Built for Teams is a robust, accurate tool for tracking time off. Understanding how PTO requests are processed as transactions is an important part of knowing how various reports work.
What is a Transaction?
When a PTO request is approved and the requested date has passed, the system automatically converts the request into one or more transactions. This is somewhat like a pre-authorization on your credit card being converted to an actual charge.
For a multi-day request, the appropriate amount is deducted at the end of each day resulting in one transaction per day of the request.
When transactions are created, the person's account balance is reduced by the appropriate amount and a record is added to the person's transaction history. Like credit card charges, a transaction cannot be deleted. An offsetting entry must be created by an administrator if a correction is necessary (much like a card charge is refunded, not deleted).
What About a Request for a Date in the Past?
When a PTO request is submitted for a date in the past, the request is immediately processed as a set of transactions when the request is approved. The balance will immediately be adjusted and the transaction history updated.
For new users, this can occasionally lead to a bit of confusion. The newly-created transaction will be shown in the user's Transaction History in chronological order of the transaction date, not the date of the actual usage. There are three main reasons why this is the case:
- To maintain an accurate running balance, like a bank statement.
- To ensure the system is trustworthy because the account history cannot be tampered with or modified.
- To prevent a scenario where a request could be entered for a time period that should be considered locked or closed, such as a previous year (when a reset or carryover has already been applied) or a time period for which a payroll report has already been generated.
An analogous example that might help to illustrate the reasons for this approach is to imagine Jane writing a check for $100 to John on December 1st. The date Jane paid John is December 1, but if John doesn't actually cash that check until January 1, neither person's bank account will show a transaction until January 1.
If the bank attempted to go back and insert the transaction on December 1, the actual date of payment, all sorts of problems could happen:
- The bank may have already mailed out a statement for the previous month and it would now be inaccurate.
- Jane and John may both view future bank statements with suspicion, knowing that the record could be modified at any time in the future.
- Jane and John may both have already closed out their year for tax purposes and their tax records might now be inaccurate with the late introduction of this new transaction.
What if I Want to See Usage Instead of Transactions?
It is critical that Built for Teams be accurate and reliable. We also understand the need for viewing time off according to when it was used, versus when it was processed as a transaction. There are currently two ways to do this:
- Use the calendar. Requests are displayed on the calendar for the actual dates requested/used, regardless of when they were processed as transactions. The 'List' view on the calendar can serve as a chronological view of time off as used.
- Run the PTO Usage report. As an administrator, you can run a report that will show time off as used instead of as processed. Know that if you run this report today, and then again in one month for the same date range, the data may have changed if a person belatedly submitted a request for the time period in question.