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Create prevailing wages and certified payroll reports in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll

by Intuit Updated 1 year ago

Learn how to set up prevailing wage items and generate certified payroll reports.

Publicly funded federal projects typically require employers to pay workers prevailing wages (also known as Davis-Bacon wages).  These wages are then reported on certified payroll reports. 

Note: Prevailing wages and certified payroll reports are only available in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll. 

Learn about prevailing wages and certified payroll reports

The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 is a United States federal law that requires employers to  pay prevailing wages on federal public works projects over $2,000. 

Certified payroll reports must include a listing of the workers on the project, including work classifications, hours worked, wage rates, benefits, overtime compensation, total wages paid, and information related to payroll deductions.

The certification must show that each worker has been paid no less than the prevailing wage and benefit rate for the work performed.

Set up prevailing wages and create certified payroll reports for your employees

Step 1: Set up prevailing wages

You can create hourly payroll items with names like Carpentry, Electrical, or General Labor for each work classification code. These items will show on your certified payroll reports. 

Step 2: Set up job costing

You’ll use job costing to keep track of your employees’ hours for each prevailing wage item. See Set up and track payroll expenses by job in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll

Step 3: Set up time tracking

Time tracking can help you save time creating your payroll and certified payroll reports each week. Info from time tracking will auto populate on your paychecks and certified payroll reports. 

With time tracking, you’ll add your prevailing wage items and tie those to the jobs you set up.  

You can create your payroll and certified payroll reports without time tracking. You’ll enter all the info on your paychecks as you create payroll, and in the certified payroll report module manually. 

Step 4: Set up your employees

Make sure your employees have the following added:

  • Weekly pay frequency
  • Use time tracking data to create paychecks if you’re using time tracking
  • Prevailing wage items and rates 

Step 4: Run your payroll using time tracking and job costing

You’ll need to run your payroll weekly, preferably with the job costing and time tracking you set up.  

If you don’t use time tracking, add the prevailing wage items you set up in Step 1 and the corresponding jobs you set up in Step 2 to each of your employees’ paychecks. 

Step 5: Create a certified payroll report

Now you’re ready to create your certified payroll report. You’ll need a full version of Microsoft Excel.  You can also use this report to fill out the optional Certified Payroll Form WH-347

  1. Sign into QuickBooks as the Primary Administrator. 
  2. Make sure you’re in single-user mode. 
  3. Go to Reports, then select Employees & Payroll.
  4. Select More Payroll Reports in Excel, then Certified Payroll Report
  5. Enable Macros if prompted.
  6. Select Continue. Enter the Pay Date
  7. Select Get QuickBooks Data, then Next
  8. Enter your business info, then select Next
  9. Enter your project info. 
  10. Enter any info needed on the Other Questions & Options screen. 
  11. Select Create Report
  12. Print the form to file with your state. 
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