Entering Labor Hours

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Entering employee hours in Chronicle lets you generate payroll reports. It also lets you keep track of how much the labor for each job and activity is costing so you know whether your are within budget (and hence whether and how much profit you are making). Entering labor also enables Chronicle to calculate bonuses for employees who consistently work faster than the budgeted time.

To get the most benefit from Chronicle's time tracking capabilities, enter the amount of time spent on each activity at the end of every day. This gives you real time information on where you're at with each job's budget. However, if you prefer, you can enter several days times at once. This approach doesn't give you the daily analysis of where each job is at, but it still lets you determine at the end of the job whether you stayed within budget.

Any employee can enter labor for him or herself. Only people with the appropriate security level can enter labor for others.

1.

On the Home Page, click Labor Entry in the list of tools.

 The Add Labor screen comes up.

2.

On each entry, click the drop down arrow for a picklist, or begin to type.  Rather than manually entering labor hours, you can also import labor hours from the calendar; this is explained below

Employee: If you don't have a high enough security level to add labor for others, your name is shown and you can't change it. If you are authorized to enter labor for others, all active, hourly employees are listed.

If you click the Employee entry and don't see any employees in the drop down list (or if some employees are missing), then your employees don't have pay rates entered or else the employees are entered as salaried instead of hourly; only hourly employees with pay rates entered appear in this list. You enter employee pay rates on the H/R tab on the person's Profile screen for the person.

Customer: Choose any active customer.

If a customer isn't shown in the list: The job for this customer doesn't have any active departments yet; add departments if you haven't done that yet, or make an existing department active and you'll then be able to enter labor for that customer.

 If the labor isn't related to a specific customer: Pick * Not Job Related *. (This is the first entry in the list.)

Date: This automatically fills in the last date that you used. To chose a different date, click the button to bring up a calendar and just click the date you want, or manually edit the month, day, or year entries.

Hours: Enter the number of whole hours for the activity. For example, if the employee worked eight and a half hours, only enter eight here; you will enter the remaining half hour as 30 minutes in the following entry. You must choose something for the hours for the labor entry to post.

Total minutes: Do NOT type the number of minutes; click the button and pick the nearest 5 minute increment from the list; if you type a number in this entry, the time isn't added correctly.

Department: Click the button and pick the department the work is associated with.

Activity: Picking the right activity is critical; this is what lets you determine whether you are meeting your budget, which activities you are making the most profit on, and which activities you need to work at reducing your labor rate on. Your settings for the department determine whether all department activities are listed or only activities that are currently active for the selected job. If Labor Can Be Entered for Activities that are NOT on the Job is set to No (our recommended setting) on the Labor Setup screen, then you must select an activity for the labor to be posted. If you don't want to have to choose an activity, change that setting.

If you click the Activity entry and don't see any activities in the drop down list: There are three possibilities.

1.  If Labor Can Be Entered for Activities that are NOT on the Job is set to No (our recommended setting) on the Labor Setup screen, then you must have added activities to the department before they will appear on the labor entry screen.

2. In Main System Setup, on the Activities tab,you must have marked the appropriate activities as Production Activities; activities that aren't production activities don't appear on the labor entry screen.

3. In the Main System Setup, the Labor tab indicates how many days one has to enter labor after the labor is completed. If it's been more than that number of days, the activities won't show up here. (You can make an activity appear here by going to the activities screen and changing the financial close date to a date after today's date.)

Bonus: You can now specify a flat rate (e.g., $10) or percentage bonus (50%) for any labor entry in the new Bonus column (to the right of the Activity column). A percentage indicates the amount of the bonus, so, for example, 50% means 50% extra, that is, 150% (time-and-a-half) of the normal pay rate. If you always want a particular activity to be paid a bonus, see Automatic Bonuses below.

If you manually apply a percentage bonus and some of the hours are overtime hours, Chronicle only applies the bonus rate to the non-overtime hours.

Comment: Add comments if needed. Leave this blank if you don't have any. Press tab from this entry to add a new entry line.

3.

To add labor for another person, job, or activity, click New Line at the top of the screen. You can also press the down arrow from any entry or press the tab key from the comments entry. A new entry line appears.

You can enter labor for as many people and jobs as needed. If an employee worked on more than one job or activity, you can also create multiple lines for the same employee.

4.

When done, click Save Labor at the bottom of the screen.

5.

If Chronicle leaves any lines behind: This indicates that those lines were missing required information. You must complete those lines before Chronicle will save them.

If Chronicle brings up a message about a potential duplicate: This indicates that you entered hours for an employee twice for the same date, job, and activity. It's unlikely that you should have the same activity twice in one day, so this usually indicates an error.

If you exit without saving the labor entries: Chronicle leaves the entries on the screen so you can complete them the next time you come back to the labor option. If you have lines that you want to get rid of, click Options and click Delete.

Creating Labor from the Calendar

Labor hours can be imported from the calendar. Chronicle fills in the labor screen using the people, job, hours, department, and activity associated with the calendar event. Chronicle only creates labor entries for job and department-related calendar events; it doesn't create labor entries for personal events. You'll have the opportunity to confirm and adjust the entries before the labor is actually posted.

1.

If needed, adjust the length of any calendar events that took more or less time than was scheduled, delete events that got canceled, etc.

This will make what is imported more accurate. (You can also adjust times or delete lines on the labor screen.)

2.

On the Labor Entry screen, click the Import from Calendar.

3.

Indicate whether to export labor from today only, or for a date range, and whether to import labor for all employees, for selected employees, or for one department. Then click Next.

If you choose to import for selected employees or for a department, additional entries appear that let you pick the person or department.

Some companies prefer to enter labor at the end of every day; others prefer to post a whole week at once.

4.

Chronicle creates entries on the labor screen for the period and people you selected: review these entries, and adjust them if needed, and then choose to Save the labor records.

If any events got cancelled or were longer or shorter than scheduled, make sure you adjust the hours before saving the labor.

Automatic Labor Bonuses

In the setup, you can now specify an automatic labor bonus for particular activities. For example, you could indicate that a particular activity should automatically get paid at time-and-a-half, or that it should always get a $25 (or other fixed rate) bonus. To get to this setting, go to the Main System Setup, click the Labor tab, and then click the Automatic Activity Bonus Rates tab. There you can double-click any rate to change what the bonus should be.