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Add your new employee to QuickBooks Payroll

SOLVEDby QuickBooks517Updated 1 month ago

Learn how to set up your new employee in QuickBooks Online Payroll and QuickBooks Desktop Payroll.

There's a lot to do when you hire a new team member: introductions, training, paperwork, and add them to your payroll. Whether you’re setting up payroll for the first time, or have been running payroll for a while, you’ll need to add new employees. Follow these steps to get them added to your payroll.

If you need to change an existing employee’s info, see Edit or change employee info in payroll instead.

Step 1: Get employee info

Here's what you need to have before you add an employee in payroll:

  • W-4: Employee’s Withholding Certificate of personal data such as name, address, social security number, dependents and adjustments. Your employees can enter this info when you invite them, but you are required to keep a copy of this for your records.
  • I-9: A form used to verify employment eligibility in the United States. Your employees must have valid Social Security numbers.  Don’t accept an ITIN in place of an SSN for employee identification or for work. An ITIN is only available to resident and nonresident aliens who aren't eligible to work in the U.S. and need identification for other tax purposes. An ITIN starts with the number "9" and is formatted like an SSN (NNN-NN-NNN).
  • Email address: Send your employees an invite to add their personal info and have access to their pay stubs and W-2s online.
  • Work location: The address where your employee works.
  • Pay info: Employee’s salary or pay rate, other pay types, as well as pay schedule (how often you'll pay them)
  • Direct deposit info: Employee’s bank routing number and account number. Employees can add up to 2 bank accounts.
  • Pay history: This only applies if you're setting up your QuickBooks payroll service for the first time. If that's true, and you've paid your employees already this year, you’ll need their year-to-date pay stubs so that you can have accurate year-end totals for taxes, etc. We'll walk you through this, but be sure you have this info.

Step 2: Add your employee

Now that you have the necessary documents, let's set up your new employee.

If you need to make changes to an employee who is already in the system, see Edit or change employee info in payroll instead. Select your payroll product to get started.

Note: Not sure which payroll service you have? Here's how to find your payroll service.

You have two options for how to add your new employee with QuickBooks Online Payroll:

Add your employee to payroll

  1. Go to Payroll, then Employees.
  2. Select Add an employee.
  3. Add your employee’s name and email address. If you want them to enter their own personal, tax, and banking info, make sure Employee self-setup is on. QuickBooks will automatically email them an invite to QuickBooks Workforce. Your employee can enter their address, Social Security number, W-4, and banking info.
  4. Select Add employee.
  5. Select any section to add the remaining employee info. 
    • Note: If employee self-setup is on, you won’t be able to edit some fields in the Personal info, Tax withholding, or Payment method cards.  If you do want to edit those tabs, from the Personal Info turn off Employee self-setup at any time.
  6. When finished adding info to a tab, select Save.

Set up employee default

You can set up employee defaults in QuickBooks Desktop for things that apply to all or a majority of your employees. Each time you add a new employee, the defaults will automatically appear on the employee profile to save you some time. This can include things like:

  • Pay schedule or frequency
  • Sick or vacation policies
  • State worked / state taxes
  • Earnings or deductions

To access the employee defaults you must be signed in as the QuickBooks Admin:

  1. Select Edit, then Preferences.
  2. Select Payroll and Employees, then Company Preferences.
  3. Select Employee Defaults, then enter the changes that you want.
  4. Select OK twice to save changes.

Add your employee to payroll

If you use QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced, you have two options to add your new employee with QuickBooks Online Payroll:

To add your employee yourself:

  1. Go to Employees and select Employee Center.
  2. Select New Employee and enter the employee’s info.
  3. Select OK.

The fields and tabs can vary depending on your payroll service. See below for a list of required fields in each tab:

  • Required Info - First and last name, Social Security number, and Date of Birth, Home address, Main phone, and Main email.
  • Personal Info - no required fields
  • Additional info - no required fields
  • Payroll info - In order to pay your employee, add a pay schedule or pay frequency, pay type and pay rate, W-4 info, Federal, and state taxes. Add deductions, sick or vacation policies, and direct deposit if necessary.
  • Employment info - Hire date
  • Workers’ compensation (for QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted and Enhanced Payroll only) - assign a workers' compensation code if you want to track this through QuickBooks.
  • Personal - First and last name, Social Security number, and Date of Birth
  • Address and Contact - Home address, Main phone, and Main email.
  • Additional info - no required fields
  • Payroll info - In order to pay your employee, add a pay schedule or pay frequency, pay type and pay rate, W-4 info, Federal, and state taxes. Add deductions, sick or vacation policies, and direct deposit if necessary.
  • Employment info - Hire date
  • Workers’ compensation (for QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted and Enhanced Payroll only) - assign a workers' compensation code if you want to track this through QuickBooks.

If you’d like to invite your employees to see and print their own pay stubs and W-2s online follow these steps.

Step 3: Complete new state setup if you added an employee who lives/works in another state

If you received an email with the subject New info needed for company tax setup, or your employee lives and/or works in a different state from where your business is located, you may need to set up and pay taxes in that state. See Set up employees and payroll taxes in a new state.

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