Using payroll software is one of the best ways to ensure that your business operations run smoothly, it’s important that your employees are paid on time, taxes are reported are withheld and reported as legally required, and all personal employee and business information is secure. To learn more about the best payroll software for small businesses, check out this list that my team and I compiled after hours of painstaking research:
If you run a business, there are a lot of obvious advantages to using payroll software. For example, you’ll be able to work out payroll calculations and make deductions quicker, generate accurate payslips, and calculate bonuses, expenses, and holiday pay with minimum effort.
The good news is there are tons of different payroll software platforms to choose from. The bad news is that not all payroll software is designed for small businesses or your unique needs. To help you sort out the bad from the good and figure out which payroll software is best for your small business, my team and I went to work and began investigating.
Read the rest of this review guide to help you determine which is the best payroll software for small businesses.
What is the Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses?
Best Overall Payroll Software for Small Businesses ($36/month + $4/employee/month)
OnPay provides you with everything you need to navigate payroll operations in your business. The platform keeps it simple, with a wide range of helpful features encompassing payroll, benefits, and HR all in one place.
This means that in addition to payroll features, you also get tools for onboarding, document storage, HR auditing, and tracking paid time off (PTO). If you pair this with a small business website builder, the sky is the limit in terms of what you can accomplish.
The best part about using OnPay is that the first month is free. You can test out the software before committing to a paid plan.
Getting set up is easy, and if you need help, the platform’s customer service team is happy to get your account set up for you.
- Reliable Payroll Features: The platform is fast, and precise, and it’s backed by payroll experts which mean it’s the only payroll service you will ever need.
- HR Features: All the busy work is taken care of for you so you can stay compliant and focus on taking good care of your people.
- Benefits Features: You’ll be able to save time by bringing benefits and payroll together thanks to the platform’s in-house experts who make the process easy.
Pricing for OnPay starts at $36/month for the base fee + $4/month per person. The first month is free and you get free set up for a new account.
Best Team Insights from Any Payroll Software ($39/month + $6/person/month)
If you’re ready to set up your business with modern payroll, HR, and benefits, then this platform is a great one to consider.
It’s extremely easy to use, providing application users with a great experience. This makes it the front-runner for small businesses looking for a user-friendly solution offered at an affordable price.
Some of the key features you’ll find include benefits management, check to print, electronic forms, direct deposit, document management, and an employee database.
All versions of the software offer access to full-service payroll and the higher up you move in the plan tiers, the more features you will get.
- All-in-One Software: With this platform, you can manage your growing team by hiring, paying, insuring, and supporting employees from one convenient place.
- Full-Service Payroll: The platform’s payroll feature automatically files your payroll taxes and has benefits and time tracking built right in.
- Smart Insights and Reporting: Use the platform’s customizable, anonymous team surveys, and automatic compliance alerts to make smarter business decisions based on real data
Gusto platform, as the best payroll software for small business (regarding team insights), has 4 pricing plans that start from $39/month + $6/month per person. You can choose the ideal plan for you depending on your hiring, payroll, and team management needs.
Most Affordable Payroll Software for Small Businesses (Starts Free)
This is an award-winning platform that allows you to manage virtually every aspect of your business payroll.
Track your employees’ time, check in on them, and provide clear payroll timesheets – all from one convenient dashboard.
The platform also has seamless integration with Quickbooks Online payroll solution which helps to guarantee that your payroll is seamless and 100% accurate. You can export your timesheets in one click, making for a hassle-free payroll process.
- Manage Employees With One Solution: Train, manage, and communicate with your non-desk employees using this all-in-one company app.
- Ease-of-use: This platform is not only easy to use but also simple to customize, making it easier for you to scale.
- HR and People Management: You’ll find all the features HR departments need to maintain employee engagement and keep everyone motivated.
You can get started using this platform for free. If you have fewer than 50 users. The basic plan starts at $39/month + $0.5/month for each additional user.
Best Payroll Software for Customer Support (Request a Quote)
This platform offers payroll, HR, and benefits designed for today’s modern workplace. You’ll be able to hire, manage, pay, and retain employees with confidence.
Develop a productive workplace whether on-site, remote, or hybrid, and stay ahead of ever-changing regulations automatically.
Used by over 700,000 businesses, Paychex is a reliable all-in-one payroll and HR software that provides robust support for your small business with the ability to expand as your needs change.
- Robust Payroll Services: With this platform’s features, you’ll be able to pay your employees your way while enabling faster and more accurate payroll processing, automating tax payments, and more.
- Time and Attendance Tracking: Automate time tracking and improve speed and accuracy in tracking actual employee hours anywhere, whether in the office, online, on a smartwatch, etc.
- Health and Benefits: Use this platform to offer health, vision, and dental benefits to help you recruit and retain more employees.
If you’d like to find out more about Paychex pricing, contact the support team and they will send you a custom quote.
Best Payroll Software for Insurance Benefits ($44/month/employee)
This platform is perfect for anyone who wants a simple yet powerful way to run their business with confidence.
You’ll get expert support for payroll, HR, benefits, and compliance. Everything you want is under one roof, which makes it perfect for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for a simple and affordable solution to take care of all the payroll and employee management needs.
With the platform’s features, you’ll be able to provide your team with the support and tools they need, onboard new employees in minutes, roll in benefits, and send automated payday notifications with breakdowns of deductions and taxes, etc.
- Custom Plans: With custom plans built for you, you never have to pay for features you don’t need or use. You’ll get a flexible plan designed for your business with transparent pricing and no hidden fees.
- Great Team Support: Make work and life easier for your team to navigate with built-in tools for tracking work hours, enroll in benefits, and onboarding.
- Robust Customer Service: The platform’s helpful customer support team is always available via phone, email, or chat. You can even SMS experts or communicate via Slack, 24/7.
Justworks has a variety of plans built with your team in mind. You can choose the Basic plan which comes with payroll, benefits, and HR tools for $44/month per employee, or the Plus plan which has basic features plus access to medical, vision, and dental for $89/month/per employee.
Best for Streamlined Payroll Administration (Request a Quote)
Trinet lets you access a simple payroll services solution so you can manage your payroll and navigate evolving tax codes easily.
On the platform, you’ll find all the payroll solutions you need to support your small or medium-sized business.
No more wasted time spent on administration thanks to the software’s payroll administration services and self-service tools. No more worries about compliance, either. The platform service experts will provide you with support to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations governing pay and taxes in any state.
The best part about the platform is that its flexible and adapts to your changing needs. This means you can get the systems and resources you need to hire, pay, and manage employees as your business grows.
- Streamline Payroll Administration: This platform has payroll processing with direct deposit and debiting for ease of use.
- Payroll Software for the Employee Lifecycle: This single payroll processing solution allows you to manage payroll throughout the entire lifecycle of employees from hiring and onboarding to the promotion and offboarding.
- Simplify Taxes and Mitigate Risk: TriNet will calculate and withhold local, state, and federal payroll taxes and electronically submit withholdings.
Get in touch with the platform’s support team to get a custom quote.
Free for Small Businesses With Less than 25 Employees (Starts from Free)
This is one of the best payroll services you’ll find that is truly free. However, it does require that you do quite a bit of manual work. Alternatively, you can fork out for a low fee to be able to file payroll taxes and pay your employees via direct deposit.
For anyone with a business that has fewer than 25 employees, this is a great option that is a step up from the traditional pen-and-paper method for doing payroll.
Set up for the platform is totally manual and you get instant access to the administrative components required to run a payroll.
If you have more than 25 employees, you’ll have to pay for the premium services. However, the prices are still way less than the majority of other payroll services out there.
- Detailed Breakdown: This payroll software gives you all the details, down to line items for each element so you know exactly what you’re paying for each service, tax, benefits, etc.
- Full Visibility: This platform doesn’t have complex pricing structures and prides itself on its transparency in calculating payments for each employee.
- Full-Service HR: Payroll4Free provides you with full HR services including 24/7 support to help you overcome any challenges you may face.
If you have 25 or fewer people in your business, you can use Payroll4Free, well, for free. You’ll get all the basic services, including tax calculations and forms, vacation time tracking, and detailed reporting.
Payroll Software with Robust Reporting Capabilities (Request a Quote)
Paycor offers Human Capital Management (HCM) tools for business owners who want to make a difference. The software modernizes different aspects of people management, ranging from recruitment methods to onboarding, and even people development.
On the platform, you’ll find tools that allow you to revolutionize the way you pay and retain your employees. But, what really sets it apart from the rest is that it’s super focused on business leaders and provides them with HR technology that saves time, as well as powerful analytics to provide more actionable insights for businesses.
- Efficient Payroll Services: The platform provides you with a smarter and more efficient solution with multiple pay options for maximum flexibility.
- Robust Reporting Features: The pay summary dashboard allows you to easily view cash requirements, tax liability, and a host of payroll reports.
- Employee Self-Service: Your employees can easily access important information, including benefits information, pay stubs W-2s, and more through their mobile phones.
If you want to learn more about the platform’s pricing, simply request a consultation and the sales team will get back to you promptly.
People-Focused Payroll Solution for Small Businesses ($45/month)
Deluxe’s online payroll solution provides you with comprehensive, full-service payroll services. You also get reliable HR solutions that come with dedicated customer service.
The platform is extremely easy to use and you’ll simply love the payroll processing function which takes away much of the hard work.
There’s phenomenal support, and you get detailed reporting that provides all of the compliance details necessary.
- People-Focused Solution: Deluxe Payroll helps you rethink the way you manage your employees thanks to smart payroll and HR features.
- Easy to Use: The platform makes it easy for you to set up new hires quickly and sync changes between HR, payroll, and benefits.
- Flexible Services: One of the main features of the platform is its automated payroll and HR solutions designed specifically for your business.
Pricing for Deluxe Payroll software starts from $45/month + $7/employee for access to all the platform’s core features.
Best Payroll Software for Flexible Payroll Plans (Request a Quote)
With Rippling, you’ll be able to easily manage your company’s payroll, HR, IT, benefits, and more from one modern platform.
Bring all your data and employee systems together to automate your busy work, including onboarding. With just a click of a button, you can set up your new hire’s payroll, 401(k), health insurance, and third-party apps like Slack, Zoom, etc.
This is a powerful employee management platform that will help you simplify all your business operations and automate many of your systems to make your work that much easier.
The platform also comes with a mobile app so employees can manage time-off requests, view, pay stubs, and more.
- Powerful Payroll Software: The platform syncs with all your business’s HR data so there’s no need to manually enter any of your employee data.
- Track Hourly Work: The built-in time tracking software allows you to track PTO and hourly work effortlessly.
- Automatic Compliance: Rippling automatically handles all your compliance work, including I-9s and W-2s to ensure that you are always in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.
Pricing for Rippling starts at just $8/month/user and you can request a custom quote depending on the services you’d like to use on the platform.
Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses Looking to Grow ($8/month/employee)
Zenefits is an all-in-one platform designed for small to midsize businesses. It offers robust features spanning payroll, HR, and benefits, as well as well-being and performance apps that help to radically simplify HR administration for your business.
You can automatically sync your payroll option with other HR functions, including new hire onboarding, time tracking, and benefit deductions.
Some of the additional features you’ll find on the platform include direct deposit, federal and state tax filing, unlimited payroll runs, and much more.
- Fast and Easy Payroll: Zenefits allows you to pay your people quickly and easily with just a few clicks. The payroll solution is also packed with advanced features for growing companies.
- Easy HR Management: With this platform, you’ll be able to manage all your people with ease, from streamlined onboarding to easy PTO tracking, performance reviews, and more.
- Great Benefits Features: The platform allows you to curate and provide coverage that will make everyone happy by allowing employees to select the medical plan that is best for them and their families.
The basic plan for Zenefits costs $8/month/employee and comes with automatic onboarding, employee management, time tracking, and scheduling features.
12. APS Payroll
Payroll Software with the Best Custom Pricing Plans (Request a Quote)
This platform’s mission is simple: to make payroll and HR as easy as possible for small businesses.
Having been in the game since 1996, APS is an established payroll services provider with a powerful cloud-based solution for managing your workforce.
You get a single-system platform to take care of everything, including payroll, HR, hiring, onboarding, attendance, and more.
Once you enter your employee information, it will be available across the whole platform immediately. Managers and employees can access the software from any device, including smartphones and tablets.
- Unified Payroll Solution: The platform’s cloud-based payroll and HR platform provide access to core workflows for optimal productivity and efficiency.
- Attendance Tracking: The software helps you streamline time tracking, unlimited payroll system, scheduling, etc. so you can decrease payroll errors and reduce overtime costs for HR support.
- Employee Self-Service: Easily delegate tasks to your managers and employees, while keeping an eye on accountability with the HR payroll software.
APS doesn’t disclose its pricing as payroll providers, but you can get an instant quote for your business by getting in touch with customer support on the website for small business owners.
13. Patriot Payroll
Best Payroll Software for Integrations ($17/month + $4/month/employee).
Patriot Payroll is an integrated HR and payroll management solution for small to medium businesses in all industries.
Although the Patriot Payroll platform doesn’t come with an app, the website is fully optimized for mobile use. It will allow you to streamline all your business processes associated with unlimited payroll payments, tax submissions, and more.
You’ll find all the features you need to maintain payroll records, establish direct deposits into employees’ bank accounts, and generate in-depth payroll reports. The platform also makes it extremely easy to submit federal and state taxes with full-service payroll and accounting software integration
All in all, this Patriot Payroll software solution will simplify your payroll and HR processes so you can free up more of your time doing tedious manual tasks traditionally associated with payroll and HR.
- Free 30-Day Trial: The accounting and payroll platform comes with a free 30-day trial so you can test out the software’s features for a full-service payroll software solution. accounting software and employee self-service portal.
- Seamless Integration: You can use multiple products with one login with this payroll provider. This includes accounting software, payroll software, time and attendance software, and HR management software.
- Mobile-Friendly Platform: Patriot Payroll has an innovative responsive design allowing you to access it from any phone, tablet, or desktop without the need for a mobile app.
You can register for a 30-day free trial, after which you can sign up for the payroll software for $17/month + $4 for each employee/contractor payroll system (including employee benefits, HR support in tax filing, and more.
Best Payroll Software for Automating HR Tasks (Request a Quote)
Powerpay is a cloud-based solution designed to help you manage and pay your employees quickly and accurately from anywhere.
It’s the perfect small business payroll and HR solution that is trusted by over 40,000 small businesses in Canada and across the globe.
With this solution, there’s no longer a need for manual processes, paperwork, and any of the hassles associated with the traditional way of doing payroll and managing employee information.
The platform automates everything and helps your business stay compliant with changing government regulations.
You can also store employee records and tax filings securely, download trends analysis and reports, and identify major differences between pay cycles to aid in your decision-making.
- Affordable Pricing: Patriot Software is priced with small businesses in mind. All the plans are growth-focused, and there are no hidden fees.
- Simplified Payroll and HR: No more spreadsheets, manual processes, or filing paperwork. This platform gives you everything you need to manage and pay your people automatically.
- Payroll and HR Services Bundles: These packages are ideal for small businesses and allow you to create a flexible solution to suit your specific needs.
Submit your information on the websites to receive pricing information.
Best Payroll Software for Recruiting & Onboarding (Request a Quote)
Netchex is a payroll and HR management solution for all types of businesses.
It’s ideally suited to small businesses that are looking to grow thanks to key features, such as recruiting and onboarding management, payroll management, performance management, time and attendance management, tax, compliance, and much more.
You’ll also find benefits administration, as well as robust reporting and analytics on the platform. There’s a dedicated self-service portal that allows employees to view and access their information, such as PTO requests, benefits, tax withholdings, leave balance, etc.
- Simplified Payroll and Tax: With this platform, you get a single login for all the different hats you wear in your business, including payroll and tax, so you can simplify your workflow and get more things done in less time.
- Stellar Customer Service: Payroll and HR don’t have to be complicated if you have a great team behind you, and that’s exactly what this platform provides.
- Robust Integrations: Netchex is designed to help you meet the unique demands of your industry thanks to multiple integrations with other technology solutions.
Pricing for Netchex is available upon request. Simply fill in the form on the website and the support team will provide you with a custom quote tailored to your business needs.
- Intuit QuickBooks
- ADP RUN
- Payroll Connected
- Triton HR
- Viventium Software
- Evolve HCM
- Square Payroll
- Wave Payroll
What is Payroll Software for Small Businesses?
Small business payroll software is a solution for automating and streamlining payroll processing for small business owners.
Rather than investing hours of your time or hiring HR/accounting personnel, you can take care of this task easily with the right type of platform.
Most of the payroll software solutions mentioned in this article help you automate data entry and include modules and integration options for other features, such as time tracking, employee attendance, payroll tax filing, benefits management, and much more.
Why do Small Businesses Need Payroll Software?
Depending on the type of business owner you are, you will require different features from your small business payroll software.
For example, if you have basic payroll needs, then you only need a basic, entry-level solution that will help you streamline payroll processing.
However, if you have more advanced workforce management needs, then you need a payroll system that has equally advanced tools for tax compliance, filing, insurance, benefits administration, employee management, and more.
Regardless of what type of buyer you are, you will likely enjoy the same benefits from using small business payroll software, including:
- Automation of repetitive tasks
- Reduced labor costs
- Greater accuracy and lower risks
- Integration of existing software
… and much more.
Types of Payroll Software for Small Businesses
There are three different types of business payroll solutions to choose from, including:
On-Site Payroll Systems: Traditionally, small business payroll software consisted of on-premise systems where businesses had to purchase updated software every year to keep up with changing payroll tax regulations and laws.
Cloud-Based Payroll Software: These days, however, most payroll software for small businesses comes in a cloud-based form which means that cloud vendors can simply update their software products as the regulations and laws change.
These changes will then be automatically reflected in the individual user’s systems. This way, there’s no need for businesses to make any additional purchases.
Mobile Access: This type of software is also growing in popularity with many businesses opting for mobile access to payroll systems so users can get a seamless experience while on the go.
The majority of options on our list are deployed in the cloud. Users can access the platform from anywhere by logging in from their internet-connected device, whether it’s a tablet, smartphone, or computer.
Features to Look For in Payroll Software for Small Businesses
As you’ve seen from the options outlined above, not all payroll software is created the same.
So how do you choose the best one for your business? By considering the features that are necessary to help you run smoother business operations.
Listed below are some of the features to look for in the best payroll software for small businesses.
- Ease-Of-Use: Choose a platform that is relatively easy to set up and offers an intuitive user experience.
- Customizability: The platform should be easily customizable to suit your needs, e.g., team structures, and so on.
- Reporting Features: Make sure the software allows you to filter reports in different ways so you can get a more detailed analysis. The reports should also be easy to export.
- Direct Deposit: If this is a feature you require for your business, make sure the platform allows you to deposit payroll directly to each of your employees.
- Tax Filing: You want a platform that will help simplify how you collect, generate, and file payroll taxes.
- Employee Accessibility: Make sure your employees can easily access their personal payroll data.
- Notifications: The platform must send you reminders and alerts so you can notify employees of any actions that need to be performed, such as timesheet reviews.
- Integrations: If your business has operations across multiple employee management tools, make sure your chosen payroll software integrates easily with your existing systems.
- Support: This goes without saying, but you need a platform that has reliable and knowledgeable customer support to help you with any issues that might arise.
- Pricing: Last but not least, you want a platform with all the features you need at an affordable price.
Best Payroll Software for Small Business Summary & Top Picks
If you’re ready to spend more time focusing on your actual business operations and growth and less time on payroll, it’s time that your small business invests in payroll software.
When selecting the best payroll software for small businesses, there are a few things to consider: ease of use and user-friendliness, additional HR functionality, automation features, overall costs, employee payment notifications, direct deposit options, tax filing, and reporting features, employee accessibility, customer support, and integrations.
My Top Picks of the Best Payroll Software Are: