Randy J. Elder, CPA, P.C.

Don’t miss a minute: Billing for Time in QuickBooks

If the term ‘billable hours’ resonates with you and the work your small business provides you’ll want to make sure you are using QuickBooks to your full advantage.

While there are many time tracking tools available, if you are already a QuickBooks user, you may find it most convenient to use its built-in time tracking features for this purpose. You can enter information about a single activity, if it is billable or unbillable and/or document hours in a timesheet. QuickBooks also features a built-in timer (the “Stopwatch”) to help record time spent on a project or client.

If you haven’t used QuickBooks to track time and record billable hours, I think you’ll find it easy to navigate and convenient to use. There are a couple of ways to start;

* Open the Employees menu
* Select Enter Time | Time/Enter Single Activity
* Click the down arrow next to the Enter Time icon on the Home Page and choose Time/Enter Single Activity.

Enter time for a single activity

You can enter the hours worked manually or use QuickBooks’ Stopwatch function to have your employee record the time as they work. For manual entries, click the calendar icon in the DATE field to reflect the date the work was completed and click the down arrows in the areas that contain them to select options from a list. If you already know the duration of the activity, simply enter it in the field to the right of the clock icon. If you want to use QuickBooks’ Stopwatch function to track time, use the Start, Stop, and Pause buttons.

If the employee selected is timesheet-based, an additional field will appear above the CLASS field asking for the related PAYROLL ITEM. And if you’ve turned on workers’ compensation (and the employee is timesheet-based), a field titled WC CODE will drop into place below it. It is vital that this you do it correctly, and it can get complicated so be careful or give me a call if you’d like some help.

There are many different paths you can use if you want to open a timesheet for a given employee. You can do this from any of the following;
* From the Time/Enter Single Activity dialog box click the Timesheet icon
* Open the Employees menu and select Enter Time / Use Weekly Timesheet
* From the Home page click the Enter Time icon

You can open an existing timesheet that has already been populated with hours worked or open a blank one.


If you need to edit hours worked, QuickBooks makes this easy too. Just click in the appropriate cell and change the data. Be careful to make sure that the Billable box is checked or unchecked correctly.

Still more options; you can also enter hours directly on a timesheet instead of recording individual activities. Just select the employee’s name by clicking on the arrow in the NAME field at the top of the Weekly Timesheet dialog box and fill in the boxes.

Another nice feature; individual activities that you enter for employees are automatically transferred to the timesheet format and vice-versa.

Billing for Time: The Best Part with QuickBooks

QuickBooks keeps track of all registered billable hours and reminds you of them when it’s time to invoice. If customers have excellent time and/or costs, this dialog box will open the next time you start to create an invoice for them:

Track billable hours

QuickBooks also provides several reports related to billing for time.
If you have any questions about using QuickBooks for recording time and billable hours, please give me a call.