If you pay some employees by the hour for work on jobs, you can easily include those payroll expenses on invoices.

Payroll-tracking is much easier when everyone is salaried. But if your company sells by-the-hour services, you’ll have to both pay employees for their time and then bill the customers for it.

You could take an entire QuickBooks training course on tracking time and expenses, and you might want to if you use this feature frequently. But here are the steps involved in both recording hours and invoicing customers for them. QuickBooks makes it easy.

Start by clicking the down arrow next to the Enter Time icon on the home page (or go to Employees | Enter Time) and select Time | Enter Single Activity. QuickBooks opens a window like this:

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If you’re recording a single billable task that an employee performed, you’d use this window.

Start filling out the fields in this window by clicking on the calendar icon and choosing the date the work was performed. Then click the down arrows in the fields next to (employee) Name, Customer:Job, Service Item and Class (if required). If you want to include some explanatory text, enter it in the Notes box.

If your employee has been doing work out in the field without access to a computer, just replace the 0:00 in the Duration field with the length of time worked that day. Employees working at their desks can use the Start, Stop and Pause buttons to time their billable sessions.

If these hours can be billed back to a client, be sure there’s a checkmark in the box next to Billable.

Integration with Invoices

QuickBooks classes cover not only the basics of using the software, but they also help you learn about all of the ways that QuickBooks can help you save time and improve the accuracy of your bookkeeping records.

This in one of those. The next time you create an invoice for that customer, this box will appear after you’ve selected his or her name from the drop-down list:

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Make sure that the first radio button is filled in if you want the current invoice to contain unbilled time.

When you click OK, the Choose Billable Time and Costs window will open. Put a checkmark next to every instance that should appear on the bill. If there are several, you may want to combine all of the instances that share the same service item.

If that’s the case, click the Options button to open this window:

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Make sure that the second box is selected if you want to combine related activities on the invoice.

When you click OK, your invoice window will open again, and the time-related items will be displayed there. You can continue to add line items if necessary, and then save the invoice.

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