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QuickBooks Payroll Services-Which Option is Right for You?

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Figuring out which QuickBooks Payroll option is right for your business can be a pretty daunting task;  especially with all of the payroll options that are now available.

changing employee wage rates mid-week in QuickBooksWe all know one thing – if you have employees, you have to pay them!  That’s simple.

Determining which QuickBooks Payroll option is the right solution for your company is a different story though – let’s look at the options available:

Intuit Online Payroll – internet based and totally removed from your QuickBooks desktop company data file.  It comes in two versions – Basic and Plus.

  • Basic includes the ability to process an unlimited number of payrolls each month, includes free direct deposit or allows you to print checks and check stubs on your own printer – directly from the on-line system; electronic tax payments, quarterly and year-end tax filings – including W-2’s.  Pricing starts at $25.00 per month for a single employee, additional employees at $1.50 each, and if you file taxes in more than one state, each additional state is $12.00 per month.
  • Plus includes all of the above plus E-File & Pay is available for federal and most state forms and taxes.  When E-File is not available in a state; signature ready forms or worksheets are available.  Pricing starts at $39.00 per month for a single employee, additional employees at $1.50 each, and if you file taxes in more than one state, each additional state is $12.00 per month.

Basic Payroll – all of your payroll data lives in your QuickBooks file, which is extremely important if you want good job costing.  It comes in two versions – Up to 3 employees and Unlimited Employees.  Basic payroll does not provide the ability to generate quarterly and year-end tax filings – including W-2’s.  You’ll either need to do these manually or work with an accountant or bookkeeper.

  • Up to 3 employees allows you to create paychecks for up to 3 employees on a schedule of your choosing (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) and provides instant access to the most current federal and state payroll tax updates.  Current pricing is $129.00 per year and beginning August 23, 2010 it will be $124.00.
  • Unlimited employees allows you to create paychecks for an unlimited amount of employees on a schedule of your choosing (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) and provides instant access to the most current federal and state payroll tax updates.  Current pricing is $229.00 and beginning August 23, 2010 it will be $249.00.

Enhanced Payroll – all of your payroll data lives in your QuickBooks file, which is extremely important if you want good job costing without duplicate data entry.  It comes in two versions – Up to 3 employees and Unlimited Employees.

  • Up to 3 employees allows you to create paycheck for up to 3 employees on a schedule of your choosing (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.), provides instant access to the most current federal and state payroll tax laws via the internet, track when payroll tax payments are due, complete federal and most state payroll tax forms – including W-2’s and 1099’s, file federal and state payroll tax forms electronically at no additional costs.  Current pricing is $249.00 per year; however, beginning August 23, 2010 the price will be $274.00.
  • Unlimited employees allows you to create paychecks for an unlimited amount of employees on a schedule of your choosing (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.), provides instant access to the most current federal and state payroll tax laws via the internet, track when payroll tax payments are due, complete federal and most state payroll tax forms – including W-2’s and 1099’s, file federal and state payroll tax forms electronically at no additional costs.  Current pricing is $349.00 per year; however, beginning August 23, 2010 the price will be $374.00.

Assisted Payroll provides the best of both worlds and includes the convenience of having all of your payroll data living in your QuickBooks company file while having someone else (Intuit) be responsible for paying your taxes and filing your tax returns – including W-2’s.  It comes in two versions – Assisted and Assisted Plus.

  • Assisted your payroll is integrated inside of your QuickBooks company data file, you choose when you want to pay your employees (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.), you enter your employees time against various jobs, submit your payroll data to Intuit and they are responsible for paying your taxes, filing your tax returns, and completing your W-2’s (for an additional fee.)  Current pricing begins at $60.00 per month; however, as of August 23, 2010 it will begin at $69.00 per month.
  • Assisted Plus includes all of the features of Assisted payroll and also includes direct deposit (free of charge), payroll for additional states (free of charge), W-2 processing at no additional charge.  Current pricing begins at $115.00 per month; however, beginning August 23, 2010 it will increase to $135.00 per month.

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About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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