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Get started with QuickBooks Time

by Intuit Updated 2 months ago

Learn how to set up and customize QuickBooks Time.

QuickBooks Time is a web-based time tracking solution that can adapt to your company’s distinct needs. Whether your team works in the office, remotely, or on the go, you won't have to worry about chasing down their timesheets anymore. In this guide, we'll show you step-by-step how to get started, customize your settings, and onboard your team.

In this article, you'll learn how to:

Step 1: Set up your company 

First, review your company settings. We'll focus on the most essential settings to get started. 

Software integration 

If you plan on integrating your account with any payroll or accounting software, be sure you do that first. Many integrations require certain settings, or adjust your company settings automatically, so doing this first saves you headaches in the future. 

If you use QuickBooks Online, set up your QuickBooks Time account from there so your accounts are connected. Or, if you use another payroll software, check out the integration articles for that software.

Company settings

Your company’s primary QuickBooks Time settings can be found in Company Settings. This is where you set up your company-wide and default settings. Some settings can be adjusted per team member for further customization.  The following are the most important settings, but be sure you go through each setting option.  

Pay schedule

Set up your pay schedule to run reports by pay period, calculate pay period totals, and export timesheets to another software to run payroll. Make sure your QuickBooks Time pay schedule matches your actual payroll dates. Pay schedules are also important if you set up time off accruals by pay period in QuickBooks Time. 


Set up rules for overtime tracking so QuickBooks Time can calculate your team’s overtime accurately. You can find basic overtime settings in Company Settings, but if you need more advanced options, you can use the Pay Rate Engine

Time options 

There are a variety of ways your team can track time. In Time options, you can set up the basics, like your company’s date and time default, and how you’d prefer your team enter their timesheets. You’ll find other options here include adding notes or signatures on timesheets. 

Time off 

If your company tracks time off hours and accruals, set up the codes and rules. Then your team can accrue hours, see their balances, and submit time off requests. First, set up your time off codes, then configure the balances and accruals

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Step 2: Set up time tracking

Now that you’re done with Company settings, it’s time to set up how you want your team to track time. You’ll need to decide where your team should enter their timesheets, and for what customers or jobs. This will help you run reports, approve time for payroll, and know what to bill your customers for. 

Time tracking options

Your team members can track time on a web browser, their mobile devices, or on a kiosk. 

Tracking time on a web browser is great for those who work primarily at a desk. As an administrator, you’ll use the web dashboard to track and manage timesheets

Mobile time tracking is great for team members who need to track time on the go. Mobile time tracking gives you options like location tracking, geofencing, clock-in and clock-out reminders, and more. 

Set up a kiosk for your team to clock in at a stationary time clock that you set up on a computer or tablet when they arrive at work. You can set up a kiosk on an iOS device, Android tablet, or a computer web browser.

You can also mix and match these options. Team members can clock in using a kiosk and clock out from their mobile device or computer. Since QuickBooks Time is web-based, it all syncs to the same place.

Both the web dashboard and Workforce app offer manual time entry, if you let your team enter their hours after they’re done working. The kiosk only supports clocking in and out in real time.

Jobs, customers, and projects

You may want to know how much time your team spends on certain jobs, or for certain customers so you can invoice for their time. If so, you’ll want to set up jobs and customers, or projects with estimates so your team can track time directly to a customer, job, or project. 

Custom fields 

For more granular time tracking options, set up custom fields on time cards. For example, you can set up recurring services or tasks your team does, like mowing, cleaning, or damage restoration.


If you need to keep track of your team's lunch or rest breaks throughout the day, there are two ways to set them up. With manual breaks, your team members track when their breaks start and end. With automatic breaks, team members only track their clock in and clock out times for the day, with breaks added after they clock out. You can set up breaks to match your company’s policies

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Step 3: Add and invite your team

Once your account is set up, you’re ready to invite your team to track their time. You can add your team members and invite them right away, or send invites later. 

Team members 

Many payroll software integrations will automatically add your team. Make sure to remove any team members that don't need to track or manage time.

If your integration doesn’t import team members, or you don’t have an integration, add your team members to QuickBooks Time. Include those who manage or approve time (even if they don't track their own hours).

After you add team members, you can set up their permissions. For example, some team members might be allowed to edit their timesheets, while others might not. Adjusting a team member's permissions will override the company-wide settings you set up earlier.

Groups and managers 

If you need someone to manage some team members, but not all of them, you can set up groups and managers. First create a group of team members, and then add a manager for that group. Group managers can track, edit, and approve time for the team members in their group. 

Resources for your team

Once your team is set up and invited, they’re ready to start tracking time! We have lots of great resources to help them get started. Depending on how you’ve set up your account to track time, you can share some of the following resources with your team. 

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Step 4: Manage time and run reports

Now you’re ready to manage your QuickBooks Time account. Once time is tracked, you can manage those timesheets and run reports to get timesheet data to see how you and your team's time is spent.


Use our scheduling feature to tell your team when they’re working a shift and what time they should clock in. After creating shifts, set up reminders for your team. Your team can even clock in directly from a shift, so their timesheets have the right customers and jobs set up on clock-in.  

Editing and managing time 

If a timesheet needs to be added, edited, or deleted you can do so in several ways. Time Entries is a great way to get an overview of all time tracked, and includes options to edit time, and view extra timesheet details. Or, if you’re away from the desk, check and adjust timesheets from your Workforce app.  

Approvals and other reports 

QuickBooks Time offers many reports, so you can get the timesheet data you need to run your business. 

To make sure timesheets are correct and ready for payroll and invoicing, you’ll want to use the Approvals report. This report lets you review and approve all timesheets within a date range, which locks them and prevents further changes. If you set up a payroll software integration, approving time is the first step before exporting time for payroll or invoicing.

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