3 Common QuickBooks Payroll Questions

QuickBooks payroll can feel very complicated, especially to new users. Here are 3 of the most common QuickBooks Payroll questions that I’m asked and that I see on the Inuit Community forums.

Are you new to doing payroll in QuickBooks? Perhaps you’ve switched to QuickBooks from another accounting program or payroll processing method and are just feeling totally overwhelmed. Don’t feel alone, here are 3 of the most commonly asked questions about doing payroll in QuickBooks and information on how to resolve them.

1.  How do I assign a rate of pay to an employee?

To assign a rate of pay to an employee, in QuickBooks go to the Employee Center -> select the Employee -> click the Edit Employee button -> from the Change Tabs drop down menu, choose Payroll and Compensation Info -> the Earnings section should contain the Payroll Item Name(s) that you will be using to pay this employee and the Hourly/Annual Rate column should contain his or her rate of pay when working under that Payroll Item.

2.  I entered employee hours in the time sheet, but when I process payroll that information didn’t come over; how do I fix that?

This usually happens when you haven’t checked the “Use time data to create paychecks” option in each employee’s record. Go to the Employee Center -> click on the Employees tab -> double-click on the name of one of your employees to Edit their record (OR single-click to select and click the Edit button) -> switch to the Payroll & Compensation Info tab -> between the Earnings and Additions, Deductions and Company Contributions boxes there is a checkbox for “Use time data to create paychecks” -> make sure this is checked (selected). See screenshot below.


You’ll need to repeat this for each existing employee.

You can set this option to be the “default” for all new employees that you hire, but first you’ll need to be logged into QuickBooks in single-user mode and be logged in as the Administrator. Then from the Edit menu -> choose Preferences -> Payroll & Employees -> Company Preferences tab -> click the Employee Defaults button -> and check that same option here.

3.  How do I pay employee’s two different rates of pay, without having to manually change hours and payrates when I create paychecks?

Create an additional payroll wage item, giving it a new name. For example if your employees operate both a Backhoe and a Crane – create payroll wage items with those actual names – edit their employee records -> in the Earnings section, click into the Item name column -> select each payroll item individually -> in the Hourly/Annual Rate column enter the proper wage rate.

When you enter time in the employee timesheets, select the proper payroll wage item and it will automatically pull in the appropriate rate when you create your paychecks.


Have a question about QuickBooks payroll and/or certified payroll and prevailing wage?  Feel free to contact me.


© 2012, Nancy Smyth. All rights reserved.

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