Preparing payroll in any small business can be a daunting task. Whether you have one employee or 20 employees, the federal and state requirements are often the same! However, by using the payroll feature in QuickBooks 2015, you can master efficient techniques for creating checks, paying taxes, and generating forms and reports quickly and easily.
And once you've mastered the basics, you'll gain troubleshooting tips and solutions to help you solve common problems and mistakes to simplify the whole payroll process. By the end of the course, you'll be ready to process payroll in QuickBooks and solve many of the problems that can pop up along the way.
The payroll process is much more than just printing paychecks. In fact, before you even attempt to process payroll in QuickBooks, you need to have a good understanding of tax withholding requirements and reporting deadlines, among other things. In this first lesson, you'll learn where to find the information you need to comply with both federal and state payroll requirements, how to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and how to use government websites to get answers to any payroll questions. You'll even find out how to properly classify workers as employees or independent contractors.
One of the key advantages of processing payroll in QuickBooks is that the program automatically calculates and fills in federal and state tax withholdings on each paycheck. Subscribing to one of Intuit's payroll services ensures that you always have the most up-to-date tables and forms. This lesson will identify the differences between Intuit's payroll services so that you can choose the best payroll service for your situation. It will also talk about the support resources available from both Intuit's website and other professionals who use the product.
In this lesson, you'll go through a checklist of the information you'll need to gather and enter into your QuickBooks file before creating paychecks for your employees. You'll also learn how to utilize the Payroll Preferences feature in QuickBooks to customize the program to your business situation. Finally, it will go over why Payroll Items are so important to QuickBooks and how you can use these items to track every paycheck addition or deduction.
Making a simple mistake, like entering an incorrect allowance for an employee's federal tax withholding, will result in an incorrect paycheck. In this lesson, you'll learn how to avoid these kinds of mistakes by carefully entering your employees' information from the paperwork you gathered in the previous three lessons. The lesson will walk you through how to enter personal information, such as addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers. Finally, you'll find out how to create defined fields and enter tax withholding amounts and employee sick and vacation time.
If you decide to start producing paychecks in QuickBooks midyear, you'll need to enter some year-to-date information to let QuickBooks know what payroll transactions have transpired since the beginning of the year. In this lesson, you'll learn about entering year-to-date payroll information and using the QuickBooks year-to-date wizard to summarize each employee's information. In addition, you'll find out how to summarize and enter the tax liabilities you already paid earlier in the year and how to generate certain payroll reports to check your data entry.
If you have employees who are assigned to work on specific projects and you need to track how much time they spend on those projects, then QuickBooks has some options for you. In this lesson, you'll discover how to enter and track employee time in QuickBooks. You'll see how to enter employee time using either the Stopwatch, Timer program, or the Weekly/Single Activity Timesheets. Depending on your situation, one of these methods will be most effective for entering and reporting employee time data. You'll also learn how to assign employee time to the jobs you've created in QuickBooks so that you can produce valuable job costing reports.
Now that you've completed the payroll setup process, you'll learn how to create a new paycheck for an employee using a Payroll Schedule. You'll also learn how to create paychecks using information entered on a time activity form, and how to review, correct, and, if necessary, void or delete a paycheck. Additionally, if you have to provide paper copies of a paycheck or pay stub, you'll find out how to review them for accuracy and then print them.
Every company that has employees is responsible for certain payroll liabilities. Luckily, QuickBooks has a Scheduled Payments feature that allows you to create reminders of when to pay these liabilities, and that's what you'll explore in this lesson. You'll learn how to e-file liability checks and create printed liability checks that include assessed penalties. Since you don't always pay Payroll liabilities to governmental agencies, you'll also find out how to use the payroll feature to track and pay other payroll items, such as health insurance premiums and 401(k) contributions. By the end of this lesson, you'll understand how to adjust the balances due for each payroll tax item and record a refund of payroll taxes.
No payroll process is complete until you've created paychecks and paid tax liabilities. Along with paying your liabilities, you must prepare and file important quarterly and annual reports with the government. To get a handle on this crucial responsibility, you'll learn QuickBooks's easy-to-follow steps for generating and revising Federal Forms 941 and 940. To make sure your information is accurate, the lesson will also cover how to review your entries and compare them to the payroll data in your QuickBooks company file.
In this lesson, you'll explore one of the more powerful features of the payroll process in QuickBooks: the reporting feature. After completing this lesson, you'll know how to access and generate several of the preformatted payroll reports in QuickBooks. To help you avoid costly errors, you'll learn how to use these reports to review payroll data, identify errors, and even forecast future payroll obligations.
Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." That saying still holds true! So to help you with the inevitable task of paying taxes, QuickBooks gives you the ability to generate Forms W-2 and W-3. The government requires employers to submit these summary reports to each employee and to the Social Security Administration. You'll also need to submit Forms 1099 to your independent contractors. In this lesson, not only will you see how to create these forms, but also you'll discover the best methods for reviewing them and making any necessary adjustments. Finally, the lesson will cover how to properly align the forms so that the payroll information shows up in the right places when you print them.
The last lesson will help you avoid and correct the most common mistakes QuickBooks users make when processing payroll. For instance, you'll learn what to do if too many payroll accounts were created in the Chart of Accounts. You'll also find out what steps to take if you didn't use the Scheduled Payments or Pay Liabilities windows correctly. You'll even learn the proper way to enter and track employee loans. At the end of the day, you'll be ready to process payroll in QuickBooks and solve many of the problems that can pop up along the way.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
Instructional Material Requirements:
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
Scott Paxton is a Certified Public Accountant and holds master's degrees in business administration and accounting. His background includes experience as a public accountant, a manager in the banking industry, an entrepreneur and a college business instructor. Paxton has also spent much of his career helping small business owners successfully implement and troubleshoot QuickBooks.