Tag Archives: enterprise timesheet

Create Exception Reporting with TimeControl Scheduled Reports

TimeControl’s reporting capabilities has always been a powerful aspect to the system and this continues to improve.  One area of TimeControl reporting that is remarkably powerful is the ability to create scheduled reports.

Just as with all of TimeControl’s automatic scheduled processes, Scheduled Reports allows the process to be set for a regular schedule such as hourly, daily, weekly or really any schedule you choose.  The resulting reports will be send to one or to multiple recipients.  The reports will be generated at the planned time by the TimeControl server in the background and then sent in PDF, Excel, Word or CSV format as you choose.  If the resulting file is too large to send via email, a link to the file will be sent instead and an encrypted copy of the report file will be kept on the server to be viewed when selected.

The use of TimeControl filters allows reports by exception to be created.  The impact of this can be significant.  A report showing only information that exceeds the exception parameters can be sent on the schedule.  If no data exceeds those parameters, then no report gets sent.  This could significantly impact how managers and more senior executives consume TimeControl information.  The full system is always there of course, but the ability of TimeControl to wake up regularly and send a report to an executive that asks for immediate attention is pretty powerful.

The TimeControl report designer is powerful allowing for simple column text reports or a mix of charts and text or just charts.  You can choose from existing report templates and adapt them to your needs or create a report from scratch.

For more information on reporting, consult the TimeControl Reference and the TimeControl Report Designer Guides or contact info@hms.ca if we can be of any further help.

Timesheets costs can be a complex conversation that TimeControl is ready for

One area of functionality that has made TimeControl so popular is the level of flexibility in the Rate structure. It’s a necessary element for TimeControl because of the multi-functional nature of the product and how costs might be thought of one way for one part of the company, (for example Billing) and very differently by another part of the company (for example, Payroll).  The options for how rates are selected and then calculated are extensive and designed to fulfill as many business scenarios as possible.  Let’s look at just a few of these options:

Rate Code Types

TimeControl Rate codes are created as either Global, Resource, Individual or Non-Labor types.  For labor resources a Global-type could appear for any employee’s timesheet, a Resource-type would appear only when that employee is part of the resource referenced in the Resource code and an Individual-type could appear only for the employee specified.  Already that’s a lot of options!

Rate Codes per line item

TimeControl allows an unlimited number of rates per employee and per timesheet.  You are even allowed to have the same charge code entered more than once with each line having a different rate code.  So this can easily accommodate an employee who might fulfill one function in the morning on a task and a different function to be billed at a different rate in the afternoon.

Project Rates

Some organizations want a default project rate for each employee.  While the rate code might look like the same selection to the employee when filling in their timesheet, it could still be an individualized rate code definition because you can have more than one rate code with the same name in the Rate Table so long as it is unique by being associated to a unique employee or resource code.  Default Project Rates can be defined in the Project Table and can be constrained in the Employee Record in the Filter section.

But we don’t want to see all those rates

In each employee record, filters can be used to define which rates should appear and for which conditions.  This can define showing only certain rates at certain times.  The technique can be used to easily define rates that change at a certain time of the year or to define different rates being available for different projects or charges or other data conditions.

Calculating Rate Values

So far we’ve only talked about how you can define many rates and how to select them but what about how rate values are calculated.  For labor rates, each rate code can have multiple values.  Up to 9 values per rate are available by default.  This allows different values for different purposes to be used.  Let’s say that we define Value 1 for Internal Actual Cost.  Then we expect to pay that person that amount per hour completed.  Then we can use Value 2 for External Billing Cost.  That would allow us to calculate an invoice amount for that same value very differently.  We can use this technique to also handle things like “unbillable time” where the Billing Cost is zero but the Internal Cost is still paid for.  We can use the same techniques for Banked Overtime where the internal cost is zero but the billing cost is still invoiced.

That’s just 2 of 9 values.  Perhaps you might want to define a 3rd value as an Average Project Cost to match the cost capabilities of your project system so that costs sent by TimeControl to the project system match the values that were used for planning.

Accruals and more…

We haven’t even talked about how the Accruals Module can take timesheet data it encounters and assesses values to each employee for that time.  In this way, overall overtime or banked time or earned vacation time can be calculated and stored.  There are also options in TimeControl Industrial to cost materials consumed, equipment used and production accomplished.  TimeControl Industrial’s rate selections also supports extended rates which look through combinations of timesheet line fields to select the right rate for you.

There are so many options on how to create your own Rate definitions that we’ve made a white paper on the subject called: Creating your Rate structure in TimeControl. The same information is available in the Appendices of the TimeControl Reference Guide. You’ll find other resources on designing your TimeControl environment to suit your needs in the Resources area of the TimeControl website.

 

netlogx happy to have switched to TimeControl

We’d like to share a letter we just received from our client netlogx.

netlogx is a highly-awarded consulting company founded by Audrey Taylor that specializes in navigating through business change. They started using TimeControl over a year ago and have been using the TimeControl timesheet system to track hours against projects and charges and determine availability to work on other projects.

“We are happy we made the switch and have recently renewed our contract!” explains Tabatha Anderson the netlogx TimeControl Administrator.

We thank Tabatha and the entire the netlogx team for their letter and are looking forward to working with them in the months and years to come.

You can read Tabatha’s letter in its entirety at: TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/testimonials/netlogx.

TimeControl client EXFO marks 20 years with TimeControl

We were delighted this week to receive a letter from Andre Richard, the Director of Research and Development at EXFO a worldwide design and manufacturing company specializing in telecommunications.  You may not know EXFO yourself but your phone probably does.  EXFO  works with suppliers like Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, Orange and many, many more on testing and service assurance systems.

While all letters of praise from clients are extremely exciting to the HMS Staff and TimeControl team, Andre’s letter is particularly heartwarming because of the long standing use of TimeControl at EXFO.  “We have used TimeControl for more than 20 years to capture the efforts of our R&D team,” Andre explains.

TimeControl has been used at EXFO as part of their research and development tax credit applications and has passed the test of audits more than one.

We’re very proud to count Andre and the entire EXFO team among our many clients and look forward to many more years of working together.

You can read Andre’s letter in its entirety at:
TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/testimonials/exfo.

TimeControl’s greatest hits (as told by our technical department)

The HMS Marketing Department is often who gets to write the many web pages, emails, blog posts and press releases that are made public.  We thought it might be good to ask our Technical Services department what they see as the best parts of TimeControl from an implementation perspective.  There’s no way to survey everyone who is a part of TimeControl’s development so we’re focusing on our most experiences TimeControl technical staff.

So, in their own voices, here are TimeControl’s Greatest Hits as told by our technical staff:

Stephen Eyton-Jones

Director of Technical Services

“For me the most powerful aspect of TimeControl when thinking of an implementation,” he explains,” “is the open-architecture way we’ve integrated support of the database.  It’s quite remarkable.  We support numerous database formats and we’ve taken efforts in every version of TimeControl to be able to make SQL definitions of things that have the capacity to define far beyond what we could ever do in a menu-only structure.  This includes how we work with security, reporting, filtering, business validation rules and so much more and this is true for both the on-premise product and the TimeControl Online Subscription service.  From my perspective, this is the single-most powerful aspect to TimeControl’s ability to adapt to the needs of the client in an implementation.”

Carl Duguay

Senior Developer

“I believe the TimeControl API is one of the product’s most powerful features,” Carl reports.  “The RESTful Application Programming Interface allows the client to create integrations with other corporate systems both for populating TimeControl and for pulling information out of TimeControl.  The number of endpoints to the API is extensive and the depth of integration is beyond anything we’ve encountered in products in our industry.  For TimeControl implementations, I cannot think of anything more impactful than the API functionality.”

Mark Corbin

Senior Developer

“From my perspective, reporting has always been one of the most focused areas of TimeControl,” Mark tells us.  “With each version of TimeControl, reporting functionality has expanded and the functionality that we include now with the product is multi-faceted.  Not only do we ship report templates that can be edited and adapted by the client, there is a fully-functional report writer built right in and it allows such an extensive list of features, that we had to make a user manual just for report designers.  The reporting includes both text and chart options and we haven’t found a reporting requirement yet that it could not fulfill.”

“As if that’s not enough, TimeControl also includes other reporting tools such as the Drill Down Analyzer which can be used for more tactical purposes almost like an Excel Pivot Table to look at data, sub-group, sub-total in almost any way and then report on the results.  To my mind, reporting is one of the greatest aspects of TimeControl.”

Ian Ozturk

Developer

“If I think of TimeControl from an implementation perspective,” Ian says, “the ability to personalize the configuration in so many ways is the most flexible aspect of matching TimeControl to the client’s needs.  I tend to think of the configuration of TimeControl from a top-down perspective.  I think of the client’s overall requirements then move down a level to think about a division or department at a time then down a level more to think about a group of users in a TimeControl User Profile and finally at the user-level for an individual’s experience of the product.  At each level there are so many options which can tailor TimeControl to the client’s particular needs.  Clients are typically shocked at how much TimeControl is able to flex around their particular requirements.  So, the flexibility of TimeControl’s configuration is the key element for me.”

Storm Leutner

Customer Success and Engagement Manager

“As the Engagement Manager for TimeControl, I rarely do the technical work myself,” says Storm Leutner who has seen TimeControl grow from its very first version, “so my focus is somewhat different.  From my perspective, the greatest hits for TimeControl are the way it can generate satisfied customers.   Our customer base is vast.  It covers many different industries in both the private and public sectors and in countries all over the world but what is so noticeable about the TimeControl clients is how long they stay with the product.  We have clients who have been active TimeControl users for 12, 15, 20 years.  The case studies and testimonials on the TimeControl website are a testament to how the flexibility of TimeControl and the great service our technical people deliver can keep a client satisfied in what is otherwise a highly changeable technical world.  So, TimeControl’s greatest hit is customer satisfaction as far as I’m concerned.”

We’re delighted to hear from our technical personnel and we know that many of our clients interact with our technical people on a regular basis.  If you’d like to read more about our testimonials and case studies, go to: https://www.timecontrol.com/why-timecontrol/case-studies and https://www.timecontrol.com/why-timecontrol/testimonials.

HMS Software’s timesheet best-practices portal

Did you know that HMS maintains a portal for timesheet best practices?  It’s true.  The TimeControl website has had a section dedicated to best practices for years and updates it on a regular basis.  In fact, the TimeControl website has a number of resource areas that may be of interest:

TimeControl Best Practices

This is not a list of features of TimeControl but rather how organizations, executives and individuals can get the most out of a timesheet system.  The portal is divided into those categories and each section includes resources that are targeted for that particular perspective.  In the Organization section, for example, there is an empty process guide template in Word that can be adopted to document timesheet practices on a per week, per month or per incident basis.  In the Individual’s section, you’ll find a webcast on how to get in and out of your timesheet as efficiently as possible.

The Best Practices portal is free and can be found at: TimeControl.com/resources/best-practices/organizations.

Use-Case Library

Aside from the Best Practices Portal, HMS also maintains numerous other free resources that can be of interest to those using TimeControl.  These include the Use-Case solutions area with the most common business challenges TimeControl solves.  Users can review the multiple use-cases at: www.timecontrol.com/use-cases

Resources Library

In addition to the many use-cases for TimeControl, additional resources can be found in the Resources section and the Support section including a bank of Frequently Asked Questions, webcasts, white papers, slides and factsheets.

Visit the Best Practices area of the TimeControl website and the Resources area for more information.

 

TimeControl is popular in both the public sector and the private sector

When we think of project management systems and enterprise timesheet systems, most of the literature is oriented around the private sector.  Benefits are thought of as “time to market” and “profitability”.  TimeControl certainly has many private sector clients but it is also very popular in the public sector.

While profit may not be a key performance indicator, there is much more focus these days in the public sector on transparency, and good governance in the use of taxpayer funds.  Time and Attendance in the public sector has always been a common business case for timesheets but more and more public sector operations are now project or results oriented and this has brought many public sector organizations to look at tracking time on an activity-by-activity basis for many of their staff.

Key performance indicators in the public sector may not be revenue oriented (although they can) but might include instead speed of delivery, citizen satisfaction and cost to implement new laws.

As a result, some elements of tracking labor actuals that public sector clients look for include a high degree of flexibility, speedy deployment and ease of use.

The TimeControl website includes a free Public Sector Solution Portal which caters more to public sector use cases.

 

TimeControl Flexibility lets you actually add functions to the menu

TimeControl is known in the industry as the most flexible timesheet available and that’s true in so many ways.  The ability to add extra fields or validation rules or make the display of the timesheet vary depending on your role are all remarkable features.

But did you know that you can even add functions to the timesheet?

It’s true.

In the Maintenance area of the TimeControl Menu the Edit Menu function allows you to add a completely new function.  This is often used by our own staff to add extra documentation to a client’s menu with a PDF or other file that is specific to the client.

But you can add anything you have a URL for.  As an example, we’ve created an Online Lesson in the TimeControl Online Lessons area that shows how to add Online Lessons to the Help menu!

Once a menu item is added, it becomes part of the TimeControl structure and is controllable in the Security Profiles area just like any other menu function.  And when TimeControl is upgraded, these menu items will upgrade automatically at the same time.

It’s just one more way that TimeControl is adapting to how you want to function.

TimeControl.com has free online training

onlinetraining_250x109Not everyone is happy to read through manuals from cover to cover.  After all the TimeControl printed documentation runs over 1,000 pages.  But printed documentation is only one of the many tools available to Administrators and end-users on how to use TimeControl.

We’ve done recent updates to our Online Video Training Library. There are separate lessons for TimeControl 8 and even older versions.

These lessons are only 3-7 minutes each so users can work at your own pace. Each mini-lesson shows a single feature or function of TimeControl. Some are designed for end-users, others for TimeControl Administrators.

There are many other resources as well on the website including webcasts, white papers, slide presentations, factsheets and even a section on timesheet best practices.  You can browse through all of these resources at no charge at the Resources Area TimeControl.com.

Managing what isn’t there – missing timesheets

Nerd_Lost_iStock-906654482_300x200.jpgOn a Monday morning, sometimes the tougest thing to deal with is what isn’t there at all.  Anyone who has ever been a supervisor, timesheet administrator or team leader knows that the most challenging thing on a Monday morning can be locating and managing any missing timesheets.

TimeControl has features and functions to deal with missing timesheets and we’ve just released a new White Paper to help you navigate your many options.  The white paper is organized into three sections:

1. Avoiding Missing Timesheets

That should be the first step of course.  If we didn’t have any missing timesheets we wouldn’t need to manage them!  This section looks at Reminder Emails, TimeControl Reminders, Notifications of Missing Timesheets, Validation Rules and Individual’s Dashboards among other features.

2. Locating Missing Timesheets

If timesheets still turn up missing, TimeControl has numerous methods of locating them and informing users that they’re missing.  This section covers the Missing Timesheet Notifications, Missing Timesheet Reports, Supervisor Dashboards and how to be notified once the missing timesheets are on the way.

3. Managing Missing Timesheets

Timesheets can be missing for many reasons and depending on the cause and the particular situation, TimeControl has tools for managing the timesheets and ensure they get created or completed and released to the appropriate authority.  This section covers Alternate Users and the Change Timesheet Ownership tools.

The White Paper: Managing what you can’t See.  How to manage missing timesheets with TimeControl is available now on the White Paper page of the TimeControl website.

For a complete list of TimeControl White Papers, visit: TimeControl.com/resources/whitepapers.