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Level 1

Guideline 401k Employee Contribution

We use Gusto for payroll and Guideline for 401k, but do not offer matching yet. When Gusto runs payroll, it takes out the participant contribution and leaves that amount from their paychecks in our bank account. Then once the report/payroll is processed, Guideline pulls the participant money from our bank account. So it is employee money that is being held in our bank account, and that we are seeing as a deduction from the bank account, but it is not an expense on our end. Wondering what the best way to book is? Using QBO. Thanks! 

3 Comments 3

Guideline 401k Employee Contribution

Thanks for checking in with us, aubratidwell.

I can share some information on how you book the 401K employee contribution via QuickBooks Online.


The best way to books the 401K employee contribution in QuickBooks Online is through a journal entry. This way you can record your payroll transactions from the Gusto.


Here's how:


  1. Select the Plus icon (+) on the Toolbar.
  2. Under Other, select Journal Entry.
  3. Enter the transaction date in the Journal date field.
  4. On the first distribution line, in the Accounts field, enter any account listed in the Chart of Accounts. Note: If you are not sure which account receives the debit and the credit side of a transaction, consult your accounting professional for guidance.
  5. Enter the transaction amount in the Debits or Credits column. Tip: The first line is typically a Debit. Once you save the transaction, you can find it in the Recent Transactions report to see whether the Debit entry had the desired effect.
  6. Specify a customer, vendor/vendor, or employee associated with the line, if any, in the Name field. Note: QuickBooks Online Plus users – When the Classes and Locations feature is turned on, additional fields for Location and Class appear.
  7. Continue to enter distribution lines until the sum of the Debit column entries equals the sum of the Credit column entries. Note: QuickBooks Online Plus users – When the Classes and Locations feature is turned on, additional fields for Location and Class appear.
  8. Select Save.

However, the assistance of an accountant is a must. Your accountant can help and guide on which account to debit and credit.


You can get more details in this article: Record payroll transactions manually.


Keep me posted if you have any other concerns or if you need more help with recording the employee's 401K contribution. I'm here to help.

Level 1

Guideline 401k Employee Contribution

I already book the payroll entries manually and match them to the totals in the bank feed. The 401k is not included in the totals, because it is the employee contribution. 

QuickBooks Team

Guideline 401k Employee Contribution

Hey @aubratidwell,


You can create an expense and associate it to an account for your 401k. Let me provide some details.


Creating an expense may show as an expense in QuickBooks, but it'll denote as a payment to your employee's contribution.


For the account, I recommend reaching out to your accountant. This way, they can help you locate the account intended for your employees' 401k contribution.


Feel free to let me know if you have any other concerns. I'll be here to assist you.

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