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QuickBooks Payroll Review | Best Payroll Services
QuickBooks Payroll Review | Best Payroll Services
September 11, 2021 / Sarah Pritzker
QuickBooks Payroll Review | Best Payroll Services
September 11, 2021 / Sarah Pritzker
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QuickBooks is one of the leading providers of accounting software, so it makes sense to integrate that with their powerful payroll services platform. QuickBooks payroll provides powerful payroll tools like state and federal tax compliance, benefits management, automated payroll, and workers compensation so that you can keep track of everything in one place.


  • Easy to get started with plenty of setup support
  • Fast, intuitive, automated payroll processing


  • Very limited HR resources
  • No benefits management

Payroll Services

QuickBooks brings you fast and streamlined payroll management that you can run and complete in as little as 5 minutes. QuickBooks experts help you set up your payroll system. You can choose the frequency for running payroll so that payments go at your pace – weekly, biweekly, monthly, or whenever suits you. You can even pay different employees on different payment cycles through the same platform. You can still run an extra payroll cycle whenever you’d like, without disrupting your regular payments, in order to allow for bonuses or overtime. If you need to handle payments to contractors and freelancers, you can pay for the 1099 contractor forms and services add-on.

Integrated time tracking saves you time on manual employee hours entry. The QuickBooks system tracks payroll taxes, calculates salaries, and makes employee deductions for pre-tax plans like IRAs, 401(k)s, and HSAs automatically so that you don’t have to worry about compliance.

HR Resources

QuickBooks helps with mandated federal new hire reporting, but apart from that, it offers very few HR tools. There’s a paid add-on for workers compensation management and another one for labor law posters compliance, but that’s as far as it goes. If you need a full HR platform, you’ll need to turn to a different solution.

Benefits Management

One of the areas in which QuickBooks falls short is benefits management. QuickBooks will calculate and deduct employee and employer contributions to benefits plans like retirement plans, health savings plans, and health insurance, but it doesn’t manage the benefits for you or offer a marketplace of benefits providers. That’s something that you’ll still have to sort out for yourself, and then just enter the deductions information into the QuickBooks payroll system.

Payment Options

QuickBooks makes sure that all your employees get paid on time with fast direct deposit payments. There's no need to be concerned about tying up capital for days while payments go through – with QuickBooks, your direct deposit payment is processed within 24 hours, or on the same day if you upgrade to the Full-Service plan. QuickBooks doesn’t offer check stuffing or payment cards, though, only direct deposit.

Tax Compliance

Depending on the plan you choose, you can either get assistance doing your state and federal taxes from the QuickBooks team, or you can hand the task over completely and leave it to QuickBooks to manage them for you. The platform calculates, deducts, files, and pays your payroll taxes on time, and there's even a penalty-free guarantee – if there’s an error in your tax filing, QuickBooks will pay the penalty for you. QuickBooks also completes, files, and mails your W2 forms for you.

Other Features

  • Unlimited payroll cycles without extra charge
  • Self-service employee portal
  • Automated tax reporting
  • Fast salary payments by direct deposit
  • Detailed payroll reports
  • Collaboration tools and user permissions, so you can work together with team members and accountants
  • Mobile app
  • Integrated time tracking


QuickBooks has a simple and refreshingly transparent pricing structure with just 2 pricing plans. You can choose between the Self-service or the Full-service pan. Both of them offer automated payroll management, direct deposit payments, tax compliance assistance, and unlimited payroll, but the Full-Service plan adds faster payments, assisted setup, and automated filing for your payroll taxes.

You can take advantage of a special offer when you buy QuickBooks Payroll together with QuickBooks accounting software, or you can buy Payroll services as an add-on to your existing QuickBooks subscription. There's also a 30-day free trial so that you can see if it's suitable for your business before you commit.

Self-service Full service
Price per month $10.50 $24
Price per employee $4/month $4/month
Features Payroll calculations,Direct deposit,Assistance with payroll taxes Faster payments,Assisted setup,Automated payroll tax filing

Additionally, you can choose to pay for extra add-on services like employee time tracking, workers’ compensation payments, 1099 contractor payroll management, labor law posters, and more.

Ease of Use

QuickBooks is very easy to use and easy to get used to. You'll find plenty of video tutorials which help guide you through the setup process and deal with common challenges when you first start using the software. The videos make it easy for new users to understand the process.

QuickBooks has a mobile app for administrators, so you can run payroll tasks wherever you are. There’s also a mobile employee portal for employees to check up on recent payments, request time off, and monitor their benefits and deductions without needing to turn to HR managers. The only area where QuickBooks could improve their usability would be by offering more reports on the backend.

Customer Support

QuickBooks aims to help you with your problem as fast as possible, with a comprehensive database of FAQs and video tutorials to help you troubleshoot. If you need more help, you can search in the active and lively QuickBooks user forum, or post your own question so that other QuickBooks users can share their expertise. You’ll need to login to your account to access user help, and although QuickBooks does have responsive customer support agents, you have to jump through a lot of hoops before you finally get to them.

Bottom Line

QuickBooks offers useful payroll services that connect smoothly with the rest of the QuickBooks accounting software. Small businesses will find the fast setup, automated payroll, and reliable tax compliance services to be very useful and effective, although it’s not a powerful enough solution for large corporations. Integrated time-tracking and the penalty-free guarantee make it valuable, but the lack of advanced HR resources and benefits management could be a big lack for medium-sized companies.

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By Sarah Pritzker
Sarah Pritzker is a professional writer who loves scouring the web looking for the coolest products and services at the best prices. Sarah writes for Sarah has lived and traveled all over the world, but has finally settled down with her family in the Middle East - and yes, she misses winter!