How to Set Up Payroll in QuickBooks in 5 Easy Steps

Set Up Payroll in QuickBooks

Setting up payroll in QuickBooks is an essential task for any business that wants to ensure its employees are paid accurately and on time. QuickBooks offers a streamlined process that makes it easier to manage payroll efficiently. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up payroll in QuickBooks in just five easy steps.

Step 1: Choose the Right QuickBooks Payroll Plan

Before diving into the setup, it’s important to choose the right QuickBooks Payroll plan for your business. QuickBooks offers several plans tailored to different needs:

  1. Core: Basic payroll services, including automatic payroll runs, direct deposit, and tax calculations.
  2. Premium: Includes all Core features plus same-day direct deposit, HR support, and time tracking.
  3. Elite: Comprehensive services with all Premium features, tax penalty protection, and a personal HR advisor.

Evaluate your business requirements and select the plan that best suits your needs. Once you’ve chosen a plan, sign up and log in to your QuickBooks account.

Step 2: Enter Company and Employee Information

With your plan selected, it’s time to enter your company and employee information.

  1. Company Information:
    • Navigate to the “Payroll Settings” from the QuickBooks dashboard.
    • Enter essential details about your business, such as the legal name, address, and Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  1. Employee Information:
    • Go to the “Employees” tab under the “Payroll” section.
    • Click “Add an employee” and fill in the required details, including name, address, Social Security Number (SSN), and contact information.
    • Specify each employee’s pay rate (hourly or salary), overtime rate, bonuses, and commissions if applicable.
    • Include federal and state tax withholdings based on the employee’s W-4 form.

Step 3: Set Up Payroll Schedules

Setting up payroll schedules ensures that your employees are paid consistently and on time.

  1. Navigate to Pay Schedules:
    • From the “Payroll” settings, select “Pay Schedules.”
    • Click “Create pay schedule” and choose the frequency that matches your payroll cycle (weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly).
  2. Assign Employees to Pay Schedules:
    • Assign each employee to the appropriate pay schedule. This will automate the payroll process based on the frequency you selected.

Step 4: Configure Payroll Taxes

Properly configuring payroll taxes is crucial for compliance with tax regulations.

  1. Access Tax Settings:
    • Go to “Payroll Settings” and select “Taxes.”
  1. Enter Federal Tax Details:
    • Provide your EIN, tax filing frequency, and deposit schedule.
    • QuickBooks will guide you through entering this information to ensure compliance.
  1. State and Local Taxes:
    • Enter state tax information, including state EIN, tax rates, and any additional state-specific requirements.
    • If applicable, configure local tax rates and details.

Step 5: Run Your First Payroll

With everything set up, you’re ready to run your first payroll.

  1. Go to the Payroll Tab:
    • Click “Run Payroll” in the “Payroll” section.
  1. Select Pay Schedule:
    • Choose the pay schedule you’ve set up for your employees.
  1. Review Employee Hours and Earnings:
    • Enter the hours worked for hourly employees and verify salary amounts for salaried employees.
  1. Preview Payroll:
    • Review the payroll summary, ensuring all details are correct. This includes verifying pay rates, deductions, and tax withholdings.
  1. Submit Payroll:
    • Click “Submit” to process the payroll. QuickBooks will handle calculations and direct deposits.
  1. Generate Payroll Reports:
    • After running payroll, generate payroll reports for your records. Go to the “Reports” tab, select “Payroll Reports,” and choose the type of report you need, such as Payroll Summary or Payroll Detail.


Set up payroll in QuickBooks can be straightforward and efficient when broken down into these five easy steps. By choosing the right plan, entering accurate company and employee information, setting up pay schedules, configuring payroll taxes, and running payroll correctly, you can ensure smooth and compliant payroll operations. QuickBooks not only simplifies payroll management but also helps you stay compliant with tax regulations, allowing you to focus on other important aspects of your business. Start your payroll setup today and experience the benefits of streamlined payroll processes with QuickBooks.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button