QuickBooks Payroll Software: Overview, Key Features, Tips and Tricks, and Alternatives

In this article, we’ll examine the benefits of QuickBooks Payroll, with tips, tricks, and integrations to help you get the most out of the app.

QuickBooks Payroll software is a comprehensive payroll management solution designed to simplify and streamline the payroll process for businesses of all sizes. 

It offers automated calculations, time tracking, direct deposits, and compliance features, making it an invaluable tool for ensuring accurate and on-time employee payments while complying with complex tax regulations. 

For businesses, it eliminates the hassle of manual payroll processing, reduces errors, and enhances overall efficiency. For accountants, it provides a powerful platform to manage client payroll needs efficiently, freeing up time for more strategic financial tasks.

In this article, we’ll review the ins and outs of QuickBooks Payroll software, exploring its key features, benefits, and how it can improve your payroll management.

Let’s dive in.

Overview of QuickBooks Payroll Software

QuickBooks Payroll software is the go-to payroll solution for 1.4 million small businesses, offering streamlined payroll management in one platform. It provides tax penalty protection, automates Form W-2 handling, tracks paid time off, and offers free direct deposit (more on these features later).

The software also integrates with other tools, including workers’ compensation and health benefits options, while ensuring compliance with labor laws and easy access to essential forms.

A Brief History of QuickBooks Payroll Software

To understand the significance of QuickBooks Payroll software, let’s explore its history and development.

Early Development

QuickBooks, the accounting software powerhouse, introduced its payroll feature in the late 1990s, primarily targeting small and medium-sized businesses. The initial versions of QuickBooks Payroll were basic, offering essential payroll functions.

Evolution and Enhancements

As the software evolved, so did its payroll capabilities. QuickBooks Payroll software underwent significant enhancements, incorporating advanced features like automated tax calculations, direct deposit, and integration with QuickBooks accounting software.

Cloud-Based Innovation

The transition to cloud-based technology marked a significant turning point for QuickBooks Payroll. This shift allowed for real-time data access, making it easier for businesses to manage their payroll from anywhere, at any time.

Today's Comprehensive Solution

In its current iteration, QuickBooks Payroll software is a comprehensive payroll solution that caters to businesses of all sizes. It offers payroll processing, compliance management, time tracking, and employee self-service features.

61.8% of small businesses encounter fluctuations in payroll, including unstable sustained gains or losses, as well as spikes and dips.

Key Features and Benefits

Now that we’ve established the foundation of QuickBooks Payroll software, let’s explore its main features and the benefits it brings to businesses.

Main Features of QuickBooks Payroll Software

Payroll Automation

QuickBooks Payroll automates the entire process, from calculating employee salaries to tax deductions.

Tax Compliance

QuickBooks Payroll software keeps up with ever-changing tax laws and regulations. It automatically updates tax rates and rules, so you don’t have to.

Time Tracking and Reporting

Efficiently manage employee hours with the time tracking feature (QuickBooks Timesheets). Generate customizable reports that provide insights into labor costs and trends, helping you make informed decisions.

Direct Deposit

QuickBooks Payroll allows you to offer direct deposit to your employees, eliminating the need for paper checks. It’s convenient and secure, and it saves time and money on check processing.

Employee Self-Service Portal

The self-service portal lets your construction crew access their pay stubs, W-2 forms, and update personal information.

The Benefits of QuickBooks Payroll Software

Time and Cost Savings

Processing payroll manually can eat up hours of your valuable time each pay period. QuickBooks Payroll automates the process, reducing the time spent on calculations and paperwork.

Reduced Compliance Risks

Tax regulations can be a minefield, and non-compliance can result in hefty fines. QuickBooks Payroll software’s automatic tax updates ensure you’re always on the right side of the law.

Improved Accuracy

Manual calculations are prone to errors, leading to disgruntled employees and costly mistakes. QuickBooks Payroll’s automated calculations ensure everyone gets paid accurately, reducing the risk of payroll-related disputes and improving job costing processes — and ultimately, business profitability.

Enhanced Employee Satisfaction

Your construction crew will appreciate the self-service portal, which empowers them to access their pay information and update personal details. This transparency and convenience boost employee satisfaction and reduce the administrative burden on your HR team.

Seamless Integration

For businesses already using QuickBooks for accounting, the integration between QuickBooks and QuickBooks Payroll is a significant advantage. It streamlines financial data management, providing a comprehensive overview of your business finances.


QuickBooks Payroll software grows with your business. Whether you’re a small construction company with a handful of employees or a medium-sized enterprise with a growing workforce, the software adapts to your needs.

Mobile Accessibility

QuickBooks Payroll software’s mobile app allows you to manage payroll, approve employee hours, and access reports from your smartphone or tablet.

Cost-Effective Solution

QuickBooks Payroll software offers a cost-effective solution for managing payroll, especially when compared to the expenses associated with hiring an in-house payroll expert or outsourcing the process.

By automating administrative work, businesses can save up to $5 trillion annually and reclaim 69 working days.

Ease of Payroll Processing and Compliance

QuickBooks Payroll Software simplifies payroll processing and ensures compliance with ever-changing tax regulations. Let’s check out a few of the ways it does this.

Compliance Features for Different Regions

Quickbooks Payroll Software allows you to stay compliant, no matter where you are.

74% of business leaders believe meeting compliance standards enhances their business’s reputation.

Top Alternatives to QuickBooks Payroll

While QuickBooks Payroll software is a fantastic solution for many businesses, it’s essential to explore other options to find the perfect fit for your specific needs. 

In this section, we’ll look at other popular payroll software solutions and discuss the pros and cons of each.

Top Choice: Workyard

Workyard’s precise time-tracking and geolocation features bring unmatched accuracy to your payroll expenses, whether you process these employee payments through QuickBooks or another popular payroll processing tool. Switching to Workyard has brought construction companies using QuickBooks payroll savings of up to $2,000 per employee per year, which can quickly add up as you expand your labor force.



Affordable pricing.

May lack some advanced features for larger enterprises.

Robust compliance features.

Limited customization options.

Employee self-service portal.

Excellent customer support.

See why Workyard is the best time-tracking app for construction and field workforces using QuickBooks:





Scalable solution.

Pricing can be on the higher side for smaller businesses.

Extensive compliance support.

Customer service experiences can vary.

Diverse HR services.

Suitable for businesses with complex payroll needs.

ADP Workforce Now

ADP Workforce Now



Comprehensive payroll and HR solution.

Higher pricing for small businesses.

Extensive compliance support.

May have a steeper learning curve.

Suitable for businesses with complex payroll and HR needs.

Customizable reporting.

Success With Quickbooks Payroll Software

Let’s take a moment to dive into the real-life story of a business that experienced remarkable benefits from using QuickBooks Payroll software.

The Challenge

Marathon Moving Company Inc., a full-service moving company, faced the challenge of efficiently managing a growing workforce involved in residential and commercial relocations. 

With a dynamic team and constant scheduling, tracking employee hours and ensuring precise payroll processing became increasingly complex.

The Solution

To address their workforce management needs, Marathon Moving turned to QuickBooks Time for time tracking with GPS capabilities and QuickBooks Payroll. QuickBooks Time allowed them to monitor employee work hours and locations accurately, ensuring precise timesheets. QuickBooks Payroll simplified their payroll processing, reducing the time and effort required for weekly payroll tasks.

The Result

Implementing QuickBooks Time and QuickBooks Payroll delivered significant benefits to Marathon Moving Company. They achieved substantial time savings, reducing weekly payroll processing from 10 hours to approximately 45 minutes. 

Additionally, the company experienced a 75% cost reduction with QuickBooks and an extra $100 in savings through QuickBooks Time. Beyond the financial gains, the switch improved the overall stress and efficiency of their payroll operations, saving approximately 30 hours per month in administrative headaches. 

By streamlining its payroll and time-tracking processes, Marathon Moving Company improved accuracy, reduced costs, and enhanced employee satisfaction, securing its reputation as a reliable paymaster in the competitive moving industry.

Taxes and bookkeeping are considered the most time-consuming and challenging aspects of business ownership, according to 40% of small business owners.

How to Get Started with QuickBooks Payroll

Ready to streamline your construction business’s payroll management with QuickBooks Payroll software? This step-by-step guide will walk you through setting up and using QuickBooks Payroll, ensuring you get the most out of this powerful tool.

Step 1: Sign Up and Choose Your Plan

Step 2: Set Up Your Company

Step 3: Add Employees

Step 4: Configure Payroll Settings

Step 5: Run Your First Payroll

Step 6: Tax Compliance

Step 7: Employee Self-Service Portal

The Bottom Line on QuickBooks Payroll Software

Congratulations! By now, you ought to be (much more of) an expert on QuickBooks Payroll software.

To recap, QuickBooks Payroll simplifies payroll for construction businesses, ensuring tax compliance. It includes automated payroll, time tracking, direct deposit, and a self-service portal. 

The software accommodates multi-state payroll and is backed by millions of users’ real-life success. Setup involves company details, configuration, employee addition, and initial payroll processing. It manages tax compliance, encourages self-service use, requires regular maintenance, and offers scalability for growing businesses.

If you’re intrigued by the possibilities QuickBooks Payroll software offers for your construction business, here are some next steps to consider.

Key Takeaways

So, take that first step, explore your options, and discover the possibilities that await you in the world of streamlined payroll management. Your business deserves it!

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