New features in Replicon

This topic gives an overview of all the new features added to Replicon for the past six months.  
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Timesheet

Sort timesheet rows in configurable timesheetsYou can now sort timesheet rows by project, task, client, billing rate, activity, or custom field in timesheets that use the Time Distribution Grid format. Why might users need to sort timesheet rows?
  • Sorting can make it easier for employees to find projects, tasks, or activities they need to add additional hours to.
  • Plus, it can help approvers group data that pertains to a single project or client that is scattered in multiple rows across the timesheet.

 
Timesheet file attachmentsFor some jobs, employees need to associate a file with their Replicon timesheets. For example, employees might have to provide:
  • A scanned copy of a worksheet that includes a signature
  • Notes on work completed saved in a Google Sheets or SharePoint document
  • Images of work they complete each day
Now, you can attach files directly to configurable timesheets using our new File / Web Address (URL) custom field format. This format is available in the Daily Fields and Timesheet Fields components. Once a field is set up on their timesheet template, users can then enter a URL or upload a file when they’re completing timesheets, so files always stay connected to the timesheet they relate to. Refer to Creating custom fields for more information on setting up file attachment custom fields.  
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Time off

Fixed-week options for bi-weekly accrualsWe’ve added a new option that might interest you if you use bi-weekly time off accruals, and:
  • You want accrual dates to match for all users, or
  • You want to ensure accruals are always two weeks apart even when assigning multiple policies to one user
Here’s what we’ve changed: You can now assign a fixed, known accrual schedule when setting up a bi-weekly accrual rule – one not based on the policy's start date. There are two fixed-week options, so you can choose exactly when accruals fall:
  • Week 1, based on the reference week of July 1, 2018
  • Week 2, based on the reference week of July 8, 2018
For example, if you assign a user Week 1 in their policy, time off can accrue during the week of July 1st, 15th, 29th, Aug 5th, etc, in 2018 (provided the policy is in effect on the accrual dates).

If you don’t need accruals to occur on a fixed, predictable schedule, you can leave the existing option in place, which bases the accrual week on the policy start date. Please refer to Adding default time off accrual policies for more information on these options. This new option is available in new time off only. And note, as a result of this change, we’ve renamed the old On Week field to On Day of Week.  
New ways of adding holiday bookingsBookings need to be added to holidays to ensure payroll is calculated correctly. We’re now offering some new methods for adding holiday bookings, that make managing bookings easier and more flexible. These can be used in conjunction with or instead of our existing holiday auto-population feature, that adds bookings to timesheets when they’re generated. These new options will be most useful to you if:
  • You need to correct existing holiday bookings that include errors, or
  • You want to make scheduling plans for the future, so you need to see all bookings before timesheets are generated
Administrators can now mass add holiday bookings:
  • When adding a new holiday
  • When editing an existing holiday
  • For individual users, via their user profiles

In addition, administrators will receive notification when bookings have been added, with details of any errors that arose, so they have full visibility regarding updates. Plus, payroll managers can now view, edit, and delete holiday bookings from a new Payroll > Holiday Bookings tab. This option may be especially useful in mass deleting error bookings before mass re-populating. These changes are available to anyone with a product that includes time off. So, time off only customers – who do not have access to auto-population – can now easily manage their holiday bookings. For more information, refer to Adding multiple holiday bookings at once.  
Time-triggered time off approvalsWe’ve launched a new conditional time off approval rule, for Time Off Enterprise customers: Escalated to next approver after elapsed time.

This rule is similar to the time-triggered rule for timesheets we released last December:
  • You can set a time limit for approval, and if the assigned approver doesn’t approve a booking within that timeframe, the item is escalated to the approver’s supervisor
  • You can also choose how many levels in your organization’s hierarchy the booking will escalate to, if not approved – from 1 level to enough to bring the booking to your CEO
  • Also, you can specify that bookings that remain with the top-level approver for the elapsed time are automatically approved by the system
Refer to Setting up conditional approval rules for information on setting up conditional approval rules. Refer to Setting up approvals (video) for an overview of how to set up approvals.  
New holiday optionsIf you have special holiday requirements Replicon couldn’t meet, take note. We’ve added some new options to our holiday functionality to make things more flexible. These options are available with new time off only. Here are the cases we now support: Specified hours holidays Previously, when we auto-populated a user’s holidays, we’d always base that on their scheduled hours for that day. For example, if a user worked 8 hour days, their holiday booking would be for 8 hours. But, some companies don’t want use scheduled hours to determine holiday hours. For example:
  • In some companies, an employee might be entitled to a holiday even if they’re not scheduled to work on that holiday
  • Other companies, for various reasons, maintain schedules that show a different number of hours than employees actually work or are entitled to be paid for
We’ve solved this problem by allowing you to specify a holiday’s duration when setting up the holiday, rather than basing it on schedules. This way, the user will be paid correctly in these exceptional cases without anyone having to remember to create a holiday booking for them.
Holidays that use only the Specific number of hours option will only auto-populate if the holiday time off type is set to hours.
Partial day holidays Some companies offer partial-day holidays -- for example, 2 hours off for early office closures, or 2.75 hours off for partial-day statutory holidays. While we’ve offered half-day holidays for a while now, companies can now define the exact length of a partial day holiday that is not half a day. Unpaid holidays Unpaid holidays are days off without pay, but have to be accounted for as holidays so that:
  • Users know they have the day off
  • When employees work on these days they can be paid appropriately (users are typically entitled to premium pay for time worked on an unpaid holiday)
You can use the new Full day with no holiday time to indicate an unpaid holiday. A new validation option for those who don’t auto-populate holiday hours We’ve updated all relevant validation rules to work with these new options described above. But note one related change we’ve made to the Above Scheduled Hours timesheet validation rule: We’ve added an option to deduct holiday hours from scheduled hours before validating. This option would typically be used by companies who do not set holidays to auto-populate, so that holidays are accounted for when validating. If you do auto-populate and you exclude time off bookings, holidays are already accounted for. Refer to Setting up holiday calendars for more information on how to configure these new options in your system.  
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Punch & Mobile

Fingerprint ID in Replicon MobileFingerprint identification is now available in both the iOS and Android versions of our mobile app. This form of authentication can make it faster to log in to Replicon, thereby allowing you to record your hours and other data more easily. You should be prompted to enable fingerprint authentication the first time you log in after upgrading, providing you’re not a single sign-on user. Fingerprint identification is supported on the following devices and operating systems:
  • iOS 10, 11 and higher, on devices with a fingerprint sensor (home button)
  • Any Android phone with a fingerprint sensor
 
Display punch times using each employee’s time zonePreviously in Replicon, time punches were always shown in the logged in user’s time zone. So, a supervisor, office manager, or payroll manager in California would see punches from an employee located in New York in Pacific time. We found approvers were sometimes confused by this:
  • They didn’t know what time zone was being used
  • They had a hard time comparing punch times to the user’s schedule
  • They would have to convert hours to their own time zone when adding missing punches on behalf of employees
To address these issues, we’ve added a new Display Punches In field to the user Settings page, which is accessed by clicking the cog icon in the top, right-hand corner of the application. From this field, you can choose Employee’s Time Zone, and each punch will display using the punch owner's time zone.

You can set a default setting for this field for new users on the AdministrationEmployees and Organization > User Settings page. Note that if you select Employee’s Time Zone option, you'll probably want to set the existing Time Zone Format field to show time zones.  
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Project, Billing, & Costing

Multiple invoice templatesDo you need different invoice templates for different purposes – say, one for your US customers, and a different one for your Canadian customers? Now you can create multiple invoice templates in Replicon, each for use with a different client or type of clients. Then, when creating an invoice, users can choose which template applies.

Plus, you can now choose a custom accent color for use on templates, to help differentiate templates and to better match your company’s branding. Refer to Setting up invoice templates for information on configuring templates.  
Ability to limit project access using groupsIf you’re looking for a way to limit which projects your managers can access, look no further. Now in Replicon, you can assign projects to groups, and assign groups to project managers, so managers can only view and manage projects that belong to their assigned groups. For example, you could assign Project X to your Houston location, and limit project manager Jim’s access to Houston data only. Then, Jim will be able to access projects from the Houston group, such as Project X, but no other projects.

To set up this feature, you’ll need to:

This feature is available in the Professional Services Automation and Project Portfolio Management enterprise products. For more information, read our Limiting access to projects using groups article or view our Using groups to limit data access video.  
Project file attachmentsIf you’re a project manager, you probably sometimes need to share common project files with other team managers. We’ve added an easy way to do that in Replicon – using dynamic project custom fields that support file attachments. So, for example, you can attach signed statements of work or project plans to your projects, where everyone can easily find them. Administrators will have to add the fields – see Creating custom fields for information on setting up fields. Once the fields are available, they’ll display at the bottom of the Project Info dialog for each project, just like our ‘fixed’ custom fields that don’t support attachments. Also note a related change: The layout of our Project Settings page has been updated. Most significantly, we’ve placed the project and task fixed custom fields on separate tabs.  
Project notificationsIf you work with others to manage projects, you might be looking for easier ways to communicate status changes for projects, so everyone’s on the same page. Our new project notifications can help. We’ve added two notifications:
  • One that notifies you if a new project you manage was created
  • One that lets you know if the status of a project you manage has changed

You can assign these notifications to any role involved in managing projects – from project administrators to co-managers. But note that you can only assign one recipient role for each notification you set up. If you want to send the notice to multiple roles, you’ll need to set up multiple notifications. Refer to Setting up automated notifications for more information on configuring these notifications. They’re available in the new product suite.  
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System

User profile audit logIf you have multiple administrators in your system, there may be times when you want to know who made changes to user profiles – perhaps to promote accountability, or because you need to know where an error originated. To address this need, we’ve introduced an audit log for user profile edits. You can access the log by enabling the View Audit Log permission in your Administrator permission set, then clicking Audit Log within each user profile you want to audit.

There, you can view the type of changes made for that user, plus the date of each change, who made it, and from where (IP Address).

Note, this feature is an audit log, and not a full audit trail; while it shows what type of change was made, it doesn’t show exactly what field was affected, nor does it show original and new values for fields. Also note, this feature won’t show historical data – just changes made since the feature was enabled.  
Replicon dashboardsIn this era of information overload, everyone’s looking for simple ways to keep up with the data that actually matters. Replicon’s dashboard lets you easily view and share critical information with other decision-makers in your organization, using graphical charts. Charts always show real-time data, so you’re always looking at the current status of things. For example, you can create charts that show which of your projects or clients yield the most profit, so everyone knows what to allot more time and resources to. Or, you can keep tabs on how much time off each employee has taken. We’ve offered dashboards for a while, but we’ve recently made some improvements and are now removing the feature’s beta label. One key improvement we’ve made: While dashboards are still accessible to anyone with dashboard permission, users will now only see data in dashboard charts that they have permission to view in the rest of the application. So, you can assign dashboards to anyone without worrying that they’re seeing confidential details they shouldn’t have access to. For more information on dashboards, refer to our Using dashboards or Using dashboards (video) help topics.  
Improved password reset usabilityWe know how frustrating it can be when you can’t log into an account you need to access. So, we’re working hard to make it easier to troubleshoot issues like lost Replicon user names and passwords. Here are some improvements we’ve made:
  • You can now easily retrieve a lost user name, providing you have a valid company name and email address
  • We now provide more feedback when resetting a password or retrieving a user nameFor example, we’ll now always send you an email with more information about the status of your request – say, if we can’t find the account that matches the email address submitted or if you’re a single sign-on (SSO) user who can’t ever access Replicon from the login page.
 
Right to disconnect option in notificationsIn some countries, ‘right to disconnect’ laws protect workers from being disturbed by work-related communication (phone calls, emails, push notifications, etc) on their days off. Now you can easily enforce this regulation using Replicon notifications. On the Notifications page in each user profile, you can specify that the user’s notifications are sent any time, based on the notification’s settings alone, or only on work days, as defined by their schedule. So, what happens to those unsent messages?
  • Time-triggered messages (e.g. Daily timesheet reminder) that are scheduled to be sent on a non-work day will never be sent, to avoid duplicate messages
  • Event-triggered notifications (e.g. Timesheet is approved) will be sent on the employee’s next working day.
The only exception to this is the Timesheet is Due notification, which will be sent the day before the non-working day it is scheduled for, so users have time to act on the notice. And of course, you can adjust this setting for many users at once using our mass edit feature for users.  
Assign notifications by groupIn some companies, different groups of users are assigned different push and email notifications. For example, workers in one location might receive daily reminders to fill out timesheets, while other locations don’t. Now in Replicon, you can assign one or more groups to any new notifications you create, and the message will only be sent to members of the group assigned. This makes it easier to target particular groups, and to manage notifications. You can assign groups when you set up a new notification. Groups are available in our enterprise-level products.  
BambooHR to Replicon user integration
If you use BambooHR, you might want to check out our new integration that automatically adds to Replicon any new users you create in BambooHR. This can help ensure both systems always match.

You can also enable the integration to disable Replicon users when you change their status to Terminated in BambooHR. Refer to Integrating with Replicon for more information.