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Accurate Expense Recording Monitor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000208336D
Publication Date: 2011-Jul-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method to accurately track and record the time users spend on a particular job that is performed on the computer. The method incorporates the tracking of which windows the user has active, the cursor position and activity, and the opening and closing of windows and files. This associates activities with jobs and is a more effective way to track project expenses.

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Accurate Expense Recording Monitor

Many businesses have time tracking that is used for billing or to track project expenses. Employees often have to manually record their time in order to track it. Many jobs today encompass mostly electronic activities, requiring a user to dispatch to a work ticket their time tracking or manually record time periodically. Activities performed during these activities still may not be accurately tracked. Employees may be multitasking or record work events after they have taken place, which may reduce accuracy of time recording. This inaccuracy can lead to faulty productivity reports and billing. Since companies often rely on this data to improve efficiency and to understand where time and efforts are spent, improvements in this area can lead to large savings in cost management. It would allow companies to better staff different areas of the business, and can highlight where skill gaps may exist throughout an organization.

The disclosed invention provides a method to track electronic jobs involving a computer. The solution tracks:
1. Which window the user has at the forefront of their display
2. The cursor position and activity in that window to determine that there is actual work being done on that window

3. The open and close times of files or emails used by that employee throughout the day. Files are associated with a project based on data set name.

When a client switches from one window to another, the system records the amount of activity performed in each window and what file was open during that time. By tracking the amount of activity against a particular file, accurate time recording or auditing of the user's time recording is achieved. When no activity is detected for a prolonged period on the user's terminal, that time is counted as time away from the terminal, for which the user may have to account.

A customer service department using an electronic problem submission system is a perfect example to show how this invention would work. When a client submits a problem to the customer service department, an electronic problem record is created for that issue. As technical support representatives are assigned and work on the item, they electronically dispatch to that problem record. When the representative completes working on that problem record, the system un-dispatches...