Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of businesses choose the right payroll software so they can accurately compensate workers and file appropriate taxes.

Showing 1-20 of 278 products

Kronos Workforce ReadyFrontRunners 2020

Workforce Ready by Kronos is a human resources (HR) platform that combines workforce management with human capital management (HCM) and talent management capabilities and is suitable for businesses of all sizes. It offers features... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 104 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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UZIO

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

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Recent recommendations: 98 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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ZenefitsFrontRunners 2020

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

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Recent recommendations: 88 recommendations

Platforms: MacWin
Deployments: Cloud
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TimeWorksPlus

TimeWorksPlus is a cloud-based time, attendance, and leave management system for small to mid-size businesses. This software can capture time data from web-based clocks or physical clocks for employees onsite, mobile, and working at... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 82 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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BirdDogHR Talent Management Suite

The BirdDogHR Talent Management System offers cloud-based applicant tracking and performance management software for organizations in all industries, especially construction, manufacturing, engineering and skilled trades. The Talent... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 71 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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PaycorFrontRunners 2020

Paycor is an integrated cloud-based software suite that offers functionality to encompasses the entire employee lifecycle - from recruiting and onboarding to time and attendance management. Collectively, the solution offers tools for... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 70 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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APSFrontRunners 2020

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

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Recent recommendations: 68 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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eddyHR

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

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Recent recommendations: 66 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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NamelyFrontRunners 2020

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

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Recent recommendations: 65 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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RUN Powered by ADPFrontRunners 2020

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

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Recent recommendations: 60 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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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 health... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 57 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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BambooHR

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

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Recent recommendations: 54 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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UltiPro

Ultimate Software’s UltiPro® is a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solution designed to help organizations manage HR, payroll, and talent needs. A configurable solution, UltiPro has functionality for recruiting and onboarding... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 49 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Dayforce HCMFrontRunners 2020

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

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Recent recommendations: 42 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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iSolved

iSolved is a unified, cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solution that offers key workforce functions including payroll, HR, time and attendance and benefits enrollment, as well as people-centric functions such as learning... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 40 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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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. Ascentis... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 32 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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ViventiumFrontRunners 2020

Viventium 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, and time and attendance. A mobile Employee... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 28 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Patriot PayrollFrontRunners 2020

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

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Recent recommendations: 26 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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EPAY Human Capital Management

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, healthcare... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Workful

Workful is a cloud-based payroll and employee management solution designed to help small businesses automate processes for internal communication, time tracking, onboarding and more. Key features include direct deposit, geo-fenced... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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2020 Payroll Software Pricing Guide

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

Includes:

  • Pricing models & ranges

  • Unexpected costs

  • Pricing of popular systems

Buyers guide


Last Updated: August 1, 2020

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 tracks employee records. Many organizations outsource these types of administration tasks, 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 like health insurance, educational assistance, moving expenses and retirement plans.

Functionality of payroll software applications


In preparing a run, the system will calculate federal taxes, local taxes, and state taxes (including Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and disability insurance); print 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. For instance, when the manufacturing firm Renaissance Veneer Specialty Products, Inc. implemented ADP's solution after having run payroll manually for years, the company’s HR manager said, “What used to take two days now takes...about half a morning.”

Time Saved with Payroll Software

(Source: IRIS Software and Services)


Increase accuracy and decrease risk. Additionally, payroll solutions 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. In fact, in a 2012 study, ADP found that one-third of mid-sized companies incur penalties for noncompliance. 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 include summaries of quarterly costs, annual tax remittances and historical employee participation in 401k programs.

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:

These types of buyers... Should evaluate these sytems...
Small businesses Small business owners simply looking to streamline their payroll processing will want a solution dedicated 100 percent 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. Example vendors: Triton HR, ADP. (See our small business payroll guide for more.)
Mid-sized businesses Human resources professionals at medium-sized 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 like attendance tracking and time tracking become more valuable, and for that the buyer will want a more comprehensive human resources management system. Example vendors: Ascentis, ADP, Kronos, NuViewHR, Vista HRMS.
Large businesses These buyers are looking to expand beyond the human resources department into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) package that incorporates 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. Example vendors: Epicor HR, Sage, Omniprise HRM, Lawson HR.

Another consideration is the type of operating system 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 operating system-agnostic, meaning they're 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 like phone numbers, and makes changes to other payroll options.

Businesses such as professional employer organizations and administrative services 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 prevalent 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 changes to tax laws 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.

FrontRunners

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.

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: