We took a look at our rather extensive library of YouTube videos and noticed that one in particular is significantly more popular than the rest: the video demonstrating TimeControl’s integration with SharePoint.
Not surprising, when you think about the worldwide popularity of Microsoft SharePoint. With close to 100 million business users, it’s an important and powerful part of day-to-day functioning of so many organizations as their intranet or collaboration platform.
Did you know TimeControl can be installed within your preexisting SharePoint environment? With TimeControl, there is no need to leave the SharePoint platform to fill out your timesheet. Here at HMS our long-standing relationship with Microsoft means we’ve worked alongside SharePoint since its creation. The integration of the 2 means that adding TimeControl as your company’s timesheet will be easy and avoid the headache of an interrupted user experience.
With close to 1000 views, our TimeContol & SharePoint video is worth the informative 13 minute investment of your time.
Check out our TC & SharePoint brochure
For a TC & SharePoint Power-Point PDF printout, click here:
For even more information, go to our complete solutions portal for everything TC & SharePoint
In other news…
Don’t forget TimeControl 6.5 is scheduled to release in October! We’re on our way to wrapping up final details as we have already begun testing the code here at HMS. Stay tuned.
Over the last few weeks here at HMS, we’ve been doing some hard work assembling collateral, questions, answers, and other materials about the best ways to use a timesheet. We’re happy to finally reveal our new solutions portal for everything you need to know about timesheet best practices.
HMS Software employees are often asked for advice on the best practices for timesheet use, and many of these questions are not TimeControl-specific. This is why we’ve created a solutions portal with materials that will help you use timesheeting to its full potential.
We realize that timesheet usage is multi-faceted, so we divided up our efforts. Some timesheet usage recommendations are appropriate to the organization, and others are more focused on the individual. With this in mind, we divided the best practice information based on the end-user’s perspective and their information needs. You’ll notice that the solutions are categorized for use by the organization or the individual. This will make it easier so that you can quickly and easily find the recommended best practices you need.
One of the key new sections included in the best practices portal is the Timesheet Best Practices Q & A page. Ever wondered just how much time is too much to spend on entering your timesheet? Do you question just how much detail is productive in a timesheet? Or, perhaps you’re wondering if it makes sense to track the start and stop times of the day along with the durations for each task. We turned these types of timesheet questions we most often receive over to our technical staff. Their answers to these questions, and their timesheet expertise on these topics and more, are now available and ready to be shared with you.
There are many links, materials and collateral referenced by the Best Practices Solution Portal including white papers on how to increase resource capacity through better timesheet practices, guidance for executives on how a timesheet system can benefit the organization, videos of how to be effective with your timesheet system and even a blank timesheet process template for creating your own timesheet process.
Check out our new Timesheet Best Practices solution portal today! You’ll undoubtedly discover something some new information that can help you to get the most out of your timesheet.
To access the Timesheet Best Practices, visit timecontrol.com/solutions/bestpractices.
We have focused on making time-entry in TimeControl quick, easy and convenient because the truth is that team members just want to get their timesheet done – usually in a hurry on Friday afternoon. The fact that TimeControl is web-based means that employees can enter their timesheet from almost anywhere, as long as they have access to the internet. With TimeControl Mobile, users can even enter time from their smartphone mobile device.
The TimeControl timesheet can be pre-populated with scheduled tasks imported from a project management system. The timesheet can also be pre-populated with tasks that the employee usually performs, we call this a personal pre-load. Having the tasks already in the timesheet means the team member simply needs to assign hours to the tasks that are already loaded. Another form of timesheet pre-load involves the use of the TimeRequest module. Employees request time-off or other special time through TimeRequest by filling out the date and description of the time (vacation time, personal day, banked time, etc …). When this time request is accepted, the time is automatically populated in the future timesheet.
From the MyTimeControl homepage dashboard, employees can quickly see how much sick time, personal time and vacation time they have taken and is available. Training hours, banked time and more can also be seen if the company opts to track this type of time. This knowledge empowers employees to better manage their time and eliminates the need to be constantly be calling HR to ask for this information.
This post has been a continuation of the TimeControl value propositions started last week. Over the coming weeks I will continue on this series outlining the key benefits of using TimeControl by company role. Last week we covered Executives and in the posts to come we will continue with CIO’s, Project Managers, CFO’s, Resource Managers, HR managers and Payroll managers.
For more information on the benefits of TimeControl by role, please check out the TimeControl Value Propositions factsheet located on the www.timecontrol.com site.
With TimeControl now available to be purchased for on-premises installation and for subscription to our TimeControlOnline hosted timesheet service, there is a choice to make. Here at HMS we’ve been asked recently “Which is better – Hosted or Purchased?” and the answer isn’t obvious. Whether you subscribe to TimeControlOnline or purchase TimeControl to install on your own servers, there’s lots of great functionality including:
- Multi-browser easy to use interface
- TimeControl mobile smartphone interface
- Links to project management systems like MS Project
- Links to ERP/Finance, Payroll and HR systems
- Matrix Approvals
- Automated Validation Rules
- Extensive Reporting
- Vacation approvals
- Email notifications
- Multi-lingual functionality
But there specific advantages for both subscribing or installing so we’ve put together some resources that we hope you’ll find useful on our Timesheet Buyer’s Guide solution portal including:
A short webcast by our President, Chris Vandersluis comparing the differences of purchasing TimeControl vs. subscribing to TimeControlOnline along with some basic questions you can ask yourself to see which path is optimal for you. Read more…
A PowerPoint slideshow that is used in the webcast. Read more…
A 4-page factsheet entitled Online vs. On-premises which puts side-by-side comparison of the different options available with both products. Read more…
Timesheet Buyer’s Guide
This solution portal contains numerous resources other than those we’ve listed here on how to select a timesheet for your needs and how TimeControl might apply to those requirements. See more at buyersguide.timecontrol.com.
We confess that here at HMS, there are some people who actually have happy dreams about timesheets… but then we don’t expect that of normal people!
The truth is, no one likes having to do a timesheet at the end of the day or the end of the week when you’d like nothing better than to be in your car on your way home so we put our heads together to see if there were ways we could share that would save a minute here and a minute there on doing your Timesheet. Here are the top 8 of our favorite tips on saving time when using TimeControl:
- Make a timesheet icon on your desktop
- Set tab defaults for the home page
- Copy last week
- Personal preloads
- Resource preloads
- Set defaults for Rates and Projects
- Hide fields you don’t use
- Click Append or Insert rather than Save and then Append
We’ve made a webcast showing how to implement each of these 8 tips called Timesaving Tips in TimeControl. We hope you like it. You can find this webcast and other great lessons in the TimeControl Online Learning Center.
TimeControl is open for business in the cloud with TimeControlOnline! We are delighted to announce the availability of our Timesheet as a Service (TaaS) hosted subscription. This new service brings all the power, flexibility and ease of use of one of the world’s most popular timesheets to a hosted subscription model.
TimeControlOnline culminates a development initiative that began in 2007 and lets clients who are interested in a hosted timesheet service start with TimeControl instantly.
The new hosted service brings a remarkable set of TimeControl features and benefits to the online subscription model. TimeControl and TimeControlOnline include functionality for time and attendance, time and billing, project-tracking, linking to project management tools, vacation approvals and even a mobile interface all in the same package. And, with TimeControlOnline, there is no hardware to purchase, nothing to install, nothing to maintain and nothing else to purchase. Everything is included in one competitive subscription price.
TimeControlOnline Features include:
TimeControlOnline’s interface is designed to be easy to use. We know that end-users will spend only a few minutes a week entering their timesheet so the interface must be both simple and intuitive. TimeControlOnline is multi-browser compatible and multi-lingual.
TimeControlMobile Smartphone interface
TimeControlOnline now includes a mobile interface designed for smartphones like the iPhone, Blackberry as well as Android and Windows 7 Mobile devices.
Vacation approvals with TimeRequest
TimeRequest is TimeControl’s vacation approval system. It is a simple easy-to-use screen to enter requests to take time off in the future and once approved, the time will automatically appear in the appropriate future timesheet.
Matrix timesheet approvals
TimeControl has an extensive approvals system including automated validation rules, multiple levels of approvals and individualized approval paths. The unique Matrix Approval Process for Labor Actuals was designed to allow both work-based approvals and organization-based approvals to occur at the same time.
Email notifications for missing timesheets
On Monday morning the hardest thing about timesheets can be finding them. TimeControlOnline makes this easy with automatic scheduled email notifications.
Links to Project Management
TimeControl supports more project management links than any other timesheet on the market. Whether you use Microsoft Project or Project Server, Oracle’s Primavera or Deltek’s Open Plan or Cobra, TimeControl can help create an integrated Enterprise Project Management environment.
TimeControl enables organizations to comply with many different government standards including the DCAA, R&D tax credits, the FMLA, California Wage Laws, the European Time Directives and Sarbanes Oxley.
Pricing for TimeControlOnline starts at a highly-competitive $12/month/user with a minimum of 10 users. Discounts are available for volume subscriptions. Prospective clients can request pricing for their particular configuration at www.timecontrol.net/contact/pricing. TimeControlOnline is available immediately. Additional information and pricing can be found at www.timecontrol.net.
For those using TimeControl 5 or TimeControl 6, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve completed our testing under the just-released version P6r8 and that TimeControl and release 8 are working together just fine. No new TimeControl upgrade is required in order to do your Primavera upgrade as the current releases of TimeControl 5 and TimeControl 6 flew through our tests with flying colors.
Sometimes just entering the number of hours per task in a timesheet is insufficient information for an organization. In some situations, knowing the time that an employee was doing the work is essential to knowing how to invoice and track that task and that employee. When that’s the case, TimeControl has functionality designed to start the start and stop times of an employee’s work day.
In User Profiles, A TimeControl Administrator can elect to make the Start/Stop button appear on the timesheet of people with that role.
One start and one stop per day
There are two options in the Start/Stop area: Single and multiple start stops. If Single Start/Stop has been turned on, then clicking the Start/Stop clock icon on the timesheet makes a series of columns appear above the timesheet grid. Each column allows the user to enter the start time and stop time of the day. The total hours for that day are then automatically calculated by TimeControl. The entries can also be automatically pushed into these values from external sources such as a security swipe-card system.
Once there are entries in the timesheet, they can be used in automated Validation Rules and will be maintained in that timesheet. Validation Rules could check to ensure that all the hours in a day are accounted for or check that there is a start stop time for each work day or that someone must have been onsite in order to book the hours.
Multiple starts and multiple stops per day
There are some organizations that will have staff whose time in and out must be checked in more detail. They might have multiple shifts per day or they might need to check out when they take a meal break and check back in when they return. For those organizations, TimeControl provides the Multiple Start/Stops per period option.
By selecting the Multiple Start/Stop option, users with this profile who click the start/stop clock icon will see a panel open to the left of the timesheet grid. This allows an unlimited number of “intervals” to be created for each day. The time in and time out will result in a total number of hours which are then totalled for the day. Once again, these values can be used in automated Validation Rules and the times are maintained with the timesheet record.
Taking starts and stops a bit further
There are some TimeControl users who need to track even more detail. TimeControl’s flexibility allows the system to be configured so that every line has a start field and stop field on it. A start and stop field could even be made for each day of the week to track the starts and stops for each task.
TimeControl allows not just whether you were working and what you did with your time to be tracked but also when you did what you were working on!
If you’d like to see Starts and Stops in action on TimeControl, then take a look at the mini-lesson called Tracking Start/Stop times on the timecontrol.com website.
A few months ago we released a build of TimeControl 5.1 that corrected some difficulties some clients were experiencing with a missing cursor when TimeControl was used in SharePoint. The fix was actually quite challenging and, as a result, we ended up reworking a whole range of code that included grids (that’s in a lot of TimeControl). It wasn’t immediately apparent but over the last couple of months reviews of the basic performance of TimeControl in certain situations resulted in some users experiencing much slower times doing fundamental operations. In some cases, the degraded performance was noticeable.
The good news is that with the release of TimeControl 5.1.6 we’ve gone back to those areas of code and worked them again. Now, you may not have even noticed some of this slower performance but we’ve made improvements in the following functions:
Posting: Twice as fast
Creating a new blank timesheet: Three times as fast
Creating a pre-loaded timesheet: Three times as fast
Importing a Project from Microsoft Project: Three times as fast.
There are a number of other areas and functions, but you get the idea. The performance isssues were not visible to all clients and, so you may not experience the improved speed if you hadn’t been affected by the changes one way or the other but, for those who did notice some functions running a bit slower, we hope you’re pleased. We’re hoping that all this speed saves users enough time to do things that are more fun that completing their timesheet!