Tag Archives: matrix approvals

Line Item Approvals brings you beyond Project Approvals

Imagine this scenario… You have to review timesheets before sending them back to the LineItemApproval.jpgproject management system.  No problem.  TimeControl’s Matrix Approvals lets you do approvals both at the organizational level and task-by-task for the project.

Now you find out that you also need to review any timesheet hours and costs prior to being accepted by billing.  It’s very similar to the task-by-task exercise but it’s not for the project.  It’s for the client, not the project.

Enter TimeControl’s Line Item Approvals (LIA).  Line Item Approvals lets you add an additional line-by-line approval mechanism prior to sending the data to the billing system.

“But wait,” you say.  “We also need to have each contractor review their timesheet data in the field prior to acceptance!”

Line Item Approval once again has this covered.  This is one of the most powerful and extensible elements of TimeControl.  It essentially takes the Project Manager Approval concept; something that has been in TimeControl since version 1.0 back in 1994 and extends it as many different times as you wish.  The design of this feature is very elegant.  It is associated to the Interface Definition of a Table Export.  You might be using Scheduled Links or OnDemand Links or even pulling the information via TimeControl’s API but the Line Item Approval process flows through the interface definition.  If you turn this on, the export will not send lines of data through that export that have not been approved.

It’s hard to make a graphic for this because it essentially takes the two axis Matrix Approval Process and makes it into a 3, 4, 5 or as many as you want axes.

Worried this might slow your approvals?  No need.  Each and every Line Item Approval flow is completely independent of the others.  So, the Project Manager Approval might be weekly, the Account Manager Billing Approval might be monthly and the on-site contractor approval might be every two weeks.  You get to decide.

There are many more features in this remarkable function.  You can, for example, send automated emails when timesheet lines aren’t approved for a particular LIA approval process or filter the information that results from the approval process.

Setting up Line Item Approval takes only seconds but before you rush to do it, working through the workflow of what you’re trying to accomplish is worth taking some time on.

You can find out more about Line Item Approval in the TimeControl Reference Guide or ask your Account Manager if you’d like HMS Consulting Services to assist.

We’ve updated our Approvals Documentation because creating a functional timesheet approval process can be a challenge

HMS has been creating timesheet systems since its first mandate in 1984.  We’ve learned a few things since then.   By the time we released TimeControl, our commercial timesheet software in 1994, we had created numerous custom timesheet systems for organizations of many sizes.  We realized that timesheet approvals was the cornerstone of creating a timesheet that would work for an organization yet almost everyone had a different perspective on how timesheet approvals should work.  Who needed to do the approval?  The supervisor, the project manager, the account manager, the payroll manager?  Who else?  The subject could quickly become a quagmire.

That led us to create functionality in TimeControl that would be tremendously flexible and yet carry many robust layers, some visible, some behind the scenes that would let administrators create the timesheet approval mechanism they needed.

In 1994 we trademarked the term “The Matrix Approval Process for Labor Actuals™”.  This process is embedded within TimeControl and allows timesheet to be approved both by Project Management and by Finance.  There can be many other elements to creating your own approvals. TimeControl has continued to evolve and the ability to create approval mechanisms within the timesheet has evolved with it.  TimeControl’s functionality includes many more options for filters, validation rules, workflow, accruals and other building blocks to creating a powerful and multi-faceted automated approval process.

HMS Software has extensive resources available to TimeControl users to help develop an approval process that supports their particular environment.  Approvals can include multiple levels, conditional branching and include both full-timesheet validation and line-by-line approvals.  The TimeControl website includes an area dedicated to approvals including white papers, webcasts and other collateral created by HMS technical personnel.  The white paper “The Timesheet Approvals Challenge” shows why so many organizations end up implementing more than one timesheet system even when that is not their intention.  The white paper “Creating your Approvals Process in TimeControl” covers all the elements of functionality that you can employ in creating your own approval process.

Find out more about the Matrix Approval Process for Labor Actuals and how to solve your timesheet approvals challenges at: www.timecontrol.com/use-cases/matrix-approvals.

 

 

 

Design your Timesheet Approvals

TimeControl has the most extensive set of controls for creating timesheet approvals in the industry.  We created the term Matrix Approvals for timesheets over 20 years ago.  TimeControl’s approval mechanisms allow an organiztion to create numerous approval paths for the different aspects of their organiztion.  There are automated approvals using TimeControl automated Validation Rules and Workflow.  There are unlimited organizational approvals and even line-by-line approvals.  In version 7.1 of TimeControl even more rich functionality has been added to the approvals area with the new Line Item Approval mechanism.  If you are designing your own approval process you’ll want to look at the TimeControl white paper Creating Your Approvals Process which talks about all aspects of the approval mechanisms.  This paper has recently been updated to include information on the Line Item Approval Process.

Take a look at the updated Creating Your Approval Process white paper at: TimeControl.com/pdf/whitepapers/tc6_creatingapprovals.pdf.   For more information on our other white papers, check out TimeControl.com/resources/whitepapers.