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2012 Review of QuickBooks Payroll Enhanced for Accountants

Intuit — QuickBooks Payroll Enhanced for Accountants

From the October 2012 review of professional payroll systems.

Best Firm Fit: Accounting professionals currently using QuickBooks extensively throughout their practice who need a cost effective way to manage live and after-the-fact payroll


  • Cost effective service to enhance payroll functions built into QuickBooks
  • Full range of custom reporting capabilities
  • After-the-fact payroll is included in pricing
  • Unlimited processing for up to 50 EINs

Potential Limitations

  • Employee self-service offerings are not as strong as competitor solutions
  • Must maintain QuickBooks within a three version cycle to continue payroll processing.

Payroll Enhanced for Accountants is an Intuit payroll service solution offered to accounting professionals currently using QuickBooks accounting software. The service offering provides accounting professionals all the tools necessary to perform live and after-the-fact payroll service for up to 50 unique EINs. Since the service integrates directly with QuickBooks, accounting professionals are able to provide full-service accounting functions inside one product solution.

Basic System Functions: 4.75 Stars

Payroll Enhanced for Accountants is a subscription payroll service designed to enhance payroll functions in the QuickBooks Pro and Premiere software lineup. The current subscription release requires QuickBooks Pro/Premiere versions 2010 or newer.

All payroll functions are located in the Payroll Center and Employee Center within QuickBooks. From these screens, users get a dashboard view of current and upcoming payroll related tasks and payments due as well as comprehensive management of all employee data.

Payroll Enhanced for Accountants provides unlimited payroll processing for up to 50 EINs. Due to QuickBooks design limitations, the payroll service is designed to process payroll for companies with 100 or fewer employees. Users process payroll based on available timekeeping functions within QuickBooks or through manual time entry. Employees may be grouped by type and payroll frequency and processed in batches within each company.

Payroll Enhanced for Accountants automatically calculates all earnings, payroll taxes and deductions as defined in the system. Each employee check may be viewed, edited and assigned job costing allocations as necessary before final processing.

Once payroll is finalized, all checks may be printed locally by the accounting professional or processed through the direct deposit system, though minimal fees will apply for each direct deposit check. All employee paystubs may then be uploaded to the included employee portal for employees to view.

After-the-fact payroll processing capabilities are provided with the Payroll Enhanced for Accountants service and can be accomplished within a spreadsheet-style data entry screen. The after-the-fact data entry screen may be fully customized for quick data entry to match the sequence of data provided in manual ledgers provided by clients.

Payroll Enhanced for Accountants automatically calculates the net-to-gross amounts and identifies errors in fixed-percent calculated withholding amounts.

Reporting & Monitoring: 4.75 Stars

Payroll Enhanced for Accountants provides electronic processing of compliance filing and payment of all federal obligations without incurring additional fees. Electronic processing for a small number of state compliance filings and payments are also provided.

New for the current release is the ability for accounting professionals to auto-fill the primary signature, third party designee and paid preparer information on federal and state tax forms. Also new this year is the ability to file multiple 941s in batch using the static PIN of the accounting professional, though this will require application and approval by the IRS.

Eight predefined payroll reports are provided within QuickBooks to detail various aspects of recent and historical payroll runs. State specific reports and a variety of other reports may be accessed through an Excel PivotTable report generated from within QuickBooks.

Currently very little report customization is provided for payroll data other than filtering of dates and employee information. Compliance and due date monitoring is available through the Payroll Center feature within QuickBooks.

Integration/Import/Export: 4.5 Stars

Payroll Enhanced for Accountants is a payroll service offering that enhances the payroll functions included with QuickBooks. Due to this, tight integration is achieved with the other modules included with QuickBooks and provides accounting professionals a single platform to perform nearly all accounting and financial functions.

As payroll is processed, all reports and accounting data immediately reflect the updated information. Timekeeping functions are available inside QuickBooks and all time data posted by employees are reflected in the payroll module. Exporting of payroll data is limited to reports exported to Microsoft Excel format. Currently any payroll information processed outside QuickBooks must be manually entered into the system.

Help/Support: 5 Stars

As part of QuickBooks, help and support for Payroll Enhanced for Accountants is provided through the QuickBooks help menu options. Telephone and chat support is also included with the service offering and is available during normal business hours. Additionally, all users have access to the online Intuit payroll knowledgebase, which provides helpful tips and answers to most user questions.

A peer-to-peer community is offered through the Intuit website and allows a variety of assistance from peers and Intuit payroll specialists in a social media type setting.

Client Self-Service Features: 4.25 Stars

Intuit maintains an employee portal, ViewMyPaycheck, and provides this service with each of its desktop payroll solutions. Upon completion of payroll processing, users simply upload the appropriate information through QuickBooks. Once uploaded, employees may view current and historical paystubs as well as annual W-2 filings.

Each employee will receive a login invitation via email which directs them to the appropriate site to login. Employees are responsible for creating and maintaining an Intuit user ID and password combination to access this information. Employees may also access this information via their smartphone and tablet devices through dedicated mobile websites.

Summary & Pricing

Intuit QuickBooks Payroll Enhanced for Accountants is a payroll service solution for existing users of QuickBooks accounting software. The service unlocks all payroll functions within QuickBooks and allows accounting professionals to process live and after-the-fact payroll. Since all payroll processing is done inside the QuickBooks accounting software, complete end-to-end accounting can be achieved within one software solution.

First year pricing for Payroll Enhanced for Accountants is $316 and allows unlimited live and after-the-fact payroll processing for up to 50 unique EINs. Payroll Enhanced for Accountants may also be bundled with the Intuit ProAdvisor membership at a discounted rate. Other discounts and special pricing offers may be offered throughout the year.

2012 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars


See inside October 2012

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