Audit Trial on Project Timesheets Entry and Reporting in CU7 For AX 2012 R2

Audit Trial on Project Timesheets Entry and Reporting in CU7 For AX 2012 R2

Hello Friends,

It has been hectic two months and I have not been able to spend time to write here. Hope you all are up and running on your AX learning curves.

Here I am back today ! and in today’s post, we will discuss about the new audit trial features, which are introduced for the Project Timesheets functionality in the CU7 release for AX 2012 R2.

This new feature allows you to setup audit trials on all the timesheets which are submitted by the workers of your organization by which you can record all the changes which are made by the workers to the timesheets. This new feature also includes the option of blocking future timesheet entries, except for the planned absences of the employee.

Let us now see each of these new enhancements in action.

1. Parameter Controlled: The first step in this is to enable the necessary controls in the Project Management and Accounting Parameters form. You can always choose whether to enable the audit trials or not.

    Notice the various check boxes you have under the “Validation” group highlighted in screenshot below.

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2. Block Future Timesheet Entries: In CU7 and later versions of AX 2012, you can now “Block the entry of timesheets for the future period”. This is a very useful enhancement to have good control over the employee timesheet entries. However, you employees can enter planned absences for the future with this parameter enabled.

  • Go to PMA > Common > My Timesheets and create a new Timesheet for a future period which is 04/21 – 04/27 and then create a new timesheet line for a project except for the planned absences.

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  • Notice that, system will block this with a warning message as shown below.

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3. Validate Absence Categories and Validate Absence: With the “Block future timesheets” enabled, if you do not select the “Validate Absence Categories” check box, then the workers cannot enter future absences in a timesheet for a future period. Notice in screenshot below that with these checkbox marked and worker is able to enter a future absence  for a future period.

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4. Require Timesheet Audit Trial: When you enable only this checkbox, your workers will not forced to enter a Reason for timesheet changes such as Deletion, or editing after Submitting. But, the Timesheet Audit trial will be maintained. This means that if workers update anything in an original timesheet, the audit trial will be stored for future references.

  • In the example below, Julia submitted the timesheet for period 04/13.

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  • The reviewer of the timesheet has rejected the timesheet asking for additional comments on the timesheet lines. Julia then adds  more comments and resubmits the TS.

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  • The Project Accounting Team or the Timesheet Reviewers can see the complete audit trials history of the timesheets by clicking the Manage Versions button on the ‘All Timesheets” list page. System maintains a complete audit trial of the timesheet to track what happened to it since creation.

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  • Additionally, you can also compare the various updates by clicking the “Compare” button to know what exactly was changed in the TS version.

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5. Allow Timesheet Change Reason: When you select the Require timesheet audit trial check box, then you can also select to tell the system if the worker can enter a reason for change when they change timesheet.

  • In the screenshot below, notice that, a new field is shown the timesheet line for entering change reasons, when you enable the “Allow Timesheet Change Reason” parameter.

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  • Workers can enter reasons for changes, but it is not mandatory to enter the reason for change, unless you mark the “ Require Timesheet Change Reason” checkbox.

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6. Require Timesheet change reason: When you mark this, workers are needed to enter change reasons for every change they make to the timesheets.

  • If we Reject the timesheet which Julia submitted above with this parameter enabled, Julia will need to enter a reason to be entered before resubmitting the TS.
  • Notice that when Julia changes the #hours to 4 from 3 and tries to save or submit the timesheet, system gives a warning message asking for the reason to be entered.
  • When the workers enter the change reasons and resubmit, then complete TS history along with the change reasons can be seen in the Timesheet versions form.

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7. Deleted Timesheet History: This new feature also allows to keep complete track of all your deleted timesheets. You can track the reasons why workers deleted the timesheets.

  • In Screenshot below Julia deletes the timesheet as she created it for a future period by mistake. When Julia clicks Delete, notice that she needs to enter a reason.

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  • Navigate to PMA > Common > Timesheets > Deleted Timesheets History list page to see the list of all the deleted timesheets along with the reasons. You can also trace the versions of the timesheet from this screen.

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8. Submitting Timesheets Into a Closed GL Period: Another great addition you will notice is the “Allow Date Corrections On Timesheet” functionality. This allows you to submitting timesheets into a GL period which is already closed or On-Hold.

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  • Screenshot below shows the ledger period 08/01 to 08/30/2013 is Kept “On-Hold”.

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  • When you submit a timesheet for this period and try to post the timesheet, system did not allow the posting earlier and system would block this saying the Period is not open.

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  • With the “Allow date corrections on Timesheets” checkbox marked, you can now post the timesheet, and system will automatically post the ledger transactions into an advanced period which is Open subsequently. However, the Project transaction dates will remain as the original timesheet line dates.

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  • Notice that system posted the ledger transactions automatically to the next period which is Open, i.e. 09/01/2013.

image IMPORTANT NOTE: You might find that the “Project Transaction date” also gets populated with the next open date which is “9/01/2013”. This was an issue in the CU7 release and a HOTFIX  KB 2922713 was released around January of this year. Please make sure you install the hotfix to see the correct results. Well, that’s it for today! Stay tuned.. Keep Reading…

Missing Timesheets Report – Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Missing Timesheets Report – Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Hello Everyone,

First of all, I would like to wish you all very happy and prosperous holidays and hope you all are enjoying with your families and relatives.

And, So do I ! I took a long vacation from blog writing and work and had wonderful time with family and I am back again here.

In today’s post, we will discuss a very small report/functionality of Microsoft Dynamics AX, which is the “Missing Timesheets Report”” under the Project Management and Accounting Module.

Timesheets are critical for any service industry to be able to invoice their customers effectively on time, as they are the source for the invoices. Making sure that all the employees submit their timesheets on time is very important for the service industries in terms of project management, accountability, invoicing customer and getting paid.

AX 2012 provides a a report called “Missing Timesheets” which tells which employees have not submitted their timesheets for a given period, so that you can communicate with them to make sure the timesheets are in.

Let us take a look at how this is configured in AX and how does it look like.

  1. To begin with, I will need to ensure that all my configurations and setup for worker and timesheets are correct.
  2. Navigate to Workers > Project Management Tab and make sure there is a timesheet period attached to the worker.

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   3. The next step is to make sure that the “Worker timesheet periods are updated along with billable and efficiency hours data.

   4. Go to PMA > Setup > Timesheet > Periods, Select “EmplWeek” and Click Update worker periods.

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    5. Now, the worker “Alan Brewer” has not submitted his timesheets for the week 12/23 to 12/29. Let us generate the Missing Timesheets report and see how it looks like.

    6. Go to PMA > Reports > Timesheets > Missing Timesheets. Let me explain the options on this report.

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    Period Code: Select the timesheet period code for which you want to generate the missing timesheets.

   Start date: Select the start date of the Week/Bi-Week(Depending on what is your timesheet period).

    All Employees: Mark this check box if you want the report to list all the employee who have already registered their hours.

    Send e-mail: This check box misleads by its name. It does not really send email to the employees for whom the timesheets are     missing in the given period. For me, this is limitation and you could write custom code (Will not be complex) to send emails.      When you mark this check box, the “E-mail sent” column will show “YES” if the an email id is setup for the worker in the worker     master and will show “NO”, if there is not email ID.

   7. Finally, let us see how the final report looks like.

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   See that, Alan Brewer is listed in the report, as he has not submitted his timesheet for the week 12/23-12/29. Also, there is no email ID specified for Alan, so the “Email   Sent” column shows “No”.

When you write the custom code to send emails, you could also set this report to run automatically at end of every timesheet period, so that the report can be automatically sent to the accounts receivable team for their action for follow ups and also an automatic email can be sent to the employees directly asking to submit timesheets.

NOTE: Please see the conversation below between myself and KK, where he says the CU 7 now has the functionality of sending emails. This means that you will no more require to write custom code for this. Thank you KK for providing this information.

Thats it for today’s post. Till next time !!!

Managerial Hierarchy based workflow configuration for Timesheets does not work as expected when Timesheet is submitted by a Delegate in AX 2012

Managerial Hierarchy based workflow configuration for Timesheets does not work as expected when Timesheet is submitted by a Delegate in AX 2012

Friends,

Hope everyone is doing well.

Just wanted to share a quick information about an issue which you may face while implementing Timesheets approval of workers based on a Managerial Hierarchy.

When you setup the Timesheet review workflow as “Hierarchy” based and setup appropriate reporting positions for the workers, you will notice that the timesheet when submitted “by a Delegate” for an employee, will get routed/assigned to the reporting manager of the delegate(who submits the timesheet), instead of getting assigned to the reporting manager of the actual employee.

This is a known issue in AX 2012 feature pack(until the CU4 release) and you will need to make a code correction by taking help of your developers.

However in the R2 release of AX 2012, this issue is taken care by the introduction of a small “Design change” in the workflow configuration. In the R2 release, you will be able to select “Worker” as the “Start from” location for the workflow. This will ensure that the timesheets even though submitted by a delegate, will get routed/assigned to the reporting manager of the timesheet worker/employee, but not to the reporting manager of the delegate. See screen below.

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Please shoot questions in case you have any in this regard.

Till next time !! Keep DAXING Smile

Intercompany Timesheets Management in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Hi All,

I had been very busy with several things on my plate at work. Work keeps all of us busy.

It feels bad for not being able to spend time on my blog and finally decided to take out some time and write here.

In today’s post, we will explore and discuss about one of the important functionality in the Project Management area which is “Intercompany timesheets functionality”.

Intercompany Timesheets

In every mid sized to a large-sized professional service industry, it is a common practice that employees/workers of the organization keep working on the projects of different legal entities where as they will be employed in only one legal entity.

The loaning and borrowing activity of employees between the legal entities is essential to make efficient utilization and putting right people if the right job possible. When working on the projects of legal entities other than their employing legal entity, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 make it simple for the employees to register their times/hours directly on the projects of the contracting company/resource borrowing company, without having the need for the employee to enter times at multiple places and multiple times.

NOTE : Intercompany Timesheets Management functionality will be available only if the AX 2012 feature pack is installed.

In the subsequent steps and paragraphs of this post, we will explore the various setups and the overall intercompany timesheets operation in AX2012.

Let us refer the two legal entities which exchange the employees as the Loaning entity/Resourcing and the Borrowing/Contracting entity.

The following setups needs to be completed in AX 2012 in the Loaning legal entity.

1. Enable the intercompany timesheets management in the project parameters screen.

Project Parameters

2. Setup pricing details for the employees who are to be loaned. This includes setting up the cost price and the transfer price. The cost price however is ideally setup for all employees weather they will be loaned or not. The transfer price represents the price which the loaning legal entity charges to the borrowing legal entity.

Transfer price setup:

Price setup

Cost price setup:

Price setup

3. Setup the ledger accounts for the inter company cost and revenue.

Intercompany Ledger Accounts setup

4. Make sure that the debit and credit accounts for the intercompany transactions are setup.

Intercompany accounts mapping

This completes the setup required in the loaning/resourcing company.

Now, let us complete the setup needed to be done in AX 2012 in the borrowing legal entity.

1. Setup sales prices for the borrowed resources which the the actual selling price in the project.

Sales price setup

2. Setup the debit and the credit accounts for the legal entity the worker will be borrowed from.

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3. Further additional setups can be done, like assigning projects and categories to the borrowed worker if the validation functionality is implemented.

Now that we are done with the minimum setups required for the intercompany timesheet functionality to be operational, let us take a look at the steps/process by which the borrowed employee can submit this timesheets in the borrowing/contracting company.

  • Employee logs into AX 2012 enterprise portal and navigates to the new timesheets screen.
  • Notice the new Legal entity field in the timesheet line which gets enabled when we enable the intercompany timesheets in AX2012.

New Timesheet

  • Also notice that the loaning and the borrowing/contracting companies are displayed in the look up of the legal entity field. The worker will select CEE as the legal entity and enter their times in.

New Timesheet - Legal entities

So the employee will be able to submit his/her times in the project of the other legal entity without having to be an employee of that legal entity.

The back end accounting is then done automatically based on the setups done.

For any queries regarding the inter company timesheets functionality, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Till next time !!!

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An insight to the new and improved Timesheets Management Functionality in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Powerful, Simple, Agile

Hi Friends,

I thought of writing about one of the most talked about enhancements in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 which is the employee timesheets functionality in Project Management and Accounting module.

Recording the employee’s times(hours) and expenses is one of the key processes in any services industry today, especially the IT consulting and Management services firms. These firms always look for a timesheet management system in the ERP system which they evaluate for their organization which can make it efficient and easy for their employees to enter their timesheets and expenses.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 empowers the professional services industries with a powerfully simple employee services portal refered to as the Enterprise portal which is based on the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 foundation server, one of the most successful products that MS has released ever.

Now let us discuss about the various capabilities and improvements of the Timesheet system in AX 2012.

Few of the pre requisites for the timesheet functionality to be working are as below.

  • Setup timesheet periods. ( Ax 2012 supports Daily, Weekly, Bi-weekly, Semi-monthly and Monthly etc. periods for registering hours/times).
  • Setup the project management setup for the workers. ( Employees and Contractors).
  • Create required user relations.
  • The project management and accounting module setup. (Projects, activities, categories, line properties etc.).

Assuming that all of the above required setups are done, employees of the organization can log into the employee services portal and start entering timesheets.

The Home page of the employee services portal displays role tailored information depending on the user profile/role which is assigned to the employee.

When an employee/contractor who has system administrator role logs into the enterprise portal, the screen looks as shown below. This shows all the various capabilities and functionalities present on the enterprise portal of AX 2012.

Employee Services Portal

However, assuming the case of a typical service industry/IT consulting services industry, where employees (both salaried and hourly based) deal mostly with timesheets, expenses and their approvals, I have customized a role to prepare the employee services portal to look as below. Ax 2012 provides the flexibility of customizing the enterprise portal content the way you want it.

Role customized Employee services screen - AX 2012

Timesheet Management functionality Highlights in AX 2012:

  1. Provides flexibility for defining different timesheet periods depending on need.

Timesheet Periods

2. Timesheets overview screen displaying details of exiting timesheets.

Timesheets Overview Screen - AX 2012

3. Option to set timesheet favorites/favorite lines and functionality to load timesheet lines

these from favorites.

Timesheets Favorites Management

4. Option to create new timesheet by copying an existing timesheet (Previous).

Copy timesheets Function

5. Setup delegates for timesheet submission, who can enter timesheets on your behalf in

your absence and manage your timesheet delegates and timesheet favorites right on the

web enterprise portal.

Manage Timesheet Delegates

6. Record time on each individual task/activity or the project by entering suitable internal

and external comments for the description of the work. Week summary to date fact box

which displays the total number of hours entered in the week.

Timesheet Entry Screen AX 2012

7. Employees will have to spend less time in entering comments for each line with the consolidated comments entry screen.

Consolidated Timesheet Comments

8. Automatic workflow can be setup for timesheet approval/review. When timesheets are

submitted, they  get automatically assigned to the respective reporting manager’s queue

for review.

9. Print your timesheets right from the enterprise portal.

Print Employee Timesheets

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Apart from the timesheets management functionality, the enterprise portal  in AX 2012 provided several other powerful business process capabilities and this will definitely help every organization in a very great deal.

Till next time !! Keep exploring. 🙂