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Turn on and set up time tracking in QuickBooks Online

SOLVEDby QuickBooksQuickBooks Online512Updated December 01, 2022

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

Note: time tracking is not available if you use QuickBooks Online Payroll Core.

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

Turn on time tracking

Here's how to turn on time tracking:

First, enable which time tracking options you want:

  1. Go to Get paid & pay then select Time (Take me there), or go to Time (Take me there).
  2. 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 section you want to make updates in, select Edit ✏.
  4. Set your time tracking preferences:
    • Who tracks time: Select team members to choose who tracks time.
      • Turn the switch on for any team members who need time tracked.
      • To allow 1099 contractors to track time, select Show contractors, and turn the setting on. Select Save.
    • First day of work week: This affects how employees and contractors view weekly time sheets.
    • Add Service field: When on, team members who fill out timesheets can specify if activities should be billed to a customer.
    • Allow time to be billable: Adds a checkbox on timesheets to specify whether activities should be billed to the customer. Check Show billing rate to users entering time if you want your team members to see the billable rates. 
  5. Select Save, then Done.

Track and manage time

Now that time tracking is enabled, you can add and manage your workers' time from the Time tab.

Add a Time Tracking user

If you want a team member to track their own time, you can invite them as a time tracking user to your account.

  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 vendor you want to add, select Next, then enter their contact info.
  6. Select Save.

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

Access Time Tracking reports

You can run reports for Time by worker, Time by customer, or Unbilled time.  

  1. Go to Payroll then Time, or go to Time.
  2. Select Run Report
  3. Choose which report you want to run. 

You can find other timesheet reports on your Reports page, such as Recent/Edited Time Activities.

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 or contractor's name
  • Hourly rate charged
  • Number of hours billed — This appears as a decimal number on your invoice and as time on the printed or emailed version. For example, an hour and fifteen minutes will show as 1.25 when entered on an invoice and 1:15 when it is sent to your customer.

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.

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