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Intuit

Set up and manage payroll schedules

Learn how to set up and manage payroll schedules in QuickBooks Desktop.

Do you want to group employees in a way that makes sense for you to run your payroll? You can with payroll schedules. We'll show you how to set up, update, assign, and delete payroll schedules.

Set up a payroll schedule

Payroll schedules make it easier to see who needs to be paid and when. In the Pay Employees window, the next pay date and pay period for each pay schedule appears. This helps you budget for the next disbursement.

  • If you use Direct Deposit or QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted, the Process Payroll On date and Check date are adjusted to include transmit lead times and federal holidays.
  • Payroll schedules are optional. You have the choice to set up a payroll schedule when running payroll for the first time.
  • You may have up to 200 payroll schedules in QuickBooks Desktop.

Set up your payroll schedule

  1. Gather necessary information to enter the scheduled payroll.
    • Your employee names.
    • The employees' pay frequency (how often you pay your employees).
  2. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Center.
  3. Go to the Pay Employees tab.
  4. From the Payroll Schedules drop-down menu, select New.
  5. Enter a name for the payroll schedule in the What do you want to name this payroll schedule? field.
  6. From the How often will you pay your employees on this schedule? drop-down, choose the pay frequency for the payroll schedule—Daily,Weekly, Biweekly, Semimonthly, Monthly, Quarterly, and Annually.
    • Make sure to complete the pay period end date and the date that should appear on the paychecks for the pay period fields for all the frequencies. Include the following:
      • Semimonthly: Paycheck day of the month and for pay period ending fields for the 1st and 2nd Paycheck of the Month
        edit payroll schedules in QuickBooks
      • Monthly: What day should appear on the paychecks for this pay period?
  7. Select OK. Your payroll schedule appears in the table under Create Paychecks.

Update a payroll schedule

There are two main reasons why a company may need to change the pay schedule. Either there has been a company-wide change in payroll. Or the company has added a new type of employee who must be paid differently than standard employees.

Remember:

If you change the dates from the Enter Payroll Information window, your changes will only affect the current pay period and will not have an effect on the next upcoming pay period dates for the payroll schedule on the Payroll Center's Pay Employees tab. Edit or update directly from the Edit Payroll Schedule window to affect all upcoming payroll schedules.

  1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Center.
  2. Under the Create Paychecks table, select the payroll schedule you want to update.
  3. From the Payroll Schedules drop-down, select Edit Schedule.
  4. Make the necessary updates in the Edit Payroll Schedule window.
    Note: When you see the warning, select Yes to update the payroll schedule for all the employees assigned to it.
  5. Select OK.

Next time you go to the Transactions tab in the Employee Center and select Paychecks, the drop-down menu will show the new Payroll Periods according to the new Pay Schedule. In turn, your employees' compensation and taxes will be adjusted to calculate correctly for this new payroll period.

Assign a payroll schedule to an employee

Assign a payroll schedule to an employee.

  1. From the Employees menu, select Employee Center.
  2. Double-click the employee's name.
  3. Go to the Payroll Info tab.
  4. Select the Payroll Schedule drop-down.
  5. Select the Payroll Schedule that you wish to assign to this employee.
  6. Select OK to save.

Delete a payroll schedule

Deactivate a payroll schedule instead.
You can always make a payroll schedule inactive instead of deleting it. This way, you could always make it active again if you needed to do so without setting up a new payroll schedule. To do this:
  1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Center.
  2. Under the Create Paychecks table, select the payroll schedule you want to update.
  3. From the Payroll Schedules drop-down, select Edit Schedule.
  4. Mark Schedule is inactive, then select OK.

There are two steps to deleting a payroll schedule.

First, check if there are employees associated with the payroll schedule you are deleting.

  1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Employee Center.
  2. Double-click the employee's name.
  3. Go to the Payroll Info tab.
  4. Make sure the schedule in Payroll Schedule field isn't the one you need to delete. If it is the one that needs to be deleted, remove it by highlighting and pressing on backspace. You may also select another Payroll Schedule for the employee.
  5. Do the same steps for the rest of the employees.

Then, delete the payroll schedule.

  1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Center.
  2. Go to the Pay Employees tab.
  3. Under the Create Paychecks table, select the Payroll Schedule that you want to delete.
  4. From the Payroll Schedules drop-down, select Delete Schedule.
    Note: If you get the prompt saying You can’t set a payroll schedule to be inactive or delete it if it has employees assigned to it, there are still employees associated with the Payroll Schedule you're trying to delete. Remember that this can include Inactive employees. Refer to step 1 to get past this prompt.
  5. Select OK.