How to Manually Set Up Payroll in Quickbooks Desktop

Assuming you have one more employees working for your business, you’ll need to pay them. While you can always use Intuit’s add-on Payroll service, another option is to handle it yourself. Assuming you have Quickbooks Desktop, you can manually set up payroll in just a few easy to steps. So, if you’re interested in manually setting up payroll in Quickbooks, keep reading for a step-by-step walkthrough.

To begin, go ahead and log in to your Quickbooks account and choose Help > Quickbooks Help. From the search field, enter “manual payroll,” after which you should select “Calculate payroll manually.” You should see an option for “manual payroll calculations.” Click this link and choose the option for “Set my company file to use manual calculations.” As its sounds, this option enables your account to use manual calculations for payroll. When you are finished, restart Quickbooks to apply the changes.

Once Quickbooks has restarted, go ahead and access the payroll section. You should see “Payroll Items” in the List Menu. Furthermore, you should now have access to all of the features that Intuit’s Payroll service’s members have access to. The only real difference is that you’ll have to enter your payroll information manually as opposed to having automatically filled.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when manually setting up payroll, however.

  • You’ll need to calculate payroll taxes manually.
  • Rates for some payroll items like Medicare and Social Security generally remain constant. There are times, however, when rates change. Therefore, you should double check the rates for your state to ensure they are accurate.
  • Even with manual payroll enabled, you can still go back and sign up for Intuit’s Payroll service.
  • You won’t be able to prepare payroll tax forms using this feature.
  • If you are using Hosted Quickbooks — the services of a third-party vendor — you’ll need to contact the respective hosting provider to request manual payroll services. Only they can set up manual payroll in your Quickbooks account.

Perhaps the most important tip when using manual payroll is to double check your information to ensure it’s correct. If you make the wrong payment to an employee and that employee cashes his or her check, you may have a headache getting it back, especially if it involves multiple payments. To prevent headaches, double check your payroll information before issuing new payments.

Did this tutorial work for you? Let us know in the comments section below!

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