Managing Leave & Accrual Balances

Unanet provides flexible alternatives for developing the best suited leave balance practice for your organization.  Depending on which modules you have, you can define leave projects, associate users with these projects, limit users to a certain amount of leave time, plan for leave and more.

Beginning with Unanet version 7.3, a new mechanism has been added to manage accrued time.  This mechanism can be used to accrue time for any type of project but may typically be used to accrue time for Vacation or Sick time.  

This help page discusses what we'll refer to as our legacy Leave Balance Management as well as the Accrual functionality.  You may end up using one, both or neither of these features in your installation.

This page covers the following topics:

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Legacy Leave Balance Management

Define Leave Projects

The first step in managing leave in Unanet is to define a Leave project or projects.  Depending on your business needs, you may want to define a single project to track leave time.  Alternatively, you may want to define multiple leave projects for the various types of leave (e.g. one for Vacation, another for Sick Time, Jury Duty, LWOP, etc.).  You may also choose to set up a single leave project and have separate tasks defined for the various types of leave.  Finally, you may want to set up distinct leave projects for various organizations.

Regardless of which approach you take, you likely want to be sure to set the "Designate as Leave Project" attribute (on the Project Profile >> Time tab) when defining the leave project.  Setting this value will allow the various leave oriented reports to include only "leave" projects.  Other than this specific setting, you can define the project and optional tasks according to your normal project setup rules.  

If your intention is to constrain users charging against a leave project to a pre-determined budgeted amount, you'll also likely want to define the project with the "Self Assign" option unchecked (on the Project Profile >> Access tab).  This will prevent users from charging to the project/tasks unless they have an explicit assignment (see the next section for more details).

Associate Users to Leave Projects (w/ Budget Amounts)

Once the project has been defined, you'll next want to establish the individual Assignments per user.  These Assignments will be at either the project or task level, depending on how you have defined your leave project.  Entering a Budget amount on each users' Assignment will constrain that users time entry by that budgeted amount (unless you have checked the Exceed check box when defining the assignment).

While there are a number of ways to define the assignment entries, one possible approach is to use a date range that spans the current calendar year.  Following this approach, you would set up assignments for each user for the current year, having a budget amount equal to their annual leave.

An example of what these assignments may look like follows:

Using Export/Import to create Assignments

Note that you can manually create these assignment entries via the user interface (Assignment screen), but more than likely, you may want to utilize the Assignment Import to populate these entries in mass.  This would allow you to create many assignments and leave budget amounts in a spreadsheet.  Unanet Administrators and Project Managers have access to the Assignment Import capability.   

To give you a jump start on creating your spreadsheet, you could manually create leave assignments for one user via the user interface, then use the Assignment Export feature to create the spreadsheet to include the appropriate columns.  You could then edit that spreadsheet, cut and paste assignments for each additional user, updating their username and budget amounts.  Finally, you could then use the assignment import to load up your new assignments.

Note that you can use a similar export / update via spreadsheet / import process to make budget updates for many users at once.

If you use an annual date range you will need to create a new set of assignments for each year.  Depending on your business policy, this may include moving year end balances from a Vacation project / task to a Carry-Over project / task.

Planning for Leave

If your installation includes the People / Resource Scheduling module, you may also be interested in having your user's plan their time off such that future project planning can work around their vacation plans.   Depending on how you have your projects defined, users may be able to plan their own time off via the Time >> Plan screens (assuming you have defined your leave projects to allow for self planning).  This may be useful for Project Manager when searching for available users as well as when running Forecast reports.


Managing Accrued Time in Unanet

As an alternative to (or in conjunction with) manually managing the Assignment Budgets as described in the Legacy Leave Balance Management above, Unanet can be configured to accrue time for any project/task.  One common use of this feature may be to accrue time for Vacation or Sick projects.  Rather than manually calculating and populating the assignment budgets, Unanet can be configured to accrue those amounts and create / update the associated assignments with those values.  The following sections will describe the steps necessary to configure and operate the Accruals process in Unanet.

The process to setup and manage the accruals includes the following steps:



Periodic Management


The posting screens will also allow for the unposting of an accrual period in the event a problem was encountered and you want to "un-do" a posting.

Administrators can also access the posting screens as a reporting mechanism to view which periods have / have not yet been posted.


Project Assignments

Note that the Accrual mechanism has been constructed to work in conjunction with the existing Project Assignment mechanism.  The accrual posting, capping and adjustment processes will insert positive and negative amounts into the 'accrual tables'.  We do not store 'available balances' in these accrual tables, but rather derive balances by comparing actuals taken to the total accrued amounts.  The derived available balances are considered during the cap logic processing.  As part of the accrual posting and accrual adjustment processing, the final re-calculated total accrued amounts (after considering new accruals and caps) will be re-stamped on each users associated project assignment.  The timesheet validations will validate available budgets based on the assignment budget.  As such, a Resource Assigner could temporarily manipulate a user's leave budget as needed, however, effective with the next accrual post, the budget amount will be re-stamped with the then calculated accrued amount.

Reporting on Leave Balances

If you have defined your leave projects and assignments with budgets as discussed above, then reporting on leave balance is easy.  A number of reports are available that can include detail or summary information about actual time taken.  The various flavors of the Schedule Detail report, however, are the primary reports which display leave balance information.

Note: if your installation uses the Unanet Accrual functionality, you may want to enable the Leave Balance Quick Reports Include Projected Accruals (unatime.quick_reports.leave_balance.accrued_budgets) property.  This property will alter the selection criteria automatically supplied to the built-in Leave Balance report (by allowing you to control whether the include projected accruals through the end of the period option is selected)..


The end users Leave Balance Quick Report will resemble the following:


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