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Set up and manage payroll schedules

Learn how to set up and assign pay schedules to pay your employees in QuickBooks and Intuit payroll.

Do you use pay schedules to run payroll and pay your employees? Do you have more than one? With QuickBooks and Intuit payroll products, you can group your employees according to their pay schedule. This helps you manage your payroll and make processing more efficient.

Learn about pay schedule types

Here are the types of pay schedules you can assign your employees to:

  • Weekly: Pay your employees every week on a specific, recurring day of the week. Many businesses schedule paydays every Friday, which makes 52 payouts per year.
  • Every other week or Bi-weekly: Pay your employees every two weeks. If you schedule payday for every other Friday, you have 26 payouts per year.
  • Twice a month or Semi-monthly : Pay your employees twice a month. The 1st pay can be in the middle of the month, and the 2nd is at the end. The common payouts for this schedule is every 15th and 30th of the month. That makes 24 payouts per year.
  • Monthly: Pay your employees once a month on a specific, recurring date. This makes 12 payouts a year.

Create and manage pay schedules

To set up, assign, or update pay schedules choose your product below, follow the steps for the payroll product you use:


Create a new pay schedule

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Payroll Settings.
  2. In Payroll and Services section, select Pay Schedules.
  3. Select Create.
  4. Enter the pay period and pay date.
  5. Select OK.
  6. You can rename the Description as necessary, then select OK to save.

Assign employee a pay schedule

  1. Select Employees or Payroll menu, then Employees.
  2. Select the employee's name.
  3. Select Edit Employee.
  4. Select the How often do you pay (employee) ▼ dropdown  and choose a pay schedule .
  5. Select Done.

Update or delete a pay schedule

Important: If you’re deleting a pay schedule, make sure you don't have any employees assigned to it. Reassign the employees to another pay schedule first.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙, then select Payroll Settings.
  2. In the Payroll and Services, select Pay Schedules.
  3. Select Edit  next to the pay schedule you want to update or delete.
  4. Update the pay schedule's info or select Delete to remove it.

Create a payroll schedule

Assign a pay schedule to an employee

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

Update a pay schedule

Important : If you change the dates from the Enter Payroll Information window, the changes only affect the current pay period. They won't affect the next upcoming pay period dates. You can see your pay schedule on the Payroll Centre's Pay Employees tab.

If you want to update all upcoming payroll schedules, edit or update it from the Edit Payroll Schedule window:

  • Payroll schedules are optional. You have the choice to set up a payroll schedule when running payroll for the first time.a pay
  • You may have up to 200 payroll schedules in QuickBooks Desktop.
    1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Centre.
    2. Under the Create Paycheques table, select the payroll schedule you want to update.
    3. From the Payroll Schedules ▼ dropdown menu, select Edit Schedule.
    4. Make the necessary updates in the Edit Payroll Schedule window. Note: 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 Centre and select Paycheques, you'll see the new Payroll Periods according to the new Pay Schedule. QuickBooks will adjust your employees' compensation and taxes to calculate for the new payroll period.

    Deactivate or delete a payroll schedule in QuickBooks Desktop

    Instead of deleting a payroll schedule, you can make it inactive. This way, you could always make it active again if you needed to do so without setting up a new payroll schedule. To deactivate a pay schedule:

    1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Employee Centre.
    2. Under the Create Paycheques 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.

    If you decide you want to completely delete a payroll, there are two steps:

    Step 1: Remove any employees who are on the payroll schedule you want to delete

    1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Centre.
    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, select another payroll schedule for the employee or clear the field.
    5. Follow these steps to check the payroll schedule for all your employees.

    Step 2: Delete the payroll schedule

    1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Centre.
    2. Go to the Pay Employees tab.
    3. Under the Create Paycheques table, select the payroll schedule that you want to delete.
    4. From the Payroll Schedules ▼ dropdown , select Delete Schedule. Note: If you get a prompt saying you can’t delete or make a payroll schedule inactive, you still have employees on it. Follow Step 1 to check all of your employees.
    5. Select OK.

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