Rounded times properly sum to the total
The reports display times rounded to a certain number of decimal places. This inevitably introduces imprecision in the total. The major problem is that these rounded values do not sum to the total displayed on the report! The sum of the entries is always more than the total displayed. You can see this if you export to a csv file, then total the column yourself.
The reports should either display more accurate values so it totals properly to the value calculated, or total the sum of the rounded values, regardless of the underlying values.
The problem is that unless we show seconds as well as minutes on the reports have to round to the nearest minute. The alternative, to make the total the sum of the rounded cells, leads to a much more insidious problem where your totals will be incorrect and vary depending on the type of report your run.
Let’s say you ran a report for last month by task. There were 5 tasks and the total, the sum of those 5 rows, was 100. Now let’s say your re-run that report but this time by entry which produces 200 rows. Odds are that your total will now be greater than 100 as you’re introducing more rounding error with every row added together.
I agree with this request. When you look at a report, then column and row totals need to equal the sum of each cell, otherwise you have an error. Regardless of what Slimtimer knows in the background, it doesn't make sense that the Total doesn't equal the sum of the parts.
It think part of the problem is that it only rounds up. Possibly there needs to be the ability to round the subtotals (total for each cell) to nearest interval, while the column/row totals are simply a sum of that column or row.
I think I agree with Nancy. My client asks me to bill by the 10th of an hour, to minimize "being billed for 15 minutes when I only worked 6" which makes sense if you are always rounding up every time you switch to that client's work.
Say a client interrupts me 3 times during the day to make emergency changes to some piece of work. Each change takes 2 minutes. Using my old billing system, I would make 3 charges of 0.1 hours, but the current system sees it as 3 charges TOTALLING 0.1 hours.
Don't get me wrong, I want transparency in my billing, but if my clients want me to lower my intervals for their benefit, they shouldn't get a double benefit because I'm conscientious enough to use good time-tracking software! :)
Each ENTRY should be rounded up to the Report Setting minimum for any reporting purposes, or perhaps this could be a setting to turn on and off-- "Total rounded entries" or "Round total after adding entries (default)."
BTW, in future I will probably refuse to a lower interval on the BASIS that I use SlimTimer!
I don't care about the seconds, but I do care that over the course of a week the times in the reports add up to about 15 minutes more than the total time displayed on the report. I could tolerate 15 seconds a week, but 15 minutes! What's more, it isn't even consistent as it varies based on how often I switch tasks. I believe the case for adding precision down to the second is sound.
I'm not sure I understand Richard's answer. I use the round up to 15 minutes because I charge my clients in 15 min intervals, I don't care about the exact minute/second count. I use the report timesheet/task and the total hours never add up to the hours in the rows. It seems logical the total should be of the rows however the report is formatted.
Dudes... there *is* a setting for rounding. Report Settings!
I used to think this was a big issue, until I realized my report settings defaulted to round to the nearest 5 minutes. I changed the setting to 1 minute, and the results are much more reasonable.
AdminRichard White (Admin, slimtimer) commented
They could. It just adds noise as most people don't care about seconds.
@admin -- is there a reason why seconds can not be displayed in the reports?
SlimTimer makes it easy to swap between tasks as you do in real life. When you swap back and forth between different projects/clients over a full day this can add up to cause a lot of rounding errors.
If the seconds data is store can it be displayed.
I agree with Rowan.. Having more control over reporting will make it much easier - and efficient package to use.
I agree. There should be an option to not do any rounding (I would think that this would also be good for the system as it would require less processing to do all the rounding on all the tasks) - a good way to make SlimTimer a bit quicker.