Timesheet & Project Management Blog

The goal of this blog is to provide tips and ideas for improving time tracking and project managment for our customers and other interested people.

Interview: Timesheet Pay Periods


Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. Welcome back.

Ray: Hey, Mike.

I’m a little bit frustrated because there are a lot of timesheet programs out there that only show you that week. In my company we have a time period. How does Standard Time deal with that?

We have the option of showing pay periods. Your pay period may start at the first of the month and go to the 15th of the month. The next one would go 16th to end of month. That means that the number of days for each pay period can be different, and it’s not 7 days. You can basically see the number of days, all of those days, in your timesheet. You can see the number of scheduled hours that that includes. And then you can compare that with the actual hours that you’ve put in for your timesheet.

I have colleagues who get paid monthly. Is that possible in Standard Time to reflect that month?

Yeah. That’s just another pay period set up. You would set up monthly, from then on your timesheets are going to show all of the hours, all of the days for the entire month. Another thing that happens when you have this is if you’re required to submit your timesheet, not everyone is required that’s optional. If you’re required to submit your timesheet when you do it actually submits the entire duration of that pay period. Not just the week, you’re submitting an entire pay period whether that’s two weeks, a month however your pay periods are set up.

How can we use this?

You can go out to the web site stdtime.com. Get the evaluation version, windows, web. Set up these pay periods and everyone will see it. Now you have to be an admin to do this, normal employees can’t go in and monkey around with the pay periods and change things and all the other employees will see it and say, “What happened?” Admins, managers, executives those sorts would go in and set that up. Stdtime.com.

That’s awesome. You heard it here download your free trial version today. Let us know what you think!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y3H_lzpCdI

Interview: Timesheet Approvals


Mike: Mike back with Standard Time® with Ray White of Scoutwest the makers of Standard Time. Welcome back Ray.

Ray: Hi, Mike.

I’m a manager I have about 12 employees under me. How do I get them through Standard Time to submit their timesheets to me?

You might consider starting with an email notification. You can set up an email notification that would send an email to those employees who have forgotten to submit their timesheet. Submitting your timesheet is optional; you don’t have to do it in the program. But you as a manager want that as a sanity check, make sure the time is all against the correct project, tasks, so on, clients. Just one last check after they’ve put their time in. That would be a good reason for that email notification. When you do that you’re going to see a screen that has all the employees that you’re allowed to see. There may be other managers and they see their people. You’re going to see your people and you’re going to see which ones have submitted and not submitted. You’ll see the number of hours they have in their timesheet. You can click a button, go to their timesheet, you can either fix their timesheet if they’ve made mistakes or you can just reject the timesheet, give them a reason. Another email notification is going to go back to them saying you need to fix your timesheet. That way they can put in a reason for the change that they’ve made. You have the full audit trail, of the rejection, the change, the changes that they’ve made. For DCAA compliance or other reasons, you may want to do that. But there are either two ways to do it, you can either fix yourself or have them fix it.

So this really takes out having me to track people down saying “hey, this is wrong, can you fix it?” It’s just email, done. 

Right, there are really two emails that they could get. They could either get one that you forgot to submit your timesheet or they could get one your timesheet is not complete. Let’s say they put 14 hours in, well we want 40. They’re going to get an email that says we think your timesheet maybe incomplete. A couple of different emails that they could get.

How do I get timesheet approvals?

You can get it in the trial version of Standard Time. If you go out to our website stdtime.com you will see a download link. You’ll be able to download that, set up pay periods, set up managers who are allowed to see different employees. And then those email notifications will go out, people will submit their timesheets as they’re supposed to, you’ll see that list as a manger. You’re good to go.

Timesheet approval, it’s the sanity you’ve been looking for. Stdtime.com download your free trial version today. If you’re worried about when that free trial version ends don’t worry, super affordable. Go to the website for more information. We’ll see you next time with more Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q__oXs32040

Interview: Email Notifications


Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. Welcome back Ray.

Ray: Hey, Mike.

A funny thing happened last week, put in like 14 hours, got home and realized I forgot to log my time. Is there a way in Standard Time that I can be reminded that I actually forgot to login my time?

Yes, this happens a lot. People forget; let’s say Friday they’re out the door forget to put their time in. They’ll get an email notification, early next week, Monday morning you get a notification, go in fix up your timesheet, put your time in before your boss even notices. Yep, real easy to do you just get a simple email notification for that.

Are there other email notifications that’s within Standard Time to make my life a little bit less stressful?

Yeah, absolutely. Let’s say, another example, you put in time off request. Say I’m going to take the next 3 months off for vacation your boss says “No. You can take 40 hours off.” They go in, take your request massage it, change it, you get an email notification back. There’s another reason. You might get email notifications when you join a new project. Someone put you on a new project, hey it would be nice to know you’re on this project! Maybe upcoming tasks, tasks are due. Different reasons you can get email notifications. You can set them up, real easy to do.

How can I get a hold of email notifications?

Right in our trial. Go out to stdtime.com download it, set up the trial. Now you will have to be administrator, normal employees don’t get to go in and set up, change all the email notifications. That is for administrators but you can do that in the trial. Set those email notifications up and they’ll fire right off.

That’s awesome. Stdtime.com, download your free trial version today. It’s also super affordable once that trial ends. Go check it out right now stdtime.com. We’ll see you next time with more Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDYgA28jDW4

Interview: Mileage Tracking


Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest, the makers of Standard Time. Ray, it’s an honor welcome back.

Ray: Thanks.

I have a scenario for you. Let’s say I am a traveling support guy. I want to write off my mileage for my taxes. How can Standard Time actually help me do that and make it easier?

One easy way is just to use the app. Standard Time has an app that you can download and just with a few taps you can put in expenses. Mileage records are really just expenses; they have a certain number of dollars you can write off per mile. You put in your destination, the odometer, the distance, vehicle, different optional fields like that. It will calculate the dollar amount that you’re allowed to write off for that distance that you’ve driven.

How does it get from the phone to the managers at the office?

Really easy. You put in your records, time and expenses, into the app and the app will automatically sync with the cloud. It’s going to send those records back up to the cloud, to that shared database that you have. That’s all there is to it. Basically you have multiple engineers, you may have 10-20-50 engineers, techs on the road out there logging time. The app is going to send the time and expenses, the mileage, up to a shared database through the cloud and your manager will be able to write reports on that immediately.

That’s great. How do I get the apps?

You can get it from one of two places. You can either go out to the google play store or the apple store. You can download the apps for the phone. Or you can just go to our website stdtime.com. When you do you will see the android and iOS editions out there. You will also see the windows and web editions. Which would be incorporated into a larger enterprise scheme. Go out to stdtime.com download them all.

Do it today. Stdtime.com download both of the apps and Standard Time itself. You’re not going to regret it. Your 30 day trial, don’t worry once that expires because it’s super affordable after that. Go to stdtime.com for more information. And we’ll see you next time with more Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm3Fvo9yPIs


Microsoft Project Integration


You probably already know that Microsoft Project is the leader in project scheduling and planning.

But did you also know that the Standard Time® timesheet integrates with it?  That’s right!

It pulls down tasks… and sends back employee hours.

Imagine what you could do with these two together!

A project schedule without ‘actual work’ hours is stale and lifeless.

  1. Tasks are static
  2. Schedules don’t reflect actual employee work
  3. Project managers don’t have a true picture

But imagine what your Microsoft Project schedule would look like with daily employee hours.  Everything would change.

Project managers would see the real situation on the ground, and make real-time changes as needed.

Isn’t that what you really want from your project schedule?

Click to try Standard Time with Microsoft Project!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwcyyuKZv-0


Interview: Project Portfolios


Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. Ray, welcome back. You know all things Standard Time and I just found this out you know all the answers of the universe, which is awesome that I’m sitting this close to you. I have a question about Standard Time, maybe we can talk about the universe later. Right now I really want to know about project portfolios. A lot of companies have millions of projects. Is there a way to group these down to make this a little bit easier to handle?

Ray: Yes. In Standard Time we have project portfolios; essentially all they are is just groups of projects. And you take a project, put it into a portfolio, take another project different portfolio. You build out these portfolios they’re really collections of projects. You might have consulting projects, in house projects maybe sales, marketing, different divisions in the company, any reason you want to divide up these projects. Now you have them in these collections.

Now I have these collection of projects in one place. What do I do with them?

You can report on them, so you can run a report on an entire portfolio of projects. You can look at comparisons between portfolios like revenue, project revenue. How much revenue am I going to get for the entire portfolio as opposed to single projects. So these are dealing in larger more abstract collections. You can do project recourse allocation, employee availability-search by things like skill, or employee time they have available for a project. There are lots of different things you can do with those portfolios.

This comes with the full 30 trial version of Standard Time, correct?

It does, yes. You can go out to stdtime.com, download it, set up those portfolios and try it day one.

Stdtime.com you heard it right here. Project Portfolios it’s going to make your life a whole lot easier. We’ll see you next time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4y5OfFck4E

Interview: Customer Login and App


Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest. Welcome back, Ray.

Ray: Hey, Mike.

You know I’m a consultant and I have clients who are always wanting the status of their project. Is there a way I can show them the status of their projects before I invoice them?

Yes, absolutely. That’s called client login. You can use the web edition of Standard Time, publish that out on the Internet and give that URL to your customer and a special login and password. They’ll be able to go out to the web address, see all of their projects that you are working on and when they click on one of those they will then be able to see all of the time and expenses right up to the minute. You may have dozens of consultants working on the same project for different clients, you give logins for each of these clients. But each one that logs in will see all of the time right up to the minute. They will be able to approve or reject those time entries, those expense entries that you have out there. But yes, they’ll be able to login and see it right there.

Let’s say that my client isn’t in front of their computer at the time. Is there a way that they can still see that progress?

They should try the ProjectBot app. We have an app that runs on a smartphone and it’s essentially the same thing. It pulls down data from the cloud. You give them the URL, plug that into the app, they’ll also have their special login and password, put that into the app. The app will then pulls down all of this information from the cloud. It will be right on their smartphones. They’ll see all of their projects, they’ll see all the time and expenses right there on their phone. Right up to the minute as you’re working on the projects.

That’s awesome. How can we download Standard Time and ProjectBot?

You can go out to our website, start there. Stdtime.com and you’ll get the Windows and Web editions. You’ll have to publish that web edition out on the Internet and set up that special login that I said, client login and password. The ProjectBot can be obtained by going out to the app store. That’s free, download it, put on their phone, get connected to the cloud. They’ll see everything right off.

Stdtime.com download your free trial version today. Let us know what you think. Client accountability, it’s a good thing.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRG1yubazs

Interview: DCAA Compliance


Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest, how you doing Ray?

Ray: Not bad.

You know I’m a consultant and I’m a little bit worried about the Defense Contract Audit Agency. Is Standard Time DCAA compliant?

It is. If you’re doing government contracts and you need to meet DCAA compliance rules for those contracts you will need a timesheet that does that. That usually involves having a unique login. So each employee has to have their own unique login; they go in with that login that ties all of their work to their name. They have to put in notes for any changes that they make, they have to put in their time for every day. So you can’t skip ahead a week, two weeks to put time in. You can’t put time in for last month. You have to have your time approved by a manager or rejected. And then fixed and notes apply to any changes you may have made. All of these things meet those defense contractor audit agency rules. We have a list of them on our website. You can configure Standard Time pretty easily, just a few clicks and you’ve got everything set up the way you need it so that you would comply with DCAA.

So really it takes the worry out of…

Yeah it does.

How can we get ahold of this?

Best place go out to stdtime.com, our website. You’ll get the windows and web additions, you’ll be able to configure those for DCAA compliance. There’s also the smartphone additions out there but you’ll primarily be working with the desktop and web. And those can easily be configured for DCAA.

If you’re worried about the Defense Contract Audit Agency, don’t anymore because Standard Time takes the worry out of it. Go to our website today stdtime.com, download your free trial version and let us know what you think.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTZEp7FiILs

Interview: Microsoft Project Integration


Mike: Mike with Standard Time back with Ray White of Scoutwest today we’re talking Microsoft Project. How you doing Ray?

Ray: Not bad.

Now Microsoft Project is a robust, huge program. Can Standard Time make my life a little bit easier in Microsoft Project?

Absolutely, project managers know this. Microsoft Project is very robust, very detailed, there’s a lot of functionality there. You can create huge projects, thousand tasks, two thousand, ten thousand tasks. But the problem is those projects, as project managers sometimes know, can become just dead project schedules without the actual work that comes in from a timesheet. So that’s where Standard Time really helps out. You can bring in those Microsoft Project files into Standard Time. A huge project schedule that might be assigned to 50 different resources will be crunched down to just what’s relevant to you. You go in, look at your timesheet, you only see the tasks that are assigned to you, as the resource. Another person would see different tasks. Everyone’s timesheet is relevant to what they are doing. They put their time in, Standard Time sends that time back out to Microsoft Project, you see the actual hours in the task usage screen. So that turns an otherwise dead project into an active, living thing.

That’s awesome. What if I don’t have Microsoft Project?

That’s optional. I should have said that right off the bat. Standard Time does not require Microsoft Project, it is optional. Standard Time has its own internal, native projects. The same sort of hierarchies, breakdowns, sub-projects, summary tasks that Microsoft Project has. But it’s not as robust and in no way attempts to compete with Microsoft Project. But that interface between Standard Time and Project is optional.

How can people try this out?

They can try it out on day one. The can go out to our website stdtime.com, download it, bring in their Microsoft Project files right off the bat. They’ll see all those tasks right in the timesheet. Whatever resources are assigned to those tasks, they’ll see them immediately on day one.

You heard it from Ray. stdtime.com. if you have any comments or suggestions let us know when you go there to download your free 30 day trial version.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9FGzbuDGic





Interview: Customize Client Invoices


Mike: Mike with Standard Time back with Ray White of Scoutwest. Thanks for coming back Ray.

Ray: Hey, Mike.

Now you know I’m a consultant but I would really like to brand my invoices to my image. Is that possible and how easy is that to do in Standard Time?

Absolutely. Starting with your logo. You can open up these templates that we have in Standard Time, go in with a word processor, put your logo in, your corporate style image, colors, fonts, everything, the arrangement of the invoice. Save that as an RTF document and then Standard Time will fill in the invoice with the information. It uses tags to do that, you’ll have special tags inside the file that are just text that tell Standard Time that this is the place to put things like time, expenses, you’ll have the totals at the end, you’ll have other things like the projects that you’re working on, client, dates, all the things that naturally go into invoices. Like the PO, all of that goes into the invoice anywhere you want it to be along with your corporate style.

That’s great. Now you mentioned templates. I can have more than one template?

That’s right. You can have multiple templates, you can use those for different situations, different clients. Any reason you might want different ways to print things out; more detail, less detail all of this is available on those templates.

Standard Time comes with a free 30-day trial. Obviously that comes with it?

It does, yes. You can go in day one create those templates, set them up any way you’d like. Put your logo in, your corporate style and then bill your client right there.

Stdtime.com. Go get your free trial version today, check it out. Make your invoices, your in voice heaven now, trust me. Let me know what you think!

Watch the video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwISP6p8MeE


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