Creative Technology Built a Timesheet Application with Workflow Using SpreadsheetWEB
Creative Technology is a leading event organizer and supplier of specialist Audio Visual equipment to a wide range of industries. They provide turnkey content delivery and organization solutions that come with all necessary logistics, crew, and support services. The nature of their business often requires hiring local labor and temporary employees for work orders. Timecards were in the form of Excel spreadsheets. These workbooks would be given to the employees, collected back, and then the data would be entered into a payroll system to pay.
The lack of a centralized system made the data transportation a tedious process, and validating the data integrity was another task all in itself. On top of this, some information, like job numbers had to be updated frequently. The existing workflow consisted of several steps to approve each timesheet. Once filled out by the employee, a timesheet goes through 2 other directors before it’s finally approved for payment. This meant the workbooks had to be transferred from user to user, making it hard to track the status of each item.
The exported data has to be in a specific structure to be accepted by the payroll application. For this, directors push the data into another workbook to transform it into an acceptable format before importing it into the payroll system. This additional step adds a higher possibility for errors. For legal purposes, all data and audit trails had to be easily accessible.
“We’ve been using Excel spreadsheets to collect employee hours and track payments. Each workbook had to go through several people before they are confirmed for payment. The logistics of this approach had started to prove challenging and we’ve been spending too much time correcting user errors and passing spreadsheets around. We were looking for a solution which will allow us to do this from a centralized location and help us go through the approval process in a more streamlined fashion.”Angela Zapata
Creating a system that can automate this process by custom coding everything was going to incur very high costs and take a long time before the system could go into production. SpreadsheetWEB’s built-in workflow controls and its flexibility made it the clear choice as it already has most of the required features. The way work hours and overtime hours are calculated differs from state to state. Creative Technology already had the calculation logic in Excel and no additional coding was necessary to push this into a web application. The application was created in the span of a few weeks and became online shortly after development.
Creating a custom application allowed fine tuning every single detail in the user interface, all the while utilizing SpreadsheetWEB’s calculation engine for the hour and pay calculations and data. This way, time calculations or job numbers can be updated by admin users on the go. SpreadsheetWEB’s built-in user management and record tracking systems also made keeping records of users and their activity easier. Creative Technology deployed SpreadsheetWEB in-house, giving them full control of the system, and the ability to use their own branding at every corner of the system.
Creative Technology now has a platform with user management, and exporting tools that is scalable and fully customizable. It’s very easy to make changes to the application or update job numbers. Centralized system allows reviewing all timesheets at a glance and identify which records need attention.
The application can export data in a special structure that can then be imported into their payroll system as is. This feature removed the additional steps required to transform the data collected and automate the entire process from employee data to payroll entry.
“SpreadsheetWEB allowed us to create a web-based timesheet application with user management integration in a very short amount of time. Creating an application like this as a custom project from scratch would’ve taken months of development. The SpreadsheetWEB applications can export user data in the exact format we need to be able to push it into our payment system, while also allowing our managers to get their own special versions at the same time. We were also set everything up on our servers, keeping the data in-house.”Angela Zapata
After successfully deploying the timesheet application, Creative Technology is looking to expand it to their fulltime employee payment system as well.