Yes you can. Not only can you edit existing elements of the TimeControl Menu, but you can add to it also. In the Administration Tab there is a selection called Menu entry. Using this function, you can move menu items from tab to tab or add a new entry. Imagine that you’ve created an internal project management tracking process manual and you’d like to make sure that all of your TimeControl users can access it from right inside TimeControl. You can click Add in the Menu Entry module and add the URL and an icon for that selection. Once you’ve added the new entry, it will immediately become visible in the User Profiles module in case you want to make sure it is secured for one user or another.
Or, imagine that you’ve created different manuals for different users perhaps for users in a particular country. You could create manuals for each country and a menu item for each and then use User Profiles to only show the appropriate manual to someone in that country.
The same goes for any other function you’d like to create. The URL destination of a menu item could also be an external system. This type of flexibility is powerful so you need to keep track of what you’ve added to your TimeControl so you can train people on finding the right function in the right place.
We are often asked if TimeControl supports a method to ensure that employees don’t take more vacation time than they’ve been approved for.
This is controlled in TimeControl two ways:
First, the approval of the timesheet is managed in the TimeRequest™ feature. TimeRequest let’s employees request vacations in the future. If the vacation is approved, the employee will be able to see that in the TimeRequest screen. They can also be optionally notified by email through TimeControl and that email can automatically include a calendar notification to load into their Outlook or other calendar system.
TimeControl can then be configured to include a Validation Rule that says “You cannot enter vacation without a matching approved TimeRequest.”
TimeControl also uses banks which can be loaded for the entire year or loaded as time goes on through the TimeControl Accruals module to show vacation, personal time off, banked overtime, etc. that has been earned by this employee.
TimeControl has numerous banks created by default in the system which can be used for this purpose so different types of banks can be defined by the TimeControl Administrator. A TimeControl Validation Rule can then be created that generates an error if the amount of vacation taken in the current timesheet exceeds the amount in the bank for the vacation category. Different organizations have different rules for this. Some will allow only vacation that has been completely earned. Others will allow an employee to be up to a week “negative” in their vacation bank. Whatever the rule is, it can be defined for this in the Validation Rule.
This is a great question and one that is asked all too rarely. Most people don’t even consider that there might be more than one kind of timesheet.
When prospective clients call us and ask about TimeControl, our first question is “What kind of timesheet are you looking for?” The most popular timesheet type is time and attendance.
If all you need to do is collect time for payroll, then this would be right for you. There is a simple time and attendance timesheet available with every major ERP and Finance system in the market today. Payroll systems are less concerned with what did you work on and more concerned with when were you at work?
Next most popular would be a Time and Billing timesheet. For professionals who need to invoice their time, this is critical. It’s not just when were you at work, it’s what client did you do work for and what is the rate we charge you out at for that client and that work? Time and Billing timesheets are less concerned with what tasks were you working on or when you were at work and more concerned with the right rates for the right time and right client.
Project update timesheets are designed to progress tasks planned in the project management system but have less interest in complex payroll rules or invoicing rates.
Flexible timesheet systems like TimeControl are somewhat more rare as they cater to multiple needs at one time.TimeControl can be used for payroll, HR exceptions like sick leave or vacation tracking, billing and project updating all at the same time.
We’re the Swiss Army Knife of timesheets and our motto around here is Semper Gumby (always be flexible). For your own decision, it’s good to determine what the timesheet data could be used for, what systems it could integrate with and, most importantly, avoiding implementing multiple timesheets when one might do.
For more on TimeControl flexibility, visit www.timecontrol.com/features/flexibility.
You certainly can. We released mobile interfaces for TimeControl as part of TimeControl 6.2 in June 2011 to work on your smartphone and tested them with iPhones, Android, Blackberry and Microsoft Mobile devices.
The interface still requires a connection to the Internet and access to your TimeControl (not all organizations allow their TimeControl to be viewed from outside their network). In fact, HMS did extensive research on a mobile version back in 1999 and 2000 for the Palm Pilot. (Remember those?) But the technology we needed wouldn’t catch up for another 10 years.
If you’d like to try TimeControl Mobile right now, you can do so on the TimeControl Trial site. Register for the site at timecontrol.com/free-trial then once you receive your log-in information, point your browser to tc6eval.timecontrol.org/mobile and use the log in information we emailed to you.
You can get more information on TimeControl mobile right here on the website at www.timecontrol.com/features/mobile.