LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
Billing for Time: How QuickBooks Does It
LAUREN HARRIS, SENIOR ACCOUNTANT
Are you still using paper timecards to create paychecks and paper invoices to bill customers for time-based services? If so, you’re doing unnecessary data entry and risking the loss of billable time. QuickBooks solves both problems with its time-and-billing features. These features let you:
- Enter service hours one block at a time.
- Enter service hours directly on a timesheet.
- Transfer employee hours worked to payroll.
- Mark time-based activities as billable.
- Make billable hours available when you’re creating invoices.
Creating Individual Time Entries
The mechanics of recording blocks of billable time are fairly simple. Click the Enter Time icon on QuickBooks’ home page, then click Time/Enter Single Activity. In the window that opens, you’ll either select from lists of existing data or click <Add New> to complete these fields:
- The DATE the service was provided.
- The NAME of the employee who provided the service.
- The CUSTOMER:JOB.
- The SERVICE ITEM.
- The job’s DURATION (either by using the timer or entering it manually).
- The PAYROLL ITEM and WC CODE (Workers’ Compensation).
Finally, if a customer will be billed for this block of time, click in the box next to Billable in the upper right. When you’re finished, click save and close or save and new.
If you have multiple time entries to record, you can enter them on a timesheet by clicking Enter Time on QuickBooks’ home page and selecting Use Weekly Timesheet. This graphical table contains columns for all the fields available in the Single Activity window.
In fact, if you’ve already created a service record for a specific employee, that information will appear in the timesheet when you select the employee’s name and the applicable work week. Further, you’ll be able to view anything you enter on the timesheet as an individual record by clicking Edit Single Activity in the timesheet’s toolbar.
Transferring Time to Invoices
QuickBooks makes it easy to bill customers for services you or your employees have provided. Once you’ve recorded a time entry and marked it as Billable, it will be available the next time you create an invoice for that customer.
As soon as you open an invoice form and select the CUSTOMER:JOB, a small window will open labeled Billable Time/Costs. A message will be generated notifying you there are outstanding billable time items and/or costs for that customer or job. You select to have these items either automatically transferred to the invoice or excluded.
Simple, But Not
QuickBooks’ time-tracking features are easy enough to use, but you’re dealing with two critical elements of your accounting system which include payroll and customer billing. Both have to be exactly right. If you’re planning to transfer time entries to both, our Outsourced Accounting team can assist you. We can even manage all your payroll tasks if you’d like, as well as other elements of your company’s accounting. Contact us, and we’ll see how we can best meet your needs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LAUREN HARRIS + SENIOR ACCOUNTANT
Lauren Harris is a Senior Accountant in the Client Accounting Services department at Lutz with over two years of related experience. She provides payroll tax reporting and compliance, as well as outsourced accounting assistance to small businesses through QuickBooks support and training.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- QuickBooks Training & Support
- Outsourced Accounting
- Payroll Tax Reporting and Compliance
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- Certified Public Accountant
- BSBA in Finance and Accounting, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
- Midwest YouCan Foundation, Treasurer
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