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Lock Timesheet Periods

You can choose to lock timesheet entries at the end of each period. That means, the timesheet period will be closed, and staffers can no longer enter time for a specified period.

There are several lock periods to choose from: bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly. You can also choose to add a grace period. This will give your staffers a few more days to enter and submit time once the timesheet period closes.

This article will show you how to access and use the lock timesheet feature.

1. Click TIME/EXPENSE...TIMESHEETS from your navigation bar.

2. Click the GEAR icon near the top right corner of your window.

3. Toggle the switch next to the phrase LOCK EACH TIMESHEET PERIOD to ON

Several options will populate. Let’s go through them, moving left to right.

Lock Period

Click on the red arrow under LOCK PERIOD and a short picklist will populate with these options: bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly.

You can choose to lock your timesheet submission by one of these options instead of a submission period (which is found near the top of your window).

Grace Period

You can choose to add a grace period, which is an additional amount of time tacked onto your timesheet submission period during which staffers can still submit time. This will give your staffers a few more days to enter and submit time once the timesheet period closes. The number you enter will keep the timesheet period open for that number of days. 


The Next Lock Date

Your timesheet Lock Date is calculated based on your timesheet submission period (which can be weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly or quarterly). This field will display the next date that your timesheets will be locked, which is calculated based on the grace period and lock period set in the previous two fields. 

Your timesheets will lock by midnight of the next lock date. If you're set up with financial admin permissions, this timesheet lock date won't apply to you. However, users without those permissions will automatically be barred from entering time prior to the next lock date once that date has passed. This date is automatically generated by BigTime, and you can’t update it manually. However, if you change the lock period selection from quarterly to monthly, for example, you’ll notice that the next lock date changes. 

To clarify how this feature works and what you can do with timesheet locking, let's take a look at how it could work in a real world scenario.


Timesheet Period Locking in Action

Let's say your firm wants to lock timesheets to a specific period. You've set up your SUBMISSION PERIOD as "Weekly", and your FIRST WEEKDAY is "Monday". Let's also say today's date is Thursday, December 7th, so the start date for your weekly time submission this week will be Monday, December 4th. 

If you turn on timesheet locking and set the LOCK PERIOD as "Weekly", any time entries prior to 12:00 AM on December 11th will be locked. You'll see this reflected in the THE NEXT LOCK DATE IS field.

However, if you have a grace period set up, your timesheet lock settings will add the number of days in grace period to your next lock date

Imagine you set your grace period as 2 days. Going forward two days from your lock date of Monday, December 11th  takes you to Wednesday, December 13th. 

After setting up your timesheet lock settings, click UPDATE TIMESHEET FORMAT in the top left corner of your screen to save your changes.


Unlocking Timesheet Periods

If you're a system admin and you'd like to unlock timesheets for all your staffers, doing so is simple: just open the timesheet configuration screen as explained above, and toggle the LOCK EACH TIMESHEET PERIOD switch to OFFunlock.gif

It's important to note that doing this will unlock timesheets for everyone at your firm. There may be circumstances where you need to unlock the timesheet for one staffer, but want to keep them locked for everyone else. In situations like this, that staffer would need to ask you (or your firm's system admin) to submit their timesheet for them. This is because timesheet locking doesn't apply to users with system admin permissions.

If you are still confused about how timesheet locking periods work, you can always contact BigTime Support for additional help.

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