4 Tips Choosing the Right QuickBooks Software for Payroll Processing

What level of QuickBooks software should I buy to do payrolls?

Choosing the Right QuickBooks Software for Payroll Processing

What level of QuickBooks software should I buy to do payrolls?: BusinessHAB.com


When it comes to managing payroll efficiently and accurately, QuickBooks stands out as one of the leading software solutions for businesses of all sizes. However, with various versions of QuickBooks available, it’s crucial to choose the right level of software to meet your specific payroll needs. In this article, we’ll explore the different levels of QuickBooks software and help you determine which one is best suited for your payroll requirements.

1. QuickBooks Online Simple Start: Basic Payroll Features

QuickBooks Online Simple Start is the most basic version of QuickBooks available. While it offers essential accounting features, its payroll capabilities are limited. With Simple Start, you can calculate paychecks, pay employees via direct deposit, and handle payroll taxes. However, it’s important to note that tax forms are not included, and you may need to manually file them.

This version is suitable for small businesses with straightforward payroll needs and a limited number of employees.

2. QuickBooks Online Essentials: Enhanced Payroll

The Essentials version of QuickBooks Online is a step up from Simple Start, offering enhanced payroll features. With QuickBooks Online Essentials, you gain access to automated tax calculations, the ability to file federal and state payroll taxes electronically, and W-2 preparation. This version is suitable for businesses with more complex payroll needs, including various deductions and benefits.

3. QuickBooks Online Plus: Full-Service Payroll

For businesses looking for comprehensive payroll functionality, QuickBooks Online Plus with Full-Service Payroll is the ideal choice. This version not only includes all the features of Simple Start and Essentials but also provides additional capabilities such as handling year-end forms and providing a tax penalty guarantee. Full-Service Payroll is suitable for businesses with a larger workforce and more intricate payroll requirements.

4. QuickBooks Desktop: Enhanced Payroll and Assisted Payroll

QuickBooks Desktop comes in three versions – Pro, Premier, and Enterprise – each offering various payroll features. Enhanced Payroll for QuickBooks Desktop provides advanced payroll capabilities, including automated tax calculations, electronic tax filing, and W-2 preparation. It is suitable for businesses that prefer using desktop software over a cloud-based solution.

What level of QuickBooks software should I buy to do payrolls?

For those who want a more hands-off approach to payroll, QuickBooks Desktop also offers Assisted Payroll. With Assisted Payroll, Intuit handles the payroll processing for you, including tax payments and filings. This option is particularly beneficial for businesses that want to outsource their payroll responsibilities.


Choosing the right level of QuickBooks software for payroll depends on the size and complexity of your business’s payroll needs. Small businesses with straightforward requirements may find Simple Start or Essentials sufficient, while larger enterprises with more intricate payroll processes may opt for Plus with Full-Service Payroll or QuickBooks Desktop with Enhanced or Assisted Payroll.

Before making a decision, carefully evaluate your business requirements, the number of employees, and the level of automation and support you desire. Additionally, consider future growth and scalability to ensure that the chosen QuickBooks software can adapt to your evolving payroll needs.

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