College of Liberal Arts

Timekeeping (ETM/ETS)

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Best Practices for Managing Weekly Timesheets.


How It Works

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Approving timesheets

Making manual adjustments to leave balances (to correct errors to final approved timesheets)

Making adjustments to a timesheet group (adding employees or changing signers)

Approving timesheets
  1. Log on to the timesheet system in UT Direct. If there are timesheets waiting for your approval, there will be an orange link that will take you to your timesheet inbox.
  2. To review all timesheets, click on “Select all”.
  3. The timesheets will pop up one at a time. Review each one to make sure that the hours accounted for equals or exceeds the number of hours appointed. If the employee is using leave, check the notes to see why they are using leave and make sure the leave type is appropriate (see below for more info).
    • If the hours appointed are 0 (or less than they should be), do not approve the timesheet! For some reason, the timesheet system is not reading the appointment data correctly. Return the timesheet to the creator and ask them to delete the timesheet, and wait until after the next timesheet system refresh (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights) to recreate it.
  4. If everything looks okay, hit submit. If you have to return the timesheet to the creator, then enter a reason into the notes, and if necessary, send them an email. Many staff will not notice that a timesheet has been returned if you don’t send an email.
Tips for approving timesheets
  • Approve timesheets at least weekly.
  • In the last week of the month, check that all timesheets for your groups have been approved from two months prior (ie, all of January’s timesheets are approved by the last week of March). Staying on top of this will limit the number of times you have to re-open months for approval.
    • An easy way to do this is to click on Report Tracking on the left navigation bar of the online timesheet system.
  • The current month and the previous two months are always open in the timesheet system for timesheet creation and approvals. Once a month closes, it can be reopened for modification in *DEFINE for the next year. After 15 months, no more changes can be made to that month in *DEFINE.
  • To re-open a month that is closed: go into *DEFINE to command ET4. Change the month to the month you want to open in the top right corner. Then tab to the field at the bottom of the screen and type open. The month will be open until the next time accruals run (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays).
  • Once a timesheet is final approved in UT Direct, that timesheet cannot be modified. If an error is discovered after final approval, then manual adjustments will need to be made in *DEFINE to correct the error.
    • For recordkeeping, when an electronic timesheet has been modified, print it out from the web, indicate what the changes are, and have the employee and supervisor sign the paper copy. Keep this paper copy in the employee’s personnel file.
    • Follow this procedure for employees who have electronic timesheets that are older than 15 months and have not reached final approval. If adjustments need to be made in *DEFINE, go back as far as you can (15 months) to make the adjustments.

Making manual adjustments to leave balances (to correct errors to final approved timesheets):
  1. Go to the ETA command in *DEFINE. A pop-up box will verify that you are viewing the correct month. Hit return.
  2. Scroll to the person whose balances you want to adjust, either by hitting return or tabbing over to the Misc Line and entering the first letter of the employee’s last name. Select the person by putting an X next to their name.
  3. Identify the type of leave you want to adjust. In the column for that leave type, enter the number of hours that need to be adjusted. Indicate whether it is a deduction or addition with a D or A. Hit enter.
  4. A notes box will pop up. Enter the reason for the adjustment and the day or week that you are correcting. Hit enter again.
  5. When you have finished making adjustments for this person, hit F5. Your changes will not take effect until you hit F5.
  6. Hit Clear to exit the adjustment screen for this employee.
    • The first screen in ETA shows the most common leave types. Hit F4 to see more options.

Making adjustments to a timesheet group (adding employees or changing signers):
  1. Go to the EG1 command in *DEFINE. A box will pop up listing all of the timesheet groups in your unit code. Select the group you want to work in.
  2. To add a new employee to the group, enter the employee’s EID under the Member ID heading. Hit return. If there are more than 6 employees in the group, space-bar over the More Members plus sign (+).
    • New employees will be added to the timesheet system of the unit code they are appointed in, usually about a week after their appointment is active. If an employee cannot be added to a timesheet group immediately, wait until the week after their appointment is active to try again.
    • If the employee’s timesheets need to be added to the routing of a unit code different than the one they are appointed in, use ET1 to change the reporting unit code. (This usually happens when an employee is appointed on multiple accounts, if the accounts are assigned to different unit codes.)
  3. To change the signers on the group, space-bar over the More Contacts plus sign (+) to see all signers and contacts for the group. Type the EID of the new first signer of timesheets over the EID of the person currently listed as S1. Do the same for S2 if needed. The list will resort alphabetically.
    • An employee’s supervisor should be the first signer (S1) of the timesheet. The department manager or timekeeper should be the second signer (S2). Only two signers are required, but more can be added if necessary. An employee cannot be the first signer of his or her own timesheet, but can the second (or third) signer.
    • There may also be contacts in a timesheet group. These are listed with the signers on the Contact ID page. Contacts (C1, C2, etc) can view the group members timesheets in UT direct and leave balances in *DEFINE.
  4. If you need to make changes to another group, press F3 to see the list of groups again.

Links

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Note: PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

Contact

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Please direct comments on the Procedures Guide to cola_comments@utlists.utexas.edu.

Tips or FAQs

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Handy screens for timekeeping:
  • The Monthly Summary page in UT Direct will show you a summary of the timesheet transactions for a specific month for an employee. It will show you what transactions are pending, and what the employee’s effective balances are (assuming all pending transactions are approved).
  • ET1 command in *DEFINE will show you an employee’s balances, but they do not reflect pending timesheets.
  • ETB will show you whether vacation and sick accruals have been credited to an employee. If an employee’s appointment is approved late, it might be a month or so until their accruals catch up.
Comp time versus Overtime
These two leave types are often confused with each other, so here is a little guide to which is which:

State Compensatory Time

FLSA Overtime

Earned by exempt and non-exempt employees Earned by non-exempt employees only
Accrued at straight-time: one hour worked equals one hour earned Accrued at time-and-a-half
May be used as leave until one year after you earn it May be banked and used as leave until August 31
Never paid out Balance must be paid out on August 31

Best Practices for Managers
  • Review Monthly Summary Reports each week to ensure that all staff have completed timesheets.
  • If timesheets are more than two weeks late, remind staff to complete them at the end of each work week.
  • Always approve weekly timesheets in order of the work-week date (rather than date it arrives in your inbox).


Last Updated: 17 October 2011