2011 Review of Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals by Intuit ProLine


Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals by Intuit ProLine

Best Fit: Small businesses and accounting professionals who want a web-based payroll application that provides the ability to collaborate with users at other sites. It’s also a good fit for QuickBooks for Mac and QuickBooks Online users who want a payroll tool that integrates directly with their software.

From the Sept. 2011 Review of Professional Payroll Programs

Intuit Online Payroll is the web-based payroll solution that is the result of Intuit acquiring PayCycle in 2009. Intuit Online Payroll is offered as a solution for small business and as a solution for accounting professionals. Although similar in function and capabilities, this review will focus on the features of Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals.


  • Web-based payroll application with employee portals, electronic filing & collaboration with remote personnel.
  • Mobile app is available for iOS
  • Portals & reports can be branded with the firm’s name.
  • Integration supported for QuickBooks (Windows, Mac & Online), Quicken, Sage Peachtree, and ATX/TaxWise Write Up, as well as Excel or text-based data export.
  • SaaS model eliminates the need for application installation or updating.

Potential Limitations

  • Custom reporting may require export & manipulation of data in Excel.
  • Although multiple logins are permitted for each company, access is restricts for each company to only one user at a time, and companies cannot have more than 150 employees.


Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals is a SaaS (software as a service) payroll solution and may be accessed through most modern Internet browsers. Users log in to the service through a traditional user ID and password combination. An unlimited number of employees may log in to the service, but due to programming limitations only one user may be logged in to a particular client file at any time. Each user account may be custom tailored to the specific clients and tasks that are to be performed.

Once logged in, an accountant dashboard is displayed and details all payroll clients accessible by that user account, including access to the accounting firm’s payroll. Navigation is intuitive and is accomplished through tabs at the top of the screen. Each tab has a subset of options available for further navigation and drill-down capabilities, and provides easy switching between each client file. An unlimited number of clients may be added under the service, but each client may not have more than 150 employees.

The payroll run process is straightforward. Time data is entered manually or appears automatically on pay day when employees enter them using the add-on. Once time data has been approved the accounting professional may then finalize the payroll, and Intuit will process the payments and generate and populate required forms, which are processed when the accounting professional clicks the “submit” button. Once processed, a variety of forms are available for viewing, and pay stubs are automatically posted to employee portals. Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals supports up to eight hourly pay rates and the same number of reimbursements and commission in addition to any other supported pay rate and payroll deduction items, including garnishments. Employees may also have multiple state withholdings on each paycheck, but this functionality requires an additional add-on module. Direct deposit is also included in the service with support for up to two separate bank and investment accounts. Vacation, holiday and other time off accruals are automatically tracked.

Intuit has a mobile app available for users of iPhones and is available for free through the iTunes store. The app was not reviewed for this article, but is capable of performing basic payroll functions and reviewing reports for current payroll runs. The company just recently released a mobile app for Android users.


Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals processes all payments, deposits and reporting for each client. All federal and state tax forms are automatically populated with appropriate data and filed electronically as accepted. W-2s are also electronically submitted to the Social Security Administration for no extra charge. Multiple reminders for payroll-related information are available for setup and are included with the service. A dashboard is available for each client that details due dates for upcoming taxes and forms for each client, and payroll run reminders are sent via email. Email alerts may also be generated and sent to the accounting professional or other staff members responsible for the payroll tasks.

Multiple reports are included and may be grouped together to manage after each payroll run. All reports may be filtered by date and other options based on company setup and shown in a print-friendly format or exported to Excel. No report building tools are currently available for custom reports other than exporting data to Excel for further manipulation.


Intuit Online Payroll of Accounting Professionals offers a variety of integration options. Since the service is provided through Intuit, most current Intuit software offerings are supported, including multiple versions of QuickBooks and Quicken. Users of QuickBooks may experience a reduction in data entry through a feature allowing transactions to be posted to the general ledger (GL) with little effort. Integration with Sage Peachtree and CCH Small Firm Services (ATX/TaxWise) is also natively supported. Other accounting GL import and export may be accomplished through the Excel integration provided with the service. A timekeeping module is available as an add-on service and allows employees to record time through their respective employee portal, or time can be recorded through a traditional common area time clock.


Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals offers dedicated payroll specialists to each subscriber who are only available to accounting professionals and are accessible in a variety of ways. Specialists can be accessed through phone support on weekdays or online chat seven days a week. Email support provides answers that are generally provided within 24 hours. Also available is free access to Intuit’s online user community that allows peer-to-peer assistance. Traditional on-screen Help is provided, as well. All updates are automatic since the system is web-based, with no user intervention necessary.


Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals allows accounting professionals a firm-branded website to create a custom look and feel so that the firm’s name is displayed instead of Intuit’s. Access to payroll information can be fully controlled by the accounting professional for each client and employee. This allows for full data entry by some clients and employees and different levels of access: Full access allows running payroll, paying taxes, filing forms, setup & reports; Setup & Payroll allows users to setup the account, add employees, run payroll and view reports; and the Payroll & Reports level allows users to run payroll and view reports only. Employee portals are included in the subscription service, as well. Each employee is provided an email after each payroll run that informs them that a new pay stub is available. Also through the portal, employees may enter time through the available time entry module as well as view current and past pay stubs and enter time.


Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals offers a clean interface that is easy to use and allows accounting professionals to brand themselves through payroll service offerings. Several included features may aid in increased profitability. All pricing is flat rate and includes most payroll features such as unlimited payroll runs, direct deposit and employee portals. Pricing starts at $19.99 per client, per month for up to five clients, with each client having five or fewer employees. For six or more clients, pricing is tiered and billing will automatically revert to lower pricing as more clients are added. For those with 50 or more clients, pricing is $10.99 per client, per month for five or fewer employees. A time tracking module is available and is priced per employee at $2 per month.

2011 Overall Rating: