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Paper Timesheets: Going, Going, Soon to Be Gone!

In his August 13 SLAC Today column, Sandy Merola gave a preview of the top-rated Operation Division goals for fiscal year 2011, one of which was to "implement online time reporting." SLAC's paper-based system ensures that people are correctly paid, tracks leave use and allocates labor costs to the right charge numbers—a lot of functionality to replace. But many will agree the lab really needs to move out of the paper past and into the online future.

A core team with members from the Human Resources Department and the Offices of the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer has been working behind the scenes to bring about this change, which is expected to launch in the spring of 2011. The core team has developed the requirements for an online time and effort tracking system, issued a Request for Proposals from vendors, reviewed responses, participated in vendor demos and checked references. The Procurement Department is now negotiating the contract.

Of course, we have not been doing this alone. An extended team from the SLAC business community has been meeting on an almost weekly basis since early June to answer open questions and flesh out SLAC's needs. The team was also asked to attend demos from the final two candidate vendors. The two final candidates presented via WebEx to the extended team as well as a number of seasoned SLAC managers representing the research, project and operations sides of SLAC. Their feedback was extremely helpful to the core team.

"It was great to see demonstrations by the two vendors," said Tom Himel of the Accelerator Research Division. "They were both good, and one was particularly impressive. For anyone with access to a computer it looks like it will be easier to use than our present timesheets."

Sandra Honl of the Linac Coherent Light Source Finance group complimented the collaborative approach and had this to say about the process: "I think having the recent demos from two vendors presented to a wider audience at SLAC, such as managers and users, helps the team know that we have addressed the key requirements and ultimately helps us make a decision on the best course of action."

When the system is in place next spring, the benefits will include online approvals, robust reporting, easy access to leave balances, validation of charge numbers, online corrections and the elimination of duplicate data entry, copying and filing. Watch for future articles as we refine our plans once the contract is in place.

Participating on the extended business team are: Elizabeth Caplun (SSRL), Stephanie Carlson (SSRL), Teri Church (OCIO), Sandra Honl (LCLS), Tana Hutchison (OCFO), Yelena Khaymovich (Payroll), Cindy Lowe (Accelerator Directorate), Ramona Miahnahri (HR), Claudia Ransom (HR). Martha Siegel (PPA/KIPAC), Debbie Tryforos (PPA) and Lori Zscherpel (Controller).

—Tana Hutchison
SLAC Today, September 17, 2010