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Timesheet Best Practices:
Driving down the cost and increasing the
efficiency of time capture
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Automating timesheets
 Challenges of automating timesheets
 Best practices solutions
 The payoff
 Return on investment
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The Timesheets Business Challenge
Addressing multiple business needs
with one solution
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Challenges of Timesheet Collection
 Lengthy Turn-around Times and Procedures

Time and costs of tracking down late or missing time sheets

Manual, paper-based approval process

Drains on employee and project manager productivity
 Errors and Inefficiencies

Time reporting errors due to inaccurate project codes and
time data

Re-key often required in Payroll or Billing

Delayed billing cycles; slow turn-around on receivables
 Lack of Real-Time Data

Inability to capture real-time billing and revenue data

Difficulty tracking project status and cost

Lead times in obtaining employee utilization information
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The path of the timesheet today
Employee
Manager
Timesheet
Admin
Finance
1.
Admin has to remind employee to
submit timesheet.
2.
Employee enters time on paper
timesheet and sends to Admin
3.
Administrator contacts Finance to
get updated project codes
4.
Administrator sends timesheet to
manager for approval
5.
Manager returns approved
timesheet to administrator
6.
Administrator sends timesheet to
appropriate finance staff
7.
Finance enters timesheet into
back office systems – including
General Ledger, Payroll & Billing
8.
Finance has to correct invalid
project codes
Back office
systems
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Typical problems with the process
Employee
Late
Manager
Incorrect
Approver
Illegible
Signature
Missing
Info
Paper
Lost!
Re-key
Old
Codes
Timesheet
Admin
Invalid Back office
Codes systems
Finance
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Best Practice Solutions for timesheets
Streamline and automate
Visibility
Increase accountability
Performance improvement
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Streamlined and Automated timesheets
Automated time capture increases efficiency
and reduces the cost of:
•
Managing projects and activities that utilize crossdepartmental teams
•
Project resource allocation and utilization
•
Internal cost allocation and/or charge-backs
•
Time and attendance tracking
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Why automate time reporting?
Provides real time visibility into time recorded
Eliminates paper forms and manual processing
Reduces time collection and accounting costs
Improves management of project costs
Increases reporting accuracy
Increases employee productivity
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Process improvements
Timesheet
Admin
Employee
Clockware
timesheets
Manager
Finance
Back office
systems
1.
Employee receives a reminder if a
timesheet is late
2.
Employee complete electronic
timesheet
3.
System sends completed
timesheet to appropriate manager
4.
Manager reviews and approves
timesheet
5.
System sends approved timesheet
to appropriate back office system
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Improvement points
Employee
Eliminate
Delays
Timesheet
Admin
Eliminate
Paper
Clockware
timesheets
Automated
Workflow
No
Re-keying
Manager
Finance
Valid
Codes
Back office
systems
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Timesheets to Manage Projects
Project managers should be able to answer the
following questions:
Am I within the budgeted amount for
the phase or over all project – do I
need to review my projections?
Am I still within profitability on a
‘fixed bid’ or ‘negotiated’
contract?
Do I have the right resources
working on the right things to
keep the project/phase on
track?
How do I effectively manage a
project where the resources do
not report to me?
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To manage internal costs
Empowers managers throughout the organization to
answer the following questions:
How do I drive more accurate and
dynamic ‘activity’ based allocations
vs. the standard ‘static’ internal
General Ledger allocations?
What are my true costs?
What customers are truly
profitable?
What product lines/services are
truly profitable?
timesheets is a great complement to ABC or ABM
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Core System Features
Employee
Employee
Timesheet
Entry
Manager
Manager
Review &
Approve
• Custom timesheet
styles
• Role-based view
of approvals
• Pre-populated
tasks and work
items
• Review projectspecific tasks
• Unlimited
hierarchy of
project codes
• Email notifications
and reminders
• Edit and add
comments
• Flexible
approval
methods
Billing/
Payroll
Finance
Processing
• Integration
with project
& billing
systems
System
Admin
Reporting &
Administration
• Real-time
data access
• Drill-down
reporting
• Standard
import &
export tools
• Web-based
admin tools
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Process Improvements & Benefits
• Increased productivity
Employee
• Any time, anywhere access
• Project and tasks code default based on employee
• Easy access to valid and active project codes
Timesheet
Admin
• Streamlines and automates timesheet collection
and reminder process
• Timesheet data is validated on entry
• System ensures that proper approvals are obtained
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Process Improvements & Benefits
• Real-time visibility to time recorded
Manager
• Timely billing and revenue recognition
• Improved management of project resources
• Increased focus on strategic activities
• Elimination of re-key activities
Billing &
Payroll
• Accelerated billing cycles and cash flow
• Timely and accurate payroll processing
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Case Study – Atex Media Solutions
Provides content and information management
solutions for publishers. Over 300 employees in 20
locations world-wide, many of whom are
telecommuters.
Project Objectives
• Replace paper-based timesheets
process
• Improve effectiveness of
management reporting tools
Core Requirements
• Fully web-based solution due to
high number of remote employees
• Ease-of-use and ease-ofdeployment
• Compatibility with the company’s
existing SQL database
• Flexibility and ability to customize
Results
• Extremely easy to deploy
• Very user-intuitive;
minimal training required
• Easy fit with SQL database
• Managers able to view data
in many different ways
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Case Study – Volvo IT North America
Formerly the IT division within Volvo, became an
independent subsidiary in 1998. As a result, the 2500
employees in this centralized service organization
needed the ability to track and bill time.
Project Objectives
• Implement centralized timesheets
solution
• Establish billing procedures to bill
other Volvo organizations for
products & services
Core Requirements
• System must be easy to install
and manage
• Easy to deploy
• Easily accessible to all employees
Results
• 100% deployed in 60 days
• Able to collect real-time
performance and employee
utilization data
• Automated payroll data
collection
• Helps organization
prioritize time
• Employees bill time more
effectively
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What is your organizational readiness
for automated timesheets?
Questions for internal discussion
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Key questions for internal discussion
1. Do we require employees/contractors to track time on paper or
Excel timesheets?
2. Are managers responsible for authorizing timesheets before they
are routed to the appropriate back office system for processing?
3. Do we have administrative employees who manage the
timesheet process?
4. Do we need to be able to track time so that we can understand
how much it costs us to develop and deliver products or
services?
5. Would an automated timesheets solution would help us execute
our Activity Based Costing/Management strategy more
effectively?
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Key questions for internal discussion
6. Which employees are required to record attendance data on a
daily or weekly basis?
7. Do project managers frequently manage resources who do not
report to them?
8. Is timesheet data is manually entered into the appropriate back
office system by staff in our accounting, finance, payroll and/or
billing departments?
9. Is time incurred by ‘overhead’ departments is charged back to
the departments for whom the work was performed?
10. Do we charge third parties for work performed by our
employees/contractors?
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Costs of business as usual (BAU)
 What are the costs of our current timesheets process?

What are our true costs for timesheet data collection and approval
process? That is: employee, managers, accounting/payroll, billing

Do we have double data entry costs?

Are we losing money from:
 selling unprofitable products (not knowing our true costs)
 being over budget on fixed-bid contracts (not knowing our
project costs from one phase to the next)

Opportunity cost of:
 project budget over-runs
 poor resource allocation
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Timesheets system savings
 Quick hit savings challenges:





Timesheet data entry, submissions and approvals take an average of 2
hours per employee per month. Can you reducing these costs by 50%?
Timesheet data entry errors and double key entry can cost $40,000 per
year for every 100 employees. Can you reduce these costs by 80%?
Timesheet lateness and change edits can slow billings or charge-backs.
How much are we losing from late timesheets?
A certain percentage of projects run over-budget because of poor visibility
into project progress and costs. What percentage of our projects can be
better managed from real-time project information?
A certain percentage of projects miss deadlines because of inadequate
resource allocation. What percentage of our projects would benefit from
easier project monitoring and resource management?
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