Overtime rules – dynamic thresholds for ‘more than’ rules

Timesheet Portal allows you to automatically calculate overtime on your employee’s timesheets. One of our popular rules is the more than per timesheet rule, which allows you to define overtime when a worker has worked more x units per week.

Some of our clients required the ability to have the weekly threshold rule, but whenever there is a public holiday, the threshold is reduced. So for example, if your users get paid overtime for working more than 40 hours in a week, when a public holiday occurs during the week and they get paid when they work more than 32 hours.

To make use of this great new rule, please try adding the Deduct threshold on public holidays rule to your overtime rule set. Make sure you add this rule to run before your more than rule.

Weekly & Monthly timesheet reminders on the same account

Previously it was not possible to have weekly and monthly timesheet reminders active on an account due to the fact that the system was originally designed for only weekly or only monthly timesheets.

scheduled notifications

We have now addressed this and we’re proud to present our new (slightly revamped) Scheduled Reminders page, allowing you to configure weekly and monthly reminders for timesheets. In addition to having differing schedules for all types of reminders, you can also customise the reminders with different text (i.e. the content of the emails sent for weekly or monthly can be different).

We’ve also added in the ability to configure different reminder schedules for SMS (text message) reminders too.

To advantage of this, please to go Settings->Notifications->Scheduled Reminders.

More auditing on jobs

A little more auditing to help with you keep tabs with who’s changing what, we’ve added the following more advanced auditing on jobs

  • Addition / removal of approvers and contractors
  • Addition / removal / modification of rates
  • Change of job consultant

 

Document signing coming soon!

Document signing is just around the corner. We have been working hard to integrate with our chosen partner Legalesign to bring you an integrated solution where you can produce documents based on the data entered in Timesheet Portal, and send it off for digital signing.  So your paper based contracts will become a thing of the past and you can clear some space in your office!

Our first phase is scheduled to launch on 17th May and will include basic functionality for producing contracts which are linked to jobs on your Timesheet Portal account. Initially there will be no ability to automatically populate a document with data from your jobs/clients/contractors, however this functionality will be introduced shortly afterwards, and will put you in a position where you can configure a template in Legalesign, and then once you have created a new job in Timesheet Portal, click a button to automatically produce your contract with your client based on the data entered for that job.

Once documents have been signed, they are available in the Documents tab of a job record. Following on from the integration with jobs, we will be adding the ability to create contractor documents too.

Please note whilst this feature will initially be free, it will be part of a chargeable module in the future, and right from the start it will require you to have a paid subscription with Legalesign. To find out more about Legalesign, please visit their website at http://www.legalesign.com .

We are looking for feedback and ideas, so please get in touch with support@timesheetportal.com if you would like to participate in our first phase of this integration.

A new look for the Settings menu

The best way for you to understand this new change is to simply click on the Settings menu. Gone is the clunky menu with old fashioned icons, and in comes the new modern slick menu which will fit better on your screen and make a more pleasant experience for your eyes.

And whilst we’ve been making changes to the menu, we’ve also spiced up a few of the settings pages, including the billing account usage and branding pages, and created some consistency in the layout of other settings pages. Keep watching, theres more to come!

settings menu

Automatically include bank details in a self billing invoice

Our latest enhancement allows you to automatically include a contractor’s bank details in their self billing invoices. Please note in order to make use of this feature, you must have entered your contractor’s bank details in the Bank Details tab of their record. You can also allow the contractor’s to enter the details themselves by enabling this option in Settings->Contractors (or Settings->Employees depending on your terminology chosen). Once this option is enabled, the contractors will have a section for entering Bank Details on their Profile page.

 

self billing bank details

 

New timesheet rules

We’ve added 2 new additional timesheet rules to allow you to apply constraints on the time that is entered by your end-users:

1. Prevent gap within shift rule

This rule applies when you have selected multiple start/end rate codes to a specific job/task, for example “Travel to site”, “Work” and “Travel from site”. The rule ensures that time is contiguous and there are no breaks if time is entered in more than one rate code for the specific job/task.

2. Prevent time overlap

This rule ensures that a user cannot submit a timesheet if there is any portion of time overlapping between different jobs/tasks and also takes into account the time entered on other timesheets for the same period.7

To make use of these new rules, please go to Settings->Timesheets->Timesheet Rules

Set default values for your new records

Stuck for time? Let us help you by minimising the number of clicks required when creating new records. You can now set up default values for various fields when creating employees, clients, projects, etc. To set these up, look for the Default Values section in each the of the respective settings page. E.g. for employee records go to Settings->Employees and look for the Default Values section there. As always, this is a work in progress but we’ve added in a bunch of fields that we felt would useful for most users.

Next time you create a new record, your default values will already be set, so you don’t need to set them each time.

default values

Extended Auditing – Recruitment version

When using a system that can be accessed and managed by multiple administrators, we understand the importance of being able to see how a record has changed over time and who has made those changes. So we have completed our first phase of our extended auditing feature. You will now notice an additional tab “Audit Log” when editing any of the following types of records:

  • Contractors
  • Clients
  • Jobs
  • Approvers

For the moment, audit events are raised whenever a text field, or some of the drop-down lists are modified, however we are already working on our next phase which will include audit events for changes such as assigning a new approver to a job.

Extended auditing – standard version

When using a system that can be accessed and managed by multiple administrators, we understand the importance of being able to see how a record has changed over time and who has made those changes. So we have completed our first phase of our extended auditing feature. You will now notice an additional tab “Audit Log” when editing any of the following types of records:

  • Employees
  • Clients
  • Projects
  • Tasks

For the moment, audit events are raised whenever a text field, or some of the drop-down lists are modified, however we are already working on our next phase which will include audit events for changes such as assigning a new approver.

New fields added to data importer

If you are using our HR Essentials module, then you will be pleased to know we’ve added the following fields to our employee data importer:

  • Next of kin name
  • Next of kin contact details
  • Next of kin relationship
  • Passport number
  • Nationality

If you download the import template from System Management -> Data Import -> Employees, you will see the additional fields here. These are all free-text fields.

New process for adding tasks to timesheets

We have made a small change which will affect your end users. On a standard timesheet where a user is able to add tasks to the timesheets, you will see a set of drop-downs at the bottom of the timesheet (typically there will be client/project/task), allowing the user to add a new task line to their timesheet. This section will no longer show by default, and will now require that user clicks on “Add Task” to see the drop-down lists of available client/project/tasks to add to their timesheet. In the same place where the drop-downs previously appeared, your users will see a grey panel with red writing stating that they must click on the button now instead. After they follow this process once, they will not see this message again. You may wish to update any user guides you have created to reflect this change. If you do not know what we are referring to, it is likely that you use fixed tasks in your timesheets, in which case these sets of drop-downs would not usually show and therefore you are not affected by this change.

In case you are wondering, the reason for this change is based mainly on performance. We have experienced some performance issues during peak usage times (Mondays 10-11AM GMT and Fridays 4-5PM GMT). The call to the database to fetch the list of clients is quite resource intensive, especially on accounts where you may have tens of thousands of tasks available. Because this panel of drop-downs was always shown whenever a timesheet is loaded, this has been resulting in many thousands of unnecessary calls to the database, as this is shown immediately when a user logs in and is redirected to the timesheets page, or when they move between timesheet weeks. We have restructured this process so that we only fetch this data when a user actually needs it. So please do take into consideration that although this may cause an inconvenience to your users, our number 1 priority is to provide a reliable service, and we felt that this was a big win for everyone, for a small inconvenience of having to click an extra button. The screenshot below shows what your existing users will see when they load their timesheets now, and highlights the location where the new button is.

new_add_task_screenshot

New email verification process

We have introduced some new changes in our system which affect the way we send emails. These changes have been a result of us moving to an enterprise email platform to help us better cope  with the load which currently is in excess of half a million emails per month.

Part of the requirement for our new email platform, and indeed for most enterprise email platforms is that we maintain a good reputation score as an email sender. This score is created based on the number of email bounces and complaints received (a complaint is when someone marks our email as spam).  In order to ensure our bounce rate is kept at a minimum, we have introduced a new verification email to ensure that all emails being sent from the system are being sent to email addresses which are real and also to ensure the end user has consented to receiving these emails.

The impact on existing users will be such that any emails sent from the system now will contain a header requesting them to verify their email address. Once they have verified their address, they will no longer see this header and subsequent emails will then move to our new email platform.  Additionally, when a user logs in, if they have not verified their email address, they will see a red message on the page header asking them to verify their email address. Clicking on the Verify Email button in the header will result in an email being sent to them with a verification link.

Some customers are concerned about the impact this has on their end users, but please bear in mind email verification is a very common thing done whenever signing up to any new service. We unfortunately did not take this approach when we first designed our system so we have no true measure of whether an email address is genuine and is in use. We were receiving thousands of bounce backs everyday with our previous email system so we know that there are many invalid emails.

Please be patient and bear with us as we transition to our new email platform. This was a necessary measure so that we can continue to improve the quality of our service and ensure you get the emails you need. We have designed the process to be as simple as possible. Either click on the link you receive in your next email from Timesheet Portal, or get a manual link by clicking on the button on top of the site when logging in, so you can perform the verification before you receive your next notification email. That it all it takes, one click and then everything continues as normal!

Soon to follow on from this first phase will be an unsubscribe section in the footer of all emails, allowing users to quickly and easily opt out of receiving different types of notifications from our system.

Please note as of 13th March, we will no longer send emails to unverified email addresses.

 

Consultant gross margin widget

We’ve added a new widget which allows you to view a bar chart showing your consultant’s gross margins. The gross margin figures are calculated using the consultant splits which you can enter in the Consultant Split tab of your jobs, and don’t forget you will need to have pay and charge rates specified for your job rates.

To try out this great new widget, please click on the Edit icon on the right hand side of your dashboard, and then drag it in. Also please note once you’ve added your widget in, you can click on the configuration gear symbol which allows you to change the size, allowing you to view data for more consultants.

If you are not yet using our new dashboard, please enable it in Settings->Accounts.

consultant margin widget

Homepage dashboards are here!

You may have noticed the subtle changes here and there to the UI over the past 2 months. We are slowly updating the UI to provide you with a more responsive, cleaner and more useful interface. One of the biggest changes as part of this project is our new dashboard. We have been working hard behind the scenes to provide you with a number of widgets that will spice up your home page. To enable our new dashboard feature on your account, please go to Settings->Account, and then select “Enable new dashboard”. Please note currently the dashboard is only available for people with some sort of administrative role (i.e. anyone who only has submit/approve permissions will not have access to the new dashboard until we produce new widgets more appropriate for their usage). Once you log out and back in again, you will redirected to the new dashboard, and will need to add in your widgets by clicking on the edit icon on the top-right. Also don’t forget you may wish to adjust your dashboard size from the top-right as well.

Please see below a list of widgets currently available, followed by a screenshot of a sample recruitment dashboard:

  • Timesheet status chart & timesheet status table
  • Client invoicing status table
  • Self billing status table
  • Gross margin per time period (bar chart)
  • Expense status chart
  • News updates
  • Billed / unbilled amounts per time period
  • Calendar

Recruitment account widgets:

  • Gross margin per consultant (bar chart)

Standard account widgets:

  • Project time (pie chart)

dashboard-1