QuickBooks™ Online: Starting with QuickBooks™ Payroll

Ready to pay your employees using QuickBooks™? Get started by setting up your employees and running your first payroll. Here’s how:

Don’t have QuickBooks™?

Step-by-step instructions

From the Home Screen, click on the Employees tab in the sidebar menu.

On the Employees main page, click Get started with payroll on the right side of the screen.

In the QuickBooks™ Payroll Module, you’ll start by answering a few questions to tell QuickBooks™ your payroll story. If you’re ever not sure about something or have a question, click on the blue links on the page or the question mark in the top corner of the page.

The first question you’ll need to answer is: Have you paid any W-2 employees this year? Select the radio button beside your answer, then click Continue in the bottom right of the screen.

Next you’ll need to answer: Do you have W-4 forms filled out by your employees?

If you don’t have W-4 forms on hand, there’s a link to the form so you can print it out to give to your employees.

Once you’ve got your W-4 forms filled out by your employees, select the radio button beside “Yes, I have completed W-4 forms from all (or most) of my employees” and click Continue in the bottom right of the screen to move on to the next step.

Now you’re ready to add your employees. Click Add employee on the left of the screen.

To start adding your employee to payroll, first enter your employee’s First name, M.I. and Last name into the appropriate text boxes.

Next, click Enter W-4 form to enter your employee’s tax withholding information.

You’ll need to enter your employee’s address, SSN, and marital status on the W-4 screen. Reference your employee’s W-4 form to retrieve his or her tax withholding information. Fill out the text boxes accordingly and click Done in the bottom right corner when you’re finished.

Now you’ll need to answer the question: How often do you pay your employee?

To do this, click on the Enter a pay schedule button beneath the question.

To enter your employee’s pay schedule, first choose a pay interval from the drop-down menu options available beneath the question: How often do you pay your employee?

For example, we’ll choose Every Week to pay our employee weekly.

QuickBooks™ shows you the upcoming pay periods and paydays based on the dates you enter to answer the questions on the left. You can even use the same schedule for employees you add later by checking the box at the bottom of the screen.

Click Done at the bottom right when you’re finished.

Next up, you’ll need to answer the question: How much you pay your employee?

In this case we’ll choose an hourly rate, but you can also pay by salary.

If there are other ways you pay employees, you can add those too by clicking Add additional pay types highlighted in blue.

For example, if you pay your employees for overtime, you can add that pay type by checking the box next to the additional pay type. You don’t need to type in the overtime rate, QuickBooks™ will calculate it for you.

Click Done in the bottom right of the screen when you’re finished.

Have you noticed the sample check for your employee? Based on the info you entered, QuickBooks™ gives you a preview of the employee’s taxes and net pay.

Next you’ll need to answer the question: Does your employee have any deductions? (Examples: retirement plans , health care)

While “No” is the most common answer, you can click on the Pencil icon to add any deductions your employee may have listed on his or her W-4 form.

Lastly, you’ll need to answer: How do you want to pay your employee? Click on the Pencil icon beneath the question to choose how you want to pay your employee.

Choose whether you want to pay your employee with a Paper check or with Direct deposit. Click OK at the bottom right of the screen when you’re done.

And that’s it. Click Done in the bottom right of the screen when you’re finished adding your first employee.

Once you’ve added all your employees, you’re ready to run payroll. In the Run Payroll Module, you’ll need to enter a few details, such as how many regular pay hours your employee worked and how many overtime hours (if any) your employee worked.

To enter your employee’s hours, type the appropriate amounts into the text boxes beneath their corresponding columns.

And now you’re ready to review and approve your first payroll. Click Preview payroll in the bottom right of the screen.

Give everything one final inspection and when you’ve finished reviewing, click Submit Payroll in the bottom of the screen.

Click on Print pay stubs to select printing options for the paycheck you’ve created for your employee. You can handwrite your paychecks, print them from QuickBooks™ or print pay stubs if you used direct deposit.

Don’t forget to enter the Check Number into the text box beneath the column labeled “Check Number” and when you’re all set, click Finish payroll in the bottom right of the screen.

That’s it! Now you can get started with QuickBooks™ Payroll and start paying your employees. Remember, if you get stuck, or aren’t sure what to do next, we’re always here to help.

  1. Navigate to the Employees Menu
  2. Navigate to the Payroll Module
  3. Enter Payroll Setup Information
  4. Add Your Employees
  5. Enter Your Employee’s Withholdings
  6. Enter Your Pay Schedule
  7. Enter How Much You Pay Your Employee
  8. Enter Employee Deductions
  9. Enter Employee Payment Method
  10. Add Employee
  11. Run Payroll


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