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Managers and Time Approvals Functionality

[Premier and Enterprise Customers]

Mavenlink provides the ability for you to designate who approves time because in a time approvals workflow, there can be multiple points of responsibility. At the beginning of the time tracking process, there’s the responsibility of the individual to properly track and submit their time and then during the review process, there’s the responsibility of the person who has the most context for that time to approve it so that it can be easily added to an invoice and billed to the client.

For any individual in your organization, you have the flexibility to designate a single point of ownership over approving a person’s time. There are two ways to designate this responsibility:

  1. If you have an individual who is participating across many projects, such as a person in an IT or Project Management capacity, their manager will have the most context over the work that individual is doing. In this case, you’d want to give their manager ownership over approving their time. Whenever you’ve selected that a person’s manager approves their time, anytime that person submits time, it will be that one manager’s responsibility to approve it.
  1. If you have an individual who is performing work in a smaller number of projects, where a project manager has the most insight into what they’re doing, you’ll want to designate a project-level participant as their time approver, such as the Project Manager or Engagement Manager. In this case, who approves that individual’s time will depend on what project the time has been tracked against. For example: time tracked against Project A will be approved by Project A’s Project Manager and time tracked against Project B will be approved by Project B’s Project Manager. 

Mavenlink supports both of these use cases and provides real-time Time Approvals reporting so you can see what stage the time is at and track down the party responsible for moving it to the next stage-- whether that’s submitting time in the first place or reviewing it.

  1. For individuals who you want to centralize the time approval responsibility to their manager, Account Admins can navigate to the Account Members section by going to Settings→ Members → selecting that member from the list. You’ll want to indicate who their manager is in the Organizations section. Keep in mind that Managers must be users with permission levels of Reports Viewers or Account Administrators because those individuals will have access to Mavenlink’s Analytics Reports to track the progress and performance of their reports. Once you’ve selected their manager, check the box that says “Manager Approves Time.” With that option selected, whenever this individual submits their time, that manager will be notified and can review and approve it.
  1. For individuals whose time should be approved by a project participant, a Project Admin can designate that person by navigating to Project Settings and selecting the appropriate participant. Please note that the designated approver here must be a minimum of a Reports Viewer at the Account-level so that they’ll have access to key metrics via Analytics Reports. Now whenever this individual tracks time for this project, that designated approver will be notified and can take action to approve their time.

Whenever a designated approver goes to the Time Approvals section of Time & Expense, they’ll see time submissions that they’re responsible for approving. Account Admins have the ability within the Time Approvals Dashboard to select “Your Approvals” to filter the list down to the specific timesheets that they are responsible for approving. Deselecting the checkbox for “Your Approvals” allows Account Admins to see and take action on all submissions.

Keep in mind that designating a time approver is completely optional. If no responsible individual is selected, anyone with Financial permissions or higher in the project will receive a notification and can take action when project participants submit time. These capabilities are useful to add structure to a process that’s already in place at your organization, as well as to reinforce accountability.

For questions about this and any other features, please contact us at

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