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Set up and manage breaks for QuickBooks Time

by Intuit Updated 7 months ago

Learn how to use the breaks feature in QuickBooks Time and QuickBooks Online.

The breaks feature lets you track your team members’ paid and unpaid breaks throughout the day. 

Note: If you have QuickBooks Online Essentials, Plus, Advanced, Accountant, or QuickBooks Online Payroll Premium or Elite, you can set up and manage breaks there.

In this article, you'll learn how to:

Before using breaks

  • Only QuickBooks Time admins can set up and manage breaks. 
  • QuickBooks Time automatically installs the breaks feature on new accounts.
  • GPS tracking is turned off during breaks. 
  • Team members are automatically clocked into the job or customer they were working on before the break when their break ends. 
  • The system creates a new timesheet when a team member takes a break. 

Break options

  • Use automatic breaks if you want QuickBooks Time to insert breaks into team members’ timesheets automatically. 
  • Use manual breaks if you want team members to start and stop their own breaks.
    • If you select Team member can’t end break early in the break rules, your team member can start their own break, but can’t end their break before the set break length. 

Add a new break rule

  1. In QuickBooks Online, go to Time, then Assignments, and select Break preferences. Or, in QuickBooks Time, go to Feature Add-ons, then Breaks.
  2. The system automatically includes a lunch break and a rest break as options to use, but they’re turned off. If you need these, turn them on.
  3. If you need to create a new break, select Add Break Rule.
  4. Enter a Name for your break and short code if you need it. 
  5. Select if you want the break to be an Automatic Break, Manual Break, or both. 
  6. Select Save, or continue to set up and assign your break
    • Note: When you add a new break, it gets turned on when you save it. If you aren’t ready to use it, please turn it off.

Set up and assign breaks

  1. In QuickBooks Online, go to Time, then Assignments, and select Break preferences. Or, in QuickBooks Time, go to Feature Add-ons, then Breaks.
  2. Select the name of your break to open the Break Rule window. 
  3. Set the Length and Type
  4. Select the link next to Team Members.
    • To assign it to all team members, select All at the top. 
    • If you aren’t ready for team members to have access to the break, you can select None.
    • To assign it to certain team members, select + next to the group name, then check the boxes next to the team members you want to assign it to. 
  5. Select Ok to save the team member assignments. 
  6. Set your preferences for the automatic and/or manual breaks.
    • If you’re not sure how each break functions, learn more about automatic and manual break.
    • If you’re using automatic breaks, set the shift length you want the system to calculate a break for, the days you want it for, and where in the shift you want the system to place the break.
    • If you’re using manual breaks, select any requirements or settings you need.
  7. Select Save

Timesheet editor notes:

  • If you’re manually adding a timesheet in the Timesheet Editor and want to apply an automatic break, check Apply break rule on save
  • When the system creates an automatic break, the Timesheet Log shows “Customer Support” edited the shift to add the break. Don’t worry, this is expected behavior. Your timesheets were edited by the system, not by a Support person. 

Using both manual and automatic breaks:

  • If you’re using both manual and automatic breaks, QuickBooks Time only inserts an automatic break if the team member didn’t take a manual break during their shift. 

Shift length:

  • The system applies an automatic break when the team member clocks out if they worked the full shift length set in the break rules.
    • If there’s more than 3 minutes between 2 timesheets, the system won’t add an automatic break even if the total time between the timesheets meets the shift length requirement.

Interaction with custom fields:

  • If you use automatic breaks and custom fields, the custom field values will be on all split timesheets. 
    • If you use numeric values for custom fields such as for mileage tracking, it’s important to note that the same value will be on each split timesheet. For example, if your team member tracked 30 miles of travel for the day, it would look like they had 60 miles of travel total from the split timesheets. 
    • If you don’t want custom field values to be duplicated, you’ll need to manually edit split timesheets and remove that data.

Breaks during an overnight shift:

  • If your team member’s shift overlaps 2 calendar days, and you don’t want their timesheets split between 2 days, any breaks (manual or automatic) need to be completed before midnight. 
    • If the break falls at or after midnight, the system splits the timesheet between the 2 days. 
    • If timesheets are splitting even with breaks falling before midnight, go to Company Settings, Time Options, then Time Entry to make sure Split timesheets at midnight is turned off. 

Breaks included in overtime calculations:

  • Paid breaks are included in overtime calculations. 
    • If you set a 40 hour overtime rule and a team member worked 40 regular hours with had 1 hour of breaks in a week, they’d have 1 hour of overtime. 

Edit break assignments

  1. In QuickBooks Online, go to Time, then Assignments, and select Break preferences. Or, in QuickBooks Time, go to Feature Add-ons, then Breaks.
  2. Find the Available to column for the break you want to edit, and select the link. 
    • To assign it to all team members, select All
    • If you aren’t ready for team members to have access to it, select None.
    • To assign it to certain team members, select + next to the group name, then check the box next to the team members you want to assign it to. 
  3. Select Ok to save the team member assignments. 

Turn breaks on or off

If you’re not ready to use a break, you can turn it off. When you’re ready to use it, you can turn it back on and the system will remember the team member assignments and break rules you previously set. 

  1. In QuickBooks Online, go to Time, then Assignments, and select Break preferences. Or, in QuickBooks Time, go to Feature Add-ons, then Breaks.
  2. Find the Active column for the break you want to edit, and move the toggle to On or Off

Note: If you change any of the break rules for a break that’s turned off, the system will turn it back on when you save the new break rules. If you’re not ready to use it, you’ll need to turn it back off. 

Delete a break

If you no longer need a break, you can delete it. If you still need it, but don’t want your team members to have access to it, you can turn it off or edit the assignments

  1. In QuickBooks Online, go to Time, then Assignments, and select Break preferences. Or, in QuickBooks Time, go to Feature Add-ons, then Breaks.
  2. Select the checkbox next to the break(s) you want to delete.
  3. Select Delete, then select Ok to confirm.
QuickBooks Online AccountantQuickBooks Online AdvancedQuickBooks Online EssentialsQuickBooks Online Payroll EliteQuickBooks Online Payroll PremiumQuickBooks Online PlusQuickBooks Time EliteQuickBooks Time Premium

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