Tag Archives: time and attendance

Why are there so many types of timesheets?

TooManyChoices_300x300If you do an Internet search for the word “timesheet” you’re going to find hundreds of thousands of timesheets.  That makes the search essentially useless.  If you start looking at what you might need in a timesheet you’re still going to find hundreds of options.  Why does the market support so many different timesheets?  Are they all the same?

They’re not.

One of the reasons so many timesheet systems survive in the market is that many of them are targeted at specific uses.  By far the most popular timesheet type is for time and attendance.  This tracks how much time each employee spends at the office and, if they’re absent, why.  This allows payroll to be calculated and for the HR department, allows banks of vacation, sick leave and time off to be update.

The next most popular type is almost certainly time and billing.  Popular with professionals like accountants, lawyer, engineers and consultants, time and billing timesheets need to track the company name for which work was done, the rate at which time was billed and enough description to justify the invoice later.

Project manager systems also have timesheets, they are designed to update the actual time spent against planned tasks.

And there are other timesheets for other purposes such as government programs that require particular kinds of timesheet reporting to be compliant.

The challenge with so many types of timesheet systems is that different parts of an organization can end up selecting something very different to meet their particular needs.  That can result in deploying multiple timesheets in the same place and in a worst-case situation, employees might have to fill in one, two or even more timesheets to complete their week.

We’ve recently updated our webcast and produced both a white paper and presentation on this phenomena and how TimeControl can be used to overcome the multiple timesheet challenge.

You’ll find the webcast at: TimeControl.com/resources/webcasts.
The White paper is at: TimeControl.com/resources/whitepapers.
And the Presentation can be found at: TimeControl.com/resources/presentations.

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.

A timesheet, is a timesheet, is a timesheet… Isn’t it?

A timesheet is just a timesheet, isn’t it?

Not so much.

What we’ve found here at HMS since 1984 is that timesheet requirements seem to be all the same until you put different departments who need them into the same room. Suddenly, the requirements seem quite different.

In 1984 when we were working on the very first mandate as HMS Software, we had to create a timesheet that would encompass the requirements of payroll and project management at the same time. The design requirements were so different, we ended up almost doubling the effort we had estimated in doing the work originally.

We needed a Time and Attendance timesheet for payroll with numerous requirements from the Finance department.

We also needed a task-based project tracking timesheet with the ability to update the project management schedule.

And, that was complex enough. The project was delivered successfully but the seeds had been planted for what would ultimately become the commercial TimeControl 10 years later.

As we did design on the out-of-the box multi-function TimeControl we realized there were more types of timesheets than just those two.

How about Time and Billing? What about Job Costing?  How about timesheets for R&D tax credit compliance and so on.

We’ve created a short white paper identifying some of the timesheet types that we are most commonly asked about but this is not a theoretical exercise. If no one intervenes in what kind of timesheet to select, the most likely result is that multiple timesheets will be implemented.  Payroll and HR will want a Time and Attendance timesheet.  Finance may require a Time and Billing timesheet or a Job Costing timesheet or both.  There may be requirements from Sales or Contracts to comply with government regulation timesheets in order to successfully comply with a new order or contract.

In some organizations we arrive to find 2, 3, 4 or even more timesheets all deployed at the same time. In a worst case scenario, employees must fill in 2 or 3 timesheets every week to accommodate all the requirements.

The best solution for this dilemma, as we discovered over 3 decades ago, is to create a multi-function timesheet that has a single interface in the front end so it is easy for end users, yet has all the controls that each of these requirements demands in the back end so Administrators can fulfill the different needs from a single source.

You can read the Timesheet Types and TimeControl white paper at: TimeControl.com/pdf/whitepapers/tc_timesheet_types.pdf.  To see our complete list of white papers, visit TimeControl.com/resources/whitepapers.