QuickBooks – Enter Time for Employees and Customer Jobs

Posted by on Mar 1, 2011 in Payroll Module | 54 comments

If you have a number of hourly employees, you will find that the Enter Time function is the quickest way to process your payroll. Most companies that have hourly personnel, have them fill out their time sheets on a daily basis, so you can enter in the time sheets at the end of each week leading up to the payroll.

Once you have completed the timesheets, QuickBooks will pull that information into the detail portion for  each employee when you start the scheduled payroll.

I am using a QuickBooks sample company which sells sports equipment and gives lessons,  to demonstrate this for you. I am assuming that by this stage of the QuickBook segments I have provided for you, you will know how to set up any missing information such as Items, Accounts and Employees. If not, then do a search on this site and look for a blog segment to help you.

Many people do not realize that you can cost any portion of an Employees wages to a Customer Job. To do this you would use the Enter Time function in Payroll. This function is found on your Home page in the Employees module and by clicking on the Enter Time icon. This will open up a smaller window:

  •  – Use Weekly Timesheet
  •  – Time/Enter Single Activity

The Use Weekly Timesheet is the most used selection but if you were tracking time, as in minutes and hours, you could use Time/Enter Single Activity also.

I have only seen the Time/Enter Single Activity used in relation to a company that was building a transportation customer counter. They wanted to pinpoint an exact cost to build the different components during the research and development stages. We are going to select Use  Weekly Timesheet.

I am going to use an Employee in this sample company, whose name is Christine Girard. She was the instructor who gave two customers some lessons. The selection of Christine immediately activates a pop-up window with the message Would you like to set this employee to use time data during pay cheque creation? The choices are Yes & No.

What QuickBooks is asking me is, do I want this information that I will input to be used when it is time to create a pay cheque for this Employee? This will save me time on the day that the payroll run is being generated for the pay period. So I will choose Yes. I need to choose from the Week Of field, what week this information pertains to. I have chosen Jan 14 to Jan 20, 2011. 

This takes me back to the Name field and my first tab to the Customer field. The customer in question is Martin Brault, so I choose him. The next field is the Service Item from which I will choose from the drop-down box – snowboarding lessons. The Payroll Item is Hourly and in the Notes field I type in 3 hrs. of instruct.

The rest of that line shows the week and date starting with M (Monday) the 14th, where I will enter the number 3, extending to S (Sunday) the 20th. After that is two columns, Total and Billable.

The Total column will add up the number of hours in that week and the Billablecolumn has a box for checking if I wanted to include this cost as part of the billable time to this customer (Martin Brault). I am going to check the Billable box.

Since there are more hours to enter and M (Monday) the 14th is not completed, I will tab until the cursor takes me back underneath the Customer Job field.

The remaining five hours for M (Monday) are not associated with a Customer or Service Item so I will tab to the Payroll Item field, choose Hourly again, and underneath the 3:00 hours in M (Monday) the 14th column, add 5 hours to make up an 8 hour day. The Totals column for M (Monday) the 14th will now show 8:00 but I need to uncheck the Billable box that is beside the 5 hours on that line, because it is not Billable to a job.

You would not be able to leave the Billable box checked anyway, because you would receive a message stating that you need to include a Customer and Service Item on that line.

Christine only worked four days that week, in which one day was costed to a job,  so I am going to enter T (Tuesday) through to Th (Thursday) as eight hour days, paid Hourly.  Christine will now have 32:00 hours as a Total for that week. I will now choose Save & New since there still is another week to process.

This takes me back to Name field where I will repeat the steps as per the first week using Christine Girard, but with a different week – Jan 21 to Jan 27, 2011. The following will be the information for that week: Customer: Job is Jeffrey Lin, Service Item – Lessons: Skiing lessons, Payroll Item – Hourly, Notes – 4 hrs. ,  4 in M the 21 column, and Billable is checked off.

The line below will have no Customer or Service Item, Payroll Item – Hourly, no Notes, 3 in M the 21 column and uncheck Billable. The Totals for M the 21 will be 7:00. On a new line I will add 8 hours for T (Tuesday) through to F (Friday). That line will total 32:00 and the Totals of all the columns will be 39:00.

I can now choose either Save & New to enter in another Employee or Save & Close if I am finished. Since I am only using one Employee for this demonstration, I will choose Save & Close.

You have just learned how to use the Enter Time function in payroll to cost a portion of an Employee’s wages to two Customer Jobs, and the rest of the time was for a normal two weeks of hourly earned wages.

The next segment will be to Pay Employees and see how the Enter Time function flows to this area.

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54 Responses to “QuickBooks – Enter Time for Employees and Customer Jobs”

  1. I am trying to find a simpke way to add employer on-costs when entering employee times using QuickBooks. Is there some way to change the rate which is appled to the jobs? Currently only the hourly rate & suoer costs are carried across to the job. Does anyone know how this can be done easily?

  2. I only bill my customers for days or half days. Is there a simple way to use the Enter Time functionality (short of entering 8 hours or 4 hours) to capture this information for the monthly billing?

    • Larry Johnson says:

      Hi Adam, that depends whether your Customers have requested that you supply them with the days your employees or sub-contractors have worked.
      But yes, there is a way to by-pass the Enter TIme function. When you start a Scheduled Payroll the next window will be Enter Payroll Information.
      There you will see a tab that says Open Pay Cheque Detail, click on that. In that window you can assign the number of hours you want to bill to the Customer: Job. Each Job will require a separate line using Hourly only, meaning Salary (Payroll Item) will not work.
      You can then pull that info into an Invoice when you bill as QuickBooks will give you a message that you have Items to bill do you want to use them. Say yes, and use the Time tab to pull that info on to your Invoice.
      Hope that helps. If not we can always video chat.

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  4. I have a part time employee who gets paid hourly while in the office and by the job when in the field. How do I tie the per job rate to her hourly pay.

  5. alesha maalouf says:

    I am unable to find the enter time function or time sheets on my payroll. I am using QB for Mac. Would this make a difference? I also am using payroll on Intuit the on line service. I am wanting to assign hours for an employee to several different jobs during his pay period? Is this possible?

    • Larry Johnson says:

      It should not make a difference in Mac or PC. Is your Payroll turned on? Go to Preferences and look for the Payroll & Employees on the left hand column. See if the Company Preferences in Payroll is turned on (Full Payroll).
      Also, you can press Control 1 and the seventh line down will tell you if your Payroll has expired or not.
      One final way to check also is to go to Help, My License Information and that will also tell you about your Payroll.
      Otherwise, you may have to call QuickBooks Tech Support.

  6. I am just starting with Quickbooks and I do not want to turn on the payroll service at this time. However I want to track my employees times to customer jobs and profit & loss charts. I have managed to enter their times, however I am not seeing where it comes off the jobs or bottom line, what should I do since I am not utilizing the payroll services?

    Many Thanks

    • Larry Johnson says:

      Hi Ashley, the Timesheet function is just that. Remember you have to check off the BILLABLE column in the Timesheet.
      When you have Payroll, you don’t need to check off the BILLABLE column as the info that you key into Timesheets is kept and then is pulled into Payroll for processing. At that time the Employer deductions becomes a part of the expense in Job Costing. Without P/R, you will only get the hourly or salary portion allocated to the Customers/Jobs from your Timesheets.
      IF, you not using the P/R function then when Invoicing, you MUST answer the question correctly about using TIME & EXPENSES on your invoice or else it won’t show up OR get billed.
      You can also print Reports found in Jobs/Time & Mileage in regards to your Timesheets.
      Hope this helped.

      • Without P/R, you will only get the hourly or salary portion allocated to the Customers/Jobs from your Timesheets
        Why wouldn’t this calc the cost from the employee info??? just updated to enterprise 2014 from premier 2013….
        Any thoughts, after all i’m running a cost report not hours??
        Thanks Ray

        • Hi Ray – Did you ever get this figured out? I don’t use payroll in QB’s but want it to calc the “cost” of the employee wages and not just post the hours. Where do you log in the hourly rate if you don’t use payroll? Thanks – Jan

          • Hi Jan, if you do not have a subscription for QB’s payroll, there is nothing you can use in QB’s to calculate the pay. If you are using QB’s for Canadians, then you can go to the CRA site, as they have a payroll calculator for deductions.
            If you are using the U.S. QB’s, I would think that your federal or state government would have a similar web site.

          • yes you can calculate cost of payroll.

            1) Figure out how much that employee cost per hour, wage + labor Burden = overhead.

            The set up an item for THAT employee with his rate, sometimes I set up an item per HOURLY rate.
            ex: Service Item Labor:Steve
            Setup as 25.00 cost, even though he’s at 15.00 an hour. Use your COG account as Labor – (This will not be affected-see below)

            Enter his time on time sheet using the item you set up for him.

            Then write a check , his time will pull up with the cost , offset the check by
            entering on the expense side the labor account with a neg. amount of the check.

            Now you job costed labor to your job and did not affect the COG account.

  7. Tami Hunt says:

    I am using quick books 2013 and I have an hourly employee who forgot to put his hours on his time sheet for Friday. The total hours that he was paid for were 32. How do I now go back and pay him for another day that should have been on the time sheet?

    • Larry Johnson says:

      Hi Tami,
      You can either wait and include that hour in the next pay cycle or your can do an unscheduled payroll. Just check that employee off that you want to pay, then select the tab that says “Open Pay Cheque Detail” and use the hourly pay item and book to a job if appropriate.
      Make sure to change the date range that this pay is for. Save and then print the pay cheque.
      Hope this helps.

  8. I have 3 men crews. Is there a way to enter the info once for the employees instead of three times for each employee?


    • Hi Michelle, you need to elaborate that question for me. Why are you entering it in 3 x a week? Are you not using the Timesheet function? You should only have to enter in the Timesheets once a week, taking the info from the manual timesheets the employees fill out and hand in.

      • I have this same problem I have crews form 4 to 12 that work the same project and same times is there a way to copy and paste instead of keying in the same info for each individual guy?

        • Hi Ruby, copy from last sheet.

          • no larry from week to week the times and projects change however the crews do not so all the guys have the same time billed to the same project however I have to reenter the same projects and times for each guy is there a way to copy this info bring up the next guy and just paste?

  9. After I enter my time into the timesheet, it isn’t showing up on my payroll detail. Do I have to schedule payroll, or can I just go and pay employees?

    • Hi Jill. What version of QB’s are you using? If 2011-2013 once you enter the times in when you process your PR, it will pull over that info into your PR Detail. Yes you will need to schedule your PR to activate. Hope that helps.

  10. I have 5 employees who all work the same jobs everyday, is there a way to copy the first employees timesheet and paste to the remaining four employees timesheets. This way I am not forced to enter the same same data on five timesheets.

    • Hi Rachel, on the very left hand bottom of your Weekly Timesheet screen is a tab that says “Copy Last Sheet”. This will save you from entering the same info. Don’t forget to change the Week Of at the top since it will be a new one. Hope this helps.

      • when you do this it just copies the last sheet for that employee what we want it to do is to copy the time of the current sheet from one employee to the next

  11. What if my enter time function is not being saved even when I hit the save and new tab. I have been on the phone with intuit for 4 hours and they could not help me.

    I’m useing Quickbook Enterprise Solution:Contractor 13. I would enter an employee time hit save and new but when I go back to that employee what I have done is not there. I would hit file and pick print forms and click on timesheets and it would have nothing to print- I have checked to make sure it was on the correct payweek but still no luck and as I stated above I was on the phone iwth Intuit for hours and they were not able to help me.


    • Hi Mickie. I have not worked with QB Ent. PR enough to comment. But, the first thing I would do is run a data integrity check.
      If there is a problem, then Backup your data and run a ReBuild. Then run a integrity check again.
      If that doesn’t solve it, uninstall QB Ent. and re-install.
      If that doesn’t help, contact your nearest QB Pro-Advisor.

  12. Tina Campbell says:

    I currently have Enterprise 12. I process payroll through Bank of America, because it’s free. I download the payroll checks into my Quickbooks file. Is there a way to manually connect a Quickbooks time sheet to the downloaded paycheck or manually add time? I do not currently have the Payroll function turned “on” in Quickbooks, because I process payroll manually.

    Also, should I leave my Employees as “Vendors” to make this easier.

    • Hi Tina, I guess my first question would be, why wouldn’t you use the QB’s payroll (turned on) so that the timesheet is loaded automatically when you process the payroll? You could then download from the bank – the payment of them. Very much like a Direct Deposit to the Employee’s account.
      To answer your question, to be honest, I have never tried to connect a QB’s timesheet to a downloaded paycheck. Thinking about what I do know, I don’t see how that could be done, since both of those functions, timesheet and payment of them, are done through the QB’s Payroll module.
      If you are using the Job Costing feature, you would definitely not be able to allocate to Jobs without the Payroll function turned on, that is if you have Employees.
      Hope this helps.

  13. My company is switching to the Intuit Payroll online service…can we still use the time sheets in QB to create paychecks? How do we transfer this data to Intuit Payroll online? Thanks!

    • Hi Lindy, I have not used the Payroll online service. If you are switching from QB Desktop to QB Online, then unless Intuit has developed a bridge for the two separate products, then you can not transfer the data, i.e. Timesheets. Check out my blog on the Skinny of QB Online.

      • Thank you so much for the reply! We use the desktop version of QB (with the time sheets), but our new accountant typically uses the Intuit Online Payroll service for her clients instead of Quickbooks payroll. After an hour and a half on hold with Intuit Payroll support, they told me that it is not possible to transfer the time sheets as they are two different platforms….

  14. Is it possible to track in Quick books if an employee is late? If their normal start time is 8:00 for example, and they do not show up until 8:05, is there a place to mark them Tardy and reference at a later date how many times they have been tardy in a certain timeframe?

    • Hi Gina, there is a way to track this. In the Employee Centre, highlight an Employee that you would like to create this tracking info for. Then click on the icon that looks like a pencil and when highlighted will say EDIT. You will now be in the Personal screen where you will see 4 tabs starting with Address & Contact. Highlight ADDITIONAL INFO and enter.

      On the right hand side is already a CUSTOM FIELD called NOTES. Below it there is a Define Fields tab. You can click on it and set up a FIELD called Late and use for Empl (click underneath). You could set up one for each month as the field has a limited amount of space (25 characters I believe) for info. Hope this helps.

  15. I need to know how to enter time down to the minute for payroll in quickbooks. I know how to enter a whole amount, its the figuring their time to the minute to put in quickbooks?? please help

    • we have a time clock in other words im having to figure their time from

    • Hi Julia, the only ways that I am aware of would be to use the Time/Enter Single Activity in the Employee Centre. This would be quite a task as it would be per employee, per each day, per each hour and fraction of. You can also do it in Weekly Timesheet Entry. For example, one hour a one minute would be 1:01.
      In saying that, QB’s will round it up to the nearest fraction of an hour, because it is set up as hourly pay, and I don’t see a setup for pay by-the-minute. Although if you care to figure that out, then I assume you could set the pay rate as “minute”, and your times would be in the amount of minutes. e.g. a 7 hr. 34 minute day would be 7 x 60 = 420 + 34 = 454 minutes times the rate per minute. Hope that helps.

  16. Hi,

    I do not use QB for payroll, but I am currently using the time sheets for billing purposes. Although I can see the billed amounts in the job costing P&L, I do not see the actual expense for each employee. Why isn’t the actual payroll expense being captured in the job costing? Only the billed amount is.

    • Hi Ingrid, I am not sure what you mean by “actual expense for each employee”. Are you speaking about the Employees Wages, cost of CPP, EI? Also, if you are not using the QB for payroll, you would have to enter each cheque manually (Write Cheques) plus use the ITEM tab and NOT the EXPENSE tab, break out every time and Cost for each Employee separately, along with the PR Liability, and allocate those amounts to a Customer Job.
      That would be so time consuming I don’t understand why you wouldn’t use the QB payroll and the TimeSheet Entry, which calculates the expense (Job Cost) side of each Wage, CPP, EI and anything related to PR that you might have, once it is pulled into PR to do a Scheduled Payroll?
      Unless you are not doing this, QB’s will have no way of capturing those amounts in question for Reports, or would it ever show expenses for each employee. It would only show it as a Total in the appropriate GL accounts.

      • Hi Larry,
        Thank you for your response!! And Yes, I was referring to employee wages. We just started to use the timesheet entry for employees for billing purposes but we outsource our payroll to a payroll company. We record our payroll via journal entry due to the fact the we do not use QB payroll system.

        • The only way you will get the figures that you want is by asking the Payroll company to sort those figures and costs by Jobs. It is something that they can do, they just need the clarity in the figures along with the Jobs. Each Employee will have a hourly wage, CPP and EI.

  17. I hope you can help.

    I use Timesheet to track daily employee hours on a specific job. Usually check billable when the invoice is based on the # of hours worked by the employee on each job and will create the invoice from Income Tracker.

    I have a new job where the customer is paying the company based on the # of completes each employee does (there are two different rates depending on the type of complete). But we are paying the employee for the actual hours worked. (The employee worked 5 hours at $10 per hour but did 180 completes during those 5 hours so the client is paying the company $.30 or $.27 per complete depending on the type of complete)

    Any way to do this without having to manually create the invoice? I’m using Quickbooks Pro 2015.

  18. I understand you can apply billable time and costs when invoicing a customer in QuickBooks. Is there any way to apply billable time and costs to sales orders?


  19. We enter our time sheets the Monday after our week ends so for example our week ran Monday June 8- Sunday June 12 so I would enter that weeks time sheets on Monday June 13th, Is there a way to set the time sheet up to pop up the previous week instead of the current week?

    • Hi Heather, in Weekly Timesheets there is a Copy Last Sheet at the left hand bottom of the screen. Try using that. Also if you have more than seven employees and some that need to log their times, try using an excellant product called TSheets. Great support also.

  20. Hi I am new to quick books payroll and I am wondering how to enter overtime which would then change over to bank time on their pay stub just wondering if this is possible?

  21. we use two different accounts when we create invoices it defaults to the main account and the next available invoice however when we change accounts it does not default to the next available invoice number its pretty random. is there a way to set it up so it always defaults to the next available number no matter which account we are using?

  22. Hello — thanks for this great article. We have an issue where two months of time data for an employee has been entered under a vendor rather than an employee. Is there a way in QB to transfer the time info from the vendor to the employee? Thanks in advance. Brian

    • Try editing the name only, i.e change the vendor name to the Employee name. If that does not work, you would need to edit the YTD Employee info pay-period by pay-period. Then enter a Journal Entry to reverse the Vendor amount.

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