Employee payroll management is complex and time-consuming. It can also be costly if you submit taxes late or incorrectly. And your employees will be unhappy if checks are tardy, or if withholding for benefits like health insurance and 401(k)s isn’t accurate.
Fortunately, Intuit offers numerous QuickBooks-based payroll solutions with varying degrees of assistance built in. Depending on your budget and your willingness to manage the ongoing process, you’ll undoubtedly find one that works for you.
Laying the groundwork
To get started, you’ll create records and deduction types for your employees using the QuickBooks Payroll Setup Wizard. Click Employees | Payroll Setup and work through the outline, as shown here:
That’s the hard part. You’ll go through multiple screens here, adding information about each employee and your YTD payroll. There’s nothing especially difficult about this as long as you’ve assembled the necessary information upfront.
Running the payroll
Non-salaried employees can track time in QuickBooks or remotely. As you prepare payroll, you’ll assign a type to hours worked (regular, vacation, etc.).
You can review the paychecks you just entered before you dispatch them. QuickBooks keeps track of payroll data so you’ll know what your tax liabilities are.
Varied assistance options
Intuit offers several service levels. All let you enter hours and print checks or dispatch direct deposits, and each calculates federal and state taxes. They all, of course, use the latest tax rates and generate reports. The differences lie primarily in how taxes are handled and how much assistance you get.
- Basic Payroll. No tax forms, but generates tax reports. Starts at $11/month.
- Enhanced Payroll. Completes federal and state tax forms. Pay and file electronically. Starts at $23/month.
- Assisted Payroll. Help with setup and first payroll. Taxes filed for you. Starts at $69/month.
- Full Service Payroll. Setup completed for you. Unlimited payrolls. Free direct deposit. Error detection. Taxes filed for you. Starts at $99/month.
- Intuit Online Payroll. Anywhere access. Free direct deposit. Unlimited payrolls. Completes federal and state tax forms. Pay and file electronically. iPhone app. Starts at $25/month.
Since you’re dealing with government agencies, payroll accuracy and timeliness are critical. QuickBooks helps, but you’d be wise to consult your accountant, especially during setup and early runs.