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Intuit

Get started with QuickBooks Online Payroll

Learn the info needed and process behind how to set up your new QuickBooks Online Payroll Core, Premium, or Elite payroll service.

Pay your team quickly, accurately and on time with QuickBooks Online Payroll. 

You’ll need to complete a few tasks before you can pay your people.  Here’s a handy guide and videos to help you get set up.

Step 1: Get started on your payroll setup

We want to make payroll painless for you. Add business and employee info to create paychecks right away in QuickBooks, and print or handwrite checks.  Then you’ll come back to the setup and work through Step 2: Complete your payroll setup tasks below.

Note: If you’re not sure which QuickBooks Online Payroll plan you have:

  1. Open QuickBooks Online and sign in as the Primary Admin.
  2. Select Settings ⚙, then Account and settings
  3. Select Billing & Subscription
  4. The name of your payroll plan is in the second box.

The first task is to fill in some key business info. 

  1. Gather the following info:
    • Your next paycheck date (or the date you'd like to start paying your team in QuickBooks)
    • The physical address where all or most of your employees work
    • The payroll contact name, email address and phone number. This is the main person responsible for paying your team, which may be you
  2. Open QuickBooks Online.
  3. Select Payroll, then select Overview.
  4. Select Get started.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to fill in the info requested.

Once you complete the Business info section, you can start adding your first employee. Not ready? Just close the setup and come back to the tasks later by going to Payroll, then select Overview.  

With QuickBooks Online Payroll Elite, you can opt to do the payroll setup yourself or have a payroll expert set up all or some of it for you as part of your plan. 

If you want a payroll expert to do all or most of your setup

  1. Open QuickBooks Online.
  2. Select Payroll, then select Overview
  3. Select Request a call
  4. Review the next available appointment time. Can’t find one that works? Select Find a different time to schedule an appointment. 
  5. Fill in the info, then select Schedule appointment.

What happens next

A payroll expert will call during your scheduled appointment time to discuss your payroll situation and needs. An email will follow outlining next steps including info, documents and deadlines to get your payroll going. 

If you want to do all or some of the set up yourself

  1. Gather the following info:
    • Your next paycheck date (or the date you’d like to start paying your team in QuickBooks).
    • The primary work location where all or most of your employees work. This should be a physical address. 
    • The payroll contact name, email address and phone number.  This is the main person responsible for paying your team, which may be you.
  2. Open QuickBooks Online.
  3. Select Payroll, then select Overview

Select Start onboarding if you want to do the set up yourself. Then see Complete your set up tasks below.

Step 2: Complete your payroll setup tasks

We know it takes time to get your payroll information into QuickBooks. So the setup is designed to allow you to add info at your convenience and save as you go. 

The tasks can be completed in almost any order.  If you’ve paid any of your employees this year, some of the tasks below are grouped together.

To get to these tasks:

  1. Go to Payroll, then select Overview.
  2. Select Start on the task you want to work on.

In this task, you’ll enter your employees’ info, and you can invite your employees to enter some of their own info through our free QuickBooks Workforce product. 

Info you’ll need for each employee:

  • Completed Form W-4 and any state equivalent forms if applicable
  • Hire date
  • Birth date
  • Pay rate
  • Any paycheck deductions such as contributions to insurance, retirement, or wage garnishments
  • Bank account or pay card info for direct deposit (if applicable)
  • Sick, vacation, PTO accrual rates and balance (if applicable)

If you’ve paid your employees this year, you’ll need pay stubs and/or payroll reports.

Check out these videos to learn how to add your employees:

How to add an employee to your payroll - if you haven't paid employees this year

How to set up QuickBooks Online Payroll when you already paid employees this year (part 1)

Need to set up a workers' comp policy for your business? Intuit works with AP Intego to help you find competitive rates or connect an existing policy through the service. 

In this task, you’ll add your federal and state payroll tax info. 

Info you’ll need:

  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • State Withholding and/or Unemployment account numbers: Contact your state agencies to register
  • Federal and state deposit frequencies:  how often you are required by the IRS and state to pay your taxes
  • State tax rates: Unemployment, surcharges, state disability, paid family leave, etc.

Check out these videos to learn how to add your payroll tax info

How to add your payroll tax info to QuickBooks Online Payroll - if you haven't paid employees this year

How to set up QuickBooks Online Payroll when you already paid employees this year (part 1)

In this task, you’ll connect your payroll bank account so you can use direct deposit and we can pay and file your payroll taxes. You may be able to connect it instantly so you can use direct deposit right away.

Info you’ll need:

  • Principal officer’s name, home address, Social Security number, and birth date (this is the authorized signer on the payroll bank account)
  • Your business bank account online User ID and password, or the routing and account number of the account you want to use for your direct deposits and payroll taxes. (We know entering this data may be scary. Read about the multiple layers of security we use to keep your data safe)

Check out these videos to learn how to connect your bank for payroll

How to connect your bank to QuickBooks Online Payroll - if you haven't paid employees this year

How to set up payroll when you already paid employees this year (part 2)

In this task, you’ll verify your tax account numbers and your principal officer will electronically sign payroll authorization forms. 

Info you’ll need:

  • Federal EIN and state account numbers (to verify or add)
  • Principal officer present to answer specific questions for payroll authorization forms

Check out these videos to learn how to set up your tax payments and filings

How to set up payroll when you already paid employees this year (part 2)

In this task, you’ll review and confirm the payroll taxes you’ve already paid this year and your principal officer will electronically sign payroll authorization forms.  

Info you’ll need:

  • Documents that show taxes and amounts you paid this year (tax liability reports, or receipts or statements)
  • Principal officer present to answer specific questions for the payroll authorization forms  

Check out this video to learn how to confirm taxes you already paid this year

How to add previous payroll tax payments to QuickBooks Online Payroll

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