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Enabling Payroll for QuickBooks


QuickBooks Payroll for employees allows you to calculate paychecks directly from timesheets. To do so, you will export timecards from SpringAhead, not gross payroll information. Using this guide, you will:

  • Configure QuickBooks for Payroll
  • Configure SpringAhead for exporting to QuickBooks for payroll
  • Advanced: Create and configure custom time types in SpringAhead for use with QuickBooks Payroll 

Configuring Settings in QuickBooks

In QuickBooks, you will need to setup both payroll items and employees to import timecards from SpringAhead for payroll. Note: This guide will point you in the right direction, but ideally you should involve your accountant or QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

  • Set up your payroll items. At a minimum, you will need one for hourly employees (typically Hourly Regular Rate) and one for salaried employees (typically Salary). Each can be assigned the same or unique expense account (typically Payroll Expenses).
  • Set up each employee. First, ensure that Use time data to create paychecks is checked (change tabs to the Payroll and Compensation Info tab when editing employee).
  • Second, attach the payroll item to the employee and assign the correct hourly rate or salary rate (in the Payroll and Compensation Info tab in the Earnings section).
  • Be sure to sync with SpingAhead before proceeding to ensure that all of the payroll items and employees are in SpringAhead.

For additional help, consult your Intuit or QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

Configuring Settings in SpringAhead

In SpringAhead, follow these steps to configure your My Company settings for exporting timecards to QuickBooks:

  • In the Settings tab, click My Company.
  • In the Invoicing heading, uncheck Export Timecards with Invoices.
  • In the Payables: Payroll Export heading, check Export Timecards with Payroll. It is important to export time from only one of these areas, and Payables is appropriate for QuickBooks Payroll.
  • In the same section, set the Payroll Software to Archive (None). This means that SpringAhead will not export a journal entry for the gross payroll information, only the timecards.
  • In the Payables: Accounting Export heading, set the Payable Software to QuickBooks. This allows bills (for consultants) and checks (for employee expenses) to export correctly to QuickBooks.
  • Near the bottom in the Timecard Payroll Items and Codes heading, select the correct payroll items for each type of time (Regular, Overtime, Sick, Vacation, etc). Be sure to select one for both hourly and salaried employees, as appropriate. (If you need other types of time tracked, see the next Custom Time Types Settings segment below).
  • Save My Company by scrolling to the bottom and clicking the Save button.

If you need to track different types of time other than the built-in types (for example, PTO), see Creating Custom Time Types.

The employee should now be able to select this new time type for this project, and in QuickBooks, the correct payroll item will be selected on the exported timesheet. Ensure that in QuickBooks, you have this payroll item assigned to each employee that needs to use it.

Please Note: Something like PTO would typically only be enabled on a single internal project, while something more global like 'Night Shift Differential' would be enabled on multiple or all projects.

If you need multiple pay rates for a single employee, this requires some special setup in both QuickBooks and SpringAhead.

  • In QuickBooks, create unique payroll items for the additional rate(s). We recommend using a generic name like 'Hourly Rate 2'. This allows it to be used for multiple reasons, not something hard-coded like 'Jim's Pay on Project X.'
  • In SpringAhead, you need to create a new time type (typically generic like 'Regular 2'). Follow the previous steps for Custom Time Types to create a time type. Be sure to sync if you just created the payroll item.
  • If you want the employee to select between the two ('Regular' or 'Regular 2'), just enable both 'Regular' time on the project and also 'Regular 2' by following the above steps for allowing a custom time type on a project.
  • If you want the project to drive the different rate, simply enable just one or the other on each project ('Regular' or 'Regular 2'). If you need both and don't want it selected, you must create sub-projects for each type of time.
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