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Timesheets in Time Tracker

Timesheets in Time Tracker are collections of user time records in a specified time interval. They are created by users and can be approved or disapproved by supervisors / managers. Timesheets may be necessary when, for example, weekly hours must be approved before invoicing customers.

Timesheets have the following characteristics.
  • Each timesheet is assigned to one user.
  • Timesheets have start and end dates.
  • Only time entries can be on timesheets, no expenses.
  • Timesheets can optionally have a client and / or a project assigned to them.
  • No timesheet overlap is allowed, although each user can have multiple timesheets covering different client and project combinations in a given interval. For example, if someone works on 2 projects, they can have separate timesheets for each project.
  • Timesheets can be submitted for approval and then approved or disapproved.
  • Clients do not have access to timesheets (but they can view their reports and invoices).
Note that there is also another, independent approval mechanism in Time Tracker, called Report approval. The difference is that Report approval provides a simple way for managers to approve report items (whether time or expenses). It sets the approved flag on individual items, while timesheets associate a timesheet_id with multiple items, then these collections are approved as a whole.

Enabling Timesheets Plugin

You can enable the Timesheets plugin on the Plugins tab for the group. Mark the checkbox and then click Save.

Enabling Timesheets plugin
Enabling Timesheets plugin

With the plugin enabled, users have access to a new Timesheets tab in in menu. Use it to add, submit, view, approve, or disapprove timesheets. User selector on top of the page allows you to select user to show timesheets for.

Timesheets tab in Time Tracker
Timesheets tab in Time Tracker

Adding a Timesheet

Clicking Add on timesheets page displays output as on the picture below, where you can define timesheet parameters. Client and projets selections are optional, not selecting them means that entries for all clients and projects are included in the new timesheet.

Adding a new timesheet in Time Tracker
Adding a new timesheet in Time Tracker

Timesheet Workflow

The timesheet approval workflow looks like this.
  • Users create timesheets on Timesheets page in Time Tracker.
  • User can view their timesheets using the View links, edit their attributes (name, comment, status), as well as delete them.
  • There is also a possibility to additionally assign and deassign items to and from not acted upon, already created timesheets, using Reports. This is explained below.
  • When users are happy with their timesheet, they can submit it for manager review and approval. If managers have emails, users cab send an email notification to one of them.
  • Supervisors review timesheets and can either approve or disapprove them and provide an optional comment. If user has email, an email notification is also sent.
  • Not approved timesheets can be deleted to start the workflow process over with a new timesheet.

Viewing a Timesheet

Below is an example of timesheet view for user. It is a summary of hours for user in a given time interval with a total underneath. It is a form of a report for one user, grouped by date, with a totals only option, and no expenses (cost). Timesheet date range is displayed in the header, with some additional information below. For example, we see that this timesheet is not submitted.

Timesheet view with a submit button
Timesheet view with a submit button

Assigning Report Items to Timesheets

After viewing a timesheet, one may realize that something is missing. Perhaps, additional records need to be added, or something eliminated from the timesheet. It is possible using reports, although the feature is kind of hidden, as the following conditions must macth.
  • A report must be for one user only.
  • Report date range must be totally enclosed in one of the existing, not acted upon timesheets for user.
  • Timesheet checkbox under Show fields must be set so that timesheet assignment is visible.
  • Report must be for time only (no expenses, so do not check the Cost in Show fields), as we cannot assign expenses to timesheets.
If all of the above is true, you'll see a column of checkboxes on the right hand side of report as on the picture below, and additional controls on the bottom that will allow you to assign or deassign items to / from timesheet.

Assigning report items to timesheet in Time Tracker
Assigning report items to timesheet in Time Tracker

This works as follows:
  • To assign selected items: select appropriate checkboxes, then use --- select ---, timesheet name, Submit.
  • To remove selected items to timesheet: select appropriate checkboxes, then use --- select ---, --- select timesheet ---, Submit.
  • To assign all items: use --- all ---, timesheet name, Submit.
  • To remove all items: use --- all ---, --- select timesheet ---, Submit.

Submitting Timesheets

To submit, we view a timesheet and click the Submit button on the bottom as on the picture above. The view above is simplified, as it displays a submit mechanism when there are no managers with emails to send notifications to. Notice how it changes, when we have managers with emails. User can now select which manager to notify about their timesheet submit.

Timesheet submit with email notification to manager
Timesheet submit with email notification to manager

To summarize timesheet submit process:
  • Submit without email notification simply changes the status of timesheet and allows all managers to approve or disapprove it.
  • Submit with email notification is possible when there exists at least one manager with an email. User select which manager to notify in the dropdown to the left of the Submit button, as on the picture above. This manager receives an email. Still, all managers can approve or disaprrove.

Approving Timesheets

Managers with proper access rights can approve or disapprove user timesheets and comment on them. With regards to access rights, it works like this:
  • Managers with approve_timesheets right can approve timesheets for lower roles. By default, this right is assigned to Supervisor and higher roles.
  • Managers with approve_own_timesheets right can approve their own timesheets. By default, this right is assigned to Manager.

Timesheet approval in Time Tracker
Timesheet approval in Time Tracker

Use the Approve or Disapprove buttons to act on timesheets. Provide and optional note to user in the Comment field. Users with defined emails receive a notification about it. If their timesheet is disapproved, they can delete it and start over.

Time Tracker User Guide