Category Archives: Matrix Approvals

We’ve updated our Approvals Documentation because creating a functional timesheet approval process can be a challenge

HMS has been creating timesheet systems since its first mandate in 1984.  We’ve learned a few things since then.   By the time we released TimeControl, our commercial timesheet software in 1994, we had created numerous custom timesheet systems for organizations of many sizes.  We realized that timesheet approvals was the cornerstone of creating a timesheet that would work for an organization yet almost everyone had a different perspective on how timesheet approvals should work.  Who needed to do the approval?  The supervisor, the project manager, the account manager, the payroll manager?  Who else?  The subject could quickly become a quagmire.

That led us to create functionality in TimeControl that would be tremendously flexible and yet carry many robust layers, some visible, some behind the scenes that would let administrators create the timesheet approval mechanism they needed.

In 1994 we trademarked the term “The Matrix Approval Process for Labor Actuals™”.  This process is embedded within TimeControl and allows timesheet to be approved both by Project Management and by Finance.  There can be many other elements to creating your own approvals. TimeControl has continued to evolve and the ability to create approval mechanisms within the timesheet has evolved with it.  TimeControl’s functionality includes many more options for filters, validation rules, workflow, accruals and other building blocks to creating a powerful and multi-faceted automated approval process.

HMS Software has extensive resources available to TimeControl users to help develop an approval process that supports their particular environment.  Approvals can include multiple levels, conditional branching and include both full-timesheet validation and line-by-line approvals.  The TimeControl website includes an area dedicated to approvals including white papers, webcasts and other collateral created by HMS technical personnel.  The white paper “The Timesheet Approvals Challenge” shows why so many organizations end up implementing more than one timesheet system even when that is not their intention.  The white paper “Creating your Approvals Process in TimeControl” covers all the elements of functionality that you can employ in creating your own approval process.

Find out more about the Matrix Approval Process for Labor Actuals and how to solve your timesheet approvals challenges at:




New white paper: The Timesheet Approvals Challenge

We’ve done a rewrite of our core white paper; the document that describes how TimeControl became one of the world’s most popular timesheet systems.  “The Timesheet Approvals Challenge” shows why so many organizations end up implementing more than one timesheet system.

We know that no one wakes up one day and says “I’ve got a great idea.  Let’s deploy as many timesheet systems as we can find,”

The problem is that different aspects of the organization are trying to solve different problems and even if they find a powerful timesheet, where it breaks down is in the concept of approvals and that is most challenging in a matrix organization.

When an organization needs a timesheet for only time and attendance, timesheet approvals are fairly straightforward.  We have the supervisor approve the timesheet in its entirety along with any time off that was recorded. There are timesheets that cater to this need.

When it needs a timesheet for only project tracking, again timesheet approvals are fairly simple.  We have project managers approve the time allocated to each task.  There are timesheets that cater to this need.

When the organization needs a timesheet for only HR Tracking, timesheet approvals are again quite basic. HR supervisors will ensure that the timesheet does not exceed entitlements for vacation, sick leave or personal time off. There are timesheets that cater to this need.

When a timesheet is implemented for billing, it is the account manager and the billing clerk who will review the time and ensure it meets the billable criteria and has the appropriate rate.

But, what do you do when you have more than one of these requirements?  It is to this environment that “The Timesheet Approvals Challenge” white paper was created.  The paper outlines the timesheet selection and implementation difficulties that are most prevalent in industry and outlines how organizations try to overcome them.

The paper lays out key criteria for deploying a multi-purpose timesheet with the approvals functionality required to allow a single timesheet interface to collect and approve the timesheets for multiple requirements.

Access to the white paper is free and can be found on the Matrix Approvals Solution portal of HMS Software’s TimeControl website at