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New Payroll Setup Interview

Setting up Payroll account for the first time? We’ve made enhancements to the Payroll Setup workflow to ensure you can add employees, set up payroll, and get your first payroll done more quickly!

  • You need to have an active QuickBooks payroll subscription when you go through the setup process.
  • This article is intended for QuickBooks Desktop 2018 and later users who are activating their QuickBooks Payroll account for the first time. If you are setting up an existing Payroll account, see Payroll Setup Interview
  • Make sure your QuickBooks 2018 is updated to the latest release.
  • Do NOT use the setup interview if you're using Assisted Payroll service.

To access the Payroll Setup Interview, go to the Employees menu then select Payroll Setup. You’ll be directed to the Payroll setup wizard.

You can close the payroll setup at any time by selecting the X icon on the top right and you can always access it again by selecting Employees > Payroll Setup.

The new Employee setup workflow

We’ve made adding employees and getting your first payroll done a lot easier and faster! Here's how:

  1. In the Payroll setup screen, select Express setup.
  2. Enter basic employee information of your first employee then select Continue.

    User-added image

  3. Go through the Add new employee wizard.
  4. Select Run Payroll to start your first payroll. You will be prompted to enter the Year-to-date payroll for your employees if you have run payroll for any of your employees in the current year.

    User-added image

  5. If you do not have any Year-to-date information, you can select Finish this later to run your payroll now. The payroll set up will close and you will be redirected to the Payroll center. You can select Pay Employees to start your first payroll.

Employee Dashboard

The Dashboard lists all the employees added to date, along with their employment status (example: Active/inactive). Employee status can be switched to Active or Inactive by using the toggle switch.

  • Active: Use this status to identify an employee who is currently on your payroll and actively working for your company.
  • Inactive: Use this status to identify an employee who is temporarily on leave but still employed by your company. Some examples of why an employee may take a temporary leave include military service, maternity leave, a sabbatical, or because they're a seasonal employee.

You can also mark as Inactive any employee that you've released and now no longer works for your company. However, QuickBooks doesn't use the Inactive status to define the employee as released. You must also release the employee in QuickBooks. Note: Regardless of the status, any employee who received a paycheck during the year will receive a W-2 form for that year.

Tax FAQs