UIUC Library Web Time Entry Project

In 2013, RIMS helped migrate the Urbana campus Library from paper-based timesheets to an online time entry and approval process.  The Library has 610 hourly employees and 96 supervisors across 41 departments.  The Library’s Business Office spent 40 hours every two weeks coordinating the timesheet submission and approval process to ensure that its employees were paid on time.

Using the Time Sheet Entry application available through Employee Self-Service, hourly employees are able to report their time, managers are able to verify timesheets, and the Library’s Business Office is able to approve payroll conveniently online while reducing data entry errors, paper storage and waste, and time spent routing paper for approval.  Web Time Entry supports custom approval workflows to meet the needs of units large and small.

We would like to thank Kim Hutcherson from the Library for her willingness to coordinate the migration and Laura Curtis from UA HR for guidance through the steps of the migration process.  For more details on the project, Kim has prepared a testimonial (see below).

If your unit would like to migrate to paperless timesheets or otherwise identify ways in which you can improve your information processes, contact RIMS and we would be happy to work with you!


Kim Hutcherson, Library Business Office

The Library has 41 departmental units.  Within these units there are sub-units, there are multiple Supervisors, multiple FOAPs.  While the Library FOAPS do pertain to individual units, there are still many that have the same organization code, but different program codes.  For instance, there are 15 State FOAPS for organization code 540000.  There are many within 600000 and 668000 as well.

The web time approval method has played a positive role in specifying and identifying the sub-units that use the same organization code.  Setting up unique time sheet organization codes for these units is effortless.  It does not involve changing the labor distribution, nor does it generate a separate monthly financial statement.  The exclusive time sheet organization code allows Supervisors to view and approve only employees that he/she Supervise.

The Library currently has 75 time sheet organization codes.  25 of these time sheet organization codes were created for the web time sheet approval.

The Library converted the last few departmental time sheets over to web time entry in January 2014.  We have 610 employees who use the web time entry method.  We don’t receive the departmental time sheets unless an employee is unable to enter on the web due to illness, late time sheet, or on vacation.

The Library currently has 96 Supervisors (this includes backup approvers) that approve through the web time approval, which totals 500 employees.  There are 6 units that are not on the web time approval, which totals 110 employees. 

The web time entry and approval has played a positive role within the Business Office.  It took two employees to view and enter departmental time sheets starting on Thursday, ending on Monday of the next week.  It would take another day or two to handle any problems that would arise with the payroll.  Next thing you know, it’s time for another payroll.  The Business Office also housed the original time sheets, which filled up a file cabinet within 6 months or less.  The web time sheet approval eliminates paper which saves on space.

The web time sheet entry eliminates errors made from departmental time entry.  When employees enter the time sheets on the web and there is an error, it is the responsibility of the Supervisor to catch this error.  The “return for correction” icon is very efficient for taking care of errors.  A unique feature with the web time approval is to make a second person as the final approver.  For instance, the Business Office will approve all the time sheets a final time after the Supervisor approves.  This way, if the Supervisor didn’t catch an error, we can make a change or return for correction.  The web time entry approval frees up more time to accomplish other daily tasks.  The Business Office still has two people working on payroll, but only as approvers.  We start on Friday and end on the following Monday.  We do have Tuesday to approve last minute time sheets, and solve payroll problems.

The web time entry and approval is more accurate, efficient, and effective. 

Staff & Students

“I too favor web entry over having to mess with and maintain signed paper printouts. Chasing after signatures at the end of a pay period is not a good use of anyone’s time. It regularly saves staff time since we don’t have to photocopy time sheets and run them over to LBO.”

“After all my worrying it turns out its quite simple. I like it very much, it’s clear and efficient and…I can’t see how it would be easier.”

“I much prefer the web time entry/approval for staff time sheets.  It offers flexibility for me and staff since I can access this from any computer.  Previously, if a staff member was ill or out the day I needed to turn in the paper time sheets, there was a problem of them getting the paper form in so I could sign and turn it in.  It also eliminates the need to print off paper forms and me signing them and taking them up to the office.  It is much more convenient to do it all via computer. I also find it much easier to read the online format than the paper, since unless staff know how to reformat the online form, it never really printed off correctly and I sometimes had to go back to them to verify which line a certain entry was meant to be on (for vacation, sick etc.) The other benefit is that we no longer need to store the print copies anywhere, since I can now go back and view past entries online.”

“For staff timesheets it is wonderful and very helpful for me as a supervisor of 34+ civil service employees.  First, if I am traveling I can log in remotely and take care of this in a timely manner for LBO.  Also, if someone is absent, I can still take care of timesheets that are ready.  I can also cover for other areas of the department as needed without physically chasing down people on two different floors of the library.  Many of my colleagues at different institutions were using this long before we were and I was impressed then at how convenient it seemed to be.  I also like the “Return” feature if a mistake is made.”

“Works well for me!!  I can approve timesheets on the road from anywhere!  Don’t have to find someone to remember to do it for me when I won’t be here. Could set up a reminder in Outlook on payroll Friday afternoons with link! Less paper in our lives.  Easy to read and review-no illegible handwriting. I can see if a unit had a “problem employee” who wasn’t entirely honest about timesheets, but then supervisor simply doesn’t approve without scrutiny.”

“It saves our unit work on multiple levels – as a remote unit we no longer need to deal with faxes or campus mail to transfer our authorization, which is the biggest help, but from an administrative perspective, it also helps me b/c I can see who has and has not authorized timesheets and I can jump in an authorize if I see that one hasn’t been turned in – that was MUCH harder to track with paper.  Additionally, for a budgetary perspective, I can easily go back and confirm hours worked against our budget, which was again much more difficult and messy with paper records.”