QuickBooks Payroll is our choice for the best payroll service for direct deposit flexibility. Its free direct deposit options help businesses conserve cash. It’s affordable and integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks accounting software and other products.
Many businesses already use QuickBooks for accounting — it’s one of the best accounting software solutions available. If you’re already in the QuickBooks ecosystem, QuickBooks Payroll may be an excellent choice for your payroll needs. QuickBooks Payroll is a full-service payroll provider that includes next-day or same-day direct deposit. You can also add HR support to expand the payroll product’s features. QuickBooks Payroll offers various plans so its services can grow with your business. Additionally, over 15 Intuit product offerings seamlessly integrate with the payroll solution.
9.3 / 10
With a client roster of 1.4 million companies, Intuit QuickBooks is well known for providing robust financial tools for businesses of all sizes and being a top provider in multiple business software categories. QuickBooks Payroll is the company’s well-regarded payroll service, boasting comprehensive payroll and HR features. Notably, QuickBooks Payroll offers free direct deposit options — a feature that sets it apart from the competition.
If you sign up for the company’s Core plan — the least expensive option — you can access free next-day direct deposit. Two higher-tiered plans, Premium and Elite, come with free same-day direct deposit, allowing businesses to conserve cash longer. Most payroll services we reviewed, such as Gusto, only provide two-day direct deposit. As we noted in our in-depth Gusto review, even that option isn’t available on its basic plan.
QuickBooks Payroll also stands out because it easily integrates with the vendor’s accounting software. Between the two products, businesses can efficiently process payroll, pay their payroll taxes, monitor company finances, track employee attendance, and even receive HR support. These tools can set up your business for financial success.
QuickBooks Payroll easily integrates with the vendor’s top-rated accounting solution. Source: QuickBooks
QuickBooks Payroll is relatively easy to use — especially if you have experience running payroll or using other QuickBooks programs. Though the software is user-friendly, we appreciate that the company provides online guides for getting started and can assist with setup, depending on your plan.
When you log in, you’ll see a user dashboard that lets you navigate to the platform’s main features. You can run payroll in three simple steps or set up AutoPay to run payroll without entering new data. The dashboard is fairly intuitive and allows you to access all account features from the main screen. You can also run payroll and review your payroll history directly from the platform’s mobile app. We like that the employee self-service option lets team members easily access their pay stubs and annual payroll forms for taxes.
QuickBooks Payroll is designed to dovetail with over 15 Intuit product offerings, including POS and time tracking tools as well as the various QuickBooks accounting solutions. This lets you build a suite of related tools to support your business’s needs. However, it’s worth noting that QuickBooks doesn’t integrate with many third-party software platforms.
QuickBooks Payroll’s features are designed to simplify the payroll process, ensure your taxes are paid, and provide health benefits for your employees. Here are the features we found most notable.
Full-service payroll provider
Get employees set up in the system and schedule payroll to run automatically.
Same-day direct deposit
Employees can receive their direct deposit the same day you run payroll.
Automatic tax withholding
QuickBooks will calculate, file and pay your payroll taxes.
Use the software to approve timesheets and create invoices.
Provide employees with medical, dental and vision insurance.
Access HR resources or talk to an HR specialist.
QuickBooks is a full-service payroll provider. We like that all plan tiers let you set up automatic payroll. This feature allows you to schedule the system to run payroll without any additional manual work. If you need to make changes, you can review the latest payroll before it’s processed.
QuickBooks Payroll includes comprehensive payroll reporting features. Source: QuickBooks
Some businesses struggle with choosing a pay schedule if they have limited funds. We like that QuickBooks makes this easier by offering next-day and same-day direct deposit, depending on your plan. If you have the Core plan, you’ll receive free next-day direct deposit; Premium and Elite packages deliver direct deposits the same day you process payroll. Fast direct deposits let you hold onto cash longer, which helps with cash flow management. QuickBooks Payroll also supports direct deposit alternatives like pay cards.
QuickBooks Payroll lets you set up direct deposit and pay your team the same day or the following day. Source: QuickBooks
Like virtually all payroll vendors, QuickBooks will automatically calculate, file and pay your payroll taxes for you. It will also send you the appropriate year-end tax forms, as well as print and mail W-2 forms to your employees and e-file any 1099s.
For businesses on the Elite plan, QuickBooks will reimburse your company up to $25,000 if you receive any fines or interest charges due to inaccurate tax filings. While the platform’s Tax Penalty Protection program is a great perk, other payroll providers we reviewed include such accuracy guarantees in all packages and vow to pay any penalties regardless of your plan. See our review of OnPay to learn more about a vendor that provides a tax guarantee for all its clients.
QuickBooks Payroll provides tax penalty protection on its Elite plan. Source: QuickBooks
The QuickBooks Premium and Elite plans come with time tracking software employees can use to clock in and out. You can track and approve employee time from the QuickBooks Time mobile app as well as quickly edit and share team schedules even if you’re on the go. Read our detailed QuickBooks Time review to learn more about how this solution integrates with QuickBooks Payroll.
We like that regardless of plan, the platform comes with real-time reporting features that can help you prepare for upcoming payroll costs, monitor paid time off, and review payroll history.
Employees can clock in and out with QuickBooks Payroll’s time tracking features. Source: QuickBooks
We were pleased to see that QuickBooks Payroll makes managing employee benefits easy on all plans. Employees can view their options for medical, vision and dental insurance and fill out an application within minutes. Once the application is approved, employees can sign up for the plan.
You can also offer your employees access to 401(k) plans with any of QuickBooks Payroll’s packages. However, the vendor will only handle workers’ compensation administration with the Premium or Elite packages.
Some payroll vendors, like OnPay, provide HR tools for all clients. Others, like ADP, only include such features in specific plans (read our ADP review to learn about this vendor’s various service tiers).
QuickBooks falls into the latter camp; its HR support center is only accessible to those on the Premium and Elite plans. If you sign up for those plans, you can take advantage of templates for employee onboarding checklists, employee handbooks and job descriptions. The Elite package also grants companies access to HR advisors who can provide guidance on various aspects of people management.
We love that QuickBooks provides a 30-day trial so you can evaluate whether or not the software is a good fit for your business. Not all of its rivals give that opportunity. Once the free trial ends, you can choose from one of three payroll plans. We appreciate that QuickBooks provides transparent pricing — some competitors are less open about what their plans cost.
Here’s a breakdown of QuickBooks Payroll pricing:
QuickBooks sometimes offers introductory discounts with significant savings. Check with the company to see if any discounts are available.
QuickBooks also offers plans that let you bundle its payroll and accounting software:
If you have QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop, you can add payroll anytime. If you need an accounting solution, read our QuickBooks Online accounting software review to learn about this popular accounting tool.
Getting started with QuickBooks Payroll is surprisingly easy — especially if you already use the vendor’s accounting software. Existing QuickBooks customers can sign into their account and add a payroll package. New customers can sign up online or over the phone. It’s best to speak to a customer service representative if you’re interested in a payroll-only plan but have complex needs.
The setup process depends on your plan. If you opt for Payroll Core, you’re on your own for implementation. However, we liked the setup wizard and online resources — business owners and their teams shouldn’t have any trouble. If you go with the Premium plan, a QuickBooks expert will review your setup to ensure it’s correct. They’ll even check data you’ve imported from another provider. With the Elite package, an expert will do the entire implementation process for you, including any data transfer, after receiving the necessary information. After that, someone will review the setup to ensure you’re good to go.
Setting up QuickBooks Payroll direct deposit is straightforward. Ensure your business and tax information is accurate, connect your bank, have employees authorize direct deposit and enter their banking information, and run payroll.
Each QuickBooks plan comes with 24/7 customer support via chat. Phone support is available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT on Saturdays. If you sign up for the Elite plan, you can choose a callback option to limit the time spent waiting on the phone. Notably, Intuit outsources HR support to a third-party company, Mineral. This is worth considering if you plan to add the company’s HR services to an existing payroll account.
We like the vendor’s online support options:
Online customer service reviews left us wary — especially when many competitors boast outstanding customer service testimonials. Finding reviews of QuickBooks Payroll is tricky; the Better Business Bureau has many entries for QuickBooks under slightly different names. It’s impossible to find specific reviews of the payroll software. However, Intuit as a brand has a C+ rating across multiple BBB entries.
On Trustpilot, there’s also no distinction between payroll and broader accounting and HR services; Intuit scores 1.2 out of 5, with over 90 percent of its reviews awarding the company the lowest possible score. Customer service receives particularly harsh criticism.
The QuickBooks blog includes detailed articles on all aspects of running a business. Source: QuickBooks
QuickBooks Payroll has many upsides. However, we found a few drawbacks:
When evaluating the best payroll services, we spent dozens of hours researching the top online payroll companies. We examined costs, tax services, ease of use, customer service, integration options, and incentives like free trials and tax guarantees. We also looked for mobile accessibility, payroll report availability and employee self-service features. We read customer reviews and viewed Better Business Bureau ratings and complaints to see how others view the vendor and its products. When searching for the best online payroll service for same-day direct deposit, we looked for vendors with flexible direct deposit options alongside robust payroll and HR features. Our goal is to help businesses choose the right payroll service.
Quickbooks’s payroll works in much the same fashion as with other payroll services: You can schedule payroll to run automatically but have the added bonus of next-day or same-day direct deposit. QuickBooks will also automatically deduct, file and pay your company’s payroll taxes.
QuickBooks Payroll isn’t free, but you can enjoy a 30-day trial. After that, its Core plan starts at $45 per month, plus $5 per employee.
Yes. QuickBooks Payroll is a good choice for small businesses looking for a full-service payroll provider. It’s an especially great choice if you already use the QuickBooks accounting software; Intuit has also made it easy for customers of rival platforms (including Gusto, ADP and Paychex) to make the switch.
Intuit routinely rolls out incremental software updates to improve the functionality of its QuickBooks Payroll package. For example, in early 2023, QuickBooks introduced the ability to use the total hours worked by employees to determine payroll contributions and deductions. It also introduced a new tool to highlight 1099 contractors.