The best payroll software for small business is Gusto because of its comprehensive set of tools and a clean interface that allows for full automation. The platform covers everything from timesheets and payroll calculations to direct deposits and tax computations. Moreover, the platform is available at affordable and flexible rates.
Payroll processing is one of the most tedious aspects of managing a business. In fact, according to the 2017 Small Business Taxation Survey, 30% of small companies in the United States still spend over 6 hours each month to accomplish their payroll tasks despite having an external company to handle payroll administration.
Luckily, there are tons of payroll software available out there to accelerate the process from time tracking and pay computation to direct deposits and tax filing. Thus, all you’ll need to do is choose one that can meet the needs of your company without breaking the bank.
To narrow down your choices, we have compiled the 20 best payroll software for small businesses. Also, we paid special attention to each platform’s usability, unique functionalities, as well as the inclusions of their subscription packages so that you get a better idea of which one will give you the most bang for your buck.
In the past years, over 26% of businesses spend more than 10 hours preparing their taxes and plenty of companies had to pay IRS penalties because of erroneous tax filing. This is quite unfortunate. However, some users reported that using payroll software completing their payroll in minutes while avoiding common mistakes associated with manual computation.
Furthermore, Accountants were also able to automate a wide variety of repetitive tasks such as tracking accounts payable and accounts receivable through accounting AI. Thus, many experts and business advisers recommend that you get payroll software while your business is just starting out, even if you just have one employee. As you can see in the graphics below, a new small business that starts with payroll software which handles all the basics get to prepare for the future when the time comes that the company expands hires more employees, and managing its workforce becomes more complex.
By having this kind of software at your disposal, you can simplify and automate the process of paying your employees. From computing deductions and employee benefits to producing payslips and filing employment taxes, these SaaS products will allow you to reduce cycle times while ensuring calculation accuracy.
Moreover, nowadays, these payroll software systems can be acquired or subscribed to with SaaS and cloud-hosted options at affordable rates. Some are even offered for free which can handle basic payroll functions. Should you be interested in this type of payroll platform, you can check out our list of top free payroll software here.
Without further ado, we’ll now go over the best payroll software options for small businesses so that you can get a better idea of which kinds of tools will work best for your operations. Included below will be an overview of the features and benefits of leading payroll products. So, you can determine the best ones that match your requirements, making it easy for you to decide on your final pick.
Gusto is a cloud-hosted platform that brings together payroll, benefits administration, HR and compliance functionalities in a single, simplified package. It is targeted for small businesses looking to manage their workforce’s core HR needs. Moreover, it provides users with a solid set of payroll features, a well-designed user interface, and automation capabilities, which is why it landed the top spot on our list.
By using Gusto, you can streamline and automate the calculation, payment, and submission of a company’s local, state and federal payroll taxes. Moreover, it is also regularly updated to ensure compliance with year-end forms and taxation to avoid critical errors. Also, as a modern HR solution, this allows you to not only perform payroll computations but also keep your time tracking data and employee information in sync for better record keeping.
If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for Gusto free trial here.
Moreover, gusto integrates with accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero. Also, it interfaces well with platforms like Deputy, Homebase, and Receipt Bank among many. It has native apps for both Android and iOS devices.
The Core Plan (one of three full-service payroll plans offered) goes for a base price of $39/month, plus $6/month per person. The Complete plan has the same base price but charges $12 per user for extra features such as employee directory and survey modules. Lastly, the Concierge plan has a base price of $149/month plus $12 per person monthly.
OnPay is an easy-to-use yet robust payroll solution that offers scalable features for small and medium-sized companies. This cloud-based platform automates payment workflows and tax filing and streamlines payroll processes. You can easily enter payroll data such as hours, bonuses, reimbursements, and tips.
With its slew of payroll functionalities, the system also incorporates benefits (401(k) retirement and health insurance) and compensation insurance for workers who are employed on a pay-as-you-go basis. This cost-effective solution also facilitates unlimited payroll runs for 1099 monthly contract workers and W-2 employees for your convenience.
Should you want to investigate the platform firsthand, you can easily do so when you can sign up for OnPay free trial here.
OnPay integrates seamlessly with other business systems such as Vestwell, Freshbooks, Zenefits, Kabbage, and Magnify among many more.
Lastly, the base fee is $36/month and users (contractors and employees) can be added for $4/month per user.
Patriot Software is a robust payroll solution helping users simplify their payroll and regulatory compliance processes. The solution contains all the basics covering you from W-2s to year-end reports. Moreover, it helps you track employee salaries. Whether they are paid in cash, online or direct transfer, Patriot Software will keep everything accurate under one centralized hub.
There are two editions for this solution. First, the Basic Payroll plan is designed to cover everything payroll-related through its web-based portal. It has an intuitive layout and design that you don’t need formal training to be able to keep everything organized. Secondly, there is the Full-service Payroll package. This includes advanced features such as deposits, filing taxes, and managing collections. Also, you can just automate your year-end tax filings.
However, don’t think that the Basic Payroll plan is just basic and bland. It is a really robust package complete with historical reports including a check/deposit payment report with all the details. Moreover, it includes a free employee portal where your staff can access. They can view their tax updates and paycheck information. However, if you want to have a module that will file your taxes automatically, we recommend that you go ahead with the Full-Service plan.
You can try all its premium features at no cost when you sign up for Patriot Software free trial here.
The solution integrates well with Plaid, QuickBooks, and other Patriot Software solutions. Lastly, the Basic Plan has a base price of $10 a month plus $4 a month changed for every employee. You can also add a time and attendance module costing you $5 per employee a month. On the other hand, the Full-Service package has a base price of $30 with $4 on top for every employee. Additionally, both plans include free payroll setups. Also, you get free US-based support. Also, you can read this to get a more in-depth review of Patriot Software.
Paycor is a robust Human Capital Management (HCM) platform. It has powerful payroll solutions and powerful HR management features integrated under a single dashboard. It really is a one-stop-shop sort of an HRIS system that helps you with different HR-related processes such as onboarding and tax compliance among many others.
Moreover, you can customize the solution to fit your business requirements. Also, it allows you to manage payroll, tax compliance, and employee benefits easily. Thanks to its intuitive dashboard and easy controls, you can do this without any formal training. Also, it has a myriad of reporting tools for time tracking and monitoring. If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for Paycor free trial here.
The solution can integrate with different systems such as WageWorks, PayCard, and ESR plus more. Also, you can get native apps for both iOS and Android devices. Because Paycor is highly customizable, the vendor offers it via individualized quotes.
Key Features of Paycor
Sage 50cloud is an accounting software from the reputable UK-based Sage Group. While primarily designed for handling financial management processes such as cash flow monitoring and invoicing, this platform also offers robust add-ons for payroll management and tax preparation. Thus, you can automatically compute income tax returns, file your reports online, and directly send your employees’ pay using the software, making the entire process faster and more convenient.
Also, by choosing this product, you get a comprehensive system for accounting, cash flow management, financial consolidation, revenue recognition, order management, sales monitoring, payroll management, financial reporting, and more. Also, it is also fully cloud-based so that you can get easy access to your data whenever you want, wherever you may be.
If you want to know more about the features you can easily sign up for Sage 50Cloud free trial here.
The solution integrates with Microsoft products, Realtrac, Skype, and Bill.com among others. Also, The Pro plan with all the essential features is priced at $46.83. The Premium plan is $69.62 with the Quantum plan at $175.87 monthly. Moreover, you can also integrate Sage 50Cloud with Sage Business Cloud Accounting for a more comprehensive technology stack.
QuickBooks Payroll is an intuitive and powerful payroll standalone solution that allows you to manage payroll and compliance processes. It includes a free and fast 24-hour direct deposit feature. This allows you to submit payroll for your team up to 5 PM the day before payday easily. Also, there is a new feature that lets you pay employees on the same day.
The solution is deployed in two ways. Firstly, you can get it in a standalone version. Secondly, you get it with QuickBooks Pro together with accounting features. Both deployments allow for automatic tax updates and the monitoring of compliance with external regulations. This keeps your payroll accurate and keeps you away from costly violations. Also, it allows you to pay and file taxes right on the platform. This is thanks to it having pertinent tax forms available.
You can try all its premium features at no cost when you sign up for QuickBooks Payroll free trial here.
Additionally, QuickBooks Payroll interfaces with other Intuit products like manufacturing software, accounting software, and nonprofit accounting software among many. Furthermore, you can get native apps for QuickBooks Payroll on Android and iOS. Lastly, the standalone Full Service Payroll solution’s base price is $24 per month and each additional user costs $4. If you are going to get it as a free module from a QuickBooks suite, see how all QuickBooks offering differs here.
Key Features of QuickBooks Payroll:
ADP Workforce Now is a web-based HR application from American firm Automatic Data Processing, a provider of HR management software and services. Created for small to mid-sized companies, this platform combines all of the HR functionalities you need in a single interface. This way, you can easily manage employee payroll, time and attendance, and benefits without having to rely on multiple software solutions.
In addition to these basic payroll management functionalities, ADP Workforce Now is also equipped to minimize administrative duties by providing tax filing capabilities. With this, you get access to updated forms and ensure that your income tax returns are being calculated properly. Moreover, the vendor can also provide you with ACA compliance support to streamline the management of benefit plans.
The solution integrates well with Cronforce and Iconixx among others. Also, it has apps on Google Play and the App Store respectively. Also, subscription prices are quote-based so be sure to contact the vendor for more information.
Founded in New Zealand in 2006, Xero is multi-awarded, cloud-based accounting software used by companies worldwide. Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, it comes with enterprise-grade functionalities that handle invoicing, inventory management, bank reconciliation, and expense management for multiple currencies. Also, the platform is also known for its advanced payroll features that allow users to sync their employee productivity data, automate payroll computations, as well as prepare income tax returns.
The only downside to this platform is that while it is made available in over 180 countries. Furthermore, its payroll feature is available only for the U.S. and Australian markets. Furthermore, it comes as part of the more full-featured plans. For Australian clients, Xero offers a built-in payroll processing system including timesheets, leave management, compliance management, and self-service portals. Meanwhile, for US clients, Xero is integrated with Gusto to provide you with payroll functionalities.
Other integrations include Zenpayroll, Deputy, Neatly, and Boomr among others. Also, there are apps available on Android and Apple devices. Lastly, prices vary per region/country but in the United States, subscription rates start at $9/month.
Dayforce HCM is a cloud-based platform for workforce management, payroll and tax, analytics, benefits, document management, talent management, and HR management. With this unified and fully-integrated platform, you get access to real-time data across all areas of human capital management, manage compliance better, as well as improve HR recordkeeping.
Another great thing about Dayforce HCM is that it offers multi-currency and multi-language support for companies with employees residing abroad. The platform is also built to be compatible with all popular browsers so that you can access it using both desktop and mobile devices even when you’re out of the office.
The solution integrates with pay cards. Also, it has available apps for both Android and Apple. Furthermore, Dayforce HCM is only available by quote. Be sure to get in touch with the vendor to learn more.
Touted as an all-in-one HR system, Paybooks allows users to not only manage the entire employee lifecycle but also to simplify the payroll management process. It is equipped with powerful features that include employee onboarding, attendance management, payroll processing, and tax calculation. Moreover, it comes with a handy self-service application so employees can check the status of their pay.
In addition, this platform integrates with a wide variety of popular business systems such as Zoho, QuickBooks, Oracle, and Securax. With this feature, you can easily extend the features of the platform or use your existing software solutions alongside effortlessly. The downside to Paybooks, however, is that it only caters to India-based enterprises and organizations.
Lastly, Paybooks has a base fee that starts at $11/month (converted from Indian Rupee) plus a rate of 0.73/employee/month (converted from Indian Rupee).
HRAPP is a comprehensive HR software designed for small businesses in India. If you have branches in India, this can be perfect for you. It allows you to manage your payroll and other HR processes easily. Thanks to its clean dashboard and easy controls. Moreover, it is a complete HR software so it integrates different processes under one hub.
For the Indian market, it is quite unique. You can allow for employee loans. Also, you can issue advanced salaries and manage allowances. Of course, it has all the basic functions of processing regular salaries and tracking productivity. Moreover, the solution supports different formats for payrolls according to local bank requirements. It is also integrated with ICICI Banking services. In this way, employers can pay their workers directly through the platform. No use opening the ICCI website.
Furthermore, HRAPP ensures that you comply with local tax regulations. Also, it has an app on Google Play for Android devices as well. It has three plans. First, the Lite Plan costs $250 per month for 25 employees. It also charges you $5 per month for every employee. Second, the Pro Plan costs $500 a month. But, additional employees will set you back for $7 each monthly. Third, the Enterprise Plan is priced at $700 charging $10 for every employee every month.
Key Features of HRAPP
Zenefits is an online platform designed to help small and medium businesses handle HR administration including complex payroll management processes. Also, it carries features such as business intelligence, employee directory, insurance benefits, payroll sync, customer support, hiring and onboarding, ACA compliance, mobile optimization, and many others.
This software unifies all of your company’s HR functions into an easy-to-use online dashboard, giving you greater control, allowing your employees greater access, and providing your business greater confidence in its compliance. Furthermore, you can automatically stay up to date on earnings, deductions, and taxes since the system pushes any changes to HR, benefits, hours, and time-off straight into payroll, greatly simplifying the task.
Zenefits has a Standard plan that costs $8/employee per month. The Growth plan costs $14 per employee monthly and Zen costs $21 per employee per month.
Namely is a comprehensive human resources suite that combines functionalities for payroll, benefits, and talent management. As the HR software of choice for some 400 companies worldwide, this cloud-based platform allows you to manage compliance and streamline processes such as calculating paychecks that accurately show deductions for taxes and benefits contributions.
In addition to the abovementioned, Namely also has functionalities for employee performance review, time-off tracking, goals, team planning, reporting, and more. It is one of the most highly configurable solutions that you can scale to match your business requirements. Moreover, Namely utilizes a permissions engine to enable layered access levels to specific information, reports, views, and functions for better control over your data.
The platform integrates with SimplePay, JobScore, and Jobvite among many. Lastly, Namely is only available by quote. Get in touch with the vendor for more information.
Keka HR tags itself as an “employee experience platform” that takes care of HR, payroll, and talent management for employee-centric companies. Trusted by hundreds of customers including global brands like Honda and Nokia, the solution automates basic and tedious HR and payroll tasks, enabling HR teams to work better, faster, and more accurately.
With Keka HR, enterprises and organizations can process payroll, manage their workforce, and get top talent through a blend of traditional and innovative features. These include automated payroll capabilities that can support small and large workforce; configurable payroll processes to fit various businesses while staying 100% compliant; and modern applicant tracking system to enable HR staff to find the most qualified people. Moreover, the platform interfaces seamlessly with MS Office 365 and G-Suite products.
The Foundation plan starts at around $70 a month (converted from Indian Rupee) which covers 50 employees and $0.42/month per additional employee. The Strength plan costs around $98 per month with $0.80 for additional employees. Lastly, the Growth plan is priced at around $140 with an additional charge of around $1.25 per additional employee.
Kronos Workforce Ready is a cloud HR management solution developed by Kronos, Inc., a U.S.-based multi-national workforce management software and services company founded in 1977. The company holds the distinction of having one of the longest records of growth and profitability as a public company in software industry history, second only to Microsoft.
Kronos Workforce Ready features full human capital management capabilities, ranging from time and attendance, payroll, scheduling, to employee engagement, applicant tracking, and talent acquisition, all from a single solution. Also, the platform uses a single employee record that is shared across all its tools, allowing users to easily pull out reports from the database and implement workflows across the organization. Furthermore, the solution’s capability to update data in real-time lets HR managers make quick but informed decisions using the latest and accurate information.
Also, there are apps available for Android devices on Google Play. Moreover, pricing is quote-based, so get in touch with the Kronos Workforce Ready representatives for more information.
Justworks is a solution designed to simplify HR processes and ease the workload on managers and HR officers by getting rid of back-end complexities. It offers payroll automation for employee benefits, salaries, leaves and anything workforce-related as well as HR tools to manage time off, keep track of employee info, and safely store all of your documents.
Justworks can also handle payroll and payments for your business, allowing you to promptly pay all your full-time and part-time employees, contractors, and vendors via direct deposit. It can also take care of payroll documents and filings, like W-2s and 1099s. You can even easily undertake one-off payments such as expense reimbursements, commissions, and bonuses to one person or whole departments.
The basic plan goes for $44/per employee per month if you have 25 to 99 employees. This gets you payments, payroll, compliance, reports, and HR management tools. The Plus plan is priced at $89 per employee monthly. Also, there are add-ons available.
SurePayroll is a comprehensive payroll management system designed for freelancers and small businesses. With it, you can automate the process of salary computation and tax preparation, giving you more time to focus more on running your business. Also, it even comes with record-keeping functionalities so that it is easier for you to document your finances.
Moreover, SurePayroll comes with time clock integration that lets you instantly calculate the billable hours of your employees and an accounting integration that simplifies cash flow management. Additionally, the platform provides users with an intuitive self-service system where your employees can review any information related to their payrolls such as their leaves, benefits, and taxes.
The platform interfaces well with many applications such as Less Accounting, Trinity, Inception, and many more. Also, SurePayroll’s subscription plans are only available on a by-quote basis. Kindly get in touch with the vendor for more information.
Comprehensive Payroll Company provides a compact suite of modern and custom workforce management solutions. It is a modular solution that allows customers to mix and match feature sets based on their business requirements. The software also boasts of paperless management and secure data processing, as well as a variety of integrated modules that cover different end-to-end employee payroll and HCM needs.
CPC is entirely cloud-hosted and equipped to provide fully scalable and digital workforce administration, reducing the burden on your IT or HR team. The software is able to handle all aspects of HCM from an integrated dashboard and database, and have your data stored in the cloud which can be readily accessed from your mobile device. Also, it has an open API architecture. Thus, it can integrate with virtually every third-party system. Lastly, pricing is quote-based depending on the modules that you use.
Microkeeper is a cloud-based payroll software purpose-built for companies looking to graduate from manual computations. Its core functionalities include timesheet management, payroll automation, and online payslip generation. It even comes with a roster management tool that lets you consolidate payroll data from multiple locations. Lastly, it can seamlessly integrate with various third-party systems such as Xero and SuperChoice for more streamlined operations.
The platform interfaces well with SuperChoice and Xero.
Microkeeper is available for free if you only have 1 employee. It is for unlimited use. However, there are other plans. For Payroll & STP only, it costs $2.25 per employee monthly. The Standard plan costs $4 per employee a month. Lastly, the Premium plan costs $6 a month.
Kevit Payroll is an enterprise-grade payroll management system that is built for companies of all sizes. Equipped with essential features like attendance monitoring and pay computation, this platform also offers advanced functionalities like arrears calculation, data auto-fill and loan management. It also gives users the option to generate PF, ESIS, PT, or income tax management reports.
Also, the platform integrates with many CRM as per the vendor. Please contact them for more details. Also, Kevit Payroll offers quote-based subscription packages. To learn more about their rates, get in touch with the vendor.
As an entrepreneur, you know that you won’t always save more money by opting for the cheapest product. Moreover, the best software is not always the one with the most functionalities.
If you want to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to payroll software, it is best that you choose the platform that can handle your unique processes and scale up to the changing needs of your growing business. Also, with lots of options available on the market, this task can be overwhelming but the good news here is you can make this task easier by simply understanding what you should look for in payroll software. Here, we have listed down some of the most essential payroll management features to help you out:
Lastly, finding the right payroll software for your small business does not have to be complicated. All you have to do is have a good grasp of what your company needs for payroll processing and have the patience to dissect the offerings of your prospective solutions. Also, this goes the same for finding out what’s the best general HR software for you.
If you are still not sure about which platform to pick, we highly recommend that you check out Gusto as it is one of the most comprehensive payroll platforms on the market. Thus, you not only get access to fully compliant payroll automation and tax calculation tools, but you also get core HR functionalities. You can even sign up for Gusto free trial here if you would like to test out how it works.
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