12 Steps to Manual Payroll in QuickBooks



Comments (18)

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I think they've changed...

We're just moving to QB 2016 and will be turning on the full payroll service in January. The amount for the enhanced service is $22.75 + 2 per employee if billed annually, which is about 1100 a year. I know that seems like a lot, but we're currently paying ADP more than twice that. They bill us every pay period about $130-140! And that doesn't even include processing W2's at the end of the year. We're using the manual portion of payroll in QB right now, and so far so good.

Bridgett 11 days ago

Thank you so much!

I was at the end of my rope! I am the bookkeeper for my church, and manual payroll calculations have served us well for years. We recently made the decision to change our fiscal year, so I set up a new company to use going forward. I exported/imported the chart of accounts and vendors, but the whole payroll section had me stumped! I could not see the Payroll Item List, and the entire Employee section on my new home page was blank. I checked everything I could think of between the old and new companies, and everything matched. I didn't know where else to look, so you can imagine how relieved I was to find this article! The directions matched word for word, and it worked! I have what I need to continue. Thank you for your time in making these steps known and available to the user community!

Elaine more than 1 year ago


Thanks for the information since QB went to the cloud it is ridiculously expensive!

Christy more than 1 year ago

Manually Calculate in Excel, suggestions

Hi, thanks for this article. I have been using Excel for years to manually calculate my taxes, which I then enter into QB. Do you have any suggestions for existing free Excel payroll calculator templates or something similar? My spreadsheet isn't the most efficient, but it does calculate everything I need as well as create reports for monthly liability taxes, 941 quarterly taxes and w-2's (I use these reports to compare to QB to make sure that I haven't missed anything). Thanks again!

Julia more than 1 year ago

thank you for this!

We upgraded Quickbooks and suddenly our manual payroll was gone. Thank you for this article. There was no need to pay for payroll. It's a shame that Quickbooks doesn't make this easier to turn on and off.

Sarah more than 1 year ago

QuickBooks Payroll

I was glad to come across this article, especially since I just received notice that my payroll tax subscription has gone up this year to $469!! I do payroll for a church with only 3 employees. This is such a ripoff. Neither my church nor myself can continue to pay such prices. I will be trying out manual payroll thanks to this article.

Evelyn Postell more than 2 years ago

Quickbooks Payroll

I am very disappointed with the purchase of Quickbooks. I previously made my own spreadsheets for payroll. I do not want the service just a way to generate more concise reports. Impossible with Quickbooks. This program is out to punish the one who does not purchase the service. It doesn't work with manually entering payroll. I have spent an entire day wasting my time trying to get it to work - I am reverting back to my homemade spread sheets - easier, accurate, and I can generate what I want for a report. Sorry Quickbooks but you are not the program you think you are cracked up to be - again money is the game.

Jane more than 2 years ago

Quickbooks Payroll

Biggest Scam out there!! Charging for services that people don't use all of and not giving them any other options!! I love how you pay $350 a year and then they are adding on monthly fees for services you don't use!!

Jessica more than 2 years ago

Manual Payroll

Unfortunately I have the same problem as the previous person. When I go to Help and type Manual Payroll then select "Calculating payroll taxes manually (without a subscription to QuickBooks Payroll)," there is no option on the end of the displayed information, where I can find a one sentence paragraph that reads “Set your company file to use the manual payroll calculations setting.” I use to have Payroll for 2012 but did it manually in Excel for 2013, then transfer the info to QuickBooks Premier. I did go to Preferences and turned on No Payroll feature. By the way this is Canadian Payroll.
I set up 2 Categories:
1. Payroll Liability with sub categories: CPP & EI for company and employee and federal tax.
2. Payroll Expenses with sub categories: CPP & EI for company, Hourly Wage and VacPay Accrued Expense
Any comment will help. Thanks

Pola more than 2 years ago

I wish I had an answer.....

This may be one of the differences between the Canadian version of QuickBooks and the US version, and I simply don't have a way of testing that since I have been unable, at least in past years, to have been unable to purchase a QBPA membership in Canada to obtain the products (for significantly less there than they charge us here).

insightfulaccountant.com more than 2 years ago

Manual Payroll

Do you have to have a lapsed/non active subscription before you get the option to switch to manual payroll? My sub is showing as still active, and when following step 1&2 above, do not get the "Calculating payroll taxes manually (without a subscription to QuickBooks Payroll)." option!

Dan more than 3 years ago

You can't have both a payroll subscription and manual payroll.

The two payroll configurations are 'exclusive' of each other.

insightfulaccountant.com more than 3 years ago

renew licence info

I turned off the payroll subscription but it would only stay off if I clicked on renew licence information, or sync licence information.

Murray more than 1 year ago

Manual Payroll

I had to turn on Full Payoll in the Preferences before I could test this method in QB2013. Please comment.

Leslie Simmons more than 3 years ago

You are correct--

You must have payroll turned on under preferences to make use of any payroll functionality in QuickBooks. Because one consideration in writing this article at this time had to deal with recent price increases in QB Payroll products, we felt advising our readers of the fact that 'manual payroll' is still an alternative and most of them would already have payroll preferences activated.

Thanks for reading Intuitive Accountant, and thanks for your comment !


insightfulaccountant.com more than 3 years ago

manual payroll alternative

Thanks for the timely article. I had forgotten about manual payroll as an option. Payroll is scary enough to most of my clients here in the DC area and then being priced out of Enhanced Payroll will really exacerbate their frustration. Being able to offer an alternative to my clients - even tho its a step backwards in efficiency- is a good tool to have 'in my pocket.'

Leslie Simmons more than 3 years ago

One other alternative is to buy Enhanced Payroll free after rebate at Staples through 8/17

Another solution for businesses with 1-3 employees (which is a majority of my clients in Seattle that I set up, review, and train one-on-one including both Intuit and manual payroll) would be to buy Intuit's QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll (1 year subscription) at Staples, free after rebate through 08/17/13. You are responsible for any use or sales taxes. You can even order it online at http://t.co/NFn63jVyAq . Staples also has a rewards program that gives you 5% back.

Keith Gormezano more than 3 years ago

Thanks for posting the 'sale information'...

Keith - thanks for posting about the 'sale' currently going on at Staples (I must admit I had not seen it). Of course when the sale is over, there will still be QB users looking for an alternative to buying a subscription, and that is where 'manual payroll' may come in for some users.

Thanks again for reading "Intuitive Accountant"


insightfulaccountant.com more than 3 years ago

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