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Set up commission payroll item and reports


This article describes how to track commissions paid to employees.  Make sure you have already set up employees in QuickBooks Desktop, and you know how much commission you would like to pay.

The following are the tasks you will have to perform in QuickBooks Desktop:

If you have different types of commissions that you want to track separately in your reports, use a separate payroll item for each commission type.


To set up a commission item:

  1. In QuickBooks Desktop, click Lists > Payroll Item List.
  2. At the bottom left of the Payroll Item List, click the Payroll Item dropdown button, and choose New.

  3. Select Custom Setup and click Next.
  4. In Payroll item type choose Wage. Click Next.
  5. From the Wages list, choose Commission.  Click Next.
  6. Enter the Item Name which prints on payroll checks and reports.  Click Next.
  7. Enter an Expense Account.  Click Next.
  8. If you want to set a rate, in the Default Rate window, enter an amount or percentage to calculate this commission. To enter a percentage, type a percent sign (%) after the number. You can change this figure whenever you use the commission item.
  9. Click Finish.

To add the commission item to employee records:

  1. From the QuickBooks Desktop menus at the top, click Employees > Employee Center.
  2. Double-click on the employee's name.
  3. Click the Payroll Info tab.
  4. Add the item under Earnings by clicking in the white box under item name and choosing the item from the drop-down list.
  5. Enter the rate in the rate column.

When creating payroll:

When preparing payroll, you should see the commission item in the Preview Paycheck window for your commissioned employees.  You must enter an amount in the Rate and Quantity columns.

  • If you set up the commission item using percent (%) in the rate column, in the quantity column enter the amount the commission is to be calculated upon for the period.  QuickBooks Desktop will compute the commission based on the percent and quantity.


To view reports showing commission items:

  1. From the menu on top, click Reports> Custom Transaction Detail Report.
  2. Click on Customize Report in the upper left corner.
  3. On the Display tab, check Name and Source Name.
  4. On the Filter tab, in choose filter, set the Transaction Type to Paycheck.
  5. Set the Payroll Item to the commission item used on paychecks.
  6. Click OK.

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