Approving Employee Timesheets for Payroll

Give chosen admins the ability to approve and lock days on employees' timesheets, so they are ready for payroll and cannot be edited.

Shoshana Fleischmann avatar
Written by Shoshana Fleischmann
Updated this week

Having a proper payroll approval process helps ensure payroll accuracy, monitors labor costs, and offers peace of mind when doing payroll. An important step in a payroll process is approving employees' timesheets. A good approval process will eliminate mistakes when conducting payroll and ensure that you accurately pay your employees for their hours worked.

In this article, we will go over how to set up a timesheet approval process in Connecteam, and how to approve timesheets. The topics we will go over include:

How to Set up Timesheets Approval

Setting up a timesheet approval process can be done from within a time clock's general settings. If you have more than one time clock you will need to enable the timesheet approval for each time clock individually.

To set up timesheet approval follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the relevant time clock and click on settings

  2. Under the general tab check off "time sheets approval"

  3. Select which admins should be able to approve and/or reopen timesheets

Note that approving and reopening timesheets are controlled separately. You can assign certain admins with permission to approve timesheets and others with permission to reopen timesheets. For example, you might give approval permissions to your front-line manager so they can review and approve their employee's hours, but keep the reopening permissions for admins who conduct payroll.

Locking vs Approving: What's the Difference

Inside your timesheets you have the option both to approve the timesheets and lock individual days let's go over the difference:

  • Locking - the ability to lock a day or a few days inside a payroll period. It can be a great solution if you see a discrepancy and do not want anyone making changes until you verify them.

  • Approving - the ability to lock all the days within a payroll cycle, indicated that the timesheets were reviewed and are ready for payroll.

How to Lock Days

Now that you have enabled the approval settings, head over the the timesheets tab, and access the relevant employees' timesheets.

To lock specific days, simply hover above the relevant day, a lock symbol will appear and you'll be able to lock that day.

If you would like to lock more than one day at once, you can lock them in bulk. Simply select a few days and using the actions tab at the bottom click on lock.

Locked days will appear with a lock icon next to them:

How to Unlock Days

If you are an admin with reopening permissions you can unlock a day by clicking on the grey locked day icon.

To unlock days in bulk select the relevant says and using the action button at the bottom click on unlock.

How to Approve Timesheets

If you have gone over your employee's timesheet and it's ready for payroll, you can approve it - automatically locking all the days with the payroll cycle. Simply click on approve in the upper right-hand corner. Immediately the timesheets will appear as approved. At this point, only an admin who has "reopen permission" will be able to make changes to the timesheets.

How to Reopen Timesheets

To reopen approved timesheets simply clock on the 3 dots next to the approved icon and click on reopen.

The Approved Status

If you are preparing for payroll and want to see which timesheets have been approved and which are still waiting for the direct manager, this can be done in the timesheets tab. Here you can easily see which Timesheets have been approved and which are still open and waiting for approval

To the left, you can also filter to view only approved timesheets.

How to Approve and Reopen Multiple Timesheets

From the timesheets tab, you can approve or reopen timesheets in bulk by selecting the relevant employees clicking on the actions tab, and clicking on approve or reopen.

How Locked Days and Approved Timesheets Look for Employees?

For your employees, once the current day/payroll period has been locked or approved the employee won't be able to add/edit shifts for that day or any days in the payroll period. If the current day is locked the employee will be unable to clock in.

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