Why lock a timesheet?  Here's why: So employees don't accidently enter time after client billing or payroll.


Locking timesheets is valuable for at least three reasons, as we'll see below.   When timesheets are locked, employees can no longer enter new hours, modify  existing hours, or delete hours.  The entire date range is locked down, and  attempting to do so results in an error popup message.  Locks can occur  manually when administrators lock down a date range, or automatically when the  product is configured to do so when employees submit timesheets for approval.   The three biggest reasons for locking are listed below.

Client Billing If employees enter or change hours for a billable date range that has already  been invoiced, those hours can be lost or forgotten.  Fortunately, there's  a simple solution.  Here's how that scenario can happen: an administrator writes an invoice for a billable date range and sends it to the client, and then  sometime later an employee changes those hours in his timesheet thinking that it  will affect billing.  But the employee doesn't know the client has already  been billed, and the administrator doesn't know the employee changed the hours.  It's a loss of communications that can be solved by locking the date range so no  hours can be changed.  If the employee insists that the hours must be  changed, an administrator can bypass the lock, or the hours could be added to  another date range.  Either way forces all interested parties to  communicate over the discrepancy.

Employee Payroll The same thing can happen for employee payroll.  An administrator writes  out a paycheck based on timesheet hours, but later the employee updates those  hours thinking that it will affect their check.  The employee may not  realize that the paycheck has already been written.  And the administrator  may not know that the employee expected the new hours to affect their pay.   Again... lack of communication.  Lock the timesheet before writing the  paycheck and all is well.  But again, if the employee insists on changing  hours, at least the admins know about it.  They can add it to another pay  period, if necessary.

Submitting for Approval Sometimes administrators want employee timesheets to be locked automatically  when they submit them for approval.  They do not want changes after  submittal.  The program can be configured to automatically lock when the  timesheet is submitted.  But what date range is being locked?  It  depends on if you are using pay periods or weekly timesheets.  If the  employee is viewing a pay period, and clicks 'Submit for Approval' then the  entire period is locked.

Also see: Video: Timesheet Approvals, Video: Pay Periods


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