Interview: Timesheet Pay Periods

A pay period is a regular length of time over which employee time is recorded and paid. Examples of pay periods are: weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly and sometimes yearly.

Setting up your timesheet to reflect pay periods instead of weeks has some benefits.  First off, you’ll see the number of scheduled hours in each pay period.  You can compare that with the number of hours you’ve entered.  Employees quickly know what’s expected of them.  Next, if you are required to submit timesheet for review, you’ll be submitting the entire pay period rather than just a week.  This saves time for both employees and managers.

Manager also approve a full pay period when reviewing, and usually lock timesheets so they cannot be edited after review.

Pay periods also show up on reporting windows so you can run report for a known date range that corresponds to your payroll cycle.  Same is true of exporting to payroll apps.  Using a predefined payroll period date range reduces the possibility of error.

Interview: Timesheet Approvals

Submitting and approving timesheet is optional in Standard Time®.  After all, not every organization cares to impose management control over employee time.  But sometimes it’s just necessary to make sure things are done right.

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That’s why you can approve employee hours.

The most common timesheet mistakes can be headed off with email notifications.  Employees get one if their timesheet contains too few hours.  Or, they could get one if they haven’t submitted their timesheets.  Those two email notifications remind users to double-check their work before managers ever see it.

Managers see a list of users that have submitted their timesheet, and those who haven’t.  They see the number hours for the week, or pay period.  Just click once to approve.  Or, click once to approve and lock all at once.  Pretty easy.

Interview: Email notifications

“I forgot to put in my time.” This happens a lot; Standard Time® sends out email notifications to employees who need to add time to their timesheet.

Yep, happens a lot.

There are other reason to get email notifications from your project timesheet.  You’ll get one when you’re added to a new project, or if you have upcoming tasks, or tasks that are due.

So… your project schedule is now automatically reminding you to pay attention and keep up.  🙂

Actually, that’s not a bad thing.  Think of it as a little extra help… a little reminder… and a way to keep project tasks, and their expeditious completion, at the forefront of your mind.  That’s how projects get finished.

Interview: Mileage Tracking

Do you travel for your job?  Consultant?  Service Tech?  Road Warrior? Standard Time® allows you to keep track of your expenses and mileage.

Mileage records are just expenses that contain a destination, odometer readings, distance, and other optional fields like your vehicle name.  You can enter them into an Android or iOS app, which will sync with the cloud or desktop.

Take a look at the video below.

Microsoft Project Integration

Without ‘Actual work’ from a timesheet, MS Project is just a dead schedule.  And the bigger the schedule, the worse the problem is.  Here’s why:

Huge project schedules look great the day you create them.  Every is as accurate as you can make it.  Dates, durations, resource assignments, milestones, deliveries… they’re all exactly where you hope they will be.  But all you’re doing is looking into the future with your best guess.

Problem is, by tomorrow, a portion of that future has passed.

Resources have started on their tasks.  They’ve reported back to you.  Some tasks are wrong.  Some will take more time.  Others, less time.  And the bulk of them carry a large degree of uncertainty.

Only when you get some actual hours on those tasks do you really know how accurate they are, and how they affect the schedule.

That’s why timesheet hours are important.

Import your actual work from your timesheet to your schedule, and everything changes.

Interview: Project Portfolios

What is a project portfolio?

It is a collection of projects with some common element you care about.  For instance, you might have a collection of consulting projects.  Or a collection of in-house jobs.  Those collections are portfolios.

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Think of the portfolio as a packing crate.  Inside the crate are many projects.  But you can’t see them.  They are packed tightly inside.  All you can see is the crate… the portfolio.  So you manage the crate, not the contents.

What is project portfolio management?

Project portfolio management is handling entire collections of projects for the purposes of proper execution and education.

You are managing the whole collection, not just individual projects.  Your reporting, your graphing, your searches, and even setting status is done on the entire collection.  The portfolio is a ‘black box’.  You don’t look inside at the individual projects.  You don’t manage individuals, you manage the entire portfolio as if it were a packing crate.

Interview: Customer Login and App

Clients want project status — all the time!  they want to know who is working on it… what is being done… how much it is costing them… and when it will be done.  Drilling into that, clients want to know the status of every task, which ones are finished or near completion, and which ones are upcoming.

That is the purpose of the ‘client login’ feature in your timesheet.  Clients have a special login they can use to check progress without bugging you.  They will see every project you’re doing for them, and all the hours logged.  They can also see expenses.  This becomes their own little project portal.

Download the ProjectBot app from the Google Play Store to do the same thing.

ProjectBot runs on Android.  It’s the same thing as the client project portal mentioned above, but runs on smartphones.  Just another convenience for checking project status.

Interview: DCAA Compliance

If you’re a government contractor, don’t worry about Defense Contract Audit Agency compliance.  Standard Time® has you covered.  ST follows all the rules of DCAA. With just a few clicks your timesheet can be set up to become DCAA compliant.

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Here are just some things you should consider:

  1. Employees must have their own login id
  2. Employees can only enter time for themselves, not for other employees
  3. Time should only be entered on the day it occurred, not past or future
  4. Notes are required for any changes to past entries
  5. Timesheets must be submitted and approved by a manager

Here are some additional links that may help: