GBA Projects teams up with Mity Digital to collaborate on GBA’s new Time and Expense system – Time-X.

Background

GBA’s former timesheet system had reached end of life. COVID hit and we spent a bit of time re-thinking our systems and how we can best support our teams working remotely.

In mid-2020 we began searching for a replacement product. Some packages that track time and expenses had most of what we needed as a growing business, but not everything. The reports we needed still had to be exported and manipulated in Excel.

After weighing up the costs of user licencing, it became apparent that our smartest and most cost-effective move would be to develop a specification for our needs and team up with the gun developers at Mity Digital.

The Technical Bits

Time-X is a web-based application that is built upon the Laravel PHP framework with the Vue JavaScript framework for a complete and seamless client-side experience. Why is this important? The combination of Laravel and Vue promote a fantastic end-user experience and creates an intelligent client-side system with fast and responsive interface touch points.

Our team can have the same experience with the application whether they are in the office, in a client location or down a mine shaft!

Future-proofing Simple Administration

It’s time to say goodbye to archaic timesheet systems and welcome in a much simpler and logical process that makes timesheet recording a breeze. Time-X is an easy-to-use system enabling:

  • Staff and contractors to capture their timesheets
  • Staff and contractors to update GBA’s administrative team with their contact details including next of kin
  • Staff to submit requests for leave
  • Staff and contractors to submit expense claims
  • Administrative team to create more efficient payroll and accounts receivable processes

The program’s most appealing attribute is being user friendly; you wonder why someone hasn’t thought of this earlier!

Our MD Matt worked in collaboration with Mity Digital to custom build this gem that is making life easier for everyone.

Let’s take a brief peek at the system!

 

Standard User Features

The Dashboard

Once logged into Time-X, users are greeted with a dashboard that links quickly to their timesheet, key company documents and other links such as ‘Your Policies and Procedures’, ‘Your Organisational Chart’ – they are able to access any key company document or link quickly and easily.

Time-X integrates seamlessly with Office 365 Azure AD meaning that users can quickly hop between TimeX, SharePoint and OneDrive browser windows without the need to log in again.

But to create a team culture, we also cheekily call out people’s birthdays and key announcements. Managers can also see their team’s upcoming leave to ensure we’re across everyone’s workloads. 

Timesheet Entry

Time-X works on the basis that a user is assigned to an activity within a project. If an activity has actually started it will be visible to users assigned to it.

When a user clicks on the Timesheet button, the current week is presented in a simple, clean and elegant form from which users can select a ‘Project’ from a drop-down menu and select the activity, then apply the hours. A comment can be added if needed (next to the hours), as well as general comments that don’t necessarily relate to a specific entry.

Once the timesheet has been completed for the week, simply clicking on ‘Submit Timesheet’ will then initiate an approval workflow, sending a notification to the user's Manager’s dashboard for approval.

Timesheet 

Expense Claims

With many consultants on-the-go, we recognised that a simple expense claims solution was needed to minimise the amount of paperwork, from the end user’s perspective but also the administrative staff.

Easily create a new expense claim or view a summary of expense claims including their status.

expenseclaims2

Creating an expense claim allows the user to make a number of entries into the one claim and attach their receipts as a PDF or image.

expenseclaims3

Leave Requests

As a business continues to grow, so too does the requirement for better resource planning. When people go on leave, managers need to ensure adequate coverage to the workloads left behind.

Leave Requests are easy to submit when users enter their reference, leave type (from drop-down menus), start and end date. Any public holidays will automatically be allocated to notify the Manager and Administrators of expected days away.

No need to stress if you’re only taking a half day of leave, that will be overridden when you fill in your timesheet.

Once the request is completed, the user saves it and is returned to the summary page where it will remain in draft until they are ready to submit for their Manager’s approval.

Announcement 

Announcements

With the world changing so rapidly in 2020 and 2021, there was a need to keep everyone informed without over clogging their inboxes. From a system design perspective, it made more sense to include weekly announcements in the one tool that employees used the most.

Company announcements by an Administrator will appear here. When you click on the item, it slides in from the right.

 

 

Administrative and Managerial Features

External Approvals

There’s no need to subscribe to yet another digital signature service to have hours approved externally. This function lets the administrator or book keeper select the period they want approved and send it to the external approver for acceptance.

Hours can be approved (even via phone or tablet) and the document is returned as approved with a digital signature.

Once the timesheet is approved and ready to be attached to an invoice, it can be downloaded and saved where needed.

Projects

Projects can be created along with a simplified activity structure. Users are assigned to activities at their agreed rate and external approvers are allocated quickly and easily.

Users

New employees (or contractors) can be added, given access to broader systems as well as set their access level and assigned to projects. Information such as contact details, personal details and emergency contacts are available at a quick click.

 
Mobile2cropped 
Bookkeeper Function  Once an Expense Claim has been approved by a Manager, the Bookkeeper is notified and ready to process, giving a final check and then printing it out with receipts attached to the approved form.

Expense Claim categories are grouped at the bottom to make entry into the Accountant’s system even easier.

Administration Functions

Administrators have easy-to-use functions at their fingertips, including:

  • Create announcements
  • Approve Expense Claims and Leave Requests
  • Add and remove links
  • Delegate Managers to cover timesheets for staff if another Manager is away
  • Create Onboarding templates to reduce time when a new Employee starts on a project
  • Check timesheets, adjust if there has been a mistake and check the status of timesheets from draft to approval
Reports
  • Individually export timesheets with selected date range
  • Leave Extract – making payroll simpler by searching leave for a pay period
  • Manager and Users – look at who reports to who in a group appearance
  • Timesheet Data Extract – grab the raw data to assist with invoicing and endless types of reports
  • Users and Managers – quick list
Lookups

Need to add something to a drop-down, no problem! Users can add the following:

  • Documents
  • Expense Categories
  • External Approvers
  • Leave Types
  • Organisations
  • Public Holidays
  • Titles

The brains behind the operation

GBA Projects MD Matt worked together with friend Marty Friedel, Mity-fine web and graphic designer plus co-owner of Mity Digital, to develop this easy-to-use system.

With a growing business and specific end-user requirements, both Matt and Marty were able to define the scope of the system and implement it in a short time frame.

But there is more to come! The duo is working together to widen the scope and progress of this already user-friendly Time-X system. Think ‘Team Movement Tracker’ so you know if your staff anticipate working from home, at a client office, in the office, or at a site.

Matt summed up the project perfectly:

"The 'work smarter and not harder' philosophy governs the way in which GBA Projects approaches its work. Our ability to 'think outside the box' is demonstrated daily within our team. Our systems and processes constantly maximise value, ensuring our outputs are efficiently delivered."

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