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Manual Payroll

Before I bought Quickbooks desktop, I called and spoke with a salesperson who told me you can do manual payroll, no enrollment or fee required, with Quickbooks Pro.  How do I find this manual payroll feature?

Best answer 01-07-2019 11:55 PM

Accepted Solutions
QuickBooks Team

Re: Manual Payroll

That's right, VeronicaMars. QuickBooks Desktop lets you do payroll manually and I'm here to show you how.

 

To start, please ensure that your computer is offline or is not connected to the internet. Then, proceed with the following steps to set up your company preferences for payroll:

  1. Click Edit at the top, and then select Preferences.
  2. On the left panel, select Payroll & Employees then go to the Company Preferences tab.
  3. In the QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Features section, select the Full Payroll radio button.
  4. Select OK.

Once it's set, you're now ready to create the manual payroll.

 

Here's how:

  1. Click Help at the top, and then select QuickBooks Help (or press F1 on your keyboard).
  2. In the Search field, type manual payroll and press Enter on your keyboard.
  3. Select the topic Calculate payroll manually (without a subscription to QuickBooks Payroll).
  4. Under Set your company file to use the manual payroll calculations setting, click the manual payroll calculations link.
  5. Select Set my company file to use manual calculations link. When your company file is set up for manual payroll computation, QuickBooks inserts a zero amount for each payroll item associated with a tax.
  6. Close and reopen QuickBooks Desktop.

If you happen to select the Set my company file to use manual calculations link and want to reinstate payroll tax calculations, you'll have to sign up for QuickBooks Desktop Payroll. Additionally, if your company file is hosted through a network, contact your hosting provider to help you turn on manual payroll. This is to copy your file locally, if needed, before doing manual payroll.

 

If you have follow-up questions on this, don't hesitate to let me know. I'll be here to help you further.

23 Comments
QuickBooks Team

Re: Manual Payroll

That's right, VeronicaMars. QuickBooks Desktop lets you do payroll manually and I'm here to show you how.

 

To start, please ensure that your computer is offline or is not connected to the internet. Then, proceed with the following steps to set up your company preferences for payroll:

  1. Click Edit at the top, and then select Preferences.
  2. On the left panel, select Payroll & Employees then go to the Company Preferences tab.
  3. In the QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Features section, select the Full Payroll radio button.
  4. Select OK.

Once it's set, you're now ready to create the manual payroll.

 

Here's how:

  1. Click Help at the top, and then select QuickBooks Help (or press F1 on your keyboard).
  2. In the Search field, type manual payroll and press Enter on your keyboard.
  3. Select the topic Calculate payroll manually (without a subscription to QuickBooks Payroll).
  4. Under Set your company file to use the manual payroll calculations setting, click the manual payroll calculations link.
  5. Select Set my company file to use manual calculations link. When your company file is set up for manual payroll computation, QuickBooks inserts a zero amount for each payroll item associated with a tax.
  6. Close and reopen QuickBooks Desktop.

If you happen to select the Set my company file to use manual calculations link and want to reinstate payroll tax calculations, you'll have to sign up for QuickBooks Desktop Payroll. Additionally, if your company file is hosted through a network, contact your hosting provider to help you turn on manual payroll. This is to copy your file locally, if needed, before doing manual payroll.

 

If you have follow-up questions on this, don't hesitate to let me know. I'll be here to help you further.

Experienced Member

Re: Manual Payroll

Thank you!

Active Member

Re: Manual Payroll

I scrolled through 158 pages of questions and never found the topic you are referring to...  i tried typing in everything you have highlighted above and still couldn't find it.. Is there another way to the set-up?

Moderator

Re: Manual Payroll

Hello there, @twfs.

 

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ll share some updates about this unexpected behavior you're getting.

 

We're aware of the issue about not being able to enable manual payroll in QuickBooks Desktop. Rest assured, our Product Development Team is aware of this and are still working on the resolution to fix the problem.

 

In the meantime, you can try the workaround provided by our engineers to set up the manual payroll.

 

Here's how:

  1. Close QuickBooks, then open the Windows File Explorer.
  2. Go to C:\Program data/Intuit/QuickBooks20XX.
  3. The Program data file is usually hidden. If you can't find it, click the View tab and select Hidden Items.
  4. Look for the QBW.ini file, then open it by double-clicking the file.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom and add this entry:
  • [SELFHELPPLUGIN]
  • Enabled=0

        6. Make sure to follow the exact format, then close the file.

        7. Launch QuickBooks, and enable manual payroll.

 

After the manual payroll is activated, please go back to the QBW.ini file to remove the entry you added. 

 

Here's how:

  1. Close QuickBooks, then open the Windows File Explorer.
  2. Go to C:\Program data/Intuit/QuickBooks20XX.
  3. Double-click the QBW.ini file.
  4. Scroll down and remove the entry.
  5. Save and close, then reopen QuickBooks.

By performing the steps above, you'll be able to set up your payroll manually in QuickBooks Desktop.

 

Also, I want to ensure you're updated with this issue. I would recommend contacting our QuickBooks Care specialists. They can add you to the notification list to get live email updates about the issue.

 

Here's how you can reach them:

  1. Go to https://help.quickbooks.intuit.com/en_US/contact.
  2. Select QuickBooks for Windows.
  3. Select your QuickBooks for Windows version.
  4. Select a topic.
  5. Click on the Get Phone Number button.

That should take care of it. 

 

Thank you for your patience while we look into this for you. If there's anything else that I can help you with QuickBooks, please let me know. I'll be happy to help out.

Active Member

Re: Manual Payroll

I have set up my company for full payroll like you suggested and it still didn't change anything. When I do the help search for "manual payroll" nothing shows up. It's like QB has disabled this feature because they want you to pay for payroll service. What can I do to fix this? I am using this same QB for another company and I have been paying employees manually no problem at all for 7 years. It allowed me to set it up 7 years ago. Not anymore though.

QuickBooks Team

Re: Manual Payroll

Hi there, @jennay.

 

I'm here to help share additional information about enabling manual payroll in QuickBooks Desktop (QBDT).

 

As mentioned by my colleague MaryGraceS, there's an ongoing issue about not being able to set up manual payroll in QBDT. To set up manual payroll, you can follow the workaround provided above.

 

You can also get in touch with our Support Team to be added to the list of affected users and got an email notification for the latest updates. For the support's contact information and open hours:

 

  1. Go to: https://help.quickbooks.intuit.com/en_US/contact.
  2. Choose your QuickBooks Product.
  3. Select your QuickBooks version.
  4. On the Contact Us page, click a topic.
  5. Click on the Get Phone Number button to see the support number.

I'll update this thread as soon as we receive updates from our engineering team.

 

I appreciate you patience. Feel free to add a comment below if you have any other concerns, I'm always here to help. Have a good day ahead!

Active Member

Re: Manual Payroll

once i clicked on calculated manual payroll the site to a website can be displayed.  and i have a good internet connection

QuickBooks Team

Re: Manual Payroll

Hello, afisher519. 

 

Let’s make sure you’ve set Internet Explorer as your default browser. Here’s how:

  1. Open your Internet Explorer and click the Gear/Settings icon at the top.
  2. Click Internet Options and select Programs tab.  
  3. Click the Make Default button under Default Web Browser, and then click OK.

For additional reference, please check to this article: https://community.intuit.com/articles/1763260-set-internet-explorer-to-be-your-default-browser.

 

Also, make sure you’ve selected Use my computer’s Inter connection settings to establish a connection when this application accesses the Internet account in your QuickBooks. Just go to Help>Internet Connection Setup.

 

You might also find this article helpful along the way: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/community/Employees-and-payroll-taxes/Set-up-payroll-without-a-subscri....

 

Please feel welcome to post again if you have further questions about QuickBooks.

Experienced Member

Re: Manual Payroll

When I type "manual payroll" in QB Help, it only brings up answers from COMMUNITY - no link to enable manual payroll, as in the many, many years past that I have been showing students how to access this.  We've done the workaround, but none of us are able to find the link using QB Help and typing in the search phrase.  

 

Are there any other suggestions or updates?  The IT department from the school accessed the Program Files to add the necessary code there, so it just the last part we need help finding.

QuickBooks Team

Re: Manual Payroll

Thanks for joining in on the thread, QwltrActnt.

 

As mention on the earlier replies, we have an ongoing issue when enabling the manual payroll. Our engineers are still investigating and working to fix this. I'd recommend contacting our QuickBooks Customer Care Team. They can add your profile to the list of affected users and keep you up to date about this.

  1. Go to this link: https://help.quickbooks.intuit.com/en_US/contact.
  2. Select QuickBooks Pro/Premier United States in the upper-right corner of the page.
  3. Go to the first section and select Running Your Business in QuickBooks > Basic, Standard, or Enhanced Payroll.
  4. Go to the second section and choose how you want to reach them (phone or chat).

You can also use this phone number to reach them: 866-223-5562.

 

Meanwhile, here an alternative in turning on the manual payroll in QuickBooks:

  1. Close QuickBooks.
  2. Locate the QBW.ini file in this folder location: Program data/Intuit/QuickBooksXXXX.
  3. Open the file on a notepad.
  4. Add this entry at the bottom of the file:
    [SELFHELPPLUGIN]
    Enabled=0
  5. Save and close the file.
  6. Open QuickBooks and enable the manual payroll again.
  7. Close QuickBooks.
  8. Open the QBW.ini file again and remove the entry you've added earlier.
  9. Save and close the file.
  10. Open QuickBooks again.

I'd appreciate your patience as we work for a permanent fix.

Experienced Member

Re: Manual Payroll

Thank you for the quick reply, but I don't think you read my message.  The key part to the workaround solution that we CANNOT ACCESS is this one:

 

6. Open QuickBooks and enable the manual payroll again.

 

The link isn't working to bring any of us to the correct message with the link to enable manual payroll, so everything stops there.  It doesn't seem to matter what browser we're using.  Typing the key words into the HELP feature of QB desktop brings us here, to the Community answers.

 

That's the sticking point.  Any solutions for that, please?

Community Manager

Re: Manual Payroll

Allow me to jump into this thread, QwltrActnt. 

 

The message for the link to manually enable the payroll is the steps provided by Sophia. Let me go ahead and paste it again here: 

  1. Click Edit at the top, and then select Preferences.
  2. On the left panel, select Payroll & Employees then go to the Company Preferences tab.
  3. In the QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Features section, select the Full Payroll radio button.
  4. Select OK.

Let us know if you have any questions.  

Experienced Member

Re: Manual Payroll

That's her first step, and yes, that's the first step I always make sure to have the students do - Edit > Preferences > Full Payroll. 

 

In Sophia's instructions, after her first step of Edit > Preferences > Full Payroll, she ALSO has you go online and enter ENABLE MANUAL PAYROLL through the Help feature:

______________________________________________________________________________

"That's right, VeronicaMars. QuickBooks Desktop lets you do payroll manually and I'm here to show you how.

 

To start, please ensure that your computer is offline or is not connected to the internet. Then, proceed with the following steps to set up your company preferences for payroll:

  1. Click Edit at the top, and then select Preferences.
  2. On the left panel, select Payroll & Employees then go to the Company Preferences tab.
  3. In the QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Features section, select the Full Payroll radio button.
  4. Select OK.

Once it's set, you're now ready to create the manual payroll.

 

Here's how:

  1. Click Help at the top, and then select QuickBooks Help (or press F1 on your keyboard).
  2. In the Search field, type manual payroll and press Enter on your keyboard.
  3. Select the topic Calculate payroll manually (without a subscription to QuickBooks Payroll).
  4. Under Set your company file to use the manual payroll calculations setting, click the manual payroll calculations link.
  5. Select Set my company file to use manual calculations link. When your company file is set up for manual payroll computation, QuickBooks inserts a zero amount for each payroll item associated with a tax.
  6. Close and reopen QuickBooks Desktop.

If you happen to select the Set my company file to use manual calculations link and want to reinstate payroll tax calculations, you'll have to sign up for QuickBooks Desktop Payroll. Additionally, if your company file is hosted through a network, contact your hosting provider to help you turn on manual payroll. This is to copy your file locally, if needed, before doing manual payroll.

 

If you have follow-up questions on this, don't hesitate to let me know. I'll be here to help you further."

________________________________________________________________________________

 

My emphasis (bold and italics) was added in her answer.  And it is this step with the HELP feature search that we cannot access in the workaround!  The HELP feature search just brings you to the COMMUNITY answers.  NO MANUAL CALCULATIONS LINK.

 

I'm an experienced computer and QuickBooks user and instructor.  This shouldn't be difficult, but somehow, there is a disconnect in your instructions and you are not addressing the question I see in the above posts. 

 

We are walking through the workaround, and this step is the issue in all the posts I read above, but I'm not seeing where you give a solution.  You only post the workaround instructions again.   That is not helpful.  My computer accesses the Internet through the enable manual payroll link and dumps me in the Community forum.  

QuickBooks Team

Re: Manual Payroll

Hi there, QwltrActnt.

 

Thank you for adding detailed information about what you've tried on your end to fix the problem. I'm here to provide additional information concerning the Manual Payroll feature in QuickBooks Desktop.

 

I've checked here in the system and found reports from other users regarding not being able to activate manual payroll. Since there's an open investigation about this issue, I recommend you give us a call.

 

One of our Phone Support Specialists will be able to add you to the list of affected users. Once added, you'll be receiving updates via Email regarding any fix coming from our product developers.

 

Our of the representative will also be able to guide you with some workaround to active manual payroll on your end. You can take note of the investigation number INV - 22200 for the support to easily check the issue you're referring to in the program.

 

  1. Go to: https://help.quickbooks.intuit.com/en_US/contactus.
  2. Select your QuickBooks version.
  3. Choose a topic.
  4. Click the Get Phone Number option.

Please let me know if you have additional questions concerning the activation, and I'll be sure to get back to you. The Community is always here for you.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Manual Payroll

For this: "as in the many, many years past that I have been showing students how to access this."

 

Every Student File packet I use for class includes Payroll functionality in the sample file. You don't need to enable Manual Payroll to teach Payroll.

Experienced Member

Re: Manual Payroll

Thanks, qbteachmt,


@qbteachmt wrote:

For this: "as in the many, many years past that I have been showing students how to access this."

 

Every Student File packet I use for class includes Payroll functionality in the sample file. You don't need to enable Manual Payroll to teach Payroll.


However, the Sample files use the Payroll Center, which is no longer available in the versions used with the textbook.  Only the Employee Center is available to students, so I would be able to show them how to work payroll with a system not available in their version, and then they would not be able to complete their textbook assignments, as they would not be able to turn on manual payroll in the student files on their own computers.  This is not an acceptable solution.  As soon as my time coordinates with the QB Contact hours, I'll be continuing to work for a solution that I can use in the class and the one that starts in a few weeks.  It's beyond frustrating to see that this has been going on for several months, and no one can post a workable solution or workaround for this issue, other than one that recommends calling QB Contact for assistance.

 

I don't have to wonder how business owners feel about it if they'd been used to doing manual payroll - that QB is engineering this to get them to purchase QB's own payroll services, where they wouldn't have to deal with this issue?  Since the Payroll Center is gone from the 2018 version (and I taught using it for years in the 2015 version, so I know how helpful it was), I can see why they might think this.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Manual Payroll

"the Sample files use the Payroll Center, which is no longer available in the versions used with the textbook"

 

That Payroll Center is Active because the Payroll Function has a Sample Code that makes it show in that File.

 

"Since the Payroll Center is gone from the 2018 version"

 

It's not the Program that controls this. It's your File. Any time a file has Payroll functionality, whether for real or for Sample Purposes, the Payroll Center is also revealed. It isn't enabled under Manual Payroll. Manual Payroll gives you about 2/3 of the functions.

 

This makes no sense, and seem a bit conspiracy theory: "that QB is engineering this to get them to purchase QB's own payroll services"

 

Because they still allow users to use Manual Payroll, and they still partner with the School Material providers to enable them to use Files with "pretend" payroll.

 

I would contact whoever is providing your school materials. You didn't say what is the source of the training material you are using in this classroom.

 

"and I taught using it for years in the 2015 version, so I know how helpful it was"

 

I started teaching QB in the classroom with QB 2007. I also teach Manual Payroll to the students in my "QB and Payroll Class" as their optional setting, but we work through the actual Payroll Center and functions, because the Student File has all of this in it. I have evaluated lots of student material, used material from Intuit, Sleeter, Michelle Long, and Logical Operations, as well as contribute to the material in use by two different publishers.

Experienced Member

Re: Manual Payroll

qbteachmt:  Here is a screenshot of the chapter exercise file - no Payroll Center available, only the Employee Center.  The QuickBooks Desktop 2018: A Complete Course by Janet Horne textbook states on page 553:  

"Once a  payroll schedule is created, emplooyees are assigned to it based on the frequency of payment.  For example, you assign the employees paid monthly to one schedule and the employees paid weekly to another schedule.  When it is time to process the payroll, you access the Payroll Center (not available without a subscription),* click the Pay Employees tab, select the payroll schedule you want to run, then click Start Scheduled Payroll.  After that, you verify the hours worked and the amounts for each employee listed on the schedule, review the paycheck summary, and finally, create paychecks.

 

Since we are processing payroll manually, we cannot use Payroll Schedules in the text."

* my emphasis added

 

I'm sorry you feel I've created a conspiracy around the fact that manual payroll functionality is disappearing from the desktop versions each time the newer versions come out.  I've been using QuickBooks since long before it was numbered - about 1995, setting up client files, training and doing troubleshooting, and before Intuit created their different subscription payroll services - likely in response to all the client issues regarding payroll.  I've been teaching it since about 2003, and have used many different textbooks and platforms.  The school's version is from Intuit Education Program, as are all the student copies.  This version is QuickBooks Accountant Desktop 2018, as are all my students' copies.

 

There is no Payroll Center now, not in any of the files provided by Pearson to go with the text.  The company view in the chapter file for payroll matches the textbook paragraph in stating that the Payroll Center isn't an option, whereas last year, when we were using the 2015 desktop version, it was there.

Experienced Member

Re: Manual Payroll

We finally figured out that the computer has to be in Airplane Mode, or disconnected from the wifi, before going back into QuickBooks F1/Help and typing in enable manual payroll. 

 

If the computer can access the Internet, it dumps you here, on the Community page instead of bringing up the page with the enable manual payroll.  

 

Add that to all the instructions above, and there is a workaround that works.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Manual Payroll

"If the computer can access the Internet, it dumps you here"

 

That's because the new concept for Help is to access the peer user community, in lieu of the old Learning Center tutorials and the great Help articles have mostly been removed in lieu of url links.

 

And other providers that give you a student file include Payroll functionality, so that your students get to use Payroll Center, Payroll Schedules, and even Fed and State Forms. The Sample file simulation is Enhanced Subscription level, too, the same as most publishers provide with their student files.

 

If your students are at an exercise where they start their own file to use and learn from, of course, they never get to see Payroll Center.

 

This is Not really what you have: "The school's version is from Intuit Education Program, as are all the student copies. This version is QuickBooks Accountant Desktop 2018, as are all my students' copies."

 

It's an Educational License Package. You have Real Programs. The Program is not crippled.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Manual Payroll

"I've been using QuickBooks since long before it was numbered - about 1995"

 

Me, too. V3. And when someone Blames Intuit for a function they simply haven't found or their system won't allow, that seems like a bit of a reach to me.

Experienced Member

Re: Manual Payroll

qbteachmt, I'm not sure what you're trying to say or imply with the last message, but don't care at this point.  You haven't been "helpful" with your messages, as in working on a full solution that could be posted and used here.  Each time, you found something in my messages you didn't like, and attacked.  My entire goal here has been to sort out a functioning solution for what is going on (in the shortest amount of time, as I see this has been going on for at least 2 months now), so that my students can finish out their required learning cycle.  It's not been to fence with you.  I've spent hours this week trying various solutions, and found something that should work, so I'm done being your dead horse.  Good luck to you.  

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Manual Payroll

Glad to help a fellow teacher; I am sure you are more forthcoming with your interactions and not so rude in class than on this forum of peer users.