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Get set up for QuickBooks Online Payroll

Looking for help with PaySuite? See Employees & Payroll (PaySuite)

To get ready for payroll, you’ll need to turn on payroll in QuickBooks Online, and then provide some information about your company and employees. After you finish with all your setup tasks, you’ll be up and running and can run payroll without having to go to setup again (unless you need to make a change).

Getting set up correctly at the onset ensures that you can run payroll and pay your employees every time without a hitch.


To get set up in QuickBooks Online Payroll

  1. First and foremost, if you haven't done so already, Turn on QuickBooks Online Payroll (UK).
  2. Go to Employees, Payroll, and under Let's get your business ready for payday, click on Let's go.
  3. Select whether this is the first time you are paying your employees, or if you have paid them before, and click Save and Continue. Click Save and next after each step to move on to the next one.

Once you’ve finished basic setup, you can also make changes later by going to the Gear icon > Account and Settings > Payroll .

Select your tax year

Tell QuickBooks Online Payroll whether you are paying your employees before or after the 6 April 2019. This allows Quickbooks to know which tax year you are starting in, and what information it will need to calculate your employee's tax and NI.


Enter your company information

Review your company name and address, to ensure all forms given to your employees have the correct legal information on them.

Set up your company pay schedule

Before you save your company pay schedule, decide how often you want to pay your employees. If you’re switching from another payroll software, keep your current pay schedule to avoid tax implications.

  1. Select whether you pay your employees monthly or weekly.
  2. Choose the date you will first be paying your employees in QuickBooks.
  3. Select the days they will be paid for on the date you entered in step 2.
  4. Once you have entered all the relevant information, the pay schedule card will appear from the left hand side of the menu and show you your first pay period including the pay date, the current pay period and pay date and what your last pay period will be.

You can make changes to your pay schedule up until you submit your first payroll. After that you won't be able to make any changes unless you delete the entire payroll.

Set up your workplace pension

Not all business may need to set up a workplace pension straight away. Choose between three options to tell QuickBooks if yours does:

  • I'm a director-only business
  • My employees are all under 21 or over the SPA (State Pension Age) or they earn less than 10k/year or the equivalent pay period.
  • My employees are between 21-SPA years old and they earn more than 10k/year or the equivalent pay period.

The first two options do not require you to complete the workplace pension setup. If you choose the third option, you will be asked if you already have a workplace pension plan for your employees.

If your answer is yes, you will need to complete the steps to setup your workplace pension scheme.

Set up to claim employment allowance

Tell QuickBooks if you qualify for Employment Allowance Credit. See Set up Employment Allowance in QuickBooks Online Payroll (UK) to check if you’re eligible.

If you are eligible, and you have already claimed part of the amount, enter it in the box below.

Add your employees to payroll

Your payroll is now all set up! You can click on Add your first employee to start adding employees in QuickBooks Online Payroll (UK). Alternatively, click on Go to payroll.

  • You can always add more employees. To do so, go to Employees > Employees, then select the + icon.
  • You can also make changes to any employee by going back to the employee profile from Employees > Employees, then by selecting the employee profile.

Get RTI ready to submit your payroll filings to HMRC

Have your Government Gateway credentials on hand and enter your HMRC credentials to sign up . By doing this once, you won’t have to sign in each time you run payroll and want to submit your FPS filings.

(optional) Set up Small Employer’s Relief (SER)

If this applies to you, finish setup and then go to the Gear icon > Company settings > Payroll. Then Set up Small Employer’s Relief (SER) .

That’s it with setup! You’re ready to pay your employees.

Select Run payroll when you’re ready to Pay your employees..

See also

Employees and payroll (QuickBooks Online Payroll, UK Only)