Overview

When you purchase QuickBooks Payroll, you are assigned a 16-digit service key that is specific to your EIN and payroll service. You must enter this service key into QuickBooks to activate the payroll service in your QuickBooks file.

Note: If you are trying to add a new EIN to your existing subscription, see Add an EIN to existing Basic, Standard or Enhanced Payroll subscription.

To begin

  1. Obtain your service key. It usually comes by e-mail.

    • If you do not have your service key, use our automated Service Key Retrieval tool. You will need to sign in using your Intuit Account login. If you are unable to retrieve your service key using this tool, contact us. The automated tool may not work if:
      • There are multiple payroll orders in our system for your company.
      • You purchased your payroll product from a retail store.
      • Business phone number you provided did not match what Intuit has on file.
  2. Open the QuickBooks Service Keys window.

    • If you do not have a payroll service in your company file, choose Employees > Payroll > Enter Payroll Service Key
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    • If you do have a payroll service in your company file, choose Employees > My Payroll Service > Manage Payroll Service.
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  3. In the QuickBooks Service Keys window:

    • If you are not using the disk delivery service:
      • Select Add, if no payroll service is listed.
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      • Select Edit, if a payroll service is listed.
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    • If you are using the disk delivery service:
      1. Select Edit, and take note of the service key.
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      2. Remove payroll service key in QuickBooks Desktop
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      3. Select Add, and continue with the steps below.
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  4. Enter your service key in the Service Key field.  (If you have the disk delivery service, you will also need to enter the latest disk delivery key that you received.)

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    If you have the disk delivery service, you will also need to enter the disk delivery key that you received.
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  5. Select Next and then Finish.
  6. When the Payroll Update message appears, select OK.
  7. Verify the Service Status shows ACTIVE and then select OK.

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  8. Restart QuickBooks Desktop. Now you are ready to start setting up payroll in QuickBooks!