TimeControl Validation Rules

TimeControl Validation Rules
TimeControl's Business Validation Rules functionality is one of the most powerful aspects of the timesheet approval process. Validation Rules allow you to create a series of qualifications for what makes an acceptable timesheet and then accept to send that timesheet on to the next person for approval or either warn the user or simply reject that timesheet. Rules can be very simple such as "no more than 24 hours in a day" or more complex such as "no overtime unless, a) you get overtime and, b) you have done more than 40 hours of regular time and c) none of that regular time was for vacation or sick leave." A Validation Rule can be applied to all employees or just some employees.

TimeControl WorkFlow Diagram
TimeControl Validation Rule Definition

TimeControl Validation Rules Screen

Capturing any errors at the source makes a tremendous difference to the efficiency of the timesheet collection process. First, errors are caught and fixed by the person who entered them and that means they are fixed faster and while the memory of the accurate information is fresh. Secondly, the effort of fixing timesheet errors is distributed among all employees rather than centralized with a few users. Finally, the accuracy of the data that first enters TimeControl is already of very high quality and that means that other reports, analysis or systems that use the data will not have inefficiencies that come from having to deal with inaccurate data.

Creating Validation Rules is very simple. An Administrator creates up to two filters. The first filter is used to define which employees this filter should apply to. The second filter is used to define what data condition will be tested. For example, the first filter might be a definition of “full-time salaried employees”. The second definition might be “charge at least 40 hours per week”. This would create a test to ensure that timesheets were always completed with at least 40 hours but would not test part-time or hourly employees for this data condition.

Each Validation Rule can be defined as either a warning or an error. For example, perhaps you’d like users to double check their timesheet if they charge overtime. You might create a Validation Rule Warning that would test for the overtime rate and then give a message saying “You have entered overtime on this timesheet. Please make sure you have indicated whether you wish to bank your overtime or have it paid to you.” The warning would not stop the timesheet from being released. It would simply give the user an option to return to the timesheet and not release it for approval.

A Validation Rule defined as an error presents the user with the error message and returns the user to the timesheet to correct the problem.

TimeControl WorkFlow Diagram
TimeControl Validation Rule Error on a Timesheet

There is no limit to the number of Validation Rules which makes this not only a very powerful aspect of TimeControl but a highly flexible one as well. With limitless flexibility comes great responsibility. It is possible, given this level of flexibility, to create Validation Rules that conflict so it is important to map them out in advance and keep careful documentation of what each rule is supposed to accomplish.