). I have tried looking through all the shift schedules, etc., and I cannot seem to figure out where or how to change this.

A. The rounding option can be found within your Company setup. Within TimePilot Central go to Setup > Company Setup > Edit Company. You will then find a section where you can adjust your rounding options.

Q. While setting up a new employee, I didn’t capture his iButton number, and when I downloaded the transactions from our Extreme Blue clock this morning it said I had three orphan records. I now have assigned the profile to the iButton he used yesterday but do not know how to capture the orphan records.

A. Now that you have the iButton properly assigned, you will need to re-download the transactions from your clock. (One of the lesser-known features of TimePilot Extreme Blue is that it has a long memory: The clock keeps the last 12,000 clock-ins or clock-outs in its memory, even though you’ve already downloaded them to your USB Drive.) Here's how to reacquire the transactions:

  1. Open the Extreme Data Manager on your PC.
  2. Within the Extreme Data Manager, right-click the clock you want to retrieve the previous transactions from and go to Station Properties > Advanced.
  3. Insert the number of transactions you would like the clock to grab and select Get Transactions. How many should you ask for? Since the problem occurred yesterday, estimate how many transactions there should have been yesterday and add 10% or 20% more as a safety margin. Don’t worry—duplicate transactions won’t be a problem.
  4. Insert your USB drive in your clock and tap the management button on the IN probe. Once that operation is complete you can bring the USB drive to your computer and import the transactions as you normally would. The orphan transactions will be discarded.

Q. Is there a way to track punches in and out for breaks?

A. Absolutely. Our software gives you all kinds of flexibility, from simply seeing the actual amount of time employees are taking for breaks to penalizing them for abusing your break policy. This article from the May 2013 newsletter gives you all the facts and sample setups.

Q. Our old timeclock system allowed us to set shift restrictions; for instance, if a shift started at 7 a.m., an employee's work time would begin at 7 even if the employee punched in before 7. Can TimePilot do this?

A. Yes. We call that feature “Snap-To” and it’s available in the Professional and Enterprise versions (but not the Retail version) of our software. There’s a detailed description of Snap-To and how to use it in our January 2012 newsletter.

Q. Can the software be installed on more than one computer if we are NOT using our network?

A. Yes, you can install TimePilot Central on as many computers as you want without a network, but you won’t see much: Only the computer that is also running the TimePilot database will be able to see the clock-ins and clock-outs. You’ll see the benefit when you get a network, though. When you have a network and the database is placed on the network’s server, you can install TimePilot Central on as many computers as you want and all can see and work with the data (if they have the password).

Q. Will TimePilot work on our Windows XP computers?

A. Yes. But be aware that Windows XP is 12 years old—ancient in computer terms—and Microsoft stopped supporting it on April 8, 2014. That doesn’t mean your computer running XP will stop working, but it does mean that Microsoft will no longer issue security updates, which could leave your PC more vulnerable to security risks and viruses—even if you are using an antivirus program. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

Q. Why don't you have a system that uses a fingerprint scanner?

A. We just don't think they're reliable enough. One fingerprint timeclock manufacturer suggests that employees put "scan enhancer" liquid on their fingers before clocking in. Here's a quote from the maker of the liquid: "A lot of times the fingerprint quality is poor because the finger doesn't make good contact with the scanner glass." We agree, but we don't think the solution is to make employees put chemicals on their fingers. By the way, these are the same chemicals used by police to get fingerprints from dead bodies.

Q. Do you offer terms when people buy your systems?

A. Yes, terms are available. We have signed on with PayPal to offer our customers that method of payment, and as of this writing PayPal is offering a special “no payments and no interest” deal on purchases of more than $99. For details, see the PayPal ad at the top of our web site's home page.

Q. Do you have any tips on creating Holiday Schedules?

A. Make it easy on yourself by giving your holiday schedules generic names like “Salaried Holiday Schedule" or “Hourly Holiday Schedule.” Then all you have to do at the end of the year is return to that schedule and change the dates of the upcoming year's holidays. Want to save even more time? When you're entering your holiday schedule in the TimePilot software, you'll see slots for 20 holidays. Most companies don’t have 20 holidays in a single year. After you fill in your holidays for the upcoming year, keep going and fill the remaining slots with the holidays for the following year, too.

Q. Can TimePilot Central be installed on two different computers in the same company?

A. Absolutely. The only condition to make that work is that all computers using TimePilot Central must be on the same local area network. In addition, you will also need to share the TimePilot database among your computers. If you would like assistance setting that up or if you have any other questions, give us a call and we will be happy to assist you.

Q. I want to run reports that give me more information about my individual employees; for instance, total hours in a year or month or since the date they were hired?

A. The software gives you the ability to run a report for any date range at any time. Start by running a report of any type and at the top of the report you will find “From” and “To” fields where you can insert a custom date range. Click the “Refresh” button and that should do the trick.

Q. If you download data from the timeclock to the USB drive, can you e-mail that file to headquarters for processing?

A. E-mailing the TimePilot data is possible, but it requires you to place the file on another TimePilot USB drive at the receiving end. You may also want to upgrade to the Enterprise Edition of our software. That would allow you to upload your transactions from a remote location right to your headquarters PC using the internet.

Q. Does our Vetro’s USB Drive erase information after its data is imported into TimePilot Central? And once I transfer employee IDs onto the timeclock, is the information deleted from the USB Drive?

A. Yes to both questions. All the data is removed from the USB drive after it is imported into TimePilot Central on your computer or imported into the clock. Vetro users will see one file remain on the drive. It’s called “V4520” and identifies the drive as a TimePilot drive to the Vetro clock. By the way, if you lose the drive on the way back to the PC, you’re not out of luck: both the Extreme and Vetro clocks hold the last 12,000 transactions in their memory, so you can re-load them onto your replacement USB drive. Contact our tech support specialists at Support@TimePilot.com or 630-879-6400 for instructions.

Q. I have imported my data from my Vetro clock and the dates are off by a day. There are close to 100 entries with incorrect dates. Is there a way to do a mass change on the dates or will I have to change every entry?

A. You can correct all those transactions at once. Highlight all the affected transactions in TimePilot Central (click the first transaction in the group to highlight it, then scroll to the last transaction you want to change, hold down the "Control" key on your keyboard and click the last transaction in the group. The entire group should be highlighted.). Now that they're highlighted, click the Edit menu and choose "Adjust Transaction Dates and Times." The next screen will give you the ability add or subtract minutes or days from the highlighted transactions.

Q. We have a TimePilot Extreme. Our hard drive died and we lost the transactions we collected and imported into TimePilot Central yesterday. Is there any way to get that info back?

A. One of the lesser-known features of TimePilot Extreme is that it has a long memory. The clock keeps the last 12,000 clock-ins or clock-outs in its memory, even though you’ve already downloaded them to your USB Drive. Here’s how to download the missing transactions again:

  1. Open your Extreme Data Manager by going to Start > All Programs >TimePilot IV >TimePilot Extreme.
  2. Within the Extreme Data Manager, right-click the clock you want to retrieve previous transactions from and choose Station Properties > Advanced.
  3. Insert your USB Drive into the computer, then enter the number of transactions you would like to retrieve and select Get Transactions. How many should you ask for? Calculate how many should have been generated and add 10% or 20% more as a safety margin. Don’t worry—duplicate transactions won’t be a problem.
  4. When prompted, remove the USB Drive from the computer, insert it in your Extreme clock and tap the Management iButton to the clock’s IN probe. Once that operation is complete you can bring the USB drive to your computer and import the transactions as you normally would.

Q. We’re installing a timeclock system in a department that has never had timeclocks before. We’re concerned about our employees’ reaction to them. Do you have any suggestions on how to explain the system?

A. Honesty is the best policy. Tell your employees why you’re doing it. If it’s to stop employees from cheating, you could say, “We believe some employees are taking advantage of their co-workers and the company by misstating the hours they work. We don’t want to be hovering over you, watching every move you make, so this timeclock system will simply record when you start work and when you finish. It levels the playing field for everyone, and ensures everyone gets paid fairly for the work they do.”

You can also mention that the system will save the payroll department hours of work every two weeks (depending on how often you pay your employees) and that at other companies, employees have ended up liking the system because with it there is an electronic record of when an employee started work and when he or she finished.

Q. I have just added a new overtime policy but I cannot figure out how to apply this new overtime policy to employee’s profiles. How do I do that?

A. It’s easier than you’d think. First you create the new policy (as you’ve already done). Next, you apply the new policy to a Pay Type (Setup > Pay Type Setup). You can create a new Pay Type that contains the new policy, or you can “Edit” an existing Pay Type and change the OT policy there.

If you edit an existing Pay Type, and the employees who have that pay type will be the ones affected by the new OT policy, you’re done.

If you have created a new Pay Type to accommodate the new OT policy, open the profile of each employee who will be covered by the new policy (double-click their name in TimePilot Central’s Employee List) and change their Pay Type to the one you just created.

Q. Is there any way to set up my iButtons in TimePilot Central right at my PC without entering the serial number manually? Each iButton's number is extremely long and difficult to read.

iButton Receptor.A. Save your eyes! That’s why we include the iButton Receptor (also known as a Blue Dot Receptor) in each Extreme Blue Starter Kit. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Before plugging the iButton Receptor into a USB port on your computer, install the driver software that will allow the device to work properly. You’ll find it on your TimePilot Software CD. Insert the CD into your CD/DVD drive, choose “Install TimePilot Software,” then “TimePilot Installation Menu” (not Installation Wizard). Choose “Blue Dot Receptor” from the list that appears and follow the instructions to install the driver.
  2. Plug the iButton Receptor into a USB port in your computer. The device will be recognized by Windows.
  3. Now set up your employees. On the "Add a Profile" screen, when you're asked for the employee's iButton number, click the “Get iButton Number” button. Then simply press the iButton into either one of the blue probes on the iButton Receptor. The device will read the number from the iButton and enter it in the software.

Note: The iButton Receptor is not included with TimePilot PC, but if you want to increase your level of security, you can add the iButton Receptor to require your employees to use iButtons to clock in and clock out. For more on this topic, please click here. TimePilot Vetro and Tap+ users don't need the iButton Receptor to set up their iButtons.

Q. Is there a way to set up employees so they can clock in about 7:15 a.m. but have their start time recorded as 7:30 a.m.? We’d like to do that, but we don’t want them to show up at 7:45 a.m. and have their clock-in rounded to 7:30.

A. This situation is why we have the Snap-To feature. Many employees like to get to work early, settle in and not have to clock in exactly when their shift starts. The feature is extremely flexible: Snap-To can be used on clock-ins or clock-outs, before or after a shift start. The Snap-To setup screen is available when you create or edit a shift in TimePilot Central (Setup menu > Shift Setup… ). When you add or edit a shift, the Snap-To screen is the second tab across the top of the screen. Note: To use Snap-To, you’ll need to set up a shift, because otherwise there’s no start or end time for the software to snap to.

Q. We pay our employees bi-weekly, and when I collected the data from my Vetro clock with the USB drive, it only collected this past week. The previous week is nowhere to be found. What do I do?

A. First, a little background: You can collect your clock-ins and clock-outs from the clock with the USB drive at any time during the pay period. When they are transferred into the TimePilot software, the transactions are kept in “Current Transactions.” Think of Current Transactions as a pot where all transactions are held until needed. At the end of the pay period, you “extract” the just the clock-ins and clock-outs that occurred during the time period and put them in a separate folder.

It appears that you extracted your transactions before your pay period was over—probably at the end of the first week of your bi-weekly pay period. It’s important to wait until the pay period is complete before you extract, so you get every clock-in and clock-out and not just half of them.

To get things back to normal, you’ll need to find the past pay period that contains those transactions from the first week, put them back into the Current Transactions “pot” with the transactions from the second week, and then extract both weeks of transactions.

  1. Start TimePilot Central, then click the “Periods” menu, then “Open Past Time Period.”
  2. Find the prematurely extracted pay period (you’ll be able to tell by the dates) and open it. You’ll know it’s a past time period by the yellow bar across the top of the screen (the bar is green in Current Transactions).
  3. Click the “Administrative” menu, then “Reverse Extraction.” Click OK.
  4. The transactions that were in the extracted pay period will be dumped back into Current Transactions. Please note that if you have changed any settings in TimePilot Central since the early extraction, those settings will be changed back to the way they were just before you extracted. For instance, if you deleted an employee after the first week of the pay period, that employee will be back in the list of employees, because otherwise his or her transactions would not have a name attached to them.
  5. Now extract your pay period as you normally would, covering the true dates of the period.

To get a status report on your employees over a period of time that has not yet been extracted, you can run a report. This will give you the information you need without the problems caused by an early extraction.

Q. Is there a low-battery warning on TimePilot Tap+?

A. No. The clock is always charging when it is plugged in. The LED in the iButton probe will flash red periodically to indicate charging. When the device is fully charged, it will flash green. The Tap+ has been tested to run for a year under normal use before it needs any recharge at all.

Q. In our TimePilot system we have 8 current employees and 17 former employees who no longer work for us. Can I delete their profiles without losing their pay information? If so, do I do it simply by deleting their profile under the profile setup menu?

A. This is why extracting your pay period is important. If, as we suggest, you’ve been extracting your pay periods, and every clock-in and clock-out by the former employees is included in the extracted periods (in other words, the former employees have no clock-ins or clock-outs in Current Transactions), then you can go ahead and delete the employee profiles. You’ve got it right: You’ll delete them by starting TimePilot Central, then clicking the “Setup” menu, then “Profile Setup.”

If you're using a Vetro system, you'll also need to update the clock with the changes you just made in TimePilot Central.

If your Vetro is on a network, start Vetro Data Manager and right-click the image of the first Vetro clock. Choose “Network Functions” from the pop-up menu, then “Get User Setup from Clock.” Now right-click the clock’s image again, choose “Network Functions” and click “Transfer User Setup to Clock.” Completing those two steps ensures the clock is in sync with your software. Repeat the two-step process for each Vetro clock.

If you don’t have your Vetro clocks on a network—you use the USB drive to collect your data and bring it to your PC—the process is almost as easy. In Vetro Data Manager, click “Tools,” choose “USB Transfer Employee Setup to All Clocks…” and follow the on-screen instructions.

By the way, if there’s a chance you’ll re-hire any of the former employees (for instance, if they are seasonal workers), instead of deleting them now and recreating their profile later, you can uncheck the “Active” box on their Employee Profile screen. That will keep the software from recognizing them as active employees and the system will not record any of their clock-ins or clock-outs until they are “reactivated.”

Also, if an employee leaves your company in the middle of a pay period, setting his or her status to Inactive will prevent them from clocking in or out for the rest of the pay period but will leave their data intact.

Q. We’re using our Vetro clocks on our network. We’ve hired quite a few new employees in the last few days; how do I get their names on the clocks?

A. You’ll use Vetro Data Manager to transfer any changes you make in the software to the clocks in a quick two-step process. First—assuming you've already created the new employees' profiles in TimePilot Central—click the Setup menu in TimePilot Central and choose “Vetro Data Manager.”

The manager will start and display an image of each clock on your network. Right-click the image of the first Vetro clock. Choose “Network Functions” from the pop-up menu, then “Get User Setup from Clock.” Now right-click the clock’s image again, choose “Network Functions” and click “Transfer User Setup to Clock.” Completing those two steps ensures the clock is in sync with your software. Repeat the two-step process for each Vetro clock you wish to add the employees to in your network.

If you don’t have your Vetro clocks on a network—you use the USB drive to collect your data and bring it to your PC—the process is almost as easy. First, click the Setup menu in TimePilot Central and choose “Vetro Data Manager.” Then click “Tools,” choose “USB Transfer Employee Setup to All Clocks…” and follow the on-screen instructions.

Q. Our holiday hours aren't being added to our employees' hours; I always have to add them manually. What am I doing wrong?

A. Holiday hours should be applied automatically in the TimePilot system, as long as (1) your Holiday Schedule has up-to-date holidays, (2) the correct holiday schedule is applied to your employees and (3) your employees are entitled to holiday pay. Here’s what to check:

  • Verify that your Holiday Schedule has the current year’s holidays. Start TimePilot Central, then click the “Setup” menu. Choose “Holiday Setup” from the drop-down menu. The Holiday Setup box should appear. You probably have at least one Holiday Schedule listed in the left panel. Click it and then click the “Edit a Holiday Schedule” button. If the holidays listed are out of date, you can change them here.
  • If you have more than one Holiday Schedule, verify that the correct one is applied to your employees. You can check that by opening each employee’s profile (“Setup Menu” > “Profile Setup” > Click an employee’s name > “Edit a Profile”). The Holiday Schedule assigned to them is listed at the bottom of the box.
  • Are your employees entitled to holiday pay? To check, go to "Setup Menu," highlight the employees' Pay Type and click the "Edit a Pay Type" button. Make sure you've clicked "Yes" as the answer for the fourth question: "Do employees of this Pay Type qualify for holiday pay?"

Before making any changes, however, you might want to read our newsletter article with tips on creating Holiday Schedules. If you’re still having problems, our tech support specialists would be happy to help. You can contact them by phone at 1-630-879-6400 or e-mail at Support@TimePilot.com.

Q. How can I print out a report with an employee's actual clock in and out times—no rounding, just the raw times?

A. There are several ways to do this:

  • In TimePilot Central, click the "Reports" menu, then  "Transactions Reports." Four choices will appear: Choose the bottom one, "Transaction Report (Comparison)." This will give you each employee's raw times as well as their times with any rules (rounding, snap-to, etc.) applied. Click the "Next" button at the top of the screen to scroll through your employees. You can then print the report by clicking the appropriate button on the left side of the screen.
  • In TimePilot Central, click the "Reports" menu, then "Transactions Reports." Four choices will appear: Choose any of the first three. When the report appears, you'll see some dropdown boxes at the very top of the screen. One will be labeled "Trans. with Rules Applied." Click the arrow next to the box and choose "Trans. Without Rules Applied." The display will change to show each employee's raw times without any rules (rounding, snap-to, etc.) applied. You can then print the report by clicking the appropriate button on the left side of the screen.

Q. I know that TimePilot Central displays an employee's name in red when it thinks there's a problem with the employee's clock-ins and clock-outs—for instance when it sees two clock-ins in a row, the employee probably forgot to clock out. Is there some quick way to see exactly when the software thinks the mistake was made?

A probable missed 
transaction (circled at left); a clean sequence of clock-ins and clock-outs (right).A. Yes, there is. If you click the employee's name in the list down the left side of TimePilot Central, you'll see just his or her clock-ins and clock-outs (also known as transactions). If you see a triangle in the very first column of the employee's transactions, that indicates a clock-in; a white space indicates a clock out. An error-free set of transactions will alternate red triangle-white space-red triangle-white space all the way down the screen. If that pattern is broken—you see two triangles or two white spaces together—that's probably where the error is.

Also, because it's impossible to calculate an employee's work hours with two straight clock-ins or clock-outs, the software will also insert an "X" in the "Daily" column in TimePilot Central.

Once you find the error, you can insert the missing in or out transaction using the "Insert IN" or "Insert OUT" buttons at the top of the TimePilot Central screen.

Q. We use TimePilot Vetro and one of our employees lost his iButton. We're in the middle of a pay period and I am worried about losing existing information. Can you please provide me with the steps on how to remove his old iButton and replace it with the new iButton?

A. No problem. Replacing the employee's iButton is done at the Vetro clock. Here's how:

  1. Open the clock's administration menu by pressing 99, then OK on the clock's keypad.
  2. Enter your clock's administrative password.
  3. Select option 4 (Assign iButtons) from the menu that appears on the clock's screen.
  4. A list of employees will appear on the screen. Scroll down to highlight the appropriate employee, then touch the new iButton to the "In" probe on the clock. The clock will read the iButton number and assign it to the highlighted employee.
  5. Finally, exit the clock's administrative menu by pressing the Esc key two times.

The employee can use their new iButton immediately and there will be no disruption to the TimePilot database on your PC or server.

Q. I am running a Vetro clock on our network. When an employee clocks in or out, I'd like the clock to display the number of hours the employee has worked in the current workweek. Is there a setting I need to enable for this feature?

A. There are three requirements for the hours to be shown:

  1. Vetro Data Manager must be running.
  2. The employee must have no errors in their transaction sequence. (If there are errors—the employee forgot to clock out two days ago and thus has two successive clock-ins, for instance—the system cannot calculate his or her hours accurately.)
  3. The user must use their four-digit id to clock in or out.

If you meet these three requirements, the employees' hours will be shown automatically.

Q. How do I restrict an employee from clocking in and out, but not remove him or her from the system?

A. Uncheck the "Active" checkbox in the employee's profile. This will prohibit the employee from clocking in and out but will allow the employees' information to remain in the system for processing payroll. If an employee has current transactions, he or she cannot be deleted until their transactions are extracted with a pay period.

Generally, we recommend marking an employee "Inactive" instead of deleting an employee. However, once all the employee's clock-ins and clock-outs are extracted, you will be able to delete their profile. Even if you delete an employee profile, though, that profile will remain in any extracted pay period where he or she has clock-ins and clock-outs; if it did not, there would be transactions without a name attached to them.  

Another good reason to use "Inactive" is for seasonal employees or employees who might get rehired: When they come back to work, you don't have to set up a new employee; just make them "Active" again.

Q. I just bought a new Vetro system and am having trouble getting the new software to import my old data. I’ve run the Conversion Utility, but it appears my old transactions aren’t being imported. What am I doing wrong?

A. When you use the Conversion Utility, it will create a database file named tpdata.mdb that contains all your old data. Make a note of where you save that file. The first time you open the new software, it will ask you if you have an existing database. Select “Open an Existing TimePilot Database,” browse to the tpdata.mdb file that you just created and click “Open.”

Q. Our Vetro clocks are on our network. Is there a way to assign iButtons right at my PC and transfer that data to the clocks?

A. Yes. You'll need a Blue Dot Receptor. (You're in luck: They're on sale to readers of this month's newsletter. See the right-hand column of this newsletter for details.) With the Receptor plugged into your PC, you just tap the employee's iButton while you're creating the employee's profile. You can also use a TimePilot Tap+ for this purpose. See the answer to the next question for instructions on how to get the employee's name and iButton number into each clock.  

Q. I have a Vetro system that’s connected to my network. What's the best way to get the employees' info into my clock?

A. When you’re using Vetro on a network, here’s what to do: Start the Vetro Data Manager (In TimePilot Central, click the “Setup” menu and then “Vetro Data Manager”) and right-click the image of the clock. From the menu that pops up, choose “Network Functions,” then “Transfer User Setup.”

Q. Why don't you make a biometric (fingerprint) system?

A. To put it bluntly, we think fingerprint-based systems are more trouble that they are worth. When they work, they’re fine, but they have far more problems than iButton-based systems. A considerable percentage of people don’t have fingerprints that are distinct enough to be read by the scanners. Other problems: If a person has lotion on their hands, it can smear the glass; and there’s the question of sanitation (do you really want to touch something that was just touched by a sick colleague?). Bottom line: No system is perfect, but we believe iButton-based systems offer the best combination of security and trouble-free use.

Q. Our company is about to open a second location. Can we add another Vetro clock and install the TimePilot Central software at a second building and have them communicate with our original location over our network?

A. Yes, you can have as many clocks as you like and load our software on as many PCs as you want as long as the computers are on the same network and sending their clock-ins and clock-outs to the same database. You can also mix and match TimePilot timeclocks; for instance, if the ruggedized, weatherproof Extreme system or software-only TimePilot PC is a better match for your second location, you can use that there.

Q. My employees do not work a regular schedule. Do I need to set up a shift schedule?

A. No, but you'll need to assign those employees the "No Shift" option when you're setting them up in the system (TimePilot Central > Setup > Profile Setup).

Q. When we export our data to QuickBooks, why aren’t we getting any overtime figures for employees on salary?

A. By TimePilot’s general definition, a salary is a flat rate of pay and employees on salary don’t qualify for overtime. (If an employee receives a flat amount per pay period, they aren't paid on an hourly basis, so how do you calculate their hourly overtime rate?) However, if you have salaried employees and also offer them overtime pay based on an hourly rate, there is a way for TimePilot to accommodate that. Here’s how:

  1. Start TimePilot Central. If you already have an Overtime Policy that you want to use with your salaried employees, skip to Step 2. Otherwise, click the “Setup” menu and then ”Overtime Setup” to create an OT policy that will be applied to your salaried employees.
  2. Click the “Setup” menu and then “Pay Type Setup…”
  3. Add a pay type. You can call it “Salary” or “Salary + OT” or anything else you want.
  4. For the answer to the first question—“Are employees assigned to this Pay Type hourly or salary?”—choose “Hourly.”
  5. For the answer to the second question—“Do employees of this Pay Type qualify for overtime pay?”—click “Yes” and choose the OT policy that will be applied to the employees from the choices in the dropdown menu.
  6. Answer the rest of the questions, then click “Save.”
  7. Open the profile for each salaried employee who will qualify for overtime pay (Setup > Profile Setup > Edit a Profile) and change their Pay Type to the one you just created.

Q. We have the PC running TimePilot Central connected to our Vetro timeclock through our network. We would like to be able to load the software and access the clock and data from another PC. Is there a way to do that? If not, how do we transfer the data and software to a different PC?

A. Yes, you can access the clock and the data on more than one computer. All you have to do is put your TimePilot disk into the CD drive of your second PC and install TimePilot Central. (Note: Make sure you don't install Vetro Data Manager on more than one PC.)

The first time you start TimePilot Central on the second computer, it will ask if you want to use an existing database or if you want to create a new one. Click the “Open an Existing TimePilot Database” button, navigate to the TimePilot data folder on your server and click “Open.”

(Don’t know where it is? Start TimePilot Central and click the "Help" menu and then "About." The location is listed as "Data Path.")

Your transactions will now be available in TimePilot Central at both locations.

Q. I have Vetro mounted to my wall, and it’s difficult to detach the network cable from the clock. Is there an easier way?

A. Yes. Instead of depressing the tab on the network cable’s connector to release it from the clock, gently push the entire cable connector away from you. The tab will be freed and the connector will release.

Q. How can I find out where my clock-in and clock-out data is located?

A. Easy! Start any TimePilot program, click the “Help” menu at the top of the screen and choose ”About.” Your data location will listed (as "Data Path") in the pop-up box.

Q. I have the Vetro timeclock, and I’ve forgotten my clock’s password. How do I retrieve it? And while I’m at it, how do I change it?

A. To see your clock’s password, right-click the image of the clock in Vetro Data Manager. Choose “Properties” from the pop-up menu to see the password.

To change your clock's password:

  • If your Vetro is used in Network Mode (attached to your local area network), right-click the image of the clock in Vetro Data Manager, choose “Network Functions” then “Change Clock Settings” from the pop-up menu and make the change on the screen that appears.
  • If your Vetro is used in Standalone Mode (you collect the clock-ins and clock-outs with the USB drive), right-click the image of the clock in Vetro Data Manager, choose “USB Functions” and then “Change Clock Settings” from the pop-up menu and make the change on the screen that appears. Then transfer the changes to the clock with your USB drive.

Q. I have TimePilot Vetro running in standalone mode—I use the USB drive. I’d like to stop using the USB drive and connect the clock to my network. How is this done?

A. It's a very easy to switch Vetro to a network. After you plug your network cable into the clock, open Vetro Data Manager. You should see a green square next to the picture of your timeclock if the Vetro Data Manager found the clock on the network. If there's a red square, that indicates that the network hasn't found the clock, and you should have your network administrator make sure the settings in the clock's Administration menu match your network's IP and DHCP settings.

Vetro Data Manager must be running if you want to retrieve transactions from the clock in real time. If Data Manager is not running, employees will still be able to clock in and out, but the data remains in the clock's memory until you run Data Manager again. The program also allows you to make numerous changes to the clock over the network. You can access these options by right-clicking the icon of your clock and choosing "Network Functions" from the menu that appears.

Q. We would like to transfer the TimePilot program and all the data to another PC. How do we do this?

A. Essentially, the TimePilot system consists of two parts, the TimePilot software application (TimePilot Central, etc.) and the TimePilot data (clock-ins and clock-outs). In a typical installation, the TimePilot software will reside on an individual PC and the data will reside on the server.

Here are two possibilities:

  • Example 1: Let's say you just want to use another computer to work with the data, while leaving the data where it is. Simply install TimePilot Central on the new computer. The first time you run TimePilot Central, it will ask you whether you want to use an existing TimePilot database or create a new one. Select “Open an existing database” and point to the data folder on the server.
  • Example 2 (and to answer your original question): Let's say you want to move the TimePilot program AND the data folder to a new computer. First, install TimePilot Central on the new computer. Then copy the folder on the old computer that contains the TimePilot data and paste it into the new PC’s hard drive. The first time you run TimePilot Central it will ask if you want to use an existing TimePilot database or create a new one. Select “Open an existing database” and point to the data folder you pasted onto your hard drive.

Q. When I view my employees' work times in TimePilot Central, the times are in decimals instead of minutes—for instance, 7.75 hours instead of 7 hours 45 minutes. Why?

A. This is a common question at TimePilot. At some point, if you pay your employees in dollars and cents, the work hours have to be converted to decimals. TimePilot just does the job for you automatically. We've put together a conversion chart if you want to see the decimal equivalents to minutes. Click here to download the chart (it's in PDF format).

Q. I'd like to see all my employees' information at once. How do I do that?

A. In TimePilot Central, click the black "View Profiles" button at the top of the employee list. You can sort the information by clicking on the column headers. For instance, if you wanted to arrange the data so that the employees were listed by Department, you'd click the blue "Department" column header. That will re-arrange each line so that all the employees in each department are listed together. To reverse the order of the employees (those at the top of the list will appear at the bottom, and vice versa), click the column header again.

Q. What's the best way to set up a Holiday Schedule for my employees?

A. We suggest giving the Holiday Schedule a generic name (like "Holiday Schedule") when you enter your list of holidays. Then all you have to do at the end of the year is return to that schedule and change the dates of the upcoming year's holidays. Handling it this way lets you avoid the drudgery of changing each employee's profile, as you would if you had created a schedule named after a year (for instance, "2012 Holidays.")

Want to save even more time? When you're entering your holiday schedule in the TimePilot software, you'll see slots for 20 holidays. After you fill in your holidays for the upcoming year, keep going and fill the remaining slots with the holidays for the following year, too.

Q. We use TimePilot Vetro. My employees would like to see their accumulated hours when they clock in, but when they do that nothing but their name shows up. How can I set my clocks so they can see the hours they have worked?

A. That feature is available—and displayed automatically—only if the clocks are attached to your network and Vetro Data Manager is running. Here's why: The accumulated hours aren't calculated inside the clock itself; they're calculated by the TimePilot Central software on your PC or server. Therefore, if you use the USB drive to transfer clock-in and clock-out data, there's no way to get constantly updated information to the clock. In comparison, if your clocks are attached to your network and Vetro Data Manager is running, there is a constant connection between the clock and the PC-based software and up-to-date accumulated hours are displayed.

Q. Is it possible to install the TimePilot Central software on more than one computer? We have a network and numerous people working on payroll.

A. Yes, you can install TimePilot Central on as many computers as you want, though each user will have to have the administrator password to use the software. Please note that you must store your TimePilot database—the place where you store the clock-ins and clock-outs collected by your clock—in a single location on your server.

If you're using TimePilot PC, you'll need a seat license for each computer that will be used by employees to clock in and out, but you can still install TimePilot Central on as many computers as you want.

TimePilot PC comes in two versions: with one seat license, allowing employees to clock in at one computer, and with five licenses, allowing them to clock in at any of five computers. Additional licenses are available, so an entire office can have its employees clocking in at the computers, if you want.

Q. If I use the Auto Lunch feature, what happens when the employees clock in and out for lunch? Does it deduct their 30-minute lunch period twice?

A. Auto Lunch is an optional feature that eliminates the need for employees to clock out for lunch and then back in when lunch is over. It checks the employee's profile and automatically deducts the amount of time you've set for his or her lunch period.

If you use the Auto Lunch feature, it is set by default to deduct the lunch time only if the employee has worked six consecutive hours without a clock-out or -in. (You can change the six-hour "trigger" to something else; see below.)

For example, let's assume your employee has Auto Lunch enabled with the default setting:

  • If they work for more than six consecutive hours and do not punch out in that time, then Auto Lunch will activate.
  • If they clock out before the six consecutive hours are worked, the system will ignore the Auto Lunch feature.
  • If the employee clocks out after the six hours then yes, the time will be deducted twice and a supervisor will have to delete the extra lunch period transactions. You can stop this by changing the number of hours that must pass before Auto Lunch kicks in. See below for instructions.
  • If the employee works more than 12 hours without clocking out, Auto Lunch will activate after the first six hours and again after the second six hours. You can stop this by changing the number of hours that must pass before Auto Lunch kicks in. See below for instructions.

You can change the number of hours that must pass before Auto Lunch is triggered by starting TimePilot Central, clicking on the "Administrative" menu and then "Auto Lunch Setup." You can turn on Auto Lunch for an employee—as well as set the number of minutes in their lunch period—in their employee profile (TimePilot Central > Setup > Profile Setup).

Q. When I installed the TimePilot program for the first time, something called SAP/Crystal Reports installed at the same time. What is that?

A. The SAP/Crystal Reports program is used by TimePilot to generate reports from the data in the TimePilot Central database.

For instance, when you use the software to create a Summary Report, TimePilot uses Crystal Reports behind the scenes to assemble the data and present it in a form that you can print or download.

Crystal Reports is an extremely popular program and has been a part of the TimePilot software for many years.

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