LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

Service-Based Business? How QuickBooks Helps You Track Time

SERVICE-BASED BUSINESS? HOW QUICKBOOKS HELPS YOU TRACK TIME

KRISTEN CURTIS, LUTZ CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES MANAGER

 

When your hours and your knowledge or skills are your company’s products, you need accurate time-tracking. QuickBooks supplies it.

If your business involves selling tangible products like t-shirts or tablets, you know when you’ve made a sale and reduced your inventory. You either put an item in a box with a receipt or invoice and shipped it, or you recorded an in-person sale. Your company has a system for keeping track of what’s been sold and what’s left.

QuickBooks can maintain a physical item count for you. It can also track the time you sell if you’re a service-based business.

Service Descriptions

Here’s how it works. You’d start by creating an “item record” for each service you provide. This could include professional tasks like consulting, carpet installation, computer repair, and graphic design. QuickBooks provides forms containing blank fields for these records. You simply fill in the blanks or make selections from drop-down lists to specify details like an item description, your billing rate, and the appropriate income account. QuickBooks saves these item records and makes them available when you record the time you’ve spent doing work for customers.

In company preferences under “Time & Expenses”, you must designate that you track time. The software offers two ways to enter time by customer.

Use Weekly Timesheet

QuickBooks’ timesheets are electronic versions of their paper counterparts. They’re grid-like forms containing multiple rows and columns.

At the top of the screen, you’d select the correct employee name from the list provided and specify the date range for the timesheet by clicking on a calendar. Each column in the body of the timesheet is labeled with the type of information that should be supplied there.

If you’re documenting hours that you or an employee worked for a customer, you’d select the correct Customer/Job from the drop-down list at the beginning of the first row. You’d then choose the Service Item and enter the number of hours worked in the columns provided for each day in that week. Since this work will eventually be charged to the customer, you’d click in the Billable column at the end of the row to create a checkmark, and repeat the process if that employee did work for other customers.

Enter Single Activity

QuickBooks also offers a timer to populate your employee’s timesheet. This creates a record for one billable task at a time.

Create Invoices

Using either method, the next time you create an invoice for that customer, QuickBooks will open a window displaying the billable charges due. Click a button, and that information automatically moves into the invoice.

Payroll Purposes

Timesheets and single-activity records contain other fields that you’d complete if you were using these tools to enter employee hours for payroll. This use of QuickBooks’ time-tracking capabilities can be challenging, and, like customer billing, must be absolutely accurate. We can work with you to ensure that your time-and-billing records are properly set up and entered with precision.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristen Curtis

402.827.2060

kcurtis@lutz.us

KRISTEN CURTIS + CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES MANAGER 

Kristen Curtis joined the firm in 2000 and serves as a Client Accounting Services Manager. She has significant experience in small business accounting and advisory services; new business consulting; and software implementation and training.

AREAS OF FOCUS
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BSBA in Accounting, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Presbyterian Church of the Cross, Session Member, Christian Education, Committee Member
  • P.E.O., Philanthropic Educational Organization, Member

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