Article

A brief history of time: Deltek TE10

Authored by Matt Calderone and Suresh Tellicherry

A Brief History of Time

Over 20 years ago, Deltek launched the first version of what is now Deltek Time & Expense. Then called Electronic Timesheets (ET), the application gave government contractors the ability to enter time “electronically.” This enabled managers to approve timesheets electronically, and timesheets were then processed directly to Deltek Costpoint. This automation between the time-collection system and the ERP system made labor and payroll processing more efficient. Early versions of ET also supported DCAA regulations for time charging, including audit trails for timesheet changes.

In subsequent versions, ET evolved to “T&E” with the addition of Deltek Expense. The new expense system eliminated the need to record expenses on spreadsheets and allowed employees to enter expenses in a newfangled “web-based” system. The system added enhanced workflows, including the ability to route expense approvals to multiple approvers. The administrative time required to process expense reports decreased, and the ability to enforce government regulations increased.

This year, Deltek released Time & Expense 10 (T&E 10). It’s a long way from the early versions of the product, and it includes several technical and functional benefits. Because of these benefits and some architectural changes, this upgrade is larger and more complex than many other upgrades.

Today and Tomorrow: Time & Expense 10 Features and Benefits

Even with much product improvement, it’s rare for an employee to be excited to enter a timesheet or expense report. But a new user experience can make a difference for both employees and administrators. With the latest version, Deltek has moved timesheets and expense reports within the Costpoint framework. Timesheet users now become Costpoint users. This is the biggest change in how the system looks and functions.

The Costpoint framework allows users the benefits of Costpoint functionality. In previous versions of T&E, for example, users were unable to have more than one screen open at a time and were unable to search on certain values on a screen. With T&E 10, these frustrations disappear.

New features are in both the “Time” and “Expense” applications. For timesheets, the most significant changes revolve around how corrections to “Processed” timesheets are done. In previous versions, when a Timesheet Administrator had to open a timesheet period for a previous timesheet period, it opened the period for all employees. Now, if a period is closed, the system can be configured to require that employees request a correction. If the request is approved, only the employee who made the request has access for a correction.

Additional functional enhancements include:

  • Smart coding: As you type in a project code on your timesheet, you can see only validated values. 
  • Extensibility: This allows administrators to make changes to screen objects and layouts, and register additional logic to be executed the application.
  • Mobile access: The end user experience also improves with new mobile capabilities. Timesheet entry, approvals, and leave balances are available in the completely redesigned mobile application.

The new framework also impacts security. In previous versions of T&E, Security Roles were used to determine which screens employees could access. Now, Security Roles are still available, but they are linked to the User Groups in Costpoint to determine access.

There are technical benefits, too, even for clients running an on-premise system. They include the ability to install T&E 10 in a cluster farm for high availability, scalability and reliability. Creating a cluster of servers on a single network offers the ultimate redundancy and ensures that a single error doesn’t render your system inaccessible.

Do you need automatic monitoring of servers with status alerts? T&E 10 has it. Do you want a more efficient deployment of hotfixes for your on-premise system? T&E 10 comes with a utility to deploy and track all hotfixes.

Additional technical enhancements include:

  • Multi factor authentication (MFA): It’s now native. One of the most sought-after requirements today is the ability to login by providing multiple forms of identity.
  • Mixed mode authentication:  In previous versions, the application used the same authentication method for all users within a domain. Now, clients can have internal users use Active Directory-based authentication (AD) while vendors or temporary consultants can access the system using local authentication.

Upgrade Considerations and Recommendations

So, are you ready to upgrade? It’s likely that only a small percentage of your employee base uses Costpoint today. Upgrading to T&E 10 and using the Costpoint framework will be a major adjustment for most of your employees. Our advice is: Ensure you have a test plan, a training plan and a go-live plan to maximize the benefits and reduce your risks in rolling out this new version.

Here are some considerations and recommendations:

  • Plan for the upgrade: Treat this upgrade like a project, including building a plan, identifying major milestones and resources, and clarifying timing for your go-live.
  • Review the new version: It’s best to fully understand the functionality and look of this new version—it’s different! Can you explain the changes, and can your employees quickly consume the changes?
  • Test the new version in your environment: This application is used by 100% of most organizations’ employees. Ensuring it’s working as expected—and with your design and configuration—is critical before rollout. Baker Tilly recommends a testing plan and testing process. Is there anything in your current configuration that might cause an issue?
  • Train your users: Given the many improvements, make sure your employees understand the changes. Even if T&E has been a company staple, do not underestimate the changes that are in T&E 10. This application looks and acts differently. We recommend a training plan, and a focus on training for both users and administrators. Can your users successfully complete accurate and correct timesheets and expenses on Day 1?

How Baker Tilly Can Help

For new users or clients who have used T&E for years, Baker Tilly help you evaluate, implement, and upgraded to your Deltek solution to ensure that your transition meets your business goals.

Baker Tilly brings a complete and proven approach to each engagement, based on Baker Tilly’s Enterprise Systems Methodology. This methodology is tailored to address the specific needs of our clients. In T&E 10 upgrades, we can help you discover your business rules and policies and design, configure and test your system to take advantage of all T&E 10 has to offer. Common deliverables include detailed project plans, design/configuration documents, client-specific test plans and training plans for administrators, employees and managers.

For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly specialists can help, contact our team.

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