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QuickBooks Payroll Review 2024: Features, Pros and Cons

QuickBooks Payroll Review 2024

QuickBooks Payroll from Intuit is a cloud-based service for handling payroll. It can be used as a standalone solution or integrated with QuickBooks Online. The standalone payroll option is suitable for businesses with 1 to 150 employees. It offers comprehensive payroll features, including automated tax calculations and filing, unlimited payroll runs, benefits administration, and reporting.

However, QuickBooks Payroll standalone lacks certain key features, such as built-in time tracking and integration with accounting software other than QuickBooks Online.

What do you understand about QuickBooks Payroll? 

QuickBooks Payroll is a full-service payroll app that includes automated tax calculation, filing, and payment for state and federal taxes. To file local taxes, you need to print and manually upload the appropriate forms to the necessary local sites. Alternatively, QuickBooks can help file it for users. QuickBooks Payroll is a comprehensive payroll management tool from Intuit, designed for small businesses with up to 150 employees. It seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks Online for accounting, allowing users to manage both functions from a single platform.

As a full-service payroll app, QuickBooks Payroll automates tax calculations, filings, and payments for state and federal taxes. However, filing local taxes requires users to print and manually upload the necessary forms to local sites. Alternatively, QuickBooks offers assistance in filing local taxes for an additional fee.

Understanding QuickBooks Payroll Pros and Cons

Pros of QuickBooks Payroll: 

  • Payroll processing without limits
  • Automatic computation, filing, and payment of federal and state taxes
  • Available in all US states
  • Seamless handling of garnishments
  • Comprehensive reporting capabilities

Cons of QuickBooks Payroll: 

  • Priced higher than most prominent competitors
  • The time tracking feature is exclusive to premium plans

How does QuickBooks Payroll Work?

With QuickBooks Payroll, payroll calculations are automated, eliminating the need for you to manually calculate payroll each month. All you need to do is input employee information, establish payment rules, and specify the day when payroll should be processed. The software also provides support for managing independent contractor payroll. While it is optimized for up to 50 employees or contractors, it can handle up to 150.

What sets QuickBooks Payroll Different from other software?

QuickBooks Payroll

For small businesses seeking a quick start, QuickBooks Payroll offers a comprehensive payroll solution. Its standout features include live expert guidance, review and support, 24/7 chat service, and a robust knowledge database, making it ideal even for first-time users.

Pricing Considerations

If budget is not a primary concern, Intuit provides a wide array of products that seamlessly integrate to create a comprehensive business management ecosystem. However, for businesses with budget constraints, exploring more affordable options with comparable functionality is advisable.

What are QuickBooks Payroll features?

User-Friendly Interface

QuickBooks Payroll has been designed with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. From a single dashboard, you can easily access payroll data, a list of banks, and other important information. Adding new employees is as simple as adding a row of spreadsheet data. You can also set up paid time off, maximum allowed overtime, and pay cycles with just a few clicks.

Comprehensive Compliance Support

QuickBooks Payroll assists you in staying compliant with payroll regulations, labor laws, and tax obligations. It allows you to track time, run accurate payroll, fill and submit forms, and file and pay taxes on time. The intuitive interface provides all the necessary information about payroll compliance, exemptions, and more. Partnership for Additional Services

QuickBooks has partnered with reputable providers to offer additional services. For instance, workers’ compensation is powered by AP Intego and health benefits are provided in partnership with SimplyInsured. These partnerships ensure that you receive reliable and professional support for these important aspects of your business.


QuickBooks Payroll offers professional assistance with its premium plan. It has recently incorporated live support into its QuickBooks Online plans. Choosing to skip the 30-day free trial allows you to access one-time live setup support within the first 30 days. A QuickBooks expert will guide you through the entire setup process, including connecting your bank accounts and credit cards, setting up automation, and sharing best practices. If you encounter any issues later, 24/7 chat support is available.

Tax Filing

QuickBooks Payroll is a comprehensive payroll solution that handles all federal and state payroll calculations, filings, and payments. Additionally, QuickBooks Payroll automatically generates year-end filings and all necessary tax forms for regular employees and contractors.

QuickBooks Payroll is available in all 50 states, but only the Core and Premium services include free tax filing for one state. Each additional state costs $12. The QuickBooks Payroll Elite plan offers unlimited multi-state and federal tax filing as part of its services.

Time Tracking

QuickBooks Time, a time tracking app offered by Intuit, comes integrated with QuickBooks Payroll Premium and Elite plans. However, for other payroll plans, you’ll need to incorporate QuickBooks Time or another time-tracking app, such as Facebook’s Time Meter.

Analytics and Reporting

QuickBooks Payroll offers around 20 reports, including the payroll billing summary, payroll deductions and contributions, payroll tax liability, and total pay. The reports can be customized to add or remove specific columns before running them. Marking a report as a favorite allows for easy access in the future. The reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel or printed directly for use.


QuickBooks Payroll offers free mobile applications that can be conveniently accessed on Android, iOS, and iPad devices.

QuickBooks Payroll Pricing & Plans

QuickBooks Payroll offers a variety of pricing plans to meet different business needs. The monthly fees for each plan are as follows:

  • Core + QuickBooks Simple Start: $45 per month plus $5 per employee per month
  • Core + QuickBooks Essentials: $75 per month plus $8 per employee per month
  • Premium + QuickBooks Plus: $125 per month plus $10 per employee per month
Core + QuickBooks Simple StartCore + QuickBooks EssentialsPremium + QuickBooks Plus
Introductory Pricing (First Three Months)$37.50 per month plus $5 per employee per month$50 per month plus $8 per employee per month$80 per month plus $10 per employee per month
Standard Pricing$75 per month plus $5 per employee per month$100 per month plus $5 per employee per month$160 per month plus $5 per employee per month
U.S. PayrollYesYesYes
Global PayrollNoNoNo
OnboardingAutomatic filing for state and federal taxesAutomatic filing for state and federal taxesAutomatic filing for state and federal taxes
Benefits AdministrationYesYesYes
Time TrackingNoYesYes
Expense ManagementNoYesYes
Workflow AutomationYesYesYes
Mobile AppsYesYesYes
Reporting and AnalyticsYesYesYes
Third-Party IntegrationsYesYesYes
Tax Penalty GuaranteeUp to $25KUp to $25KUp to $25K

QuickBooks Payroll Core + Quickbooks Simple Start

This plan is tailored for small teams with basic payroll needs. It offers a range of features, including:

  • Access for a single-user
  • Full-service payroll management
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Electronic filing and payment of 1099 forms
  • Income and expense tracking
  • Sending estimates to clients
  • Tracking sales and calculating sales tax
  • Next-day direct deposit for employees
  • Integration with one sales channel

QuickBooks Payroll Premium + Quickbooks Plus

If you require additional payroll assistance and want to provide your employees with an exceptional experience, consider upgrading to the Elite plan. It includes everything offered by the Premium plan, as well as additional features.

The Elite plan provides the following benefits:

  • Five users
  • Same-day direct deposit
  • Track time on the go
  • Workers’ comp administration
  • Connect all sales channels
  • Track project profitability
  • Track inventory

Additionally, as a QuickBooks Payroll Elite user, you are eligible for tax penalty protection. If you receive a tax notice, you can forward it to QuickBooks within 15 days, and QuickBooks will cover up to $25,000 of any payroll tax penalties incurred.

QuickBooks Payroll Additional Features Worth Noting:

QuickBooks Payroll offers a workforce portal for employees with Intuit accounts. This portal provides convenient access to all payroll data, empowering employees to stay informed and manage their finances effectively.

Workforce Portal

The Intuit workforce portal is a self-service platform that provides employees with access to their paychecks and W-2s. Additionally, employees can use the portal to apply for leave, view leave balances, and enter timesheets. When adding an employee’s name to the payroll database, you can choose whether or not to grant them access to the workforce portal.

Independent Contractor Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll offers independent contractor payroll services. It includes tracking the payment schedule, payment amount, and the reason for each contractor’s payment. The software can automatically import the relevant data and prepare 1099 forms. Users only need to download the forms and email them to the contractors. Please note that this feature is a separate add-on feature in QuickBooks.

QuickBooks vs OnPay

In terms of pricing, QuickBooks Payroll is more affordable than OnPay for businesses with five or more employees. While QuickBooks Payroll solely integrates with QuickBooks Online, OnPay offers integration with multiple accounting software, including QuickBooks Online and Xero. Furthermore, QuickBooks does not automate local tax processing, requiring manual handling. In contrast, OnPay calculates, files, and pays local taxes automatically, reducing manual tasks and ensuring compliance.

Quickbooks vs. Gusto

Users of Gusto can receive same-day direct deposits by signing up for Gusto Wallet. Additionally, Gusto offers a comprehensive suite of integrations with other software systems and also automates the calculation, filing, and payment of local taxes. Unlike Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll offers direct deposit but lacks these additional features.

Quickbooks vs. Paychex Flex

When comparing Paychex Flex and QuickBooks Payroll, the cost difference is noteworthy. Paychex Flex is more affordable, but QuickBooks has unlimited pay runs, contractor-only plans, and same-day deposits.

On the other hand, Paychex Flex offers more extensive support for employee benefits. Additionally, Paychex Flex excels in third-party software integration, while QuickBooks Payroll’s integrations are limited, mainly encompassing Intuit products.


QuickBooks Payroll boasts a clean and intuitive interface, making it easy to use even for first-time users. Upon logging in for the first time, you’ll need to provide basic information such as your organization’s name, address, and whether you’ve run payroll previously.

You can add team members, either employees or independent contractors, manually or import their details from external sources like spreadsheets or previous payroll applications. If adding manually, you can start with just their name and email address. Other details necessary for payroll processing, such as date of joining, hourly rates, and paid time off, can be added later.

QuickBooks Payroll also provides a knowledge database within the app, keeping you updated on the latest compliance requirements. In summary, QuickBooks Payroll is a highly intuitive and user-friendly application that simplifies payroll management for businesses of all sizes.

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