Title: Scheduling a Timesheet Minimum Entry Email Reminder
This topic covers best practices for various combinations of settings in the Admin > Schedule and Admin > Reminders areas.
What’s covered in this document:
Where and How to Set Up Reminders
There are three places to set Reminder settings:
- Admin > Reminders: Create new reminders
- Admin > Schedule: Edit existing reminders
- Admin > Setup > Miscellaneous > Email Reminders: Edit the message and subject of the reminder
In Admin > Reminders, the Reminder tab is where you choose the type of reminder. Let's take a look at the Timesheet Minimum Hour reminder.
Some Unanet users like to check employee timesheets on the evening of the workday, at 6pm or 8pm. Other Unanet users like to check first thing the next morning. Let's look at the latter method here.
A common best practice is to look the following morning at timesheets for the previous day. If hours are not recorded to the specified minimum, a reminder is sent to the owner of the timesheet (and to the Manager, if desired, by checking the Send Summary to Manager box at the bottom of the Reminder page). To set this up, set the date to "Yesterday" and the hours to either a numeric value for everyone in Hours (8 hours, 2 hours, 0.1 hours) or use the hours in a person's business day.
Minimum hours settings:
Hours - One best practice using Hours is to set this value to 0.1. This means that the reminder will look to see if something is filled out in the timesheet, and can be useful for organizations who do not expect a minimum number of hours to be worked per day as long as some value of hours has been entered in the timesheet.
Use Hours in Business Day is useful for organizations where people work a variety of business hours in a day (10 hour days, 4 hour days, etc.). The Admin > Setup > Business Week area allows you to specify business day hours in addition to business week hours, and those are the values used in this setting.
If the Send Summary to Manager check box is selected as shown above, a dependency is created requiring the specific notification being set up - Timesheet Minimum Hour Summary in this case - to be ACTIVE.
- Navigate to Admin > Setup > Miscellaneous > E-mail Notifications and locate the specific notification template.
- If there is no check mark in the ACTIVE column for that notification template, click the edit pencil icon and select the Active check box.
- Click Save.
If the notification template is not ACTIVE, email reminders will not be delivered.
In Admin > Reminders, the Schedule tab is used to specify when the reminder will kick off and look in timesheets. In the example below, since we had set "Yesterday" in the Reminder tab, the Schedule tab is set to "Daily" and runs only "Tuesday - Saturday." This is because people are typically expected to work minimum hours on Monday - Friday. On Tuesday it will look at Monday, On Wednesday it will look at Tuesday, etc. Sunday is unchecked because we don't want to look at Saturday. Monday is unchecked because we don't want to look at Sunday.
Once saved, your reminder settings can be edited under Admin > Schedule.
Limit Reminders to Part-Time Employees
Some software products allow part-time employees to indicate days on which they are not going to work, and on those days the part-time employees do not receive timesheet entry reminders.
For example, in Deltek, the part-time employee may enter zero (0) hours on future dates against a project called Days Not Worked, alerting the company that those were days the employee did not plan on working.
That person would not get email reminders for the zero hour days, but they would get reminders for no time entered on days they had not already indicated with zero hours.
Unanet offers a workaround that would provide similar results.
An option in Unanet is to set up an unpaid pay code, call it something innocuous like Non-Work, and assign it to a similar non-work project that is non-billable (NB) that would allow for future time entry.
Of course, there would be hours on the timesheet that were not worked, and would need to be excluded from payroll exports and reports.
We can use Employee Type to prevent the part-time employees from ever getting the reminder, but that is not preferred as we do want them to get the reminder for days they do intend to work.