Find the best Small Business Payroll Software

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Rippling

Rippling gives businesses one place to run HR, IT, and Finance. It brings together all of the workforce systems that are normally scattered across a company, like payroll, expenses, benefits, and computers. So for the first time e...Read more about Rippling

4.9 (3050 reviews)

150 recommendations

Justworks

Justworks makes it easier to start, run, and grow a business. With Justworks, entrepreneurs and their teams get access to big-company benefits, automated payroll, compliance support, and HR tools - all in one place. Justworks PEO...Read more about Justworks

4.6 (723 reviews)

109 recommendations

Paycor

Paycor empowers leaders to build winning teams. Paycor’s human capital management (HCM) platform modernizes every aspect of people management, from recruiting, onboarding and payroll to career development and retention, but what r...Read more about Paycor

4.4 (2806 reviews)

64 recommendations

Paylocity

Paylocity is a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) platform that provides human resources and payroll management tools to help businesses manage core HR functions. Key features include payroll processing, benefits administr...Read more about Paylocity

4.3 (848 reviews)

30 recommendations

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Netchex

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

4.5 (155 reviews)

11 recommendations

Triton HR

Triton HR's cloud-based, HR solution for small to midsize companies, integrates payroll services, employee benefits, and essential HR applications into a cloud-based single single sign on system. Tailored to fit a broad spectrum o...Read more about Triton HR

No reviews yet

6 recommendations

Patriot Payroll

Basic Payroll: $17/month + $4 per employee or contractor. You run payroll and handle your tax filings. Full Service Payroll: $37/month + $4 per employee or contractor. You run payroll, but let us handle the payroll tax filings. ...Read more about Patriot Payroll

4.8 (3424 reviews)

1 recommendations

Viventium Software

Viventium Software is a cloud-based payroll and human resources (HR) solution built for the post-acute care industry. Key features include payroll, HR, talent acquisition, onboarding, ACA tracking, business intelligence, time and ...Read more about Viventium Software

4.6 (83 reviews)

1 recommendations

Gusto

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

Wave

Online accounting software that provides features including invoicing, billing, payment tracking, payroll management, finance management, credit card processing, and receipt scanning. Wave Accounting is designed to help businesses...Read more about Wave

Paychex Flex

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

Hubstaff

In today's ever-evolving work environment, maintaining peak productivity while ensuring a positive employee experience is a challenge many organizations face. Hubstaff stands at the forefront of solving this challenge, offering a ...Read more about Hubstaff

7shifts

7shifts is an all-in-one restaurant team management platform that helps operators: 1) Make more profitable decisions. You'll get the insights you need to make the best team and operating decisions every day. Hit your labor targe...Read more about 7shifts

TriNet 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 about TriNet Zenefits

RUN Powered by ADP

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 suit...Read more about RUN Powered by ADP

APS Payroll

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

Square Payroll

Square Payroll is a full-service payroll solution that helps small businesses pay employees through online payroll management and handle payroll tax. It can be integrated with a variety of payment processing tools, accounting soft...Read more about Square Payroll

OnPay

OnPay is a cloud-based payroll solution that helps small businesses automate tax filing and payment workflows. Key features include employee self-onboarding, new hire reporting, automated payroll taxations and scheduled pay runs. ...Read more about OnPay

Bright

BrightPay is one of the leading payroll software in the UK, it is fully HMRC-recognised and RTI-compliant. The cloud-based software offers capabilities such as: • Real-time changes • Multi-user accessibility • Multiple pay sch...Read more about Bright

SurePayroll

SurePayroll by Paychex is a cloud-based payroll service for small businesses. It offers resources for tax form completion and legal compliance, payroll calculation, direct deposits and more. SurePayroll has partnered with variou...Read more about SurePayroll

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

For a small business owner like you, there are two ways to manage the payroll process: use an in-house payroll software solution or outsource to a payroll service provider. But if you don't want to share your sensitive payroll data with a third-party payroll provider, then buying software is your best bet.

There are a number of vendors that provide payroll software tailored specifically to the needs of small businesses. This guide will give you a head start on choosing the right system.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is small business payroll software?

Small business payroll software helps small business owners streamline and automate payroll processing and employee benefits management. The software helps save time and effort as well as reduces the chances of manual payroll errors.

An online payroll solution is designed to help small firms process payroll in-house. It often includes modules for time tracking, payroll tax filing, and benefits administration. It automates data entry and tedious processes that users would otherwise have to do manually, saving both time and labor costs.

There are many different payroll solutions available on the market. Larger companies might need deeper functionality for managing Human Resources (HR) in multiple locations or tools for complex reporting as part of their payroll system. But small businesses typically need an online payroll solution with basic capabilities such as compensation, time tracking, and tax filing.

Common features of small business payroll software

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

Compensation

Found in every system, this application automates payroll processing. Users assign pay rates to employees, and employee hours are entered directly or imported. The system then automatically calculates wages and generates paychecks. Direct deposit options are usually offered, and bonuses, commissions, overtime, and tips can be added.

Time and attendance

Time clock functionality allows employees to clock in and out. Administrators can also track employee attendance.

Tax filing

Automatically prepares, files, and pays state and federal taxes. Alternatively, provides payroll tax calculations and/or documents for users to prepare and file taxes manually.

Insurance and benefits

Some systems have functionality for insurance and benefits administration. This allows users to enroll employees in insurance benefits and manage benefit elections. Paid time off can also typically be accrued and tracked.

What type of buyer are you?

Many different solutions cater to the needs of small companies, but not all small businesses are created equal. Consider what your requirements are as you begin researching for an online payroll software solution:

Basic payroll needs: If you are looking only for a basic solution to streamline payroll processing, consider entry-level, affordable products with functionality that cater specifically to your payroll management needs.

More robust workforce management needs: Perhaps you need a payroll system that also offers more robust tools such as tax compliance and filing, insurance and benefits administration, and employee management.

Growing business with payroll and HR needs: If your business is growing and you know you may need to scale up to a full HR software suite, consider a vendor that offers tiered packages that let you easily upgrade without having to learn a whole new system.

Benefits of small business payroll software

There are many benefits to choosing a payroll software solution over running payroll manually. These include:

  • Automation of tedious processes: First and foremost, you’ll save time once spent cutting checks and filing taxes. The software automates manual payroll tasks, so you have more time to spend building your business.

  • Reduced labor costs: You’ll also save money by cutting down on the labor costs associated with payroll processing. For some companies, small business payroll software can even eliminate the need for a full-time payroll employee.

  • Greater accuracy and lower risks: In addition to saving time and cutting costs, a good payroll system will increase accuracy and decrease risk. Automated payroll processing eliminates the possibility of human errors. The software will also remind you of important deadlines, so the risk of incurring penalties decreases significantly.

  • Integration with existing software: Many small business payroll systems can integrate with the other HR tools and accounting software your business may already be using. This can streamline operations and reduce errors even further.

Market trends to understand

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

Cloud-based software:

Most of today’s small business payroll solutions are deployed in the cloud. Since users log into the software from their internet-connected device, cloud-based systems can be accessed from anywhere.

With traditional on-premise systems, businesses had to buy updated software each year to keep up with changing payroll tax laws. Now, cloud vendors simply update their products as laws change, and the changes are reflected in users’ systems automatically—with no need to buy anything new.

Mobile accessibility: As cloud-based software has become more popular, so too has mobile access to payroll systems. Many vendors now offer native mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, which provide a seamless on-the-go experience.

Some vendors offer employee self-service mobile apps, as well. These allow workers to access their own salary and benefits information remotely. Look for this trend to continue in the future.