12 Best Payroll Software Solutions for Small Businesses in 2022

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Rea Regan March 7, 2022 10 min read
10 Best Payroll Software Solutions for Small Businesses

Quick Guide

    Don’t you just LOVE managing payroll? Show of hands, please! 

    Who here just can’t wait for that time of the month (or week) to calculate employee wages, PTO, taxes, benefits, and all those other super-fun payroll things? 

    What? No one? What a shock!

    Seriously though, the shocking part of payroll is the ridiculous length of time small business owners and bookkeepers spent on payroll and federal employment tax compliance management. 

    But it doesn’t have to be that way.

    All it takes is a simple payroll solution with an attractive user interface that allows you to process payroll in just a couple of clicks. And if it can benefit your business in other ways, then even better!

    Let’s take a look at some of the very best that are going to safe your small business time and money in the long run.

    Our Top 3 Payroll Software Picks

    1. Connecteam – The all-in-one payroll software solution for deskless workers; free for up to 50 users.
    2. Paychex Flex – One of the most popular payroll software solutions for small businesses; no free trial.
    3. RUN by ADP – An ideal solution for businesses who still want to print, sign and mail physical paychecks to employees; 90-day free trial.

    If you’re in a hurry, jump to our comparison table to compare the recommended payroll software solutions below.

    The 12 Best Payroll Software Solutions in 2022

    Connecteam is an award-winning all-in-one software solution that allows business owners and managers to handle virtually every aspect of their payroll

    Whether you need to track your employees’ time easily to ensure they clock in without needing to check in on them, or provide clear timesheets for payroll, Connecteam does it all, and then some.

    With Connecteam’s seamless integration with Quickbooks Online payroll software, it’s super easy to guarantee that payroll is smooth and 100% accurate.

    All you need to do is lock your timesheets and export them in one click. In a couple of seconds, they are integrated into your QBO software, and you can handle your payroll hassle-free.

    Your business can benefit from Connecteam in a variety of ways that are connected to payroll and employee time tracking, in general. These include:

    Ensuring employees clock in and out at the right time and location.

    Calculating overtime, PTO, total hours, absences, and more.

    Easily notifying all users to check their timesheets, ensuring all information is accurate and discrepancy-free.

    Locking timesheets in a click to stop further adjustments.

    It’s also important to mention that Connecteam is extremely simple and intuitive to use, hence why more than 20,000 SMBs from 90+ industries benefit from its wide range of features.

    It will also soon be possible to integrate Connecteam with other popular payroll software solutions such as Gusto and Xero.

    Pricing

    Premium plans start at $39/month for the first 50 users

    14-day free trial

    Free-forever plan? Yes

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    Paychex is one of the most popular payroll software for small businesses but also one of the more expensive solutions, mostly due to public demand. Rumor around the accounting department’s water cooler is that Paychex is robust but not simple, easy to use, or set up. 

    That can be a huge factor for small businesses when they’re looking for the best payroll software. Paychex requires a lot of personal information to get started and running reports comes with its share of red tape and added costs.

    Key Features:

    Check printing

    Benefits management

    Compensation management

    Direct deposit

    Employee database

    Pricing:

    You must speak to a sales representative in order to receive a price quote.

    Free trial: No

    Free plan: No

    The solutions offered by ADP, and specifically their small-business oriented RUN, are very similar to those offered by above mentioned Paychex – expensive but popular. This solution is for you if you prefer to send employees physical paychecks rather than direct deposit as ADP can (for an additional fee) print, sign, and mail paychecks on your behalf.

    Key Features:

    Benefits tracking

    Check printing

    Compensation management

    Direct deposit

    Employee database

    Payroll reporting

    Pricing:

    In order to receive a price quote you must speak to a representative.

    Free trial: Yes

    Free plan: No

    One of the cheapest payroll solutions out there for small businesses, Sage Payroll. Now it may lack the bells and whistles that other payroll software have to offer, but for many businesses, it is more than enough in terms of functionality. One of its main strengths is security – your payroll information in the cloud is fully encrypted, and user access permissions can be customized to ensure data security and integrity.

    Key Features:

    ACA reporting

    Benefits management

    Billing & invoicing

    Check printing

    Compensation management

    Direct deposit

    Employee database

    Payroll reporting

    Pricing:

    Post-free trial, prices vary depending on how many users – but monthly price for 5 users costs £12.

    Free trial: 3 months

    Free plan: No

    Nothing affects the length of time spent on payroll management like the application user experience. The word on the bookkeeping street is that Gusto is the most user-friendly solution available on the market right now, which makes Gusto one of the front-runners in the category. This is one of the reasons we expect to see Gusto grow its share on the market.

    Key Features

    Benefits management

    Check printing

    Direct Deposit

    Electronic forms

    Employee database

    Document management

    Pricing

    The Core plan has a $39/month base fee with an additional $6/user per month.

    Free trial: No

    Free plan: No

    sure payroll user interface

    The jury is still out on SurePayroll’s ability to faithfully serve the needs of small businesses. While some claim it has a user-friendly and intuitive interface, others complain that the user experience is clunky and it takes a while before processes are properly streamlined.

    In addition, some users are happy with the broad pre-defined set of fields and variables in the application database, and others despise the complex and long employee registration process. We’re not telling you this to provide you a wishy-washy review that’s neither here nor there. Payroll software has to be flexible and SurePayroll demonstrates their ability to be flexible through their user experience, which is a sign of a good payroll solution. 

    Key Features:

    Benefits management

    Check printing

    Compensation management

    Direct deposit

    Employee database

    Payroll reporting

    Wage garnishment

    Tax compliance

    Pricing:

    Pricing starts at $19/month with an additional $4/user per month.

    Free trial: 2 months

    Free plan: No

    Wagepoint

    If you’re looking for the best-rated service and support, you should really check out what Wagepoint’s offering. And since they’re Canadian, you can probably trust their claim to have the friendliest support and service staff around. In addition to clear and affordable pricing, Wagepoint offers a free trial period to let you try before you buy.

    Key Features:

    Direct deposit

    Tax compliance

    W-2 preparation

    Wage garnishment

    Pricing:

    Pricing includes a $20 base fee and an additional $2/user.

    Free trial: No

    Free plan: No

    Like many other payroll software solutions, PayCor is about much more than just payroll. It is a modular system that can be used for payroll alone, or use additional modules offered on the platform to manage all employee “lifetimes” within the company, from recruiting to departure. Did we already mention that flexibility is important to payroll software?

    Key Features:

    401(k) tracking

    Benefits management

    Check printing

    Compensation management

    Direct deposit

    COBRA administration

    HIPAA compliant

    Employee database

    Payroll reporting

    Pricing:

    Basic plans start at $99/month for payroll services.

    Free trial: No

    Free plan: No

    BambooHR user interface

    Bamboo HR is another great payroll software solution for small businesses. While specifically made for US-based employees, BambooHR provides an easy, 3-step solution to payroll. BambooHR saves employee information like wages, hours, bank account numbers, employee benefits, deductions, or withholdings and automatically transfers to the payroll process. Additionally, they have an employee portal so employees can access their payroll information (paystubs, direct deposit accounts) at any time. Lastly, they provide over 100 exportable payroll reports. 

    Key Features:

    401(k) tracking

    Compensation management

    Benefits management

    Billing & invoicing

    Direct deposit

    Deduction management

    Employee database

    Payroll reporting

    Retirement plan management

    Wage garnishment

    Pricing:

    In order to receive a price quote you must speak to a representative.

    Free trial: Yes

    Free plan: No

    Rippling user interface

    Rippling is another good payroll software solution for small businesses. Rippling boasts that their payroll software can run payroll within 90 seconds, completely automatically. The payroll software provides automatic compliance and automatic tax filing. 

    Additionally, they provide payroll services for employees all over the world. Rippling payroll software for small businesses allows users to create reports from pre-built templates or fully customizable. Lastly, Rippling integrates with over 400 different apps to make your HR manager’s life easier than ever!

    Key Features:

    Check printing

    Compensation management

    Compliance management

    COBRA administration

    Deduction management

    Direct deposit

    HIPAA compliant

    Payroll reporting

    Tax compliance

    Life insurance administration

    Pricing:

    The payroll feature costs $8/user per month.

    Free trial: Yes

    Free plan: No

    Paycom user interface

    Paycom, another payroll software, allows employees to manage their timecard, expenses, PTO, benefits, and payroll as well! “Beti”, the digital payroll checker, checks the payroll to ensure there are no errors and helps employees fix mistakes. Paycom can even write paper paychecks! Paycom also provides garnishment administration and tax management.

    Key Features:

    Benefits management

    Check printing

    Compensation management

    COBRA administration

    HIPAA compliant

    Health insurance administration

    Payroll reporting

    Wage garnishment

    Tax compliance

    Pricing:

    In order to receive a price quote you must speak to a representative.

    Free trial: No

    Free plan: No

    Intuit Quickbooks is a great payroll software solution. With Quickbooks you can easily manage expenses, send invoices, and even track inventory. Managers can even set payroll to run automatically so they can focus on the bigger picture. 

    Key Features:

    Activity dashboard

    Automatic billing

    Billing and invoicing

    Budgeting/forecasting

    Expense tracking

    Payroll management

    Inventory tracking

    Pricing

    Their most popular plan costs $80/month and includes 5 users.

    Free trial: 30-day free trial

    Free plan: Yes

    A Quick Comparison Of The Best Payroll Software Solutions for Small Businesses

    Summary

    Monthly Price

    Free Trial

    Free Plan

    Connecteam’s seamless integration with Quickbooks Online guarantees smooth and 100% accurate payroll.

    10 users – $39

    20 users – $39

    50 users – $39

    Yes

    One of the most popular payroll software solutions for small businesses.

    Speak to a sales rep to receive a quote

    No

    No

    An ideal solution for businesses who still want to print, sign and mail physical paychecks to employees.

    Speak to a sales rep to receive a quote

    90-day

    No

    One of the cheapest payroll software solutions for small businesses – with a focus on financial security.

    10 users – £12

    20 users – £17

    50 users – £52

    90-day

    No

    With a user-friendly interface, Gusto is one of the easiest payroll software solutions on the market.

    10 users – $99

    20 users – $159

    50 users – $339

    No

    No

    SurePayroll has the ability to be flexible through an attractive user experience.

    10 users – $59

    20 users – $99

    50 users – $219

    60-day

    No

    With friendly customer support and affordable pricing, Wagepoint is an ideal payroll software solution for small businesses.

    10 users – $40

    20 users – $60

    50 users – $120

    No

    No

    A modular system that facilitates payroll but also covers many other aspects of employee management.

    10 users – $149

    20 users – $199

    50 users – $349

    No

    No

    BambooHR provides an easy, 3-step solution, taking employee information, transferring to payroll and the ability to export reports.

    Speak to a sales rep to receive a quote

    7-day

    No

    Rippling can run payroll within 90 seconds and provides both automatic compliance and tax filing.

    10 users – $80

    20 users – $160

    50 users – $400

    No

    No

    With Paycom, employees can manage timecards, expenses, PTO, benefits and more.

    Speak to a sales rep to receive a quote

    No

    No

    Quickbooks allows users to manage expenses, send invoices and even track inventory.

    Simple Start plan costs $8 per month

    30-day

    Yes

    Summary

    Connecteam’s seamless integration with Quickbooks Online guarantees smooth and 100% accurate payroll.

    Monthly Price

    10 users – $39

    20 users – $39

    50 users – $39

    Free Trial

    Free Plan

    Yes

    Summary

    One of the most popular payroll software solutions for small businesses.

    Monthly Price

    Speak to a sales rep to receive a quote

    Free Trial

    No

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    An ideal solution for businesses who still want to print, sign and mail physical paychecks to employees.

    Monthly Price

    Speak to a sales rep to receive a quote

    Free Trial

    90-day

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    One of the cheapest payroll software solutions for small businesses – with a focus on financial security.

    Monthly Price

    10 users – £12

    20 users – £17

    50 users – £52

    Free Trial

    90-day

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    With a user-friendly interface, Gusto is one of the easiest payroll software solutions on the market.

    Monthly Price

    10 users – $99

    20 users – $159

    50 users – $339

    Free Trial

    No

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    SurePayroll has the ability to be flexible through an attractive user experience.

    Monthly Price

    10 users – $59

    20 users – $99

    50 users – $219

    Free Trial

    60-day

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    With friendly customer support and affordable pricing, Wagepoint is an ideal payroll software solution for small businesses.

    Monthly Price

    10 users – $40

    20 users – $60

    50 users – $120

    Free Trial

    No

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    A modular system that facilitates payroll but also covers many other aspects of employee management.

    Monthly Price

    10 users – $149

    20 users – $199

    50 users – $349

    Free Trial

    No

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    BambooHR provides an easy, 3-step solution, taking employee information, transferring to payroll and the ability to export reports.

    Monthly Price

    Speak to a sales rep to receive a quote

    Free Trial

    7-day

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    Rippling can run payroll within 90 seconds and provides both automatic compliance and tax filing.

    Monthly Price

    10 users – $80

    20 users – $160

    50 users – $400

    Free Trial

    No

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    With Paycom, employees can manage timecards, expenses, PTO, benefits and more.

    Monthly Price

    Speak to a sales rep to receive a quote

    Free Trial

    No

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    Quickbooks allows users to manage expenses, send invoices and even track inventory.

    Monthly Price

    Simple Start plan costs $8 per month

    Free Trial

    30-day

    Free Plan

    Yes

    Frequently Asked Questions About Payroll Software

    1. Do small businesses need payroll software?

    Yes. In order to ensure there are no payroll errors and discrepancies, it’s important— even for small businesses to invest in payroll software. 

    Just consider:

    With numbers like these, it is no wonder employers and bookkeepers are pulling their hair when it’s time to manage payroll. 

    Payroll Mistakes - Survey
    https://smallbiztrends.com/2020/07/surepayroll-compliance-survey.html

    After all, payroll is the last thing you want to deal with, but it is the first thing you should get right. It’s a double-edged sword!

    And every small or medium business owner also knows that payroll is indispensable, just like human resources and time tracking

    You just can’t keep your business moving forward without payroll. 

    On top of that, even the most dedicated and loyal employees want a steady paycheck so you really can’t afford mistakes. Plus, the amount of time you need to dedicate to payroll is insane and that’s putting it lightly. 

    You need to invest time to calculate checks, properly manage withholdings, enter all the payment amounts picture-perfect, and process direct deposit and checks – yeah, that can take you the whole pay period to complete. And complete properly, without mistakes. Yikes.

    With all that time spent on payroll, you would think that payroll would be bulletproof and immune to mistakes but, unfortunately, payroll is very prone to mistakes

    • In fact, 33% of employers report making habitual payroll mistakes. 
    • The American Payroll Association shows an error rate of between 1-8% of total payroll in companies that use traditional timecards.
    • Roughly 40% of small businesses incur an average of $845 a year in IRS penalties as a result of mismanaged payroll processes.
    Cycle-Time-in-Business-Days-to-Resolve-a-Payroll-Error-1024x548
    https://www.cfo.com/accounting/2017/04/metric-month-payroll-errors/

    So what do we do? 

    We turn to automation and increasingly sophisticated payroll and time and attendance software solutions

    The issue isn’t a lack of available, and often effective, payroll management applications but rather the challenge of picking the right one.

    2. Can payroll software help with issues such as tax compliance and workers compensation?

    Yes! A robust payroll software will be able to calculate payroll while simultaneously calculating taxes, workers compensation, wage garnishments, PTO, and more. Not all payroll software services provide this though, so make sure that the payroll software you choose supports these features

    3. Are payroll softwares hard to use?

    That depends on which payroll software you choose is the best fit for your business. Not all payroll softwares is easy to use. Some payroll software tools listed above allow you to request a guided tour with a customer support agent who can help show you more about their software. After a demo, you’ll have a better understanding if it will be easy for you and your HR manager to use. 

    The Bottom Line On The Best Payroll Software For Small Business

    Payroll software is the first to enter the HR cycle in any business. Without payroll software, you cannot pay your workers or comply with tax laws without investing a great deal of time in paperwork. So it’s no wonder there’s such a broad selection of payroll management and automation solutions out there – there’s something for everyone, and everyone needs something.

    Usually, but not always, the person choosing the payroll solution will be a bookkeeper or an accountant because they are the ones charged with producing payroll that is both compliant and accurate. Therefore, many will choose a payroll solution based on the accounting software they use because, well, it’s easy. But, that’s not always a great idea.

    Though it can be more complicated in the short run to choose payroll software that is different from your accounting software it could actually end up saving you time and money. That’s why shopping around is always a good idea, especially if you have your best interest at heart, and hey, why wouldn’t you?

    Now, on the odd chance that you want to run payroll but are not a bookkeeper or accountant then, once again, you need to consider a different set of criteria for your search. Simply remember to start by outlining what it is you hope to accomplish using this software. What are its must-haves, and then use this article to make your choice? 

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    Connecteam – The Leading Payroll Software Solution

    Easily track and manage work hours on jobs and projects, integrate directly with QuickBooks Online payroll, revolutionize the way you manage timesheets, and collaborate with your out-of-office employees like never before.

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