"and the amount Quickbooks calculated for payroll liabilities was different than the amounts my accountant had me send in (last quarter)."
You Change Them. You are doing something after the fact, and you already have values. You don't "let it calculate" and leave it. You have Actuals, so enter them. Change what got calculated. This is Your data.
"I'm frustrated and wondering if what I'm doing is even necessary. Can I just not worry about this?"
You cannot jump into Payroll mid-year with no YTD data; many things have Wage Limits. Transitioning on Jan 1 would be different.
"I only had (1) employee, and he is no longer employed with me as of May of this year."
If you have no need for Payroll at all, stop trying to do payroll.
"Now that I have QB Pro which can do manual payroll, I plan on using it. I'm also planning on hiring a new employee possibly this week. From here out, I want to use QB's payroll feature."
You cannot only have Some payroll data in the payroll function. For instance, you won't have W2 info or 940 info for Both names unless you populate PR for the old person, too.
"My question is, do I even *need* to enter my ex-employee in the employee section?"
Only if you want "payroll to be right."
"I would then take the net amount, and print a check using my QB expense account "Employee Wages". Simple enough - right?"
That was never right. Payroll math:
Gross wages + employer taxes = Payroll expense
Takehome is a component of Gross, like this:
Take home + employee share of taxes (held as Liability) + any other withheld amount (held as liability) = Gross Wages
Employer taxes are sent with employee share, so that means Employer taxes are:
Tax expense = liability
Then, the Banking pays out Liability, not expense.
This is Cash Flow, not Expense.
"Do I *need* to enter his YTD info, and all of the paychecks I wrote him?"
From the beginning, we covered you Don't have to enter Paychecks because you already have the Accounting. You need to Populate the payroll items with values for prior activities that happened in this year. I believe you are the one that wanted to remove the vendor name and transactions, and change to the employee name and change to employee paycheck as transaction type activities.
"Can I just leave everything the way it is, draw a line in the Quickbook sand, and move forward?"
Please understand there is the In Between Function:
Set up Payroll using the payroll wizard and making YTD entries for each month, and this is going to use the option NOT to Affect Accounts, as I attached, so that you populate the prior activity for the Employee name that happened already, but Not Creating Each Paycheck. Populate YTD, populate Taxes, populate UI, etc.