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A guide Learn how to setup payroll in QuickBooks Desktop or Online:

Payroll process can be highly time-consuming but when you are equipped with a system to help you process the payroll, then it makes it easier for you to manage. In QuickBooks Online, a separate specific feature for Payroll is provided to save your cost and efforts. As you set up the payroll in QuickBooks Online, be sure who will be paying your tax returns and payroll taxes. The process can be a bit lengthy, but carrying out the steps below can ease it for you.

Reading this article till the end can help the user in setting up and using the QuickBooks payroll with much ease. However, in case you are seeking for expert assistance, or you want a team of professionals to setup QuickBooks payroll for you, then feel free to dial our toll-free number i.e. 1(844)521-0490. Our team of QuickBooks payroll support experts and certified professionals will be there to assist you.

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Types of QuickBooks payroll

Here are three payroll solutions which you can choose from for your payroll needs:

  1. Enhanced Payroll
  2. Basis Payroll
  3. Assisted Payroll

See how easy the process of setting up payroll is

The number of employees in your organization determines the time it will take to set up the payroll. So, to save some time, you can plan some bits of data that would be helpful to you during the setup process.

Below is the checklist of the data that you can collect before starting with the setup process:


  • Bank Account Information: Collect the account number and routing number of the checking account for which you will make payroll checks, and will also do the taxing process.
  • Workers’ Details: Collect the details of all the employees including pay rates, hourly wages, tips, commissions, rewards, and other pay that you offer to your employees.
  • Employee Benefits: Employee Benefits includes the offerings to the employees apart from the regular facilities. This may include health and dental protection, retirement benefits, paid leaves, flexible working hours, flexible spending account, and others.
  • Additions/Deductions: This would include Cash propels. Wage garnishments, association contribution, and travel reimbursements.


  • Pay Rate: The pay you offer to your employees along with some reward or commission needs to be mentioned here.
  • Deductions / Additions: All kinds of additions and deductions will be covered such as medical coverage, retirement benefits and employee garnishments.
  • Form W-4: When you sign a contract with a representative, then you need them to finish W-4 form that would give you their withhold information and other important data that you would need to keep in mind while assessing their finance.
  • Pay Schedule: Set-up numerous plans like week after week, every other week or month to month which would include that you pay to your employees hourly or any other compensation.
  • Leaves Allowed: If your organization offers sick leaves or paid leaves, then this data also needs to be entered for each employee. This would aid in doing the finance set-up.
  • Hiring Date: The hiring date of each employee needs to be entered. In case, an employee has been hired on contract basis, the contact dates need to be mentioned as well.
  • Direct Deposit Authorization Form: Some organizations chose to provide pay cheque to their employees, however, you can go for an easy option that is, Direct Deposit Authorization Form. So, for this, you would need the direct deposit approval form from the employee and other details to create the bank account and other route information to make the deposit.

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Steps to Setting Up Payroll in QuickBooks Online

Now you have gathered all the information, you can now move ahead to do the real work!

Step 1: Go to Employees Center

  • Click on the Workers tab in the left menu bar.
Employee center payroll- screenshot

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Step 2: Move to Payroll Setup

  • If you had purchased payroll with QuickBooks Online membership, then your screen will take a moment. Tap the ‘Get set up’ in the screen beneath and move to the following screen.
payroll setup-screenshot

Step 3: Answer to the questions on the screen

  • Since you are changing from offline to online QuickBooks Payroll Setup, you would need to provide some extra data that will ensure that the W-2 forms are exact.
setting up payroll-screenshot

You can get help from the following to answer the questions:

  • For Payment of W-2 representative in 20XX- If you have paid representatives on the off chance, then click Yes. If this is the first time that you are paying workers, then say No.
  • Regarding date you will run the QuickBooks Online Payroll for the first time- Here, tell the date that you intend to start your first payroll QuickBooks.
  • Paying the Employees: Here, mention the way in which you have paid your workers in the previous framework.

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Step 4: Add Employees

  • Click on the tab ‘Add Employees’ which has been indicated below.
add employees payroll- screenshot

Step 5: Complete Employee Information

  • Complete the fields that are mentioned in the screenshot below. You can take help from below mentioned details to complete them.
payroll employee information- screenshot
  • Employee Withholding Info: Data will come from Form W-4.
  • Pay Schedule: Fill the pay schedule by selecting from the drop-down which would be either week after week, every other Friday, monthly and so forth.
  • Employee Pay: Fill the details of employee’s wages here.
  • Payment Method: Choose the method through which you pay your employees, either by direct deposit or pay cheque.
  • Employee Deductions/Contribution: Select all the deductions for the employees.
  • Enter year-to-date payroll info: Enter the YTD finance information of the employees.

Once you have completed all the steps, you can now verify the information and click ‘Done’.

After completing the Payroll Setup, now pay your employees seamlessly.

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Manual process to disable and use Manual payroll in QuickBooks

QuickBooks enables the payroll feature, but in case the user wishes to turn off this feature, then it can be done manually. The steps involved in this process are as follows:

Manual Payroll in QuickBooks- screenshot
  • First of all, select the Preferences option from the Edit menu.
  • And then click on the Payroll & Employees option on the left panel.
  • Once done with that, the user is recommended to click on the Company Preferences tab and the choose the No Payroll, which will help you to disable the feature.
  • To view the Payroll item list, the user can simply select the Manage Payroll items from the employee’s menu.
  • After that select the View or edit payroll item list.
  • Adding an item in a payroll list is pretty easy, by simply carry out the instructions and select Payroll Item, and select New option.

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Steps to set-up QuickBooks desktop payroll basic or enhanced

The user should ensure activating QuickBooks desktop payroll first before running the payroll setup wizard.

  • The user is supposed to activate a payroll service purchased from a retail store
  • Or activate QuickBooks desktop payroll purchased from the web or the phone

Start payroll setup wizard

  • The user needs to first step up payroll, and then open QuickBooks desktop.
  • The next step is select the employees tab in the top toolbar
  • And then, scroll and choose payroll setup in the dropdown menu for opening the wizard
  • The last step is to follow the payroll setup wizard

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Carrying out the above steps can help the user in setting up payroll and also using it at its best. However, in case you face some issues while setting up payroll in QuickBooks Online, then contact our QuickBooks enterprise support number i.e. +1-844-521-0490 which is a toll-free number. We are a hub of tech-driven accounting professionals, who work round the clock to provide the best possible support services related to QuickBooks desktop.


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