Tracking Time and Expenses For “Remote” Employees

The Internet has made it possible for Employees to “telecommute” to their offices by accessing systems and information in the office from their homes. This is one way technology has created more flexibility for workers that don’t always need to be in the office or to help them stay on top of their assignments if they can’t make it to the office due to circumstances such as inclement weather or family emergencies.

For workers in service businesses such as engineering, consulting or temporary placement agencies, their “office” is usually a client’s location. They may seldom, if ever, show up at their Employer’s office for work. Because these “remote” Employees bill most of their time and travel expenses to customers they need to complete timesheets and expense reports to document how much time they worked and on which projects, what expenses they incurred and what time and expenses are billable to the client and which expenses are reimbursable to the Employee.

It can be difficult for Employees to submit their time and expenses on a timely basis if they hardly ever get to their Employers’ offices. More importantly, Managers need to know the status of projects or jobs to see if they are within budget and which Employees will be free to work on other jobs.

Keeping track of multiple Employees working on multiple projects for multiple customers can become an administrative nightmare. Fortunately, the Internet has also made it possible for “remote” Employees to submit timesheets and expense reports on a timely basis, daily if necessary, and for Managers to be able to track and approve time and expenses “online” with a solution from Norming Software called Resource Manager.

Norming Resource Manager automatically consolidates employee timesheets by job and client. You can organize clients, projects, leave and Employees in a central database and report work and costs in many different ways.

Unlike traditional Windows or Web-Based applications Norming Resource Manager is a “hybrid” application with a Windows Back Office application that integrates directly into your Sage 300 ERP desktop and an Employee Self Service Web Portal that uses your Internet browser to run the application. The only software that is required on the client PC is a standard browser such as Fire Fox, Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari. The application is installed and runs on a Tom Cat web server.

Resource Manager Portals are web based and consist of 6 key modules: 1) Timesheets; 2) Expenses; 3) Leave; 4) Billing; 5) Projects and 6) Planning. All of these modules can be integrated to several Sage 300 ERP modules including General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Project and Job Cost, Payroll and Bank Services.

Web Timesheet allows Employees to enter time in whole or fractional amounts against specific Tasks on a Job based on their Role on that Job. Since each Role is defined with both a billing and cost rate, the time entry becomes the basis for generating invoices to the customer as well as timecard entries for payroll or project and job costing.

There is a great deal of flexibility with Job set up. How you set up your Job directly affects what Employees will see on their timesheets and expense reports. A task may allow both billable and non-billable work, or an Employee may have multiple roles and rates. If a task allows both billable and non-billable work, the user will be required to select the appropriate billing option when entering timesheets for Employees.

Reports are helpful for determining how time is utilized throughout your organization and for reviewing job costs and client billing. You can generate reports to review detailed or summarized data.

Web Expense can track individual expenses by dollar amount or by quantity (ie mileage allowance based on the number of miles driven). Each expense can have a different approver.

Web Leave tracks vacation and sick leave for Employees either based on the number of days taken or the number of days remaining.

The Billing module generates time and expense billings to customers either in detail or summary. Detail invoices are based on AR Items in Sage 300 ERP.

Resource Manager supports multi-level workflows for online submission, acceptance and approval of timesheets and expense reports by Job Managers, Supervisors, Line Managers and even Clients. Depending on the selected approval process, Job Managers, Department Heads, Clients, and Supervisors can approve, reject and/or comment on timesheets and expense sheets.

Norming Resource Manager sends e-mail notifications (if enabled) to inform approvers when an employee submits timesheets, expense reports or leave requests. Users can view their timesheet/expense/leave history at any time. The timesheet/expense/leave history is a record of old timesheets/ expenses/leave including comments and approval details.

Resource Manager’s audit trail keeps a record of every timesheet, expense report and leave request submitted, who submitted it and when it was submitted. It also tracks each time the timesheet, expense report or leave request is approved or rejected, and which approver performed the edit/approval/rejection.

A user can authorize another user to manage his/her tasks by assigning a substitute user. Each user can have multiple substitutes with different permissions. Each substitute user’s permissions are determined by the user who sets up the substitute. For example, if John Smith assigns Martha Brown as his substitute and gives Martha the right to enter his timesheets, Martha will be allowed to log in to the system as John and enter the timesheet on behalf of John.

Norming Resource Manager makes tracking, billing and reporting of time, expenses and leave requests more efficient and cost effective for organizations of any size. If you are a service based business that works on projects or jobs for your clients or a company with employees who travel to conduct their work, Norming’s Resource Manager may be the right solution for you.

For more information on Norming Resource Manager, click here