QuickBooks Payroll

Compare QuickBooks Payroll with Gusto, Zenefits, and Fingercheck. See a detailed review, pricing, features, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Updated on July 18th, 2022

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Updated 26th of October 2021

Added pricing for payroll options for QuickBooks Desktop and an At-a-Glance section.

Updated 4th of February 2020

Added a features comparison, detailed pricing comparisons, and pros and cons of using QuickBooks Payroll.

QuickBooks, in addition to providing accounting software, also offers payroll services to businesses. QuickBooks Payroll offers plans to suit different business needs and is available as a standalone solution or as an add-on product for existing QuickBooks customers.

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Monthly Pricing*


$45.00 (base fee) + $4.00 /employee


$75.00 (base fee) + $8.00 /employee


$125.00 (base fee) + $10.00 /employee

Add-on for QuickBooks Desktop: Enhanced Payroll

$50.00 (base fee) + $2.00 /employee

Add-on for QuickBooks Desktop: Assisted Payroll

$109.00 (base fee) + $2.00 /employee /paycheck**

Add-on for QuickBooks Desktop: Assisted Payroll + QuickBooks Enterprise Diamond

$379.00 (base fee) + 1.00 /employee /paycheck** for Assisted Payroll + $5.00 /employee for Time Elite

*QuickBooks frequently offers discounted rates for the first three months of service. Be sure to check their website for updates on these.

**The additional cost per employee per paycheck is not charged per month.


QuickBooks offers a fast and easy way to run payroll and a convenient solution for businesses that already use QuickBooks for other accounting tasks. Most users report that QuickBooks is easy to manage, even without a financial background. The software is feature-rich, allows for unlimited payroll runs, and is available in all 50 states.

All QuickBooks Payroll plans include full-service payroll with automated tax calculations and filings, a workforce portal from where employees can access paystubs and W-2s, and payroll reporting features. The Elite plan also includes 24/7 expert product support, tax penalty protection, and a personal HR advisor.


  • There is a 30-day free trial.
  • All plans include unlimited payroll runs, automated tax, a workforce portal, and payroll reports.
  • QuickBooks payroll is available in all 50 states.
  • The software allows businesses to easily manage and administer health benefits and deductions.
  • QuickBooks Payroll integrates with other QuickBooks solutions and is available as an add-on for QuickBooks Desktop.


  • QuickBooks Payroll does not offer compliance management or overtime tracking.
  • The Core package does not include time tracking.
  • The software can be expensive for larger teams.


QuickBooks has a strong reputation overall as most users find it easy to use, efficient, and affordable. However, we did find some complaints from customers on G2, where the software has a rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars, based on 32 reviews.

Some users felt the software could be easier to use, while others were satisfied with the platform's user-friendliness. While most were satisfied with the feature profile, some considered the software to be expensive.



QuickBooks Payroll

Number of pay runs


Automated tax payments and filings

Manage garnishments and deductions

Next-day direct deposit

Available on the Core plan.

Same-day direct deposit

Available on the Premium and Elite plans.

Workers’ compensation administration

Included on the Premium and Elite plans; available at an additional cost of $5.00 /mo. on the Core plan.

Employee portal

Payroll reports

Price Comparison:

QuickBooks Payroll vs. Gusto
QuickBooks Payroll vs. Gusto:

Gusto starts at $40.00 per month plus $6.00 per person, with the exception of the Contractor plan, which has no monthly base fee. By comparison, QuickBooks Payroll starts at $45.00 per month plus $4.00 per employee. Both offer full-service payroll and health benefits with their starting plans.

QuickBooks Payroll vs. Gusto Comparison:


QuickBooks Payroll


Free Trial

30 days

30 days

Payroll only

$45.00 /mo. + $4.00 /employee /mo.

$40.00 /mo. + $6.00 /employee /mo.

Payroll + HR

$75.00 /mo. + $8.00 /employee /mo.

$80.00 /mo. + $12.00 /employee /mo.

QuickBooks Payroll vs. Zenefits
QuickBooks Payroll vs. Zenefits:

Zenefits' payroll is only available as an add-on to the HR platform at an extra cost of $6.00 per employee per month. QuickBooks Payroll, on the other hand, offers a standalone payroll solution for $45.00 per month plus $4.00 per employee.

QuickBooks Payroll vs. Zenefits Comparison:


QuickBooks Payroll


Free Trial

30 days

14 days

Payroll only

$45.00 /mo. + $4.00 /employee /mo.

$6.00 /mo. /employee (only available as an add-on)

Payroll + HR

$75.00 /mo. + $8.00 /employee /mo.

$14.00 /mo. /employee

QuickBooks Payroll vs. Fingercheck
QuickBooks Payroll vs. Fingercheck:

Fingercheck offers good value at a cost of just $39.00 per month plus $8.00 per employee for payroll software with time tracking, HR management, and onboarding features included. QuickBooks Payroll also offers time tracking and an HR support center in its Premium plan, but users pay significantly more at $75.00 per month plus $8.00 per employee.

QuickBooks Payroll vs. Fingercheck Comparison:


QuickBooks Payroll


Free Trial

30 days

30 days

Payroll only

$45.00 /mo. + $4.00 /employee /mo.

Not available as a standalone product.

Payroll + HR

$75.00 /mo. + $8.00 /employee /mo.

$39.00 /mo. + $8.00 /employee /mo.

Feature Comparison:


QuickBooks Payroll



Direct deposit

Time tracking

✓ (Premium plan)

✓ (Complete plan)

Employee portal

Automatic deductions

Tax penalty protection

✓ (Elite plan)



See our detailed comparisons.

QuickBooks Payroll Packages:


The Core plan is a simple payroll solution that works in all 50 states and allows employers to automate their payroll cycles. Users can generate payroll reports, and employees can access the workforce portal to see their pay stubs and tax information.

You can also set up garnishments and deductions so that they are automatically applied to each paycheck. One significant disadvantage of the Core package is that it does not provide time tracking tools so that workers can track their hours and have them synced to each payroll run.


With the QuickBooks Payroll Premium package, additional features like time tracking, same-day direct deposit, and a complete HR support center are available. The service is significantly more expensive than the Core plan. However, the HR support center offers value as it aids with hiring, employee performance, and compliance with labor laws.


The Elite package is the top tier of QuickBooks' payroll offerings. A bonus with the Elite plan is that businesses get tax penalty protection. This means that QuickBooks will cover your IRS penalties up to $25,000 per year, if necessary. The package also gives you access to their Tax Resolution team, which can assist with tax filing issues.


What is QuickBooks Payroll?

QuickBooks Payroll is a software solution that businesses can use to manage their payroll processes. It is available as a standalone solution or as an add-on for QuickBooks Desktop.

How much does it cost to use QuickBooks Payroll?

At the lower end of the spectrum, QuickBooks Payroll charges a base fee of $45.00 plus $4.00 per employee per month. Their top-end plan includes a base fee of $125.00 plus $10.00 per employee per month.

How many employees can be paid through QuickBooks Payroll?

QuickBooks Payroll allows you to pay as many employees as you want. Depending on your chosen plan, you will be required to pay a monthly fee of between $4.00 and $10.00 for each employee. Note that your monthly base fee will remain unchanged.

Can I print checks from QuickBooks?

Yes, QuickBooks has a check printing feature, and they sell customized QuickBooks checks so that you can use the software to create checks without running into a printing error. Just go to intuitmarket.intuit.com/checks to place an order.

Can you use QuickBooks Payroll without a subscription?

Yes, you can use QuickBooks Payroll without a subscription by using the desktop program.

Do I need to update QuickBooks Payroll every year?

No, QuickBooks Payroll only needs to be updated every three years.

Is there a QuickBooks Payroll support line?

If you need QuickBooks' help, specifically with payroll, you should go to quickbooks.intuit.com/learn-support/. This is a part of the QuickBooks help community that is dedicated specifically to payroll issues.

What are some alternatives to QuickBooks Payroll?