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QuickBooks Payroll: Maximize Business Efficiency

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QuickBooks Payroll: Maximize Business Efficiency
Is Quickbooks Payroll the right solution for you?

Updated: March 17th, 2024

In today’s complex business world, you might find that managing employee pay can be a daunting task; as it is for many organizations. However, innovative solutions such as QuickBooks Payroll, based in Mountain View, California, have emerged to help businesses streamline their payroll process, ensure tax compliance, and efficiently manage employees.

To help you dive deeper and decide whether or not QuickBooks is the right payroll solution for you, we will explore its history, offerings, and myriad features.


Customizable reports and analytics
Transparent pricing
Tax compliance automation
Employee self-service portal
Free guided setup


May be more expensive than others
Mobile apps are missing some desktop features
Steep learning curve for platform
Limited international presence


Quick Stats

Free Trial
30 days
Pricing Option
Monthly flat rate + rate/employee/month
Transparent Pricing
Customer Experience
$22.50/month + $6/employee/month (for the first 3 months)
Trustpilot Score
4.6 out of 5
BBB Rating

An Overview of Quickbooks Payroll

First introduced in 1992 under Intuit Inc., QuickBooks accounting services was launched to help small businesses carry out basic accounting functions such as invoicing and expense management. However, realizing the necessity of having payroll solutions, Intuit launched staff payment functionalities to QuickBooks in the early 2000s, thus introducing QuickBooks Basic Payroll.

Today, they stand as a firm competitor in payroll management, offering you features ranging from automatic tax management and compliance, payroll processing automation, and employee self-service functionalities. Moreover, their software is renowned for its user-friendliness and scalability, accommodating different business sizes and offering you easy setup and management with minimal training. One of QuickBooks Payroll's cutting-edge offerings is their integration capabilities, particularly with other services and products in the QuickBooks ecosystem. For instance, you can seamlessly integrate QuickBooks Payroll with their accounting software, QuickBooks Online, and their payment service, QuickBooks Payments, bringing financial and payroll operations together.

QuickBooks Payroll has been in the market for over two decades and continues to showcase their innovative approaches to meet changing business needs. In fact, their notable performance was recognized by G2, which awarded them several awards in 2023 for leadership and ease of use. However, they are not presently accredited or rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Quickbooks Payroll Service Offerings

QuickBooks Payroll offers a wide range of features, enabling you to manage employee salaries, benefits, and taxes while streamlining your financial and accounting tasks. These solutions were designed to help businesses scale up and efficiently facilitate tedious and time-consuming tasks. 

Payroll software

At the core of their solution lies the drive to deliver efficient management and simplify the process of paying your employees, calculating your taxes, and complying with regulations. Their payroll software, QuickBooks Online Payroll Premium, and Elite, is available for desktop and mobile access, enabling your business and administrators to automate various payroll tasks, saving time and reducing errors. Additionally, given the large QuickBooks ecosystem, QuickBooks Payroll can seamlessly integrate with QuickBooks Accounting, allowing for smooth data flow between your payroll and accounting functions. With the ability to set up and manage your Auto Payroll in QuickBooks Online Payroll Premium and Elite, you can save even more time by having paychecks created automatically each pay period.

They offer different versions and packages, catering to the needs of varying business sizes and criteria while also offering you scalability and flexibility as your business expands. 

Special features and services

  • Payroll processing: It automates many aspects of salary processing, including calculating wages, deducting taxes, and issuing paychecks 
  • Tax filing and compliance: As part of their efforts to provide a great customer experience, they ensure they are always up-to-date with tax laws and regulations. They automatically calculate federal, state, and local payroll tax payments by taking into account the applicable tax rates and regulations, ensuring your business complies with tax laws. They also help you file income taxes accurately and on time
  • Employee self-service tools: The software also provides a self-service portal and an application for employees to access their pay stubs, tax forms, and other payroll-related information. This level of transparency and self-service empowers your employees to step up and manage their own salary responsibilities independently, thus reducing administrative work for you
  • Record keeping and management: They provide detailed employee record-keeping capabilities, including personal information, employment history, tax preferences, and compensation details. The software also enables you to track and manage employee paid time off (PTO) for all leave types and generally track changes to ensure up-to-date employee information. In addition, they also integrate with time tracking systems to capture employee hours worked, facilitating accurate calculations and reducing manual data entry. This is meant to ensure you benefit from efficient payroll management and reduce potential errors
  • Employee benefits: Your business can track and manage employee benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and other deductions
  • Reporting and analytics: Their wide range of reports provides your business with valuable insights into staff payment data, compliance requirements, and labor costs. You can output summaries or detailed reports depending on your needs. In addition, the reporting system also offers analytics on trends and costs, enabling you to efficiently monitor expenses and make data-driven decisions. Another major strength of the software’s reporting is the ability to build customizable reports, offering you the chance to build dashboards with relevant information
  • Mobile app: While you may be able to access some features on a mobile browser, their app, Quickbooks Workforce, lets you manage core business tasks from anywhere, available for iOS and Android phones. You can enter transactions, record expenses, send invoices, and even run reports directly from your phone or tablet. Your data automatically backs up to the cloud and syncs across all your devices, making it easy to work on the go. Keep in mind, however, that the mobile phone app is optimized for the Simple Start plan, while higher-tier plans offer more features primarily accessible on the desktop version
  • Customer support: QuickBooks provides dedicated customer support for their services, offering assistance with payroll setup, troubleshooting, and general inquiries

Quickbooks Payroll Pricing & Plans

They offer different pricing plans that are tailored to a variety of business sizes. Their pricing model is based on a monthly flat rate plus a fixed fee for each employee per month. Each bundle comes with different features, and you are advised to dig deep and ask the right questions before committing to a monthly plan. It's important to note that certain features may not be available on all plans and may incur additional costs.

They offer a variety of monthly plans, with pricing based on your number of employees and the features you need. You can make use of their free 30-day trial and get 50% off the list price for the first three months, which is available for all plans, but this may only be available for a limited time. The payroll plans are Basic, Enhanced, and Full Service. Each plan offers different subscription benefits, including automatic tax calculations, direct deposit, and tax form filing.

  • QuickBooks Core Payroll: The plan costs $22.50 per month for the first three months, then $45 per month, plus $6 per employee per month. It offers basic processing, tax services and filing, and payment, direct deposit, and W-2/1099 processing
  • QuickBooks Premium Payroll: This costs $40 per month for the first three months, then $80 per month, plus $8 per employee per month. It includes all the features of the Core plan, plus same-day direct deposit, expert product support, and the ability to track time
  • QuickBooks Elite Payroll: This costs $62.50 per month for the first three months, then $125 per month, plus $10 per employee per month. It includes all the features of the Premium plan, plus expert setup, 24/7 expert support, tax penalty protection, and HR support

If you want to bundle employee wages with bookkeeping, they also offer the following plans:

  • Payroll Core + Simple Start: This plan is for businesses that pay employees regularly and want basic accounting tools. It costs $75 per month, or $37.50 for the first three months, plus $6 per employee per month. Among its many features, it includes automated taxes and forms, auto payroll, 1099 e-file & pay, and expert product support
  • Payroll Core + Essentials: This plan is for businesses that want the previous plan's money movement services but also want to track billable hours and pay bills on top of paying employees. It costs $105 per month, or $52.50 for the first three months, plus $6 per employee per month
  • Payroll Premium + Plus: This plan is for businesses that want to pay their employees, get HR & benefits, and track projects or products. It costs $170 per month plus $8 per employee per month. This plan includes everything in Payroll Core + Essentials, plus features that help with managing your HR tasks, offering health benefits to your team, and tracking projects or products

All of these plans include automated taxes & forms, auto payroll, 1099 e-file & pay, sales and sales tax tracking, and expert product support. Some plans also include next-day direct deposit, an employee portal, health benefits for your team, 401(k) plans, workers' comp administration, and more. However, incorporating certain features may lead to additional fees.

If you already have a Quickbooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online subscription, you can activate payroll within them. Just sign in and add Payroll or call them to activate.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Quickbooks Payroll

Just like with any software, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to choosing this provider. 


Some of their benefits include: 

  • Customizable reports and analytics: Their software enables users to customize reports and analytics, empowering businesses to gain insights into data, track expenses, and make data-driven decisions and providing a competitive advantage in payroll management
  • Transparent pricing: The pricing model on their website is quite direct and clearly states the features you would get in each bundle
  • Tax compliance automation: Their automated tax compliance features differentiate them from competitors by simplifying your income tax calculations, filings, and reporting, ensuring accuracy and compliance with tax laws
  • Employee self-service portal: The online services available in the self-service portal may enhance your employees' experience and satisfaction while saving you some administrative time and hassle
  • Free trial: Their free trial enables you to test out the platform and make an informed decision about whether to continue using the software, starting at the date of enrollment. Then, you will have the chance to decide whether or not you want to continue with their service
  • Free guided setup: Their website highlights that there is a free guided setup, indicating that they provide support to their customers from the get-go and every step of the way

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, they also provide some unique selling points, such as:

  • Scalability: While the software first started out primarily for small businesses, it was later scaled up and became available for large companies as well. This ensures that their features will suit your needs even as your business grows and expands
  • Added HR benefits: When paying for a premium or elite package, HR benefits will become available to you, providing support and personal advisory along with their robust perks


You might not choose their software and services for the following reasons:

  • May be pricier than competitors: While they may strive to have competitive pricing, they may be considered pricier than competitors, especially for companies with a high employee count. Additional service fees may also arise for add-on features
  • Steep learning curve for platform: Despite their generally user-friendly interface, there are some online reports that mastering the platform can be difficult; especially for those with no accounting background
  • Limited international presence: As of writing, their services are only available in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia

The Quickbooks Payroll User Experience

When it comes to customer feedback and reviews, opinions often vary. While there is no significant presence for QuickBooks Payroll on BBB, both G2 and Trustpilot gave it high ratings of 4 and 4.6 out of 5, respectively. Many of these reviews highlighted the software's ease of use and its variety of features. 

Many customers have praised the software’s user-friendly interface and the convenience that comes with their mobile application. In addition, customers highlight the advantages of integrating with other QuickBooks products, thereby streamlining accounting processes and access to data. The software also received praise for its range of features, including salary management, tax automation, and HR benefits.

On the other hand, some users expressed concerns about the company's pricing, finding costs higher compared to competitors, especially for large businesses. Moreover, while many highlighted that the software is easy to use, others noted that there is a substantial learning curve for them to master its many features. Limited customization options, software glitches, and longer response times for customer support during peak hours have also resulted in negative feedback. Finally, even though they offer 24/7 premium support as part of their premium and elite packages, several reviews highlighted that customer support is not especially efficient or responsive. 

Nonetheless, customers in general are happy with their service, and its convenience and robust functionality play a key role in their popularity.

Quickbooks Payroll Support & Resources

They offer their users several different ways to reach support. You can reach them at 1-833-277-9857 or via social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter). You may also access other support options by logging in to your account. If you prefer to troubleshoot on your own, they have online resources available in the form of FAQs, articles, and videos. 


QuickBooks Payroll is a software with a long presence in the market and decades of experience in the world of finance and accounting. Their innovation, automation, and scalability give them a competitive edge in the market, especially since their many advantages outweigh their drawbacks. Their software's strengths lie in automating your tax compliance, customizing your reporting, and integrating with QuickBooks Accounting to streamline your financial management needs. Their personalized HR advisory feature also makes them a great option. 

On the other hand, the downside of using their services is that they can be expensive compared to competitors. They also may present you with a steep learning curve, and you may not fit the eligibility criteria if you operate abroad as they do not yet have an international presence. Moreover, some have a few significant software glitches that could arise occasionally, which you should consider. 

However, businesses have different needs, and considering QuickBooks as your payroll provider could be your key to well-automated and hassle-free payroll management. To help you make a more informed decision, check our reviews of the top providers, and use our comparison tool to pit companies against each other. You may also refer to our blog page, with many useful articles that can help you cut through the jargon. Deciding on a provider should not be a hard task once you have all pertinent information at your fingertips!

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