Approve a Timesheet

How do I Approve a Timesheet?

Purpose: There are multiple ways to approve Timesheets in BambooHR. This guide will show you how to approve time for individual employees as well as how to approve Timesheets in bulk.

Timesheet approvals can be set to the manager or a specific person. If you are just getting started with Time Tracking, have you set up your Time Tracking Approvals yet?

A timesheet becomes available for approval based on your approval due date in settings and can either be midnight employee time, or 24 hours prior to the due date, whichever is sooner.

Email to Approver

If you are the assigned approver for a group of employees, you will receive an email for that group of employees after all of the timesheets are available for approval (based on employee's timezone setting). The email will summarize hours worked, including Holiday hours and Overtime. The approver can simply click the link in the email notification to be taken to their BambooHR Inbox to approve the hours.

Please note if an employee is terminated during the pay period, the approver will still need to approve any hours worked by the terminated employee during the pay period.

Approve from Inbox

In addition to an email notification, the designated approver will see a notification in their What's Happening widget on Bamboo Home letting them know they have Timesheets waiting for approval.

Please note that this notification will not show up until all employees' timesheets in the group become available for approval. However, if the approver logs in before that time and views one of their employees whose pay period has ended, they will be able to approve via the Timesheet tab or the Inbox.


Click on the notification in the What's Happening widget or navigate to "Timesheets" under Approvals in the Inbox (see below).

Click on the approval task to review the hours.

Once you review the hours, simply click "Approve All Hours."

Once the timesheet is sent for approval, it will go to the employee's current manager. If the employee's manager changes, the approval will remain in the previous manager's inbox to be approved. 

Approve from Employee's Timesheet

To review and approve an individual employee's hours, navigate to the employee's Timesheet tab. Once you review the employee's hours for the pay period, simply click "Approve."

Once hours have been approved, it will show who approved the hours and the date they were approved.

If hours have been added while you are in the process of approving, you will receive a pop-up to refresh the hours before you approve.

Approve from Payroll Hours Report

Full Admin users and Custom Access Level users with access to approve Timesheets and view the Payroll Hours report will be able to approve hours right within the report.

Navigate to the Payroll Hours report in the Standard Reports folder on the Reports tab. Select the corresponding Pay Schedule and Pay Period, then hover over the employee in order to see an "Approve" option on the right side. If you need to approve in bulk, simply click "Approve all" in the top right corner of the report.

Payroll Hours
Can I Approve Hours if an Employee is Still Clocked in?

Your company might need to approve hours while your employees are still clocked in. For example, your pay day might be on the last day of the pay period and you need to run payroll by 4 pm but some of your employees won't clock out until 6 pm. Or, maybe you have an employee who forgot to clock out and you need to enter a clock out time for them.

Payroll Hours

If you approve an employee's hours while they are still clocked in, you will see a pop-up box that requires you to enter the employee's clock out time before you can approve the hours.

If you are approving from the Payroll Hours report, you will see a timer icon next to an employee's total time if they are still clocked in. When you choose to approve all Timesheets, you will receive a similar pop-up box requiring you to enter clock out details for all employees who are currently clocked in.

If your employees accrue time-based on hours worked, the accruals will not run correctly until the hours have been approved. If the accrual is set to run before the hours are approved, then a "0" will show up for the accrual period. Once the hours have been approved, BambooHR will automatically replace the 0 with the correct accrual amount based on hours worked.

What's Next?

Do you need help adding your hours?

Do you know the difference between multiple daily entry and single daily entry?

Have you set the pay rates for your company holidays?