Poor payroll processing can be the chink in the armor for small and medium companies that run without a dedicated HR team. For example, if employees’ salaries and benefits are not released in time it could inject negative energy and cause employee performance to nosedive. Besides, the slightest misstep in payroll tax reporting can open an avalanche of notices and put you at loggerheads with the local tax collector.
Luckily, with modern payroll software, you don’t have to grapple with all these problems as these tools expedite payroll processing, employee onboarding, and benefits administration. But even so, you’ve to work with the best vendor to reap these benefits. So, to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the top payroll companies. We’ll provide a brief background about each vendor, their application’s top features and benefits, and an introduction to their pricing scheme. The goal is to help you find a reliable vendor that can offer payroll solutions to cater to the unique needs of your business, especially due to the changes made by COVID-19.
To start, let’s take a look at a few pain points that impact payroll management. In small and medium-sized companies, the HR staff has to process payroll which increases their workload. Second, the calculation of each employee’s salary can be difficult as you have to consider their pay scale, variables, deductions, etc. In fact, small business owners spend an average of 4 hours and 52 minutes to calculate, file, and pay payroll and relevant taxes for every pay period.
Storing payroll records securely is another headache, much more when almost everything is done remotely. Other common issues are tracking of absence, incompatible software, payroll statutory contributions, and timely payroll processing. Needless to say, quality payroll software can help you overcome quite a few of these pain points as it automates payroll processing and helps you save time and effort.
Source: Deloitte, 2020
This brings us to the next section: What are the most admired features in payroll software? We would like to point out these four:
Even as we present the top payroll software solutions it doesn’t mean they are your only options. There are dozens of them out there. In your quest to find the perfect fit, you can be guided by these timely reminders:
Also, keep in mind these three key aspects when considering a payroll software product. They are not the main features, but they will affect the features and how you use them in the long run.
Now that you have a good grasp of the fundamentals of payroll software and management, let’s get down to business and take a close look at the capabilities of each program in our selected list of payroll software companies. Please note the 20 companies are listed in random order and not according to any ranking. For more details about each software feel free to read our payroll software reviews.
QuickBooks Payroll is a world-class accounting software solution for businesses of any size. To make your finances easier to manage, it provides you with a real-time view of your cash flow and keeps you up to date on your company’s financial status. The payroll administration tools are also notable for making it simple to prepare, process, and deliver payroll.
All you have to do with QuickBooks Pro is input wage and rates, the normal and extra hours of your employees, commissions, and the program will take care of the rest. To save you time, the software automatically updates tax rates as well.
The platform also comes with advanced features such as time tracking, invoices on the go, tax penalty protection, auto payroll, and more. Intuit aims to provide big business functionalities to small businesses without breaking the bank. And with solid technical and customer support, you can get set up right away.
Pricing: QuickBooks Payroll comes in three plans offering various features depending on business size and operations:
Headquarters: California, USA
Main Product: TurboTax, Quickbooks, Mint, Credit Karma, MailChimp
Detailed QuickBooks Payroll Review
Launched in 2012, Gusto has offices in San Francisco and Denver and the company’s goal is to simplify complex business processes such as payroll, benefits, and HR for its customers. Its software is being implemented by more than 60,000 firms nationwide. If you want to try the features for a test run you can easily do so at no cost thanks to the Gusto free trial.
The Gusto features help automate the calculation, payment, and filing of a firm’s federal, state, and local payroll tax preparation. Plus, it enables enterprises to pay via check or direct deposit, automate payroll processes to minimize errors, and save time in managing bookkeeping.
If you face any issues, you can contact the vendor’s support team via chat, phone, or email. The agents are based in San Francisco and Denver and are on duty on weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm Pacific.
Pricing: Gusto offers 3 pricing packages:
Headquarters: San Francisco, US
Main Product: Gusto
Detailed Gusto Review
OnPay is based in Atlanta, GA and it claims to process more than $2 billion in payroll each year for businesses across all 50 US states. We have included OnPay in this list of payroll software companies because this solution is easy to use and yet offers scalable features for small and medium-sized businesses.
The payroll solution OnPay automates payment workflows and tax filing and streamlines payroll processes. Entering essential payroll info such as hours, tips, bonuses, and reimbursements is seamlessly performed. Plus, it manages unlimited payroll runs for 1099 contract workers and W-2 employees. OnPay takes care of calculating your federal and state payroll taxes and filing tax forms. They are very confident of their accuracy and are willing to take responsibility in case there are any errors in tax calculation and filing. You can leverage the OnPay free trial to learn more about the software.
Pricing: OnPay has a simple pricing scheme. Your first month is free and after that, the base fee is $36/month for online payroll. Each user (employees and contractors) costs $4/month to be added to the base fee. Thus, the total monthly charge depends on the number of active users.
Headquarters: Atlanta, GA
Main Product: OnPay
Detailed OnPay Review
Rippling is a cloud-based human resources and information technology platform that enables you to manage your team’s payroll, employee benefits, applications, and devices all in one place.
The platform automates a lot of tedious tasks, such as updating payroll, maintaining documents, and deploying apps by integrating everything into a single platform. By centralizing your HR and IT operations, you can handle everything in Rippling, from onboarding to offloading.
The program integrates all of your company’s HR data with payroll, saving you the time and effort in manually entering information, such as employee hours and deductions. It’s as simple as pressing the “Run” button. You can rest assured that your firm will be compliant with all applicable rules and regulations, thanks to the automated compliance from I-9s to W-2s.
Using Rippling, you can be assured that your payroll taxes will be calculated and filed on time, every time—even if your employees relocate. Everything is done for you. The system also integrates with many financial applications such as Sage Intacct, Quickbooks Online, and Xero. This means you can create seamless workflows without letting go of your favorite apps.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $8/user/month. Choose the features that are relevant to your needs, and Rippling will provide you with a custom quote.
Headquarters: San Francisco, USA
Main Product: Rippling Unity Platform
Detailed Rippling Review
Previously known as Payment Rails, Trolley simplifies the process of paying all of your workers as well as vendors, contractors, and suppliers. The scalable platform is designed for enterprises, allowing them to manage all aspects of their operations through a single application. Centralize onboarding, payment confirmations, tax form collecting, and other processes as needed for a smooth experience. Trolley makes it simple for organizations of all sizes to implement a more modern payroll system.
By connecting with your existing tools and automating tedious operations, Trolley aims to simplify large-scale payouts locally or globally. You may link the app to your accounting program, import a CSV file, or make a manual payment. Trolley’s network of local banks spans more than 200 countries, making it simple to send money anywhere.
It also comes with white-labeled confirmation emails, automatic processing of returned payments, tax form collection, and tax compliance. You can also create custom approval workflows that match your payroll processing.
Pricing: Trolley offers three pricing packages that come with a 30-day trial. All plans come with unlimited users, unlimited recipients, and unlimited payments.
Headquarters: Toronto, Canada
Main Product: Trolley
Detailed Payment Rails Review
Patriot Software is an American-based SaaS solutions company founded in 2002 by Mike Kappel. Fueled by the desire to provide reliable and cost-effective accounting and payroll software, the company seeks to help small businesses consistently drive growth. Today, Patriot Software has a team of over 300 employees in the United States. Together, the employees work to drive the company’s mission of providing simple yet powerful software solutions.
One of the Patriot Software features is the payroll module, The platform enables small businesses to overcome the rough start-up experience. It provides tools that help users to handle both basic and full-service payroll tasks, to save not just money but also time. The best part is businesses that are interested in the product can Patriot Software free trial to try the product features at no cost.
If you run into trouble when using the software you can easily contact the vendor via phone, email, or chat. The phone and chat support are available starting from 8 AM to 8 PM (EST), Monday to Friday. Pricing: Patriot offers two pricing packages
Headquarters: Canton, Ohio, United States Main Product: Patriot accounting and payroll software
Detailed Patriot Software Review
Sage is a British multinational software company that offers products in categories such as accounting, payment, human capital management (HCM), payroll, and others. They provide solutions that are designed for small and medium-sized companies and provide them a great set of payroll and HR tools to fully maximize their employees’ potential from the recruitment stage to talent management and more.
Sage 50cloud, their unified HR solution, combines modules for payroll, applicant tracking, performance reviews, benefits, and employee self-service. Its robust payroll functionality can support the needs of businesses in varied industries such as agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and retail, to name a few. Should you want to learn more about the software, feel free to try the Sage 50Cloud free trial.
Pricing: Sage offers tailored pricing plans for the needs of each client. Contact the company for more details.
Headquarters: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Main Products: Sage Intacct, Sage 50cloud, Sage 100cloud, Sage 300cloud, Sage300 Construction, Real Estate, and many more.
Detailed Sage 50cloud Payroll Review
Paycor is a Cincinnati-based payroll and HR software company founded in 2001 by Bob Coughlin. The company provides cloud-based software solutions that enable small and medium-sized businesses to manage timekeeping, Payroll, HR, and onboarding processes. Today, the company serves over 30,000 organizations spread across all the 50 states in the US.
Paycor enables HR teams to remunerate employees quickly, accurately, and with unprecedented ease. It eliminates time-consuming administrative tasks, thus saving significant time. Most importantly, with the Paycor tax compliance assistance, you can rest easy and worry not about tax compliance – simple or complex. You can learn about other features at no cost thanks to Paycor free trial.
Paycor offers support through phone and email. Customers can also create and submit tickets detailing their concerns or requests for support.
Pricing: The vendor doesn’t display the product pricing to the public. Feel free to contact the vendor via the available channels to learn more about the pricing. Headquarters: Cincinnati, United States Main Product: Paycor HCM
Detailed Paycor Review
EPAY Systems is an American-based SaaS company founded in 2001. The company provides human capital management (HCM) solutions and professional services that cater to the needs of medium and large businesses. With its easy-to-use cloud-based solutions, EPAY Systems powers over 170,000 worksites, helping them to manage everything from prehire to retirement.
One of the notable EPAY Systems features is the payroll module. This is a full-service payroll management solution built to streamline payroll and tax administration. The platform centralizes payroll processing and standardizes workflows to maximize productivity while allaying tax compliance risks. Should you want to learn more about the product capabilities, be sure to check the EPAY Systems free trial.
EPAY Systems support is available through email and phone.
Pricing: The vendor doesn’t reveal the product pricing to the public. Get in touch with the vendor via email or phone to learn more about the pricing. Headquarters: Illinois, United States Main Product: EPAY Systems HCM, EPAY Systems Work management, EPAY Systems compliance.
Detailed EPAY Systems Review
Toast is another American-based software company founded in 2011 to provide a cloud-based point of sales (POS) systems to restaurants and bars. Even though the company has been in operation for less than a decade, it has established its footprints in the restaurant tech arena. In fact, its large workforce of over 2000 employees and presence in more than 230 US regions, embodies the company’s tremendous growth since its inception.
Moreover, the company has evolved from a POS provider to a company that offers front-of-house, back-office, back-of-house, and ordering and delivery solutions. Most importantly, Toast payroll streamlines payroll and HR tasks for restaurants. The solution work in tandem with the POS software, allowing restaurants to save time and streamline operations. To learn more about the feature of this product, be sure to check the Toast Payroll free trial.
If you encounter any problem, you can contact Toast’s support team via phone.
Pricing: The standard Toast pricing bundle entails: Software – $79/terminal, hardware – 0% financing, installation – $499 (starting price), and Recurring payment processing fee at a simple flat rate.
Headquarters: Boston, MA, United States Main Product: Toast POS, Toast Payroll
Detailed Toast Payroll Review
The parent company ADP provides payroll, global HCM, and outsourcing services in 113 countries. ADP Workforce Now is an online HR software designed for midsize companies. This platform collects and automates your company’s HR processes in a single dashboard. Top features include benefits management, payroll, talent management, and time and attendance.
ADP Workforce Now enables businesses to manage their staff members’ holidays and benefits and effortlessly generate insightful reports. The vendor provides video tutorials, demos, and online support to help you make good use of the software.
Pricing: ADP Workforce Now’s pricing info is available only on request. Contact their official sales or support to get pricing details.
Headquarters: Roseland, NJ
Main Products: ADP Workforce Now, ADP TotalSource, ADP Smart Compliance, ADP Comprehensive Services, and ADP Streamline
Detailed ADP Workforce Now Review
Xero is based in New Zealand and was founded in 2006. This accounting software is popular in the US, UK, European and Australian markets. From modest beginnings, the company has grown worldwide and currently has 20 offices around the globe. This software is easy to launch and use and doesn’t need complex training.
Xero simplifies tedious financial operations from data entry to deep accounting and helps you save the time spent on searching voluminous records. Users can manage all contacts and transactions from the same page. Key features include GST returns, fixed assets, multi-currency, inventory, and financial reporting.
Pricing: Xero offers a 30-day free trial and 3 pricing packages:
Headquarters: Wellington, New Zealand
Main Products: Xero
Detailed Xero Review
Paybooks was founded in 2012 in India and today more than 2,000 companies use its software to automate their payroll, stay compliant and make their employees happy. Paybooks features are designed to simplify and streamline the payroll processes and workflows of businesses in India. It offers a smart and neat dashboard as well as a wizard to enable users to easily do their payroll tasks.
Using Paybooks, you can produce compliance reports directly from the platform including Form 16, Income Tax, ESI, Professional Tax, Provident Fund, and more. The company has a partnership with ICICI Bank and automatically sends employees’ salaries from the system. Main features include role-based user profiles, auto sync with biometric devices, auto-generation of salary slips, ready bank statements, and employee exit management.
Pricing: Paybooks pricing starts at INR 1,800/mo (about $27) for up to 20 employees and INR 50/mo (about $0.74) for each additional employee.
Headquarters: Bengaluru, India
Main Product: Paybooks
Detailed Paybooks Review
Dayforce HCM is a product of Ceridian which is a global human capital management (HCM) software company. Dayforce HCM is its flagship product and this cloud-based solution offers capabilities such as HR management, talent management, document management, benefits, analytics, payroll, and tax and workforce management. The platform provides businesses access to real-time data on all elements of HCM. Dayforce HCM helps find the best talent, process pay, manage benefits and compliance, maintain HR records, schedule employees with work-life balance, and more. This software doesn’t provide a user interface and offers one user experience.
Pricing: Dayforce HCM pricing info is available by quote only. Contact the company to get a custom quote for your specific needs.
Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN
Main Products: Dayforce HCM, Powerpay, HR / Payroll
Detailed Dayforce HCM Review
Wave was founded in 2010 in Canada and it has built an impressive track record since then. The company boasts 3 million customers and has recorded more than $200 billion in income and expenses tracked, $77 million in investments, and $20 billion in invoices sent annually. Wave features include accounting, receipt scanning, and invoicing tools that are ideal for small businesses and self-employed professionals such as consultants, freelancers, and entrepreneurs.
Wave is simple to set up and use and presents an easily navigable dashboard that displays all you need to view. It simplifies invoicing and accounting processes and enables you to effortlessly manage employees and taxes, chase payments, and track expenses.
Pricing: Wave is free to use. The company offers paid payroll and credit card processing services in select countries.
Headquarters: Toronto, Canada
Main Products: Wave
Detailed Wave Review
Zenefits was founded in San Francisco in 2013. Today, the company boasts over 10,000 small to midsize business clients located in all 50 states, greater than 500,000 employees onboarded, and more than 500 employees in its offices in the US, India, and Canada. The software simplifies HR administration and complex payroll processes and helps businesses make good use of their limited resources.
Key Zenefits features include payroll sync, insurance benefits, employee directory, business intelligence, mobile optimization, ACA compliance, hiring and onboarding, customer support, and more. The platform integrates all HR solutions in a single easy-to-use dashboard which gives companies greater control and more confidence in their compliance as well as better access for their employees.
Pricing: Zenefits offers 2 pricing packages:
Headquarters: San Francisco, US
Main Product: Zenefits
Detailed Zenefits Review
Namely was launched in New York City in 2012 and today the company’s HR software is used by over 1,000 mid-sized companies and their 175,000 employees. This comprehensive platform unifies features such as payroll, benefits, and talent management in a single solution. It is a cloud-based application that enables businesses to streamline HR processes and manage compliance.
Namely is designed for mid-market companies and helps them to easily manage employee info and accurately calculate paychecks to show contributions for benefits and deductions for taxes. Top Namely features are 401k, employee wellness, health insurance, roles and permissions, and time-off tracking.
Pricing: Namely provides pricing info only on request. Contact the company to get a custom quote for your business needs.
Headquarters: New York City
Main Product: Namely
Detailed Namely Review
Founded in 2005, KashFlow provides online accounting software solutions for small businesses. The company was acquired by IRIS in 2013. The best part is even non-accountants can easily use KashFlow as it eliminates the stress of accounting and bookkeeping for small business owners and enables them to focus their time and efforts on important operations.
The software offers automated features and integrated add-ons such as Dropbox, PayPal, and more. With Kashflow features, you can track your expenses, balance your books, generate quotes quickly and produce customizable invoices. As it is cloud-hosted, you can manage your accounting tasks from anywhere, anytime. Main features include 50+ business reports, stock management, 100+ add-ons with other software, expense recording, and banking level account security.
Pricing: KashFlow offers the following pricing plans:
Headquarters: London, UK
Main Product: KashFlow
Detailed KashFlow Review
Keka is based in Hyderabad, India and the word means “awesome” in Telugu. The company’s founders were frustrated by clunky HR software and wished to create an easy-to-use and effective HR and payroll solution for enterprises. Keka HR automates even complex payroll and HR tasks to enable HR teams to work faster and more accurately.
Businesses can use Keka HR to graduate from old-fashioned workforce management methods. Numerous global brands including Nokia, UpGrad, and Honda are using this tool to improve their processes. Top features include applicant tracking, performance management, statutory compliance, GPS attendance, and timesheets.
Pricing: Keka HR offers 3 pricing plans:
Headquarters: Hyderabad, India
Main Product: Keka HR
Detailed Keka HR Review
Kronos provides cloud solutions for human capital management and workforce management as well as education, support, and consulting services to its customers. Kronos Workforce Ready is a robust cloud-based HR solution that provides scalable functionality that automates key HR management processes. Top features include payroll, time and attendance, scheduling, benefits management, employee training, customized onboarding, and self-service tool.
With Kronos Workforce Ready, HR managers can engage employees and attract and hire the best talent. Company staff members can easily access and take out reports from the employee database and implement needed workflows. This platform is used by companies in a range of industries such as manufacturing, financial services, retail, distribution, education, health care, and more.
Pricing: Kronos Workforce Ready’s pricing info is not publicly available. Contact the company through their website to get a price quote.
Headquarters: Lowell, MA
Main Products: Workforce Ready, Workforce Central, and Workforce Dimensions
Detailed Kronos Workforce Ready Review
As you can see, the payroll software market niche isn’t short of reliable vendors. Remember that vendor reliability is one major factor to consider when choosing accounting software for small businesses. All the vendors above are vetted and have years of experience providing tested solutions. Whether you want a solution to manage basic payroll or full-service functions, you’ll surely find one to match your needs profile.
Ideally, you should work with a vendor that can offer affordable and feature-rich payroll software. Most importantly, the solution should be easy to use for both the management and the end-user. When it comes to brand trust, you can start with Quickbooks Payroll, the company that brings us the most ubiquitous name in payroll software. Quickbooks Payroll, which is our top product by merit, can be a good starting point if you want a relatively inexpensive yet feature-rich application.
Moreover, feel free to check our list of essential time-tracking statistics to learn more about the trends in time tracking. You will be amazed to learn that your employees are only productive for 2 hours and 23 minutes a day. It pays to remain abreast of the time tracking statistics and trends, especially if you work with contractors and remote workers.
FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.