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Top 5 Year End Questions: Payroll

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Are you tired of Year End content yet? No? Neither are we! When we said we were giving you all the tools you need for Year End, we meant it...and our Top 5 series is no exception!


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Let’s get into Top 5 Year End Payroll questions:

1. How do I modify scheduled pay periods? 

If you need to change how often your employees are paid, head over to the Payroll tab on the left menu and follow these steps: 

  1. Select Employees from the Payroll Menu. 
  2. Click on the Employee Name.
  3. Select the Edit Pencil icon to the right of Employment Details
  4. Select a pay schedule from the dropdown or choose Add pay schedule to create a new frequency.
  5. If applicable, check the Use this schedule for employees you add after [employee] box. 
  6. Click Save.

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Here’s a great resource for pay schedules: Set up and manage payroll schedules.

2. Are there reports I can run to check the accuracy of prior payroll that was entered?

If you've entered payroll history in QuickBooks Online, there are two reports that you can run to show you the information you need: Payroll Summary or Payroll Summary by Employee. Let’s go over the steps to retrieve them: 

  1. Go to Reports on the left-hand menu of your QuickBooks Online.
  2. In the Find report by name at the top-right of the Reports List, type in either report.
  3. You can customize what shows on the report by Date Range, Employee, Work Location, and Workers' Comp Class.
  4. You can Share, Export to Excel, or Print this report if needed.

There are so many other reports specific to Payroll you may need at some point during the year. Scroll down to the Payroll section to look at your options. 

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3. How can I add a bonus check for an employee that already got paid and reflect the taxes? 

It’s that time of year where a lot of employers are handing out bonuses to their amazing employees. If you need to create a separate bonus paycheck, the key is to increase the net amount until it reaches the dollar amount of the bonus. If your bank account is linked to QuickBooks, you'll be able to match the check to the downloaded transaction on the Banking page. Take a look at the steps below:

  1. Select Payroll from the sidebar menu.
  2. Go to the Employees tab.
  3. Click the Run payroll dropdown arrow, then choose Bonus only.
  4. Select either Net pay or Gross pay, then hit Continue.
  5. Choose an employee(s), then enter the bonus amount. Note: If you choose Net pay, this makes sure the employee gets the full bonus amount.
  6. Click Preview Payroll.

In the example screenshot below, the Employee Taxes and Deductions have been calculated. Choosing the Net Pay option makes sure Joseph Jones gets all $800 of his bonus check. Your total payroll cost on this bonus is $974.23 and the net pay is $800.

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If you choose Gross pay, the net pay to Joseph Jones is $731.11 and your total payroll cost is $882.00.

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Couldn’t move on without providing a useful article to help you with all things bonus-related: Pay an employee bonus

4. What effect does making an employee inactive have on my QuickBooks account?

Even if you’ve lost some employees this year, you still need their pay information available to you. Making an employee inactive removes them from your employee list, but all the profile and pay records are nice and safe whenever you need them. 

You can always re-activate them if that employee works for your company again. Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Go to the Payroll tab and then click Employees.
  2. From the Active Employees drop-down, select Inactive Employees.
  3. Select the inactive employee and go to Actions.
  4. Click on Change Status and switch to Active.

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5. I made an error and underpaid an employee for a pay period?

Mistakes happen to the best of us! Sometimes with extra hours worked or other unpredictable events, your employee winds up with less money than they should. All you have to do is create an unscheduled check!
You can create unscheduled checks for the current pay period all the way back to pay periods dating 6 months ago. You can't create a check with a date in the past. The only check dates that are available are dates that fall after your last check date and before your next payday. We do this to keep your payroll taxes error-free. 

Note: If your employee is usually paid via Direct Deposit, you'll need to turn off Direct Deposit in order to create a check. Then, follow the steps below: 

  1. Go to the Payroll menu, then select Employees.
  2. Select Run payroll.
  3. Find the employee you want to pay, and then select Create another check.
  4. Enter employee compensation, including any salary adjustments, vacation or sick hours, and other pay types.
  5. Double-check the pay period and check date.
  6. Select Preview Payroll, and then select Submit payroll.
  7. If creating a paper check, hand write or print the check and give it to the employee by the check date.
  8. Select Finish payroll.

Check out our article, QuickBooks Online Year-end Guide, and also this checklist curated just for our customers: Year End Checklist for QuickBooks Online Payroll.

There’s also our Ask the Expert Series that covers important questions our customers have about payroll. Take a look below!

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