Wednesday, May 25, 2011

QuickBooks: Time for a Single Activity

Use the Time/Single Activity window to track the time spent by one person doing a single activity on a single job on a single date. As you make single activity entries, QuickBooks also records the entries on that person's weekly timesheet.

What is on the form

1. Date: Enter the date the work was performed. Although QuickBooks assumes that the work was done on today's date, you can enter a different date.

2. Name: The name of the person who performed the work. The name can come from your Employee, Vendor, or Other Name lists. Click the Name drop-down list and choose the name or enter the name.

New names: If QuickBooks tells you that the name doesn't appear on any of your lists, click Setup and choose the list where you want the new name to appear (Employee, Vendor, or Other Name). Then click OK and fill in the window that asks for information about the new name.

3. Customer:Job: Enter here the name of the customer (and job, if any) for whom the work was performed. Entering a customer or job name gives you the ability to charge for the work on a future invoice to the customer.

Non-billable time: If you do not intend to invoice your customer for the time, you still may want to enter the customer or job name. For example, if you spent the time correcting an error on a job, filling in the Customer:Job field gives you a record of your non-billable time for the job. You can display non-billable time on time reports.

Overhead: If the time is truly overhead and has no association with any customer or job, then leave the Customer:Job field blank.

To enter the customer and job: Click the Customer:Job drop-down list and choose the customer (or customer and job) or enter the customer's name. If you are tracking a specific job, add a colon (:) after the customer's name and then enter the name of the job.

4. Service Item (required for billable time and for paying nonemployees for time worked) Enter the name of the service item you want to use when you charge your customer for this work or when you pay a non-employee for this work. The service item represents the type of work performed.

Even if you do not intend to charge or pay anyone for this work, entering a service item gives you a record of your time for this type of work. You can display all time for each service item on time reports.

On an invoice or statement charge, the service item tells QuickBooks which account to use to track the income you receive from the work and what rate to charge. This, in turn, gives you the ability to analyze which types of work are the most profitable for your business (on item profitability reports), and how much company time goes into each type of work (on time by item reports).

On a check paying non-employees for time worked, the service item tells QuickBooks which account to use to track the expense or equity account for the payment and what rate to pay. If you invoice for this same service item, set up the item with the checkbox selected to allow you to have separate accounts to track income and costs.

To enter the service item, click the drop-down list and choose the service item that matches this type of work or enter the name of the service item.

5. Duration (Stopwatch): Enter (or use the Stopwatch to time) the number of hours worked on this date for this job. QuickBooks interprets your entry according to the current setting for the time format preference. The formats available are fractions of an hour (for example, 4.5 hours) or hours and minutes (for example, 4:30).

Depending on your Preferences format setting, the number you enter in this field may change when you select another field. For example, you start timing a phone call, then click Stop after half an hour (at 0:30). The entry in the field changes to 0.5 because your preference is set to record time in fractions of an hour.

6. Billable: A checkmark in this checkbox tells QuickBooks that you plan to invoice your customer for this activity. When you record the activity, QuickBooks adds it to the list of billable hours for this job. When you invoice your customer later, you can transfer the hours directly to the invoice form.

If you are not going to invoice your customer, clear this checkbox (remove the checkmark). The hours do not show up in the list of billable hours for this job when you invoice your customer. They do, however, appear on any reports that include this job. That way, you can track the hours you don't invoice your customer for.

7. Payroll Item (appears when the employee is timesheet based): The payroll item determines how much the employee should be paid for doing the work you specified in the Service Item field. If you have previously associated a payroll item with the service item, QuickBooks fills in the Payroll Item field when you enter the service item. Of course, if the payroll item is inappropriate for any reason, you can change it.

For example, if you are recording sick time for a salaried employee, choose the Sick Salary payroll item.

8. WC Code (appears when workers compensation is turned on and the employee is timesheet based. Note that is in QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll ONLY):

The WC Code gets transferred to the paycheck, along with the payroll item and other payroll information. QuickBooks then uses the information on the paycheck to calculate your workers compensation premiums.

If you entered a default workers compensation code on the employee's record, QuickBooks fills it in here automatically. You may also change the code here, if necessary. You might change the code, for example, if an employee sometimes does work that falls under a code that is different than his default code.

9. Class (appears when you track earnings items on a paycheck by class) Enter the class name that you want to assign to the work you specified in the Customer:Job, Service Item, and Payroll Item columns.

Classes give you another way to categorize and report on information in QuickBooks. For example, a general contractor could use classes to distinguish residential from commercial business.

10. Notes: Enter any additional information you want to record about the work you specified in the Customer:Job, Service Item, and Payroll Item fields. Your note can be of any length; however, only the first 99 characters of your note appears on time reports.

When you invoice your customer for this time, you can have QuickBooks insert your note into the Description column on the invoice form. You can also add the note to a time by job detail report.