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 a 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 it comes 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 use its companion Timer program, which you can provide to each person whose work hours you want to track. The advantage of QuickBooks’ time tracking is that the hours you record are ready to attach to an invoice (see Adding Billable Time and Costs to Invoices) or payroll (see Creating employee records). In this chapter, you’ll learn how to record time in QuickBooks itself. Appendix D (online at www.missingmanuals.com/cds) explains the ins and outs of the stand-alone Timer program.

If you track billable hours for lots of employees or contractors, Intuit offers online time-tracking programs. Time Tracker is a for-a-fee online timesheet service. Intuit Time and Billing also tracks time, but it has features ...

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