QuickBooks Online Payroll Setup Guide
If you’re new to QuickBooks Online, it can be a bit overwhelming to get everything setup the way you want and need it to be. Our quick guide here will help you with your initial QuickBooks Online payroll setup.


STEP 1: Turn On Payroll Feature

First, get logged into your QuickBooks. Go to the Employees tab and click Turn On Payroll.

Turn On Payroll to start QuickBooks Online Payroll Setup

Then drop down your company menu and click Payroll Settings.

Payroll Settings


STEP 2: Create New Pay Schedule

Now, click Pay Schedules.

Pay Schedules

We are going to create a new pay schedule, so click Create.

Create New Pay Schedule

The pay period is the period between paydays. Fill in current payday information. Check the box if you want this schedule to be the default.

Payday Information


STEP 3: Create New Time-Off Policy

Now, we are going to create a new time-off policy.

Create New Time Off Policy

You can change the category, etc to match your company’s policies. Accrual frequency is basically how the vacation or sick days or paid time off is earned. Maximum available is the maximum hours that any one employee may have in their “bank” of time off.

Time Off Policy


STEP 4: Deductions & Contributions

Next, we are going to set up deductions or employee contributions to be taken from their pay. Deductions would be things like wage garnishments or child support. Contributions are things like employer-provided health insurance or a 401-K plan.

Deductions and Contributions

Just select which of the two types you wish to enter and follow the directions. We won’t be going through this in detail in this post.

Select an Option


STEP 5: Setup General Tax Information

Next, we’ll deal with taxes. To start off with, click General Tax Information.

General Tax Information

Fill in your company type for tax purposes along with your filing name and your filing address, if different from your business address.

Company Type and Address


STEP 6: Setup Federal Taxes

Now, we’ll set up federal taxes.

Federal Tax Setup

Input your Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you should get or have gotten from the Internal Revenue Service. Your filing requirements and deposit schedule should also be set up based upon information that you should’ve gotten from the IRS. If you have more questions about EIN’s, take a look at this PDF provided by the IRS.

Employer Identification Number


STEP 7: Setup State Taxes

Next, we’ll set up for state taxes.

State Taxes Preference

For this step, you need to fill in the boxes with your Wisconsin employer information. The top section’s information should come from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. The bottom section’s information should come from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

State Taxes


STEP 8: Federal Form Preferences

Next, if you have a tax-preparer take care of your taxes or have another third-party designee as far as the IRS goes, click Federal Form Preferences. If not, you can skip this step.

Federal Form Preferences

Based upon your individual circumstances, fill in one or both of the boxes on this page.

Federal Form Boxes


STEP 9: Update Electronic Services

Next, you can click Update Electronic Services. Please note that you need to have completed payroll information and tax information before doing this. Also, you will be required to send in a fax to the IRS to finish the setup of these services. By clicking the button, you are authorizing QuickBooks to file and pay your taxes electronically.

Update Electronic Services


STEP 10: Additional Business Information

You can also set up additional business information. If you want an additional person to be a contact for your business add them under Contact Information. If you have multiple locations, you can use Work Locations to set that up.

Contact Information & Work Locations

The form for adding a contact person looks like this and you just fill it out and hit ok:

Contact Person Form


STEP 11: Accounting Preferences

You can also change default settings for various things under Preferences:


For right now, we’re only going to concern ourselves with the Accounting Preferences.

Accounting Preferences

The most important thing here is to set your checking account to whatever bank account that you want your transactions to go through. In this example, it is “State Bank Checking”. You can also customize various expenses on this screen.

State Bank Checking


STEP 12: QuickBooks Online Payroll Setup Complete!

Congratulations, you’re done! You’ve completed your first QuickBooks Online payroll setup.


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