TimeControl’s business rules engine, the Validation Rules module is one of the most powerful aspects of the timesheet system. There is almost no limit to the number of rules or the type or rules that can be created to test timesheets automatically.
Some examples of validation rules might include:
No more than 24 hours in a single day
Exactly 8 hours per day of regular time for salaried employees
Use the Acme Rates for the Acme projects
No overtime unless a) you’re eligible for overtime and, b) you did at least 40 hours of regular time this week
Each of these rules can be customized to only apply to a select group of employees or to be applicable to everyone and each rule can deliver a message saying that the rule is an error or only a warning. The result is that timesheet data that makes it into TimeControl is already of extremely high quality before anyone even looks at it for approvals! Also, the most common corrections to the timesheet data are done by the people who know the data best; the people who entered it in the first place.
When organizations first see the capabilities of the TimeControl Validation Rules module, it’s common for staff from the Human Resources or Payroll departments to get very excited. They envisage dozens or even hundreds of rules that will mean never having to look at timesheets manually again.
HMS implementers recommend caution over being too enthusiastic when starting with Validation Rules. Imagine a new system where an eager enthusiastic TimeControl Timesheet Administrator creates hundreds of rules for every possible timesheet error he or she can think of. The system is activated and new users try to enter their timesheets. A user receives one warning, corrects the error, then receives another error message, corrects that then gets another. In short order the user gives up on the system declaring it “too hard to use”.
It’s important to remember that one of the most challenging aspects of deploying an enterprise system like a timesheet is compliance and for that reason, we recommend starting with a tiny number of rules. Think about starting with a half dozen or perhaps 10 rules to get started and, after the system has been accepted by the users, gradually add new rules for the most common of repeated errors. The system will gradually become more managed naturally over time and users won’t notice the volume of rules when they’re added gradually as they’ll have learned in previous weeks to avoid the Validation Rules that have already been made a part of the system.
Validation Rules are one of the most powerful aspects of the TimeControl timesheet system and, like anything powerful, must be treated with care and respect.