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Set Preferences for Payroll

Learn what are the preferences available and how to set them in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll.

If you need a guide about the preferences of your QuickBooks Desktop Payroll, you’re in the right article. To better understand each, read through these information.

Tip: To check this preferences, log in as the Admin user and do the following:
  1. From the Edit menu, select Preferences.
  2. In the Preferences window, choose Payroll & Employees on the left menu.
  3. Select the Company Preferences tab.

QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Features

This determines which payroll feature is active in QuickBooks.

Depending on the current payroll subscription or future payroll plan, you may choose:

Set preferences for Payroll and Employees

Lets you set global preferences for Workers Compensation. Learn more about Workers Compensation.

If most of your employees accrue sick and vacation hours at the same rate, you can add sick and vacation accrual information to the employee default setup. QuickBooks then prefills this information when you set up the payroll records for individual employees.

You can also implement a company-wide policy for whether or not you want employees to accrue sick and vacation hours on sick, vacation, or overtime hours paid.

See Set up and pay sick and vacation time for detailed instructions.

Determines if QuickBooks copies earnings items, their rates, and hours from your employees' previous paychecks onto their new ones.

Benefits of using this preference

  • If your employees' hours usually do not change from paycheck to paycheck , this preference saves you the trouble of having to key in hours on every paycheck.
  • If you track paycheck expenses by Customer:Job or by class, this preference saves you the trouble of having to re-create the splits on every paycheck.

What happens when you select this preference

  • QuickBooks automatically carries forward earnings items, their rates, and the hours from the previous paycheck.
    Important: If you change an employee's pay rate on their employee record, you will also have to make the change manually on their next paycheck if you have this preference turned on. QuickBooks does not transfer the new rate to the new paycheck instead, it carries forward the old rate from the previous paycheck.Learn more about Tracking payroll expenses by class, department, or location.
  • QuickBooks also carries forward any Sick or Vacation payroll items from the previous paycheck.

Determines whether QuickBooks automatically carries forward quantities from paychecks with the latest transaction date as seen in the check register (this may not be the last paycheck you actually entered.)

Select this option when you have a fixed quantity that occur often to your paychecks and you want this quantity carried forward.

If you check "Recall quantity field on paychecks", QuickBooks carries forward quantities for all payroll items that are based on quantities that are also part of the employee's payroll record. The quantities are taken from the paycheck with the latest (may not be most recent) transaction date.

Note: To carry the quantity to the next paycheck, the item must be on the employee record.

Determines whether QuickBooks automatically carries forward hours from the paychecks with the most recent transaction date as seen in the register.

Select this option when you have fixed hours that occur often to your paychecks and you want the quantity carried forward.

Note: To carry the quantity forward to the next paychecks, the item must be on the employee record.

Note: The wording of this option varies according to whether you have enabled class tracking, time tracking, or both.

This option lets you track your payroll expense by class, job, or time.

QuickBooks also assigns classes to any additions or company contributions on employee paychecks, based on the classes assigned to earnings items. If the earnings items are assigned to more than one class, QuickBooks prorates the class assignments of the additions and company contributions based on the prorations of the earnings items.

You can set a default preference to have the Employee list display your employees by first or last name. Your employees' names still appear with their first name first on paychecks, even if you choose to open the Employee list by last name.

This option lets you set up payroll info for your employee. Find out more about setting up an employee.

Note: Any changes you make to the default setup will appear every time you enter information for a new employee.

To add an employee as Sales Rep:

  1. Go to the Lists menu, choose Customer & Vendor Profile Lists, and then select Sales Rep List.
  2. At the bottom of the list, select the Sales Rep button, then New.
  3. Select the Sales Rep Name drop-down list and choose the name of the new employee.
  4. Select OK when you're finished.

Determines whether employee Social Security numbers appear on reports where data is broken out by employee.

Determines whether QuickBooks prints each employee's payroll information on a separate page when you print your Employee list. You can then file each employee's page with your other paper records for the employee.

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