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Turn on and set up time tracking

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

Based on the rates you specify and whether or not the time is billable, time detail will automatically appear on customer invoices. The amount 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 customize the invoice to show the following:

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

See Customize Invoices and other Transaction Forms in QuickBooks Online for more details on customizing invoice.

Important: Time tracking is not currently supported on mobile devices. Time Tracking Only users will not be able to fill out time via a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet.

Turn on time tracking

  1. Select the Gear icon at the top.
  2. Under Your Company, choose Account and Settings (or Company Settings).
  3. Select Advanced on the left, then go to Time tracking section.
  4. Set your time tracking preferences.
    • Put a check mark 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 time sheets can specify if activities should be billed to a customer.
    • (Optional) Put a check mark on Show billing rate to users entering time box.
    • Select the drop-down and choose the first day of the work week. This affects how employees and contractors view weekly time sheets.
  5. Select Save then Done.

Add a Time Tracking user

You may have unlimited number of users for Time Tracking and it will not count toward the number or users or the price of the subscription.

  1. Select the Gear icon at the top.
  2. Under Your Company, select Manage Users.
  3. Select Add user and choose Time tracking only, then select Next.
  4. Select which employee or vendor you wish to add as a Time Tracking Only user and enter their contact information.
  5. 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 (+) at the top.
  2. Under Employees, choose Single Time Activity (or Weekly Timesheet).
  3. Enter all necessary details then select the Billable box.
  4. Save the timesheet.

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, go to Workers, then select Employees.
  2. Under the Action column beside the appropriate employee, select Edit.
  3. Mark the Billable by default checkbox.
  4. Select Save.

Access Time Tracking reports

  1. Select Reports from the left menu.
  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
    • Unbilled time