Find the best Online Payroll Software

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Paycom

FrontRunners 2022

Paycom offers user-friendly HR and employee-driven payroll technology to enhance the employee life cycle, in a single software. Paycom drives efficiencies, increases data integrity and gives employees power over their HR informat...Read more about Paycom

4.34 (717 reviews)

106 recommendations

Paychex Flex

FrontRunners 2022

Paychex Flex is a human capital management solution that's designed using web-based modular technology and a dedicated service center to help meet the HR needs of employers of any size and industry. With a single login, users can ...Read more about Paychex Flex

4.12 (1284 reviews)

88 recommendations

isolved

FrontRunners 2022

isolved is an employee experience leader, providing intuitive, people-first HCM technology. Our solutions are delivered directly or through our HRO partner network to more than five million employees and 145,000 employers across a...Read more about isolved

3.89 (396 reviews)

55 recommendations

Paycor

FrontRunners 2022

Paycor creates Human Capital Management (HCM) software for leaders who want to make a difference. Our HCM platform modernizes every aspect of people management, from the way you recruit, onboard and develop people, to the way you ...Read more about Paycor

4.37 (2379 reviews)

50 recommendations

RUN Powered by ADP

FrontRunners 2022

The RUN Powered by ADP® (RUN) solution is designed to make your small business payroll quick and easy. With a streamlined process and powerful technology, you'll complete payroll in no time. Choose from basic payroll to a full sui...Read more about RUN Powered by ADP

4.47 (737 reviews)

38 recommendations

Zenefits

FrontRunners 2022

Zenefits is an all-encompassing HR SaaS platform designed specifically for small to midsize businesses. The Zenefits People Platform includes a robust offering spanning HR, Benefits, Payroll, Well-being and Performance apps that c...Read more about Zenefits

4.20 (799 reviews)

35 recommendations

Asure Payroll & Tax Management

Asure’s end-to-end Payroll, HR, and Time and Attendance solutions were developed specifically for small to mid-sized businesses. Take your business to the next level with an integrated Human Capital Management platform that helps ...Read more about Asure Payroll & Tax Management

3.43 (7 reviews)

26 recommendations

Wagepoint

FrontRunners 2022

Wagepoint is a small-but-mighty company on a mission to simplify payroll – and even dare to make it delightful! Our online payroll software was built just for small businesses, automating the most “ugh” parts of payroll so that ou...Read more about Wagepoint

4.64 (216 reviews)

25 recommendations

Powerpay

FrontRunners 2022

Powerpay by Ceridian is a cloud-based payroll and HR software for small businesses in Canada. This solution is designed to help eliminate the need for manual processes and paperwork when managing employee information. Powerpay can...Read more about Powerpay

4.68 (253 reviews)

23 recommendations

APS Payroll

FrontRunners 2022

Automatic Payroll Systems (APS) has a mission: to make payroll and HR easier. They have been providing payroll and tax compliance services to companies since 1996. In 2004, APS released its cloud-based solution for workforce manag...Read more about APS Payroll

4.60 (615 reviews)

19 recommendations

Dayforce HCM

FrontRunners 2022

Dayforce, provided by Ceridian, is a solution for payroll, benefits, workforce management, human resources, talent management, document management, and analytics. As a single application, Dayforce provides organizations with acces...Read more about Dayforce HCM

4.27 (694 reviews)

15 recommendations

Rippling

FrontRunners 2022

Rippling is the first way for businesses to manage all of their HR, IT, and Finance — payroll, benefits, computers, apps, corporate cards, expenses, and more — in one unified workforce platform. By connecting every business system...Read more about Rippling

4.89 (1998 reviews)

9 recommendations

Patriot Payroll

FrontRunners 2022

Patriot Payroll does not have an app, but the website is optimized for mobile use. Patriot Payroll from Patriot Software is an integrated human resource (HR) and payroll management solution that helps to streamline the different...Read more about Patriot Payroll

4.81 (3130 reviews)

7 recommendations

CSP

Collaboration Software Partners (CSP) is a global HCM provider with a focus on implementation and support that caters to any sized organization above 100 employees. CSP has several office locations across the US and is headquarter...Read more about CSP

No reviews yet

6 recommendations

ADP Workforce Now

FrontRunners 2022

ADP Workforce Solution is suited for businesses with more than 50 employees looking to streamline HR processes. ADP Workforce Now includes capabilities such as payroll processing and tax filing, performance management, compensatio...Read more about ADP Workforce Now

4.41 (6188 reviews)

4 recommendations

Payroll Connected

Payroll Connected is a fully automatic online payroll processing software. Just enter the hours worked, and it’s done! Stat, Vac, OT and deductions are calculated automatically. Plus ROEs, T4s, reports and more. Payroll Connected ...Read more about Payroll Connected

4.60 (5 reviews)

4 recommendations

Triton HR

Triton HR offers small to midsize companies a cloud-based human resources (HR) solution that integrates payroll services, employee benefits and core HR applications into a single system. The system can be configured to support a w...Read more about Triton HR

No reviews yet

4 recommendations

Netchex

FrontRunners 2022

What is Netchex? Netchex is a cloud-based human resource (HR) and payroll management solution designed for businesses of all sizes. Key features include recruiting and onboarding management, performance management, payroll managem...Read more about Netchex

4.49 (139 reviews)

3 recommendations

Gusto

FrontRunners 2022

Gusto is a modern, online human resource platform that helps any small business owner take care of all hr tasks. Gusto offers HR tools and HR services to help with managing employee onboarding, running payroll, administrating heal...Read more about Gusto

Hubstaff

Whether businesses are starting up a new team or looking for a better way to manage employees, Hubstaff has everything required to run teams confidently. With the innovative and robust time tracking and task management solution, e...Read more about Hubstaff

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 22, 2022

What Is Online Payroll Software?

Online payroll software is a web-based payroll application that provides features such as compensation management, tax filing, and time and attendance tracking. Users can access these features via web-enabled devices (e.g., computer, tablet, smartphone). The software is hosted and managed by the vendor.

Online, or “cloud-based,” payroll software refers to systems hosted in the cloud, on the software vendor’s servers. Unlike with on-premise deployments, which require users to install software on their own computers and servers, online software lets users log in from anywhere.

There are many online payroll solutions out there. Some are sold as stand-alone payroll applications, while others are included as part of broader human resources (HR) software suites. Big vendors, such as ADP, offer multiple cloud payroll systems with different levels of functionality. No matter which vendor you choose, there are some capabilities common to most online payroll systems, which we’ll explore next.

(If you're not sold on the cloud-based deployment model and would prefer to evaluate all payroll systems, both cloud-based and on-premise, check out our general payroll software guide.)

As high-speed Internet and mobile access become more common, online payroll software’s popularity is on the rise.

 

If you're in the market for a new system, this guide will help you choose the right one for your business. We’ll cover:

What Is Online Payroll Software?
Common Applications of Online Payroll Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand

Common Applications of Online Payroll Software

These systems often come with some or all of the following core capabilities:

Compensation management Found in all payroll software; automates payroll processing. Users assign pay rates to employees, then enter employee hours manually or import them from a Web-based time and attendance application. The system automatically calculates wages and generates paychecks. May include direct deposit options, bonuses, commissions, overtime and tips.
Time and attendance Allows employees to clock in and out within the system, and administrators to track employee attendance.
Tax filing Available in more robust systems. Automatically prepares, files and pays state and federal taxes. Alternatively, provides tax calculations and/or documents for users to prepare and file manually.
Accounting integration Some systems package payroll processing and general accounting together. Alternatively, some systems simply offer integration with users’ existing online accounting software.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Online payroll software buyers can choose from options with a range of functionality: from basic compensation management systems all the way up to complete HR suites. The system that’s right for you will depend on your payroll, accounting and HR requirements:

Basic payroll needs. Some vendors offer entry-level online payroll packages that include capabilities only for compensation management and time and attendance. Businesses looking to fulfill basic payroll needs might choose one of these, such as Wagepoint or Payroll by Wave.

Payroll and accounting software. These solutions combine payroll processing and accounting. Systems such as XERO include payroll processing and general ledger accounting in one product. Others, such as QuickBooks Full Service Payroll, integrate with full accounting platforms. Relatedly, some vendors offer payroll solutions designed specifically for accountants.

Complete HR suites. As mentioned, many online payroll systems come as part of an HR suite. These suites include functionality for personnel tracking, applicant tracking, benefits administration, talent management, scheduling and more in addition to payroll. Businesses looking for a complete solution can check out software such as Paychex Flex and Kronos Workforce Central’s Web-based option.

Benefits and Potential Issues

There are many benefits of choosing online payroll software over software deployed on-premise. Some of these perks include:

Security. With cloud-based deployments, businesses don’t have to worry about on-premise crashes, thefts or other crises. Online software vendors have their own secure servers and security policies to help prevent hacking and data loss (which are often more robust than those of individual businesses).

Automatic updates. Cloud payroll software vendors often update their products to reflect things like changing tax laws. Because online payroll software can update automatically, users no longer have to buy new software each year.

Lower upfront costs. Since cloud payroll solutions are typically priced on a subscription basis, users don’t have to pay a large installation fee up front, like they do with perpetual licenses (which are common for on-premise systems). Instead, they pay a more manageable fee either per month or per year.

Though online payroll software solutions have lower initial costs, the recurring costs eventually add up. However, since on-premise software often requires users to purchase updates, over time, costs for the two types of system tend to even out.

Market Trends to Understand

Here are a few trends to be aware of as you search for new software in this market:

Mobile accessibility. More and more businesses want their payroll software to be accessible from any device. Cloud-based software has made it possible for vendors to offer mobile apps, so users can log in from their smartphones and tablets.

Many vendors also offer mobile employee portals. With these portals, employees can access their timesheets, salary information and more while on the go.

Cloud-based solutions for larger enterprises. In the past, cloud solutions were marketed only to small and midsize businesses. Now, more and more vendors are offering robust online payroll systems for larger enterprises.

Systems targeting larger businesses often include a wider range of capabilities, such as HR applications or accounting integration.