A little effort can go a long way

Michael Rhoades

Michael Rhoades, chief accounting officer, wrote this column.

Mondays always seem a bit challenging. Not only is the weekend over, but it is time to go back to work. We have to submit our weekly timecard by 10 a.m. and our supervisor has to approve the timecard by noon — week, after week, after week. Yep, that is what we have to do … and your efforts go a long way.

By meeting the deadlines in the Fermilab Time and Labor system, the Payroll Department can perform the weekly and monthly payroll process in a timely way, which in turn allows your salary and benefit payments to be made on time. The week goes by very quickly, and if Monday timecard submission and approval is delayed, it results in spending more time following up on outstanding timecards.

The FRA Internal Audit office reports that for the time period from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014, approximately 94,200 timecards were processed. Over 99 percent of the timecards were approved by the noon deadline, an improvement over the previous year, but approximately 850 were not, which required extensive follow-up and manual approvals. FermiDash also reports our on-time weekly electronic timecard approval for laboratory management and DOE.

The weekly timecard also includes effort reporting, where employees charge projects and tasks or activities for the work they performed during the week. Accuracy is extremely important. The labor costs from the timecards are reported in the laboratory’s financial information at week’s end, so it is important to report your time accurately each week. If errors occur or effort reporting is delayed, laboratory management could receive an incomplete view of the financial position of their programs, projects and activities, which in some cases can even lead to work stoppages. The true and complete financial view is always the best.

Oh, and with the upcoming December holidays (login required), timecards need to be submitted and approved earlier than the normal Monday schedule.

Thanks for your assistance with this simple but very important task.