Product Innovation: Timecard Approval Management

TJ Sehmi
October 19, 2023

Leveraging Intelligence for Streamlined Approvals


In the ever-evolving landscape of business technology, there’s an increasing emphasis on creating products that are not only functional but also optimize user experience. This focus is primarily driven by the need to automate redundant processes and create solutions that resolve real-world challenges efficiently. At the forefront of this innovation is the integration of intelligence into traditionally manual processes, and in our journey towards operational excellence, one such process that stands out is the timecard approval system.

A Deep Dive into Timecard Management

When examining the entire continuum of timecard management, it’s evident that the process is multifaceted. From the initial phase of time capture, moving through the processing of timecards, and culminating in payroll processing, each stage has its unique challenges. Historical feedback and the real world experiences of our customers pointed to a singular, pressing concern: the significant time investment required in the timecard approval process.

During the approval phase, professionals would find themselves engrossed in tasks like reviewing, editing, and ultimately giving their nod of approval. Such repetitive tasks not only consumed valuable time but also left room for human errors. With a commitment to optimizing this phase, we embarked on a comprehensive research initiative, engaging with a diverse range of our customer base.

The Revelation: An Opportunity for Automation

Our interactions brought forth a startling revelation. On close analysis, it was discerned that approximately 80% of the timecards adhered to certain conditions, qualifying them for automatic approval. This indicated that a vast majority of timecards didn’t need human oversight at all. However, the other 20% presented inconsistencies or unique situations that necessitated manual intervention.

Decoding the Automatic Approval Criteria

The intelligent system designed for automatic approval evaluates timecards against a set of predefined conditions:

1. Consistency of Punches:

The foremost criterion is the absence of missing punches in the timecard. This is pivotal as missing entries can adversely affect payroll accuracy. Any inconsistency mandates human oversight to rectify discrepancies.

2. Verification of Punch Locations

The system also cross-verifies the origin of the punches with expected locations. Only when the discrepancy in these locations is within an acceptable range does the system greenlight the timecard. Otherwise, manual verification is sought.

3. Monitoring Overtime:

Another significant condition is the presence of overtime. Given the complexities and legalities associated with overtime, such timecards are kept outside the purview of automatic approval, demanding personal verification.

4. Supervisor Approval:

An indispensable component of the process is the supervisor’s endorsement. Timecards lacking this validation are immediately flagged for manual assessment.

Beyond these conditions, the system boasts additional intelligence layers that, while accelerating the approval process, maintain the sanctity and integrity of each entry.

The Aftermath: A Leap Towards Efficiency

Upon the implementation of this intelligence built into the system at various customers, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The metrics spoke for themselves. Timecard approvers and payroll processors reported a staggering 90% time reduction in the approval process, all thanks to automation.

This initiative underscores our unwavering commitment to product innovation, with a singular focus on enhancing user experience, championing efficiency, and ensuring process integrity. As we move forward, we continue to explore newer avenues where intelligence can make a difference, constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the realm of business technology.

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