15 Most Popular and Best Payroll Software: Best Tools Reviewed

15 Most Popular and Best Payroll Software: Best Tools Reviewed

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Getting through payday and beyond can be challenging if you don’t have the best payroll software working for you.

Keeping a business compliant with regulations, honoring payment schedules to employees and contractors is a full-time job. Luckily, quality payroll software automates many of these tasks. It is ensuring that the small details are taken care of as well.

What’s more, many of the best payroll software integrates with other popular HR apps and tools to create more efficient workflows. As an employer, this means fewer pain points for you, as well as happy employees.

Today, we talk the best payroll software options available, and what makes each one worth looking into.

Best Payroll Software

 

As always, selecting a piece of software requires that you keep the requirements of your business in the forefront. Therefore, what’s good for one business may not be suitable for another. Below, we list some of the features that are the most desirable in payroll software. This can help as a reference point in selecting just the things that are important for you.

Features to look for in payroll software

Needless to say, payroll software should be easy to set up, intuitive, and run on any device. Apart from that, it should also have the following:

  • integration with other tools and apps to streamline workflows and save time
  • payroll processing for employees and contractors
  • historical data handling from prior payrolls
  • automation for managing employee salaries, wages, bonuses, and deductions
  • automatic payroll calculation once employee work hours are entered
  • syncing with time-cards to track employee hours
  • managing payment options for employees
  • employee benefits like health care and retirement
  • automated tax calculations, deductions, and filings
  • employee onboarding features
Best payroll software: QuickBooks

💸 Pricing:

Three plans:

  • Core at $22.50/mo + $4/employee/mo
  • Premium at $37.50/mo + $8/employee/mo
  • Elite at $62.50/mo + $10/employee/mo

🧰 Key features:

  • Works for small to mid-size businesses
  • Automatic calculation and payment of payroll taxes
  • Manage benefits and employee services
  • Same day direct deposit for longer cash retention
  • Free paycheck calculator, payroll glossary, and payroll tax map
  • Onboard new employees with employee toolkit
  • Helps comply with mandatory labor law posting regulations
  • Automate workers compensation
  • Payroll reports that cover tax liability, multiple worksites, and more
  • Up to $25,000 tax penalty borne by QuickBooks
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Best payroll software: OnPay

💸 Pricing:

A base fee of $36/mo + $4/person. Billed only for workers paid in a month.

🧰 Key features:

  • Unlimited monthly pay runs
  • Automated withholding, filing, and payment of payroll taxes
  • Pay by direct deposit, debit cards, or printed checks
  • Accounting and time-tracking integrations
  • Multi-state payroll
  • Employee self onboarding
  • Unemployment insurance withholding
  • Special payroll services for small businesses at no extra cost
  • Multiple pay rates and schedules
  • Benefits and integrated workers compensation

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Best payroll software: SurePayroll

💸 Pricing:

One month free trial. Price available only on the quote.

Some digging around reveals they have two levels of subscription – a self-service at about $20 + $4/mo/employee (no automatic tax filings) and a full service at about $30 + $5/mo/employee.

🧰 Key features:

  • Intended for small businesses
  • Two day debit period for more cash on hand
  • Run an extra payroll if necessary
  • Run payroll same day or the following day
  • Compliance with labor laws
  • Health care benefits and retirement plans
  • Takes care of taxes
  • Pay only for features you use
  • Live US based support, even beyond office hours
  • Service backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee

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Best payroll software: Patriot

💸 Pricing:

Basic payroll starts at $10/mo + $4/mo/employee (does not include payroll tax handling) and Full service payroll at $30/mo + $4/mo/employee, includes handling payroll taxes.

🧰 Key features:

  • Unlimited payrolls
  • Multiple locations, rates, and all pay frequencies
  • Customizable hours, money, and deductions
  • Employee portal
  • Workers compensation integration
  • Paying contractors in payroll
  • Time and attendance integration
  • Time-off accruals
  • File and deposit payroll taxes, year-end tax filings
  • Tax filing accuracy guaranteed

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Best payroll software: Gusto

💸 Pricing:

Four plans:

  • Basic from $19/mo + $6/mo/employee
  • Core at $39/mo + $6/mo/employee
  • Complete at $39/mo + $12/mo/employee
  • Concierge at $149/mo + $12/mo/employee

🧰 Key features:

  • Unlimited payroll and next day direct deposits
  • Multiple states and pay schedules
  • Automated taxes and filings
  • Option for employees for a Gusto debit card
  • Easy cancellation of payroll
  • Unlimited bonus and off-cycle payrolls
  • Integrated pre-tax benefits and time tracking integrations
  • Paperless employee onboarding and lifetime accounts
  • Automatic reporting of new hires
  • Payroll on autopilot

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Best payroll software: Square

💸 Pricing:

Choose to pay contractors only at $5/mo per person paid OR pay employees and contractors at $29/mo + $5/mo per person paid.

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🧰 Key features:

  • Full-service payroll in one place
  • Automated tax filings
  • Health care and employee benefits that sync with payroll
  • Timecard integration and Square app access
  • Easy calculation and processing of payroll
  • Multiple payment methods – direct deposit, cash, check
  • Worker compensation insurance
  • Unlimited pay runs per month
  • Freeze billing at any time to stop payment
  • No long-term commitment

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Best payroll software: Zenefits

💸 Pricing:

HR base plans start at $8/mo/employee, Payroll add-on at $6/mo/employee.

🧰 Key features:

  • Automatic withholding and filing taxes
  • Unlimited pay runs
  • Garnishment support
  • Direct deposits
  • Multiple schedules and pay rates
  • Contractor payments
  • Dynamic mobile pay stubs
  • Integrations with productivity, time tracking, and other apps for efficient workflow
  • New hire onboarding sync
  • Bulk earnings uploading and lifetime accounts

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Rippling

💸 Pricing:

Starts at $8/mo/user.

🧰 Key features:

  • Syncs all your HR data with payroll
  • Automatic compliance with regulations
  • Automated taxes and filings
  • Pay employees and contractors in any location
  • Syncs working hours and time-off with payroll
  • Pre-built and custom reports
  • Job codes to track employees time and cost
  • Direct deposit or check
  • Workers compensation and garnishments
  • New hire filing

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Paychex

💸 Pricing:

Three plans:

  • Go at $50/mo + $4/mo/employee
  • Select and Enterprise are customized packages

🧰 Key features:

  • Intuitive, user-friendly interface
  • Automatic tax calculation, payment, and filings
  • Simplified time entry, tracking, and approvals
  • New hire reporting
  • Integrations with HR, accounting, and productivity tools
  • Workers compensation report and unemployment insurance service
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Controlled access to employees
  • Built-in safeguards to protect against potential issues
  • Free mobile app

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Payroll4Free

💸 Pricing:

Basic Free (up to 25 persons); Deposit and file taxes at $15/mo, transfer of direct deposits also at $15/mo.

🧰 Key features:

  • Tax calculations and forms
  • Vacation time tracking
  • Direct deposits or paychecks
  • Employee portal
  • Set up any kind of earning, deductions, benefits, or contribution
  • Quick and easy enrollment
  • Pay employees and contractors
  • Unlimited live customer service and support
  • Detailed reporting
  • Integration with accounting packages, banks, and time tracking tools

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BambooHR

💸 Pricing:

Pricing available only on request. Estimates put it at $6 – $8/mo/employee.

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🧰 Key features:

  • Trax Payroll is an add-on to BambooHR
  • Integration with BambooHR platform for syncing employee data
  • Employee access to payroll information
  • Takes care of tax compliance
  • Approved hours worked and time-off
  • Benefits and deductions
  • End of year forms
  • Advanced data encryption and continuous monitoring
  • Direct access to responsive customer care
  • 100+ standard and exportable reports

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Hourly

💸 Pricing:

$60/mo + $10/mo/user.

🧰 Key features:

  • Unlimited pay runs
  • Guaranteed automatic tax payment and filing
  • Location and employee hour tracking in real-time
  • Pay employees and independent contractors
  • Mobile access to employees to edit personal info, fill out tax forms, and view pay stubs
  • New hire reporting
  • Multiple pay rates and schedules
  • Supports hourly and salary employees
  • Employee expense submission for reimbursement
  • Full-featured mobile app

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Workday

💸 Pricing:

Prices not mentioned on the website. Costs may start at $100/employee for three years. Variable, depending on requirements.

🧰 Key features:

  • Unified platform of HR, payroll, and expenses
  • Flexibility to implement policy changes and worker preferences
  • Continuous control to recalculate as pay-impacting events occur
  • Compliance dashboard to monitor updates
  • Payroll for multiple countries
  • Real-time visibility built into General Ledger
  • Built-in reporting and analytics
  • Continuous payroll processing
  • HR transactions go straight to payroll
  • Mobile-first employee experience

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ADP

💸 Pricing:

Prices available on request for two business sizes (below 50 employees, 50+ employees) in four packages each.

🧰 Key features:

  • Global and local payroll processing
  • Employee and manager self-service
  • Integration with HR, time tracking, and more
  • Compliance support
  • The calculation, payment, and filing of taxes
  • Fully automated employee data syncing
  • Direct debit card
  • State unemployment insurance management
  • New hire reporting
  • General ledger interface

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Wave

💸 Pricing:

Not readily available. Full tax compliance package pegged at $35/mo + $6/mo/employee, for self service tax compliance $20/mo + $6/mo/employee.

🧰 Key features:

  • Good fit for small businesses using Wave accounting
  • Basic payroll features
  • Print checks in-house
  • Direct deposits
  • Integration with Wave accounting, not third party apps
  • Easy onboarding
  • Employee access to payroll documents
  • Time-sheet to track hours
  • Benefits and deductions calculations
  • Activity dashboard

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