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Importing Timesheets in QuickBooks Online Advanced Payroll

SOLVEDby QuickBooks6Updated August 21, 2023

If you're using QuickBooks Online Advanced Payroll, you can import timesheets from a variety of sources. 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 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.

Importing timesheets from another provider? No problem! Follow these steps to import timesheets into QuickBooks Online Advanced Payroll.

Before you begin:

  • Make sure you have a valid Deputy account. 
  • Employee and location data needs to exist and match the data from the timesheets being imported.
  1. Go to Payroll and select Employees (Take me there). 
  2. Select Manage Employees, then select Import Timesheets
  3. Select Deputy from the dropdown.
  4. Once your connection is verified, filter by Deputy Pay Centre and a date range.
    If you haven’t setup Deputy before or your connection is no longer valid, select enable your connection and follow the instructions. 
  5. Select Import to begin the process.

Before you begin:

  • Make sure you have a valid Kounta account.
  • Make sure you enable the time and attendance add-on in Kounta before importing timesheets
  • Employee and location data needs to exist and match the data from the timesheets being imported. You can use the Import Employees functionality to ensure matching employees and locations can be determined.
  1. Go to Payroll and select Employees (Take me there). 
  2. Select Manage Employees, then select Import Timesheets.
  3. Select Kounta from the dropdown.
  4. Once your connection is verified, filter by Kounta and a date range.
    If you haven’t setup Kounta before or your connection is no longer valid, select enable your connection and follow the instructions. 
  5. You may be asked to sign in to the Kounta if you aren’t already logged in. 
  6. You’ll be asked to verify and grant access to Kounta data. Select Grant access
  7. On the timesheet import page, specify the date range for the Kounta shifts to be imported.
  8. Select Import.

Once the process is complete you will be given the option to import more timesheets or proceed to the timesheet approval section.

Before you begin:

  • Make sure you have a valid WFS account.
  • Employee and location data needs to exist and match the data from the timesheets being imported. You can use the Import Employees functionality to ensure matching employees and locations can be determined.
  1. Go to Payroll, and select Employees (Take me there). 
  2. Select Manage Employees, then select Import Timesheets.
  3. Select WFS (RosterLive) file upload from the dropdown.
  4. Select the default date–this is optional and only necessary for instances where only times are exported from WFS.
  5. Select Import. 

WFS timesheet file format

Column Description
Category ID
(this field is required)
Pay category or leave category that this time sheet line is associated to. This can be an external ID or the system generated assigned id. 
Employee ID(this field is required)The employee ID that this timesheet line is associated to. This can be an external ID or the system generated ID.
Location IDThe location ID that this timesheet line is associated to. This can be an external ID or the system-generated ID.
TypeUsed to specify whether, this line is a Leave line or a Pay category line. Valid values are:
• L – Denotes a leave line
• P – Denotes a pay category line
UnitsThe units that should be applied for this timesheet line. Units are specified in hours for hourly earnings lines.
RateThe rate the employee should be paid for this earnings line.
Time inThe start time for this timesheet line–this will be included in the notes.
Time outThe end time for this timesheet line–this will be included in the notes.
Comments Any notes to be associated with this timesheet line.
Break startThe start time for the break (if a break was taken).
Break endThe end time for the break (if a break was taken). 

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