Beta Permissions: Timesheet Approval for Managers

This article is for Harvest beta permissions.  The beta program is available to team accounts who opted in. If you're looking for information on Timesheet Approval for a non-beta account, you can find that in the Time and Expenses section of our regular Help Center.

Timesheet Approval is a feature and process in Harvest that allows Administrators and Managers to review, approve, and lock your team’s weekly submitted time and expense entries.

Using our approval process can help your team in a variety of ways:

  • Since your team must submit timesheets for approval, you’re better equipped at knowing who filled out their timesheets and who didn’t.
  • The approval process offers an easy way for you to review timesheets every week and catch mistakes before they wind up in reports or on invoices later.
  • Managers can help review and approve time and expenses relevant to the projects they manage and their assigned people.
  • Locking timesheets provides peace of mind. You can be confident that approved time and expenses won’t be changed, so they’ll appear accurately and predictably on your reports and client invoices. 

Note that it’s always possible to report on and invoice for tracked time and expenses, regardless of whether they’ve been approved or locked.

Submitting time & expenses

Timesheets are always submitted on a weekly basis. Time and expenses are also always submitted and approved together—it’s not possible to submit or approve only time or only expenses.

To submit time and expenses:

  1. Go to Time > Timesheet or Expenses.
  2. From Time > Timesheet click the Submit week for approval button (lower right corner), then click Yes, submit timesheet to confirm. From Expenses, click the Submit for approval link below the expense timeframe (on the left).
    • If you’ve tracked only time, your timesheet will be submitted.
    • If you’ve tracked only expenses, or both time and expenses, you’ll be taken to a review screen and will need to click Submit for approval at the bottom of the page to confirm the submission. If you don’t click the Submit for approval button on the review screen, your timesheet will not be submitted.

After submission, timesheets can still be edited until they’re approved. Approvers will always see the most up-to-date entries.

Approving a timesheet locks the entries for the entire week, so be sure to only submit your timesheet once the week is over.

Approving and locking time & expenses

How to approve submitted timesheets

Administrators can approve all timesheets, while Managers can only approve time and expenses tracked to projects they manage or by their assigned people. 

To approve timesheets once they’ve been submitted:

  1. Head to Time > Pending approval.
  2. Click into any visible timesheet, and click Approve timesheet.
  3. Click Approve all if you’re ready to approve all submitted timesheets at once.

Timesheets cannot be rejected. However, if a timesheet needs to be changed before being approved, you have two choices:

  • Administrators and Managers can send a message to the timesheet owner asking them to edit and resubmit. To do that, click the Email [Name] link.
  • Administrators and Managers with permission to edit time and expenses can make changes directly from the Pending approval screen. Click on the person’s week that you’d like to change, then click on the column header of the day you’d like to change. You’ll be taken directly to that person’s timesheet, where you can make your edits.

How to sort and filter submitted timesheets

In Time > Pending approval, you can use the Sort by dropdown at the top left to group the pending time and expenses by Week, Projects, or People.

You can also filter your view to see only certain people or projects. Click the Everyone dropdown at the top right, then select:

  • My pinned teammates to show only time and expenses tracked by people you’ve pinned in the Team Overview. Note that only Administrators and Managers with assigned people will see this option, since pinning happens on the Team Overview page and not all Managers have access to the Team Overview. 
  • My pinned projects to show only time and expenses tracked to projects you’ve pinned in the Projects Overview. Note that only Administrators and Managers who are assigned to manage projects or Managers who work on projects that are set to Show the project report to everyone on the project will see this option, since pinning happens on the Projects Overview page and not all Managers have access to the Projects Overview. 
  • A Role to show only time and expenses tracked by people with that Role. 

Locking and unlocking approved timesheets

Approving a timesheet locks the entire week included on that timesheet. This includes days with no time tracked to them. 

  • If you’d like to adjust what day of the week your team’s timesheets start on, Administrators can do that under Settings > Preferences > Start week on.

Time and expense entries are always approved and locked at the same time for the entire week. Note that there’s no way to approve only time or only expenses.

Only Administrators can unlock/withdraw approval for an approved timesheet.  

Managing timesheet submissions & reminders

Administrators and Managers with assigned people (but not Managers assigned to manage projects) can check on any outstanding timesheets by heading over to Time > Unsubmitted

If you’d like to remind your team members to fill out and submit their timesheets for approval, you have a few options:

  • Administrators can set up recurring Timesheet Reminders to send automatically to everyone in your account each week. These reminders can be setup in the account Settings (top right) under Preferences
  • Administrators and Managers with assigned people (but not Managers assigned to manage projects) can manually send one-time Timesheet Reminders to specific people.
  • Individuals can set up daily reminders for themselves to remember to track time. 

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