creating your time sheet template

Modified on Mon, 06 May 2024 at 10:33 AM


TABLE OF CONTENTS



Getting There

Now you’ll create your Time Sheet Template -- the report that reporters will use to log their time.  You may only create a template after creating your Time Sheet Association.

  1. On the left, in your Mission Control, click Time Sheets.

  2. On the right, select Create & manage time sheet templates.

  3. On the next page, enter a name for your template.

  4. Click Create & Go to Step 2.

IMPORTANT: Generally, it's best to name your template according to the program year the template will cover (e.g., 2022-23 Program Year).

If you intend to use two or more templates for a single program year, then also include the name of the program that will be linked to that template (e.g., 2022-23 Program Year: Environment Restoration Team).

Start & End Dates

After creating a name for your template, click Set to enter Start and End Dates for it.

Start Date: The date your program year begins.

End Date: The last day of your program year.


Notes: Start Dates can be changed up until the day your Template launches. After that day, contact us to make any changes for you.

End Dates can be changed at any time before the Template’s last time sheet period launches.

End Dates may not be changed on your own or after the Template’s last period becomes active. Please call the America Learns Team for help changing end dates after the last time sheet period has launched or closed.


Length of Each Time Sheet Period

You have control over how often reporters will be asked to submit their time sheets.  Select one of the many options listed. If you don’t see the one you need, use the Custom option.



Time Allocation Categories

You’re able to create an unlimited number of activity categories.  You can also create new categories and hide ones that are no longer relevant at any point during the program year.


Here are the steps to follow for each category you create:

  1. Under the section “Time Allocation Categories,” click Create a Category. A pop-up window will be displayed.


  2. At the top of the window, enter a name for your category (e.g., “Service”).

  3. Next you’ll then see a section that reads, Number of hours that should be accrued.


Listed here are each of the active items in your Time Sheet Association.


If the reporters assigned to any of these Time Sheet Associations items need to accrue a specific number of hours under this category (an “hours target”), we encourage you to enter that hour amount in the text field.  That way, the Impact Suite can keep track of whether the person has met or exceeded their commitment.  Otherwise, keep No Limit selected.


  1. Next, you'll see a section called: Deduct approved hours in this category from the total number of hours that need to be accrued.

    This section allows you to decide if the time collected for this category will be deducted from the minimum number of hours you have allocated to each Time Sheet Association item.

    Yes, here, means you require the time to be deducted from the total hours needed.

    No, means you do NOT require the time allocated by reporters to this category for reporters assigned to the selected Time Sheet Association items to be deducted from the total hours needed.

  2. Turn on written descriptions? To turn on a text field so that reporters can describe their efforts in this category use the drop-down menu to select one of the following options:

    Note: To initiate the option Only for Specific Subcategories you will first need to create subcategories (more guidance on this in the section called Text Fields for Subcategories).

  3. Next, is the section called Which sites will see this category? 

    This option allows you to target categories to reporters by site. If all reporters assigned to the template should see the category, leave Everyone selected and move to the next section.

    To target a category choose Limit by Site Selection.

  4. Optional: Subcategories

    You may create up to 20 Subcategories for each Category. Subcategories for the “Service” category might be “Mission-Aligned Service” and “National Service Days.”

    If you create Subcategories, reporters will not enter time for the main Category (e.g., Service). Instead, they’ll allocate their time across the Subcategories (see the highlighted areas in the image below to see examples of subcategories).
    • To create a subcategory, give it a name and click Update.

    • As with the Main Category, you can also create hour targets (Number of hours that should be accrued) for each Time Sheet Association item.

    • You may also target subcategories to sites (Which sites will see this subcategory?) by making the selection Limit by Site Selection

  5. Click Update to save your work.

Are Subcategories Right for Your Program?


 To determine if you need Subcategories, ask yourself:

  • Are there multiple aspects of this Category that I need to track separately?
     
  • If so, is it reasonable for our reporters to track their time across each aspect, or
  • Is it going to cause an undue burden and a potential mess?
     

If the answer to those questions is yes, Subcategories may be right for you.


Definitely connect with us if you’d like a brainstorming session in this area or if you’d like us to review your Categories and Subcategories before your time sheet launches.


After You’ve Created a Category


To the right of each Category you create, you’ll see three links: 

  • Edit: Allows you to edit any Category and Subcategory settings.
  • Delete: Allows you to delete the Category before the Template launches.  (This link disappears after the Template launches.)
  • Hide on Template: Prevents the Category and any of its Subcategories from being displayed on all un-submitted sheets.

    If any Category has been hidden, this link will read Show on Template. Clicking that link will display the category on future time sheets (not previously launched or currently active ones).

  • (If you have subcategories) Order Subcategories: If you need to reorder Subcategories within a Category, click Order Subcategories.

    When the pop-up window opens you can drag-and-drop your Subcategories or use the Move After drop-down menu to rearrange the order.


The Green Triangles

Click on the triangles to the left of each Category name to determine the order in which the categories will appear on the time sheets.


Hours Type Labels

This is where you can update the labels for your hour types (Accruing and, if relevant, Non-Accruing) that will appear in the Where You Are table for your reporters.


With Accruing Categories Only

With Both Accruing and Non-Accruing Categories


Copy & Paste

Please note: this feature is not available when the Paid Time Off Tracking feature is in use. 


To allow reporters to easily copy information from one day to others on a single time sheet check the box in the section, Copy & Paste Feature.


Here's a sample of what the Copy & Paste functionality looks like on a time sheet: 



Time In and Time Out Functionality


By default your Impact Suite will "Require reporters to record their start and end times each day they served." For AmeriCorps program, this is the method AmeriCorps strongly recommends


If you choose the option to "Prevent reporters from recording start and end times for each day," reporters will only need to enter total hours for each category/subcategory. Choosing this option might put your program at risk of being non-compliant. Before selecting it, we suggest reaching out to your AmeriCorps Program Officer before making this change. 


Here's a sample of day from a time sheet when "Prevent reporters from recording start and end times for each day" is selected: 



Create a Default "Time In"

You can reduce the number of clicks your reporters need to make on a time sheet by setting a default "Time In" for them. 


If you do not set defaults, the Time In drop-down menu will start at 12:00 AM for each day. 


To set default Time In times for each time sheet association item, click Create a Default "Time In".



Submission Day Limits

Depending on how you read OMB Circular A-122 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a122_2004), time sheet systems that allow reporters to complete sheets before the end of a time sheet period may not be compliant with CNCS policies. To stay in compliance with the strictest interpretations of the OMB circular, you may activate the feature in this section.

To prevent Reporters from submitting sheets before the last day of a period:

  1. On the left, in your Mission Control, click Time Sheets.

  2. On the right, click Create & manage Time Sheet Templates.

  3. At the bottom of the page, select the template that you’d like to update.

  4. Towards the bottom of the page, you’ll see a new section called Submission Day Limits.

  5. To prevent reporters from submitting sheets before the last day of the period, simply click the checkbox.

    • If you would like to allow reporters who have blackout dates that include the final day of a time sheet period can submit those sheets on their last active day of the period, check the first sub-checkbox.

    • If you would like to allow reporters who have indicated that they did not serve on dates that include the final day a time sheet period can submit those sheets on their last active day of the period, check the second sub-checkbox.


If you activate the feature, here’s what your reporters will see at the bottom of their sheets prior to the last day of any time sheet period (unless they meet one of the two conditions that supersede this rule):


Acceptable Reasons for Not Serving

If you’d like, the Impact Suite will track which days each reporter did not serve, along with the specific reason for not serving. The Impact Suite can then create instant reports for this variable.  For example, you can track the total number of sick days for each reporter and for your entire corps.


To set up your Acceptable Reasons for Not Serving:

  1. In the section Acceptable Reasons for Not Serving, click Review and Update.

  2. In the pop-up box that’s displayed, remove any of the pre-listed reasons that are not applicable or whose language you are not a fan off.

  3. Add an unlimited number of additional reasons and click Update.

You can hide and add reasons at any time.  Your additions take effect immediately, even for currently-active sheets.

If you do not want to track this information:

  • In the updating window, remove all of the pre-listed reasons and click Update.

"Unallocated Time" Options

There are four options for capturing time when reporters are not serving. In the section “Unallocated Time”, use the Review and Update link to choose the option that works work best for you.

option 1: feature activation/deactivation

This feature is inactive by default. If you wish to activate the feature, click the Yes radio button.

By not activating this feature, reporters will not have a method for describing what they were doing during the time they listed in the “Unallocated Time” sections on their time sheets.

To ask your reporters to choose from a series of options (hyperlinks) of the most popular reasons for not serving:

  1. Click the Yes radio button in the Activate Feature section at the top of the window;

  2. Enter a prompt in the Customize the Prompt for this Section field;

  3. Enter each reason (i.e. Lunch, Break, Personal Appointment, etc.); and

  4. Click No, do not include an “Other Activities” box radio button.

Here’s what this option looks like from a reporter’s perspective.  The red text is the text is your custom prompt.


option 3: text box only

To allow reporters to write what they were doing during the times listed in the “Unallocated Time” section on their time sheets without selecting any pre-written activities:

  1. Click the Yes button in the Activate Feature section at the top of the window;

  2. Customize the Prompt covered in option 2 above.

  3. Click Yes, include a box for reporters to note their own activities radio button.

  4. Customize the prompt that appears in the text box.


Here’s what this option looks like from the Reporters perspective:

To ask your reporters to choose from a series of options of the most popular reasons for not serving, AND to enable a text box for reporters to write additional details about what they were doing during this time:

  1. Click the Yes radio button to enable the feature. Click the Yes button in the Activate Feature section at the top of the window;

  2. Customize the Prompt that appears above the text box.

  3. Enter your custom hyperlinks (see option 2 above).

  4. Click Yes, include a box for reporters to note their own activities radio button.

  5. Customize the prompt that appears in the text box.

Here’s what this option looks like from the reporters’ perspective:


Validation Customizations

The Validation Customizations section is extremely important.


Always Allocate Hours

Check the box when you want to require reporters to always allocate hours to at least one Time Allocation Category whenever they enter “Time In” and “Time Out” values for a given day.

Do not check the box when it’s possible that a reporter will enter a Time In and Time Out value, but will not necessarily need to allocate hours across any Time Allocation Categories. For example, a reporter might have been at a site for five hours one day, but did not spend any of those hours participating in activities that would allow their to earn credit towards their Education Award.

Always Account For Unallocated Time

Check the box when you want to require reporters to write a description (or click the hyperlinks you’ve created) to describe what they were doing for the unallocated time.

Do not check the box when you don’t want to require your reporters to share what they were doing during this time.


Hours Notification Alerts

You can have the system send instant alerts to designated program staff Reporters and supervisors when a reporter submits a time sheet with an abnormally low or high number of hours on it.


Towards the bottom of the template management page, you’ll see a section called Hours Notification Alerts.

To activate Insufficient Hours Notifications (in which e-mail alerts are sent when reporters log an abnormally-low number of hours):

  1. Click the Insufficient Hours Notifications checkbox.

  2. In the window that’s displayed, you’ll see a section called Insufficient Hours. In this section, note the minimum number of hours that reporters belonging to each Time Sheet Association should log on any one time sheet.

    E-mail alerts will only be sent when hours on a given sheet fall below the limit you enter.  If you select “No Limit” for any Association, e-mail alerts will never be sent for those reporters.


  3. In the section, Who Should Receive These E-mails? select whether Time Sheet Directors and/or Time Sheet Site Supervisors should receive the notifications.

    Time Sheet Site Supervisors and Time Sheet Directors will only receive these notifications if you have selected that permission (see Step 3 above).

To activate Excessive Hours Notifications (in which e-mail alerts are sent when reporters log an abnormally-low number of hours):

  1. Click the Excessive Hours Notifications checkbox.

  2. In the window that’s displayed, you’ll see a section called Hours Limits. In this section, note the maximum number of hours that reporters belonging to each Time Sheet Association should log on any one time sheet.

    E-mail alerts will only be sent when hours on a given sheet exceed the limit you enter.  If you select “No Limit” for any Association, e-mail alerts will never be sent for those reporters.


  3. In the section, Who Should Receive These E-mails?, select whether Time Sheet Directors and/or Time Sheet Site Supervisors should receive the notifications.

    Time Sheet Site Supervisors and Time Sheet Directors will only receive these notifications if you have selected that permission.

    You can update these settings at any time by returning to your Time Sheet Template management page.



Reminder Alerts to Reporters, Site Supervisors and Staff

Here’s how to start the reminder alerts:


Note that the alerts will be sent from donotreply@americalearns.net.

  1. Scroll to the section called Reminder Alerts.

  2. Select either To Reporters or To Time Sheet Site Supervisors and Time Sheet Directors.

  3. You’ll see that there are options to set up e-mail and text message alerts. Select the Start link next to the type of alert you’d like to set up first.

  4. The customization window has two sections: “Frequency” and “Customize the Alert”.
    • In the Frequency section, use the drop-down menu to set how many days after a time sheet period’s last day that the alert should be sent.

    • In the Customize the Alert section, enter the text you’d like to include in the alert.

Note that the e-mail alert for Reporters automatically includes the list of sheets that are late for each person. Reporters will only receive an alert if they have at least one outstanding sheet.

Note that the e-mail alert for supervisors automatically includes the list of sheets that supervisors need to sign. Supervisors will only receive an alert if they have at least one sheet that needs to be screened.


Here’s how to edit or stop the reminder alerts:


  1. On the left-hand side of your Mission Control, click Create & Manage Time Sheet Templates.

  2. On the right, click Create & Manage Time Sheet Templates.

  3. On the right, select the template that you’d like to edit or stop reminders for.

  4. Scroll to the section called Reminder Alerts.

  5. Select either To Reporters or To Time Sheet Site Supervisors and Time Sheet Directors.

  6. Select the Edit link alongside the alert at issue.

  7. To stop an alert, click the Stop checkbox at the top of the pop-up window and click the Update link at the bottom of the window.

  8. To edit any aspect of the alert, simply adjust the frequency settings and/or text and click the Update link at the bottom of the window.

Turning on the Average Hours Needed Each Week Feature

Use this section to turn on a calculation that can help reporters and staff know, on average, how many hours each reporter must complete per week to meet their minimum number of hours per service term.

Here's how this calculation works for each reporter: We're taking the total number of the person's remaining hours and then dividing that by the total number of remaining weeks (Monday - Sunday) (taking blackout dates into account). We count each week, even if it is a particle week, as 1. 


Since we're only taking approved hours into account when calculating this average, the number that we're displaying will only be completely accurate when reports do not have any sheets in "pending" status.


Text Above the Signature Field

Use this section to control the text that reporters and supervisors/staff see when signing time sheets. 


Please be sure to reference any guidance given to you to ensure that your signature field and statement comply with regulations.



Setting the Number of Signatures You’ll Need for Each Site

Use this section to determine the number of signatures you’ll need for each site on a given sheet.  Note that you can change these settings at any time during the year.  


You have three options.


One Signatory

By selecting this option, one Time Sheet Site Supervisor will need to approve hours for each site.  If a Time Sheet Director approves hours before a Time Sheet Site Supervisor does, the Time Sheet Site Supervisor will not be able to sign off on any portion of the sheet.

Two Signatories: One Time Sheet Site Supervisor and One Time Sheet Director

In this scenario, when a time sheet is submitted any Time Sheet Site Supervisors who are assigned to a relevant site can receive an instant e-mail notification about the new submission.


After the Time Sheet Site Supervisor approves hours, Time Sheet Directors can receive e-mail alerts that it is now their turn to approve the hours.


If a Time Sheet Site Supervisor isn’t assigned to a given site, Time Sheet Directors will need to approve those hours.


The Checkbox Below this Option:


You’ll see a checkbox beneath this option with text that reads, “Time Sheet Directors will be able to approve hours for sites before Time Sheet Site Supervisors do so. Once a Time Sheet Director approves those hours, no other user can approve them.”


By selecting this option, Time Sheet Directors would be able to approve hours for sites before Time Sheet Site Supervisors review them.  Once approved, Site Supervisors will be unable to formally sign off on the hours.

Two Signatories: Two Time Sheet Site Supervisors

In this scenario, when a sheet is submitted, all relevant Time Sheet Site Supervisors who are connected to the site at issue can receive an e-mail asking them to review the sheet. 


After one Supervisor approves the sheet, all other relevant Supervisors can receive an e-mail notification that they now need to review the sheet.


If a Time Sheet Site Supervisor isn’t assigned to a given site, Time Sheet Directors will need to approve those hours.


  • The First Checkbox Below this Option:

    “If only one Time Sheet Supervisor is assigned to the selected site, no other signature will be needed.”

    By selecting this option, if there is only one supervisor connected to a site, then only one signer is needed to completely approve the time sheet.

  • The Second Checkbox Below this Option:

    “Allow Time Sheet Directors to approve hours for a site that a Time Sheet Supervisor is assigned to. This signature will serve as final approval for the site at issue.”

    By selecting this option, Time Sheet Directors would be able to approve hours for a given site at any time.  Once approved, Site Supervisors will be unable to formally sign off on the hours.


Audit Trail Customization

Customize the Audit Trail View. This determines how you view the date and/or time the time sheets were:


  • Submitted
  • Approved
  • Returned for edits
  • Re-submitted (after corrections were made)
  • Re-Approved (after edits were approved)


In these instances, choose whether or not you would like the audit trail to:

  1. Include date stamps and time stamps of all activity (Pacific Time); or
  2. Include only date stamps of all activity (Pacific Time).



NOTE: This choice will be reflected in all the places where the Audit Trail is displayed:

  • Time Sheet Totals Report (View on Screen).
  • All Time Sheet Report Exports.
  • All Exported Time Sheets (Full and Condensed Reports).

Saving Your Template & Scheduling its Launch

To save and schedule your Template’s launch, at the bottom of the page, click Save.  If you set your start date as today, your Template will launch immediately.


Once a Template has launched, you won’t be able to revoke it without support from our team.

Any changes made after the template is saved will be applied immediately and automatically. You will not need to save changes.






Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article