Developing a Time Clock and Project-Time-Costing app/database

Discussion created by redfish_matt on Oct 17, 2018
Latest reply on Oct 24, 2018 by sgljungholm

We're discussing ways of using Filemaker to develop a time clock database (or, perhaps, app) for our business to use. We haven't started building anything in Filemaker yet, not quite sure where to start. I have a working/growing understanding of Filemaker but definitely not an advanced user yet.


We have used some of the devices commercially available where you just swipe a card, but honestly they only make the easiest part of this process a little easier. So not really a solution to time tracking, it's just "time in, time out".


So I am brainstorming how to set up Filemaker to do most of the data collecting, sorting, and calculating. Note, we do use Quickbooks (which I am personally NOT familiar with), so if anyone has any experience on exporting data from a database into Quickbooks, I am all ears for tips. I'm not even sure if Quickbooks has the ability to import something like a CSV file or not.


What we need Filemaker to do:

Our time is more than just simple payroll hours-- we track how much time we spend on each "Job Name" so that we can track how much labor was spent on each job. We also track what "type" of work was being done--- administrative, fabrication, installation, engineering, etc.


At the end of the workday we do handwritten time sheets, and our executive assistant just hand-calculates and sorts all that data, from upwards of 20 team members.


Based on the way our business operates, I think we could give each employee a printed barcode to scan (using USB scan gun) that would timestamp the fields for "clock in, clock out".  Having Filemaker calculate their hours with that data would be simple enough. We can put a barcode printout of by the computer of all the job names for them to scan to enter "Job Name", and a field for them to type in how many hours they spent on that job (these hours are always estimated, not exact minute).


We could set up 2 PC's to have this Filemaker document on it, but they'd need to communicate with each other. I'm trying to avoid using mobile apps for this, for various reasons.


I'd also like Filemaker to generate an "error report" when someone misses a punch, perhaps send the alert as an email?


The biggest downside I see is having the dreaded "4:30 lineup" of people punching out and scanning in their job-hours.


So I'm open to suggestions here from nearly any angle. But I really think Filemaker can do exceptionally well.


We currently are using Filemaker 17 Pro Advanced.  We do not have "Filemaker Server", but we do have a server here. I'm assuming we may need to get Filemaker Server for this to work across multiple PCs in real time...... admittedly I am very unfamiliar with Filemaker Server.