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Is Elite QuickBooks Payroll Software for Your Small Business Worth It?

Michael Pignatelli
Last Updated on September 28, 2023

Like any other area of accounting, managing payroll should mean little to no errors. But depending on several factors, such as the number of employees your business has and tax laws, it's no surprise that it’s difficult. With all the other demands on your time, you may wonder if paying for premium payroll software is worth it. 

In this blog post, we'll look at whether the full services of QuickBooks' top-tier payroll solutions are right for your business. We'll review some of this software's key features and benefits and offer some alternatives to keep your salaried employees happy. Keep reading to learn more!

Pay Your Team Through QuickBooks Software with Payroll

Small and big business owners appreciate the revolutionized cloud-based accounting service that QuickBooks Online provides to millions of ecommerce businesses. But auto-payroll and payroll tax filings takes this accounting software to another level, offering solutions like:

  • Automated payroll management and tax deductions
  • Health benefits for most states
  • 401(k) plans
  • Financial reports for paid time off, tax payments and filings, bank transactions, etc
  • 24/7 customer support

But like its accounting features, QuickBooks offers different subscription plans for various stages of your business.

QuickBooks Payroll Core

If you have a micro business online with less than ten employees, you can start with QuickBooks’s lowest-tier payroll plan. 

With this plan, you can submit payroll with minimum effort for just $45 a month. But, take note that there are additional fees per employee. It's basic payroll services without any extra bells and whistles. You can pay your staff thanks to its simple features:

  • Next-day direct deposit
  • Tax filings for federal and state payroll taxes
  • $5 additional cost for workers’ comp insurance

QuickBooks Payroll Premium

Many small businesses opt for QuickBooks's second payroll tier plan since it offers a basic payroll system with additional benefits. With just $75 per month, your small business payroll software will be able to handle teams with more than fifty employees. These are some of its features:

  • Same-day direct deposit
  • AP Intego for workers comp administration
  • Mineral Inc. for HR support
  • QuickBooks time tracking
  • Support resources for setup

QuickBooks Payroll Elite

Scalable online businesses with employees over multiple states need a powerful QuickBooks Online payroll system to handle full-service payroll and automated taxes and forms, from local taxes to health benefits. With its expert setup and a personal HR advisor, you can be sure that you can pay employees fast and easily. Get these, and more:

  • Same-day direct deposit
  • Project tracking for contractor payments
  • Covers tax charges for tax filing errors

QuickBooks Online Payroll Elite Plan in Detail

For small business owners who love QuickBooks Online, it's a no-brainer to subscribe to its highest service options. At $125 a month, you'll experience complete HR management that will file taxes, handle project-based employees and, most importantly, pay stubs and employees on time. But what entices ecommerce businesses to go for this plan are these four specific highlights.

Dedicated HR Support Center

With or without a dedicated HR team for your business, QuickBooks payroll Elite can help you create documents like an employee handbook or job offer letters, thanks to its own HR department. This can be incredibly helpful in ensuring that your employees are properly onboarded and that your HR needs are taken care of. 

Their HR team can help you create a smooth payroll system. This, in turn, can cut costs and save you time. Finally, QuickBooks gives you backend support, with someone always available to help with any HR issues.

Time-Tracking Capability

Online businesses often have employees in remote areas with different time zones and contracts. So normally, they opt for a time tracker like Hubstaff to track their worker's PTO, clock ins and outs, and more. However, QuickBooks payroll doesn’t skip this feature and designed a time tracker, also available through a mobile app.

Instead of downloading a third-party app, you can seamlessly use QuickBooks Time as your employee's digital timesheet. It has geofencing, smart alerts, and reports. This gives you real-time payroll data and avoids any double-entry or missing hours.

Expert Setup

As a business owner, you're responsible for many things, but setting up your QuickBooks shouldn't be one of them. Fortunately, you can spare the headaches of transferring your payroll data to QuickBooks since QuickBooks experts will do it for you.

Tax Penalty Protection

Asides from business taxes, you also need to handle payroll tax for every employee. So it's no surprise that it’s easy to make mistakes in tax filings. QuickBooks Elite can protect you from tax penalties for up to $25,000. Tax penalty protection offers a legal team to resolve any tax filing issues you have.

Alternatives to QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Online's top-tier plan for payroll software is perfect for any online business, big or small. Unfortunately, its pricing and additional cost per employee is a big turn-off for small business owners. You can use these well-established payroll software compatible with QuickBooks if you need more affordable automated tax payments and payroll services.


Designed to be user-friendly with a simple interface, Gusto also offers a variety of features that you can customize to meet the needs of your small business. Unlike QuickBooks payroll, this full-service payroll can handle garnishment deductions. The software is affordable, with a monthly subscription that scales to fit your business's needs.


Paychex offers integrated solutions, including basic payroll processing, time tracking, and health benefits administration. In addition, Paychex provides PEO (professional employer organization) services that can help businesses with complex HR needs to improve employee productivity and reduce costs.


Rippling is another comprehensive and efficient HR, payroll, and IT management platform that provides modular tools you can integrate into your working environment. Once you have set up the online payroll software, you can add as many as 500 business apps as needed to support your specific workforce needs. 

This payroll software offers international payroll solutions, so you can be sure you can pay anyone outside the US. Overall, this payroll tool option is an excellent choice for companies looking for a comprehensive and customizable HR solution.


You might consider this payroll software if you're on a tight budget with your online business. It features needed payroll features such as:

  • Employee self-service
  • Time and attendance tracking
  • Job costing
  • Advanced reporting.

And it integrates with popular payroll services like QuickBooks Online, ADP, and Paychex. Best of all, it's free for businesses with up to 50 employees. So if you're looking for a payroll service that won't break the bank, TimeTrex is worth checking out.

Worth the Investment with Unloop Accounting Services

So, is QuickBooks payroll software’s Elite plan worth it? The Elite plan offers all the features you need to pay your team and manage your taxes. Plus, you can test its free trial for a month. There are also alternatives to QuickBooks payroll if you're looking for a more affordable option.
But do you know who is capable of filing payroll taxes and providing pay and employee health benefits? Unloop. You don't need to decide whether or not QuickBooks Elite is for you. Unloop can give you the best financial advice and solutions for handling your entire HR. Book a call today to drive your business in the right direction.

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About unloop

Unloop is the first and only accounting firm exclusively servicing ecommerce and inventory businesses in the US and Canada. With the power of people and technology, our team dives deep into COGS and inventory accounting. You are paired with a dedicated bookkeeping team that prepares accurate financial statements, financial forecasts, and can also pay bills or run payroll for you. Come tax time, everything is organized and ready to go, so you don't need to worry. Book a call with an ecommerce accountant today to learn more.