The best payroll software for small business is Gusto because of its comprehensive set of tools and clean interface that allows for full automation. The platform covers everything from timesheets and payroll calculations to direct deposits and tax computations.
Payroll processing is one of the most tedious aspects of managing a business. Luckily, there are tons of payroll software available out there to hasten this cumbersome 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. We also paid special attention to each platform’s usability, unique functionalities, as well as the inclusions in their subscription packages. This way, you’ll get a better idea of which one will give you the most bang for your buck.
In the past, over 26% of businesses spend more than 10 hours preparing their taxes. Likewise, plenty of companies had to pay IRS penalties because of erroneous tax filing.
Fortunately, some users say that using payroll software helps them avoid the same mistakes. Furthermore, accountants were able to automate a wide variety of repetitive tasks such as tracking accounts payable.
A recent global Deloitte survey found that numerous companies still don’t have full visibility into their payroll operations. However, these organizations plan to gain such visibility. Moreover, the survey found that these businesses are prioritizing technological use to improve payroll compliance, accuracy, and control.
Source: Deloitte (2018)Designed by
This software can help you simplify and automate the process of paying your employees. From computing deductions and benefits to producing payslips, these SaaS products will allow you to reduce cycle times while ensuring calculation accuracy. In fact, payroll software is among the top must-have SaaS apps for small businesses.
Nowadays, as we have explained in this guide to payroll software, these 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.
So without further ado, we’ll now go over the best payroll software options for small businesses. With this review, you can get a better idea of which kinds of tools will work best for your operations.
Gusto is a cloud-hosted platform that brings together payroll, benefits administration, HR, and compliance functionalities in a single, simplified package. It is targeted at 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. Likewise, it is regularly updated to ensure compliance with year-end forms and taxation to avoid critical errors. Also, 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.
What’s more, Gusto integrates with accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero. It also interfaces well with platforms like Deputy, Homebase, and Receipt Bank, among many others. Further, 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.
Detailed Gusto Review
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 also easily enter payroll data such as hours, bonuses, reimbursements, and tips.
With its extensive payroll functionalities, the system 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 at no cost thanks to OnPay free trial.
Meanwhile, 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.
Detailed OnPay Review
Patriot Software is a robust payroll solution that helps 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. The first is the Basic Payroll plan, which 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. The second is the Full-service Payroll package. This includes advanced features such as deposits, tax filing, and collection management. Also, you can automate your year-end tax filings. Patriot software offers a free trial where you can try all its premium features.
However, don’t think that the Basic Payroll plan is basic and bland. It is a robust package, complete with historical reports, including a check/deposit payment report with all the details. 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.
Detailed Patriot Software Review
Sage 50cloud Payroll 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.
This solution offers a comprehensive system for payroll management, accounting, cash flow management, financial consolidation, etc. It likewise integrates with Microsoft products, Realtrac, Skype, and Bill.com, among others. Further, it is 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, be sure to try the Sage 50Cloud Payroll free trial.
Detailed Sage 50cloud Review
Paycor is a robust Human Capital Management (HCM) platform. It has powerful payroll solutions, and HR management features integrated under a single dashboard. It is a one-stop-shop that’s 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. The vendor offers a comprehensive free trial to get you up to speed with the features.
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.
Detailed Paycor Review
Toast Payroll and Team Management is a comprehensive HR platform for simplifying payroll and employee management. It automates tasks to remove usual cumbersome, time-consuming HR processes. This solution is best used for restaurant operations since you can readily integrate its payroll system with Toast’s POS tool.
Additionally, Toast Payroll is designed to keep restaurants compliant with existing and new regulations. It likewise ensures that payroll-related tax payments are implemented automatically. You can test-drive its complete features without any cost.
What’s more, its smart HR management dashboard helps streamline staff hiring and onboarding. Also, this platform offers several essential reporting and analytics functionalities.
Detailed Toast Payroll Review
HRAPP is a comprehensive HR software designed for small businesses in India. If you have branches in the country, 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 unique. You can allow for employee loans and 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. The best part is that you can try all its premium features at no cost thanks to the HRAPP free trial.
Furthermore, HRAPP ensures that you comply with local tax regulations. Also, it has an app on Google Play for Android devices. It has three plans. First, the Lite Plan costs $250 per month for 25 employees. 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 per employee every month.
Detailed HRAPP Review
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:-00 p.m. 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.
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.
Detailed QuickBooks Review
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. In 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.
Detailed ADP Workforce Now Review
Founded in New Zealand in 2006, Xero is a 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 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, its payroll feature is available only for the US and Australian markets. Furthermore, it comes as part of 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 US, subscription rates start at $9/month.
Detailed Xero Review
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 HCM, 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 to 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 payment 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.
Detailed Dayforce HCM Review
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).
Detailed Paybooks Review
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, giving your employees greater access, and providing your business with greater confidence in 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.
Detailed Zenefits Review
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.
Detailed Namely Review
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 workforces; 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.
Detailed Keka HR Review
Kronos Workforce Ready is a cloud HR management solution developed by Kronos, Inc., a US-based multinational 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 HCM 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.
Detailed Kronos Workforce Ready Review
Justworks is a solution designed to simplify HR processes and lighten the workloads of 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.
Detailed Justworks Review
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.
Detailed SurePayroll Review
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 can 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.
Detailed Comprehensive Payroll Company Review
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 per month. Lastly, the Premium plan costs $6 a month.
Detailed Microkeeper Review
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. The same rule applies to finding out what’s the best general HR software for you.
If you want to get the most when it comes to payroll software, you should choose a platform that can handle your unique processes and scale up to your changing needs. Here, we have listed down some of the best payroll system features to help you out:
Lastly, 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 sign up for Gusto free trial if you would like to test out how it works.
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