Time Single Activities to Bill for Time in QuickBooks 2014 - dummies

Time Single Activities to Bill for Time in QuickBooks 2014

By Stephen L. Nelson

Most of the time, line items that appear on an invoice are items that you describe in the Item list and then quantify directly in the invoice. However, in some service businesses, you may actually sell many units of the same item. If you want to record service activities as they occur, choose the Customers→Enter Time→Time/Enter Single Activity command.

QuickBooks displays the Time/Enter Single Activity window.


To time or record a single activity, record the activity date in 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 and (if you’re tracking an employee) the appropriate payroll item from the Payroll Item drop-down list. If you’re tracking classes, predictably, you can also use the Class drop-down list to classify the activity.

Use the Notes box to record a brief, appropriate description of the service. This description appears in the invoice, so be thoughtful about what you write.

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

  • Record time manually: You can manually record the time spent on an activity by using the Duration box to enter the time. If you spent 10 minutes, for example, enter 0:10 in the Duration box. If you spent 3 hours and 40 minutes, enter 3:40 in the Duration box.

  • 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. If you want to pause the timer (while you take a phone call, for example), click the Pause button.

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

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

You can use the Previous and Next buttons, which appear at the top of the Time/Enter Single Activity window, to page back and forth through your records of activity timing. Note, too, that a Spelling button is also available. Click the Spelling button to spell-check the notes description that you enter — which is a good idea, because this information will appear in an invoice later.

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 entered time for the customer), and if you’ve been tracking time or costs for the customer, QuickBooks displays a message box asking whether 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. To add these times to the invoice, click the Use column for the time. (The Use column is the leftmost column, displaying a check mark.)

Or, if you want to select all the times, click the Select All button. Then click OK. QuickBooks adds each of these billable times to the invoice as separate lines. The following figure shows how billable time information appears in the Create Invoices window.