As the top payroll system for those seeking an accounting integration, Intuit QuickBooks Payroll easily transfers tax and payroll data to QuickBooks Online. Along with performing unlimited payroll runs, businesses can access competitive employee benefits.
Payroll and accounting go hand in hand, making integrations between your financial software essential. Intuit QuickBooks Payroll is the best full-service payroll solution with an accounting integration, thanks to how it syncs seamlessly with QuickBooks Online. Whether you add a payroll module to your existing QuickBooks account or purchase a bundled plan, paying employees is a breeze. Moreover, small businesses benefit from tax filing for federal and state taxes through QuickBooks, as well as tax penalty protection.
9 / 10
As small businesses look to consolidate vendor contracts and streamline operations, Intuit QuickBooks offers the ideal solution for payroll and accounting needs. QuickBooks Online users can add payroll services to their existing subscriptions, while new customers can bundle payroll and bookkeeping or select a stand-alone Intuit QuickBooks Payroll plan. With a single solution like this, we love that you don’t have to integrate payroll with third-party tools or reenter payroll data into your accounting program.
Other payroll providers, like Paychex, charge fees for general ledger integrations. Only Patriot Payroll offers similar integration with its accounting software. However, QuickBooks Online is a market leader, with ICSID reporting that 29 million U.S. small businesses use the software. QuickBooks Payroll’s ease of use for running payroll, calculating employee deductions and viewing reports also factored into our assessment. These features and others make QuickBooks Payroll the best online payroll service for businesses seeking an accounting integration.
The QuickBooks Payroll Core package handles tax filing and payments, and also offers employee health benefits and 401(k) plans. The Premium and Elite plans include time-tracking tools and workers’ comp administration through AP Intego. Furthermore, we were impressed that QuickBooks Online Payroll offers eligible users next-day direct deposit on its base package and same-day direct deposit for Premium and Elite plans. The standard processing time among competitors is two to four days.
View essential payroll information from your QuickBooks dashboard. Source: QuickBooks
When evaluating Intuit QuickBooks Payroll, we explored the online interface, mobile apps and workforce portal. In each case, the software was easy for new users to navigate, and if you’re familiar with the QuickBooks Online bookkeeping software, you’ll quickly recognize the layout.
The main screen shows your auto payroll status, upcoming birthdays and a to-do list. Also, you can tap on shortcuts to quickly run payroll, pay a contractor, and add an employee or contractor. We appreciated the timely alerts for upcoming tax payments, which allowed us to see the tax type, payment status and method.
Because some QuickBooks Online Payroll versions include Intuit’s new (as of June 2023) employee workforce portal, adding new team members or updating information is simple. Employees enter information about their bank accounts and complete W-4 forms online. Then, employers select hourly or salaried employees, wage rates and additional pay types, and they’re ready to go.
Enable QuickBooks Workforce to allow your team to view payroll and tax information online. Source: QuickBooks
Salaried employees’ pay rates remain in the system, so you don’t have to enter their hours manually. However, you must input staff hours to run payroll if you don’t have integrated time-tracking tools. Depending on the number of workers, it could take five to 15 minutes. After reviewing your payroll summary, you simply click to submit it.
Alternatively, you can set up automatic payroll, which works best for companies with salaried staff on direct deposit. We also like that QuickBooks Online Payroll manages your state and federal taxes, so you don’t have to worry about missing a tax filing deadline.
Small businesses that are looking for a streamlined solution for complex payroll tasks will appreciate QuickBooks Payroll’s capabilities. While features vary by plan, all tax and payroll processing services helpfully integrate with Intuit’s bookkeeping program.
Payroll ledgers, which involve payroll journal entries, are essential to recordkeeping whether you run payroll manually or automatically. Several payroll systems integrate with QuickBooks Online, but those payroll providers may charge you add-on fees for general ledger or integration services. With QuickBooks Payroll, there’s nothing to sync or troubleshoot when the programs suddenly quit connecting. It simply works, and that’s why QuickBooks Payroll tops our list for businesses that prioritize accounting integration.
Several top-rated payroll services allow unlimited payroll runs. With an Intuit QuickBooks Payroll account, you can run payroll for employees, contractors or freelancers automatically or manually as often as you want. QuickBooks calculates wages and deductions to ensure accurate payroll withholding, and then business owners review and submit payroll for processing.
Easily toggle between W-2 and 1099 workers in your QuickBooks Payroll dashboard. Source: QuickBooks
Similar to competitors, QuickBooks Online Payroll allows payment via direct deposit and paper checks, but depending on your subscription tier, additional fees may apply when you pay contractors via direct deposit. Your staff can view pay stubs via the workforce portal. Employees can also sign up for a Netspend Visa prepaid card as an alternative to direct deposit. Although we appreciate this option for unbanked individuals, the pay-card fees are higher than they are for competitors’ offerings.
Customize paychecks and pay slips, or use the system’s default options. Source: QuickBooks
Offering your staff on-demand wages and payroll cards can benefit diverse workforces. For more employee pay options, consider iSolved. This payroll solution integrates with QuickBooks Online and provides several direct deposit alternatives. See our iSolved review for more information.
Most full-service payroll providers will automatically file taxes on your behalf. QuickBooks Payroll calculates, files and pays state and federal taxes. Note, however, that QuickBooks Online Payroll Core does not handle local taxes. The Premium and Elite plans require users to upload forms to local sites. Also, you can opt to file your payroll taxes manually.
Click the Taxes tab to view upcoming payroll tax payments and recent withdrawals. Source: QuickBooks
Like many other payroll vendors we reviewed, QuickBooks Payroll manages your year-end tax form responsibilities. If you use automatic payroll processing services, QuickBooks will prepare and file your W-2 forms with the IRS. You can print them, or employees can view them in the workforce portal. However, it may cost extra to file or send 1099 forms, and fees may apply if you want your W-2s mailed.
See important deadlines and download forms in the Payroll Tax Center. Source: QuickBooks
Many online payroll services administer retirement plans and health insurance or track paid time off (PTO). QuickBooks Payroll offers basic amenities. We liked that we could track sick and vacation pay or let the system automatically accrue hours per pay period. Employees can view available PTO through their portal.
QuickBooks Payroll partners with third parties for various benefits. SimplyInsured provides health benefits, Guideline covers retirement plans and AP Intego does workers’ compensation insurance. Availability varies by subscription and location.
Typically, payroll systems let users view and download data by time frame, employee or location. QuickBooks Payroll reports include tax payments, PTO and payroll summaries. You can see information by employee or contractor. We like that you can also dive into workers’ compensation, edited time activities or employee details. [For deeper insights, check out our review of Rippling, which offers data visualization and workflow automation tools.]
Use QuickBooks payroll data to improve your payroll reporting and recordkeeping. Source: QuickBooks
Intuit QuickBooks Payroll pricing starts at $45 monthly, plus $5 per employee per month. The service stands out for its variety of subscriptions; some competitors offer only one payroll plan. Here, along with stand-alone payroll packages, small businesses can bundle payroll and accounting software or choose a contractor-only plan.
All three base plans include next-day direct deposit for eligible clients. Full-service payroll processing packages have expert product support, and QuickBooks assumes responsibility for federal and state tax filings.
Here’s how the individual payroll plans differ:
Because QuickBooks recently discontinued QuickBooks Desktop 2020, most services and security updates for that program have ended. However, QuickBooks Online users can go to their Account and Settings page to add payroll to their desktop accounting platform.
We especially love that QuickBooks has several bundled packages for new users who want a one-vendor payroll and bookkeeping solution. You get access to the same health insurance options and automated payroll tax payments as you would with the stand-alone payroll plans, with the bonus of accounting software.
QuickBooks offers the following bundles:
Similar to Zenefits, QuickBooks provides an outline of how to set up your payroll system. It’s a self-guided process for Payroll Core users, and aside from entering data, we found it to be uncomplicated. You submit business and employee information, like pay rates, bank account details and payroll history.
Existing QuickBooks users can add payroll services to their accounting platform and follow the same steps to deploy the payroll solution. If you opt for the Premium plan, you can have an expert review your setup; if you’re an Elite user, QuickBooks will handle the entire configuration or migration process.
QuickBooks Payroll also makes it easy to onboard employees. Under the Payroll tab, click Employees and select individuals to send email invites to QuickBooks Workforce. Alternatively, you can add employees and invite them to enter their information during onboarding. Each time you run payroll, they’ll get an email informing them their pay stubs are available to view, print or download.
We appreciate that QuickBooks Payroll offers customer support via phone, email and live chat. However, unlike rival ADP, which provides around-the-clock service to all payroll subscribers, QuickBooks limits 24/7 access to Elite users. Core and Premium clients can contact customer support Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
Alternatively, you can post questions to the QuickBooks online community board or view tutorial videos and step-by-step how-to guides in the help center. Our interactions with the QuickBooks team were mainly positive, with relatively quick response times and accurate answers to our questions. However, some users have reported long wait times, which is somewhat typical for payroll providers during peak hours.
Small businesses that require more hands-on assistance may prefer a payroll solution that offers higher support yet still integrates with QuickBooks Online. Check out our review of ADP for one such option.
Despite Quickbooks’ seamless accounting integration and bundling option, the system lacks the standard HR features provided by competitors. For example, our review of OnPay — our top payroll pick for small businesses — notes that it integrates with QuickBooks Online, automates onboarding and stores new-hire documents online.
We also wish QuickBooks Payroll included time-tracking features with all payroll packages, like Zenefits does. Instead, limited tools are available only with the Premium and Elite plans. See our Zenefits review to learn about its native scheduling and attendance tools.
We examined dozens of payroll solutions that help small business owners realize the benefits of paperless payroll. Our investigations included speaking with company sales representatives and support agents. We experimented with demos, tested software and read user reviews. Our analysis considered usability, third-party integrations, payroll and HR features, and pricing. To determine the best payroll software for business owners who prioritize an accounting integration, we looked for vendors with all-in-one accounting and payroll products.
QuickBooks Workforce is a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. It offers QuickBooks Time and QuickBooks Payroll features, but employees can only access the features for products their employer subscribes to. See our QuickBooks Time review to learn more.
QuickBooks discontinued its desktop accounting program in June 2023. This means Intuit no longer provides support or updates for the application, and companies can’t run automated payroll through it or purchase new payroll subscriptions with QuickBooks Desktop.
Restaurant owners can manually enter tips and establish a separate hourly rate for tipped employees in QuickBooks Payroll. However, the software offers less support for this than rivals like Gusto do.