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Payroll Tip – Report for hours worked before creating paychecks

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This QuickBooks payroll tip discusses how to create various reports for hours worked before creating paychecks – to ensure that your employees are being paid correctly and that your job costing will be accurate.

An important part of running any business involves keeping track of how many hours your employees work on a specific job and/or task and then accurately paying your employees for those hours.  This is especially true for accurate job costing – no matter what type of business you run.

The amount of time spent on record keeping for payroll can be overwhelming for anyone and usually involves multiple people.

This is especially true if you are still using mostly manual methods; for example back when I used to do the payroll for a contractor who had 125 employees working on 5 different jobs – we had a job time sheet for each job every week.  The foreman on each job would turn in a handwritten report each week that listed who worked on the job, what their classification was, how many hours they worked each day, etc.  Sometimes the employees worked under more than one work classification or task (each involving a different rate of pay) and other times a small group of  employees would end up working on all 5 different jobs we had going on during a single workweek – and I would have to take those 5 job time sheets and enter them into QuickBooks in order to run payroll. Not a fun job and highly error prone – especially if I had an issue reading someone’s handwriting!

It’s important to run reports to verify the accuracy of the data entered into the QuickBooks Weekly Timesheet before cutting payroll!

Reports for hours worked to run in QuickBooks before creating paychecks

QuickBooks offers several reports that you can generate and use to verify that employee hours have been entered correctly.

  • From the Reports menu
  • Choose Jobs, Time & Mileage
  • Here you’ll find several “Time by” reports, I like the Time by Job Detail Report
  • Set the dates to be the workweek and employee hours by job will be displayed

This by itself is a very useful report, but it only displays the hours and the service item (cost code) that the hours were posted against.  My payroll item list was always pretty specific (I named my payroll items by the work classification that the employees worked under) and I wanted to include that information in the Time by Job Detail Report – if your payroll item list is pretty specific; you too can include that information.

  • Once the standard Time by Job Detail Report is displayed
  • Click the Modify button at the upper right
  • In the Display box, place a checkmark next to Payroll Item and click Ok

Once you have this overall report, the possibilities are endless.  For example, you can go back into the Modify option and Filter it for a specific job, print it out and give it back to the foreman along with his original timesheet for the job for his approval – get him to sign off on the report.

If you memorize these reports it will make it so much easier for you each week.

We hope you found this tip to be helpful, if so please feel free to share it, or leave a comment.

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About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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