When an employee needs to get paid for a past pay period, you can create a bonus check in QuickBooks. The bonus check allows you to add the same deductions you might add to a regular paycheck and pay the employee the missed earnings using an unscheduled payroll. The payment gets recorded using a special retroactive pay item that you must set up before paying your employee. The retroactive pay item functions like a regular bonus item that you can add to any employee's check.

Create Retroactive Pay Item

Click the "Lists" drop-down menu, and select "Payroll Item List."

Select "Payroll Item" and choose "New." Select the "Custom Setup" option and choose "Next."

Select "Wage" and choose "Next."

Select "Bonus" and click "Next."

Type "Retroactive Pay" for the item name, and then click "Next."

Select the account you want to use to track the retroactive pay, and click "Finish."

Add Retroactive Pay to Checks

Click the "Employees" menu, select "Pay Employees" and choose "Unscheduled Payroll."

Select individual employees by checking the checkmark field next to each employee's name. Otherwise, select all employees by clicking the "Check All" button.

Delete the earnings for each employee by clearing the values in any fields that have a rate or number entered.

Access the Earnings section by clicking the Employee's Name.

Click below the last item in the Earnings section of the employee's paycheck and select "Retroactive Pay."

Enter the total for the retroactive pay in the Rate column.

Access the Employee Summary section. Select the "Amount" column in the Federal Withholding or State Withholding row, and clear the current values.

Type the retroactive pay amount and press the "*" key.

Enter the federal tax or state tax rate percentage into the appropriate "Federal Withholding" and "State Withholding" fields. Press the "=" key on your computer keyboard to calculate the State or Federal tax.

Click "Open Paycheck Detail." Preview each one of the checks you created by clicking "Save & Next" until you have viewed all selected paychecks.

Check the "Enter Net/Calculate Gross" box to pay the entire amount to the employee, and select "Save & Close."

Select "Continue," review the paycheck information and verify its accuracy. Click "Create Paychecks" when finished.

Click "Print Paychecks," "Print Pay Stubs" or both options to print both a paycheck and a pay stub.

Click "Send Payroll" if you use Direct Deposit or an Intuit Payroll service.


Information in this article applies to QuickBooks 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.