Information for Staffing Administrators and Managers

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

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

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.

To approve the timesheet, the supervisor just clicks a link in the email message. An option for disapproval is also available.

As administrators and managers of your consulting 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 payroll, billing, and sales analysis.

About Contracts
Tempus uses a contract metaphor to organize information that will be used in the timesheet process. The contract assembles all the information about a consulting assignment into one place. Just like a real-world contract, it identifies the client, the consultant, and the supervisor, and it records some important details about the business deal and the effective date.

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

  • The Contract controls most of the timesheet submission and reporting process. Strictly speaking, consultants enter time for a contract, not a client. The client is identified on the contract along with the branch office, the sales rep, etc., so hours can be reported by each of these parameters, but the contract is the central piece.
  • Timesheets cannot be created until a contract is in place.
  • The contract Effective Date is named in the contract. This is the first day that time can be billed under the contract. The Effective Date cannot be changed after the contract is created.
  • The timesheet cycle Start Day is named in the contract. Timesheets are due on the same day every week, usually on Monday. The Start Day remains the same for the duration of the contract.
  • The maximum billable hours per week can be fixed on the contract. This provides an upper limit to the number of hours that can be reported. You can change it at any time.
  • When the contract is complete, you should change its status to Complete. This action prevents the consultant from creating addtional timesheets under this contract. It also tags the contract so it can be more accurately summarized in queries and reports.
  • Consultants may have more than one active contract at one time.

Understanding User Roles
For security purposes, user permissions have been separated by role. You can use the demo to see how Tempus is viewed by members of each role. In general, each role is granted only the access needed to perform the job at hand.

Administrators 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. They are the only ones that are allowed to see contracts, create users, clients, and branches.

Sales Reps have limited access to queries and reports. Sales Reps can see only their own data, that is, timesheet information for their contracts only. They cannot see timesheet information for contracts belonging to other Sales Reps. They are not allowed to edit or change data.

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 data maintained by the system.

Supervisors work for your clients; they can approve or disapprove timesheets. They can see submitted timesheet informaiton, but not your costs, rates, notes, or other information on your contract, user, or membership records. Supervisors do not have access to reports, queries, or any other information maintained by Tempus.

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 sales reps 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.

The Weekly Timesheet Submission and Approval Cycle
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.

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. See the section titled Timesheet Control Query below.

Timesheet Control Query
One of the perennial problems of time reporting is making sure that all the timesheets for the week have been submitted. The Timesheet Control query makes this task easy – it’s your window into the submission and approval cycle. It will help you make sure that all timesheets are submitted in a timely fashion.

The Timesheet Control Query summarizes all of the timesheet activity for a period – usually a week. It shows all of the timesheets for the period and their current status. In addition, it shows all the missing timesheets – those that should have been created, but have not. The query shows the consultant, the client, the status, and the total hours. Missing timesheets are shown in the grid with a status of "Not Created" highlighted in red.

Important Features of TempusIT
  • Timesheet Integrity. Once a timesheet is approved by the supervisor it is sealed. Occasionally, timesheets are approved incorrectly. The system administrator can reverse the approval if necessary. To do this, see the Unapprove and Unsubmit section below.
  • Re-casting Timesheet Periods. One of the most useful features of Tempus is its ability to re-cast rigid weekly timesheet periods into more useful accounting and billing periods. This allows you to easily figure out the semi-monthly payroll totals from weekly timesheets, for example.
  • Branch Office or Project Reporting. Most queries and reports allow you to specify a branch office location for the query. When you choose a branch office, Tempus reports only on the contracts belonging to that office. Since the contracts drive the result set, it is possible to use this feature to report time using other classifications too. For example, you could set up a special project as a "branch". You could then easily isolate the timesheets for this project in all the queries and reports by choosing the project in the Branch Office dropdown.
  • Optional Support for Payroll and Billing. Tempus can use timesheet information to calculate payroll for hourly employess and billing amounts for your clients. By entering the hourly billing rate for a contract for example, you can print reports that show how much to bill the client for the work. Remember, you can re-cast timesheet periods so your timesheet intervals don't have to match your billing and payroll periods.
  • Support for Spreadsheets. Tempus queries and reports can easily be copied to spreadsheets for further analysis. This means that timesheet data can be used as a foundation to drive other business processes and calculations. Your digital inventory of hours can do much more for you than simply print timesheets.
  • Support for Commissions. Tempus can use timesheet information to calculate commissions for reps and recruiters. It can also provide for commission splits amoung an unlimited number of recipients. Commission calculated in this way can be tracked and included in Tempus revenue reports for any user-defined time period.
Queries and Reports
The queries show timesheet data sliced in a number of different ways. For example, you can see all hours submitted for a Client or a Sales Rep for any time period. Tempus automatically re-frames raw timesheet data so you can easily see actual hours between any two dates.

Multi-Page reports are designed to provide basic information for several of your internal business processes: payroll, billing, and commission accounting. The reports can be viewed in the browser, printed or rendered as PDF files or Excel Spreadsheets so the information can be easily exported for use.

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

Deleting Data
In general, you can delete data that is not required to support queries and reports in Tempus. Here are the specifics:
  • You can delete consultants, supervisors, and sales reps that have not been assigned to contracts.
  • You can delete administrators and managers any time.
  • You cannot delete your own user record.
  • ou can delete contracts that have not had timesheets created for them.
  • You can delete clients that are not named on contracts.
  • you can delete branch offices that are not named on contracts.
  • You can delete timesheets that are more than 180 days old.

Tempus will automatically purge timesheets that are more than 15 months old.

Passwords
Tempus limits your ability to delete users from the system (see the Deleting Data section), but you can control any user’s access to Tempus by manipulating the user’s password. Only administrators and managers have access to this feature. When individuals leave your firm, you should change their Tempus password immediately.

Security
Tempus security takes full advantage of the features provided by Microsoft ASP.Net. Without giving too much away, we can say that all unauthenticated users are denied access to the application, although they are permitted to open the home page, the demo, and the documentation. Individual user sessions time out when there has been no activity for 20 minutes. After timeout, users are required to log in. Your UserIDs, passwords and user roles are the first line of defense for your firm, so you should be careful in their assignment and use.

Security is covered in more detail in a Tempus portal article.

The Timesheet Submission Cycle
Tempus automatically creates new timesheets for your consultants in chronological sequence starting with the oldest unreported period. So, if your consultant doesn’t report time for two weeks while on vacation, he will be required to enter these two timesheets before he can create a timesheet for the current period.

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. 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. You can easily change the maximum at any time.

If a consultant doesn’t work during a week, the timesheet can be skipped. A timesheet is still created to show the intent, but it is not included in any Tempus queries and reports that show hours worked. The consultant’s supervisor is not notified when a timesheet is Skipped.

When consultants finish their timesheets for the week, they submit them to their supervisors for approval. Supervisors may approve or disapprove the timesheets. Disapproved timesheets can be edited and resubmitted by the consultant. Once a timesheet is approved, it is sealed and can only be changed by the administrator with the knowledge of the client.

Timesheet Status Values
Each timesheet carries a status field to show its position in the submission cycle. Here is a summary of the status values and their meanings:
  • Incomplete status means that the timesheet has been created, but not yet submitted to the supervisor.
  • Submitted status means the timesheet is complete and is waiting for approval by the supervisor.
  • Approved status means the supervisor has reviewed and accepted the timesheet.
  • Disapproved status means the supervisor has reviewed and rejected the timesheet.
  • Skipped status means that the consultant does not wish to report time for the period.
Correcting Timesheet Errors After Submission
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, approval can be reversed by the administrator with the knowledge of the client. See the Unappove and Unsubmit section below.

The First Timesheet Under a New Contract
It’s important for the consultant to get the dates correct on the first timesheet under a new contract. This section explains how the process works and offers some suggestions for monitoring new contracts.

As mentioned above, Tempus automatically creates new timesheets for your consultants in chronological sequence starting with the oldest unreported period. When the consultant opens the first new timesheet under a new contract, Tempus looks at the contract’s Effective Date and the contract’s Week Start Day to determine the dates of the first timesheet period.

If the consultant started the project during the first week after the effective date, the timesheet period date will be correct. If the consultant started the project sometime after the first week, he’ll have to play catch up by skipping timesheets until he gets to the one for the current period.

To minimize startup problems there are several things you can do. First, you should try to create new contracts only when the effective date is definite. If you find that the definite effective date has slipped, delete the contract and enter a new one. Also, pay close attention to the timesheet period date submitted on the consultant’s first timesheet. Once you get the first one right, the others will fall into place automatically.

This discussion is also included in the Information for Consultants page.

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.

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 name to list of supervisors for the client.

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

The Supervisor’s eMail Link for Timesheet Approval
When the timesheet is submitted, Tempus automatically sends an email notification to the consultant’s supervisor. The email contains a summary of the hours worked by day and date.

To approve the timesheet, the supervisor just clicks a link in the email message. An option for disapproval is also available. A password is not required.

Tempus will respond to that click by providing a feedback popup assuring you that the request for approval has been received and recorded. If your supervisor does not see the popup, it either means that Tempus did not receive the message or that the browser blocked the popup.

Occasionally, Tempus will respond to the request with a message saying that the timesheet could not be approved along with the reason for denial. The most common reason for denial is because the timesheet has already been approved. This happens when the supervisor approves twice. It doesn't hurt the timesheet, but it wastes a good click.

A second link in the email allows the supervisor to disapprove the timesheet. It works the same way and displays a popup with a confirmation message.

Unapprove and Unsubmit Timesheets
The Unsubmit and Unapprove Timesheet form allows vendor administrators and managers to roll back the status of a timesheet that has been submitted or approved by a supervisor. This is occasionally necessary when the submitted timesheet contains an error that was not noticed by the consultant prior to submission.

Unsubmit and unapprove is functionally similar to the supervisors Disapprove option. They both return the timesheet to the consultant and allow editing and re-submission. The primary difference is that Unsubmit can be initiated by vendor administrators and managers while Disapprove can only be initiated by supervisors.

The form allows the user to pick a contract and then pick the specific timesheet to be unsubmitted or unapproved. All contracts are available in the dropdown, but only timesheets with Submitted or approved status are included in the timesheet list.

The form requires the administrator to provide a reason for the change to client supervisor, because the supervisor has already approved the timesheet and is expecting it to be billed as is.

A complete discussion of this feature is provided in the Links Section of the administrators landing page.

Displaying Your Logo on TempusIT
Paid subscribers that provide a link on their Web site to www.TempusIT.com may elect to display their logo on many Tempus pages instead of the Tempus logo. Your logo can also be displayed on the Tempus Login page.

The link requirement helps raise Tempus in search engine listings; the more external links we have, the higher we appear in the listings. By removing our logo from the most prominent places on our pages, our brand loses its identity. By encouraging external links, we hope we'll be able to trade that loss for higher external visibility.

To display properly, your logo must be sized for display in a space no more than 120 pixels high by 120 pixels wide. The file containing the image may be a GIF (.gif), a bitmap (.bmp), or a JPEG file (.jpg).

To take advantage of this feature, create the link on your Web site and then email your logo file to the address shown on the Support Policy page.

More Information
To learn more about Tempus, take the tours or request access to the online demo. There are lots of links on the Tempus portal that will help you familiarize yourself with all aspects of the system.
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