Tracking billable and non-billable hours using Accounts in Tempo for Server version 8

This tutorial is created using Tempo Version 8.

In this tutorial, you will track hours worked for a customer, both billable and non billable, to support invoicing. You will create a customer, category, and accounts. Then you will link billable and non-billable issues to the accounts and log work on those issues. Finally, you will view all billable hours vs.  non-billable hours. You need Tempo Timesheets for Server to complete these tasks.

In this tutorial:

Make sure that the Account field is available on the Issue page.

Step 1: Creating a new customer

The first step in tracking customer accounts is to create new customers, accounts, and categories. Create a new customer called Zaibatsu. Enter ZHI as the unique key for this customer.

 To create a customer...

To create a customer in Tempo for Server, you need Tempo Account Administrator permissions:
  1. From the Tempo menu, click more... under Accounts.
  2. From the Manage dropdown at the right, select Customers.
  3. Enter a Key and Name for the new customer. The customer can be renamed, but the key cannot be renamed after creation.
  4. Click Add to create the new customer.

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Step 2: Creating a category for your account

Categories are used to group accounts. Create a new category for your billable accounts. Call this category Billable, assign it the key 310, and select Billable as the type.

 To create an account category...

Creating categories requires the Tempo Account Administrator permission.

Categories provide an efficient way to categorize logged time by type. You can create categories to group hours by cost center and work activities. For example, if you have several accounts containing sales and marketing data, you could create a new 'Sales and Marketing' category and assign those accounts to it. Each account category you create needs to have one of four predefined Types that classify the account category for different uses in Tempo.

To create an account category:

  1. Select Settings  in the Tempo sidebar.
  2. Under Accounts, select Account Categories
  3. In the Account Categories view, enter a Key and Name for the new category, and select a category Type:
    1. Billable - hours logged are billed to a customer or billed internally; for example, consultancy work for a customer or hours that an internal service department bills other departments.
    2. Capitalized - hours logged that add capital to the business and are not billed. For example, hours that are invested in product development.
    3. Internal - hours logged to ongoing activities within the organization that are not billed and do not directly add value to the business; for example, internal training, vacations, or sick leave. These are known as Internal issues in Tempo. Note that you still need to enter 0 in the Billable field when you're logging time to an Internal account - see Creating Non-billable Accounts for Internal Issues - Tempo Server for information.
    4. Operational - hours logged related to business operations. For example, time spent on marketing activities, internal systems or customer support (other than billable support).
  4. Click Add to create the new category.

Deleting Account Categories

You can delete account categories that are no longer needed.

  • In the Account Categories view, click Delete in the Action column for the category you want to delete.


If an account is linked to one or more projects or issues, Tempo notifies you that the account is still in use and that you must remove any links before you can delete the account.

Step 3: Creating a new account

Now create a new account and connect it to your new customer. Name the account Tango Capex, assign it the key TCAP, and assign Taylor as the Team Lead. Select the customer and category you created.

 To create an account...

Creating and editing accounts requires the Tempo Account Administrator permission.

You can create accounts to organize the logged time data in your organization. There are different reasons you may want to do this, such as for the purpose of invoicing customers or tracking your capitalized expenses (Capex). You can associate a customer to an account, but it's not required.

A powerful feature with Tempo accounts is that you can connect the accounts to the Jira projects that you and your organization will be working on, which lets employees then log their time to a specific account. Doing this will help you organize your data easily later on in reports; for example, you can filter a Logged Time report by the accounts and get a clear view of how much time has been spent on each one.


  • You can also import accounts from *.csv or *.xml files.
  • The Account Custom Field is installed automatically with Tempo Accounts, but may need to be configured further, depending on how you want to associate the account information to time records.

To create an account:

  1. Select Accounts  in the Tempo sidebar.
  2. Click the +Create Account button at the top-right.
  3. Fill in the Create Account form:
    1. Name - A descriptive name for the account. The combination of the account name and key is used to display the account in Jira issues or in the Log Time form in Tempo Timesheets, depending on configuration.
    2. Key - The account key needs to be unique for the account. A suggested key based on the account name is auto-generated, but you can enter any value you like. The key can use letters (a-z, A-Z), digits (0-9), underscore ("_"), dash ("-") or a dot ("."). You cannot change the key after the account is created.
    3. Lead - The account lead is responsible for the account. You can either select an existing Jira user's name or simply enter a name.
    4. Category - Optional. Select a category to associate with the account from the dropdown. The account category is a way to group different cost centers and work activities, such as Development or Marketing. There are four types of categories you can use: Billable, Capitalized, Operational, and Internal. 
      To create or edit categories, click the settings icon  at the top-right, and select Categories
    5. Customer - Optional. Select a customer to associate with the account from the drop-down menu. The customer does not need to be an outside customer, it may simply be a way to group together a common entity (Jira projects or cost centers) of your definition for the projects linked to the account. 

    6. Contact - Optional. Depending on the purpose of the account, for internal or external use, the contact may or may not be a Jira user.

    7. Projects - Select the projects that include issues you will be logging time on for this account. You can link more than one project to an account.
  4. If you want to create another account, check the Create another box.
  5. When you are finished, click Create


It is not mandatory to add a customer, a contact, or category when creating accounts. You edit the account later - see below.

Global Accounts

You can create a global account that is linked to all projects. To do so, first create an account as described above, then:

  1. Click the Account name in the list to access the Account Overview.
  2. Under Links to Projects, select the Make this account global checkbox.

Editing Account Information

You can edit the following information about an account: account name, customer, category, status, monthly budget, lead, and contact. 

  1. In the Accounts view, click the name of the account you want to edit.
  2. You can edit the account Name, Customer, Category, Monthly Budget, Lead, and Contact. The account Key cannot be changed after the account is created.

Adding a Monthly Budget

Monthly Budget is used to display a status of hours worked vs the budget for the selected month. This is displayed in the Account Monthly Budget Burn-up Chart gadget available in Tempo Timesheets. In the Accounts view, enter the hours that can be spent on the account during the period in the Monthly Budget field.

Tempo Account Monthly Budget Burn-up Chart

Step 4: Creating a non-billable account

You also want to be able to track time and expenses that are not billed to the customer. Therefore, you need to create another account for your customer, but this time it should be an account for non-billable work. To do this, repeat steps 2 and 3 above. Name the account Tango Opex and make sure in step 2 that you choose a non-billable category type, for example, Operational or Internal

Step 5: Linking an account to the project

With billable and non-billable accounts connected to your customer, you can now link the accounts to the Jira project that you will be working on for this customer. Link both your Tango Capex and Tango Opex accounts to the Tango OnDemand project.

 To link an account to a project...

Linking accounts to Jira projects requires the Tempo Account Administrator permission.

Tempo accounts can be linked to one or more Jira projects so that an account can be selected from the ​Account​dropdown when you log your time. The Account Custom field must be added first so that there is the Accountdropdown available in Jira issues or in the Log Time form. Only accounts that have been linked to Jira projects will be available from this Accountdropdown.

There are several ways in which you can link an account to one or more Jira projects:
  • When you create an account​, you can select the projects to which you want that account to be linked. The projects can also be included in the imported file if the accounts are created with any of the Accounts Import features.

  • In a Jira project's Account settings. From here, you can also set the default account to be used for all issues in a Jira project.

  • From an account's Overview - see below.

Linking to Projects from the Account's Overview

You can link existing accounts to one or more projects in the Accounts overview. 

  1. Select Accounts  in the Tempo sidebar.
  2. In the Accounts view, select the account to which you want to link Jira projects.
  3. On the account's Overview, click ​+ Add Project Link​ at the right and search for the project to which you want to link the account. You can link one account to multiple projects.
  4. You can also select the ​Make this account global​ checkbox if you want to link the account to all Jira projects. Clearing the checkbox will unlink a global account from all Jira projects.

Keep the number of global accounts to a minimum because linking accounts to many Jira projects can have a negative impact on Tempo's performance.

Step 6: Linking issues to billable and non-billable accounts and logging work

The Tango OnDemand project is now linked to your billable and non-billable accounts. Now link individual issues to your billable and non-billable accounts, and then log some work on the issues.

Start by linking a billable issue, for example development, to the billable account you created in Step 3 above.

When you have updated the issue, log some work on it. Then browse to the Tango Capex account. The issue count below your linked project should now show: 1 issue.

Similarly, link a non-billable issue, for example Training, in the Tango OnDemand project to the non-billable account you created in Step 4 above. Then log work on the issue.

Step 7: Viewing all billable hours vs. non-billable hours

To view all hours spent on issues linked to each of the two accounts, billable and non-billable, simply generate a custom report, filter it byCustomer, and group the information byAccount. Finally export the data for invoicing.

 To filter information in a custom report...
To filter information in a custom report in Tempo for Server:
  1. From the Tempo menu, click Reports.
  2. Under Report Templates, click Custom Report.
  3. Click Filter by to select one or more criteria from the drop-down:
    1. Projects - filter the report by one or more projects.
    2. Teams - filter the report by one or more teams.
    3. Account - filter the report by one or more accounts.
    4. Account Category - filter the report by one or more account categories.
    5. Account Category Type - filter the report by one or more account category types.
    6. Customers - filter the report by one or more customers.
    7. Epics - filter the report by one or more epics.
    8. Issues - filter the report by one or more issues; you can choose to include sub-tasks.
    9. Users - filter the report by one or more users.
    10. Jira filters (JQL) - filter the report using a Jira filter.

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