QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Pricing And Features

As an employee, the payroll process seems like a piece of cake. You wait until every second Friday, grab your paycheck deposit, and that’s it! But from the employer’s perspective, payroll is much more complicated.

More goes into payroll than meets the eye, like making sure your company is set up for payroll taxes, properly recording all of your employee’s tax information, and staying on top of paydays. Luckily, accounting software programs like QuickBooks offer payroll features and provide plenty of resources to help you learn how payroll works and what your payroll obligations are.

This post will cover the cost and features of each QuickBooks payroll plan and guide you through how to choose which plan is right for your business.

QuickBooks Payroll Plans & Pricing

Looking into purchasing QuickBooks Payroll? QuickBooks Desktop offer three payroll plans: Basic, Enhanced, and Assisted. Each option varies by features, automations, and price.

Every QuickBooks Desktop payroll option is compatible with QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Desktop Premier, and QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise. (If you use the Gold or Platinum version of QuickBooks Enterprise, payroll is already included in your subscription).

Let’s break it down.

Basic

QuickBooks Basic Payroll costs $29/mo + $2/per employee (though Intuit usually offers a discount for QuickBooks payroll). This is the smallest payroll plan. With QuickBooks Basic Payroll, you can process your payroll and pay employees by check or direct deposit.

Basic Payroll also includes:

  • Instant paychecks
  • Pay W-2 employees
  • Pay 1099 employees
  • Free direct deposit
  • Payroll support

The one drawback of Basic payroll is that it does not include any of your payroll tax forms. You’d have to buy tax forms separately and file them on your own.

Enhanced

QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll costs $45/mo +$2/mo per employee (though Intuit usually offers a discount for QuickBooks payroll). Enhanced payroll is QuickBooks Desktop’s do-it-yourself payroll option. You can process your payroll and file your taxes directly through QuickBooks.

Enhanced Payroll includes:

  • Instant paychecks
  • Pay W-2 employees
  • Pay 1099 employees
  • Free direct deposit
  • E-filing for W-2’s
  • Free tax forms
  • Payroll support

Assisted

QuickBooks Assisted Payroll costs $109/mo + $2/per employee (though Intuit usually offers a discount for QuickBooks payroll). This plan is aptly named as QuickBooks processes your payroll for you and automatically files your payroll taxes. QuickBooks Desktop Assisted handles the payroll set up for you as well.

Full-Service Payroll includes:

  • Instant paychecks
  • Pay W-2 employees
  • Pay 1099 employees
  • Free direct deposit
  • Automatic tax filing
  • Free tax forms
  • No tax penalties
  • Free year-end forms
  • Automatic payroll setup
  • Payroll support

With this plan, all you have to do is make sure your employee’s hours are entered into QuickBooks and the rest is taken care of for you.

Which QuickBooks Payroll Plan Is Right For Me?

When it comes to choosing the best QuickBooks Desktop Payroll plan, it ultimately comes down to how much you can afford and how much work you want to do personally.

To help you determine which QuickBooks payroll plan is best, here’s a side-by-side comparison of all three QuickBooks payroll plans:

Basic Enhanced Full-Service
Pricing $29/mo $45/mo $109/mo
Payroll Support ✓ ✓ ✓
Payroll Processing ✓ ✓ ✓
Payroll Checks ✓ ✓ ✓
Direct Deposit ✓ ✓ ✓
W-2 Employees ✓ ✓ ✓
1099 Employees ✓ ✓ ✓
Tax Forms ✘ ✓ ✓
E-filing ✘ ✓ ✓
Automatic Payroll Processing ✘ ✘ ✓
Automatic E-Filing ✘ ✘ ✓
Payroll Setup ✘ ✘ ✓
Year-End Forms ✘ ✘ ✓

If you are comfortable running payroll and handling taxes yourself, the Basic or Enhanced plan might be best. If you don’t feel good about running payroll yourself or don’t have enough time to do so, the Assisted plan might be a better choice.

Make sure to check your budget and see which payroll plan you can afford as well. If you are a small startup with a tight budget, you might have to stick with the Basic plan and spend some time learning how to run payroll. If this is the case, don’t worry. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about processing payroll in the rest of this post.

Where To Buy QuickBooks Payroll

There are a few ways to purchase QuickBooks Desktop Payroll: on Intuit’s site or through one of QuickBooks’ resellers.

Office supply stores, like Staples or Office Max, often sell the software. Retail stores like Walmart and Best Buy — and even online giants like Amazon — also carry QuickBooks Payroll software. Often, the software is bundled with the purchase of QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Desktop Premier, or QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise.

If you are a QuickBooks Enterprise Gold or Platinum user, then your QuickBooks subscription already comes with payroll support.

QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Troubleshooting & Support

Every QuickBooks Desktop payroll plan comes with tech support at no additional cost. When you sign up for payroll, QuickBooks sends you an email containing several of the main support options. However, there are a few additional support options.

Here are all of the ways you can contact QuickBooks Payroll Support:

  • Phone: Call the QuickBooks Payroll phone support number at (800) 450-8459.
  • Payroll Checklist: QuickBooks created a payroll setup checklist to help you gather all of the information you need to set up payroll before you begin the process.
  • Payroll Guide: There is also a QuickBooks Payroll Getting Started Guide that covers everything you need to know about setting up payroll, running payroll, understanding your payroll tax obligations, and provides additional employer resources.
  • Payroll New Customer Center: I highly recommend taking a look at this resource before setting up your QuickBooks Payroll, even if you aren’t new to payroll. First-time payroll software users and users mitigating from other software can both benefit from the guides, videos, and other resources in the Payroll New Customer Center. You’ll also find FAQs and help articles.
  • Contact Form: Within the Payroll New Customer Center there’s a contact option where you can search existing resources for answers to your question or problem. If the answers are inadequate, you’ll can then contact support directly.
  • Help Centers: There is a Basic and Enhanced payroll help center and an Assisted payroll help center. Both features dozens of how-to articles with detailed instructions. The help centers also help troubleshoot issues with QuickBooks Payroll.  Here’s are some common QuickBooks payroll problems and how to resolve them.
  • QuickBooks Community: There is also a QuickBooks Community where users can ask questions and receive answers from other users and QuickBooks’ own team. This is a good spot to look if you’re having issues with QuickBooks Payroll, as someone may have had the same issue before.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what each payroll plan is capable of and exactly how much each plan costs, you can make an informed decision on which QuickBooks payroll plan is right for you. If you still aren’t sure, take advantage of the free 30-day payroll trial to see if QB payroll is right for your business.

If you do decide to use QuickBooks, be sure to check out our QuickBooks Desktop Pro 101 series to learn how to set up QuickBooks payroll, run payroll, use direct deposit, and more.

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