Import payroll into QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online


If you are using a third-party payroll provider or software application to manage your payroll for your organisation to calculate wages, taxes, entitlements and deductions.  You will need to transfer your payroll data into QuickBooks periodically to accurately reflect the payroll expenses and liabilities that need to be remitted to the relevant tax collection agencies, health insurance or pension providers.

Some third-party payroll providers or payroll software applications may have a direct interface to QuickBooks but others may rely on the user to rekey the balances into QuickBooks, or they are able to export a payroll report once you have processed your payroll.

The most common way to import the payroll data into QuickBooks is using a Journal Entry which would look something like this

DateAccountDebitCreditDescriptionClass or Department
01/15/2024Wages - Regular14201
Regular Hourly WagesWarehouse
01/15/2024Wages - Overtime2411
Overtime Hourly WagesWarehouse
01/15/2024Employer Medicare expense1444
Jan Medicare expense Warehouse
01/15/2024Employer Social Security Tax expense2566
Jan Social security expenseWarehouse
01/15/2024Employer Medicare liability
1444Medicare liability in January Warehouse
01/15/2024Employer Tax liability
2566Tax liability in JanuaryWarehouse
18012Wages paid for JanuaryWarehouse

This may be considerably longer or contain more detail if payroll is being tracked by separate departments or classes and with multiple payroll periods the amount of rows of payroll data can easily reach many hundreds of rows which makes the task of rekeying that into QuickBooks arduous.

Axis can provide a way for you to get that data into both QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online saving you hours in time spent doing data entry and reducing the chance of costly mistakes with the added flexibility that you can control how the data is imported and when it is imported.

How to import Payroll using Axis

Before you start it is worth investigating the following items:

  • Matching General Ledger Account names - For the journal account to be correctly allocated then you must ensure that the name of the Account in the third party solution matches the Full name of the General Ledger account into QuickBooks (or Account Number if using Numbers).  Axis has a powerful function to assist in automatically translating Account names if they do not match
  • Tracking by Department or Class - You may need to allocate your payroll costs to the relevant department or class for more accurate reporting, making sure that the class list matches.
Follow these steps:

  1. Download a Payroll report the payroll period you require from the third party payroll provider, that could be in an IIF format or an Excel format.
  2. Open Axis and connect to your QuickBooks Desktop or Online company file
  3. Browse to the payroll report file that you previously download 
  4. Create a Journal map as described in for either Journal into QuickBooks Desktop or Journal into QuickBooks Online
  5. Import the Payroll journal directly into your QuickBooks company file