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How to Create a One-Time Payroll Check in QuickBooks Online?

Create a One-Time Payroll Check in QuickBooks Online

You can create one-time check or set up a regular payroll in QuickBooks online. First of all, you need to have an active subscription of QuickBooks Online Payroll; otherwise, you cannot create your payroll checks in the accounting solution. After creating the one-time payroll check, you can send them for processing directly into the employee’s or contractors’ account. 

In this guide, you’ll learn how to create one-time payroll checks in QuickBooks Online.

Setting up Payroll in QuickBooks Online

Take note of the following information before you create a one-time payroll check using QuickBooks online.

1. Create a pay schedule

This process isn’t necessary for those who want to create a one-time check with QuickBooks online payroll. However, if you’ve to create paychecks for your regular employees, then creating a proper schedule is much more efficient.

2. Create paychecks and send checks for processing

This is the essential step for creating a one-time payroll check in QuickBooks online. After setting up payroll, you can create and send an unscheduled payroll check for processing.

Unscheduled payrolls are generally used to pay bonuses or commissions to employees. They’re also used to pay contractors and freelancers.

Creating and sending a One-Time Payroll Check in QuickBooks Online

One-time checks are characterized as Unscheduled Payroll in QuickBooks Online. 

Steps to create a one-time payroll check in QuickBooks Online:

  1. Log into QuickBooks Online using your Intuit Account.
  2. In the Payroll menu, choose Employees.
  3. Click on the dropdown menu, and select among:
    1. Bonuses only
    2. Commission only
    3. Fringe benefits only
  4. Select either As net pay or As gross pay.
  5. Input the necessary information to calculate paycheck.
  6. Choose the pay period and pay date.
  7. Choose the Employee to whom the check is being issued.
  8. Input the hours, compensation and other paycheck info.
  9. Click on Preview Payroll and verify the information that you entered.
  10. Choose Preview payroll details, and select between:
    1. Save for later
    2. Submit payroll
  11. Click on Finish Payroll after verifying the amount and payment method.

You can also print the paychecks and pay stubs  using QuickBooks Online. And you can submit the paycheck online so that the bank can process the check and deposit the specified amount in the account of the user.


You can create one-time payroll checks in Quickbooks online using the unscheduled payroll option in QuickBooks Online. Once you create your paycheck, you can take its printout or submit it directly to the bank for processing. If you need to pay the employee or contractor regularly, then you can create scheduled payments that enable QuickBooks to use the timesheet data and automatically create and submit payroll checks at regular intervals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between scheduled and unscheduled payroll?

Unscheduled payroll is generally a one time payment used for paying bonuses and commissions. To make regular salary payments to employees, users generally prefer to create scheduled payroll so that QuickBooks online can automatically generate paychecks for paying the employees. And by setting up payroll properly, you can also enable direct deposit in QuickBooks online.

How can QuickBooks calculate the paycheck amount automatically?

When you enable payroll and input information for the employees and contractors, QuickBooks payroll can use this information along with info from Intuit Timesheets to create paychecks automatically. And if you enable direct deposit, then QuickBooks online can deposit the paychecks directly into the bank accounts of your employees.

Can I set up automatic payroll in QuickBooks online?

Yes, you can. You need to set up employees and store essential information such as employment status, pay schedule and tax info. Then you need to set up an hourly rate for each employee. You can then turn on auto payroll in QuickBooks online.

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