Information for Client Administrators and Managers

This document contains information that will quickly help you learn to use Tempus to manage your timesheet information.

System Overview
Tempus is a Web-based timesheet management system for staffing firms and their clients.

Using Tempus, consultants working at client sites enter their weekly timesheets on the Web and submit them for approval to their client supervisors. When the timesheet is submitted, Tempus automatically sends an email notification to the consultant’s client supervisor.

The supervisor clicks the link in the email message to open the timesheet in Tempus. Approval is granted when the supervisor enters the password and clicks the Approve button.

As administrators and managers of a client firm, you can see all of the timesheets online, and you have Tempus query and reporting tools to help you aggregate and restate the timesheet periods for invoice verification and cost analysis.

Sharing Timesheets with your Vendors
Version 2.0 of Tempus offers a way for staffing firms to share on-line timesheets with their clients. This is a natural extension of Tempus because client firms use timesheets in their business processes too. The timesheets are already on-line and available, so it makes sense to offer access to them.

There are a number of things that you need to know about the sharing process. All of these things are described in the article titled “Sharing Timesheets with your Business Partners”. This article is in the Tempus Portal Support page Resources section and is also linked to your Tempus landing page.

Here are some highlights from that article.

  1. Before you can access a vendor’s timesheets you must create a vendor record for the vendor. The vendor must provide his member token to you and you must paste it into the vendor record you created.
  2. The vendor must create a client record for your firm. You must provide your member token to the vendor and he must paste it into the client record he created for your firm.
  3. The vendor must provide the identification number of each contract that he wishes to share with your firm. You must paste the contract number into your corresponding purchase order before you can access timesheet information for that PO.
There’s more to it than this, so you really should read the whole article.

About Purchase Orders
TempusIt uses a purchase order metaphor to organize client information about each consultant. The Tempus Purchase Order assembles all the information about a consulting assignment into one place. Just like a real-world purchase order it identifies the vendor, the consultant, the billing rate, and the effective date. In this case the purchase order is also a convenient place to store other details about the assignment like the supervisor’s name, maximum hours allowed and notes about the assignment.

This information is used by Tempus to supplement the timesheet hours and provide rich detail about the cost and other specifics of the assignment.

Administrators and managers are responsible for entering and maintaining the purchase order, so it’s important for you to understand it’s role in the system.

  1. The Tempus Purchase Order holds most of the information returned by queries and reports – other than the hours worked.
  2. Timesheets cannot be viewed until a purchase order is in place.
  3. Your vendors control the timesheet submission process. Items on the purchase order like maximum hours per week and maximum po hours are provided for your reference. They are used as benchmarks to help you gauge the status of the consulting assignments. They will not keep timesheets from being submitted when they are exceeded. However, you will be reminded of these limits during the approval process and you may not want to approve timesheets that exceed these limits.
  4. The vendor and the supervisor are required fields on the purchase order. Before you create a purchase order you should create a vendor record for your vendor and a user record for your supervisor.

Understanding User Roles
For security purposes, user permissions have been separated by role. In general, each role is granted only the access needed to perform the job at hand.

LAdministrators and managers have full access to the database and all queries and reports. They are the only roles that are allowed to create, change and delete system data like vendors, users and purchase orders.

Supervisors have limited access to queries and reports. They can change their own user data, but they do not have access to vendors, other users and purchase orders.

Consultants can only enter and edit timesheets. They can see their own timesheets from prior periods, but they cannot see the timesheets of other consultants, they cannot see queries or reports, they cannot see contracts and other vendor data. They cannot see any client information.

Roles are assigned when the user record is created. As a general rule, it is best to assign the role based on the actual job title of user; so supervisors should not be allowed to access the system as consultants, etc. Also, you should assign Admin and Manager roles to only the most trusted people in your firm. This reduces the risk of fraud and opportunities for individuals to manipulate Tempus for personal gain.

Converting Supervisors to Client Control
In version 1.0, supervisors were members of the vendor’s organization. Vendors created supervisor user record, provided the initial password, etc. The supervisor’s only function was to approve timesheets.

In Version 2.0, clients can become Tempus members also. Clients should create their own supervisor users. These users will still approve consultant timesheets, but in addition, they will have much broader access to Tempus information.

The best way to “convert” your supervisor accounts to Version 2.0 supervisors is to create new user records for them. Provide the new user ID’s and passwords to these supervisors and ask them to stop using the old passwords when they approve timesheets.

When you create purchase orders, Tempus will only allow you to specify the new supervisors, so you can’t make a mistake there.

The supervisor can’t make a mistake when she approves the timesheet either. The approval form knows the supervisors user ID when the form is opened – it gets the id number from the email link data. After you create the purchase order, the new user ID will appear in the email link and only the new password will work in the approval form.

The only danger here is that the supervisor may forget and use the old password – and get really frustrated when it doesn’t work. It won’t hurt anything of course, but we want to avoid it if we can.

This process will work best when you share all timesheets with your Tempus vendor. It will become confusing if you try to mix and match, share some, ignore some.

If you decide to do this, tell your supervisors to make both their passwords identical – their vendor supplied password (for non-shared timesheets), and their client supplied password. That way, the password will work no matter which user ID is used to open the approval form.

By the way, the sharing option is always shown in the header area of the approval form. If there is any question, it’s easy to figure out.

The Weekly Timesheet Submission and Approval Cycle
Just so you know, here’s a short discussion of the timesheet submission details.

Tempus requires timesheets to be submitted weekly by consultants. Even when the consultant has no hours for the period, a timesheet is required to show that hours have not been booked.

Timesheet can be created at any time during the work week. Time can be entered daily or all at once at the end of the week. Timesheets can be created for future time periods that start less than 14 days from the current date.

Consultants can record a maximum of 24 hours each day and 168 hours for a week. The maximum number of hours per week can be reduced by an entry on the contract (controlled by the vendor, but clients have a similar entry on the purchase order). If the consultant’s weekly total hours exceed the maximum recorded in the contract, she will receive a message to that effect when she submit’s her timesheet. If the weekly total exceeds the amount shown on your purchase order, the supervisor will be notified of that fact when she opens the Approval form. You can easily change the maximum at any time.

Timesheet status values are used to show the relative position of each timesheet in the submission process. Here are the values and their meanings.

  1. Incomplete. Consultants can fill out their timesheets every day if they like and they remain Incomplete until they are submitted to the supervisor for approval. While the timesheet is Incomplete, it is only visible to the consultant.
  2. Submitted. When the consultants are ready to turn in their time, they change the status to Submitted. This action causes the approval email to be sent to the supervisor.
  3. Approved. The supervisor uses the email link to navigate to the approval page and open the submitted timesheet. The supervisor has the option to change the status to Approved or Disapproved. By placing the timesheet in Approved status the supervisor indicates that the timesheet is correct and verifies that the hours have been worked.
  4. Disapproved. By placing the timesheet in Disapproved status the supervisor indicates that the timesheet is incorrect. This action causes the timesheet to be returned to the consultant for editing. After editing, the consultant can once aging place the timesheet in Submitted status, kicking off another approval cycle.
  5. Skipped. If the consultant does not wish to submit hours for the week, he can set the status to Skipped to indicate that there is nothing to submit. An alternative is to set the hours to zero and submit, but this will initiate supervisor approval.
You can track the submission process on-line, so you know when each timesheet is submitted and when the supervisor has approved (or disapproved) the time. Use the Timesheet Detail page to select the PO and submission period.

Sharing Timesheets with your Vendors
Version 2.0 of Tempus offers a way for staffing firms to share on-line timesheets with their clients. This is a natural extension of Tempus because client firms use timesheets in their business processes too. The timesheets are already on-line and available, so it makes sense to offer access to them.

Only timesheet information is shared – that is, the consultants name and hours worked by day. All other information entered by the vendor is hidden from the client. This hidden information includes costs, rates, notes – everything but the information that the client already sees on the paper timesheet.

If clients can’t see any information about the deal, why bother with it? The short answer is that clients enter their own information about the deal in the Tempus Purchase Order. They use PO information combined with the timesheets to provide rich information about their costs and projects. As it turns out, vendors and clients don’t have a lot of information overlap anyway. Also, like double-entry bookkeeping, having two views of the same information is sometimes useful.

A full discussion of timesheet sharing, including procedural information for client firms, is discussed in the document titled “Sharing Timesheets with your Business Partners”. A link to this document is provided on the Tempus Portal, Support Page, Resources section. Links are also provide from the administrators and managers landing pages.

Queries and Reports
The queries and reports show timesheet data and supporting information sliced in a number of different ways.

Queries focus on a single subject; a single supervisor or project, for example. They’re easy and quick to run, but the data they return can’t be saved. Reports take a broader view - all supervisors or all projects. They take a little more effort, but the output can be saved and printed.

Both queries and reports allow you to re-cast rigid weekly timesheet periods into more useful accounting and billing periods. Because Tempus returns timesheet data by day, month-end accruals are a snap and it’s easy to convert weekly timesheets into time and cost for months, quarters and years.

Read “Introduction to Queries and Reports” for a complete discussion of how to get the most out of these tools.

Deleting Data
As a general rule, Tempus doesn’t allow recent timesheet data to be deleted. This makes sense because vendors and clients are sharing this information. We don’t want a vendor to delete information that a client needs.

Tempus automatically deletes timesheet information that is more than 24 months old. Vendors can delete timesheets for non-shared contracts after 180 days, because this doesn’t affect the clients. Clients are not allowed to delete timesheet data.

Tempus controls other types of deletions to preserve data integrity. Projects can’t be deleted if they appear on purchase orders, for example. The vendors have similar restrictions. You can’t wind up in a situation where you have a purchase order for a consultant that was deleted by the vendor, for example.

You can control the access rights of any user because you can change the user’s password at any time. Only administrators and managers have access to this feature. When individuals leave your firm or no longer need access, you should change their Tempus password immediately.

Tempus security is covered in detail in a Tempus Portal Article titled “System Security” on the Client Benefits page in the More Information section. In a nutshell, Tempus provides multiple layers of security; application security, network security and data center security.

Application-level security provides features like a) Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to protect your user name and password as it’s transmitted across the net; b) Server authentication and data encryption; c) unique user names and passwords.

The network is secured by high-bandwidth private transport network connections and uses RAID technology to minimize the risk of file loss. The network has a demonstrated availability of 99.99%.

The data center is monitored for all aspects of operational security, and environmental conditions. It is equipped with state-of-the-art security and environmental monitoring systems. These systems include card readers, PINs, Biometrics, and multiple sensors for intrusion detection.

These systems work together to provide state-of-the-art security for your information.

Correcting Timesheet Errors
If an error is noticed before approval, it can be returned to the consultant for editing by the supervisor’s disapproval procedure. If an error is noticed after approval by the supervisor, it cannot be changed. Errors of this nature must be handled administratively by the vendor and client.

Changing the Supervisor or Submit-To Party
If the consultant’s supervisor is going to be out of the office on timesheet day, the consultant can change the submit-to party on the timesheet before submission. The consultant can also resubmit the timesheet to someone else if he finds that the supervisor is absent after submission.

The consultant changes the submit-to party from a list box on the timesheet entry form. The names in the list box are those of the supervisor-type users you have defined in Tempus. If the person to whom the timesheet must be submitted is not shown in the timesheet submit-to drop-down, you can easily add a new name to the list by adding a new supervisor-type user in Tempus.

To change the default submit-to party permanently, the vendor must the submit-to party on the contract.

The Supervisor’s Email Link to the Timesheet Approval Page
A link to the Tempus supervisor’s timesheet approval page is emailed to the supervisor when the consultant submits the timesheet. This link is the supervisor’s only way to open the timesheet for approval. Its fast and hassle-free because it allows the timesheet to be opened directly without a login or start-up page (see the demo for an example), but its email, so occasionally it’s problematic. If problems occur, you can always re-submit the timesheet.

More Information
This document was provided to give you a quick introduction to the important Tempus subjects. Much more information on most of these topics is available in separate, detailed articles available on the Tempus Portal and on your individual landing page.