We’ve been asked lately about how to configure TimeControl to track costs for specific short term purposes for situations that were unexpected. A couple of recent use-cases include a manufacturer who has been asked by the government to do research and retooling to make medical grade equipment that they have had little experience in. The government has promised to reimburse certain elements of this work. Another case involves an organization that will do research then delivery of services that the government will reimburse.
As one of the most flexible timesheet systems in the industry, TimeControl is designed for such challenges.
First you need to determine what conditions you need to track for. In situations where there might be government or tax incentives such as we are seeing with Covid-19, then you must determine if the incentives are simply objective based so that you can track them at the project level or type of work related so that you must track them at the task level. Also, is there a requirement that the people doing the work be located in a particular jurisdiction? For R&D type of work, it’s often the case that the workers must be located in a particular area in order to qualify for tax incentives.
Let’s take the most likely scenario given the challenges of today. We’ll figure that all our staff are located locally or at least in the country and that the type of work is important, so we need to identify the hours that will go against certain types of tasks. So, for example, if the project includes some effort by HR to transfer people from one department to another, that might not be eligible for government reimbursement but if the work is about re-engineering one of our production lines for the expected new product, that is eligible.
In this case the best configuration method would be to either use one of your existing user-defined fields or just add a new one.
If you have configuration rights as an Administrator, just click “Add a New Field” at the bottom of the Charge Table and TimeControl will ask you what type of field to add. In this case a text field seems appropriate and you can create a description such as “Special Cost Type”.
Now the field appears in the list of User Defined fields. We can make a drop down list by clicking the gear icon on the right and asking to add a Link list. Then we click it again and ask to Edit the Links.
Let’s add two possible entries for now. One for Covid19 eligible for reimbursement and another for Covid19 non-eligible.
That’s all there is to it. There’s no special instruction for end-users. They just keep doing their timesheets on tasks they’ve been assigned. The ability to group those hours is all in the background for administrators and Finance personnel. That means there’s nothing special to do in order for this work also with TimeControl Mobile.
Now all charges against tasks in this project or any other that has this field set will be able to immediately be pulled out in reports and exports and making a costing of how much this project has cost should be relatively simple. TimeControl will report any hours in timesheets against tasks with this flag set along with the appropriate rate values in reports that you create or in the Drill Down Analyzer. If you aren’t using rates at all, you’ll still be able to get the total number of hours and then use an average cost rate to make the reports you need.
You can use this field in the future if there are any other use-case scenarios or, if you choose, you can always hide the field if you have no further purpose for it.