10 Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses

    Small business owners waste much time on payrolls. They do waste a lot of time on it. Similarly, they spend time on federal employment tax compliance management. Payroll software makes life easier. 

    You may hire employees. Now, you are tallying the employee hours. Alongside, you are cutting the right amount of checks. But, is your payroll calculation on track? 

    You need to follow state and federal employment regulations. Are you in compliance with it? Sure, it is a difficult question. Any disparity may cause a penalty. Furthermore, lawsuits charges may be held against your business.

    Payroll calculation is costly. So is book-keeping. It may take up to 80 hours. Reports of small businesses were shocking. Around 11 percent spend 10 hours on payroll management. This happens every month. That is equivalent to two productive weeks. Why waste the crucial time on crazy calculations. 

    What is payroll software?

    The payroll software is basically a solution. Indeed, payroll professionals or HRs use this solution. It allows management of the entire cycle of payroll. Besides, they carry out end-to-end payroll operations. There is a lot more happening beyond paycheck calculations. 

    It begins with the enrollment of employees to the company’s payroll. Further, it ensures compliance with the law. Besides, payroll records are kept intact till exit. The payroll software allows professionals to keep tabs on all this. Hence, effortless management is assured. 

    Importance of Payroll Software in Small Business

    The most crucial asset of an organization is its people. Manual, outdated systems are time-consuming. Besides, spreadsheets are no less of a hassle. Things may become complex and inaccurate. The mistakes may escalate. They can quickly get out of hand.

    Payroll must be the last thing one has is dealing with. However, it must get a double check first. Let’s get you and your business off the hook. Payroll software is here to help you. 

    Functions of payroll software in small business

    Functions of payroll software are important for us to know; therefore, here it is.

    1. Makes tax-less taxing

    Your business may suffer a penalty. It can be due to non-remittance of taxes. The software adapts to changing laws. Hence your business follows the latest tax laws. It also chooses statutorily applicable for business. PF contributions are thus, under control. This allows the organization to stay confident. Hence, accurate deductions of tax happen every time.

    2. Automates the payroll process

    Manual labor may leave room for doubt. You may end up paying for unforeseen mistakes. Indeed, the charges are very costly. The software automates simple and complex tasks. As a result, you can tackle payroll better. It gets the payroll ready. Alongside, it allows closing out of the pay period. Hence, the results become more easy, efficient, and organized.

    3. Tracks payroll expenses

    Payroll is a recurring expense for all businesses. Your business grows over time. Consequently, payroll expenditures increase. A complete profit and loss statement per month becomes crucial. In other words, clear visibility is essential. Payroll software generates necessary reports. It extends from employee salary registers. It furthers towards statutory and bonus payments. You can now track expenses till the last rupee. 

    4. Ingrates with relevant business apps

    The payroll staff synchronizes with multiple staff members. This provides payroll processing inputs. It occurs every month. However, it is complex and limited. It becomes tough when the business grows. The integrations become secure. It allows access to data from multiple teams. You can find all this in one place. It closely integrates with HR and Accounting platforms. Now, three crucial departments are in one place. 

    5. Secures the payroll data

    The data consists of sensitive information. It includes salary, taxes, bank accounts, and so on. Payroll software enhances data integration. The finely-grained access controls do the job. You can now make secure collaboration with staff. In fact, the same interface is presentable. Allow the payroll staff to know only their part. Based on their roles, some parts are accessible. Whereas other parts are not.

    Features of payroll software

    We have explained the features of payroll software in the upcoming list. Take a look to learn more.

    1.It simplifies employee onboarding

    HR is always stuck in paperwork—the organization’s software quick employee enrollment on the payroll. Thus, complete profile information is available. This is so for all employees. All information is available in one place. Payment information, salary, tax, and basic information are available. 

    2. Makes the employee salary components custom

    There is a hierarchy in any company. It is a top-down process. Thus, the range is from top executives to interns. Good payroll software for small businesses can make customizations, such as allowance, deductions, earnings, and flexible benefit plans. The customizations are according to company policies.  

    3. It runs payrolls with a single click

    You may be set to run payroll for a small business. At this point, the software does magic. It can host different activities at the same time. All of it happens in one click. In fact, it automates salary computation. The tax computation is based on recent tax laws. They take care of entries, payrolls, and pay-slip. 

    4. Online payment of salaries.

    Organizations must pay their salaries on time. The payroll software has integrations with banks. More so, an active integration. It allows secure salary transactions. Hence payment of employees is made on time. Some salaries may be sent in advance.

    This facility is also available. It differs from regular pay cycles. Thus, it meets the need for dynamic employee situations. Payroll software allows easy submission of investment declarations and proofs. They can also claim reimbursements. Besides, they receive notifications on deadlines from time to time. 

    5. Manages attendance and leaves taken.

    The organization may integrate with the human resource management system. Or it may accept the spreadsheet input. This used to happen with leave and attendance data. 

    6. Self-service for employees

    This is essential for any payroll software. This is because portals are essentially digital. Hence, it saves work hours. The employees get to download their own pay-slip. The same goes for tax worksheets. Payroll software allows users to keep records easily. It automatically collects leave data from the HRMS system. This allows the payroll staff to work faster. 

    7. Allows pre-formatted report of tax.

    The tax record has to comply with the law. Besides, it must be spotless. It is essential for the software to auto-generate reports. This will be so for all key statutory. The tax filing process finishes with ease. This saves time to organize records. You may share the records with auditors. This makes the scenario even better. 

    Best Payroll Software for Small Business

    1. Gusto Payroll

    The best payroll software is Gusto. It was previously Zen Payroll. A complete array of features is present. This consideration is all-round. It has got some of the best pricing strategies. It is both payroll and benefit. 

    Besides, it is the best HR platform. This is most suitable for small businesses. This platform gives affordable price points. It starts at $45 a month. The base price is $39. Hereafter, a $4 addition per person plan is available. 

    This platform suits contract-only employers. They need to pay $6 per month. No base price is paid. The services provided remain unchanged. Full service is available for any version of Gusto. Thus, you need to level up. 

    Higher levels open access to more features. It includes the following features. First comes the availability of full-service. Secondly, employee profiles are available. Self-services for employees are also available. Thirdly, it allows the administration of health benefits. Fourthly, it provides administration of worker’s comp. Finally, customer support and PTO tracking are available.

    A useful feature is payroll onboarding; it saves time and a lot of effort. 

    Now comes the Gusto complete plan. This comes with leveling up. The base price remains the same. It is $39 a month. The addition increases to $12 per month. It is the same for each employee. It includes features of the basic plan. Besides, the additional features are as follows. It provides committed customer support. HR professionals are certified. Besides, the HR center is also present. 

    All three versions offer a free trial for a month. Find out the plan suiting you. Insurance and benefits are available—for instance, health benefits and 401(k) retirement plans. 

    However, it becomes expensive. This happens if the company exceeds 10 employees. For new hires, here is what you need to do. The employees are directly emailed pay stubs. The filing of state, local, and federal taxes happens automatically. It also offers direct deposit for free. 

    2. ADP Payroll

    ADP is the biggest known professional employer organization. It helps other businesses. The totally outsourced HR tackles personal issues. However, your business may not be enough to warrant PEO. In this case, RUN Powered by ADP does the job. It distills decades of expertise in HR. Then, it converts to the software. Hence, completing payroll.

     There are four RUN plans. The payroll basics are covered. For instance, W-2 submissions, automatic filling of the payroll tax. It includes direct deposits as well. 

    Core payroll is the cheapest plan for ADP. It includes some HR perks, such as regular HR checkups, employee onboarding, and health care compliance forms. The plan starts at $59 per month. An additional $4 per person adds up. It offers free trials for 3 months. 

    Some features need special mention. It provides unlimited runs on the payroll. The basic HR features are present in all plans. Most importantly, it guarantees no penalty by law. 

    However, it offers no online pricing plans. Core plan is thus, the only available option. No wage garnishment is available. This is especially true for cheaper plans. 

    3. Square Payroll

    This payroll software offers freelancers or contractors. This is suitable for short term plans. You benefit as an organization. The first bare plan is $5 a month. Besides, no base cost is necessary. The contractors may log in to the portal. Next, they need to enter the required information. This makes it easy for the companies to pay them. Yes, it is that simple and affordable.

    This software is available as a stand-alone service. This collaborates with Square’s point of sale solution. The employees may use the terminal or mobile app. This allows for easy login and logout. 

    4. OnPay Payroll

    This is the best payroll software, covering the basics. Besides, the coverage falls within a small budget. For instance, withholds state employee insurance, garnish wages. Besides, it provides multi-payment options to employees. The payroll services are created based on organization type—for example, NGOs, agricultural businesses, and restaurants. More so, at no extra cost. 

    An important aspect is a setup. This software setup is available for free. The price plan starts at $36. This may be the cheapest on this list. 

    Coming to more features of OnPay. Beginning with the basics is employee onboarding. It provides no-cost, multi-state payroll. The base cost is the lowest. The software offers software integration. Alongside, time tracking is available. It assures accuracy in tax filing. Besides, a self-service portal for employees is available. However, no apps are available. Besides, only one plan is available. This software suits business that is just starting. 

    5. Paychex Flex Payroll

    This small business payroll software is best at reporting. It offers a cloud-based payroll. Besides, it can be a good HR software. This is suitable for small businesses. In fact, it is effective to allow no dealing with HR outsourcing. 

    Each new hiring is reported in each plan. The payroll tax filing is automatic. A financial wellness program is available. All Paychex plans offer these features. An outstanding feature is its report offerings. It offers more than 160 reports in each plan. In fact, this goes for all HR and payroll packages. 

    This report and general ledger service programs come with a cost. There are two pricing options available. However, none of them are listed online. Now you may need less HR help and few reports. In this case, Paychex Flex is most suitable. The starting price is $59 a month. $4 per person addition is there. Paychex Flex offers excellent experts and reporting. This is suitable if the price point isn’t a big deal for you.

    6. SurePayroll

    The self-service plan of SurePayroll begins at $19.99 per month. At the same time, full-time services begin at $29.99 a month. This is another cheap option available for you. Choose payroll software based on your budget. 

    The self-service guarantees tax calculation. This verifies an accurate assessment of taxes. The full service offers similar results. They will deal with the IRS in case of any taxing mistakes. This includes payments of associated fines. However, it tends to charge for some services. Usually, they are free for other payroll software. The fee for software integration is $4.99 a month. This is unreasonable. 

    SurePayroll has been able to transform itself. It shifted from being most expensive to cheapest. In other words, the affordability increased. However, it offers payroll processing for 4 days. This is true for self-service plans. 

    7. Patriot software

    This payroll for small business software is pretty affordable. It allows pricing plans to begin at $10 a month. Alongside $4 is payable with every additional employee. It has a cheap basic plan. Besides, the accounting software feature is completely free. 

    The add-on features are affordable as well. The HR assistance is available at $4 a month. Pay $5 a month for tracking time and attendance only. The full service begins at $30. This price hike involves only the base price. 

    8. QuickBooks Payroll

    This payroll software has been long known. It is the best accounting software. There are three payroll plans available. In fact, they offer full service. The cheapest plan here is similar to Gusto. It begins at $45 per month. The features are similar to other software. It involves automatic runs on the payroll. The option of healthcare service is available for employees. The deposits are direct. It can be done the very next day. The feature that stands out the most is used. This software consists of an easy interface. Moreover, it requires no learning. The mobile app makes life easier. It allows easy on-the-go payment. 

    One drawback catches attention. The no penalty on tax guarantee is not available for all. This is available only for the expensive plan. QuickBook pays your taxes with every plan. However, any error in fling is dangerous. The company won’t entertain such mistakes. A hefty price of $125 per month might be payable then. The fee is extremely high. This is comparable to any industry-standard guarantee. 

    9. Wagepoint payroll

    This service is rated best for its support. Wagepoint originates from Canada. It turns out they are the friendliest support system. Wagepoint offers a free trial period. This allows you to try out the software. It is crucial to do before any investment. The pricing begins at $20 a month. Following comes the $4 addition per employee. 

    10. Intuit Online Payroll

    This software is suitable for businesses that keep many client payrolls. It acts as a payroll center. The accounts get easily managed from one place. It integrates well with Quickbooks and Intuit software. This software is called a white-labeled solution. It allows various access levels with client portals.


    Free payroll software is available. Although there are some limitations, it is suitable for a business with fewer employees. The employee must not exceed three then. Feature restrictions are there. Hence try to choose any software from the list above—this article combined payroll software from different perspectives. Give a read to know which one suits your budget and needs.

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