Category Archives: timecontrol

TimeControl Project Board Views are more than just Agile

Christopher Peter Vandersluis, Chris Vandersluis, TimeControl, TimeControl Project, AgileSure, I know we talk about Agile all the time here but it’s worth noting that the flexibility of TimeControl can carry you a long, long way past Agile project task assignment.  Here’s an example we used ourselves just recently at HMS.  Instead of having tasks listed as backlogged, in progress, in testing and complete, we organized the columns by hiring status.  Incoming applicants were easily added into the first column (don’t worry, these names are made up, they aren’t actual applicants).  We could attach a Resume, key indicators of skills and even a picture of the applicant if that was included.  Then  we screened those applicants and dragged the cards to different columns.  We were able to use assignment options in case someone  in particular on the staff had to review an applicant for a particular skill and the color coding was used to identify the priority or urgency of considering the applicant.  User defined fields (there’s an unlimited number of these) allowed us to key in particularly important skills.

Worked like a charm.

And, it made us think of all the other ways TimeControl Project may be being used out there for different uses.   Because TimeControl Project can be coded against a live project (like one you’d see in your timesheet) or against tasks that are a sort of internal code, we didn’t have to interfere with our normal project management tracking while we did this exercise.

Flexibility has its benefits.  For more about TimeControl Project go to project.timecontrol.com.

TimeControl BI promises to be one of the biggest features of 2024!

Chris Vandersluis, Christopher Peter Vandersluis, TimeControl BI ScreenWith TimeControl 8.5 now fully upgraded both for on-premise and online use, focus can now turn to what we think will be the biggest TimeControl feature of 2024: TimeControl BI!  This new visualization engine of TimeControl data is a stunning addition to the already rich reporting options in TimeControl.

TimeControl BI looks beyond the operational dashboard which typically looks at data of a few hours to a few weeks ago and presents data and trends of data over a long period.  TimeControl BI lets administrators and management look at where time has been spent in larger categories over time.  It can look at streamlining factors like how quickly are timesheets turned in or efficiency factors like how much do we spend on contractors vs internal employees for similar work.

The flexibility of the module, like all things TimeControl is extensive.  The module includes over 400 pages of documentation on how to create new dashboards.  TimeControl is an included module in both TimeControl on-premise and TimeControl Online with no extra charges or fees associated with the new functionality.

There is a new TimeControl BI page on the main TimeControl website for more information and with additional examples at: TimeControl.com/features/timecontrolbi.

TimeControl Online has been upgraded to version 8.5!

Following our successful launch of TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial version 8.5 for on-premise deployments, we have completed upgrading all TimeControl Online servers to version 8.5.  This is an exciting and extensive upgrade that includes enhancements to TimeControl Online, TimeControl Industrial Online and TimeControl Project. Among the many new and enhanced features are:

TimeControl BI

The new TimeControl Business Intelligence Dashboard is a brand new module included in all online subscription editions of TimeControl.  It allows administrators to create views of TimeControl data as it trends over weeks, months and years to provide a unique perspective in how the organization is working.

See www.timecontrol.com/features/timecontrolbi for more details and examples.

Inline Debit/Credit

Inline Debit/Credit is a huge change to how our auditable Debit/Credit system works for post-posted adjustments.  With Inline Debit/Credit, the changes to a posted timesheet are simply made as though the timesheet was still in draft mode.  Along with the new Inline Debit/Credit there is a major enhancement to how this affects both Project Manager Validation and Line Item Approval.  Now, when changes are made to a posted timesheet with Inline Debit/Credit, as those changes are posted, they will shift the status of lines in PM Validation and Line Item Approval to pending.

TimeRequest Approvals and Validation Rules

Now, not only can the approval workflow for a TimeRequest be different from the timesheet workflow, it can follow rules for the type of request.  Our extensive Validation Rules system which already included the ability to create definitions of what would make an acceptable timesheet or crew timesheet has been extended to include TimeRequests.

And so much more

In TimeControl Project the ability to export a Board or GANTT View to Excel, create a Sheets View independent of the Posted Timesheet table, hover over a card to see the details, and the ability to create a default landing page for TimeControl Project.

To see the complete list of changes in TimeControl Online, TimeControl Industrial Online and TimeControl Project version 8.5, go to TimeControl.com/features/latest.

 

Welcome to 2024 and HMS Software’s 40th anniversary!

It’s a brand new year and there is a lot happening here at HMS.  We’re coming off an amazing 2023 where we posted record revenues in the biggest year ever for the company.  There’s a lot more to come.

First, 2024 is HMS Software’s 40th anniversary.  For those of us who have been with the company since the beginning that’s a bit mind boggling.  We’ll be talking more about HMS turning 40 in the months to come including a look back at how we got here.

Next, 2024 is TimeControl’s 30th anniversary.  There are more HMS’rs who were here for the initial launch of TimeControl.  We’ll be making a big deal about that too later in the year.

Finally, we have just launched TimeControl 8.5 and will in the next few days update all TimeControl Online servers to version 8.5.  That includes TimeControl Online, TimeControl Industrial Online and TimeControl Project.  See What’s new with TimeControl for a more comprehensive list of new features.

We’re looking forward to an amazing year!

Happy Holidays from your TimeControl team

As we near the end of a remarkable 2023, we’re reminded here at HMS of how grateful we are to our clients, our colleagues and friends.

We wish you and yours the very best of the holiday season.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

HMS will have holidays hours over the next week as follows:

  • Fri, Dec 22 – Office closed at noon
  • Mon, Dec 25 – Non work day – office closed for Christmas
  • Tue, Dec 26 – Non work day – office closed for Boxing Day
  • Wed, Dec 27 – Work day
  • Thu, Dec 28 – Work day
  • Fri, Dec 29 – Office closed at noon
  • Mon, Jan 1   – Non work day  – office closed for New Year’s
  • Tue, Jan 2 – Non work day – office closed
  • Wednesday, Jan 3 – return to normal operations

TimeControl 8.5 released

Version 8.5 of TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial have been released.  We are very excited about this version of TimeControl.  There have been new features, enhancements and improvements for TimeControl, TimeControl Industrial, TimeControl Online, TimeControl Industrial Online and TimeControl Project and the list is extensive.

TimeControl BI

Our new TimeControl Business Intelligence Dashboard is a brand new module included in every edition of TimeControl.  It allows administrators to create views of TimeControl data as it trends over weeks, months and years to provide a unique perspective in how the organization is working.

See www.timecontrol.com/features/timecontrolbi for more details and examples.

Inline Debit/Credit

Inline Debit/Credit is a huge change to how our auditable Debit/Credit system works for post-posted adjustments.  With Inline Debit/Credit, the changes to a posted timesheet are simply made as though the timesheet was still in draft mode.  Along with the new Inline Debit/Credit there is a major enhancement to how this affects both Project Manager Validation and Line Item Approval.  Now, when changes are made to a posted timesheet with Inline Debit/Credit, as those changes are posted, they will shift the status of lines in PM Validation and Line Item Approval to pending.

TimeRequest Approvals and Validation Rules

Now, not only can the approval workflow for a TimeRequest be different from the timesheet workflow, it can follow rules for the type of request.  Our extensive Validation Rules system which already included the ability to create definitions of what would make an acceptable timesheet or crew timesheet has been extended to include TimeRequests.

Plus so much more

Enhanced link to Primavera, optional grid lines in the timesheet, support for database LDAP authentication for on-premise deployments, enhancements to the free TimeControl Mobile App,  line-item approvals for materials and equipment, default views for TimeControl Project.  Also in TimeControl Project the ability to export a Board or GANTT View to Excel, create a Sheets View independent of the Posted Timesheet table, hover over a card to see the details and so, so much more.

To see the complete list of changes in TimeControl 8.5, go to TimeControl.com/features/latest.

TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial for on-premise deployments can be downloaded right now at TimeControl.com/support/updates.  For TimeControl Online, TimeControl Industrial Online and TimeControl Project clients, systems will be updated automatically in the first week of January.  Users will receive notice within the application online of exactly when to expect their update.

Quantifying the cost of multiple timesheet systems

We’ve talked for a long time about the inherent cost to an organization of supporting multiple timesheet systems. We’re updating several pieces of internal collateral on the subject right now but one thing we’ve never done before is to quantify the actual costs.

Think about this.

On average (according to industry surveys), employees spend on average about 15 minutes per week completing a computer-based timesheet. This doesn’t include any time for supervisors, managers, administrators or IT assistance. This number matches up well with our own internal discussions with our clients who report that with TimeControl the average per day is between 2 and 5 minutes of time.

The numbers vary when looking at more manual timesheet solutions such as Excel-based or paper based systems (yes, there are plenty of those that still exist)

We encounter numerous companies who have deployed multiple timesheet systems. Let’s take the easiest one. Imagine a company with 100 people with one timesheet for project management and separate timesheet for payroll.

Based on a salary of, say, $40,000 per year and regular salary burdens, a 40 hour work week and 15 minutes of time on timesheets per week, the company will spent about $480 per week of time on each timesheet. So the extra cost of having two timesheets for that 100 person company is a whopping $25,000 and that is for the time spent by employees only. There’s also time for supervisors, managers, reporting, analysis and (the worst) reconciling data between systems that has to be paid for as well. The problems get compounded when there are additional timesheets that have to be filled in for, say billing, HR, job costing and more. It is not uncommon for us to encounter companies with 3 or 4 timesheet systems which are all active at the same time.

This alone should encourage consideration of a multi-function timesheet but there are numerous other reasons. Imagine the happiness of employees who are told that they will no longer have to spend time entering two timesheets because all the timesheet requirements can be handled by one entry.

Take a look at how the multi-function aspect of TimeControl can generate a tremendous efficiency savings for clients by talking to one of our Timesheet Executives.

It’s the end of the year and time to be sure your R&D reporting is up to date.

With the end of the calendar year in sight, it’s time to review the R&D tax credit reporting that you are shortly going to be asked to deliver.

TimeControl has been used for R&D tax credit reporting since it was first created and here at HMS we are well familiar with the process. Many governments in the US, Canada, Australia, UK and Europe have some kind of Research incentive program. It often occurs at both the federal and state levels. Virtually all jurisdictions have similar requests and TimeControl is well suited to the requirements of this type of tax reporting.

When creating a request for an R&D tax credit or to report on R&D grants or any similar government sponsored program, the needs are often the same. There must be timesheets used to track the time spent on the reported work. Those timesheets must track the time at a “sufficient level of detail” usually at the task level. The people who work on the projects must be eligible for the program. That usually means that they are residents of the appropriate jurisdiction and that their work is not covered under any other program. Finally, the accounting that comes from Finance must balance against the report. So the values in the request for credit has to match the values in payroll or invoices received etc.

TimeControl was designed with this kind of requirement in mind. As a multi-function timesheet it works well in the Finance structure with auditable data. As a project-oriented system, it works well in project management structure with projects and activities and as a multi-function system the flexibility of TimeControl’s data allows meta data with user defined fields to tag activities and people as eligible for different programs. That makes reporting for R&D simple.

The TimeControl website has an entire portal of resources for using TimeControl for R&D Tax Credits including a white paper that explains the triangle audit that is often required when an audit occurs. Other resources include webcasts, case studies and slide presentations.

You can find the TimeControl Research and Development portal at TimeControl.com/use-cases/r-and-d-tax-credits or contact a TimeControl Specialist at TimeControl.com/contact.

TimeControl flexibility happens at every level

We often talk about the flexibility of TimeControl.  As a multi-purpose, multi-function timesheet and project system, it really has to be.  Over the many years TimeControl has been on the market, we have never met two companies who want to use it in exactly the same way.  So, the ability to configure the system to adapt to work flow, approvals, functions that are visible, tables that are used and even down to the field level selections are all part of the flexibility philosophy with the TimeControl team.

Flexibility in TimeControl extends not just in how you configure TimeControl but all the way down the line to the end user.

Where we work with administrators on how they would like to integrate TimeControl with other systems and what fields of data to show and not, even end users get choices about how to personalize and customize TimeControl.  Here are just a few ways individuals can modify their TimeControl experience:

Timesheet configuration

By selecting the Options in the timesheet, end users can change the field order, what fields are visible and how to sort the fields.  End users can choose to group their timesheet lines hierarchically if they have many entries or to sort entries however they wish.  Don’t want to see weekend days?  No problem, that’s changeable right in the options and TimeControl will remember the preference for each user.  Right on the timesheet, users can change the order of fields or change the width of fields to suit them.

Also in options is the ability to Wrap the headers of each column and to show line numbers or an on-line access to Line item Notes along with an indicator to show if that line has notes entered already.  In the same options screen users can even select the day/date format to show at the top of the entry columns.

Language and Dashboards

In the MyAccount area, users can select what language they would like TimeControl to be presented in.  More comfortable in French? No problem.  Spanish?  No problem.  This is a user-level selection so only this user’s interface will change.  Users might also change which dashboard they can see (If Administrators have allowed this) or what they would like their starting page to be both for TimeControl and TimeControl Project.

Preloading

Aside from Resource Assignment Pre-loading which might or not be in use for an organization, end users can also select what timesheet lines they would like to always automatically be preloaded.  So, if a user has meetings virtually every week, they can elect to always show a “Meetings” line item without having to add it all the time.  There are other options too for defaults and pre-answering questions that a users always answers the same way such as do they want to send a notification to their supervisor when they release their timesheet.

It’s all part of the same underlying philosophy with the TimeControl team.  End users should be able to be as efficient as possible in the product.  But in the background, all the functionality that we talk about so often is kept away from them having to wade through.

For more on flexibility, see the TimeControl website at TimeControl.com/features/flexibility.