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QuickBooks 2009: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Chapter 8. Tracking Time and Mileage

When customers pay for your services, they’re really buying your knowledge of how to get the job done the best and fastest possible way. That’s why a carpenter who can barely hit the nail on the head charges $15 an hour, whereas a master who hammers faster and straighter than a nail gun charges $80 an hour. When you come right down to it, time is money, so you want to keep track of both with equal accuracy. Product-based companies track time, too. For example, companies that want to increase productivity often start by tracking the time that employees work and what they work on.

There are hordes of off-the-shelf and homegrown time-tracking programs out there, but if your time tracking needs are fairly simple, you can record time directly in QuickBooks or using its companion Timer program, which you can provide to each person whose work hours you want to track. The advantage of this feature is that the time you record is ready to attach to an invoice (see Setting Up Invoicing for Time and Cost) or payroll (see Tracking Mileage). If you have to track the billable hours of lots of employees or contractors, Intuit has Time Tracker, a for-a-fee online timesheet service. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to record time in QuickBooks itself, with the standalone Timer program, and with the help of the online Time Tracker.

Mileage is another commodity that many businesses track—or should. Whether your business hinges on driving or merely requires the occasional ...

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