Setting up timesheet validation rules

Looking for help with this feature in Polaris? Check out Setting up timesheet validation rules in the Polaris help.

Are you setting up legacy timesheets?
Our legacy Standard and In/Out timesheet formats don't support all of these validation rules. However, they do support our legacy Setting min/max hours that must be entered in a timesheet rule.

Timesheet validation rules define whether data entered in a timesheet is valid. If, based on a validation rule, data is found to be invalid, a warning or error will occur. Depending on the workflow conditions, the system may prevent users from submitting a timesheet if it contains errors or warnings.

About the default timesheet validation rules

Replicon provides default validation rules that meet common timesheet validation scenarios.

If the default validation rules don’t meet your organization’s needs and you are a Replicon Enterprise customer, Replicon can create custom validation rules for you. Contact your Customer Success Manager for more information.

Rules that require a field to be completed

Rule Name

This Rule...

Activity/Project Required

Displays a message if an activity or project isn't selected for a time entry

Mandatory custom fields

Displays a message if required custom fields are left blank

Client selection for "User's Choice" projects

Checks that user's entering time against User's Choice Of multi-client projects have selected a client

Mandatory Comments

Checks that users have included a comment for every timesheet entry. You can also specify the minimum number of characters that are required for each comment to be considered valid.

Mandatory Comments for Changes to Timesheets

Requires users to record a cell-level comment whenever they make a change to:

  • The contents of a cell in a submitted timesheet, or
  • The contents of a cell for a day in the future, in an unsubmitted timesheet

This rule can help companies comply with DCAA requirements.

Billing Rate Validation

Displays a message if the user hasn't selected a billing rate, for applicable entries.

Rules that restrict the number of hours that can be entered


Rule Name

This Rule...

Above Scheduled Hours

Displays a message when a hours that exceed the user's scheduled hours are entered. You can choose to include or exclude time off from the hours total.

Timesheet Period Hours

Displays a message for hours that are outside a defined minimum and maximum within a timesheet period

Workweek Hours

Displays an error for time entered above the allowed workweek hours

Weekly Hours

Displays a message for hours that are outside a defined minimum and maximum within a week

Work Day Hours

Displays a message for hours that are outside a defined minimum and maximum, and allows you to exclude or include weekly days off and holidays in the total hours recorded.

Work Day Hours Including/Excluding Time Off

Displays a message for hours that are outside a defined minimum and maximum, and allows you to exclude or include weekly days off, breaks, time off, holidays, or specific time off types in the total hours recorded.

Daily Minimum Hours

Checks the total amount of time off and work time on each day to see if enough time has been entered. For example, if the rule requires 8 hours to per weekday, the rule will produce an error if only 7 hours are entered for Thursday.

Rules that regulate time worked over a period 

Rule Name

This Rule...

Average Workday Hours in a Continuous Period

Displays an error or warning message if the user’s average workday hours exceed a specified limit within a continuous period

Average Hours in Rolling Period


Average Workday Hours in Rolling Period

Displays a message if the average number of hours (or workday hours) a user works in a rolling period you define exceeds an amount you specify.

For example, imagine you set the rolling period to 17 weeks, and the maximum average for weekly hours worked to 48 hours. If a worker averaged 48 hours for 16 weeks (some weeks working more than 48, and some weeks less), but then in the 17th week they worked 50 hours, this validation rule would be triggered, since the average would exceed 48 hours.

You can choose whether particular types of time off, or hours worked against selected activities, are included or excluded from the average hours calculation. Including a time off type means days booked with that type are considered normal working days, and are not subtracted from the reference period. All time off is used in average work hours calculations.

Required Rest Days over a Specific Period

Displays a message if a given day of the week has not been taken off a minimum defined number of times, within a defined period. For example, it can be used to validate Netherlands' rule that 13 Sundays in any 52-week period must be rest days. Austria has a similar rule.

The rule allows you to select which day of the week is validated, the number of required rest days, the reference period (years, months, etc), and whether the period is continuous or based on the calendar.

Rules that restrict hours recorded against projects, tasks, or activities

Rule Name

This Rule...

Min/Max Activity Durations

Checks that activities fall within the duration ranges you define. For example, you can specify that a user must enter between 2 and 4 hours against Coding activity, or exactly 1 hour every time they enter time against Admin. By default, you can specify duration ranges for up to two different activities.

Project/Task Estimates

Displays a message when hours entered for a project or task exceed a percentage of the estimated hours. You can define the threshold levels for the different types of estimates.

Validate User Assignment to Project/Task/Activity

Checks that the user is assigned to all projects, tasks, and activities in a timesheet. It can be used to prevent invalid entry in cases where users were erroneously added to a project, and recorded hours against it before they were removed.

Rules that restrict data entry to certain date ranges

Rule Name

This Rule...

Project/Task Start & End Dates

Ensures time entered falls within the project or task's start and end dates

Restrict Time to User Start/End Dates

Ensures that all time collected on the timesheet falls within the user's start and end dates

Rules that check that in and out entries are valid

Rule Name

This Rule...

Complete In/Out Times

Checks each time entry and punch segment to see if there is an in or out time set. If there is, and its pair is missing, an error is created.

Overlapping Entries

Displays a message when overlapping entries are recorded on in/out timesheets. You can choose to include or exclude breaks and time off that overlaps with other entries. 

Rules to regulate when meals and breaks are recorded

Rule Name

This Rule...

Daily Rest Period

Displays a message if the user doesn't take off the number of hours you specify between shifts

Min/Max Break Durations

Displays a message if the user records a break that is shorter than the minimum length specified, or longer than the maximum length specified

Meal Break Enforcement

Ensures users take specified meal breaks

Meal Break Validation for Continuous Work

Ensures users take a meal break before they exceed six hours (the default) of continuous work. Useful in countries such as the Czech Republic and Austria.

Rest Break Enforcement

Ensures users take specified rest breaks

Rest Break Enforcement with Major Fraction

Ensures users take specified rest breaks. You define a repeating period in which a break must fall, called a work period (for example, 4 hours).

You can also specify that each break must be taken in the second half of the work period, using the Break must be taken after major fraction of every work period parameter.

Prevent Breaks at Start/End of Day

Displays a message on timesheets that include a break at the very beginning or very end of the user’s work day. You can set the rule to validate for breaks at the start of the day, at the end of the day, or both.

Configurable Daily/Weekly Rest Period

Shows a message when the required amount of daily/weekly rest is not taken

Rules that ensure hours entered match amounts available

Rule Name

This Rule...

Allocation matches Allocation Categories

Ensures that all allocated time matches the amount of time in the allocation categories

Time Off In Lieu

Prevents users from exchanging more hours than are available for time off in lieu

Rules that help ensure overtime budgets aren’t exceeded

Rule Name

This Rule...

Monthly Overtime Hours

Displays a message if overtime hours exceed a defined amount in a calendar month. You'll need to define which pay codes count as overtime.

Yearly Overtime Hours

Displays a message if overtime hours exceed a defined amount in a calendar year. You'll need to define which pay codes count as overtime.

Overtime Hours Over a Specific Period 

Displays a message if overtime hours exceed the specified period

Daily & Weekly Overtime Hours

Shows a message if overtime hours exceed the specified daily and/or weekly period. For example, can help meet the Indian requirement restricting overtime hours to 2 hr/day and 10 hr/week. May also be useful for meeting Austrian overtime rules.

Average Overtime Hours in Rolling Period

Displays a message if the actual average weekly overtime over a “rolling period” whose length you define exceeds the set ‘expected’ amount of overtime, based on a value you also define. You can choose to omit or include overtime hours deposited as time off in lieu.

For example, assume this rule is set with a 17 week rolling period, and a set average of 8 overtime hours. If an employee assigned this rule works 8 hours of overtime each week for 16 weeks, but then this week they work 9 overtime hours, the validation message will display on their current timesheet, since the average will exceed 8 hours per week.

Rules that define where the validation message displays

Rule Name

This Rule...

Display Punch Validations on Timesheet

Displays punch validation messages on the user's timesheet

Setting up timesheet validation rules

To use the timesheet validation rules:

  1. Go to Administration > Timesheets > Timesheet Validation Rules.
  2. Select a rule from the list and confirm that it meets your organization’s needs.
  3. Set the parameters for the rule, if applicable. For example, for the Daily Minimum Hours rule, you set a minimum work time for each day.
  4. Ensure the rule’s Status is set to Enabled.

You can now assign the rule to a timesheet template.

Copying a timesheet validation rule

You can make a copy of any validation rule, in case you want to base a new rule on an existing one, or retain variations of two similar rules.

To make a copy of a rule, click the Make a Copy of this Rule link located at the bottom, right-hand corner of the rule’s page:

Controlling when validation rules run

Each validation rule configuration page contains a check box labelled Execute validation rule last when running timesheet calculations. If the check box is not checked, when calculations are run on a timesheet, the validation rule will execute earlier than other scripts. This allows other scripts (for example, pay rules) to use the results of the validation rule in their calculations.

If a validation rule needs to use data from other scripts, enabling this option will allow it to be executed after the other scripts. If the validation rule is set to run last, other scripts will not be able to use its results. 

For the default validation rules provided with your product, we recommend leaving the check box as it is.


Can we use two different timesheet validation rules in combination?

Yes, you can assign multiple validation rules to a timesheet template.

Related links

Setting up timesheet templates
Configurable timesheet template options
Additional configurable timesheet template options
A validation displays on a user's timesheet, but they can still submit it