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Turn on and set up time tracking in QuickBooks Online

by Intuit Updated 4 weeks ago

Learn how to turn on and set up time tracking in QuickBooks Online Essentials, Plus, and Advanced.

Use this feature to track and bill customers for the number of hours spent on a project or activity. Here’s how.

In this article, you'll learn how to:



Turn on time tracking

Here's how to turn on time tracking:

First, enable which time tracking options you want:

  1. Go to Time (Take me there) and choose why you want to track hours. 
  2. Then, choose if you want basic time tracking in QuickBooks Online, or if you want to try a QuickBooks Time account with more time tracking features. Either way, you can access timesheets from QuickBooks Online. 
  3. Select Get Started.

Then, adjust your time tracking preferences:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Account and settings.
  2. Select the Time tab.
  3. In the General or Timesheet section, select Edit ✏.
  4. Set your time tracking preferences:
    • First day of work week▼dropdown - This affects how employees and contractors view weekly timesheets.
    • Show service field - When this switch is on, employee and contractors who fill out timesheets can specify services performed.
    • Allow time to be billable - When this switch is on, employees and contractors who fill out timesheets can specify if activities should be billed to a customer.
    • Show billing rate to users entering time (optional)
  5. Select Save, then Done.


Add a time tracking user

Here's how to add a time tracking user:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Manage users.
  2. Select Add user.
  3. Select Time tracking only.
  4. Select Next.
  5. Find the employee or supplier you want to add, select Next, then enter their contact info.
  6. Select Save.

Once added, the user can now enter hours in a timesheet:

Note: You can't change the user type of a Time Tracking Only user. If a Time Tracking Only user needs a different type of company access, delete the user and add them back again with the new user type.


Make time always billable

  1. Go to Reports (Take me there).
  2. Open the Customer Contact List Report.
  3. In the page's URL, replace Cust (after token=) with EMP and press Enter to open the Employee Contact List report.
  4. Find the employee you want, then click their name.
  5. Select the Billable by default checkbox.
  6. Select Save.


Access time tracking reports

  1. Go to Reports (Take me there).
  2. In the  Find by 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.


Time details

Based on the rates you specify and whether or not the time is billable, time detail will automatically appear on customer invoices. You can include:

  • Employee’s name
  • Hourly rate charged
  • Number of hours billed

You can also customize 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

Learn how to Customize Invoices and other Transaction Forms in QuickBooks Online.

Note: Users can only track time on their mobile phones or apps if they log in to QuickBooks Online through a browser.

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