Boosting Productivity for ProAdvisors with QuickBooks Online Payroll

Boosting Productivity for ProAdvisors with QuickBooks Online Payroll

Are you a ProAdvisor looking to streamline your payroll management, enhance productivity and, increase firm revenue (AND be a hero to your clients)?

Well, my fellow accounting peeps, look no further than QuickBooks Online Payroll! This powerful tool offers a range of features that can help you handle payroll for your clients, making your job as a ProAdvisor much easier. In this blog post, we’ll delve into 4 key features of QuickBooks Online Payroll that can help you supercharge your productivity and get you ready for tax season:

  • Flexible Accountant Mapping in QuickBooks Online Payroll
  • Using QB Time Inside QuickBooks Online
  • Simplified Payroll Item Management in QuickBooks Online Payroll
  • Managing Employee Documents in QuickBooks Online Payroll

Flexible Account Mapping in QuickBooks Online Payroll

One of the most time-consuming aspects of managing payroll is ensuring that transactions are accurately categorized in a way that is meaningful for your clients. Having numbers in the right places so that you can be that trusted advisor is so important for you and your clients! Flexible Accountant Mapping in QuickBooks Online Payroll can make a HUGE difference here. The ability to customize and map accounts in QuickBooks Online Payroll streamlines this process, ultimately saving you time so you can get back to advisory work.

Chart of Accounts; you’ll start by making sure the Chart of Accounts is organized in a way that makes it easy for you and your clients to evaluate and make decisions about how their business moves forward.

Customize Account Mapping: Use the Flexible Accountant Mapping feature to customize the mapping of different payroll categories to specific accounts. This ensures that expenses, deductions, and taxes are accurately reflected in the client’s financial records.

Ensure Accuracy: Review and double-check the mapping to ensure accuracy. The flexibility of this feature allows you to make changes as needed, ensuring that everything aligns perfectly.

Screen shot of setting an employee deduction to an expense account in QBOP

Flexible Accountant Mapping not only saves you valuable time but also guarantees that your clients’ financial reports are accurate and compliant with accounting standards. No more sifting through confusing categories or manually adjusting accounts – QuickBooks Online Payroll does the heavy lifting for you – WOO HOO!

Using QB Time Inside QuickBooks Online

Time tracking is a fundamental aspect of payroll management, and QuickBooks Online Payroll offers an absolutely seamless solution in the form of QB Time. As a ProAdvisor, you’re likely dealing with clients who need to monitor and manage their employees’ working hours. QB Time is now integrated within QuickBooks Online, making it easy to track, report, and manage employee time effectively and without the need to load time tracking data in a separate browser. QB Time is included with the Premium and Elite QuickBooks Online Payroll subscriptions.

Here’s how QB Time can life easier for you and your clients::

Real-Time Tracking: Employees can clock in and out through the QuickBooks Workforce mobile app or web browser. The real-time tracking ensures accurate timekeeping and minimizes disputes or discrepancies.

Simplified Reporting: QB Time generates comprehensive reports, summarizing hours worked, overtime, and any time-off requests. You can easily access and share these reports with your clients, simplifying the process of payroll calculation.

Seamless Integration: QB Time is seamlessly integrated with QuickBooks Online Payroll. This means you can effortlessly transfer time data into payroll, reducing manual data entry and potential errors.

By using QB Time, we can streamline the time tracking process for our clients and enhance productivity. No more manual timesheets or time-consuming reconciliations – QB Time simplifies it all.

Simplified Payroll Item Management in QuickBooks Online Payroll

Effective payroll management requires meticulous attention to detail. QuickBooks Online Payroll understands this, which is why they’ve introduced Simplified Payroll Item Management. This feature makes it easier than ever for ProAdvisors to manage various payroll items, such as deductions, contributions, and benefits.

Here’s how Simplified Payroll Item Management can boost your productivity:

Create Custom Payroll Items: QuickBooks Online Payroll allows you to create and customize payroll items, tailoring them to your clients’ unique needs. Whether it’s healthcare contributions, retirement plans, or bonuses, you can set up and manage these items effortlessly.

Automated Calculations: The software does the calculations for these items, saving you time and reducing the chances of errors. This is particularly beneficial for complex payroll scenarios, such as those involving multiple deductions and benefits for a large number of employees.

Simplified Payroll Item Management in QuickBooks Online Payroll streamlines the setup and management of payroll items, allowing ProAdvisors to focus on more strategic aspects of our clients’ financial management.

Managing Employee Documents in QuickBooks Online Payroll

As a ProAdvisor, you’re not just responsible for checking payroll calculations – you also need to advise your clients on how to manage a variety of employee documents. QuickBooks Online Payroll offers a dedicated feature for this purpose, making it easier to maintain and access crucial HR documents.

Here’s how this feature can improve your efficiency:

Document Storage: QuickBooks Online Payroll allows your clients  to store and organize essential employee documents, such as contracts, tax forms, and identification. This eliminates the need for physical filing and reduces the risk of document loss.

Screen shot from QBOP employee detail showing uploaded documents

Secure Access: Only authorized users can access and view these documents, ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of sensitive employee information.

Document Reminders: The software can send you reminders for important events, such as contract renewals or performance reviews. This helps you stay on top of critical HR tasks.

Workforce access: Employees can also be invited to use Intuit Workforce, which will enable them to set up their direct deposit, manage their withholding and access pay stubs and W2s and more!

By centralizing document management within QuickBooks Online Payroll, ProAdvisors can save time, reduce paperwork, and enhance our overall productivity.

My go-to for payroll processing, QuickBooks Online Payroll has so many tools to help me and my clients make payroll as frictionless as ever. As a ProAdvisor, embracing these features can help you provide more efficient and accurate services to your clients while also freeing up time for more advisory offerings. So, if you haven’t already, consider adding QuickBooks Online Payroll into your toolkit and witness the transformation in your practice. Your clients will thank you for it!

This post is sponsored by Intuit and QuickBooks Online Payroll.

QuickBooks Online Payroll Makes Life Easier

QuickBooks Online Payroll Makes Life Easier

This post is all about QuickBooks Online Payroll, but before we dig in, I want to mention that as I’m writing this (in January 2023), I have a newfound appreciation for just how freaking easy QuickBooks Online Payroll makes payroll at year end. I promise I’ll tell you why in a bit; before I tell you how it’s making my life better, I want to go over some general features of QuickBooks Online Payroll.

(Yes, I am aware that I haven’t written a blog post in a Very Long Time; the last few years have been sort of… weird. I found that I needed to focus on mental health and I ended up spending a LOT of time in northern Michigan camping, hiking, and biking in 2022. BUT I’M BACK BABY SO LET’S TALK ABOUT QUICKBOOKS ONLINE PAYROLL!)

QuickBooks Online Payroll is Intuit’s online payroll solution, and after at least a decade of using Intuit’s Online Payroll for Accountants, I moved all of my payroll clients to QuickBooks Online Payroll when Intuit discontinued that product. One of my complaints about payroll as a general topic is there is never a vacation from it. I can take a week off and go up north camping, then catch up on the other services I provide clients when I get back, but with payroll that’s just not an option.

Here’s where my longtime love of Intuit’s online based software comes in, and for what it’s worth, in this video from another lifetime ago (that green eye shadow… gahhh), I’m logging in to look at payroll while on my bike, and it wasn’t staged. I did actually get a message while filming this and had to stop, login and reply.

QuickBooks Online Payroll offers a bunch of features to help make processing payroll accurate and efficient; the best part is that I can manage it from anywhere: my home office, a library, or even with my phone in my rooftop tent:

Ford F150 pickup with a rooftop tent on a bed rack

Some of the features that I love for my clients are the expert set up that comes with the Elite subscription level (I’ll share pricing at the end of this post), the tax penalty protection and the 24 hour and same day direct deposit. I love being able to tell clients that YES, we can process a paycheck TODAY and have the direct deposit hit TODAY. Another feature for Elite subscribers is the HR Services; these are delivered through a 3rd party partner called Mineral, Inc. Just recruiting and hiring is difficult enough, so to be able to have tools like handbook templates and help with setting policies or managing conflicts is a relief. For some of my small businesses, being able to offer health and 401k benefits via the QuickBooks Online Payroll HR Advisor actually makes the recruiting part easier!

For my client’s employees, logging into Workforce allows them to view paystubs and make changes to their tax withholding and direct deposit account.

My clients can also use the contractor payments feature as well


The features that I love for me, as someone who is entering the payroll and creating the paychecks for my clients, are the integration with QuickBooks Time (or even the default time tracking in QuickBooks Online), and automatic tax calculations. QuickBooks Online Payroll uses real-time tax rates and rules to calculate payroll taxes; I can say that I’ve never had an issue with taxes being miscalculated, unless it was because a state unemployment rate didn’t get updated in time. (And when that happens, QuickBooks Online Payroll makes the adjustments needed so that the employer is compliant in paying what is owed.)

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, QuickBooks Online Payroll is making payroll year end so, sooo much easier for me with the automatic tax calculations, automatic tax filing and liability payments. Why do I love this so much? Because I don’t have to worry about making sure all the 941s, 940s, W2s get efiled on time. I just need to make sure everything ties out before that happens!


I don’t have to send PDFs of the W2s to clients, or make sure they’ve mailed them out to their employees. Between the automatic tax filing and payments and the employee access to Workforce, it’s all taken care of – and my clients can access all of it whenever they need to by logging into QuickBooks Online!

Now we get into the costs; there are three different plans to choose from, each with its own set of features and pricing.


QuickBooks Online Payroll Core is the bottom tier at $45/month plus $5 per employee. It includes the automated tax filing/payment, auto payroll, 1099 E-File & Pay and next-day direct deposit.

QuickBooks Online Payroll Premium is the most popular, mid-range option at $75/month plus $8 per employee. It includes everything that Core does, plus you get QB Time and same day direct deposit.

QuickBooks Online Payroll Elite is the top tier at $125/month plus $10 per employee. This has all of the bells and whistles! It included everything in Core but also expert set up, the HR Advisor and tax penalty protection.

Employers can start at any level and upgrade or downgrade as needed.

For my fellow ProAdvisors: QuickBooks Online Accountant users get the highest tier – QuickBooks Online Payroll Elite free for their firm! There is also pricing for ProAdvisors to offer their clients as well as a revenue share option.

One last thing I want to talk about, is the improvement of support. I’m VERY picky about my support options. I prefer for any app to have an online support page – Intuit’s QuickBooks Community Knowledge Base is AMAZING, but they’ve also made some major changes to Accountant support by providing product experts with prior tax and accounting knowledge and requiring support agents to get certified as part of their training/learning path. They are also working on standardizing the Tier2 support model as well ramping up staffing and social media engagement.

For what it’s worth, I freaking LOVE the QuickBooks Online Payroll chat support. If I can’t find the answer online, I have quite a lot of options to get help by clicking the help icon in the top right corner of any page when logged into QuickBooks Online.


Screen shot 2023-01-13 at 7.28.57 am

If you just need payroll, or you want to keep it separate from the QuickBooks Online account, the stand alone option is available and transactions exported to QuickBooks Online.

With all of this,QuickBooks Online Payroll is saving me time and reducing my stress level this January!! It’s comprehensive, affordable, and the fact that it’s built right into QuickBooks Online makes it so easy!!

You can keep up to date on all things QuickBooks Online Payroll by bookmarking their updates/product news page here.

This post is sponsored by Intuit and QuickBooks Online Payroll.

Using Custom Fields in QuickBooks Online Advanced to Track Liability Insurance Certificate Expirations

Using Custom Fields in QuickBooks Online Advanced to Track Liability Insurance Certificate Expirations

QuickBooks Online Advanced has some great features: custom user permissions, multiple invoice entry, importing invoices and custom fields. This article is going to show you how to use Custom Fields in QuickBooks Online Advanced to track liability insurance expirations.

We’ll do a step by step walk-through to show how to setup and run a report.

First, we want to create an account to use for the item we’ll use to track liability insurance certificate expiration dates. From the the left nav, click Accounting > Chart of Accounts >  green NEW button in the top right corner > choose Other Current Liabilities from the drop down for Account Type and Detail Type.

Give it a name (below I named it “Liability Ins Cert Expirations” and then used the description to explain what the purpose of the account is. The balance will always be zero for this account because we’ll only be using Purchase Orders to using custom fields in QuickBooks Online Advanced to track liability insurance certificate expirations, and PO’s are non-posting transactions. Balance in the account setup screen will be zero.

Screen Shot 2019 09 17 at 10.05.05 AM

Next, we need to create a Liability Insurance Certificate item in our products and services list. From the left nav, click Sales > Products and Services > green NEW button in the top right corner > choose Service for the type of item.

Give it a name (below I named it “Liability Certificate”), and DO NOT CHECK the box next to “I sell this product/service to my customers”. DO CHECK the box next to “I purchase this product/service from a vendor”. We’re doing this so that the item cannot be used on any customer transactions.

Assign the account the new account we just created. In my example, I’m using Liability Ins Cert Expirations.

NOTE: Since this will be an item used for internal purposes only, and only on Purchase Orders, so you could indicate that in the item name, ie: Liability Certificate (FOR PO USE ONLY)

liab cert exp 01

Last part of setup is to create the Custom Field for Liability Certificate Expiration date.

Click on the Gear icon, then Custom Fields in the Lists column:



Then click the green Add Field button in the top right corner > Transaction info > click “Use on purchase orders”, enter a name and choose Date for the Type.

liab cet 05

Now we can start entering Purchase Orders to track liability insurance certificate expirations!

Click our Quick Create (aka Spinny Plus) button. I really like to watch that spin, so I had to create this gif:



Now choose Purchase Order in the Vendor column:


Once we have the Purchase Order form open, we want to choose the vendor, enter the date you’ve received the liability insurance certificate, enter the expiration date from the certificate in the Custom Field, choose the item we created, and mark the Purchase Order as closed (so that it doesn’t show up in Open PO reports).


Next, attach a PDF of the insurance liability certificate to the purchase order, by scrolling to the bottom of the PO form and dragging/dropping the file from your computer:


Now that we have the setup completed for using Custom Fields in QuickBooks Online Advanced to track liability insurance certificate expirations, you’ll want some reporting on it, so let’s create a custom report to track this.

From the left nav, click on Reports > Standard Reports and search for the “Transaction List by Date” report (which happens to be my favorite starting point for most custom reports.)

By default, this report will show you all transactions for the current month. We want to click the Customize button and choose the following customizations:

Dates: All dates

Rows/Columns: Show the following columns Date, Transaction Type, Num, Name and the Liab Cert Exp custom field

Screen Shot 2019 09 17 at 11.39.39 AM

Filter: Transaction Type > Purchase Order, Amount > 0.00

Header/Footer: Change the report title (ie: “Liab Ins Cert Expiration Dates”


NOTE: You cannot filter by Custom Field (ie: this month, next month or a specific date). If you choose to filter by date, it’s going to filter by the date of the Purchase Order, and we don’t want that.

Once you have the customizations down, I recommend sorting by the Liability Insurance Certificate Expiration date Custom Field in Ascending order so that the certificates that are close to expiring (or already expired) show at the top:


After you’ve sorted, click the green “Save customization” button and create a custom report that you can run (or schedule to be sent via email on a regular basis) whenever you need to review the liability insurance certificate expiration dates. Name it and choose Firm Only under “Share with”:

liab cert 12

Now you have a simple way to use Custom Fields in QuickBooks Online Advanced to track liability insurance certificate expirations!



Add Customer Notes in QuickBooks Online

Add Customer Notes in QuickBooks Online

This recently came up in a few different places, so I thought I’d share a few ways to add customer notes in QuickBooks Online.

This first method is the easiest, and will work for any QuickBooks Online user. It’s a simple way to document customer notes in QuickBooks Online, for ongoing issues, special circumstances, etc.

Click on the Sales tab in the Left Nav bar, then the Customers tab, then click on the name of the customer/client to which you need to add notes. This will bring up the client detail page:


You have two ways to enter the notes. Either just click the notes under the name, or click the Edit button, then the Notes tab in the customer record:


There are different ways to add Customer Notes in QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Online Accountant


If you’re an accountant user and you’re using QuickBooks Online Accountant, you can use the Work tab to add Customer Notes in QuickBooks Online Accountant.

In QuickBooks Online Accountant, click the Work tab, then the Create Project button, to add a “project” . This doesn’t have to be anything that NEEDS to get done, it could just be some general notes that you want to keep, so keep that in mind when you’re setting a due date. In this case, I called the project “~Client Name~ Notes”


If you DO need to assign some follow up to anything related to the notes, you can add a Task to the the notes “project”, and assign that task to a specific team member. Here I am searching the project, opening it by clicking the name, then clicking the Add a task button and assigning it to another team member.

So there you go! No need for additional apps to keep track of customer/client notes. You can add Customer Notes in QuickBooks Online or use Work in QuickBooks Online Accountant to add them and assign follow up to your team members!


Price Rules in QuickBooks Online

Price Rules in QuickBooks Online

Price Rules in QuickBooks Online are here!. Price rules/Price levels are one of the few features that I’ve said I need in order to put all of my clients on QuickBooks Online and then never look back at QuickBooks desktop. (Unless it’s to convert to QuickBooks Online).

For the record, the other features are:

  1. Integrated direct labor costing. This one… I have nothing to say about it right now. It’s still the one thing that keeps my contractor clients from making the jump. Let’s just not talk about it and move on to the good stuff.
  2. Progress Invoicing. I’m actually doing beta testing for this. SQUEEEEE.
  3. Receive Partial Purchase Order. We now have that! Check out that article here.

This post, my friends, is about Price Rules in QuickBooks Online. Known in Desktop as Price Levels, so let’s dig into how we can set them up and use them.

First we want to click on the Gear Icon in the top right corner, then choose Account and Settings.

price rules 01

Once we have the preference turned on, we can (yay!) start using Price Rules in QuickBooks Online.

First, we’ll create a general price rule. This one is a just a blanket 10% discount that can be used for any customer on any product or service:


We’ll use it on a sales transaction:

price rules 03


We can also create a new rule when we edit an item from our Products and Services list. In this example, I’m setting up a 15% discount on installation services, that will only run through the weekend.


Here’s how it looks when used on a sales transaction:

price rules 05

One last example of price rules in QuickBooks Online that I want to show is when you have pricing per item, per customer.

We’ll go Gear Icon > Products and Services, then click that drop down on the More button to choose Price Rules. Once you see the list of your price rules in QuickBooks Online, click the green New price rule button.

Here I am setting this up, and instead of choosing to set the price or rate by percentage or fixed rate across all of the items, I chose Select Individually and then adjust each item, per the contract. Because I chose to have this price rule only apply to one customer, it won’t be available when I create sales transactions for other customers.


The last thing I want to show is that you can make any of the prices rules in QuickBooks Online inactive, so that they cannot be used when creating Sales Transactions.

If you go back to the same place we just were: our price rules list, we can click on the Edit button in the action column and make any of them inactive. PRO TIP: if you’re logged into your account, here’s a shortcut to the list of price rules in QuickBooks Online:

price rules 07

So there you have it! A nice overview of how price rules in QuickBooks Online are created and used.

InvoiceSherpa, the easiest way to manage accounts receivable

InvoiceSherpa, the easiest way to manage accounts receivable

Looking for an easier way to manage accounts receivables? Then you need to check out This app first hit my radar a few years ago, when I met the founder, Shaun Clark, at the California Accounting Show. Hands down, I think is the easiest way to manage accounts receivables, and I’ll give you 4 examples. 

One great feature that I want to point out is the Customer Portal. This is a way for your customers to “view, pay and ask questions about all of their invoices”. One question I get often about QBO is whether customers are able to pay more than one invoice using the QBO Invoice Portal… and the answer is no.’s Customer Portal DOES allow for this!


Manage Accounts Receivable with’s customer portal


Here are 4 examples of industries that could benefit from using to manage accounts receivables.


Consultant – We have a number of clients that do various types of consulting work, and the one thing they all have in common is having to chase down their money. Here’s how they’re using to manage accounts receivables.

Before the invoice is due, you can let the client know they have an invoice, as well as schedule reminders a few days before it’s due (using email and/or text). You can also send them an automated thank you when they pay!

Manage Accounts Receivable with

Use to automate how invoices are sent and reminding your customers about upcoming due dates


With reminders, you can ALSO gently nudge them (as many times as they need it) if their invoice(s) becomes past due, and even schedule reminder phone calls!

Using to manage accounts receivable

Schedule email or text reminders to clients or internal team members, and schedule reminder phone calls too! makes it easy to manage accounts receivables.


Property Management – Automate late fees. As a former landlord, I could set up recurring sales receipts to charge their debit/credit card or draft their bank account, if my tenants agreed to that. If they didn’t, I could still have their invoice automatically sent. What I couldn’t do, however, was automate any late fees once they 10th of the month rolled around. When using to manage accounts receivables, late fees are a snap!

The late fees are calculated based on your criteria (you can have multiple late fees, based on percentage or flat fee), and they’re added to the corresponding invoice:

Using to manage accounts receivable adds late fees to the appropriate invoice in QBO



Home Appraiser – I love the customer portal for this industry; whomever has ordered the appraiser (often an appraisal management company) has one central site in which to login, view and pay all of an appraiser’s invoices. 

Using to manage accounts receivable

Customers get an invite, and have one central location to view & pay all of their invoices



Medical Provider – We have a couple of medical provider clients at Kildal Services that don’t accept insurance – they’re cash only, and they often get asked by patients for payment plans. While you can do it in QBO with recurring transactions, it’s SO MUCH EASIER with

Using to manage accounts receivable helps you manage accounts receivables with easy to create payment plans


So there you have it – 4 great reasons to use to manage accounts receivables. To learn more, you can check out the interview with founder, Shaun Clark here. Better yet, just go to and give it a try – free for 30 days!

Pin It on Pinterest