Showing 1-20 of 291 products
Zira is a cloud-based employee scheduling and performance management system designed to automate complex team processes. Zira tools include a web-based manager and admin application that is ideal for creating and publishing schedules,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 95 recommendations
UZIO is a SaaS-based online marketplace that provides cloud-based HR, payroll, and benefits management software and services. It is built for businesses of all sizes. This integrated solution offers local/regional brokers, employers,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 92 recommendations
Zenefits HRIS offers Web-based compatibility with both Macs and iPads. The interface allows new employees to sign all agreements online, and it only takes one click to remove former employees from the payroll and benefits system. Read more
Recent recommendations: 83 recommendations
UKG Ready (formerly Kronos Workforce Ready) is a flexible and seamless HR solution that provides a connected people experience to easily manage the entire employee journey, from a single solution. Designed for flexibility and ease... Read more
Recent recommendations: 74 recommendations
isolved is an employee experience leader, providing intuitive, people-first HCM technology. Their solutions are delivered directly or through their partner network to more than five million employees and 145,000 employers — who use... Read more
Recent recommendations: 73 recommendations
Paycor creates HR software for leaders who want to make a difference. Paycor's Human Capital Management (HCM) platform modernizes every aspect of people management, from the way you recruit, onboard and develop people, to the way you... Read more
Recent recommendations: 59 recommendations
WorkforceHub is a unified solution for time and attendance, scheduling, applicant tracking, benefits management, employee engagement, and more. It’s the HR tech platform that scales as a business grows while delivering the mission-critical... Read more
Recent recommendations: 58 recommendations
ADP Workforce Now is a comprehensive solution for managing HR, payroll, talent, compliance, and employee benefits. This workforce solution is suited for businesses with more than 50 employees looking to streamline HR processes. ADP... Read more
Recent recommendations: 56 recommendations
Namely offers a cloud-based solution for companies seeking a single comprehensive system to manage their human capital. Namely helps midsize companies manage compliance and streamline everything payroll, benefits and talent management. Namely... Read more
Recent recommendations: 48 recommendations
Dayforce, provided by Ceridian, is a cloud-based solution for Payroll, Benefits, Workforce Management, Human Resources, Talent Management, Document Management, and Analytics. As a single application, Dayforce provides organizations... Read more
Recent recommendations: 46 recommendations
RUN Powered by ADP (RUN"), is a web-based payroll solution designed for small businesses. The solution can be deployed on either iPhones, iPads or on any touchscreen device. RUN can integrate with multiple third-party accounting software... Read more
Recent recommendations: 45 recommendations
UKG Pro (formerly Ultimate UltiPro) is a powerful, global HCM solution. Transform your business with a truly connected global workforce experience delivered through resilient and mindful HR technology. From payroll, to talent, to service... Read more
Recent recommendations: 45 recommendations
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 management. APS delivers a single-system... Read more
Recent recommendations: 44 recommendations
BambooHR is a cloud-based HR management software solution for small and midsize businesses. BambooHR offers small and growing companies a human resource information system (HRIS) that includes an applicant tracking system (ATS), time... Read more
Recent recommendations: 38 recommendations
EddyHR’s mission is to help small and midsize businesses move out of paper and spreadsheets, and into an intuitive, modern, all-in-one HR platform. EddyHR is unique because of its seamless combination of hiring, onboarding, and people... Read more
Recent recommendations: 37 recommendations
Rippling makes it easy to manage your company's Payroll, Benefits, HR, and IT—all in one, modern platform. It brings all of your employee systems and data together, and helps automate your busy work. Take onboarding, for example.... Read more
Recent recommendations: 36 recommendations
The Arcoro human resources (HR) management solution is the bridge to better HR. With over 10,000 customers and 360,000 daily users in 20 countries around the world, Arcoro offers 11 configurable, easy-to-use, cloud-based HR software... Read more
Recent recommendations: 34 recommendations
Patriot Payroll from Patriot Software is an integrated human resource (HR) and payroll management solution that helps to streamline the different processes associated with managing payroll payments and tax submissions. The solution... Read more
Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations
Collage is a cloud-based human resources (HR) and benefits management platform built for the needs of small and midsize businesses. Collage also digitizes group benefits enrollment and can sync with any insurance provider in Canada. Collage’s... Read more
Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations
GoCo is a cloud-based human resources, benefits and payroll solution designed for small businesses. The platform automates the process of collecting required documents for newly hired talent, enrolling new employees in benefits plans... Read more
Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations
2021 Payroll Software Pricing Guide
Learn about the key aspects of accurate software pricing before you make your purchase decision.
Pricing models & ranges
Pricing of popular systems
What is payroll software?
Payroll software is a system that handles payroll services including payroll taxes, compensation, year-end bonuses, pay stubs, paid time off, benefits management, and organizing employee records. Many organizations outsource the payroll process, but you may decide that in-house is best for your company, and there are many payroll software solutions available to streamline the task.
But determining which solution is best for you can be overwhelming. We’ve created this guide to help you navigate the vendor landscape.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is payroll software?
- Payroll software functionality
- Benefits of payroll software
- What type of buyer are you?
- Popular payroll software comparisons
- Market trends to understand
Payroll software functionality
This type of solution tracks a variety of information related to employee compensation and often includes benefits administration features. This includes everything related to wages (pay type and frequency, bonuses, withholdings, garnishments, etc.): paid vacation and time-off benefits and one-time or recurring benefits such as health insurance, educational assistance, moving expenses, and retirement plans.
In preparing a run, the system will calculate payroll deductions such as federal taxes, local taxes, and state taxes (including Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and disability insurance). They will then print payroll checks or execute direct deposits and export data directly to accounting software or in a format that's compatible for import to an accounting system. It should also support reimbursements for mileage, relocation for new hires, and other travel expenses, as well as any other expenditures fronted by employees.
Finally, the software should prepare tax forms and reports for the employer, employees, and contractors, such as the 940, 941, 944, 1099, W2, W3, and 1099-MISC.
Benefits of payroll software
If your company is tracking employee information and processing payments manually, payroll solutions could save you time, money, and a lot of headaches by mitigating compliance risks.
Save time. The biggest and most obvious benefit of a payroll management system is that it saves time, which, in turn, saves money. These solutions are designed to be user-friendly so the learning curve to set up and start processing payroll is very low. These time savings add up.
Increase accuracy and decrease risk. Additionally, a payroll software solution can help business owners ensure they remit the correct amount of paycheck-related taxes and file applicable reports on time. When running payroll manually, even an honest mistake, such as a multiplication or rounding error, can have significant effects. These solutions will complete tax filings and reports for you, and remind you when they’re due.
And simply keeping up with the changes to the tax code is a time-consuming task. The payroll software will track these changes so you don’t have to.
Generate reports. Finally, payroll solutions allow you to track payroll information over time and quickly produce useful reports for internal decision makers, accountants, and auditors. Examples of what’s in a payroll report include summaries of quarterly costs, annual tax remittances and historical employee benefits participation.
What type of buyer are you?
For many companies, payroll is just one component of their software needs, but not always. There are several different levels of buyers, and these categories will help you determine the software that will best fit your needs:
Small businesses: A small business owner looking to streamline their payroll processing will want a solution dedicated 100% to payroll, but at a very affordable base price. Odds are you own payroll yourself at this time, so you need to find the best payroll software for your small business. (See our small business payroll guide for example vendors.)
Midsize businesses: Human resources professionals at midsize companies or larger (50+ employees) will benefit from more than just basic payroll functions. At this level, onboarding, direct deposit, tax filing, and other features such as attendance tracking and time tracking become more valuable, and for that the buyer will want a more comprehensive human resources management system.
Large businesses: These buyers are looking to expand beyond the human resources department into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) package that incorporates full service payroll processing, talent management, and possibly the human capital management system. This will ensure tight integration between payroll and other HR functions, as well as accounting and other department-specific systems.
Another consideration is the type of operating system (OS) you'll be running the software on. For example, if you're a Mac user, you may want to look at products designed specifically for the Mac interface. Alternatively, an increasing number of products are OS agnostic, meaning that they are optimized to run in a web browser and are not dependent on a particular OS. See our list of payroll products well suited to Macs for more.
The availability of a mobile app could also be a factor when considering online payroll software. Not that you'll be able to run payroll or perform tax filings, but employees could submit time-off requests, update their personal info such as phone numbers, and make changes to other payroll options.
Businesses such as professional employer organizations (PEO) and administrative service organizations looking to track payroll services for their employees should consider PEO software.
Popular payroll software comparisons
- Gusto vs. Paycor
- Paycor vs. Patriot Payroll
- Gusto vs. Square Payroll
- Paycom vs. Workday
- APS vs. Zenefits
Market trends to understand
- More payroll software is now web-based. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—a deployment model where the vendor hosts the software on its own servers and clients access the solution through their web browser—is becoming more normal for payroll applications. Because tax laws change frequently, any online payroll software you buy will need to be updated at least annually. Online payroll systems provide an excellent answer to that concern, as vendors automatically update the software with legal changes so that tax compliance is uncomplicated for you.
- Employee portals are becoming more popular. Across the board, HR software is becoming more employee-centric. The availability of employee portals, on both SaaS and on-premise solutions, is growing. Look for more functionality that’s targeted toward employees; for example, employee self-service tax filing, access to personal payroll data, personal benefits, bank account details for direct deposit, paystubs, timesheet data, and absence planning and reporting.
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.
Your Guide to Top Payroll Software, March 2020
Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Payroll Software products in North America.
Learn how products are chosen