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How to Use Quicken to Track Payroll Expenses?

Quicken Payroll

Managing payroll can be a daunting task, especially for small businesses or agricultural operations. While Quicken may not offer a dedicated payroll system, it can still help you track your payroll expenses efficiently. In this complete guide to Quicken Payroll, we will explore how to set up and manage your payroll using Quicken, including creating payroll categories, tracking expenses, paying taxes, and generating essential reports.


In the past, Quicken users could rely on Intuit’s payroll software. However, Intuit discontinued this option and now primarily focuses on QuickBooks for payroll services. Nevertheless, Quicken users can still manage payroll expenses within the software. It’s crucial to note that Quicken does not provide payroll forms such as W-2 or 1099, but you can extract the necessary information to fill these forms. 

Managing payroll is a complex process with legal obligations, which vary based on the nature of your business, its size, and the number of employees. It is strongly recommended that you consult with an accountant or tax preparer to ensure compliance with tax regulations and employee classifications.

What are Tax-related publications provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?

Before diving into Quicken’s payroll features, it’s essential to understand the resources available to you. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a variety of publications that guide you through the payroll process and tax-related matters. Some of these publications include:

1. Form I-9 – Employee Eligibility Verification

2. Form W-2 – Employee Wage and Tax Reporting Form

3. Form W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate

4. Form 943 – Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees

5. Form 1099 – Wages to Non-Employees

6. Publication 15 (Circular E) – Employer’s Tax Guide

7. Publication 15a – Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide

8. Publication 15b – Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits

9. Publication 225 – Farmer’s Tax Guide

10. Publication 51 (Circular A) – Agricultural Employer’s Tax Guide

11. Publication 509 – Tax Calendar

To stay up-to-date with the latest tax regulations and resources, visit the [IRS website](http://www.irs.gov/).

What factors influence the employment status of workers?

Before you start managing payroll in Quicken, you must determine the employment status of your workers. Employee classifications can affect the tax withholding and reporting requirements. Factors that influence employee status include the type of work, the hiring process, the number of employees, job roles, and the relationship of the worker to the employer. It’s essential to be aware that immigrant labor introduces additional regulations and responsibilities.

Also Read:- How to Fix Quicken Won’t Download or Update Bank Transactions?

What are the Key responsibilities of an employer in managing payroll?

As an employer, your payroll responsibilities include:

  • Requesting appropriate identification and paperwork to establish employees.
  • Recording work hours.
  • Calculating gross pay.
  • Determining and calculating the required tax withholdings.
  • Timely payment of taxes to the IRS and state taxation department.
  • Meeting workers’ compensation insurance requirements if applicable.
  • Managing employee benefits if offered.

This guide will focus on recording payroll payments, withholdings, and expenses in Quicken.

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How can you Manage Payroll Expenses in Quicken? 

To effectively manage payroll expenses in Quicken, you should create payroll categories and subcategories. Here’s how to do it:

1. Open your Quicken file.

2. Go to Tools and select Category List.

3. Click on Add Category and enter information as needed.

4. Select the Tax Reporting tab and check the Tax-related category.

5. Choose the appropriate tax line item list, such as Schedule F: Labor Hired for agricultural operations.

This structure helps you organize your payroll expenses, making it easier to track and report them.

How can you Add Tax Liability Accounts in Quicken?

To ensure you can withhold and pay taxes accurately, set up liability accounts in Quicken:

1. Go to Tools and select Account List.

2. Click on the Add an Account button.

3. Select Other Liability.

4. Enter the necessary information, including the account name, start tracking date, and liability amount.

5. Repeat this process for various tax liability accounts, such as Payroll-FICA, Payroll-Medicare, Payroll-FedWithholding, Payroll-StateWithholding, and more.

These liability accounts act as holding accounts for tax withholdings until you make payments.

What is the Process for Recording Payroll Transactions in Quicken?

Now that you have your categories and liability accounts set up, you can start recording payroll transactions in Quicken. Here’s a step-by-step process:

1. From the Checking account register, enter the payroll transaction details, including the date, payee, and payment amount.

2. Click on the Split button to itemize the transaction.

3. Ensure that the categories are set up to reflect employee gross pay, tax withholdings, and employer contributions.

4. Pay close attention to plus and minus signs to ensure accurate accounting.

5. Complete the transaction and save it.

You can use this method for each payroll transaction you need to record in Quicken.

How can you Save Time when Dealing with Recurring Payroll Transactions in Quicken?

For recurring payroll transactions, you can memorize them in Quicken to save time. Here’s how:

1. Select the transaction you want to memorize.

2. Choose Edit, then Transaction, and select Memorize.

3. Opt to memorize split payees as percentages if necessary.

4. Save the memorized transaction.

This feature is useful for transactions involving the same payee, saving you from re-entering the details each time.

How can you Record Payroll Tax Payments in Quicken?

Payroll taxes are typically due monthly or quarterly, depending on your business and tax regulations. To record tax payments in Quicken:

1. Access your Checking account.

2. Enter the payment details, including the date, payee (e.g., IRS or State Taxation Commission), and payment amount.

3. Specify the memo to indicate the tax payment purpose.

4. Use the Split function to allocate the payment to the correct categories, reflecting the type of taxes paid.

After recording these payments, they will reduce the balance in your checking account and the corresponding liability account. You can easily track these adjustments in Quicken.

Also Read:- How to Reconcile in Quicken for Mac and Windows?

What Types of Payroll Reports Can You Create in Quicken?

Quicken offers various reporting options to help you keep track of your payroll expenses. Here’s how to generate some essential payroll reports:

How to Create a Detailed Payroll Report?

To create a detailed payroll report that includes all split transactions:

1. Go to Reports in the main menu.

2. Select Banking and then Transaction.

3. Click on the Customize button.

4. Customize the report by setting the date range for the pay period, providing a title, and configuring subtotal and sort options.

5. Under the Categories tab, select the relevant payroll categories and liability accounts.

6. Print the report for your records.

Employee-Specific Payroll Report

You can generate individual payroll reports for each employee:

1. Access the Payees tab when customizing the report.

2. Configure the report for the specific employee.

3. Print or export the data to a spreadsheet for further analysis.

These reports help you keep track of payments to employees and are especially useful for year-end tax reporting.

W-2 Report

Quicken does not have a built-in W-2 report, but you can create a report to collect the necessary data for completing W-2 forms manually. Here’s how:

1. Generate a report from **Reports** > **Banking** > **Banking Summary**.

2. Customize the report to include the payroll expenses and tax liability accounts.

3. Ensure that the report displays the data you need, which may appear as negative values.

4. Print or export this data to use when filling out W-2 forms.

This report will provide the information required to complete your employees’ W-2 forms accurately.

Forms 941 and 943

Forms 941 and 943 are essential for reporting wages paid, taxes for Social Security, Medicare, and Federal Withholding. Form 941 is filed quarterly, while Form 943 is an annual report. If you need to make corrections to these forms, refer to Forms 941-X and 943-X, following the instructions provided.

How can you Utilize Quicken’s “Write a Check” Feature for Creating Payroll Checks, including Check Stubs?

Quicken’s “Write a Check” feature allows you to create payroll checks, including check stubs if needed. Here’s how:

1. Access the **Write and Print Checks** feature from the **Farm Checking account register**.

2. Fill in the check details as you would when writing a check manually.

3. Use the **Split** feature to enter specific amounts for different categories, including employee gross pay and tax withholdings.

This method is especially helpful if you prefer providing physical checks and stubs to your employees.

Forms 1099-MISC

For individuals or companies classified as independent contractors who receive $600 or more during the year, you must provide a Form 1099-MISC. To track payments made to these entities, follow these steps:

1. Add “1099” to the memo field for transactions related to these payments.

2. Create a customized cash flow report that filters transactions with “Matching: 1099” in the memo field and subtotal by the payee, using custom dates for the year.

3. This report will help you identify payments that meet the threshold for issuing a Form 1099-MISC.

While Quicken doesn’t generate Form 1099-MISC directly, it helps you track the payments necessary for compliance.


Managing payroll in Quicken may require some effort, but with proper setup and organization, it can be a valuable tool for tracking expenses, tax withholdings, and payments. This complete guide covers the essential steps to set up and manage your payroll within Quicken, enabling you to maintain accurate records and fulfill your tax obligations. The blog also informs how to set up and manage your payroll, including creating payroll categories, tracking expenses, paying taxes, and generating essential reports.

Remember that payroll is a complex and ever-changing field. It is highly recommended to consult with an accountant or tax specialist to ensure your specific payroll needs are met and that you stay compliant with relevant tax regulations. With Quicken as a tool in your financial arsenal, you can efficiently manage your payroll responsibilities while keeping your financial records in order. If you need any help, reach out to Quicken experts at +1-855-875-1223 (Toll-Free).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use Quicken for payroll processing, including calculating tax withholdings?

While Quicken does not provide a full-fledged payroll processing system, you can use it to track payroll expenses, calculate tax withholdings, and manage related payments. However, it does not generate payroll forms like W-2 or 1099. You will need to manually input this information into the relevant forms.

What are the primary responsibilities of employers when managing payroll in Quicken?

Employers using Quicken for payroll management are responsible for tasks like recording work hours, calculating gross pay, determining and calculating tax withholdings, and making timely payments to the IRS and state taxation departments. Additionally, employers must request appropriate identification and paperwork to establish employees and manage workers’ compensation insurance if required.

Can Quicken help me generate payroll-related reports?

Yes, Quicken offers various reporting options to help you manage your payroll. You can create detailed payroll reports, employee-specific reports, and reports for tax purposes. These reports are useful for tracking payments, and taxes, and for completing year-end forms.

How do I handle tax payments using Quicken?

To handle tax payments in Quicken, record payments in your checking account register. You’ll need to specify the date, payee (e.g., IRS or State Taxation Commission), payment amount, and payment purpose in the memo. Use the “Split” function to allocate the payment to the appropriate categories, reflecting the type of taxes paid.

Does Quicken generate W-2 forms or 1099-MISC forms for employees and independent contractors?

No, Quicken does not generate W-2 or 1099-MISC forms. You’ll need to manually input the information from Quicken into these forms. However, Quicken helps you track the necessary payments and expenses, making it easier to compile the data required for completing these forms.

About The Author

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Editorial Team

At QAsolved, we are a team of skilled professionals dedicated to delivering unparalleled accounting and bookkeeping services. With backgrounds in finance and technology, our collaborative efforts focus on providing practical solutions and guidance. Our services are tailored for a range of businesses, covering advisory, CFO services, bookkeeping, and financial systems consulting. QAsolved is an award-winning consulting firm and Intuit’s #1 QuickBooks Reseller Partner. We offer comprehensive QuickBooks services, including consulting, integration, migration, maintenance, data conversion, training, and support, among other services. Over the years, we have assisted over 30K customers across various industries with their Intuit products.

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