Many business users fill out timesheets on a daily basis
for employers or clients. These people will certainly benefit from Replicon, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
time and attendance management platform, which includes Replicon Mobile, an app that lets you manage your timesheet directly from your
iPhone.

I recently spent some time testing Replicon Mobile on my
iPhone 5 and can say it’s a world of improvement from the paper timesheets and
internally-built timesheet packages I’ve seen during my IT contracting career.
The Replicon Mobile app has the following requirements:

  • Internet connection (Cellular/Wi-Fi)
  • iOS devices running 5.1+
  • Gen 3 version of Replicon timesheet and/or
    WebExpense software
  • Company name, user ID, and password for each
    employee

Figure A shows the main page of a manager’s account in
Replicon Mobile.

Figure A

Replicon Mobile main screen.

Tracking time with Replicon Mobile

The immediate benefit I see of moving timesheet input to an
iPhone is being able to do it while you’re on the go, when you don’t have access
to a PC. The second benefit is push alerts for timesheet due dates and when a
timesheet is late for processing.

Replicon Mobile gets past one big issue I’ve seen repeatedly
with internally-built timesheet management platforms, and that’s ready-access
to project data. The Replicon Mobile search feels quick and efficient when
searching for projects, tasks, or activities and recording your time against
them.

When you tap on Timesheets, Replicon Mobile presents a list of
your timesheets (Figure B).

Figure B

Timesheets available in Replicon Mobile.

Simply tap on a timesheet from the list to fill it out. Figure C shows an example of an
in-progress timesheet.

Figure C

A timesheet in progress.

I’ve been
an IT contractor for long enough to know that timesheets can be done in haste
or while multitasking. If your first instinct is like mine, you’ll tap on the
date where you want to record your time, but you’ll only see fields for personal
leave and vacation. You have to take an extra step and tap the Add Entry button
(top far-right button), which can be easy to miss because the icon isn’t very
intuitive. However, the well-designed Add Entry screen (Figure D) certainly makes up for
the poor Add Entry icon button choice. 

Figure D

Add Entry screen.

The Add Entry screen puts the typical time entry options on
one screen. This is particularly helpful for professional services firms that need to
be precise on time entry for billing purposes.

Expense management

Another area where Replicon Mobile does an excellent job of
exhibiting how mobility can change a task is expense management. Frequent
business travellers all seem to have their own pet methods for wrangling
receipts and expense reports. Replicon Mobile can make personal or corporate
mandated expense reporting much easier by enabling users to enter their
expense reports directly into the Replicon Mobile app and then take a snapshot
of their expense receipts to attach to the expense report. Figure E shows an example of a rejected
expense report.

Figure E

Rejected expense report.

Figure F shows an example of an accepted expense report.

Figure F

Accepted expense report.

The status of the expense report appears on the
Expense Sheet page, but it would also be helpful if the status appeared on the
actual expense reports in the employee’s Replicon Mobile account.

Personally, I would like to see the receipts you submit with
your expense report be more readily available throughout the process. Right
now, you have to tap on Receipt Photo under Detail on the Add Expense Entry or
Edit Expense Entry pages. It can easily be missed, and I think it would be more
helpful if Replicon Mobile used a more visual analogy for receipts.

Managing
approval processes with Replicon Mobile

Managers can approve timesheets and expense reports directly
from the Replicon Mobile app. Managers can also set automatic reminders for
their employees. Figure G shows the Approvals screen with timesheets, expenses,
and time off pending approval.

Figure G

Pending approvals in the Approvals screen.

When you’re logged in as a manager, approvals are as easy as
tapping the circle beside the timesheet, expenses, and time off requests that you
want to approve for your employees.

Final thoughts

While I didn’t like how Replicon Mobile requires you to open the Add Entry screen, I still found enough to like in
this app  to recommend it for organizations — especially those in
professional services who want to mobilize their timesheet, expense reporting,
and time off requests for their employees. Have you used Replicon Mobile? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.