Since prehistoric times when Fred and Barney bashed stone tablets, punching a time clock has changed very little--until software made things "easy," that is. Redcort's Virtual TimeClock Basic Edition is a single-PC time clock program that is designed to turn back the clock for small business owners with just a few employees to keep track of and no time to waste doing it. Yes, it helps you manage time, attendance, and payrolls, but its biggest advantage may be this: it's actually easy enough for the Flintstones to use.
Virtual TimeClock's Welcome dialog lets you create, open, and restore your employee databases. We clicked on Explore Sample Database, and the software's clean, simple interface opened with data for three fictional employees. The spreadsheet-like display and basic suite of icons make this an easy program for even the most inexperienced users to start right up with, since it involves entering and saving basic employee and shift data. Icons labeled Entry Editor and Time card access simple dialogs for editing the time sheet and employee time cards. Two main icons control the time clock: green for Start Work, red for Stop Work. The employee clicks on his or her own name, clicks Start Work and then clicks Start on the Start Work time dialog, and the program logs them in and displays their status and clock-in time. It even plays an audio clip of a mechanical time clock being punched! Clicking on an employee's time card generated a printable report of the employee's total hours, including multipage capability. After a few moments, we clicked Stop Work and ended our brief shift. We closed the sample database and created our own with a couple of clicks, thanks to a wizard and the PDF-based Quick Start guide. Virtual TimeClock's simple tools for entering and modifying Lists, Users, time properties, payroll periods, and passwords were so easy to use that they needed no explanations, but there's tons of help available, including a User's guide, Technical Support, and a fully indexed and searchable Help file.
If you want your employees to use time clock software, not only will you need to learn it, but you'll have to teach them to use it, too. Anyone who's had to do that in an actual small business can appreciate Virtual TimeClock Basic Edition's simple-saves-money philosophy.
Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of Virtual TimeClock Basic 10.2. The trial version is limited to 200 time card entries only.