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Chapter 19
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Chapter 19

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Recording Time

One person on one computer is the normal situation for Timer.  One computer can accumulate time on only one timer activity at a time.  Timer also, however, can be used for timesheet type data entry where times are recorded separately, and then entered to Timer.

QuickBooks users should note some differences.  Tab is always used for moving between fields. There is no option to use Enter. 

Date entry is different.  A date entered in the form 103196 would spook Timer. The solidus must be used, 10/31/96 being an example.  Use dates through 12/31/99, then 1/1/00 through 12/31/27 (the end of time, in QuickBooks.)  Within Timer, tabulated displays will show 00  before 99, but that is a trivial inconvenience. QuickBooks will read the dates correctly.  A new file for the year 2000 may save confusion.

An Activity within the QuickBooks Pro 5 Timer is a record of time taken to do the work of an employee or a vendor.  One activity record is the time for:

one name (employee or vendor)

working for one customer (required if billable)

within one date

under one service item (required if billable)

under one class (where applicable)

When any of these change, a new activity record must be created. 

An activity record may include a text note.

Click NewActivity button.

The New Activity dialog box accepts the  XE "recording time" information for one activity.

The fields in this dialog box contain no subtleties.

Date will come up as the current system date but may be changed, observing the format mentioned above . Use two digits for the year.

Name will be yours if set up as the default name in Preferences.  Another may be selected.

Customer:Job is needed if the activity is billable, but otherwise is optional.  If necessary a new Customer:job can be added in Timer using View|Customer:job List which has add capability.

Billable should be checked or turned off as applicable.

Service Item is required if the activity is billable.  If the Service Item you need has not been added to Timer, get it entered into QuickBooks and have a new extract file passed to Timer.

Class is optional as an additional tool for analyzing expenses.  This field also comes only from QuickBooks.

Duration accumulates time on the activity. The results of  starting and stopping the timer will appear in this field. If the activity is fully or partially complete, the time accumulated so far can be entered here in hours and minutes.

Notes can accept up to 1000 characters which will transfer to the activity record in QuickBooks.  Notes can be edited there, or within Timer.

The Next button provides reentry to this screen for input of another new activity when this screen is used for timesheet type data input.

Prev can be used to return to a previously entered activity.

OK returns to the basic Timer window, where clicking on the Start button puts Timer into action running XE "running:Timer"  on the new activity.

Running is indicated by a blinking colon in the time figures, the word Stop on the stopwatch button, and the word -Timing- in the current activity box.  (The radial lines in the figure are used to indicate a blinking colon.  Blinking ink is more expensive than color.)

Not Running (Paused)  XE "pause:Timer" is indicated by the stopwatch button showing Start, or Resume, and accumulated time showing in the Current Activity box.

Current Activity displays:

Customer:Job

Service Item

Time accumulated on this activity, or, if running, the legend -Timing-

Not Name or Class.

The button formerly known as Two Squares reduces the window XE "window:Timer, minimum"  to the minimum size form, or restores it to the larger form. (The Always on Top option used with the Windows 3.1 clock is not available here.)

Changingactivity while timing XE "activity:Timer, changing" , can be done by dropping the list of activities using the down arrow at the end of the Current Activity line and selecting one of the listed activities.  Timer will record the time for the old activity and start timing the newly selected activity.

You can stop the clock by clicking the Stop button.  This will cause a pause in the timing of the current activity (while you go to lunch?).  Resume will then continue timing this activity.

Clicking the NewActivity button while timing, will return you to the NewActivity screen where more activities may be entered while timer continues.  The new activity may or may not be given a duration, and the Next button used for another new activity entry. If however you use the OK button, you will transfer to timing of this new activity, shutting off and recording the previous one.

Editing of the current time activity is provided through use of the EditActivity button with timing stopped.  It may also be selected by using the Time|EditCurrentActivity .  Here again the timing must be shut off first.  You cant edit a record while it is timing.  You can, however, edit other records while one is timing.  Click on the EditActivities button to get to the EditActivity screen, then scan through the records using the Next button.  When done, the OK button will return the timing of the current activity.

Editing may also be done from the TimeActivityLog (see below under ExportingSelectively ). Changes may be made that will make for more accurate time accounting.  Without close attention, however, changes may have the opposite effect.

Edit of an activity marked Exported is possible, with caution!  Edit is also possible within QuickBooks Pro, after the activity is imported, and that is preferred for an already exported record.  Editing of an activity within Timer after export, has little chance of any constructive effect.

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Last modified: May 21, 2004