If you haven’t been there yet, you’ll be there soon enough… trying to figure out what the heck the right “accounting time” is for 1:13PM. Was it 13.2 or 13.3? (the answer is 13.3) It drove me nuts trying to constantly calculate these in my head. I would print out cheat sheets, but those mysteriously went missing all the time. SO, with a little help from some friends, I decided to just build a converter that does the calculation for me!
Still confused? Here’s the 101 on TIME FORMAT:
In production, we’re constantly dealing with 3x Formats: AM/PM, 24-Hour Clock and Accounting Time.
AM/PM is pretty straight forward, so it’s often the easiest for Crew Members to fill out on their Timecards. Unfortunately, while this is the easiest to fill out, it’s the hardest for the Accountant or Production to calculate. It takes a little more thinking to figure out “what is 3PM minus 9AM?” (Answer=Lunch Time)
The 24-Hour Clock is a little easier in that regard. It’s much easier to calculate 15:00 – 9:00 = 6:00. You can actually punch that into a calculator (15-9=6). The problem is that since AM/PM is the primary format in the US, people understandably get confused every now and then when using the 24-Hour Clock. Below is a quick cheat sheet to help.
There is one little funny scenario that you’ll see on Timecards, and that’s on splits over overnights. Ever seen someone write they’re out time as 28:30? Technically there’s no such thing as 28:30, it would just be 04:30 next day. But it’s useful to write down 28:30, so that Accounting or Production can easily see it’s referring to hours worked which went past midnight, and also to quickly calculate the amount of hours worked. It’s easier to calculate 28:30 – 16:00 than it is to calculate 04:30 Next Day – 16:00 Previous Day. Only do this, however, if you started work before midnight and ended work after. If you’re reporting to a very early call, say 4:30AM, then don’t write in 28:30 (that would drive Production and/or Accounting crazy). In that case, just write in 04:30.
And finally there’s…
Accounting Time, the oh so beautiful on the inside, but too often misunderstood ugly duckling of time formats. Even when you understand it, it takes the most amount of math to convert AM/PM or 24-Hour Clock format into Accounting Time (hence this converter), but the beauty of Accounting Time is that it’s the absolute easiest format to calculate ‘hours worked’. Since employees are paid in 1/10th of the hour (or in other words, every 6 minutes), it’s much easier to look at numbers with a single decimal in Accounting Time. Accounting Time takes the format of HH.M (“HH” being the Hour, “M” being the Minutes divided by 60 and rounding up to the nearest single decimal), for example 9:30AM = 9.5, and 1:06PM = 13.1.
The easiest way to convert it is to take the 24-Hour Time format. Let’s use 13:07 (1:07PM) as an example. Whatever the ‘hour’ is in the 24-Hour time format, you write that down as a whole number. In this case it would be ’13’. Then you take the minutes (in this case ’07’), divide it by 60 (in this case is 0.1166666667) and round up to the single decimal (in this case 0.2). So 13:07 becomes 13.2. See the cheat sheet below:
Here are some examples of the same time in AM/PM, 24-Hour Clock and Accounting Time formats:
9:00AM = 9:00 = 9.0;
1:00PM = 13:00 = 13.0;
3:30PM = 15:30 = 15.5;
4:13PM = 16:13 = 16.3;
5:55PM = 17:55 = 18.0.