Small Business 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 56 products
Showing 1 - 20 of 56 products

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

4.08 (1164 reviews)

98 recommendations

Paycor

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

4.37 (2265 reviews)

74 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

4.20 (792 reviews)

69 recommendations

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 sui...Read more

4.49 (711 reviews)

40 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

4.88 (1553 reviews)

39 recommendations

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

4.61 (613 reviews)

39 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

4.48 (98 reviews)

22 recommendations

Patriot Payroll

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

4.81 (2943 reviews)

20 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

4.70 (248 reviews)

13 recommendations

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

4.49 (128 reviews)

8 recommendations

Software pricing tips

Read our Small Business 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

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

No reviews yet

5 recommendations

Wagepoint

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

4.64 (212 reviews)

2 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...Read more

4.76 (185 reviews)

1 recommendations

Viventium Software

Viventium Software is a cloud-based payroll and human resources (HR) solution for small to mid-size businesses. Key features include payroll, HR, talent acquisition, ACA tracking, business intelligence, time and attendance, benefi...Read more

4.68 (41 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

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

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

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

Calamari

Calamari is a cloud-based human resources solution that offers two modules: leave management and clock in/out services. The software is suitable for small to midsize businesses in any industry and offers Android and iOS mobile app...Read more

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

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: June 24, 2022

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.