14 Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses of 2024

Updated Jan 17, 2024.

If you’re looking for the best payroll software for small businesses in 2022, we’ve done extensive research, and here are our top 15 selections.

Onpay icon


OnPay offers multiple employee self-onboarding, automatic tax filing, and next-day direct deposit.
Wave icon

Wave Payroll

Wave Payroll offers basic payroll features that smoothly integrate with its free Wave accounting platform.
Gusto icon


Complete HR and payroll solution to process payrolls, automatically file payroll taxes and manage deductions.
SurePayroll icon


SurePayroll's user interface, employee portal, and tax filing guarantee make it the best payroll software for SMBs.
Rippling icon


Rippling provides a secure platform to manage a remote team of employees or contractors all in one place.

Our work is supported by affiliate commissions.

Payroll software is a significant part of any business. It gives you more reliable, accurate, and automated tools to manage your employees’ payments and comply with the latest federal tax laws.

We dived deep into our research, and here are our top picks for the best payroll software for small businesses.

What is the Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses?

Here’s our top pick for the best payroll software for small businesses to help you with your payroll management processes.

1. OnPay

Best for SMBs

Editor’s Take
9.6 out of 10
Best for:
Small to middle-sized businesses
$35/month + $4/month per person
Annual Discount:

OnPay is an excellent payroll software for small to mid-sized businesses. I'm impressed by their inbuilt HR system that automatically handles PTO and employee onboarding workflows, provided at no additional cost.

OnPay is among the best payroll software for small businesses that need an affordable payroll solution. The software lets users run and manage payrolls or have OnPay run them on their behalf.

Key Features

  • Integration with other software: OnPay allows you to sync up with third-party software like accounting software, time tracking tools like Deputy, and 401(k) platforms like Guideline.
  • Easy-to-use payroll service: I'm impressed by OnPay's intuitive platform. The payroll software setup procedure is quite simple. It also makes it possible to import data from other software.
  • 401(k) Planning: OnPay has partnered with (401k) platforms like Vestwell to help your employees plan for their retirements at an affordable price.
  • An in-built HR: the payroll processing software has a fully integrated HR system that helps you organize your employee's data. With OnPay, you can automate your employees' onboarding processes and report new hires to the state when they create a new OnPay account.
  • Unlimited payroll runs: you can process numerous payrolls a month without additional costs.
  • Automated payroll tax filing: since employees' taxes differ from one jurisdiction to another, OnPay handles your payroll tax calculations and filing.
  • Cloud-based and mobile-friendly: the payroll software allows you to run your payrolls remotely using your laptop or mobile device.
  • Automated employee onboarding: do you want to onboard your new employees as quickly as possible? OnPay allows them to onboard themselves instead! They can enter their details, create profiles for themselves, e-sign HR papers, and then have them archived online.
  • Online I-9 and W-4 forms: as part of the onboarding process, OnPay requires your employees to fill in the I-9 and W-4 forms. The I-9 form lets them verify if they are legalized to work in the US. The W-4 form lets the employer know how much they need to withhold during a payroll for income taxes while processing payments.

OnPay Pricing

Onpay - pricing that's surprising.jpeg

OnPay costs a monthly fee of $36 + $4 per person (employee). The price scales upwards to $4036 per month for 1000 employees.

2. Wave Payroll

Best for Basic Payroll Features

Editor’s Take
9.4 out of 10
Best for:
Sole proprietors
$20 – $35 base fee plus $6 per active employee and $6 per contractor
Annual Discount:

Wave Payroll offers basic features that you need to run your payrolls. If you are a small business owner already using their Wave accounting platform, integrating the payroll solution will give you access to a suite of tools you need to manage and run payrolls.

Wave Payroll is a perfect small business payroll software for sole proprietors and small businesses with just a few employees and simple payroll needs. The software tool is provided as a paid addon within the free Wave accounting software. Although the payroll tool effortlessly integrates with Wave accounting software, I wouldn’t recommend it as a stand-alone payroll processing platform.

Key Features

  • Wave accounting integration: the payroll software allows you to connect with their free accounting software enabling you to organize your financial information without paying a cent.
  • Reporting for a new hire: if your business is situated in one of the states that Wave Payroll supports, it will prepare and submit your new-hire reports. All you have to do is enter your new employees' information into their system. Wave will take care of the rest by transmitting the report to the appropriate state agency.
  • Automated payroll tax filing: the Wave Payroll platform calculates state and federal taxes and files them automatically in your payrolls but only in 14 states that it supports.
  • Available in 14 states: Wave Payroll offers its payroll services to limited states across the US. Suppose you have a remote team of employees or contractors who or in other states or countries, Wave Payroll will fall too short, in your opinion. However, small business owners in 14 states will enjoy their automated tax filing and free integration with their accounting tools.
  • Unlimited payroll run: Wave Payroll allows you to process as many pay schedules as possible. The platform also supports direct deposits and printable checks.
  • Software integrations: Wave integrates with other business software to help you manage your business workflows effectively. You can connect apps like Zapier, Google sheets, and accounting software like Zoho Books.

Wave Payroll Pricing

Wave Payroll Pricing.jpeg

Wave Payroll offers separate pricing for users in the United States and Canada.

For United States users in the 14 states where tax payment and filings are supported, Wave Payroll costs a monthly fee of $35 plus $6 per employee or $6 per paid contractor. In other states where tax filings are not supported, it will cost a $20 monthly base fee plus $6 per active employee or $6 per contractor paid.

For Canadian users, the price of a new payroll subscription costs a $20 monthly base fee plus $6 per active employee or $6 per contractor paid.

3. Gusto

Great All-in-One Payroll Solution

Editor’s Take
9.0 out of 10
Best For:
New users and accountants
$39 – $149 per month and $6 -$12 per person.
Annual Discount:

Gusto is full-service payroll software that focuses on providing customers with an excellent user experience. Along with its intuitive interface in payroll management, the payroll service provider allows you to automate your payrolls for both your employees and contractors.

Gusto is an excellent small business payroll software that offers a full suite of human resource tools, including payroll and HR support, to help businesses efficiently manage payroll processing and hiring.

Unlike most payroll software that takes care of the basic payroll capabilities, Gusto goes beyond by helping you automate your payroll and other repetitive tasks.

Key Features

  • Full-service payroll provider: Gusto allows you to process payments accurately and on time. You can also automate regular payrolls or schedule them at a particular date/
  • Time tracking and PTO management: the payroll service provider tracks your employees' hours and automatically syncs them to your payroll. You can also customize your paid-time-off rules and automatically select paid vacation time to integrate with payroll.
  • Robust integration:  with a click of a button, you can integrate Gusto with 140+ business software, including accounting tools like Intuit QuickBooks Online and hiring & onboarding tools like Breezy HR, to mention a few.
  • Automated tax filing: Gusto automatically calculates and files federal, state, and local taxes for every payroll you run to keep up with current and correct federal tax requirements.
  • Automated and unlimited payroll runs: the online payroll software allows you to process payrolls automatically at a particular period. Besides, you are not limited to the number of payrolls you run every month.
  • Team management tools: Gusto provides essential tools for team management and attendance tracking activities. You can group employees and contractors into departments, track employees' set-off times, allow your employees to access their paystubs, and enable them to sign documents online using digital signature tools.
  • Benefits administration: the payroll software allows you to administer employees' benefits like medical insurance and 401(k) retirement plans and sync them automatically with your payroll system.
  • Hiring and onboarding tools: Gusto enables you to streamline your hiring and onboarding processes. You can create onboarding checklists, allow new employees to upload their W-4 forms online, and add their bank accounts and contact details.
  • Automated payrolls: Gusto allows you to automatically pay employees to their bank accounts or print paychecks locally if you prefer. You can also run a next-day direct deposit where funds are debited into your account the following day, and your employees are paid before the end of the day.
  • The contract-only plan: the software offers a contract-only version if you only deal with contractors. You don't have to pay the base pricing for the tools you don't need. The plan includes unlimited contractor payments in 50 states and reporting for new hires, and a 4-day direct deposit.
  • Pay international contractors: the problem with most payroll software is not being able to process payments for contractors outside the US. However, you can run payrolls for employees in over 50 countries using Gusto.

Gusto Pricing

Gusto - find the right plan for your business.jpeg

Gusto pricing varies depending on the features you want to unlock in payroll and HR software. Their plans are only billed monthly.

Here's Gusto's pricing structure.

  • Core: costs a monthly fee of $39 plus $6/mon per person
  • Complete: costs $39 a month base price plus $12/mon per person
  • Concierge: costs $149 a month base price plus $12/mon per person
  • Select: contact their sales team for custom pricing.
  • Contractor: $0 a month base price plus $6/mon per person

4. SurePayroll

Best for Small Businesses

Editor’s Take
8.8 out of 10
Best for:
Small businesses and sole proprietors.
Get a quote
Annual Discount:
2 months free
2 months free

SurePayroll is created for small businesses that need an affordable payroll system. The platform offers a full-service payroll solution with a tax filing guarantee where they take full responsibility in case your business is fined for mistakes in your tax filing.

SurePayroll is one of the best payroll software for small businesses, and with good reason. With all of their incredible features, it's easy to see why SurePayroll has earned a reputation for being the best payroll software for small businesses.

The payroll software allows you to run payrolls in various vertical industries, from paying house nannies and non-profit organizations to S corps. You'll also access SurePayroll's incredible self-service features that allow your employees to view paystubs and W2s online.

Key Features

  • Multiple software integrations: you can integrate SurePayroll with third-party software platforms like accounting and time tracking tools.
  • Automated payrolls: if you don't want to be constantly running payrolls manually every time you want to pay your employees, you can automate everything using Surepayroll for regular payrolls. You also get a reminder before the payroll is processed and if you want to make the changes so you can adjust them right away.
  • Direct deposit setup: with SurePayroll, you can ensure that your employees are paid on time using paychecks or prepaid debit cards.
  • 1099 and W-2 employees: SurePayroll is accessible for W-2 employees and 1099 contractors. If your business is a mixture of full-time employees and freelancers, you can quickly process their payments and pay taxes.
  • Employees benefits: SurePayroll gives your business a competitive edge by allowing you to integrate workers' benefits into your payrolls. You can manage deductions like 401(k) retirement plans and health insurance.
  • Tax filing guarantee: SurePayroll comes with two levels of payroll tax-filing solutions with a guaranteed feature. The Full-Service and Self-Service. The Full-Service plan allows you to run your payrolls, and SurePayroll takes care of every tidbit of tax filing. That is from tax calculation, filing to tax payments. If you are penalized for tax filing errors, SurePayroll will take responsibility for the penalty. In the Self-Service plan, SurePayroll will calculate tax for you, and you will make the filling. But if SurePayroll makes an error in tax calculation and you are penalized, they will take responsibility for the penalty.
  • Mobile App: being a cloud-based software platform, SurePayroll allows you to process your payrolls everywhere provided you have an internet connection.

SurePayroll Pricing

Square Payroll Pricing.jpeg

You need to contact their sales team to request a quote.

5. Rippling

Best Employee Management Software

Editor’s Take
8.5 out of 10
Best For:
Startups and remote-based employees
$8 a month per employee
Annual Discount:

Rippling provides you with an easy-to-use way to manage your employees, paperwork, and payroll. Its powerful features allow you to keep track of employee work time, information, benefits, and pay employees on time. I also love that they offer additional IT services that allow you to securely manage your employee's data, devices, and apps regardless of where they are.

If you need an excellent tool that will help you streamline your employees' management and effectively run payroll processes, Rippling is one exceptional tool.

With Rippling, it's easy to manage all of your employees in one spot without doing any extra work. It allows you to track employee time and attendance, hire employees and onboard them, train them, and pay them.

Key Features

  • Workflow automation: Rippling allows you to automate some repetitive tasks in your business. Their tool (Workflow Automator) allows you to trigger automated actions in Rippling and third-party apps tailored to specific triggers you set.
  • Easy payroll processing: the payroll enables you to pay employees quickly using their automation feature. You can also connect your HR data to your payroll such that you don't have to manually input data like hours.
  • Automated tax filing and calculator: Rippling is like a payroll tax fairy—you just do your job, and Rippling makes sure your taxes are filed with the IRS and the appropriate local agencies when they're due.
  • Robust reporting tools: Rippling payroll provides a suite of ready-to-use reports that give you deep insight into employee information. That way, every department can make faster, better decisions and well-informed plans for your company.
  • Multi-state and international payroll processing: the payroll software allows you to process payrolls in over 50 states in the United States. Furthermore, you can pay employees or contractors outside the US.
  • Time tracking: not only does Rippling make it simple to track your employees' hours and PTO, but it also seamlessly syncs the records with payroll, eliminating the need for spreadsheets, CSVs, and problems.
  • Mobile app: Rippling mobile app allows you to process payroll at any place with your mobile device. The software also enables you to manage your employee's time off and timecards. Employees can also use the app to check and modify their pay stubs and their W-2s and 1099s information.
  • Workers’ benefits: Rippling offers health benefits to full-time employees in all 50 states. If you're looking for new coverage or switching plans, Rippling can get you a quote and enroll you in any one of thousands of plans from top carriers like Aetna and Humana.
  • Wage garnishments: Rippling Payroll Software automatically calculates any required deductions from their paychecks and sends them to the right recipients.
  • Device management: the platform streamlines the device management of your employees. When you use the platform to configure company computers and laptops, you can automatically install software on those devices for future changes, such as system updates, Wi-Fi configurations, VPN setup, and printer configuration. You can easily keep track of your company's technological needs with these tweaks in one place.
  • Extensive third-party software integration: the payroll software seamlessly integrates with third-party software, including accounting software like QuickBooks, NetSuite, and Xero. You'll be able to incorporate collaborative tools like Google Workspace and Slack.

Rippling Pricing

Rippling - Starts at $8 per month.jpeg

Rippling pricing starts at $8 per month per employee. However, you need to reach out to their sales team to get a custom pricing based on the services that you want to be included in your payroll package.

6. QuickBooks Payroll

Best for Intuit Users

Quickbooks - Payroll services that go beyond a paycheck.jpeg

QuickBooks Payroll, Intuit's payroll solution, is a good fit for small businesses that already use QuickBooks accounting software.

The payroll provider also integrates well with QuickBooks Time and even offers a mobile app for tracking employee working hours.

Key Features

  • Tax penalty reimbursement: Intuit QuickBooks Payroll offers tax penalty protection of up to $25000 per year. If you are fined by the federal or state due to an error in tax filing or calculation by QuickBooks Payroll Elite, the payroll software will handle the penalty and help you resolve the issue.
  • Intuitive user interface: QuickBooks payroll is reputable for having an easy-to-navigate user interface. New users will enjoy a straightforward dashboard with plain navigation paradigms like clickable links, drop-down lists, fill-in-the-blank data fields, and buttons.
  • Time tracking: QuickBooks Time is a time tracking tool that allows you to track your employees working time and automatically sync the data to the payroll. The time tracking software allows your employees to clock in or out, take a break and quickly add timesheets.
  • Automated payroll taxes filing and calculation: calculating and filing taxes can be hectic and time-consuming, especially for a small business that's concentrating on scaling up very fast. You also risk getting penalized when you mistakenly make an error when filing taxes. Intuit QuickBooks Payroll automatically files federal, state, and local taxes to save you from the pain.
  • Health benefits: in collaboration with Simply Insured, the QuickBooks Payroll enables you to give health benefits to your employees—ranging from medical, vision, and dental insurance and free benefits administrations.
  • Automated payroll processing: Using QuickBooks Payroll, you can run unlimited payrolls per month for each of your employees and contractors and even automate the whole process for regular payrolls. The payroll also offers the same or next-day direct deposit for faster employee payments, unlike most payroll software solutions that offer two to four-day direct deposits.
  • 401(k) plans: besides health benefits, QuickBooks has partnered with Guideline to allow their users to sync affordable retirement plans for their employees in their plans.

QuickBooks Payroll Pricing

Quickbooks - Plan that works for your business.jpeg

QuickBooks Payroll offers competitive pricing that scales depending on additional features you need to unlock.

  • Core: costs $22.50 per month plus $4/employee per month.
  • Premium: costs $37.50/ month plus $8/employee per month.
  • Elite: costs $62.50/month plus $10/employee per month.

7. Patriot Software

Best for Business With Multiple Locations

Patriot - Online payroll for business.jpeg

Patriot Payroll Software provides small businesses with a simple way to do payroll online. While using the platform, you can always feel confident that you comply with the latest payroll tax laws. The software provider automatically calculates your employees' pay and files payroll taxes for you.

Patriot Software supports both W2 employees and 1099 contractors, giving you the option to pay your employees via direct deposit or printable checks. No matter how many different types of workers you have or how many employees there are, the payroll software helps you customize payroll for each employee and give them their correct due each time.

Key Features

  • Guaranteed accurate tax calculations: Patriot's long history in the payroll industry suggests that they are well-versed in tax laws. They can guarantee that their payroll tax calculations are correct in all 50 states.. Besides, they handle any penalties in case of any errors.
  • Free payroll setup: the Patriot team will work with you to get your payroll up and running in no time. If you're switching from another payroll software, they offer free setup with their team of experts.
  • Free direct deposit or print checks: you can choose whichever option you want to pay your employees. Some employees prefer direct deposits, while others prefer checks that you can print without paying extra.
  • Unlimited payrolls for your employees: with this feature, there's no cap on how many payrolls you can run in a month through the software.
  • Seamless software integration: Patriot allows you to integrate your business software into your payroll. Their Patriot Accounting software effortlessly connects with the payroll system. It also integrates with other accounting software like Intuit Quickbooks Online. Furthermore, you can easily import hours by integrating the payroll software with a time tracking tool like Patriot Time or QuickBooks time.
  • Automated PTO: you can specify the PTO hours a worker can earn based on the cumulative number of hours worked. Patriot Software will also automatically calculate and add the PTO hours to every employee's balance.
  • Net to gross payroll software: assume you would like to give a special bonus to your employees, and you already know the net amount you want to pay. Patriot payroll will calculate your gross pay for you rather than doing it manually.

Patriot Pricing

Patriot Software Pricing.jpeg

Patriot payroll software offers a flexible pricing scheme that allows you to pay what you use. Their paid plans come into two significant packages with a competitive price tag.

  • Basic payroll: costs $17/month plus $4 per employee and contractor.
  • Full-Service payroll: costs $37/month plus $4 per employee and contractor

8. Wagepoint

Best for Flexible Pricing

Wagepoint - Discover a simple way to pay your employees.jpeg

Wagepoint is a cloud-based payroll software solution that offers a seamless and straightforward way to run payroll. The software has an easy-to-navigate dashboard allowing users to process their first payroll in as little as 15 minutes.

The payroll software provider lets you track hours using timesheets or punch cards and convert them into paychecks. You can also set up reminders for year-end tax filings and automate routine payroll tasks such as issuing paystubs and sending out payments.

Key Features

  • Automated taxes: with Wagepoint, you don't have to worry about getting caught up with quarterly and annual payroll taxes and filing deadlines. Wagepoint automatically calculates them for you and lets you know when they're due so that you can stay on top of them every step of the way.
  • Off-cycle payroll: Wagepoint allows you to process payments to the employees off your payroll schedules. If you want to award your employees a bonus or should they ask for payment in advance, you can process their payments in minutes.
  • Direct deposits: direct deposit with Wagepoint ensures your employees get paid on time via their bank.
  • Employee portal: WagePoint also offers an employee portal, allowing your employees to access their pay stubs, update their information, and request time off in an easy-to-use format that's accessible anywhere at any time.
  • Time tracking: the payroll software has a time tracking functionality that makes sure that your employees' hours are accounted for properly. You'll be able to keep an accurate record of how much time each employee works, which makes it easier to manage scheduling and payroll.
  • Third-party software integration: the ability to integrate with other accounting software is a plus when choosing a payroll system. With Wagepoint, your data will stay up-to-date across all of your systems and eliminate the need for manual entry or double entry.
  • Ease to use interface: Wagepoint allows you to set up new hires easily, adjust existing employees' data, void checks, and run any report from your dashboard.
  • Solid security: the payroll software uses 2048-bit encryption using TLS 1.3 or 1.2. You can rest easy knowing all your sensitive information is stored on a secure, cloud server accessible only by authorized administrators.

Wagepoint Pricing

Wagepoint Pricing.jpeg

Wagepoint payroll software costs depend on your business's number of employees and how often you disburse your payments. For example, a business with 20 employees processing payments after two weeks will cost $60 for the whole payroll run.

9. Paychex

Best for Startups

Paychex - payroll, HR, and Benefits for Today's Workplace

Paychex is another online payroll tool in our list of the best small business payroll providers. The platform offers full-service payroll software, employee benefits, HR tools, and talent management services to help companies manage their finances and people. It also has a self-service portal that allows employees to access information like pay stubs and W2s.

The platform is among the best small business payroll software supporting multiple states. It also has a mobile app, which makes it easy for employees to view their paystubs and time card information on the go. Not only does Paychex offer wealth management and retirement plans, but their team of over 200 dedicated payroll specialists can help you navigate the complex world of tax compliance and benefits enrollment for your company's employees.

Key Features

  • HR solutions: Paychex is reputable for its all-rounded human resource software, which allows you to sync your employee's data with your online payroll software. The HR tool allows you to stay compliant with federal/state employment laws.
  • Time tracking and management: the platform enables you to track and manage employees' working time with Paychex Flex Time, a paid add-on. The time tracking tool records employee clock-ins and outs, manage staff schedules, and tracks paid time off (PTO).
  • Ideal cyber liability insurance: the platform offers insurance cover against financial losses that may arise due to data breaches, cyber-attacks, viruses, and DDoS attacks.
  • Employee benefits: Paychex allows you to manage employees' benefits during the payroll processing in all 50 states. The employee benefits include health insurance, retirement plans, and dental and vision insurance.
  • Automated tax calculation and filing: with a team of over 200 compliant experts, Paychex enables you to stay compliant with the latest federal, state, and local tax laws. The platform calculates and files your payroll taxes on your behalf. You can rest assured that all your taxes are filed accurately and on time.
  • Robust third-party software integrations: the platform allows you to integrate with third-party software such as accounting platforms, HR insurance, and clock systems. You can connect accounting software like QuickBooks and banking institutions like Bank of America with your payroll account.
  • Migration made simple: if you are migrating from your current payroll platform, Paychex will assign you a team of experts who will help you move to their services without any complications. The support team corrects the necessary paperwork and helps with data configuration from your previous company system data configuration.

Paychex Pricing

Paychex - payroll, HR, and Benefits for Today's Workplace - quote for pricing

To get Paychex payroll pricing, you need to contact their sales and get a custom pricing that suits your business needs.

10. Workful

Best for Hourly Based Workers

Workful - Payroll and management software.jpeg

Workful is one of the best payroll software for small businesses that combines ease of use and practical time tracking.

The online payroll software provides payroll processing and employee management services on its cloud-based platform. Workful seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks so that you can manage all your financial tasks from one platform. You can also track time for hourly workers to make accurate payments.

Key Features

  • Unlimited payroll runs: Workful does not limit the number of payrolls you can run every month. You can process as many payrolls as you want during the month to pay your employees.
  • Employee self-service: instead of always manually updating your employees' information, Workful allows them to access their pay stubs. They can update their profile information, request paid time off, update their tax withholding information and submit expense requests.
  • Built-in time tracking: if you are working with hourly-based employees or contractors, Workful has an inbuilt time tracking tool that tracks the total hours worked and automatically syncs them with your payroll.
  • State/federal tax filing: the payroll software platform automatically calculates payroll taxes for you and files them in all 50 states.
  • Direct deposit: Workful allows you to pay your employees directly to their bank accounts. It is such a huge time saver since you don't have to write cheques and give them, and your employees do not need to visit their bank to cash in the check.
  • Accounting software integration: with Workful, you can connect QuickBooks Online to handle your financial records. Your payroll data is automatically synced to QuickBooks online for better record keeping.

Workful Pricing

Workful Pricing.jpeg

Workful payroll costs a monthly fee of $25 plus $5 per employee per month. They also have a 30-day free trial if you want to test the software before committing to a paid plan.

11. Xero

Best for Full-Service Accounting Software Integration

Xero - Accounting software to do your to-do.jpeg

Xero is a popular accounting software that includes an automated payroll feature. The payroll module is a great add-on if you're already using Xero to manage your business finances. For small business owners searching for a more affordable option than QuickBooks, Xero is a decent alternative.

Xero's time tracking capabilities are beneficial for businesses with remote employees or workers who need to record their hours manually. Employees can use a mobile app or a computer to clock in and out, and then the information goes directly into the employee's profile on Xero's system.

Key Features

  • Insightful payroll reports: Xero is among the few platforms that offer in-depth payroll reports for their uses. As a business owner, you gain access to reports like pay rates, hours worked, vacation or sick days used, overtime incurred, tax withholdings, federal and state income taxes withheld, and benefit costs.
  • Third-party payroll apps integration: Xero allows you to integrate the accounting software with third-party payroll services, time tracking tools, and HR platforms. For example, Xero integration with a Gusto payroll allows you to process payrolls and sync your bookkeeping records with Xero accounting software.
  • Automated Payroll processing: One of Xero payroll's outstanding features is automating your tax filing and calculations and running regular payrolls on your behalf. You can also schedule your payrolls, giving you a higher payment calendar flexibility.
  • Employee self-service: You can give your employees their pay stubs with a feature. They can use their Xero Me mobile app or the web browser to update their payroll information, submit leave requests and timesheets, and view their payslips.
  • Direct deposits: Xero payroll enables you to pay your employees directly to their bank accounts. You can also issue some payslips where your employees can access them in their employee portal.

Xero Pricing

Xero Pricing.jpeg

Xero's pricing structure differs from one country to another. For example, a payroll plan in Australia costs a monthly fee of AU 27 and scales upwards to AU 70 per month for larger businesses that need to unlock more payroll capabilities.

While in the US, they rely on a third-party payroll service, Gusto. Gusto will cost you $30 per month to use for payrolls with Xero accounting software.

12. Square Payroll

Best for Square POS Users

Square Payroll - Payroll, simplified by Square

Square Payroll is a solid and reliable small business payroll software looking to streamline its payroll process. The intuitive interface and easy-to-use features appeal to businesses of all sizes. And because this is one of the services offered by the business-oriented payment platform Square, your business can manage its company finances more effectively.

One of the biggest perks of using Square Payroll is the flexibility it offers its users. There are no limits on the number of employees using the software. Service fees are calculated monthly, and the payroll service is customizable to fit specific business needs.

Key Features

  • Pay W2s and 1099s employees: Square Payroll allows you to process payments for full-time employees, hourly-based workers, and even contractors.
  • User-friendly: Square payroll has an intuitive dashboard that allows you to run payrolls in minutes. A new business owner who has never used payroll software will be impressed with their easy navigation dashboard. What's more, you can process your payroll using your mobile device.
  • Direct deposits: by default, Square Payroll allows you to pay your employees directly to their bank accounts. The average direct deposit processing time is four days. Their Cash App allows you to process payments instantly.
  • Error-free automated tax filing: with Square payroll, you can rest assured that your federal, state, and local taxes are filed accurately and on time.
  • Team management is made simple: the payroll allows you to integrate their team management tool and sync your employees' data.
  • Integration with your business software: Square payroll module allows you to connect with third-party software to their payroll platform. You can integrate your accounting tools like QuickBooks Online and time management software like Deputy.
  • Time tracking: Square payroll offers end-to-end time tracking without the hassle of punching in, clocking out, and messing with timesheets. And now that both the POS and Team app easily integrate with the automatic payroll, you don't even have to worry about importing time cards every week. The time for ticking is over!
  • Worker's benefits: If you're looking for a solution to manage your employee's benefits, Square Payroll has partnered with third-party insurance providers like Simply Insurance, Guideline, and AP Intego to offer worker's benefits.

Square Payroll Pricing

Square Payroll pricing.jpeg

Square offers two payroll packages at a competitive price.

  • Employees & Contractors: costs a monthly fee of $35 an additional fee of $5 per month per person
  • Contractors Only: costs $5 per month per person paid

13. Zenefits

Affordable Payroll Software

Zenefits - Easy & Reliable payroll software

Zenefits offers one of the best payroll software for small businesses looking for a complete package of HR administration functions and a payroll software solution. The payroll provider offers an impressive set of functionalities designed to make it easy for HRs and in-house teams to manage people at an affordable price.

One thing I love about Zenefits is how their HR software seamlessly integrates with their payroll services. The HR tool automatically syncs your employees' information and auto-fills it during payroll runs, making tax filing much more effortless at the end of the year.

Key Features

  • Robust HR tools: The Zenefits HR system automatically integrates your payroll software with the rest of your HR tools to help you run your payroll smoothly. For example, their time tracking tools automatically sync your employee hours, making it easier to pull the data during payments.
  • Automated tax filing: Zenefits enables you to stay compliant with the federal and state tax regulation Zenefits takes care of your tax calculations and filing. If you are having trouble with your taxes by chance, their professional advisors will help you navigate the complex compliance issues.
  • Wage garnishments support: With Zenefits, your company can rest assured that the right amount of garnishment is being withheld from employee paychecks and set aside to be distributed to recipients.
  • Pay contractors: apart from rendering payments to your full-time employees, with Zenefits payroll, you can pay contractors, freelancers, or consultants while staying compliant.
  • Benefit deductions: Zenefits allows your employees to enroll in workers' benefits plans. This includes health insurance and 401(k) retirement plans. The deductions are automatically synced in the payroll for execution during payroll processing.
  • Powerful time tracking capabilities: if you are working with hourly-based employees, contractors, or freelancers, you can easily track the hours worked and automatically sync the information in the payroll.
  • Unlimited payroll processing: with Zenefits, you can run as many payrolls as you want within a month without being charged an extra fee.
  • Business software integration: Zenefits integrates with many business software platforms to create an effective workflow. This ranges from accounting software like QuickBooks Online to time tracking tools like Deputy.

Zenefits Pricing

Zenefits - Easy & Reliable payroll software_pricing

Zenefits offers one of the most affordable pricing packages for HR services and Payroll solutions. Their HR services come in three paid plans.

  • Essentials: costs a monthly fee of $8 per employee
  • Growth: costs $14 per month per employee
  • Zen: costs $21 per month per employee.

They offer their payroll plan as an add-on to their HR software and cost $6/month per employee.

14. ADP

Best for Growing Businesses

ADP - Experience better HR and payroll

ADP is one of the best payroll software for small businesses experiencing exponential growth. The software allows you to choose the plan that perfectly fits your budget and then scale upwards to advanced plans as your business grows. It ensures you're paying your employees and contractors correctly, on time, and with the correct deductions.

ADP's payroll system is incredibly intuitive and integrates with most accounting software. The payroll software platform offers customized performance management solutions tailored precisely to your business. You aren't paying for features you don't need or getting stuck with an out-of-the-box system that doesn't meet your specific requirements.

Key Features

  • Full-service tax filing: ADP payroll software automatically calculates payroll taxes and files them for you. The payroll software also does quarterly and annual reporting for you.
  • Mobile app: ADP is one of the few HR and payroll software solutions that offer a mobile app for business owners. You can process payrolls and track your payrolls using your mobile device. Employees can also use the app to request time off, clock in and out, and view and edit their personal information.
  • Direct deposits: To process your payments faster, ADP directly deposits payments to your employees' bank accounts. The platform also handles other payment options like check delivery and Wisely Paycard.
  • Multi-state payroll: the platform allows you to file taxes and stay compliant in 50 states.
  • W-2s and 1099s form submissions: ADP allows you to process full-time employees' and contractors' payrolls. The software also creates the forms and automatically sends them to your employees and contractors.
  • Multi-country payroll processing: ADP is one of the extensive payroll providers available in many countries. The platform allows you to run payrolls and stay compliant in over 140 countries. If you are looking forward to working with a remote team, ADP is an ideal HR and payroll software service to help you manage your team and render their payments.
  • ADP Marketplace: the software platform has a large pool of business apps that you can seamlessly integrate to create an effective workflow. This varies from accounting software like QuickBooks Online to benefits service providers Benefits Resource.

ADP Pricing

ADP - Experience better HR and payroll - pricing packages

ADP does not openly disclose its pricing packages on its website. Instead, you'll need to fill in a form where you'll need to choose the packages you need and the size of your business. Then the software platform will give you a quote based on your custom package.


What is payroll software?

Payroll software is a cloud-based program that centralizes and automates the complex calculations and paperwork involved in processing payroll.
This includes payment processing, tax calculation, filing, determining tax withholdings, and managing your employees and contractors.

Why do companies use payroll software?

Businesses use payroll software to help save time by automating every payroll process. It also reduces errors in calculating payments and taxes, enabling you to comply with tax laws and pay your employees accurately.

What is the best payroll processing company?

The best payroll software of your choice will vary widely on your business size, goals, and number of employees. For SMBs who want simple payroll software, Gusto is the best option. Other best Gusto alternatives include OnPay, Rippling, and QuickBooks Payroll.

What are the benefits of using payroll software?

Payroll software reduces the amount of time you spend processing payrolls for your employees. It also helps you reduce human error since it automates most of the calculations and payments. Plus, most software packages include an audit log that allows you to double-check how all your data was entered and processed!
Furthermore, most small business payroll providers allow you to integrate with other systems like accounting software and create an effective workflow for your business.

Who is the largest payroll company?

ADP is currently the largest payroll software service provider. The company has over 900,000 clients who use its payroll services and is available in over 140 countries. Other payroll software with a vast client base includes Paychex and QuickBooks Payroll.

What is the best payroll software for small businesses?

If you own a small business with less than 50 employees, you should consider Gusto, Quickbooks Payroll, or Square Payroll. Companies with more than 200 employees should consider ADP, Rippling, or PayChex. These are industry leaders in human capital management (HCM) and workforce management (WFM) technologies and offer other features such as time tracking capabilities and accounting software.

What is the best payroll software for startups?

Gusto is by far the best payroll software platform for startups. You can manage your growing team with extensive HR tools and efficiently run payrolls at an affordable fee. Onpay, Zenefits, ADP, and Paychex are other software service providers worth considering for startups.

What is the best payroll software for large companies?

The best payroll software for large enterprises is ADP. The platform allows you to scale your business as it grows and is available in over 140 countries worldwide. Other best payroll for large companies includes Rippling, QuickBooks Payroll, and Zenefits.

What is the best payroll software for accountants?

QuickBooks Payroll is the best option for certified accountants looking for the right payroll software.  Best alternatives to QuickBooks Payroll includes OnPay for Accountants, SurePayroll, and Patriot Payroll for Accountants.

Choosing the Right Small Business Payroll Software

Though the choices can be overwhelming for small business owners, picking the right payroll software is a significant business decision that shouldn't be taken lightly.

There isn't always a clear-cut winner for each company, but after scoring these packages against each other, we've made recommendations for the best payroll software for small businesses.

Best for SMBs


OnPay offers multiple employee self-onboarding, automatic tax filing, and next-day direct deposit.
Best for Basic Payroll Features

Wave Payroll

Wave Payroll offers basic payroll features that smoothly integrate with its free Wave accounting platform.
Best Payroll Software Overall


Gusto is a complete HR and payroll solution that allows you to process your payrolls, automatically file your payroll taxes and manage deductions all in one place.
Best for Small Businesses


SurePayroll's user interface, employee portal, and tax filing guarantee make it among the best payroll software for small businesses.
Best Employee Management Software


Rippling provides a secure platform to manage a remote team of employees or contractors all in one place.

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Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.