Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Exporting time - a very important feature to consider

When choosing the right T&A system for your company, one of the most important areas to review is how the system will export the time data at the end of the pay period.  Many T&A systems have built-in exports that create a file that is formatted to work with various pay roll companies.  When deciding on a T&A system, make sure to select a system that has an export that works with your PR company.

For example, let's say you use ADP to process your PR.  It is very important then to select a T&A system that can generate a file that is compatible with ADP.  Make sure the file is also current and the version is compatible with ADP.  It does you no good if the export is outdated and doesn't work with the current version of ADP's offerings.

Before choosing the T&A system to go with, it is wise to have a sample file created - with some bogus data - that you can test and verify that it works with your current PR company.  This may take some time; however, it will save you a ton of headache in the future.

If you need assistance with finding the right T&A solution, feel free to contact us at  We can analyze your company's needs and point you in the right direction.  You can find out more about our unique time clock product offering - TabletPunch - by going to

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Saving reports... What file formats are possible?

When saving reports, it is useful to be able to save to various file formats.  When you run a timecard report for your employees, it is often times necessary to be able to save the file to a specific file format.

When sourcing for the right time clock system, make sure the system can save to the file formats that you and your company expect to use.  For example, many people like to be able to save to PDF format.  This particular format is easy to open and also easy to email.  Plus, most people have the required software to open this particular format.

It is also useful to be able to save to TXT format.  This allows the individual to be able to open up the file and possibly see the data in organized columns.

What your particular needs are for file formats will depend on what you plan on doing with the file after it has been saved.  Prior to purchasing a system, get feedback from the supervisors who will be using the software and get their input on what file formats are wanted.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Emailing reports... not all systems have this feature

Is the ability to email reports important to your company?  The ability to email a PDF version of a report is sometimes an important requirement to users of a time clock system.  However, make sure to check if this is a feature.  Some systems simply don't have the ability to email reports and it's good to clarify if this is a feature or not.

Some systems not only have the ability to email a PDF version of the report generated, but have tools that can be setup to automate emailing of the reports most used.  For example, you can schedule a timecard report to be run, for the last pay period, for all employees - emailed to particular email accounts on the Friday at 4pm.  This automation allows you to have the system trim down the amount of work that the supervisors have to perform within the software.

Make sure to also ask how the emailing works.  Some systems require a mail server or an email client such as outlook.  If your company is using a web-based email server (such as gmail), many systems can't integrate with a web-based provider.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Daylight savings.. something to take into consideration

Many time clock systems have some way of handling daylight savings.  If you live in a state that follows daylight savings, you want to make sure your time clock system handles this properly.  Some do it better than others.

Typically, with daylight savings, your time clocks should "spring forward" 1 hour in the spring time and "fall back" 1 hour in the fall.  However, there is another consideration to be mindful of.  What should happen to the hours calculation if you have employees that work the graveyard shift?  Let me describe a scenario.

Let's say an employee comes in on Saturday at 11pm and typically works until 7am.  So their clock in occurs at 11pm.  In the Spring, the time will go forward 1 hour around 2am or so.  So, when the employee clocks out at 7am, the clock will show 8am.  If your software doesn't account for this properly, the employee will get paid a total of 9 hours for this day (assuming no lunch period).

Make sure the system that you use is smart enough to know to subtract 1 hour in this situation.  Some systems do this properly.  Some do not.

If your company doesn't have employees that work overnight, then no worries.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Export options... very crucial aspect of any time clock system

When deciding on what time clock system to implement at your company, one of the key areas to properly evaluate is the system's ability to export the time data to a file that is usable with your current pay roll system.  When you do pay roll in-house or you send it out to a third party company, having an export will save you many hours at the end of the pay period.

Let me paint the picture...

Let's say your company uses ADP for pay roll.  If you purchase a system without a ADP export, you will need to manually translate the time data of your employees at the end of each pay period.  Depending on the size of your company, this may amount to several hours of additional work per pay period.  However, if you chose a system that already has a ADP export - it could eliminate this extra work.  Where you can generate an export that simply can be imported into your ADP system.

With a ADP export - with a few mouse clicks - your time data can simply be imported.  A huge time saver for companies that have over 50+ employees.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reports and what to look for?

When sourcing for the right time clock system, you want to spend a good amount of time looking at the reports that will be available in the system.  You want to make sure the system can generate the reporting that your company will use day to day, week to week, month to month, etc.

Some standard reports would be Timecard reports or Hours reports.  You'll also want reports that can show you who has missing punches or who is clocking in late.

Some more advanced reports would be job costing type reports - these reports will give you a breakdown of the hours - split into the different jobs the employee works.

The best way to figure out what reports would be useful is to get feedback from the supervisors/managers that will use the system.  You want to gather their input on what reporting would be beneficial to them.  Once you have this list, verify with your "sales person" if their system has all of the reports that you want.

You don't want to pay for a system that doesn't meet all your reporting needs.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Advance time tracking - assigning points to attendance infractions

Do you ever have employees that come in late or leave early?  Most systems can easily track this information for you and you can then run reports and find out how often someone is coming in late or leaving early.  Pretty basic feature.

How about absences?  Do you have employees that are constantly absent?  Whether it's excused or unexcused, it's always good to be able to report on this and get metrics on this incident.

However, on top of this type of reporting, some systems have advanced features that allow you to associate point values to these types of incidences.  For example, let's say you associate a value of .25 to every time a person comes In Late.  After they have done this 4 times, it would register a total point value of 1.00.  Expanding on this, let's say you associate a value of 1.50 to every unexcused absence.  You then can set triggers at certain point thresholds.

If someone then hits 10 points, you might want the software to trigger a reminder to have you issue this employee a verbal warning.  25 points might remind you to issue a written warning.  And 50 points results in a reminder for termination.

If this type of reporting will benefit your company, make sure the system you purchase has this feature.  However, if you don't know what you're looking for, how can you ask - right?  Talk to an expert and they'll point you in the right direction.  I happen to be one.  I have implemented several hundred systems personally.  Email me and let's start a conversation -

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What are benefit accruals?

This feature relates to how the software accrues an employee's benefit hours.  Common types of benefit hours are PTO (Paid Time Off), Vacation, Sick, etc.

As employees work for a company, the company typically will provide employees with benefit time that they can use to take time off.  Some companies call this PTO.  Some call it Vacation.  The terminology varies from company to company.

Most time clock systems have the ability to track the benefit time for the employees based on rules inputted into the system.  For example, a policy could be created where employees that have been with the company 0-2 years receive 8 hours of PTO at the end of each month.  A more complex way of tracking accruals would be based on hours worked.  For example, the system would accrue .0125 hours of PTO for each hour worked.

The rules of the accrual will be based on your company's policies; however, you will want to find out if the time clock system can handle your rules.  You don't want to purchase a time clock system that isn't able to handle this area - since manually calculating it - is a very time consuming task for a pay roll person.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Setting up a "traditional" time clock.. not always simple

Configuring a time clock to work with the software is not always a simple task.  Many time clocks require you to input many settings in the clock in order to get it "seen" on the network.  Some settings are straight forward; however, some require you to know a little bit about your network.

Many time clocks require you to input the clock's IP address, the network's subnet mask, your default gateway IP address, etc.  Most pay roll people that I work with don't have this information.  Therefore, we then work with the IT person to provide these details.

The ease of setup should be a criteria when sourcing for a time clock solution.  You want a time clock solution that is easily deployable.  If you are setting up 1 or 2 time clocks - not a big deal.  But if you are looking to deploy 10-15 time clocks, ease of setup should be taken into consideration.

When looking at your various time clock options, ask to see how the clock is setup.  This will give you an idea of how simple or complex it will be for your company to deploy the solution.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Limiting access via IP address

Many time clock systems allow employees the ability to clock in and out using their work computer.  Whether it's a desktop application or through a web browser, the process is simple.  The employee brings up the application and enters in their badge #.  Then the employee chooses what type of punch they want to perform.

However, it may be important to your company to restrict the employee to using their own work computer.  This typically is setup within the software and is done by defining the IP address from which the employee can use the program.  Your network professional can assist you with this setup and help provide you with all the network details per employee.

This advance feature is only available on certain time clock systems.  Make sure to ask if this is a requirement of your company.

If you would like a detailed analysis of your company's time clock needs, feel free to email us -  We'll setup a time to review what you are looking for and recommend the right system.  There are many components to a time clock system and we'll make sure to review them all in order to spec out the right system that matches your needs.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Posting multiple/bulk transactions

There may come in time when you will need to post a transaction to multiple employees at a time.  Perhaps, 10 of your employees want to take a particular day off.  Or 15 employees need to have a Clock In entered a particular day.  Or 23 employees need to have 30 minutes of work time added to their timecard.

Most T&A systems should provide a tool in order to complete this task.  If it doesn't, it will require a lot of manual work by your pay roll person/supervisor in order to enter these types of transactions.

When sourcing for a time clock system, be sure to ask about this feature if it is important to your company.  If you have policies that will require this type of transaction, make sure the system you are considering has this feature.  Most should, but some don't.

It might not seem like a big deal, but this could save many manual hours of entering in these types of transactions.

If you would like an expert to analyze your time clock needs, send an email to  We'll review what your needs are and determine what would be the best time clock solution for your company.  Our personnel have more than 12+ years in the industry and can help you narrow down your choices.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Streamlining the process of fixing issues on timecards

When sourcing for a good time clock system for your company, one important area to view is how managers will fix employee timecards and what features the proposed system has to streamline this process.

Every day, you will have employees that forget to clock in or out.  Typically, it will be the responsibility of the manager to go into these timecards and correct these issues.  Most sophisticated systems will provide managers an easy tool to view all the issues that they need to fix - in one central location.  This saves the manager time from having to check each and every time card.

In addition to consolidating all the problems, some additional helpful features are:

1)  A quick way to add punches - should only be a few steps
2)  A user friendly interface to less training time for managers
3)  A verification/approval option that allows the manager the ability to electronically approve the timecard
4)  Filter options to allow the manager to filter down their list of employees
5)  Security that allows you to define what managers have access to within a timecard

There are many important areas to consider when sourcing for the right system.  You can go about it alone or have an expert assist you.  I am that expert!  I've implemented several hundred systems personally and can help you decide what is the best solution for your company's needs.  Feel free to call me at 1-866-730-9617 x701.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Backups.. how important are they?

Extremely important!  When setting up a backup schedule, you should try and set it up where your time clock system is being backed up on a daily basis.  For medium to large size companies, I would even suggest to backup a few times throughout the day.

The data in your time clock system is critical for payroll processing.  No one likes to get inaccurate hours paid out to them at the end of the pay period.  If you don't backup your data, you run the risk of not being able to restore your data in the event of a system crash.

I've worked with clients in the past where they didn't do regular backups, ran into a server crash, and had to manually fix the timecards of hundreds of employees.  This is a very time consuming task that could have been easily prevented by doing data backups.

I've even worked with clients who didn't have any backup at all.  This is a worst case scenario.  These clients had to rebuild their software configuration.  This usually takes several hours of redefining policies within the software.

Lesson is simple.  Do daily backups.

If you would like further advice on how to properly setup a time clock system, you can email me at  I've setup 700+ systems personally in my career and I'm an industry expert.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Changing Employee IDs - is it even doable?

You may run across a time when you need to change an Employee ID.  This should not be a common practice.  Changing an employee ID is a drastic change in most systems.  Many transactions are tied to employee IDs, so many areas of the system are affected by this seemingly small change.

Most systems allow for this change; however, it is not guaranteed.  If you need to make this change, check with your time clock provider if this is even possible.  If it is possible, check and see what the steps are in order to complete this task.  Also, be sure to ask them the ramifications of doing this change.  

If you are able to make this change, it should be as simple as going to a specific area in the software and defining the OLD employee ID and what the desired NEW employee ID will be.  The software should then take care of all the changes in all the necessary areas.

Be very careful with this change.  Make sure you understand what you are doing and the consequences.  Again, employee IDs are a very important identifier for the employee and all data is linked to the employee based on this value.

If there is not a utility available, check with your time clock vendor and see what they recommend.

If you need any advice on your time clock needs, feel free to send me an email - Feel free to visit us at - we offer an iPad based mobile time clock solution.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Regular software maintenance is always important to keeping your system performing well

Various time clock systems have different utilities that can be run that will optimize the system's performance.  Time clock systems are collecting data on a regular basis.  For smaller companies, this may not be a pressing issue.  However, companies that have several hundred employees have a lot of transaction data coming into the system.

Regular utilities that optimize the database should be run in order to keep all the data organized and ensure that the system is running at peak performance.

Depending on your system, there may be built-in utilities that can be run.  If the back-end of the system is SQL, there are various tasks in SQL that can be run to optimize the database.  Check with your database manager in order to see what tasks are run and the frequency.

If these utilities are not run, degradation of performance will be seen.  For example, say you run a timecard report.  In an optimized system, the report may only take 2 minutes to run.  In a system that is not optimized, this same report can take several minutes to run.  So - if you notice performance issues with your software - check and verify that the recommended database utilities are being run regularly.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ability to import data

When sourcing for a time clock system, it is important to understand what data can be imported.  Much of the initial setup will need to be done by adjusting settings within the software to meet the payroll processes of your company; however, there are quite a few areas where importing data can be a great time saver.  Below is a list of items you likely will want to import.  If you can't import, someone at your company will need to data key in this information.

  1. Employees
  2. Departments
  3. Jobs
  4. Additional job tracking lists
  5. Schedule templates
  6. Earning codes
Of these lists, the most important (in my opinion) is the employee list.  If you have a company that has, let's say, 200 employees.  A quick import can get this list into your time clock system within a matter of seconds. If you need to data key in all these employees, that could take several hours.

Note:  If you are looking into doing an import, most systems require a CSV file that is formatted to work with the import tool.  So make sure you follow the specs of the import tool.  If you don't pay attention to how your CSV file is formatted, you could import all your employee data - but the data may be imported improperly.  Causing a different headache...

If you would like me to help you analyze the right system for your company, send me an email.  I will take a look at what you are needing and recommend the right solution.  My email is  I've personally implemented over 700+ systems and am an expert in the industry.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Creating users within the time clock system

When creating users within the time clock system, you should first analyze and answer the following questions:

  1. Who should have access to the system?
  2. What "standards" should you follow for creating the login?
  3. What type of access should each user have?
  4. How is access controlled within the system?
  5. Which employees should these users have access to?
  6. Who will be the "admins" of the system?

By answering these questions, you will clearly understand how many users will need to be setup and have a plan to set them up with standards.  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day, but this is not a paid holiday...

If your company pays for this holiday, that would be a first.

Most T&A systems can automate your company paid holidays.  What does that mean for you?  It saves you the time to have to put in 8 hours of holiday per employee.

By defining the rules to get holiday hours, you can have your system automatically generate the 8 hours of holiday on each employee timecard.  You can put in rules that deal with Probation periods, requirements to work the day before/after, and other eligibility requirements.

By having a system that automatically handles your holidays, you can save your pay roll person hours during the pay period that has holidays.

If your company is still doing paper timecards or you're not happy with your current system, send me an email.  I'll analyze your situation and let you know what would work best.  I've handled hundreds of implementations over the last 12+ years.  Email me at

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Reporting... a valuable feature of most time clock systems

One of the most important areas of a quality time clock system is it's reporting options.  When choosing a time clock system for your company, you want to make sure it provides all the reporting that you need.

Most time clock systems have 30-40 various reports built into the system.  Reports such as Timecard, Hours, Who's In, Department Summary, etc. are very common reports with most time clock systems.  If your company has specific needs, make sure to bring this up to the sales person so they can demo the exact reports that you need.

You don't want to invest thousands of dollars into a time clock system that doesn't provide the reporting that your company is needing.

When looking at the reports, make sure to ask what output formats are available.  For example, you may want to save the report into an electronic format.  Done are the days of printing reports.  Most companies prefer the option to save the report to PDF or Excel formats.  Make sure to ask and see this demonstrated.

If you have any other questions on what to ask for, just send me an email.  I'm more than happy to help -

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Setting up a proper hierarchy for labor tracking

When setting up a time & attendance system for your company, your primary goal is to setup a solution that efficiently tracks the clock ins and outs of your employees.

As a secondary goal, your company may want to consider tracking what departments/jobs your employees are working.  This will enable more detailed reporting and the ability to cost where your labor is going.

When setting up a department and/or job hierarchy, there is a proper way of doing this.  If you need to track more than 2 levels, that topic is beyond the scope of this particular blog post.  Just email me and I can give you tips on that type of setup.

The standard, first level, is the department level.  This should represent the various departments at your company.  Below is a list of sample departments a company would have:

001 - Manufacturing
002 - Sales
003 - Support
004 - Management

The second level is reserved to provide more detail on what employees will do in a particular department.  Below is a list of sample jobs a company would have in, let's say, the Manufacturing department.

JOB01 - Welding
JOB02 - Molding
JOB03 - Polishing
JOB 04 - Finishing

If you setup your departments and jobs properly, it will enable more detailed reporting options in your T&A system.

Email me if you would like me to review your T&A needs.  I've worked on several hundred implementations and can provide you advice that will save your company tens of thousands/hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.  I work with companies that have more than 50+ employees - that is the only caveat.  You can email me at

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tips on choosing a wireless employee time clock solution

When deciding on a wireless time clock system to keep track of employee time, there are a few key considerations that should be taken into account.

What environment will the clock be in?

If you are planning on having the time clock used in an outdoor environment and weather may affect the clock, you must make sure the clock can handle the weather/temperature conditions.  Plus, if your environment/employees will be in "dirty" conditions (dust, mud, etc.), you need to make sure the clock can handle this condition as well.

What wireless coverage is available in the area where you plan on using the time clock?

One key consideration is to verify that the location has sufficient cell phone coverage.  2G is typically too slow for normal use.  You should opt for a wireless clock that communicate, at minimum, on 3G.  We recommend 4G - this will ensure the fastest data communication (currently).

What features does the time clock need for your mobile/remote workforce?

Standard punching on a time clock usually revolves around clock ins, outs, lunches, and breaks.  However, remote locations using a wireless time clock may have special requirements for their workforce and may need employees to log special information at the time clock.  Make sure that the time clock your company purchases can track all the information that you want.

If your company is looking for a wireless time clock solution, we offer a great option - TabletPunch.  You can find out more information by going to  If you would like to get advice on choosing the right time clock solution for your company, I may be able to help.  I usually work with companies that have 50-1,500 employees.  That is my area of expertise.  I've worked on 700+ installs over the last 12+ years.  You can email me and we can discuss your company's needs -

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Categorizing hour types

Taking the time to setup proper hour types is important in your time clock system.

If you setup too few, you don't get the reporting and the detail that you will want out of your system.  Setting up too many is not a good idea either.  This will complicate your system and hurt usability.

What are hour types?  Simply they represent types of hours your employees can have on their timecard.  For example, some common hour types are:

Jury Duty
PTO (Paid Time Off)

If you want to go into further detail, you can setup more advanced types.  Such as:

Unpaid Absence
Unpaid Sick

Taking the time to setup an adequate number of types will provide your system with quality reporting.  However, don't go overboard and setup too many.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Exporting time clock data to pay roll

When choosing a time & attendance system, one key thing to verify is if the T&A system has the ability to export the time data to your desired Pay Roll system.

You might purchase a time clock system that has 50 exports to various Pay Roll systems.  Make sure to verify that there is an export to the PR system that you currently use.  Otherwise, at the end of every pay period, you will need to data key the hours into your PR system.  Depending on the size of your company, this may be a very time consuming task.

Now, another tip is verifying that the export works properly.  Say for example you use Quickbooks for Pay Roll.  The export for Quickbooks may be designed for an older version.  Make sure to get a sample export that you can test and verify.  It sometimes can be very costly to "refine" an export at a later time.  This requires a programmer to go in and modify the export based on your desired specs.

Depending on the size of your company, this aspect of choosing the right T&A software can save you thousands of dollars per pay period in manual labor.

The other consideration is making sure the systems are setup properly so that everything matches.  If you have setup 20 departments in Quickbooks, those 20 departments needs to be setup within your T&A system for the export to be accepted.  Employee IDs are another field that need to be mirrored.

If you would like an expert to help you pick the right T&A system for your company's needs, let me know.  I've personally installed, configured, and fully setup several hundred systems in my 12+ year career.  I am one of the most experienced individuals in this industry and can help you make the right decisions in terms of both software and hardware.  You can reach me at  Take care!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Defining a proper department structure

Tracking an employee's clock ins and outs is important to have an electronic record of their punches, but it may be important for your company to track what department their hours are going to.

Many companies have their employees working in one department everyday, but you may want to track several departments.  For example, an employee may work the first 3 hours in Dept A, but then the remaining 5 hours in Dept B.

Make sure to setup your department structure to clearly reflect the departments at your company.  You never want to setup too few - this will give you limited reporting options.  However, you never want to setup too many - this will also be a detriment to reporting.

Another key thing to remember is the coding of the departments.  You can either setup numeric or alpha or alphanumeric.  Make sure to think this through.  If employees are going to do department changes at the clock, it may be best to setup numeric does.  This will allow the employees to change their departments by just keying in numbers.  Some clocks don't even support alpha characters - so definitely be careful.

I have personally installed, configured, and trained the end users for several hundreds systems all over North America over the last 12+ years.  You will not find many individuals with my level of knowledge in this industry.  If you want my expertise, feel free to email me at  A well designed system can save your company tens of thousands of dollars - or even hundreds of thousands of dollars - depending on the size of your company.  I generally work with companies that have between 50-2,000 employees.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Choosing the right hardware time clock...

There are a few key questions you should ask when sourcing for the right time clock.  My experience is with implementing new time clock systems for small businesses.  The size of businesses I've worked with ranges from 5 employees up to 2,000.

When choosing the right time clock for your company, there are 4 key questions that need to be answered properly.

1) What type of input will your employees use?

There are many types of input options.  What is an input?  It is how the employee will identify themselves at the clock.  Many clocks do keypad entry - where the employee keys in their badge/card number.  Some clocks require the employee to swipe a magnetic/barcode card.  Other clocks allow for the use of proximity cards.  Biometric clocks can accept a biometric entry - whether it is the employee's finger or hand.  There are other options out there, but these are the most common.  So - first things first - answer this key question. How do you want your employees to identify themselves at the clock?

2)  What communication type does the clock require?  

If you are setting up the clock in a normal business environment, the clock you select should have an Ethernet card - so you can easily connect the clock to the network.  Some time clocks are designed to directly connect into a computer, but this method is rather out-dated.  Some clocks allow for WIFI communication.  Some clocks are mobile and communicate over cellular.  It is best to have a talk with your IT person and determine where the clock(s) will go and what communication type is best.  Choosing the right clock communication in the beginning eliminates the need to have the hardware switched out.  Saving your company both time and money.

3)  What features do you want the clock to perform?

I run across this issue a lot.  A client purchases a clock.  During implementation, we discover together that the clock they purchased doesn't have the feature they want.  So - what do you want your employees to do at the time clock?  Clock in and out?  Lunch punching?  Break punching?  Do you want them to be able to see their last punch?  Are they going to change departments or jobs at the clock?  Make sure to ask about these features.  I've seen it too many times - where a client purchases a clock, but then the clock can't perform the feature that they want.

4)  What environment will the clock be in?

Where is the clock going to be mounted?  Indoors?  Outdoors?  What environmental factors can affect the clock?  Do you need an enclosure to protect the clock?  Some clocks are not designed to be placed outside.  So make sure to ask these questions during the sales process.

My experience is in implementing new systems.  I have personally implemented several hundred time clock systems over the last 12+ years and am one of the most experienced professionals in the U.S.  My experience and knowledge will save your company tens of thousands of dollars per year, and I will help design a system that works best for your company's labor workforce.  If you would like my assistance, feel free to email me at  I'd be more than happy to review your requirements and see how I can help.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Employee IDs - Critical Field

When setting up a new time clock system, there are many fields that are important and need great attention.  One of the most important fields is the EMPLOYEE ID field.

This field uniquely identifies the employee.  Some systems allow for numeric IDs.  Some systems allow for alphanumeric IDs.  For example, an employee John Smith might have an ID of either 'jsmith' or '0001.'

Properly setting this up will save you a lot of trouble in the future.  If your company has 1,000 employees, your ID format should be able to handle that number of employees, but also take into consideration turn over.  So, numbering your IDs - in this scenario - with 001,002,003, etc would be an unwise decision.  Since it limits your employee count to 999 total.

Another key consideration is what you plan to do with the time data at the end of the pay period.  If you are wanting to export this data to a third party pay roll company, the EMP ID in your time clock system should match the pay roll system's EMP ID setup.  If they don't match, the data will not export properly.

Some time clock systems allow you to change the EMP ID in the future.  However, some are not as forgiving and will not let you change.  So be careful there...

If you want assistance in setting up a new time clock system or would like a review of your current system, I'm your man!  I've done system implementations since 2001 and have done over 700+ systems personally.  You will not find another person in the U.S. that has done as many as I have.  If you do, let me know.

To contact me, please email me at  Let me know what you are trying to do.  If I can help, I will.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

College Job - My start in the T&A industry...

College Job

My career started in the Time & Attendance industry when I was in my 2nd year of college - this was approximately November 2001.  Through a temp-to-hire position, I started doing technical support for a reseller of T&A systems in Northern California.  

My position at the company was to field calls/emails regarding technical issues with the software or hardware.  Some common issues that came in were regarding polling time clocks problems, pay roll policy changes within the software, data calculation issues on employee time cards, etc.  

One area that made troubleshooting difficult back in 2001 was there wasn't really remote support tools available to us.  Nowadays, you can simply remote into the client's computer and view the software issue.  Back in those times, I had to do it the "old way."  Request screen prints and having the client email/fax that in for review.  I estimate that I have resolved 18,000+ support tickets over the course of my career.

Shortly into my position, I was promoted to doing system implementations.  In fact, I started doing implementations January 2002.  An implementation consists of: Installing the software & hardware, configuring the system policies, training the end users, and transitioning the company to using the system "live."  I estimate that I have successfully implemented 700+ systems in my career!  I don't believe there is a person in the United States that have done as many implementations - personally - than I have.  If you find someone, let me know.

I currently work for a startup company - TabletPunch, Inc.  I mainly handle implementations for this company.  The company participates in the same industry.  Their unique product offering is a tablet-based time clock.  You can find more information by going to

If you would like my expertise in helping you implement a time clock system for your company, send me an email.  I can be reached at