Tracking Billable and Non-Billable Hours Using Accounts

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use Tempo Accounts to track both billable and non-billable hours in order to create an invoice for a customer. Using two accounts gives you control over how the work and projects in your company are organized, and gives you data in reports that's easy to understand.

You need Tempo Timesheets for Cloud to complete these tasks.


The scenario: Beverly's company is developing an app for one of their customers called Zaibatsu. The development work is billable, but there is also internal training involved, which is not billable. To solve this issue, Beverly will track both billable and non-billable hours for Zaibatsu using two separate accounts.

Get set up:

Step 1: Create a customer

Creating Customers - Select Accounts Accounts.png in the Tempo sidebar on the left, and click the Customers button in the top right. Then on the Customers page, click +Create Customer in the top right.

Beverly creates a new customer with the Name of Zaibatsu. She enters ZBT as the Key, which is a unique identifier for this customer.

Step 2: Create categories for the accounts

Creating Account Categories - Select Settings Settings.png in the Tempo sidebar. Under Accounts, select Account Categories.

Next, Beverly creates two new categories for the customer's billable and non-billable accounts. 

  • For the billable account category, she enters Research as the Name, RES as the Key, and sets the Type to Billable.

  • For the non-billable account category, she enters Internal Training as the Name, TRN as the Key, and sets the Type to Internal, which can be used for non-billable hours.

Step 3: Create billable and non-billable accounts

Creating Accounts - Select Accounts Accounts.png in the Tempo sidebar, then click + Create Account in the top right and fill in the Create Account form.

Now Beverly is ready to create two new accounts for the customer for tracking work. 

  • For the billable account, she enters ZB Billable as the Name, edits the automatically generated Key to be ZBBILL, enters John Steel as the Lead, and selects Research as the Category.

    She also selects Zaibatsu as the Customer for this account.

  • For the non-billable account, she enters ZB NonBillable as the Name, edits the automatically generated Key to be ZBNONBILL, enters John Steel as the Lead, and selects Training as the Category

    She also adds Zaibatsu as the Customer for this account.

Step 4: Link each account to its related Jira projects

Linking Accounts to Jira Projects - On the main Accounts page, select the account to which you want to link Jira projects. Then on the account's information page, click +Add Project Link on the right and select a Jira project from the dropdown.

For each of her two accounts, Beverly selects CLOUD from the Projects dropdown to link it to that account. Then she clicks +Add Project Link again and selects Tango OnDemand to link that project too.

Step 5: Link billable or non-billable accounts to Jira issues and log time

Now Beverly needs to link either the billable and non-billable account to the appropriate Jira issues, and then log some time to those issues. She starts by opening a Jira issue related to the Research project (billable work), then selecting ZB Billable from the Account dropdown. This dropdown appears because a Jira administrator added it as a custom field to the Jira issue screens (Adding the Account Field to Jira Issue Screens.


Now Beverly - or anyone else on her team - can log time to this issue and it will be correctly categorized as billable work.

Similarly, she links her Jira issues for non-billable work, such as Training, to the ZB NonBillable account and logs time to those issues.

Step 6: Create a report on billable hours for invoicing

Creating Reports - Select Reports Reports_LessPadding_copy.png in the Tempo sidebar, then click the Logged Time tile. In the Create Logged Time Report form, select one or more options in the Filter by and Group by fields, then click Create.

All the work for Zaibatsu has been logged and now Beverly can generate a report that shows the billable versus non-billable hours. This will be the invoice that she sends to the customer.

She clicks Logged Time, and report form opens. She selects CUSTOMERS from the Filter by field and checks Zaibatsu

In the Group by field, she selects Account and Issue. This way, the time logged to each Jira issue is grouped separately into the two accounts: billable and non-billable. 


She'll export this report as an Excel spreadsheet - Exporting Reports. Then she can create an invoice for the customer, Zaibatsu, and send it to them.

Finally, she'll save this report so that she can run it again later - Saving and Deleting Reports