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Set up and create ABA files in QuickBooks Payroll

SOLVEDby QuickBooks68Updated over 2 years ago

What is an ABA file? 

An ABA file is a file that is used by all major Australian financial institutions to make payments from one bank account to one or more other bank accounts. 

The most common way for employers to pay employees is via an ABA file which can be generated by their payroll software. Once you have your ABA file, it’s a simple matter of uploading it to your business internet banking portal and authorising the payment/s.

Setting up ABA files in QuickBooks Payroll

Before you can generate an ABA file, you need to first set up the ABA settings for your business using the following steps:

  1. Select Employees from the left-hand menu
  2. Select Payroll Settings and then Payment Files (located under Business Settings).  
  3. Select Add
  4. Fill in the required details then select Save 

You will now be able to generate ABA files from within your pay runs.  

Note: You have the option to set up multiple bank accounts to pay employees if you wish. 

What do the ABA file settings mean?

The table below provides more information on the purpose of each of the ABA settings:

BSB NumberYESThe BSB number of the account that payroll payments will be made from
Account NumberYESThe account number of the account that payroll payments will be made from
Account NameYESThe Account Name of the account that payroll payments will be made from
Financial Institution CodeYESThe official 3 letter abbreviation of the financial institution that the bank account that payroll payments will be made from is registered with. e.g. the official Westpac code is WBC
Lodgement ReferenceYESThe description of the payroll payment that will appear on the employee's bank statement. e.g. 'Payroll' or 'Weekly wages'
Name Of User Supplying FileYESThis is the name of the user or business that is creating the ABA file. The most common value is the business name.
APCA NumberYESThis is a 6 digit number provided by your bank. If you’re not sure what this number is, you’ll need to contact your bank. It’s often listed on their website and for some banks such as the ANZ you can provide any 6 digit number (such as 000000)
Include Self Balancing TransactionNOSelecting this option adds an additional “Self-balancing” transaction to the end of the ABA file which is required by some financial institutions when generating the ABA files. You’ll need to check with your financial institution to determine if you’ll need to select this option (it’s often available on their website).
Merge multiple payments for the same account into a single transactionNOSelect this option if your financial institution requires that only a single transaction be made per account per ABA file. This is occasionally required if you have spouses that have their pay paid to the same bank account, or an employee has multiple payments going to the same bank account. In this case, certain financial institutions require that those payments be merged into a single transaction.

Creating ABA files

Once you have finalised a pay run you can generate ABA files using the following steps:

  1. Select Employees from the left-hand menu
  2. Select the Pay Runs tab then select the relevant pay run
  3. Select Download Payment File then select Download ABA File

Note: If you have multiple ABA Settings you need to select which bank account you wish to use.  

How do I Upload an ABA File to my Internet Banking Provider?

Below you'll find instructions for some of the major banks on how to upload ABA files.




NAB Connect

Bendigo Bank

Bank of Queensland

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