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How to turn on and set up time tracking

With QuickBooks Online Essentials and QuickBooks Online Plus, you can track and bill customers for your time. Use the Time tracking feature to assign a particular activity to a project or customer and choose whether to bill your customers for the activity.

Time Details

Based on the rates you specify and whether or not the time is billable, time detail will automatically appear on customer invoices. The number of details on the invoice is up to you. You can include:

  • Employee’s name
  • Hourly rate charged
  • Number of hours billed — This appears as a decimal number on your invoice and as time on the printed or emailed version. For example, an hour and fifteen minutes will show as 1.25 when entered on an invoice and 1:15 when it is sent to your customer.

You can also customise the invoice to show the following:

  • Text from the Description field on the timesheet
  • The name of the standard service you are using
  • Custom text that you specify for time tracking charges

See Customise Invoices and other Transaction Forms in QuickBooks Online for more details on customising invoice.

Note: Time Tracking Only users are unable to fill out time via a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet because time tracking is not currently supported on mobile devices.

Turn on time tracking

Here's how to turn on time tracking:

  1. Select the Gear icon on the Toolbar.
  2. Under Your Company, choose Account and Settings (or Company Settings).
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. Go to the Time tracking section.
  5. Set your time tracking preferences: Put a tick on the Add Service field to timesheets or Make Single-Time Activity Billable to Customer box. When one of these boxes is checked, employees and contractors who fill out timesheets can specify if activities should be billed to a customer. You can also put a tick on Show billing rate to users entering time box. Also, select the drop-down and choose the first day of the work week. This affects how employees and contractors view weekly time sheets.
  6. Select Save, then Done.

Add a Time Tracking user

Here's how to add a time tracking user:

  1. Select the Gear icon on the Toolbar.
  2. Under Your Company, select Manage Users.
  3. Select Add user.
  4. Select Time tracking only.
  5. Select Next.
  6. Select which employee or supplier you wish to add as a Time Tracking Only user and enter their contact information.
  7. Select Save.
Note:You can't change the user type of a Time Tracking Only user. If a Time tracker needs a different company access, delete the user and add them back again with the new user type. For steps to delete, see Add, delete, or change a user's access

Make time billable

Once time tracking is set up, you can start marking timesheets as billable.

  1. Select the Plus icon (+) on the Toolbar.
  2. Under Employees, select Single Time Activity (or Weekly Timesheet).
  3. Enter all necessary details.
  4. Select the Billable box.
  5. Save the timesheet.

Make time always billable

If you want to make time always billable (the billable box is automatically selected for all activities), you or any company user with appropriate access can go to the employee information page and make the employee's activities billable by default. To do this:

  1. From the left menu, select Workers, then Employees.
  2. Under the Action column beside the appropriate employee, select Edit.
  3. Select the Billable by default checkbox.
  4. Select Save.

Access Time Tracking reports

  1. From the left menu, select Reports.
  2. In the Enter report name field, enter any of the following: Recent/Edited Time Activities, Time Activities by Customer Detail, Time Activities by Employee Detail, and Unbilled time.

Now you know how to turn on and set up time tracking.