Like all implementation projects, some initial planning can go a long way to ensuring a successful outcome. Here are our suggestions for planning for your TimeSite Pro implementation.
- What timesheet information do you need to capture?
- How do you want your timesheet to work?
- How will you import or add Client, Project and User records?
- Configure Payroll and Invoice mapping
- Categorizing information
- Name and date conventions
- Notifications and messages
- Pilot implementation
- Configuration Sequence
What timesheet information do you need to capture?
An essential element of any software project is to consider what information you want to get out of the system. With TimeSite Pro, this generally comes down to three questions:
- What information do I need to send to my payroll system?
- What information needs to appear on my invoice?
- What information do I need for management reporting and analysis?
TimeSite Pro will export either to a file or directly into your payroll system a timesheet record containing the hours worked together with the payroll category (or similar), date, client, project (or job) and task. TimeSite Pro will map the task specified in the timesheet record to the payroll category via Task Type.
We suggest you spend a moment to list the categories used in your payroll system and match them to the task types you will use in TimeSite Pro to categorize different tasks recorded in your timesheet.
If you are using TimeSite Pro's Accounting subscription plan, then you will be able to generate time & materials or fixed prices invoices based on timesheet records entered by your staff. Take a moment to decide what task descriptions you want to present as invoice line items. You may also want to provide other information on a time & material report that will accompany your invoice such as comments.
Timesheets are a rich source of management information that you can use to track what tasks are being worked on by your staff and the actual time taken to complete these tasks. This information can be analysed by client, project, staff member, location, and so on. You can also apply cost and bill rates to the duration to cost of the work being performed as well as the revenue value of this work. This will provide you with valuable information on the margin that each project or staff member is achieving.
How do you want your timesheet to work?
The next set of questions to consider relate to the way that you want your timesheet to work and how you want your staff to record timesheet information. This might include:
- Do you want staff to clock-on and clock-off from different tasks or do you want them to simply record the duration of a task?
- Do you want your staff to fully account for their complete workday or only those activities that relate to client billing requirements?
- Do you want your staff to record activities not related to clients and project such as staff meetings, training activities, leave taken and so on?
- Do you want to record the location of the staff member when they create a timesheet record, such as a job site?
- Do you want your staff to record meal breaks, etc.?
- Do timesheets need to be submitted and approved by managers or the payroll manager?
- Will timesheet records be created on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets?
- Should your staff see all active projects or just those projects that they are involved in?
Many of these configuration settings can be found in the System Settings options. Take a moment to review these different configuration settings and determine which ones are relevant to your requirements.
How will you import or add Client, Project and User records?
TimeSite Pro is able to import data from your payroll, accounting, project management, and job tracking systems. Alternatively, you may wish to enter this information manually. We suggest you review our data import features and consider how many records you need to create and decide whether to create an initial data export and import activity.
Configure Payroll and Invoice mapping
If you are going to export timesheet records to your payroll system, you will need to set up and configure TimeSite Pro's payroll integration and the mapping between task types and payroll categories. Review our help article on configuring the Export Timesheet settings.
Similarly, if you are going to use TimeSite Pro to invoice for time and materials used on projects or jobs, then you will need to configure TimeSite Pro's integration with your accounting system. Review our help article on configuring the Export Invoices settings and the Accounting settings.
TimeSite Pro has a number of ways of categorizing information relating to companies, departments, users, projects, tasks and so on. You may want to refer to jobs rather than projects, and activities rather than tasks. You may want to define different categories of tasks. Take a moment to review TimeSite Pro's Personalisation settings as well as Lists and Types settings.
Name and date conventions
We recommend that you think about the names you are going to use for different elements of your TimeSite Pro system. It is best practice to use logic and consistent names throughout your account for items such as:
We strongly discourage the use of duplicated names for different items. For example, you might have a cost rate called "Admin Cost Rate" and a bill rate called "Admin Bill Rate" that is used in a task called "Admin Task". If you called each of these three different items "Admin", then it would quickly get confusing which specific Admin item you are referring to.
Keep in mind that long names for Clients, Projects and Tasks might not work well in our mobile app. Test how easy it is for your staff to select the correct Project from the drop-down list when adding a timesheet record. You might also want to consider using initial prefixes to help with sorting items in these drop-down lists.
We recommend that you specify a single, consistent Start Date for your TimeSite Pro account that will be used when setting up Users, Rates, and Projects. This might be the date you started your subscription or the date of your first timesheet record, or the first day of the month you started your subscription. Note that TimeSite Pro uses data validation checks in many places in the system. See What stops me from adding a record to my timesheet? for examples of how data validation is used when adding timesheet records.
Notifications and messages
TimeSite Pro has a number of ways of notifying and reminding your staff of different activities associated with their timesheets including reminders to submit their timesheet, notifications that timesheets need to be approved, and so on. Take a moment to review Email & Messaging settings to determine what requirements you might have in this area.
Finally, we recommend that you use your trial period to consider how you might establish a pilot implementation of TimeSite Pro before you establish your subscription. You are welcome to start with just a few users to work out the answers to the implementation questions we have suggested in this article. Similarly, you may want to start with our Basic subscription to establish timesheets suitable for payroll integration before moving on to the Accounting subscription plan to produce invoices using TimeSite Pro.
Feel free to share your implementation plans with us for our comments and suggestions. We will be happy to offer any suggestions that we can to help with your implementation of TimeSite Pro. Our objective is to ensure that you are able to quickly and successfully implement a time tracking system that meets your requirements.
There is not one right way of configuring your new TimeSite Pro account. You are free to build your configuration set by step. However, here is our suggested approach for your guidance.
- Set up your cost and bill rates first, or at least your key rates.
- Set up your initial pilot users, and specify your user cost rate and user bill rate in each User record.
- Consider how you want to map Task Types to your Payroll Categories and amend our standard task types to align with your payroll categories.
- If you are using Project Templates, set up your initial core template listing tasks that will used in your project. These tasks will reference the task types that you have just set up for payroll purposes.
- Create an initial Client - Project - Task to test with your pilot users. Enter a number of timesheet records to check how these work in both the browser and mobile timesheet apps.
- If you are going to use TimeSite Pro to record leave and internal administration tasks, set up a new project template for these tasks. Then create an internal Client - Project - Task combination for leave and staff administration tasks.
- Check how these initial timesheet records export to your payroll system.
- Once you are comfortable with this initial configuration, import Client, Project, Task and User records from your accounting and payroll systems.
- Develop a FAQ sheet for your timesheet users and your administration users.