Using the System

Closing Out a Pay Period

How TimePilot works.You've set up your clocks and your software, assigned your employees their iButtons and started collecting their clock-ins and clock-outs. Now the pay period has ended and it's time to collect your data and get it ready for payroll. This is where the TimePilot software really shines.

Here's how it works: When your pay period has ended and it's time to process your payroll, you use TimePilot Central to take, or "extract," all the transactions that occurred during that time and place them in a separate file (database).

The process of extracting not only moves the transactions that occurred during this pay period into a new database, it also copies your current employee profiles, pay types, etc. into the this database. This "snapshot" preserves your setup information so that when you review this pay period in the future it will reflect the way things were at that time, and not show any changes made since then.

Make any corrections that weren't made during the pay period—if, for instance, an employee forgot to clock in or out—and add transactions for vacations, holidays, etc., to create a complete record of each employee's workweek. Then you can create and print reports for further review. Optionally,  you can "export" the file to your payroll service or accounting software.

Note: You can also export your data to a spreadsheet (.xls format, commonly used by Microsoft Excel) or word processing document (.doc, commonly used by Microsoft Word, or .rtf, Rich Text Format). In addition, you can print your data or create a PDF version of the data with TimePilot's built-in tools. For more, see the page on Reports

Getting ready for payroll, step by step

  1. Start TimePilot Central.
  2. Extract your pay period. (Click on "Periods" in the menu bar, then select "Extract Pay Period.")
    1. You'll be asked if you want to back up your Current Transactions. Click "Yes" and follow the instructions.
    2. In the pay period extraction box (below right), choose the company whose pay period you want to extract from the drop-down list at the top.
    3. Choose the beginning and ending of the pay period.
    4. Click "Begin Extraction."
    5. Once the extraction is complete, the header across the top of the Transaction List will change from green to yellow, indicating that you are now looking at the extracted data and not Current Transactions.
  3. Correct any employee transactions that are erroneous, using the Quick Buttons across the top of the screen. Names in red in the employee list down the left side of the screen indicate trouble spots that the TimePilot software has identified. (For more on this topic, click here.)
    It's a good idea to also look over each employee's transactions to verify that they make sense. For instance, if an employee clocks in at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, forgets to clock out that night and also forgets to clock in Wednesday morning, but clocks out Wednesday night, the TimePilot software sees a clock-in followed by a clock-out and will not flag the error, unless you set the Alerts feature to flag excessive amounts of time.
  4. Extract a Pay Period screenInsert transactions for vacations, sick days, paid time off and bereavement time, if necessary. This is done manually. The simplest way to do this is to click on the employee's name, then on the "Edit" menu and choose "Insert Amount of Time." Enter the date and amount of time the employee is entitled to and click "OK." (For more on this topic, click here.)
  5. Generate a report. Click "Reports" in the menu bar, then choose your report. ("Summary Report" is the most common choice.) If you want a printed copy of the report, click the "Print" button on the left side of the Reports screen. If you want an electronic copy of the report that can be saved or e-mailed, click the "Export" button at the left side of the screen and choose your file format. You can choose from six different formats: Crystal Reports (.rpt), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Microsoft Excel (.xls), Microsoft Excel Data Only (.xls), Microsoft Word (.doc), or Rich Text Format (.rtf). When you're done, close the Reports screen to return to TimePilot Central.
  6. Optional: Export your data to your payroll software or service. The web site has available for download many exports that will convert TimePilot data into a format that can be read by leading payroll services and software packages, like QuickBooks or ADP. Click here to see how to install the export for your service or software. To use an export, here's the general procedure (see the instructions that came with your particular export for details):
    1. Click "File" on the menu bar, then "Export to payroll software."
    2. Choose the format for your payroll or accounting program. If that option doesn’t appear in the menu, you probably haven’t installed any formats. Click here for details.
    3. Enter the required information (available from your payroll service or software manual) and click "Export" to create a file that can be imported into your software or e-mailed to your payroll service.