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If you use QuickBooks Online (QBO) as your accounting system, you can integrate your QuickBooks Desktop Time data to sync employee hours seamlessly. This allows you to track time in Desktop but push the info to QBO for consolidated reporting and billing.

In this guide, I’ll explain how to setup and configure integration between QuickBooks Time and QuickBooks Online.

Benefits of Integrating QuickBooks Time and Online

Here are some of the advantages of integrating Time Tracking with QuickBooks Online:

  • Enter time in Desktop but sync it to QBO
  • View integrated time data across both systems
  • Generate company-wide reports in QBO
  • Bill clients for time entries from Desktop
  • Reduces manual re-entry between versions
  • Provides a bridge for those transitioning to QBO

So you get expanded time tracking capabilities while still relying on QuickBooks Online as the central financial dashboard.

How to Setup QuickBooks Time Integration

Here are the steps to integrate QB Desktop Time with QuickBooks Online:

1. Activate Time Tracking in Both Versions

First, ensure Time Tracking is enabled in both Desktop and QBO:

  • In Desktop, go to Edit > Preferences > Time Tracking
  • In QBO, go to Gear Icon > Account and Settings > Advanced > Time Tracking

Activate the feature and syncing in both places.

2. Create Matching Lists

Certain lists need to exist in both QB versions for proper syncing:

  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Items (if tracking time on inventory)
  • Services (if using Time Billing)

3. Install QuickBooks Sync Manager

The QuickBooks Sync Manager enables data sharing between products. Install it on the Desktop computer you use for time tracking.

4. Authorize Apps

In QBO, go to Gear Icon > Advanced > Manage Apps and authorize QB Sync Manager to access your QBO data.

5. Setup Data Syncing

In the Sync Manager, select:

  • QuickBooks Online Company File
  • QuickBooks Desktop Time Tracking File

Choose what data to sync (employees, customers, etc) and setup a syncing schedule.

6. Run Initial Sync

Run an initial sync to push Desktop time data into QuickBooks Online. Subsequent syncs will only transfer new transactions.

Now your time entries are integrated!

How Employees Enter Time with Integration

The time tracking process remains the same even with QBO integration:

  • Employees access the Time Sheet in QB Desktop
  • They select the Customer, Job, and Service Date
  • Enter time against tasks for that date
  • Save the Time Sheet

Time sheets sync according to your schedule. No changes needed by employees.

Accessing Time Data in QuickBooks Online

In QuickBooks Online, you can view integrated time data in multiple places:

  • The Home dashboard shows recent time entries
  • The Time Tracker provides an overview of hours
  • The Expenses tab lists billable time and expenses
  • Reports combine QBO and Desktop data

Time is seamlessly available across both platforms.

Billing with Integrated Time Data

For billing, QuickBooks Online will create invoices containing:

  • Pending, approved, and billed time from Desktop
  • Any QBO expenses and items

You simply review the invoice details and send to your customers. Time tracked in Desktop is automatically leveraged.

Tips for Smooth QuickBooks Time Integration

Follow these best practices:

  • Sync at least weekly to avoid large data batches
  • Review both QB versions to validate successful sync
  • Check for duplicate names when merging lists
  • Watch out for data overwriting during initial sync
  • Consult QuickBooks integration guides as needed

Troubleshooting QuickBooks Time Integration Issues

Despite proper setup, you may run into occasional issues syncing QuickBooks Time data with QuickBooks Online. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Review sync logs for specific error messages. Resolve items like list mismatches.
  • Ensure both products are on the latest updates. Install patches if needed.
  • Reset the QuickBooks Online connection and re-authorize access.
  • In Desktop, condense your data file to remove excess transactions.
  • Clear out any duplicate names that could cause conflicts.
  • Adjust firewall, security, and port settings to allow sync connectivity.
  • Try syncing a small batch of recent closed periods to isolate the problem.
  • If needed, create new stripped down QB files with clean data to sync.
  • As a last resort, run an Accountant’s Copy in Desktop to start fresh.
  • Contact Intuit QuickBooks integration support for expert troubleshooting.

With a systematic process of elimination to pinpoint sync problems, you can get time tracking integrated between Desktop and Online. Test syncing in small intervals, resolve errors promptly, and seek assistance if problems persist across reboots. Consistent time data integration is critical.

In Summary

  • Activate Time Tracking in Desktop and Online
  • Create matching Lists in both products
  • Install and setup QuickBooks Sync Manager
  • Authorize QBO data access
  • Configure sync of time data as needed
  • Review time in Online and use for billing
  • Follow integration best practices

With a few configuration steps, you can integrate QB Desktop Time into your QuickBooks Online workflow. Employees track time in Desktop, then you access the data in QBO for consolidated reporting, analysis, and billing.

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