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Invoicing with QuickBooks Online
Invoicing with QuickBooks Online

Sending billable hours from Timely to QuickBooks Online

Lisa avatar
Written by Lisa
Updated over a week ago

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Taking on clients and projects is a job in itself. But when all the hard work is done and the client is happy, there’s another job waiting in the wings: invoicing. Ensuring you get paid fairly for all your work is critical. As essential business admin, invoicing should be easy and the proliferation of accounting tools available speaks to the many different ways you can do it.

With Timely, we want to make sure that you’re able to focus on your work first and foremost. Invoicing is important and we want billing accurately for your hours to be just as easy as logging them. We spent a lot of time listening to your feedback and working on an invoicing integration with QuickBooks Online, so you can harness the accuracy of automatic time tracking and the power of a specialist accounting solution.

Connecting to QuickBooks Online

In order to start creating invoices in Timely, you’ll first need to connect Timely with QuickBooks Online. If you haven’t already, you’ll see a header on the Invoices tab with a button that will take you to a login page for QuickBooks Online to sign in. You can also head to Settings > Integrations – scroll down and you’ll see QuickBooks Online as an integration to connect:

Once signed in, authorize with Intuit, connect your company with Timely, then click “Next” and you’ll be brought back to Timely with your QuickBooks Online account connected!

Note: If you aren't already using QuickBooks Online, make sure you create your account or start your trial in your country or region, otherwise the QuickBooks Online site may not load. Only one QuickBooks Online account can be connected to a workspace at a time.

Creating invoices

Even if you haven’t connected Timely with QuickBooks Online, you can still create invoices in Timely – you just won’t be able to send them to QuickBooks Online yet.

By default, new invoices are set to include all unbilled hours on your workspace. You can narrow this by filtering for specific clients or projects, or choosing a specific billing period.

Note: You can only invoice hours that have an hourly rate.

From there, you’ll want to organize how the line items appear on your invoice, which are the services or products you offer along with their corresponding rates and costs. These can be organized by the person who performed the work, the tags you applied to that work, or the team responsible for the work.

Once everything is finalized, click “Create” to review your invoice before sending it to QuickBooks Online.

Note: Once you’ve generated an invoice in Timely, the associated entries become read-only. If you’re not sure whether or not a specific entry is finalized or if you think there might be changes to make later, we’d recommend holding off on creating the invoice until you’re certain.

Managing invoices

After setting up your invoice, you can click "Show details" at the bottom of the pop-out window to see how many invoices are being created, for how much money, how many projects and how many entries are covered by those invoices.

If everything looks okay, you will then be able to send or “push” the invoice to QuickBooks Online.

If you don’t see a button to "Send to QuickBooks" in the "Integration" column, check to make sure that you’ve connected QuickBooks Online first in Settings > Integrations, or use the “Connect to QuickBooks” button at the top of a project page in the Invoices tab.

Note: Once you send an invoice from a client to QuickBooks the first time, all future invoices will immediately be synced with QuickBooks. You'll only see the "Send to QuickBooks" button if you haven't synced that client with QuickBooks previously.

In QuickBooks Online, you’ll be able to review the draft again and send it off! Once the payment has been marked as received, the status of the invoice in QuickBooks Online will be mirrored in Timely, so you won’t need to update anything; Timely will automatically mark all hours belonging to an invoice as “Paid” once the invoice has been paid in QuickBooks.

Viewing invoices

The Invoices tab in Timely gives you a list of all the invoices you’ve created in Timely, which client or project the work was for, the sync status of the invoice (i.e. whether or not they’ve been synced with QuickBooks Online), the invoice status (i.e. paid, draft or local draft), how much the invoice is for, who created it and when it was created.

You can narrow down the invoices you want to view by the user that created them, the client/project they were created for as well as their status:

  • Local draft
    - These drafts are only available in Timely either because QuickBooks hasn't been connected or the client/project you're invoicing for hasn't been sent to QuickBooks yet

  • Draft
    - These drafts have been sent to QuickBooks but haven't been marked as paid yet. Its status in QuickBooks will read as "Open".

  • Sent to customer
    - These invoices have been sent to a client in QuickBooks but have not been paid or responded to yet.

  • Paid
    - These invoices have been sent to QuickBooks and marked as "Paid".

  • Void
    - These invoices have been voided in either QuickBooks or Timely.

Note: Once an invoice has been created, you can add more details like VAT information or change the invoiced amount in QuickBooks. If need be, you can void the invoice in Timely or delete the invoice from QuickBooks and create a new one from scratch. If you update details like the invoiced amount, you'll see a tool tip in Timely explaining the changes:


Which QuickBooks products does Timely integrate with?

Right now, Timely only integrates with QuickBooks Online due to API limitations. Quickbooks Self-employed is not currently supported.

Can I only invoice hours that have a rate?

Yes, only billable hours can be invoiced.

How do I differentiate between hours that have been marked as billed or invoiced?

Hours that have been marked as “Billed” in Timely will appear in green as "Billed", whereas invoiced hours will appear as "Billed via invoice".

Do I need another tool to invoice?

Timely’s Invoicing tab collects and organizes your billable hours ready for invoicing in specialist accounting tools. As such, Timely’s draft invoices cannot be exported or printed directly. You will need QuickBooks Online in order to send invoices to clients and update invoice status.

Is it a two-way sync?

Yes, invoices generated in Timely will appear in QuickBooks as a draft, and all information regarding the status of an invoice will be fed back to Timely (i.e. "Paid", "Voided" or deleted). Similarly, marking an invoice as voided in Timely will mark the invoice as voided in QuickBooks.

Note: Invoices deleted in QuickBooks appear as "Voided" in Timely.

How do I avoid invoicing the same hour more than once?

An hour tied to an invoice in Timely cannot be included in another invoice.

Note: If/when an invoice is voided, the time entries associated with that invoice are released, meaning they can be included in a new invoice.

What about projects with budgets?

You can choose to invoice a project by its budget or the hours you log while either creating or updating a project. If you invoice by budget, only a single invoice can be created for the project during the budget interval. If you invoice by the hours you log, any number of invoices can be created as long as they are unbilled:

To invoice by budget, just select the checkbox below within a project to invoice for the budget amount:

A few things to note are:

  • Projects with recurring budgets can only be invoiced once per weekly/monthly interval

  • Projects with fixed budgets can only be invoiced as a full, one-off invoice

  • You cannot create invoices in the future

Can I create invoices for the future?

Invoices cannot be created for dates in the future for any type of project in Timely.

Can I invoice an entry I’ve marked as “Billed” in Timely?

Any hours that have previously been marked as “Billed” in Timely will not be included in new invoices. We did this deliberately to make sure that anything you’ve billed before the release of this integration stays separate from hours that you bill and invoice using the integration going forward.

How are taxes, discounts, currencies/currency conversions handled?

All taxes, discounts and currency exchanges/conversions are handled within the settings you have in QuickBooks Online.

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