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How to import employee timesheets

SOLVEDby QuickBooks5Updated August 21, 2023

You can import timesheets from a variety of sources, including CSV file formats. This can be a huge time-saver, particularly if you're using a third-party timesheet provider.

Before you begin, make sure you have enabled the timesheet feature. To do this:

  1. Go to Payroll and select the Payroll Settings tab. 
  2. Under Business Management, select Timesheets
  3. Select Enable.
  1. Go to Payroll, and select Employees (Take me there). 
  2. Select Manage Employees, then select Import Timesheets.
  3. Choose the timesheet source from the dropdown. To import the timesheets you’ve created in QuickBooks, select QuickBooks.
  4. Select the date range. 
  5. Select Import.

Importing a timesheet for a single employee

  1. From within the pay run, select the employee you want to re-import the timesheets for
  2. Select Pay Run Actions, then select Import timesheets.
  3. Select whether you want to import just the timesheets for this period, or timesheets for previous periods as well.
  4. Select Import.

The timesheets for this employee will be imported into the pay run and the pay run calculations will be re-calculated.

QuickBooks Online makes it easy to import timesheets from a CSV (comma-separated values) file. The CSV file must be in a specific format in order to be imported successfully. Most timesheet formats can be imported, as long as they meet the requirements outlined below.

  • The file must be in a CSV (comma separated) or TSV (tab separated) format
  • There can only be one timesheet entry per line
  • Each timesheet line requires, at minimum:
    • Start/End date/time or Date + Units
    • Employee
  1. Go to Payroll and select Employees (Take me there). 
  2. Select Manage Employees, then select Import Timesheets
  3. From the dropdown, select Custom file upload
  4. Browse and select the file to upload. 
  5. Select Confirm upload?.
  6. Once the upload is complete, set the Date format of the file.
  7. The next step is to configure the type of data for each column. A preview of the first few lines of each column are shown to help you map each column.
  8. Choose whether the timesheets are automatically approved or if they should go through the standard timesheet approval workflow.
  9. Once the columns are mapped, select Import.
    Note: If timesheets are included in a pay run, they may not be replaced.

Once the upload is complete, any errors will be shown. If there are no errors, then your file is ready to be imported. If there are errors, you can either fix them and re-upload the file, or reconfigure the columns and try again.

If the import is successful, you should see a message indicating that the import was successful and how many records were imported. You can also select Save timesheet format so you can re-use the template later.

Each of the following sample timesheet import formats assume the following:

  • There’s an employee with an External ID of MM (Mickey Mouse)
  • There’s another employee with an External ID of DD (Donald Duck)
  • There’s a location with an External ID of SYD
  • There’s another location with an External ID of BRIS
  • There’s a work type with an External ID of STD

All of these timesheets are very simple, however they can be expanded upon due to the timesheet importer's flexibility.

Example timesheet format 1 

This timesheet format uses date time data in the start/end/break start/break end columns.

Example timesheet format 2 

This timesheet format uses a date column with separate start time/end time columns.

Example timesheet format 3

This timesheet format uses a date column and a units column to represent the hours worked.

Assuming you have an employee roster set up in Advanced Payroll, you can import timesheets created directly from the integrated employee rostering feature. There are a number of options available to filter roster records and limit the creation of timesheets.

  • Date range 
  • Location: this will filter on the location of the roster record
  • Pay schedule: this will filter the employees with a matching default pay schedule

If you want to approve the timesheets automatically, check the box next to Approve timesheets. If you want them to go through the standard approval workflow, leave the box unchecked. Select Import to begin the process.

Once the process is complete, you’ll be given the option to import more timesheets or continue to the timesheet approval section.

Using QuickBooks Time? For more information, refer to how to integrate QuickBooks Time timesheets into QuickBooks Payroll powered by Employment Hero.

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