Manage Payroll from your iPhone or iPad with Intuit Online Payroll Mobile

Written by Charlie Russell

Do you need to manage payroll for your company, or for your clients, while you are out of the office? Intuit provides a free app that works with Intuit Online Payroll that lets you enter employee hours, preview pay information, and deliver paychecks and paystubs all from your iPhone or iPad. Let’s take a look at the latest version which expands this to support accounting professionals.

Intuit provides a number of different payroll products. The Intuit Online Payroll product comes in two versions:

Intuit released the Intuit Online Payroll app for the iPhone (and iPad) in October 2010. This worked for the single company payroll product. If you were using the Accounting Professionals version you would have to log in to each of your clients separately, which was inconvenient.

An updated version that supports the Accounting Professionals product was released on April 6, 2011. The app is available through the iTunes store, and it is free. This allows you to manage all of your client payrolls very easily, from one login.

This app is not a complete payroll management product. The primary purpose is for you to enter hours for employees, preview and approve checks, and then deliver the checks and paystubs. You won’t use it to set up employees, cut special checks, or generate management reports.

Log in from your iPhone or iPad using your IOP credentials. Note that I tested this with an iPad 2, although some of the screen shots are from an iPhone.

Intuit Online Payroll app for iPhone and iPad

If this is an Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals account you will see a list of companies that you are managing. Your own company account at top, followed by your client list. This is the primary addition in the recently released 2.0 version.

Intuit Online Payroll app for iPhone and iPad

Once you select a company to work with, you will see the list of employees. You can see which are salaried and which are hourly.

Intuit Online Payroll app for iPhone and iPad

To enter the hours for the employee, simply tap on the box and enter the number of hours. You don’t need to enter anything for salaried employees.

Intuit Online Payroll app entering hours

If you tap on the arrow next to the employee you will see more detail about that employee. The first screen shows you details of the pay rate, and has a button that you can use to prevent a paycheck from being cut for this employee. This is an important feature, as I’ll describe later.

Intuit Online Payroll app employee detail

Employee Information

Once your payroll is entered tap Preview to see a list of the checks, with the total net pay.

Intuit Online Payroll app -preview list

If everything looks good, tap approve, then you can send the paychecks to be processed.

Intuit Online Payroll app for iPhone and iPad

Confirmation comes back quickly. You have the option to send the paystubs to employees.

Intuit Online Payroll app confirmation

I do have a confession to make before I get to my analysis. If you have been following my blog you probably know that I am not always a fan of mobile apps. I live at my desktop, and I’ve been known to say “I don’t own an iAnything” when ranting about Intuit’s emphasis on mobile computing over working from your office computer. Well, it finally happened, I gave in to iPad envy. I now have an iPad 2 (thanks, Doug!) and I actually have used it while on a couple of  trips. I still rely heavily on my desktop computer, but my resolve may be weakening a bit!

This payroll app is the first iPad business app that I’ve worked with. I found it very easy to navigate, everything was laid out logically and simply. Performance (on my iPad on a wireless hotspot) was excellent. I do, however, have a couple of concerns after spending some time evaluating this with the demo file:

  • If you have an extensive list of employees, it may be easy to overlook entering hours for an employee. There is a review screen before you process payroll, but you have to scroll through the list to see each employee and notice if you skipped one. I found that entering hours was very easy, but I would like to see some better checks and balances to find potential errors or omissions before I tap that process paychecks button.
  • This is best suited for situations where you are managing your regular payroll cycle, not for cutting individual employee checks. If you have a special situation and you want to cut a check for just one employee, you can just enter the hours for that employee and not the others. However, if you have salaried employees, you have to go into each individual salaried employee record and disable payment for them. If you have a lot of salaried employees this can be tedious. I would like to have a simple way to turn off all salaried employees if I want to cut a special check.

These aren’t major problems. Intuit doesn’t intend this to be a method for doing all of your payroll processing. Also, you will note that there are “email us” links in several places where you can provide feedback about what you might want to see changed or added.

All in all, I’m happy with what I see here. If you are using Intuit Online Payroll this is an excellent tool.

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About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been the managing editor and primary writer for the Sleeter Report since 2011. Charlie can be reached at charlie@ccrsoftware.com

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.


  • As the owner of my own small business (doing QB Consulting), I find myself asking “Why do I need this…What the heck is a ‘paycheck’????” Ha Ha. Golly gee wiz, I wish I made enough money to get a paycheck so that I could use this application….I could have used it while sitting in the tornado shelter as the storms passed today.

    Another well written and informative Blog…….guess the reason you haven’t had anyone else comment thusfar is that a lot of QB ProAdvisors haven’t seen it yet because they are all out in Vegas at the NAN conference banquet having their steak, champagne and strawberry dinner.
    (I bet, more like a rubber chicken, RC Cola and a Moon-pie).

    Charlie – you have my permission to take a few days off and enjoy the Memorial Day holiday…(enjoy it)…then back to work on another ‘blog’ article.


    • Thank you, Murph, hope that you don’t get blown away out there.

      With this new version of the app, you can use it if you are managing your CLIENT’S payroll. Which, in your case, is a scary thought.

      This Memorial Day weekend is going to be harder work than work – I’m helping run a youth soccer tournament with 148 teams coming to our small town. Non stop work and 16 hour days for me Friday through Monday (well, Monday won’t be a 16 hour day, only 12).

      No iPhone for me – dang things are too small for me to be able to see.

  • O’h one more (last)thing…I forgot to give you grief for going ‘i’ since you had said you didn’t have an ‘i’ anything……..well enjoy your new ‘iPad’….gosh next thing you know you will be getting one of those new 5G-iPhones and just skip 4G altogether. Hope your ‘resolve’ doesn’t weaken too badly.



  • Gosh Charlie – wish I had the hot-dog and coke concession at your soccer tournament – 148 teams will eat a lot of hot-dogs and drink a lot of cokes over a long weekend; at a modest $2.50 profit per person that’s a whole year’s income in one long weekend. Knowing you, you are volunteering to ‘run the show’ when we should be selling refreshments.

    You’re right, I hate doing payroll…..I got out of that years ago, there is nothing a person will ‘bitch’ (oops can I say that) louder about then getting a payroll check that is underpaid by 25-cents; and mis just one tax-deadline (even because of illness) and the penalty and interst you have to pay for the client will eat your whole year’s processing profits. So No iPad payroll app for me….but I do have a couple of clients who might benefit from this ability since they travel more then they are at home base….kind of like me when I was working multi-national.

    Well don’t work yourself to death at the tournament, you’re not as young as you use to be my friend. Otherwise do your best to enjoy the long weekend, and eat a hot-dog and drink a coke for me; some well deserving ‘concessionaire’ will appreciate your contribution toward their retirement plan.


    • Mindy, this particular app works with Intuit Online Payroll, which is not a part of either QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online. Intuit Online Payroll does post information to both QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online.

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