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Set up time sheets in Payroll

Learn how to set up  time sheets in QuickBooks Online Payroll.

Do you want to use QuickBooks Online Payroll to track hours worked for employees? You can. We show you how to set up a Weekly or Single Activity Time Sheet 

Note:  This feature is only available to QuickBooks Online Plus or QuickBooks Online Essentials users.

Get started

Here are things you should decide before time is entered.

  1. Decide who fills out time sheets.
    • Users who can fill out everyone's time sheet.
    • Users who can only fill out their own time sheet.
    • A mixture of the two.
  2. If you bill customers for time, decide how to structure your hourly rates.
    • Default rates for employees or subcontractors.
    • Rates based on services.
    • A combination of the two.

Enter time sheet hours

Either you or your employee fills out a Weekly Time Sheet or a Single Activity Time Sheet. 

To enter hours in the time sheets

  1. Select Create ⨁.
  2. Under Employees, select Single Time Activity or Weekly Timesheet.
  3. Select the employee name. And check if the pay period is correct.
  4. Enter the hours.
  5. Select Save and Close.

When you run payroll your employee's total pay hours are automatically calculated.

Turn off time sheets

If the time sheets are turned on and hours have been entered, these hours will flow to payday and override any saved hours for that pay period.

To turn them off for a single employee:

  1. From the left menu select the Gear icon. Then select Payroll Settings.
  2. In the Setup Overview, select Time Sheets.
  3. Select Copy hours from employee time sheets. Then select OK.
  4. Choose the name of the employee.
  5. Select I'll enter hours when I create paychecks. Then select OK.

Or, to turn them off for all employees:

  1. From the left menu select the Gear icon. Then select Payroll Settings.
  2. In the Setup Overview, select Time Sheets.
  3. Select I'll enter hours when I create paychecks. Then select OK.

You can also contact support at 866.729.4662 (option 1) to turn off time tracking.

Invite users to access timesheets

Employees and vendors can fill out time sheets. If you have subcontractors, create them as vendors in QuickBooks Online Plus. To let people fill out a time sheet, they must have access rights to edit user information.

There are two ways to let someone fill out a time sheet:

  • Let the user fill out everyone's time sheets.
  • Let the user only fill out their own time sheet.

Users who can fill in only their own time sheets

There are two ways to restrict a user to only give them access to their own time sheet. 

  • If the user is an ordinary user (without access to All or Customer & Sales access), you can set their access rights to only access their own time sheet.
  • You can create a unique profile for the user as a Time Tracking Only user. The user only has access to his or her own time sheets. When the user logs in, they'll see a special version of QuickBooks Online Plus that shows time sheets for that user, and no other features.

Create a Time Tracking Only user

  1. Select Settings ⚙️, then Manage Users.
  2. Select New.
  3. Select a Time Tracking Only user.
  4. Enter the user's email address. They will get an invite that they'll need to accept. (The TimeTracking Only user will be prompted to create an Intuit account if they don't already have one.)
  5. Once the user has accepted the invite, they can log in to perform time tracking at

If the TimeTracking Only user can't see the invite email, please follow the steps above and resend it. Always remember to check  junk and spam folders to see if filter settings have blocked emails.

Print time sheets


  1. Go to Reports.
  2. Select the Time activities by employee detail report. Choose the correct date range.
  3. Select Customize and change columns to add or remove columns.
  4. Choose a start time, end time and break time.
  5. Select Run report.
  6. Select Print.

Troubleshoot: Save for Later isn't saving

When you have time sheets selected to "Copy hours from employee time sheets" under Setup, it will appear as though Save for Later is not working because there are 0.00 in Time Sheets.

You can instead select "I'll enter hours when I create paychecks". Save for Later which will save what you enter in Run Payroll.

Assign a class to time sheets

In the employee's profile, you can only assign one default class. However, when recording a timesheet for that employee, you can still assign a class different from the default one in their profile.

These classes won't show up in the employee's pay stub.

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