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How to Bill for Time with QuickBooks 2011

If you use QuickBooks 2011 with a service business, you might sell more units of time than you do material items. For example, a lawyer may sell hours or partial hours of legal advice. QuickBooks supplies two methods for tracking the time spent that will be billed on an invoice as an item. You can use the weekly timesheet, or you can time or record individual activities when billing with QuickBooks.

Using a weekly timesheet

To use the weekly timesheet method, choose Customers→Enter Time→Use Weekly Timesheet. To use the Weekly Timesheet window, select the employee or vendor or other person performing the service from the Name box.

If you can't select a person's name from the Name box, enter the person's name into the box, and then, when prompted, tell QuickBooks which list (employee, vendor, or other names) it should be added to. After you've added the name of the person performing the work, use the columns of the Weekly Timesheet window to describe the customer or job for whom the work has been performed.

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Timing single activities

If you want to record service activities as they occur, choose Customers→Enter Time→Time/Enter Single Activity. QuickBooks displays the Time/Enter Single Activity window. Fill in or select the information needed:

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  • To time or record a single activity, record the activity date into the Date box.

  • Use the Name box to identify the person performing the service.

  • In the Customer:Job box, identify the customer or the job for which the service is being performed.

  • Select the appropriate service item from the Service Item drop-down list.

  • Select the appropriate payroll item from the Payroll Item drop-down list.

  • If you're tracking classes, use the Class drop-down list to classify the activity.

Verify that the Billable check box is selected. The Billable check box appears in the upper-right corner of the Time/Enter Single Activity window. By selecting the Billable box, you tell QuickBooks that it should keep this record of a billable activity for later inclusion on an invoice.

After describing or providing this general information about the service, you have two ways to record the time spent on the service:

  • Manually record time: You can manually record the time spent on an activity by using the Duration box to enter the time.

  • Have QuickBooks record the time: You can also have QuickBooks record the time that you spent on the activity. Just click the Start button in the Duration box when you start the activity, and click the Stop button when you stop the activity.

After you describe the activity you're performing in the Time/Enter Single Activity window, click the Save & New or Save & Close button to save the activity information.

Including billable time on an invoice

To add billable time and cost to an invoice, create the invoice in the usual way. After you identify the customer, and if you've been tracking time or costs for the customer, QuickBooks will ask if you want to bill for any of the time or costs. If you indicate "yes," QuickBooks displays the Choose Billable Time and Costs dialog box. The Time tab of the Choose Billable Time and Costs dialog box shows each of the times that you've recorded for a customer.

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