Clock Prompts and Clock Prompt Setup


Clock prompts could best be described as questions asked of the employee when they clock in or out. However, it is important to note that clock prompts can be used for much more than collecting job codes or tips. In fact, clock prompts don't even have to be asked at the clock. They could be set as an online only prompt for the purpose of the manager adding data to the time card themselves or, tracking information for the purpose of scripting and/or payroll needs.

This article will cover the necessary information for setting up a clock prompt for your client's specific needs. There are some slight differences in how clock prompts are used between TimeWorks and TimeWorksPlus. Those differences will be identified in the instructions.

To see videos explaining how to use Clock Prompts, please see the article VIDEO: Clock Prompts.

Also, if you are setting up clock prompts for Hosted or stand-alone Voice Clock, you will want to reference the following articles.

Where to Create Clock Prompts

In TimeWorksPlus, the clock prompt configuration can be found through the click path:
Accountant Menu (Settings for Currently Selected Client) ⇒ Client Configuration ⇒ Clock Prompts tab

In TimeWorks, you will find this in the:
Accountant Menu (Settings for Currently Selected Client) ⇒ Clock Prompts

While creating a clock prompt (done by clicking the Add Prompt button on the clock prompt page) you can hover your cursor over the bold blue field descriptions for details on the field's purpose.

How to Configure Clock Prompts

The following instructions correspond to the settings you will see after clicking "Add Prompt". But before you configure a clock prompt, you should understand the two different types of prompts.

Clock Prompt Types

There are two types of prompts: Labor and Numeric. 
  • Labor prompts are for tracking hours worked in labor segments. For instance, departments, job codes, locations or any other class in which a client would like to view hour allocation.
  • Numeric prompts are for tracking totaled amounts, like tips, mileage, bonus or piecework.

Prompt Assignment

When you click the Add Prompt button to create a prompt, the first option is Prompt Assignment. This is where you designate they type of prompt. The option has a dropdown with shorthand, alphabetical names for the available prompts.
  • Prompts I, J, K are numeric prompts.
  • Prompts X, Y, Z are labor prompts.
  • Web Only are prompts that apply only to TimeWorksPlus. These are prompts that can only be used on WebClock, mobile or TimeWorksTouch/TUFF.

Data Collection Mode

The next option on a clock prompt setup is the Data Collection Mode. This determines when the clock prompt is asked:
  • Collect on the IN
  • Collect on the OUT
  • Show Online Only, Do Not Collect Anything
  • Location Stamp (X, Y & Z only)
Online Only
Online Only prompts are not shown to the employee when clocking, but they do appear on the time card. The purpose of Online Only prompts could be for having a manager/supervisor enter tips on the time card rather than having the employee report the amount on the clock. Online Only prompts need not be just Web Only prompts. You could use I, J, K, X, Y or Z as an Online Only Prompt as well.

In TimeWorks onlythere is an option for Disabled. This allows you to inactivate a prompt without deleting the prompt.

Location Stamp
Labor prompts on X, Y or Z also have the option for a Location Stamp. By choosing Location stamp, the clock prompt will automatically fill in with a physical clock's location stamp on the in punch. Setting the location stamp is done in the Clock Status screen (Clock Management in TimeWorks).

Name of the field

This is the name of the prompt and it is required. It is suggested that a prompt field name should be:
  • ​short but descriptive
  • does not share a name with commonly used Employee Setup fields or scripting keywords. For instance, avoid using "Department", "Category", "Location", "Shift", "Hours". Instead, try "Dept", "Loc", "shiftX" or "hrs"
IMPORTANT: When scripting in TimeWorksPlus, you will use this field name when referring to the prompt. In TimeWorks, you will use the letter name from the Prompt Assignment field (X, Y, Z, I, J, K).

How field name is displayed in column headers

This field allows you to give the clock prompt an alias name that is more descriptive for your client when viewing the time card or reports. Here you could use "Department" or "Job Code". 

It is suggested to avoid using special characters/symbols and spaces if possible.

Color Restriction

This option does not appear on Web Only prompts. The purpose is to set this prompt to only appear for employees using a color coded swipe card or an alternate in/out button on the clock. For more information on that, please see:

Question to be displayed on clocks

This is the question that will be presented to employees when they are asked the clock prompt. This field is limited to 16 characters, including spaces.


This dropdown has three selections:
  • Visible, Editable is the most common choice. The data entered will be visible on the time card and any user with edit privileges will be able to alter the data
  • Not Visible, Not Editable would be used in circumstances where the prompt is being used for a purpose other than end-user data collection. For instance, storing information related to a script or, holding data that is only necessary for the payroll export and does not need to be changed or viewed by the client. NOTE: This prompt may still be an option to view in Custom Reports.
  • Visible, Not Editable allows the client to see the data on the time card, but not change it. This would be useful if the clock prompt value is dependent on another clock prompt and you do not want your client to override any scripting that connects these two fields.

WebClock 2.0 Display Behavior / Create a Drop Down Selection List for WebClock

This setting handles how the WebClock, mobile, and TimeWorksTouch clocks present the prompt to the employee. However, in some cases these settings no longer apply. 

Commonly, in TimeWorksPlus, WebClock users choose Display prompt on web clock as drop-down selection. This allows the employee to choose from a list of choices when using the WebClock / Mobile App. The choices are dictated by the values listed in the Prompt List.

TimeWorks users have this capability to create a dropdown as well, but in order to activate it, you would select:
Accountant Menu / Miscellaneous Settings
and check UsePromptList.

Avoid Showing on Web Clock will only ask the prompt of employees using the physical clocks, provided you are using I, J, K, X,Y, Z. If you have already set the prompt to be an Online Only prompt, then choosing Use Default Settings will still hide this prompt from the clock.

What should happen if the employee doesn't enter anything for the clock prompt?

  • Allow it means the employee can complete their punch without entering any value for the prompt. This would be done by pressing ENTER / OK on the clock or SUBMIT on the WebClock.
  • Don't allow it, force them to enter something means the employee will not be able to clock in or out without entering a value. If there is a restriction list in the Prompt List, it must match one of those values.
  • Use Employee's Home Department, Location, Supervisor (Labor Prompts ONLY) will allow the employee to clock in/out without entering a value, but the time card will fill in the value with the employee's selected value from Employee Setup. Note, that for scripting purposes, this value is set late in the running of scripting boxes, just prior to the Pay Rate Script.

Length of Entry (Labor Prompts ONLY)

This defaults to a maximum of 12 characters. 12 characters is the maximum limit for physical clocks (with the exception of TimeWorksTouch), but you can increase the value if you are using TimeWorksTouch, TimeWorksPlus Mobile or WebClock. You can use this feature to prevent entries that do not conform to a format.

Prompt List (Labor Prompts ONLY)

If you would like a restriction list of possible clock prompt values, you can designate them in this box. Each value needs to be separated by a comma. You do not need spaces between the values.

An example Prompt List would look like this:



If your client is using the WebClock and/or Mobile App, and your setting for WebClock 2.0 Display Behavior is set to Display as dropdown, then the employee will be presented with these values when clocking in/out.

Character Limits
Depending on your clock, this box can contain up to 3200 characters, including spaces and commas, for X,Y and Z prompts. Web Only prompts have a higher limit, up to 20,000 characters. 

IMPORTANT: The character limit may be lower depending on your clock. Some of our physical clocks have lower character limits. For instance, the Tranz380 and Hosted Voice Clock will only allow 230 characters. Also, the WebClock 1.0 also only supports 230 characters. Consult with support if you are unsure as to your clocks capabilities to use a restriction list.

Type of Entry / What type of numbers should we collect from employees?

This value determines the type of entry that can be made by an employee or a manager editing the time card. While physical clocks only allow for numeric entries, if you are using non-numeric labor prompts on a WebClock/Mobile App prompts, you will want to set this to Alphanumeric. Likewise, on numeric prompts, you can display entries as a dollar amount, or as whole numbers. NOTE: there is no way to show a decimal value without selecting Dollars and Cents.

Online edit validation settings (TimeWorks ONLY)

Setting this to allow for Override means that a manager or supervisor editing the time card will be able to make an edit to the time card that does not follow the Entry is required option.

Data Handling (Numeric Prompts in TimeWorks ONLY)

  • Add them up and show totals on the reports. Don't include in file. This total numeric values for your client when they run reports, but the values will not be included in the payroll export.
  • Treat as pay items. These totaled values will appear in both reports and on the payroll export.
  • Convert the entry into hours worked is used if you want to export the numeric values entered with the punch set as hours and override the hours that were recorded with the in and out punch. NOTE: This will only work on one prompt per account. You can not use this setting on multiple prompts.
  • Show the totals on reports, but don't treat as pay items except in download files can be used if you only want the totaled values to be exported as a pay item on the export file, but all reports available to your client will show the values through the clock prompt.

Entering Letters for Clock Prompts on a Physical Clock

Employees can enter letters on TimeWorksTouch, mobile and WebClock, but not very easily on our physical clocks. They would have to press the number key on the key pad that has the the letter you require and hit the ALPHA key to scroll through the options for the key till you get the letter you require. For example an employee needs to enter an "X" as part of his job/department code. He would:
  1. Press the "9" key on the key pad.
  2. Press the "ALPHA" key enough times that it will scroll through till the "X" comes up.
A simpler way to do prompts that require names would be to script a number in the prompt to mean a name. For example the "X" prompt has the options 1, 2 and 3 set. When the employee enters any of those numbers at the prompt, it will name the corresponding choice accordingly.

if ( x = "1" ) { 
x = "Server" ; 
if ( x = "2" ) { 
x = "Hostess" ; 
if ( x = "3" ) { 
x = "Bartender" ; 

So in the above example if the employee enters a "1" at the prompt it will generate "Server" on the timecard, "2" will be "Hostess", and "3" "Bartender".

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