I see what you mean, Matt. On the other hand, this is still rather new for us; I do not think it is a bad thing that people (team leaders + me) keep a human eye on the proceedings. I mean, at the end of the day we need to check manually all that stuff. The reporting is a management tool: I spent quite some time looking at it. How much time did we allocate to WP1? How much to WP2? Do we still have enough time budgeted for WP3 next year? Are we underspending? And so on.
I don’t trust full automation just yet (as in: people input their time, then we sign off to it and pay them, and the reporting spreadsheet is automatically generated and submitted). I imagine a system in which team leaders look at timesheets and invoices before approving them; then, generate the PDFs and sign them. At this point, we ran the API query, generate the quarterly spreadsheet and take a good look at it. If there is anything funny, we notice and go back to the person who under- over-reported her time, and ask for an explanation.
The goal, in my head, is not what you call “full IT”. It is going paperless: not have to keep around sheets of paper for five years after the projects end. We could achieve that just with an electronic signature tool. On top of that, the automatic filling of the spreadsheet is a bonus, but I don’t care about it being authoritative. Notice also that, if it were, we would no longer need digital signing.
Sorry if that was unclear…