Q. There are certain times when I need to retrieve information from two or three different past pay periods. Right now, I get the information from one pay period, then I change back to "Current Transactions" and use another past pay period and so on. Is there a quicker method?
A. The best method to retrieve information spanning multiple past pay periods is to run a report with a custom date range. Run any report, change the report’s beginning and end date to the desired dates and select “Refresh.”
Q. We have TimePilot PC and TimePilot Central installed on a centrally located and networked computer in our lobby area for employees to access. Is there a way Human Resources, for example, can open TimePilot Central from their office instead of having to go out to the lobby to make corrections to employee times or just check for errors?
A. You can definitely use TimePilot Central on more than one computer. The only condition is that those computers must reside on the same local area network. What you will need to do is install TimePilot Central on the Human Resources PC and share the database over your network.
Q. I use a Vetro clock over our network. Every time I create a new profile and assign an iButton to that new employee, the rest of the iButton numbers are deleted and I have to re- assigned them again. How can I avoid this?
A. It appears you have missed one step. When you are using the Vetro in network mode, it requires you to synchronize the iButtons with your software. Once you have all the iButtons assigned at the clock, return to the PC running TimePilot Central and follow these steps:
- Open Vetro Data Manager.
- Right-click the image of your clock.
- In the menu that appears, choose Network Functions > Get User Setup From Clock.
The iButton information on your Vetro clock will be copied to TimePilot Central. You should repeat these steps every time you assign new iButtons.
Q. How do I delete an employee?
A. We suggest doing it only immediately after you've extracted your pay period: If you try to delete an employee from the system in the middle of the pay period, any transactions that employee has accumulated will become "orphans"—they'll have no name attached to them.
It might be helpful to mark the employee "inactive" for the remainder of the pay period, and then delete him or her after the pay period is extracted. Marking the employee inactive prevents them from clocking in or out. You can make an employee inactive by opening the employee’s profile in TimePilot Central and clearing the “Active” checkbox.
Once the employee is deleted from the system you can assign their iButton to another employee.
After you’ve extracted, here’s how to delete an employee:
- For users of TimePilot Extreme, TimePilot Tap+ and TimePilot PC, start TimePilot Central, right-click the employee’s name in the employee list and choose “Delete Profile.”
- For users of TimePilot Vetro, make the changes in TimePilot Central described above, then transfer them to the Vetro clock. If you're using the clock in Standalone Mode, you'll use the TimePilot USB Drive; if you're using the clock in Network Mode, you'll use the Vetro Data Manager. For details on transferring the changes, see the section on the Vetro in TimePilot Central’s Help files. The article at right describes how to access the Help files, which contain far more detailed information than the paper user manual.
Time flies when you're standing still One of Albert Einstein's greatest insights was realizing that time is relative. It speeds up or slows down depending on how fast one thing is moving relative to something else. His idea was that, theoretically, the closer we come to traveling at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), the more time would appear to slow down for us from the perspective of someone who, in relation to us, was not moving.
Atomic clocks are extremely accurate clocks that can measure tiny amounts of time—billionths of a second. In 1971, scientists used these clocks to test Einstein's ideas. One atomic clock was set up on the ground, while another was sent around the world on a jet traveling at 600 mph. At the start, both clocks showed exactly the same time.
What happened when the clock flown around the world returned to the spot where the other clock was? As Einstein had predicted, the clocks no longer showed the same time—the clock on the jet was behind by a few billionths of a second. Why such a small difference? Well, 600 mph is fast but still just the tiniest fraction of the speed of light.
TimePilot newsletter No. 24
Whether you're a current or future TimePilot customer, we're glad to see you.
Every month we'll offer news about TimePilot products, tips on how to use them more efficiently, some of the "cool stuff" our employees have come across and a special deal available only to those who receive this newsletter!
In this issue:
- TimePilot Q&A: Reports across pay periods; TimePilot Central on multiple computers.
- Lead story: Software Secrets:
The Help Files.
- Cool Stuff: Pokki.
- The Deal: Outdoors special: $50 off an Extreme Starter Kit or $50 off individual Extreme clocks.
The Help Files
Hidden away in your TimePilot software is something that could well make your life easier: The software’s Help files.
The Help files explain all the ins and outs of the software, but one of their special features is a list of definitions of words and phrases used in the software. What does “Snap-To” mean? How does “Rounding” work? And what in the world are "Buffer Zones"?
They’re all software features that can help your business. You can learn all about them in the “Resources” section of the Help files. You won’t find them explained in the printed manual: The manual was designed to get the average user up and running quickly; the Help files contain everything the manual does (in more detail) as well as explanations of the software’s advanced features, definitions and tips and tricks.
So how do you find all of these things?
Simple. Start TimePilot Central, then click the “Help” menu at the top of the screen. In the menu list that appears, click the “Help” item to open the Help files.
Important: When you first open the Help files, you may not see any links down the left side of the screen. At the bottom of the screen (or at the top in older versions of Internet Explorer) you’ll see a notice that your browser "restricted this web page from running scripts or ActiveX controls.” Click the “Allow Blocked Content” button to the right of the message and you’ll see the links appear.
Scroll to the bottom of the links and you’ll see a section called “Resources.” That’s where you’ll find the good stuff.
In general, each item starts by defining the term, then offers suggestions and examples on how to use it. Here’s a sample:
(excerpted from the TimePilot Help files)
What’s a Buffer Zone?
When you're ready to extract a pay period, you might find that you need to include clock-in transactions that occurred a little before the pay period started and clock-outs a little after it ended. You can do that if you have set your software to create "buffer zones"—extra time at the start and end of a pay period. These can be set by clicking the "Administrative" menu and choosing "Change Time Period Buffers." This situation typically occurs when a company has staff on the clock seven days a week and 24 hours a day.
In Buffer Zone
The concept of the "In Buffer Zone" can best be described with an example:
Your company's pay period starts Sunday at 8 a.m. and ends at 7:59 a.m. on a following Sunday. You have an employee who starts his workday at 8 a.m. Sunday and ends it at 5 p.m. Sunday. It's very likely in this scenario that the employee will clock in a few minutes early—say, at 7:55 a.m. That would cause that transaction to fall outside the pay period.
If you don't set an "In Buffer Zone," when you extract your pay period, the 5 p.m. clock-out transaction will be included, but because the clock-in transaction occurred a few minutes before the pay period started, it won't be extracted. This will result in a "missing" clock-in transaction and will force a supervisor to manually make a correction.
Setting the "In Buffer Zone" to 25 minutes will instruct the software to grab any clock-in transactions that occur in the 25 minutes before the pay period starts and add them to that extracted period. In this case, the 7:55 a.m. clock-in would be extracted, giving the TimePilot software an accurate set of clock-in and clock-out transactions. Note: The "In Buffer Zone" function does not affect clock-out transactions.
Out Buffer Zone
"Out Buffer Zone" is essentially the reverse of "In Buffer Zone." Here's an example: Your company's pay period starts at Sunday at 8 a.m. and ends at 7:59 a.m. on a following Sunday. You have an employee who starts his workday at 11 p.m. Saturday and ends it at 7:45 a.m. Sunday. It's very likely in this scenario that the employee will clock out a few minutes late—say, at 8:05 a.m. That would cause that transaction to fall outside the pay period.
If you don't set an "Out Buffer Zone," when you extract your pay period, the 11 p.m. clock-in transaction will be included, but because the clock-out transaction occurred a few minutes after the pay period ended, it won't be extracted. This will result in a "missing" clock-out transaction and will force a supervisor to manually make a correction.
Setting the "Out Buffer Zone" to 25 minutes will instruct the software to grab any clock-out transactions that occur in the 25 minutes after the pay period ends and add them to that extracted period. In this case, the 8:05 a.m. clock-out would be extracted, giving the TimePilot software an accurate set of clock-in and clock-out transactions. Note: The "Out Buffer Zone" function does not affect clock-out transactions.
This month’s special offer
to TimePilot newsletter readers:
$50 off Extreme Starter Kit
$50 off individual Extreme clocks!
Extreme is our weatherproof, ruggedized, battery-powered timeclock system, perfect for outdoor use. Add Extreme to your current TimePilot system!
Special price for newsletter readers:
Extreme Starter Kit: $599!
Extreme clocks: $299 each!
To learn more about the deal, click here, visit www.TimePilot.com/newsletter/newsletter4.htm or call us at 1-630-879-6400.