What is the Best 10 Payroll Software for Small Business?

12 Mins read

What is the Best 10 Payroll Software for Small Business?

Payroll processing is one of the common tedious aspects of managing a business. Fortunately, tons of payroll software is available out there to hasten this cumbersome method, tracking and paying computation to direct deposits and tax filing. So, all you’ll want to do is choose one that can meet your company’s requirements without breaking the bank. 

To narrow down your choices, we have decided on the 10 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 more excellent 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 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 prioritize technological use to improve payroll compliance, accuracy, and control.

What are the benefits of payroll software?

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. 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 essential 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.

1. QuickBooks Payroll

What is the Best 10 Payroll Software for Small Business?

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 will enable you to submit payroll for your team up to 5:-00 p.m. the day before payday easily. Moreover, 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.

Try out QuickBooks Payroll with their free trial.

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.

Key Features of QuickBooks Payroll

  • New same-day direct deposit capability. You can send payments during the payday before bank cutoffs. This allows for flexibility, especially when you are running on a tight budget.
  • Labor law posters and time tracking. The solution notifies you of labor laws and other relevant regulations. Also, it helps you track employee work time.
  • One thousand ninety-nine contractor forms and services. You don’t have to get a new program or download important forms. QuickBooks Payroll will have everything for you under one hood.

Detailed QuickBooks Payroll Review

2. OnPay

What is the Best 10 Payroll Software for Small Business?

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 quickly 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 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 need to investigate the platform firsthand, you can easily do so at no cost, thanks to OnPay free trial. 

Try out OnPay with their 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

Key Features of OnPay

  • Streamline payroll processes. The software permits unlimited pay runs. Businesses can run their payrolls as per their plans and do not have to pay extra for the convenience. This includes canceling a pay run.
  • Bolster payroll compliance. OnPay takes care of IRS and state tax compliance by calculating and paying taxes and filing tax forms correctly. They are so confident that they are willing to cover any fines for incorrect filing. You can also contact their certified payroll professionals for assistance on your payroll taxes.
  • Efficient staff management. Your employees can use features such as self onboarding and online access to update their info, make changes, and access their tax forms and paystubs. This allows HR staff to focus on essential tasks.
  • Perform advanced note-taking. You can easily take/edit notes and store documents to manage your payroll tasks. This is because OnPay facilitates advanced note-taking with document and image attachments.

3. Gusto

What is the Best 10 Payroll Software for Small Business?

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. Furthermore, it gives users a solid set of payroll features, a well-designed user interface, and automation abilities, 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. This allows you to perform payroll computations and keep your time tracking data and employee information in sync for better record keeping.

Try out Gusto with their free trial.

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.

Key Features of Gusto

  • Error-proof payroll management. Gusto eliminates critical human errors since you don’t have to enter data in several different apps and websites but use one system to calculate deductions.
  • It simplifies benefits administration. This platform can handle employment tax reporting, workers’ comp insurance, new hire reports, and detailed budget plans. It also allows you to easily set up and manage 401(k) plans for employees’ retirement needs. And recently, they’ve even added new features like flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts.
  • It is fully compliant with standards. Gusto is designed to meet HIPAA, ACA, and ERISA standards. Hence, the system can check data automatically and prepare compliance reviews of your benefits. It can also send automated notices as well as guarantee employee privacy.
  • No long term contract. With this solution, you don’t need to be tied-in to a long-term contract and are free to suspend your account at any time. The vendor offers a month-long free trial, which starts after you run your first payroll.

4. Patriot Software

What is the Best 10 Payroll Software for Small Business?

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 enables you to track employee salaries. Patriot Software will keep everything accurate under one centralized hub, whether paid in cash, online or direct transfer.

There are two editions for this solution. The first is the Basic Payroll plan, 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 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 essential 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 automatically file your taxes, we recommend that you go ahead with the Full-Service plan.

Key Features of Patriot Software

  • Free payroll setup. Patriot Software staff will set up your employee and payroll history for free.
  • Free direct deposit. Direct deposit is free, and you can also make payments via printed or handwritten checks and even cash.
  • Customizable payroll. You can customize your payroll schemes and templates.

5. Sage 50Cloud Payroll

What is the Best 10 Payroll Software for Small Business?

Sage 50cloud Payroll software is an accounting software from the reputable UK-based Sage Group. While initially designed for handling financial management methods such as cash flow monitoring and invoicing, this platform also gives powerful add-ons for payroll management and tax preparation. You can automatically compute income tax returns, file your reports online, and directly send your employees’ pay utilizing the software, making the complete 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, 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. So, if you need to learn more about the features, be sure to try the Sage 50Cloud Payroll free trial.

Key Features of Sage 50Cloud Payroll

  • Wide range of core accounting capabilities. Sage 50Cloud Payroll’s general ledger makes data entry smoother and less time consuming, and more accurate. It can help lower revenue leaks and increase control over necessary costs and margins for more precise projections.
  • Great payroll management. This platform can be connected to Sage Payroll so that you can automate payroll calculations and tax filing without compromising accuracy. Also, the platform is mobile-ready and supports direct deposits.
  • Easy access to data. Great for agile teams and companies with remote employees, Sage 50cloud Payroll supports remote access to data for both staff and accountants. In this way, you can promote better transparency when it comes to company finances.
  • Built-in and customizable reports. The software comes with built-in report templates. These are best for creating configurable reports for analyzing performance, tracking sales, etc.

6. Paycor

What is the Best 10 Payroll Software for Small Business?

Paycor is a robust Human Capital Management (HCM) platform. It has robust payroll solutions, and HR management features integrated under a single dashboard. It is a one-stop-shop that’s 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. 

Try out Paycor with their free trial.

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

  • Integrated with HR management software features. Paycor is not your average payroll software. It is a comprehensive HRIS solution that connects all HR processes together.
  • Includes an onboarding module. Managing your payroll starts with onboarding your employees. With this module, you can begin to interlocking these processes from that start.
  • Payroll and tax compliance. The solution helps you keep compliant with tax regulations and notifies you of the needed requirements. This is a hallmark of good payroll software.

7. Toast Payroll

What is the Best 10 Payroll Software for Small Business?

And Team Management is a comprehensive HR platform for simplifying payroll and employee management. It automates tasks to remove the 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 have restaurants compliant with existing and new regulations. It moreover guarantees that payroll-related tax payments are implemented automatically. You can test-drive its full features without any cost.  

What’s more extra, its smart HR management dashboard helps streamline staff hiring and onboarding. Moreover, this platform allows for some essential reporting and analytics functionalities.

Key Features of Toast Payroll

  • More efficient timesheet management. The platform allows restaurants to monitor employee time easily. And because it synchronizes POS data with payroll, you can be sure staff work hours and customer tips are directly drawn from the Payroll processing dashboard.
  • Worry-free payroll processing. Toast Payroll helps restaurants achieve efficiency in payroll preparation. This is made possible by the smooth integration of timesheets with the POS.
  • Self-service benefits solution. This solution helps you lessen your HR teams’ overall workload. Toast Payroll’s self-service feature helps you do just that. For instance, it allows your employees to enroll for benefits themselves while working or even outside their work schedule.


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 techniques 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 essential 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 most useful 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.

Key Features of HRAPP

  • Advanced salary and loan management. These setups are popular in India, providing you with greater flexibility.
  • Allowance management. If your employees need travel and food allowances, you can manage them directly using HRAPP. That is perfect for salespeople and even construction workers, with other worker types.
  • Productivity tracking. The user interface has an intuitive dashboard with highly-visual reports for tracking attendance and productivity. If you have a branch in India, employees are essentially working remotely. Having this module helps you visualize and understand productivity-related information.

9. SurePayroll

SurePayroll is a comprehensive payroll management system designed for freelancers and small businesses. With it, you can automate salary computation and tax preparation, giving you more time to focus on running your business. 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 your employees’ billable hours and an accounting integration that simplifies cash flow management. Additionally, the platform gives users an intuitive self-service system where they 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

Key Features of SurePayroll

  • Personalized feature set. Among the biggest perks of using SurePayroll is its custom subscription plans. The vendor will provide you with feature sets tailored to your operational needs so that you won’t have to pay for functionalities that you might not even use.
  • Easily accessible platform. SurePayroll is also built for companies with employees who are always on-the-go. by them, entire you have to do is log on to any internet-enabled device, and you can get access to your payroll information. You can even utilize their native mobile application so you can check out your data using your phone.
  • Regularly updated processing systems. Staying compliant with government regulations can be tricky. To help you keep up with the changes, SurePayroll regularly updates its forms and processes so that you don’t have to go out of your way to do it on your own.
  • Tax filing accuracy guarantee. SurePayroll provides its customers with fast yet accurate tax calculations. However, in case of any untoward slip-ups or errors in the filing, they guarantee to resolve the problem on your behalf, as well as pay the corresponding penalties.

1o. Comprehensive Payroll Company

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, and 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

Key Features of Comprehensive Payroll Company

  • Hands-free payroll. The Payroll module provides features such as Single Log-on, Employee Self-Service, WOTC Tax Credit Processing, Direct Deposits & Count Order Garnishments, Labor reports, and. Moreover, all your employee information is stored in a single and secure cloud location.
  • Tax credit management. CPC helps employers who hire individuals of eligible target groups by significant barriers to employment receive a tax credit following the Work Opportunity Tax Credit feature.
  • Full control over time and costs. The Time & Labor module enhances employee productivity and offers information-rich dashboards, reports, and decision support tools to avoid expensive payroll mistakes. Also, employees can view their accrual balances, schedules, and timesheets and request time-offs without going through a complex approval process.
  • Modular platform. You can mix, match, and combine modules that your business requires. There are modules for Payroll, Time and Labor Management, Onboarding and Recruiting, Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Human Resources, Compliance, and Background Checks.




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