Payroll Software

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Recommendations: Sorts listings by the number of recommendations our advisors have made over the past 30 days. Our advisors assess buyers’ needs for free and only recommend products that meet buyers’ needs. Vendors pay Software Advice for these referrals.
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Showing 1 - 20 of 191 products
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Showing 1 - 20 of 191 products

Eddy

Eddy is the all-in-one HR Suite built for local businesses. With Eddy, businesses can streamline tedious HR processes and improve their employee experience by moving away from paper and spreadsheets and into our intuitive, web-bas...Read more

4.61 (38 reviews)

106 recommendations

UKG Pro

UKG Pro 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 delivery, to surveys,...Read more

104 recommendations

Paycom

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

93 recommendations

Paycor

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 ...Read more

84 recommendations

isolved

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 us...Read more

65 recommendations

BambooHR

BambooHR offers small and growing companies a human resource information system (HRIS) that includes an applicant tracking system (ATS), time tracking, payroll processing, benefits administration, employee engagement and employee ...Read more

61 recommendations

Zenefits

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

59 recommendations

Namely

People are complex, but your HR solution shouldn’t be. Namely gives you the resources to make your life easier and your employees happier. With modern, intuitive technology and a world-class team of HR experts, Namely empowers peo...Read more

56 recommendations

Deluxe Payroll and HR

Deluxe's online payroll solution provides your business with comprehensive, full-service payroll and HR solutions with dedicated customer service. ...Read more

4.47 (97 reviews)

56 recommendations

Rippling

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, such as onboarding. With Rippli...Read more

53 recommendations

Software pricing tips

Read our Payroll Software Buyers Guide

Subscription models

  • Per employee/per month: This model allows you to pay a monthly fee for each of your employees.
  • Per user/per month: Users pay a monthly fee for users—normally administrative users—rather than all employees.

Perpetual license

  • This involves paying an upfront sum for the license to own the software and use it indefinitely.
  • This is the more traditional model and is most common with on-premise applications and with larger businesses.

Rated best value for money

Dayforce HCM

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

48 recommendations

Centrally HR

HCM solution that helps manage and automate onboarding, benefits management, employee database, timekeeping and more....Read more

No reviews yet

45 recommendations

RUN Powered by ADP

Faster, smarter, easier payroll and HR As a small business owner, you’re managing more than ever. And with less time to get it all done — you can’t afford mistakes. You need a trusted payroll and HR platform that can help you st...Read more

41 recommendations

APS

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 sing...Read more

38 recommendations

Equip

Equip Payroll by Primepoint offers payroll solutions designed specifically for small business owners and managers. Equip focuses on the unique needs of small businesses, including unlimited payroll processing, tax services, direct...Read more

No reviews yet

37 recommendations

ADP Workforce Now

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

29 recommendations

Ascentis

Ascentis offers a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) suite designed for midsize companies of all industries. It includes HR and benefits, recruiting and onboarding, talent management, time and attendance and payroll. ...Read more

4.24 (51 reviews)

27 recommendations

Powerpay

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

20 recommendations

EPAY HCM

EPAY Human Capital Management is an integrated HR system that helps midsize and large companies track, manage and pay their employees. EPAY Systems specializes in industries like business services, staffing, manufacturing, healthc...Read more

5.00 (7 reviews)

18 recommendations

Workzoom

Workzoom is the all-in-one Talent, Workforce and Payroll solution that engages your employees, enlightens your leaders and helps you grow your business. Bring your whole team together with a centralized hub for accessing personal ...Read more

4.50 (4 reviews)

17 recommendations

Popular Payroll Software Comparisons

pricing guide

2021 Payroll Software Pricing Guide

Learn about the key aspects of accurate software pricing before you make your purchase decision.

  • Pricing models & ranges

  • Unexpected costs

  • Pricing of popular systems

Download now

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: October 27, 2021

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:

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. 

(Source: IRIS Software and Services)

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

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.