Category Archives: timesheet reporting

Meet the new TimeControl Report Interface

Meet the new TimeControl Reporting environment

You know TimeControl as one of the most flexible timesheets on the market today but the release of version 6.5 has put reporting of your labor actuals into a whole new category.  GraphicsReportExampleTimeControl was released in 1994 and the flexible Excel-like reporting environment (which is still included with TimeControl) was introduced in 1999.  Since then, it has delivered thousands of reports in a tabular column and row approach which end users could print or save as Excel spreadsheets.  As flexible as that was, there were requests for more.  Could we fix the report format to show a company logo?  Could we do a graphics report?  Could we do a report with multiple lines or long fields that would automatically wrap their text? Could we have calculated fields that did formulas inside the report?  The new report interface brings all of this and more.  While there are some example reports in the new reporting system, the capabilities of this module of TimeControl are vast. 

The new TimeControl Report Interface comes in two parts, a Designer and a Presenter.  The Designer is Charge_Table_rerport_in_iPaddesigned to be used by a TimeControl Administrator and brings a rich collection of tools to a Windows PC to design and create report formats.  The TimeControl Report Designer is installed using Microsoft’s Click-Once technology.  The Presenter requires no installed code on the local terminal.  It follows TimeControl’s.Net architecture and will present any report that has been made available to that user.  The TimeControl Report Interface follows all the same security structures which are already a part of TimeControl.  If a user has access only to certain data, then regardless of which report format is selected, only the data to which they have rights will be displayed.  If the user is prohibited from viewing certain fields, then even if those fields are in a report format, they will not display to that user.

That’s the basic structure but what now becomes possible?

A lot.

The new report environment includes a WYSIWYG report designer that lets you control fonts, insert objects such as pictures, text, calculations, graphics charts, tables, pivot tables and, of course, data from TimeControl.  ReportDesignerGuideCover_200x259The new functionality is so extensive we’ve needed to create a brand new manual called the TimeControl Report Designer Guide which adds over 230 pages of new report functionality to consume.  Graphics charts include pie charts, histograms, curves and more.  For the first time, TimeControl can generate its own burn-down charts and spending curves. 

Tabular reports are vastly improved as well.  TimeControl now gives font control to every element on the report.  There can be some data in a small font, and headers somewhat larger.  Fonts can be colored for emphasis and conditional formatting can even show some data in one color and other data in another color based on the values displayed.  Tabular reports for the first time can display multiple lines per reporting element and control over formatting extends to dates, currency and more.

Calculated fields let us create effects like transposing the words “Active” or InActive” for the Inactive User field which only contains a T/F flag for (true/false).  Or, use calculated fields to calculate budget vs. actual or change person-hours to person-days.

The presentation of reports has also seen a light year leap forward. Having the report presenter created in TimeControl’s .Net environment means that for the first time, reports can be delivered using browsers other than Internet Explorer and in non-Windows environments.  Reports can be presented on an iPad or other tablet or even your Smartphone.
Once a report has been created, it can be saved not only as an Excel file (yes, don’t worry Finance people, we would never take that out of the product!) but also as a PDF, an HTML or MHT page, an RFT file, bot XLS and XLSX file, a flat CSV or Text file or even an image file. 

There is so much more to this new environment that we can’t possible cover in a single communication and to be honest, we know that the best reports that will come from this new system will probably come from the inventiveness of our own clients. You can see the new TimeControl Report Interface in action on the site in our Online Lessons area or contact HMS to have us show you how these new reporting capabilities extends TimeControl’s reach in the market.

To find out more about TimeControl’s reports, visit or contact HMS at

Managing Holidays with TimeControl

The holidays are upon us and here at HMS when we think of Holidays, we think of what Payroll and Human Resources people need to do to properly account for them in the TimeControl timesheet. TimeControl includes functionality that is perfect for managing holidays that will be taken by many staff people and assisting those personnel with entering the appropriate line item in their timesheet.

TimeRequest Wizardclip_image002
The TimeRequest Wizard is a great function which is typically made available only to Administrators. It to add entries into future timesheets and approve those entries in advance. The function is extremely simple to use. Administrators select a date in the future and then enter the description, number of hours and the charge and rate code that are appropriate for the upcoming holiday. Then the Administrator selects which users should get this timesheet entry. Once the Administrator confirms the entry, TimeControl creates a pre-approved TimeRequest which will automatically create an entry for each of those users in the future timesheet with the properly entered number of hours and charge code already done.

TimeControl Administrators often enter the entire year’s holidays in advance for the entire staff early in the year. Using the TimeRequest Wizard means fewer errors in entry during holidays for those who are entitled to the time off.

Some of the challenges which the TimeRequest Wizard’s functionally overcomes include:

How to manage different holidays for different groups?
The TimeRequest Wizard can create future entries for any filtered or selected group of employees. Perhaps you have US Thanksgiving for the American staff and Canadian Thanksgiving for those in Canada. No problem. The Administrator simply selects different filters for different groups.

What if someone unexpectedly works on the holiday?
No problem. The TimeRequest has been pre-approved and will pre-load into the employee’s timesheet but the employee can overwrite or delete that line should they wish. The TimeRequest entry simply provides them an entry that is pre-made for them, not something that they can’t undo when the time to do their timesheet comes along.

Other functionality that is important for HR and Payroll managers at this time of year includes:

Managing vacation and Personal-time-off (PTO) banks
Around the holidays it’s quite common for some staff people to want to take additional time off from their vacation or Personal-time-off banks. TimeControl supports up to 9 separate banks of time by default. In an employee wants to put additional time on their timesheet for vacation or personal time, they can make a TimeRequest to get approval and then TimeControl’s Validation Rules can check to make sure the employee still has enough time in their time-off bank.

Links to external systems
TimeControl has been designed to link to external systems such as HR and Payroll systems or services so your Holiday and time-off data can get to the right place without having to retype.

Powerful reporting and dashboarding
TimeControl’s reporting and dashboarding options lets us show summary and detailed reports for holidays booked, holidays taken as well as any additional time taken.

clip_image003TimeControl Human Resources Solution Portal
To find out more about TimeControl and how it can help with your Human Resources (HR) requirements as well as other business challenges, visit the TimeControl HR Solution Portal at You’ll find a webcast, and screen shots and you can even see a webcast of the TimeRequest Wizard in action.

TimeControl Value Propositions for CIO’s

CAMERA PICTURES 209For the CIO, the major benefit for using TimeControl is that it reduces redundancy. Many organizations have two or more different timesheet systems and trying to consolidate all this data can be a real headache. TimeControl collects both project and non-project time making it a perfect fit for everyone in the organization. Having one timesheet for everyone is definitely more efficient and cost-effective and consolidation of data becomes a non-issue.

a company-wide timesheet also means that there is also no need to support and maintain multiple systems thereby saving even more time and money. Having all the data in one place makes reporting a much simpler task. The CIO benefits from this direct access to data for metrics and scorecarding.

Because TimeControl is so flexible, it has the ability to integrate with other corporate systems such as Project management, HR, Finance, and ERP. TimeControl can even integrate to different systems and different versions of the same system simultaneously. This huge flexibility allows the company to leverage it’s existing IT infrastructure.

Aside from all the benefits for the organization, the CIO himself may want to incorporate TimeControl for his own internal staff. He may have his own needs to track things such as project vs. non-project time, internal billing, costing, R & D time and more.

For more information on the benefits of TimeControl by role, please see the TimeControl Value Propositions factsheet located on the site.

TimeControl Value Propositions for Executives

The use of TimeControl can have many benefits across an organization.  Sometimes it is helpful for people to understand just how TimeControl can benefit them according to what position they hold in the company. 
Today I will outline some of the key benefits that Executives would get out of TimeControl.CAMERA PICTURES 140
If you’re an executive, you’re used to looking at the big picture because your daily decisions affect the organization.  TimeControl allows executives to have timely reports to show where labour is being spent.  In some organizations, executives have to look at project data to track metrics on project progress and then look at financial timesheets to assess non-project labour.  One of the major benefits of using TimeControl is that it collects both project and non-project data for everyone which means that consolidated data is available for all staff. 
TimeControl offers flexible reporting with unlimited levels of data selection, filtering and sorting.  The ability to have immediate access to any report you need saves you time and energy and allows you to focus on decision making.  Perhaps you would be shocked to see how many hours have been spent in meetings over the past week.  TimeControl gives you the information you need to focus resources onto more effective tasks which saves money and improves the bottom line.
For more information on the benefits of TimeControl by role, please see the TimeControl Value Propositions factsheet located on the site.

Leveraging TimeControl reports with Dynamic Filters

TimeControl is designed with a very powerful reporting system that works in conjunction with other elements of the system to allow many possible results from a simple configuration.  The first area to think about when making reports available to users is within User Profiles where the data that this role of user can access is defined and if necessary constrained.  Also, the Report security will determine what report formats or templates will be visible for each user.  The combination of available reports, data and even fields defined in the User Profile will ensure that no one sees information in a report that they shouldn’t.
Once you’ve defined a report however, it’s a common request that the report only show a subset of the timesheet data.  For example showing only the timesheets for a particular project, department or range of dates.
This is easily done using TimeControl’s “Dynamic Filters”.  In a dynamic filter, we choose a field or combination of fields but instead of entering a value for that field, we use square brackets: [].  This tells TimeControl to request the filter’s value at the time it’s used for a report or an export.  Let’s say, for example, that you want to create a dynamic filter that only selects timesheet. We create a filter on the Posted Time Detail table that selects the Date Work Performed field, the Between operator and uses the square brackets to denote the value:
Now we save that filter and run a report on Posted timesheets.  TimeControl asks us to fill in the value which we can do by double clicking the empty field or clicking the ellipses to the right of it.  If the field is a date as in this example, we get a calendar.  If it’s a possible list of values, the TimeControl shows the list:
Report on Select a Date
Let’s take a more complicated example.  Let’s say we want users to be able to select a project and a range of dates.  We create the filter again on the Posted Time Detail and add both the Project Name and the Date Work Performed fields.  For the values, we use again the square brackets []: 
When we run this report, we’re asked now to fill in all 3 of those values at the time the report is created:
Report on Select Project and Date
We can make any combination of values, dynamic requests and macro-type field values in a single filter.  For example, we could create a filter which automatically shows data for all of this year but asks only for the project value by using the [YEARSTART] value for Date Work Performed and the square brackets [] for the Project Name.  The TimeControl Reference Guide contains examples of how to make such a Parameterized filter with a list of the parameter values.
Using combinations of these features makes for an easy to use system with a tremendous amount of power working for you in the background.