The benefits of alternates

Since the earliest days of TimeControl we have had a request for people to stand in for another user for a host of different reasons.  Perhaps a supervisor is absent on a Friday when they needed to be doing approvals or perhaps a person will be out of the office and away from the Internet and needs to call in to have their timesheet completed in their absence.  “Do we need to share our passwords to deal with this?” was a common question.

When we considered how to address this problem, we had to consider also the base principles of TimeControl being an auditable system.

The end result is the Alternate Users function.  This functionality allows a user to declare other users as their delegates.

When you log into TimeControl, you will be presented with a screen that appears only if you have been declared as an Alternate User for that person.  You will be asked if you’d like to log in as yourself or as the alternate.

When you elect to log in as the Alternate, at the top of the screen you’ll see that you are logged in as the delegate but you’ll see your user name too.

That’s because TimeControl will keep track of who is really in the system as you make changes and edits.  As an Alternate you will now see TimeControl exactly as that user, rather than yourself.  You’ll see only the menu functions they see. You’ll see only the data they have access to.  Even changing a personal preference will be changing their personal preference.  If you make additions or changes to key data.  TimeControl will log those changes as though it was the alternate but it will also attach your own user name so that in an auditing situation, it will be apparent who actually made the change, approved the data or added new entries.

If you are listed as the Alternate for multiple users, at the top of the screen under your login name, you’ll see a down arrow and a new option that allows you to switch between any of the alternate users without having to log out and relog in again.

While an Administrator can create alternates for users in the User Table, A user can define for themselves who they wish to have as an alternate in their Account information.

A user can define one or multiple alternates.  For each alternate they can define when that person’s access to their account will automatically expire and they can also ask that emails from TimeControl that would normally go to the user, be redirected to the delegated user.  Throughout the entire Alternate User environment, TimeControl security and auditability are maintained.

Alternate user functionality has been with TimeControl for a very long time and it’s a way of keeping the organization entering and editing data effectively when some people will be away from their post.