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How to Set Up a Payroll Item List in QuickBooks 2012

The Payroll Item List in QuickBooks 2012 identifies items that appear on employee payroll check stubs. If you’re using an outside payroll service bureau to handle your payroll — and this isn’t a bad idea — you don’t even need to worry about the Payroll Item List.

If you’re using the QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll Service, again, don’t worry about the Payroll Item List. (In either case, the QuickBooks folks set up the payroll items that you use for recording payroll.)

And in the case of the Intuit’s full-blown “we-do-everything” Payroll Service, you don’t even need to track payroll inside QuickBooks because the QuickBooks people do it at their office location on their computers.

If you do need to add payroll items, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Lists→Payroll Item List command.

    QuickBooks displays the Payroll Item List window.

  2. To add a new Payroll Item, click the Payroll Item button and then choose New from the Payroll Item menu.

    QuickBooks displays the Add New Payroll Item dialog box. You can choose to set up a new payroll item either by using the EZ Set Up Method or the Custom Set Up Method. If you want QuickBooks to help you and you’re setting up a common payroll item, click the EZ Set Up button, click Next, and then simply follow the on-screen instructions.

    If you want to perform a custom setup of a payroll item, click the Custom Set Up button and then Next. QuickBooks walks you through a multiple-screen interview that asks you about the payroll item to set up.

    For example, the first dialog box that QuickBooks displays asks you to identify the type of payroll item that you want to create. You answer this question by selecting one of the radio buttons and then clicking Next.

  3. Name the payroll item.

    After you identify the type of payroll item, you name it. QuickBooks provides another version of the Add New Payroll Item dialog box that includes a field you fill in to give the new item a name.

  4. To finish the payroll item setup, click the Next button to move through the remaining payroll item setup questions.

    You identify the name of the government agency to which the liability is paid, the taxpayer identification number that uniquely identifies you to the taxing agency, the liability account that you use to track the items, the tax form line that you use to report the item, the rules that QuickBooks should use for calculating the item (such as whether the item is subject to taxes), and a couple of other miscellaneous pieces of data.

    After you supply all this information and click the Finish button (which appears on the last version of the Add New Payroll Item dialog box), QuickBooks adds the new payroll item to the Payroll Item List.

    The Payroll Item menu supplies commands that are useful for working with the Payroll Item List. In addition to the commands that you use to add an item to the list, the menu supplies commands for deleting payroll items, renaming payroll items, making payroll items active, and printing the list of payroll items.

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