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Turn on and set up time tracking in QuickBooks Online

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 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. Select Time 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 Advanced.
  3. In the Time tracking section, select Edit ✏.
  4. Set your time tracking preferences:
    • Add Service field to timesheets or Make Single-Time Activity Billable to Customer - When one of these boxes is checked, 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)
    • First day of work week▼drop-down - This affects how employees and contractors view weekly time sheets.
  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 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.

Track and manage time

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

Access Time Tracking reports

  1. Go to Reports.
  2. In the Enter 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. The number of details on the invoice is up to you. You can include:

  • Employee’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.

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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