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 an inexperienced carpenter 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 tracking time in QuickBooks is that the hours you record are ready to attach to an invoice (see Invoicing for Billable Time and Costs) or use in payroll (see Using an Intuit Payroll Service). In this chapter, you’ll learn how to record time in QuickBooks itself. Appendix D (online at explains the ins and outs of the standalone Timer program.


Intuit’s two online time-tracking services, Time Tracker and Time and Billing Manager, have been discontinued. If your time-tracking needs outpace the time tracking features of QuickBooks itself, Intuit’s marketplace ( ...

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