How to Do Payroll in QuickBooks Online in 9 Steps

Cody Cromwell
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Payroll Setup Checklist: Info You Need to Have Handy

Before you can begin processing payroll, take the time to set up QuickBooks Online with the information you’ll need handy. You’ll be able to move out of setup stage quickly once you’ve done this.

Your Payroll Setup Checklist Before you can start your payroll, make sure you have the following information handy:

Accountant number. Enter your accountant’s account number. If you are in a salaried position and no taxes will be withheld from your paycheck, you should only have one line for your accountant, which QuickBooks will create automatically for you. If you’re in a non-salaried position, you probably have a second account you’ll want to add here.

Tax ID number. If you’re a sole proprietor, this is your SSN. If you’re a small business or an LLC, you should be able to find this on your most recent W-2. If you’re a C-Corporation, your tax ID should be your EIN.

Law. In most cases, this will be the state in which you currently live or the state in which your business is registered.

Employer Information You’ll Enter in QuickBooks Payroll

Your company’s most critical piece of information is your company name, address, phone number and email address. Therefore, make sure the data in these fields are complete and accurate.

Be sure to enter your company name correctly. For example, if you have two parent companies, each operating different business units represented by a different company name, enter each business unit’s company name.

While you must enter the names and addresses of each business unit, you do not need to enter the names and addresses of every employee. You can create a list of employees on QuickBooks to use as your employee file. You can then enter each employee’s name and other identifying information on the employee list.

Employee Information & Items You’ll Use to Enter Data in QuickBooks Payroll

First off, it’s good to know your payroll parties (also known as employees)….

All employees you add to your list of payroll earners, regardless of how many employees you have, will appear.

Other payroll functions may not make any sense until you know what employee information to enter in for each party.

The employee information available for entry requires personal information, direct deposit information and account information.

You need to know the account information for each party for all pay locations.

The account information consists of bank information, routing and account numbers. It all comes into play when you enter the payroll data into QuickBooks.

NOTE: Make sure you’re entering the correct data for your banking institutions.

How to Set up Payroll in QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks payroll for small businesses is free, and it’s easy to get started. This QuickBooks payroll guide walks you through the process of setting up payroll.

Step 1: Set up a Single or Multiemployer Plan

If you work for a single-employer company, ask your employer for the Form W-4 and fill it out. Otherwise, go to the IRS website and create an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for yourself.

Next, go to the HR Tools on the Home screen of your QuickBooks Online software.

On the Choose Your Company panel, select Single Employer, next, select Single-Employer Payroll, and then select the Payroll Types tab on the left. They will all be a pre-filled with the correct information on the Payroll Tax tables. Click the Create button.

Select Single Employer, Single-Employer Payroll, and enter the RBA in the first payroll type row, and then leave the other fields blank.

Click Create again and move on to the next step.

QuickBooks shows you the steps needed to prepare your files for payroll. The steps are to: …

Choose the Payroll Company or Payroll Service You're Using

Enter your name and address, and select your address country type.

Navigate to Payroll

First navigate to the Payers menu tab in your menu bar. On the right side of the screen immediately below the menu tab itself, you’ll see the Payroll panel. Right click on the Payroll menu tab, and you will be offered a number of options.

Step 2: Choose an employee template

First, in the drop down menu, select a template whereby you will be able to set the columns and cells for every payroll calculation.

Step 3: Enter employee information

Now, enter employee information such as Name, Address, Employer Name, Employer Address, Tax ID, etc.

Step 4: Enter employee earnings information

Enter earnings information such as Wages, Vacation, Tips, etc. as applicable.

Step 5: Input earned deductions

Now, enter the deductions that your employees are entitled to like employee contributions or deduction for retirement, etc.

Step 6: Enter additional information such as Employment Verification, Social Security Number, and so on

Now, enter and enter the additional information relevant in your situation such as Employment Verification, and Social Security Number etc.

Step 7: Choose payroll method

Choose a payroll method to use to calculate the payroll.

Step 8: Enter the pay amount and frequency

Now, enter the pay amount per period.

Step 9: Print your report

Enter General Information About Paying Your Employees

Before paying your employees, you need to setup Payroll in QuickBooks.

I assume you’ve already created one employee and have updated their information.

QuickBooks Online offers the option to pay employees via check or electronically.

Customers can pay on their own as well.

Here’s how to do off-line paychecks.

In this step you’ll enter the required employee information and adjust their pay date.

If the payroll dates and amounts change due to holiday pay, vacation pay, or other reasons, click Save when done. Otherwise, click Save & New Payment to add information about your new payment.

Add Employees

Since QuickBooks Online has no way to enter employees manually, you’ll need to access the JotForm SSF (Self-Service Form).

Under the Employees tab, click Employees.

Select the “Add Employees” button. Enter the employee’s information and click OK.

Complete Employee Info

How to Run Payroll in QuickBooks Online

In 9 steps:

1-Launch QuickBooks Online and create a new company file.

2-Create your company contacts list so you can easily add new payroll employees.

3-Work with payroll employees (hired by your business) to edit their company profile information and link their payroll job.

4-Add all existing and new payroll employees.

5-Create your first payroll schedule.

6-Set up payroll deductions.

7-Save your payroll file.

8-Run payroll (including taxes).

9-Add payroll employees.

For paid employees, QuickBooks Online reminds you if you have unpaid payroll employee taxes. And for any part-time or contract workers, QuickBooks Online reminds you if you’re missing past due employee payments.

If your business is private, you will need to set up your payroll settings separately.

For more information about how to set up payroll in QuickBooks Online and how to run payroll, see Payroll Worklife.

Click “Run Payroll”

Step 2. From the menu, click ″Payroll Center”.

Note: You can also click the envelope icon on the left of the Run Payroll window and then click ″Payroll Center”.

Step 3. Click the Payroll tab, and then click ″Run Payroll.”

Note: You can also click the envelope icon on the left of the payroll window and then click ″Running Payroll.”

Step 4. Enter or move the mouse to select all of the employees for whom you need to do payroll:

Accounting ″Employee Name” **Note: You can also click the envelope icon on the left of the employee window and then click ″View Employees.”

Payroll ″Employee Name” **Note: You can also click the envelope icon on the left of the employee window and then click ″View Employees.”

Time ″Employee Name”

Step 5. Click on the Payroll tab.

Enter Current Payroll Hours

The first step in entering your payroll hours is to enter the hours that you have worked. To enter those hours, you’ll need to create a pay rate to track the time in which you work and the unit of measure for your pay rate. You also need to set up a standard rate for the work you typically do in order to determine the pay rate.

Review & Submit Payroll

Before submitting your payroll, review the payroll application. Click on the Review and Submit Payroll link along the left side of the application. This will open the Payroll Settings page.

Review the options available to you in the Payroll Settings page, and be sure to select the option for the payroll service (ADP or H&R Block) you’re using.

Review payroll options. In the Payroll Settings page, review the pages that link to the various payroll options, and pay particular attention to the following options.

Keyed in Payrolls & Paypostings: Select this option if you are using ADP payroll, and you’re only making a one-time setup for payouts.

Setup Systematic Payrolls for Employees in One Location: Select this option if you will regularly post payroll for all employees who work in a single location.

Automated Employees: Select this option if you are making one-time payrolls, and you do not have a payroll clerk to enter and certify payouts. (You can learn more about automating payroll – and how it isn’t the same as doing payroll electronically … in this post.)

Electronic Check Payment: Select this option if you will be submitting weekly electronic payrolls but you will choose manual check payment for payouts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About QuickBooks Online Payroll

Q: What is QuickBooks Online Payroll?

QuickBooks Online Payroll is a web-based streamlining service that lets small businesses file and process payroll taxes for their employees directly from their Intuit accounts with QuickBooks Online. With QuickBooks Online Payroll, you no longer have to keep hard copies of your payroll records for tax purposes.

Q: What is Intuit QuickBooks Online Payroll for Small Business?

It is a payroll service that allows small businesses and sole proprietors use QuickBooks Online to complete their payroll for their workers.

Q: Who can use QuickBooks Online Payroll for Small Business?

Anyone who has a registered (active) small business account and a small business that submits for federal tax forms needs to sign up for QuickBooks Online Payroll. It provides a quick and safe way to handle payroll, tax filings, and other key functions.

Q: How do you file payroll taxes with QuickBooks Online Payroll?

First of all, you will need to register for an Intuit QuickBooks Online business account. You will also need to enter your employee information into QuickBooks Online (Organizing & Payroll features).

Then all you have to do is follow the steps to file your payroll taxes. It will take all the work and headache out of the whole process, leaving you time to get back to running your business.

Can QuickBooks Online Do Payroll?

How QuickBooks Online can handle payroll for you depends on the type of payroll you need.

If you need paycheck deductions, you can select payroll as the reporting vendor under a company.

If you need to process any type of payroll, QuickBooks Online is a good option.

Although payroll is not the end-all-be-all of the accounting world, in case your company has employees, it’s essential to get paychecks done correctly. This means that it’s important that you keep an accurate count of each worker’s hours worked and report accurate pay to the IRS.

And if you’re looking for a way to track employees’ pay, plus make sure your business is compliant with federal regulations, you can use QuickBooks Online to do the job.

How Much Does It Cost to Add Payroll to QuickBooks?

Adding payroll features to QuickBooks Online can be pricey, especially if you’re upgrading an older client program. So before you sign up to pay period, you might want to weigh the options carefully. In this article, we’ll take a look at what it takes to add payroll to an old QuickBooks online client program and talk about the costs.

Payroll in QuickBooks Online isn’t exactly a free feature. You’ll need to pony up some cash for the payroll, but you should know at the outset that the cost likely won’t be astronomical.

That said, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of upgrading from your older Instant Client program to QuickBooks Online. If you’re using an older program, you already have the QuickBooks data and you don’t have to do data entry. So if your Instant Client is older than QuickBooks Online, you’ll need to reimport your data into QuickBooks (even if it’s your data from a previous old version).

How Do You Turn Payroll On in QuickBooks Online?

By default, QuickBooks Online doesn’t perform any actual time-sensitive payroll. So preparing and distributing payroll for time and to time periods is not something QuickBooks Online does for you automatically when you open it up.

Examples of time periods are pay periods. For instance, monthly, semi-monthly or bi-weekly. When you open up QuickBooks Online, it goes through what amount of pay period to payroll. You should be aware of that option and decide how you want to handle paying your employee on a daily basis.

The next step is to determine if you want to pay your employee by standing order or by direct deposit. When it comes to payroll, some employers prefer to have an official check or bank draft. Others may prefer to have an officially issued check.

Regardless of how you like to have payroll handled, the next step is to determine your tax liabilities. This basically means, for each employee, you must track how much tax each type of employer and each individual must pay.

So how do you figure out how much tax to pay or what should be that tax amount? You will have to calculate that using your salary calculations and then note down the tax rate when you calculate. So before you start with your payroll, you will have to make sure that you do all the calculation and note down all the tax rates.

Bottom Line

Payroll is an exciting process. It’s also a headache, but that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. If you’re leery of handling everything yourself, you may have to find another way to create payroll. That another way is to use QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks Online is a program that allows you to run your payroll online from your computer. You can select employees, input payroll information, and create paychecks at the convenience of your home. Not only that, but you can also print checks, send electronic remittance advice to employees, and obtain tax reports for payroll taxes.

The Basics of QuickBooks Online

To get started, you need to sign up for a QuickBooks ProAdvisor account. You have to be enrolled in payroll and have at least one employee. After you sign up, you have to create your first pay period. The first step in your payroll setup is selecting employees.

You can edit employees if you want to add new ones, change pay periods, move employees from one pay period to another, or change the status of any employee.