Federal stimulus money has begun to flow into government contracting, federal, state and local government programs. Now we see a spike in the demand for automating timesheets and the timesheet management process. The need is clear but with perceived challenges. First, it’s not possible or advisable to scale program and contract activity in 2009 without have a proper span of visibility and control at a summary or detailed level. Second, the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) requirements for timesheet management seem difficult to comply with at first.
However, DCAA compliant timesheet software can provide the help you need. The main issue with automating timesheets is replicating the natural audit trail provided by paper timesheets. Among the most important benefits of paper is you can easily write adjustments or corrections to old timesheets and have a permanent record of that change. Any electronic timesheet program needs to not just edit time entries and details but must preserve the original entries and enter a “correction” entry. If for example we need to change the job number of the 8 hours John Smith worked we need two correcting entries: #1 an entry of -8 hours against the original job number and #2 an entry of +8 against the new job number. If the original time entry has been processed, that is it was already sent to payroll or billing last month, we need to flag this pair of “corrections” entries as “unprocessed” and have a utility to send them the third party system(s) so an employee’s pay or custom invoice can be properly adjusted.
We will discuss additional DCAA requirements needed to maintain compliance in future posts.