Imagine this scenario… You have to review timesheets before sending them back to the project management system. No problem. TimeControl’s Matrix Approvals lets you do approvals both at the organizational level and task-by-task for the project.
Now you find out that you also need to review any timesheet hours and costs prior to being accepted by billing. It’s very similar to the task-by-task exercise but it’s not for the project. It’s for the client, not the project.
Enter TimeControl’s Line Item Approvals (LIA). Line Item Approvals lets you add an additional line-by-line approval mechanism prior to sending the data to the billing system.
“But wait,” you say. “We also need to have each contractor review their timesheet data in the field prior to acceptance!”
Line Item Approval once again has this covered. This is one of the most powerful and extensible elements of TimeControl. It essentially takes the Project Manager Approval concept; something that has been in TimeControl since version 1.0 back in 1994 and extends it as many different times as you wish. The design of this feature is very elegant. It is associated to the Interface Definition of a Table Export. You might be using Scheduled Links or OnDemand Links or even pulling the information via TimeControl’s API but the Line Item Approval process flows through the interface definition. If you turn this on, the export will not send lines of data through that export that have not been approved.
It’s hard to make a graphic for this because it essentially takes the two axis Matrix Approval Process and makes it into a 3, 4, 5 or as many as you want axes.
Worried this might slow your approvals? No need. Each and every Line Item Approval flow is completely independent of the others. So, the Project Manager Approval might be weekly, the Account Manager Billing Approval might be monthly and the on-site contractor approval might be every two weeks. You get to decide.
There are many more features in this remarkable function. You can, for example, send automated emails when timesheet lines aren’t approved for a particular LIA approval process or filter the information that results from the approval process.
Setting up Line Item Approval takes only seconds but before you rush to do it, working through the workflow of what you’re trying to accomplish is worth taking some time on.
You can find out more about Line Item Approval in the TimeControl Reference Guide or ask your Account Manager if you’d like HMS Consulting Services to assist.