Complete QuickBooks Payroll Review 2024

Our Verdict

QuickBooks Payroll is a great addition to their product range

After an in-depth Quickbooks Payroll review, our verdict is that the software works best alongside the other products in the range – but not as a stand-alone product.

QuickBooks is one of the leading accounting and bookkeeping platforms with thousands of users. Its payroll features integrate with these other tools to offer a great degree of flexibility and control over financial operations.

If you’ve already built a tech stack from other brands, you may find QuickBooks payroll isn’t for you. However, our verdict is that it’s well worth considering if you run a small to medium US business.


  • Deep integration with other QuickBooks products
  • Generous starting offers and discounts
  • Flexible pricing plans
  • Tax penalty protection


  • Limited features on the payroll-only plans
  • No employer mobile app

QuickBooks Payroll Plans & Pricing

There are three straightforward pricing plans on QuickBooks. As standard for this type of software, there’s a fixed monthly rate and a charge per employee.

You can bundle QuickBooks payroll with their other products to access more features for an extra fee.

Core Premium Elite
Monthly Cost $45 per month + $6 per employee $80 per month + $8 per employee $125 per month + $10 per employee
Free Trial ✅ – 30-day free trial ✅ – 30-day free trial ✅ – 30-day free trial
PTO Management
Expense Management
Reporting Custom Custom Custom
Customer Support Phone or chat support 24/7 support 24/7 support plus a dedicated HR advisor

Payroll Core – Starts at $45 Per Month

The starter plan offers a stripped-down feature set consisting of automated payroll, tax filing, and benefits administration. Considering the high starter cost, we would’ve liked to see time tracking included in the offerings like competitors Homebase and Square.

However, we were happy to see QuickBooks offers robust reporting features in the lowest cost plan. You can create reports for a wide range of functions including payroll history, tax payments, and transactions.

Payroll Premium – Starts at $80 Per Month

In the Premium plan, you get access to time tracking tools and same-day deposit. You also get more extensive customer service with a review of your set-up and 24/7 support.

Many types of businesses will appreciate the versatile GPS time clock. You can track standard shifts, ongoing project work, and employees on the go. Many other platforms don’t offer support for mobile and remote teams.

You can also download QuickBooks Time as a separate product if you like this tool but decide the payroll feature isn’t right for you.

Elite – Starts at $125 Per Month

The main difference between the Premium and Elite plans is the extra support and tax penalty protection.

The tax penalty protection is a standout feature. Many payroll providers offer compliance management to help you avoid fees but not all insure you against it. QuickBooks will reimburse you for up to $25,000 of any fines provided you contact them within 15 days of your notice.

You can easily cancel any of the plans above whenever you like from inside the QuickBooks dashboard. If you want to switch plans or add other QuickBooks products, the monthly cost will automatically change.

Although QuickBooks is one of the higher-cost payroll providers, it often has promotions. You can usually choose between a 30-day free trial or a 50% discount for the first three months.

QuickBooks Payroll Overview

Starting price $75 per month plus $6 per employee
Best for Best for small to medium companies already using QuickBooks
Customer support Phone and chat support
Security & Compliance Encryption and multi-factor authentication
Reporting & analytics
Mobile app ✅ but only for employees
Auto-alerts and reminders
International Payroll No direct support for international payments
Digital Payslips

A Look At QuickBooks Payroll’s Standout Features

QuickBooks Payroll focuses on the core set of features you need to pay your staff and file taxes correctly. In this section, we’ll explore how each tool works.

Automated payroll

QuickBooks Payroll offers payroll automation

You can automatically calculate payroll for your salaried employees so you only have to review the information. QuickBooks Payroll also supports variable compensation like commission and bonuses.

We would’ve liked to see more features for contractors and overseas workers. As QuickBooks doesn’t support international payroll, you have to connect via another app to make transfers. If you use a lot of contractors for one-off projects, you can spend a lot of time manually entering the payment details. There also isn’t a dedicated QuickBooks plan for contractors like Gusto and Patriot.

However, QuickBooks Payroll impressed us with its intuitive interface and efficient workflow. There were no glitches or lags and the user reviews show you can rely on the software over time. What QuickBooks lacks in features, it makes up for in overall performance.

Tax filing

Federal and State taxes made easy with QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll calculates and files your state and federal taxes from the lowest-cost plan. It takes care of all your staff’s withholdings so you can avoid human error and costly penalties. That’s essential for small businesses when the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) can charge over $5000 for inaccurate filings and cut into your revenue.

Even if you do incur a fine, the QuickBooks team pledges to pay for any of their mistakes and up to $25,000 of your own.

As QuickBooks Payroll integrates seamlessly with its own high-quality accounting and bookkeeping products, you can ensure compliance across all your accounts. There’s less risk of manually transferring the wrong data across platforms like you might with standalone software.

Time tracking

QuickBooks Payroll’s unique feature is its GPS time clock. Unlike many others on the market, it lets you monitor employees on the move. That means if you often send your staff off-site, you can still accurately record their hours and manage labor costs effectively.

Given the time clock isn’t the main feature, we were also surprised by its versatility. You can perform all the same tasks as dedicated platforms like managing timesheets, making edits, and categorizing shifts.


QuickBooks Payroll is primarily designed to connect with its other software, especially its standout product QuickBooks accounting.

You can still connect other apps such as time tracking and employee management but you may find their offerings are limited.

QuickBooks Payroll Customer Reviews

QuickBooks Payroll has a good reputation with an aggregate rating of 4.3/5 on G2 and 4.5/5 on Capterra.

QuickBooks Payroll reviews generally say the software is easy to use and customizable. They also praise the customer support team for their expertise and responsiveness.

A review of QuickBooks Payroll

The main criticism we found in the QuickBooks Payroll reviews is that the platform works best if you’re using all their products. You won’t get the full functionality if you’re integrating with other apps.

What is QuickBooks Payroll Good For?

Companies that already use QuickBooks products will appreciate their payroll software the most. When you connect all the platforms, the deep integrations offer small to medium businesses a lot of flexibility and control over their operations.

Alternatively, QuickBooks could be a great payroll software for small businesses with a limited tech stack. The flexible pricing plans give you a lot of room to scale and grow. You can decide whether to add other products or try alternative integrations as your needs change.

QuickBooks Payroll vs Top Competitors

Let’s look at how QuickBooks stacks up against other leading payroll providers to get a clearer idea of its strengths and weaknesses:

QuickBooks Payroll ADP Rippling Gusto
Best for Best for small to medium companies already using QuickBooks Companies looking to scale their payroll Tech-savvy organizations that need a high degree of configurability Small businesses looking for simple HR and payroll tools
Starting Price $45 per month plus $6 per employee Custom pricing Not advertised $40 per month plus $6 per employee
Free Trial ✅ – 30 day free-trial ✅ but not for all plans
Standout Features – Deep integrations with other QuickBooks products
– Tax penalty protection
– Payroll for solopreneurs
– Local compliance support
– Support for multiple pay rates
– Modular pricing
– Range of integrations
– HR and people experience features
Reporting Custom Custom Custom Custom
Mobile App ✅ but only for employees ✅ but only for employees

Quickbooks Payroll vs ADP

Similar to QuickBooks, ADP has a wide range of business software that you can integrate with payroll. They both offer employee management and HR. However, QuickBooks is more focused on accounting whereas ADP has more IT and recruitment tools.

Both platforms also offer time and attendance. One advantage that QuickBooks has over ADP is that it combines time tracking with its payroll plans rather than keeping them separate.

Read more in our in-depth ADP Payroll review.

Quickbooks Payroll vs Rippling

Rippling has modular pricing for its range of features. Unlike QuickBooks, you can mix and match the HR, benefits administration, and employee management tools. You may prefer this if, for example, you don’t need extensive benefits and want to add them later.

However, if you have a strict budget, you may appreciate QuickBooks’ straightforward pricing plan. The tiered structure also makes it easier to add tools as you need them.

Quickbooks Payroll vs Gusto

The main difference between the two platforms is that Gusto is a standalone software whereas QuickBooks has a range of other products.

Gusto is the better option if you need to connect to a variety of other solutions. It integrates with hundreds of other software including HR, time tracking, and collaboration apps.

However, if you need deep connections between your software, QuickBooks is the best fit. The company has an extensive range of products such as accounting, bookkeeping, and HR which can fit together seamlessly.

Read more in our in-depth Gusto Payroll review.

To explore other alternatives, read our list of the leading payroll providers in 2024.

Verdict – is QuickBooks Payroll Worth it?

Overall, our QuickBooks payroll review found the software was a worthwhile option. Although it’s one of the costlier providers, it has an intuitive interface and versatile features. The fact you can integrate with other QuickBooks products and rise through the pricing tiers also makes it very scalable.

How We Test Payroll Software

If you want to understand how we reached our verdict, here are the steps we take to evaluate all our payroll software:

  • Pricing – We research the plans, compare them against other leading solutions, and consider their target market’s budget.
  • Features – Using the free trial, we run all the tools through different tests to see how they work. We consider whether they do everything the user needs and which situations they’d be best for.
  • Integrations – We check that the software connects with a range of different apps that the target market will need.
  • Automation – Payroll software relies on auto calculation and categorization tools so we check their speed and accuracy.
  • Ease of use – We time how long it takes to use tools and see how this compares to other leading solutions. For beginners, we consider the amount of resources and support they have access to while they get started.
  • Third-Party Reviews – To see how the software performs in different contexts, we analyze hundreds of user reviews across sites like G2 and Reddit.

How to Choose the Best Payroll Software

As there are many great options out there, you may be struggling to decide between QuickBooks and similar providers. Read our tips to help you finalize your decision:

  • Price Check the software’s plans to see whether they provide all the essential tools for a competitive price. It’s important to explore all their offerings to ensure you’d get the same value from higher-cost plans if you upgraded.
  • Features – Get deeper into the specific features to see whether they do everything you need them to. You can read the company’s help pages or watch demo videos to learn more.
  • Scalability Consider your future requirements and whether the platform can meet them. For example, it’s no use getting software that doesn’t support international payroll if you plan to explore foreign labor markets.
  • Ease of use – Look at how much time and expertise the platform requires. If the tools are intuitive, your team will learn how to use them more quickly and reap the benefits sooner.
  • Integrations – Make a list of all the software you use and plan to add to your tech stack. Your payroll software should be able to connect with most of them so you can work seamlessly across platforms.
  • Customer support – Considering how issues may arise, especially in the early, prioritize a solution with robust customer service. They should offer a range of support so you can message them with non-urgent requests or call them about emergencies.


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Rhiannon Stone

Rhiannon Stone is an experienced web content creator with over four years in the industry and graduated with an MA in English. Before she began working with Techopedia, she traveled the world teaching Business English where her students worked in sectors such as banking, manufacturing, and telecommunications. After teaching Rhiannon joined a publishing house where she started her writing career. Now, Rhiannon is based in Greece and specializes in writing in-depth reviews and thought-out comparison content within SaaS, HR, and accounting to help Techopedia readers make fully-informed choices.