If you own a service-oriented business, you most likely bill your clients for work that your employees perform on behalf of your customers. If you fall into this category, tracking the time employees spend on client-related projects is very important so you can accurately bill your customers for the time your employees spend on these projects.

To track time in Quickbooks Online, you will either want to use the Time Activity window or the Weekly Timesheet window. Whichever window you use, QuickBooks Online tracks the time entered. Then, when it comes time to draft an invoice for a client for whom time was recorded, QuickBooks Online will prompt you to add the time to the invoice (ensuring nothing slips through the cracks).

Today we’ll cover how to enter time using both the Time Activity window and the Weekly Timesheet window, and then finally how QuickBooks Online prompts you to include the billable time on a customer’s invoice. 

Entering a single time activity

To enter a single time activity, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Create plus (+) sign button to open the Create menu.
  2. In the Employees column, click Single Time Activity.
    QBO displays the Time Activity window.
  3. From the Name list, select the employee or vendor who performed the work.
  4. Enter the date the work was performed.
  5. From the Customer list, select the customer for whom the work was performed.
  6. From the Service list, select the service that was performed.
  7. Place a check in the Billable box, which changes to the Bill At box, and supply an hourly rate.
  8. If the work performed is subject to tax, place a check in the Taxable box.
  9. In the Timebox, enter the amount of time spent on this activity.
    You can enter start and end times, including any break time, by checking the Enter Start and End Times box; QBO calculates the time spent and displays it below the Description box.
  10. Enter a description of the work that will appear, by default, on an invoice.
    You can change the description after adding the time entry to the invoice.
  11. Click Save to save the entry or Save and New to enter another time activity.
    If you click the arrow beside Save and New, you can choose Save and Close.

Recording time using a timesheet
If you would rather enter time in a grid format that shows a calendar like format with the days and times for a week, the weekly timesheet is your best option.

To enter time using this window, here are the steps you need to follow: 

  1. Click the Create button — the plus (+) sign — to open the Create menu.
  2. In the Employees column, click Weekly Timesheet.
  3. Select the name of the person whose time you’re recording.
  4. Select the week for which you want to record time.
  5. In the Details section, select a customer name, a service item, and, if appropriate, supply a description.
  6. To bill the time back to a customer, select the Billable checkbox and provide a rate at which to charge the time.
  7. Fill in the time worked on the appropriate day.
  8. Click Save, Save, and New, or click the arrow beside Save and New and select Save and Close.

Adding billable expenses to a customer invoice

When you are ready to bill your customers, you can add billable time entries to an invoice in a couple of ways. For example, if you view any customer’s page, QuickBooks online will display a list of outstanding transactions. In the Action column of any billable time entry, QuickBooks Online will display a “Start Invoice” button that you can click to start an invoice for a customer and include the listed billable expenses on the invoice. 

But what if you forget to look at your customer’s page for billable time? If you simply start by making an invoice for a customer, QuickBooks Online will prompt you to add the billable to any invoice you create for a customer for whom billable time entries exist. 


There are many advantages that QuickBooks Online brings to the table over QuickBooks Desktop. Are you considering making the migration from desktop to online? Do you have questions about the conversion process? Contact QBO Hero today.