Trouble Adding Bonus Paycheck

DR806
DR806 Member ✭✭
Using Quicken for Windows and its Paycheck Setup wizard, I've had my wife's paychecks set up for several years. Works well, no problems until I try to add a bonus paycheck! Then I have all sorts of problems. I've tried a couple of approaches such as copy and paste and creating from scratch, which I detail below. Since I only try to add this bonus once per year, I can't remember all the details of what has happened, but here's what I think happened for each approach:

* Copy and Paste: Two years ago, the Copy and Paste of a paycheck screwed up either previous paychecks, future paychecks, or both. Can't remember for sure, but I decided to never to use the Copy and Paste again for paychecks! For other types of transactions, other than paychecks, I use Copy and Paste all the time! So why does it not work for paychecks? To fix the issue a couple of years ago, I had to re-enter A LOT of paychecks!!! I have now read in a post today, that the newly copied transaction must be saved BEFORE starting any edits. Is the fix for Copy and Paste of a paycheck as simple as that? Does anyone have a verification that this approach will DEFINITELY work when using Copy and Paste for a paycheck?

* Last year, I created the bonus paycheck from scratch, but it did NOT get included in the Quicken Y-T-D totals for her pay; therefore, the Quicken totals did not match her official W-2! To fix last year I deleted the manually added bonus paycheck and added new lines to a normal existing paycheck. Seems the real issue was that the manually added bonus paycheck did not have the "paycheck" designation on its line. So, is the correct way to manually add a bonus paycheck to add the once-per-year check using the Paycheck Setup wizard? And, if I use this approach, will the check be in her Y-T-D totals for her pay from that company? (In other words, when using the Paycheck Setup wizard, does Quicken combine the different pay types (semi-monthly and annual) into one total for the company? (hopefully, yes)

Finally, are there other ways to enter a bonus paycheck that I haven't included here? And, which way is safest and can be continually used in the future?

Thank you

Best Answers

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    If the bonus is a separate annual paycheck, you could use the Paycheck Wizard (It is in the Tax Center at the bottom of the left column) to create another paycheck that repeats once per year with a typical bonus amount and deductions. This will have a Reminder just like your regular paycheck, and will not interfere with the reminders for that.
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  • DR806
    DR806 Member ✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Hi Jim, yes the bonus paycheck is a separate check on a different date than her normal paychecks, and it has very few deductions comparatively speaking. (I think I accidentally clicked on "Yes" for your answer as THE answer. Didn't mean to do that.)

    So if I use the Paycheck Wizard, it WILL combine the bonus check into her Y-T-D totals for that company?
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    DR806 said:
    So if I use the Paycheck Wizard, it WILL combine the bonus check into her Y-T-D totals for that company?
    If you use the same company name on the bonus paycheck, it should combine the income.

    By default, Quicken uses the "Bonus" Category with the appropriate tax line item for your bonus payments and "Bonus Spouse" for spouse bonuses. You may want to make these subcategories of Salary and Salary Spouse to make them easier to track.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • DR806
    DR806 Member ✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Okay, after doing some testing, I decided to use the Paycheck Setup wizard to setup an annual bonus paycheck. It was quite easy. Furthermore, the testing proved out that the bonus paycheck 'is' included with my wife's salary in the Tax Planner just like a normal paycheck is. So, all is well.

    A note about using the Bonus category vs the normal Salary-Gross category: Rather than using the Bonus category for the pay on the bonus paycheck, I used her normal Salary-Gross category. I don't need to track the bonus separately, although I understand some people might need to. If you do use the Bonus category, I would suggest doing what @Jim_Harman said to do: move your Bonus category to be a sub-category of the associated Salary category (self or spouse).

    Also, I did NOT test the Copy and Paste theory pointed out in the first paragraph of the @Sherlock post of Dec 23. Given my history of trouble using the Copy and Paste for paychecks (I had to re-enter many paychecks a couple of years ago), the testing needed would have required copying my data file, and all the time spent proving all that. And again, sometimes even when testing is done and looks good, a problem is created that is not discovered for a while. Therefore, I did not test the VERY simple 'Copy and Paste but Save before editing' theory. However, I have no reason to believe this would not work. And several people say it does. (Note - I use Copy and Paste all the time with no difficulty for normal transactions. But for some reason, the Copy and Paste has issues with paycheck transactions.)

    Thank you for everyone's thoughts and comments. Much appreciated!
    DR

Answers

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Is the bonus paycheck issued separately from her regular paycheck, with just a few deductions, or is the bonus payment part of a regular paycheck? I would enter the bonus differently depending on the answer. 
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The save before editing an entry in a pasted split transaction is the well known work around we've suggested for many years.  It appears a paste by itself does not save the split entries to the new transaction.

    We used to be able to simply enter a bonus paycheck transaction using the existing paycheck reminder and reset the Start on: date but this approach has not worked since about May of 2020 in the subscription release: https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7876449/issue-with-bills-tab

    The approach I suggest is to memorize a good bonus transaction (select the transaction in the register and press Ctrl + M).  Then, when you want to enter a bonus transaction in the future, use the memorized payee to enter the split.  Note: The downside to this approach is Quicken will not be able to automatically track the tax implication of a 401(k) contribution in the Tax Impact of 401(k) Accounts account.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    If the bonus is a separate annual paycheck, you could use the Paycheck Wizard (It is in the Tax Center at the bottom of the left column) to create another paycheck that repeats once per year with a typical bonus amount and deductions. This will have a Reminder just like your regular paycheck, and will not interfere with the reminders for that.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • DR806
    DR806 Member ✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Hi Jim, yes the bonus paycheck is a separate check on a different date than her normal paychecks, and it has very few deductions comparatively speaking. (I think I accidentally clicked on "Yes" for your answer as THE answer. Didn't mean to do that.)

    So if I use the Paycheck Wizard, it WILL combine the bonus check into her Y-T-D totals for that company?
  • DR806
    DR806 Member ✭✭
    Hi Sherlock. I believe the whole problem is I don't have a good bonus paycheck transaction to copy. Once I establish one, I can use this. For now, it's the original establishment of a bonus paycheck transaction that I'm trying to figure out. And yes, I need the bonus paycheck to count in all her Y-T-D totals. There are tax (used for planning) and can be 401(k) implications.

    Depending on other answers I receive, I may try the Copy and Paste you described (save before edit) in a test file. The trouble with using a test file in Quicken is, it looks like everything is good, and then when you actually use your tested procedure, issues are created that don't get discovered until weeks later! That's why I had to re-enter a lot of paychecks a couple of years ago.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    DR806 said:
    So if I use the Paycheck Wizard, it WILL combine the bonus check into her Y-T-D totals for that company?
    If you use the same company name on the bonus paycheck, it should combine the income.

    By default, Quicken uses the "Bonus" Category with the appropriate tax line item for your bonus payments and "Bonus Spouse" for spouse bonuses. You may want to make these subcategories of Salary and Salary Spouse to make them easier to track.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    My wife works in retail and gets a bonus on most months (she gets both a regular paycheck and a bonus one).  So, what I do is first enter the reminder for the standard paycheck, and then I click on her next reminder and select "Edit this instance and all future instances" and change the date to today.

    That has the effect of now having another reminder ready for entering into the register, I select it, change the memo from Regular to Bonus and then fill in the information and accept it.  Note you can select Edit on the Salary line and change its name/category, but don't even bother, it isn't important to use to separate out what is amount is bonus, and for tax purposes it all goes to the same place.

    Note at this point you are editing the transaction in the register and as such not affecting the future paychecks.  Also, since even though you are setting the date for this reminder back to today, the fact that you enter it into the register means that the reminder increments to the next paycheck period and as such is still in sync for that.

    I don't really like the copy approach because of how finicky Quicken is about pasting transactions into the register.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • DR806
    DR806 Member ✭✭
    Hi Chris. I understand the concept of what you are doing. And this sounded intriguing, so I tested it. However, my testing did not work:

    > @Chris_QPW said:
    > "Edit this instance and all future instances" and change the date to today.

    Okay, I use this function often... when I want to change a Reminder permanently. In this case, it did not work for me. When I tested using a simple transaction that has future Reminders, it permanently changed the Reminder date to today and throws off all future Reminders. I even tried changing the 'future instances' back to the original date before hitting save in the "Edit Bill Reminder" box, but it changed my 'today' date back to where it began!

    So I guess I don't understand how this next statement gets accomplished?
    > @Chris_QPW said:
    > the fact that you enter it into the register means that the reminder increments to the next paycheck period and as such is still in sync for that.

    Mine are no longer in sync. So, what am I missing?

    Thanks,
    DR
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Hmm.  Maybe there is a basic assumption that is different.
    My wife's bonuses are recorded on the same day as her regular paycheck, and that I'm entering it on the date that it is due, that is why I'm selecting today as the date for the bonus paycheck reminder.

    So, say the paycheck comes in on 1/25/2021 and is weekly.  The next one will be 1/1/2022.
    The regular paycheck is entered, and the reminder advances to 1/1/2022.
    Clicking on the reminder for 1/1/2022 and then changing the date to 1/25/2021 now puts a paycheck due on that day, and after it is entered again the next reminder will be on 1/1/2022.

    If the bonus paycheck is not in the same sequence/time interval, then this won't work right.

    For instance, say the regular paycheck came in on 1/25/2021, but the bonus comes in 3 days later.  Then on the day the bonus comes in you wouldn't want to edit the reminder to that day you would want to back it up to when the regular paycheck came in so that it will stay in sync with the dates that the regular paycheck come in.  Now that might mean that the reminder you are going to use for the bonus is set to be due three days before the date it really needs, but you can change that date once it is in the register along with the other information you are going to change for the bonus like the memo and the amounts.

    The point really is that understanding that if you back up the date on the reminder you will get another one due that you can enter, but you have to make sure that you when using "Edit this instance and all future instances" you have to use the date of the last paycheck so that you don't mess up the next reminder.

    Of course, fixing an out of sync paycheck reminder is nothing more than doing "Edit this instance and all future instances" again and put in the date for the next regular paycheck.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • DR806
    DR806 Member ✭✭
    > @Chris_QPW said:
    >> If the bonus paycheck is not in the same sequence/time interval, then this won't work right.

    Hi Chris. Yes, this is the problem. The sequence for her bonus check does not match her semi-monthly checks. While each year her bonus has been in December, apparently it is whatever day her company picks, but never on the same day as her normal paycheck.

    I understand how I could backdate the bonus check to a normal paycheck date, but I'd rather not.

    Thank you for your view on the issue.
    DR
  • DR806
    DR806 Member ✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Okay, after doing some testing, I decided to use the Paycheck Setup wizard to setup an annual bonus paycheck. It was quite easy. Furthermore, the testing proved out that the bonus paycheck 'is' included with my wife's salary in the Tax Planner just like a normal paycheck is. So, all is well.

    A note about using the Bonus category vs the normal Salary-Gross category: Rather than using the Bonus category for the pay on the bonus paycheck, I used her normal Salary-Gross category. I don't need to track the bonus separately, although I understand some people might need to. If you do use the Bonus category, I would suggest doing what @Jim_Harman said to do: move your Bonus category to be a sub-category of the associated Salary category (self or spouse).

    Also, I did NOT test the Copy and Paste theory pointed out in the first paragraph of the @Sherlock post of Dec 23. Given my history of trouble using the Copy and Paste for paychecks (I had to re-enter many paychecks a couple of years ago), the testing needed would have required copying my data file, and all the time spent proving all that. And again, sometimes even when testing is done and looks good, a problem is created that is not discovered for a while. Therefore, I did not test the VERY simple 'Copy and Paste but Save before editing' theory. However, I have no reason to believe this would not work. And several people say it does. (Note - I use Copy and Paste all the time with no difficulty for normal transactions. But for some reason, the Copy and Paste has issues with paycheck transactions.)

    Thank you for everyone's thoughts and comments. Much appreciated!
    DR
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