The right small business payroll software solution can transform managing payroll from a daunting and time-consuming task into a quick and easy one. We lined up our top picks for the best payroll software solutions that will best fit your business’ needs and budget.

Payday is everybody’s favorite day of the month–unless you’re the payroll administrator. You’re likely spending half the month making sure the checks and direct deposits you send out are 100% accurate and let’s not even talk about all the calculations that have to be done beforehand. Taxes, benefits, and everything else needs to be on point down to the penny.

The right payroll software can take most, if not all, of those tasks off your hands and automate everything into a simple and easy-to-use payroll solution.

This will not only save you lots of time but will also save you from expensive mistakes. In 2020 alone, the IRS handed out more than $4.9 billion in penalties for avoidable issues such as failure to pay and bad checks.

Let’s take a look at some of the best payroll software solutions that can save your small business time and money in the long run.

If you don’t have the time to read through our research, jump down to our quick comparison table.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best all-in-one payroll solution.

    Learn more
  2. Best for automating payroll processes.

  3. Best for automating recurring payroll.

What to Look For in a Payroll Software Solution

When looking for a good compliance software solution, keep an eye out for the following aspects and features:

  1. Ease of use: It’s easy to set up and offers an intuitive user experience.
  2. Customizability: It’s customizable to suit your team structures.
  3. Reporting: It allows you to filter reports in multiple ways for a more detailed analysis. Reports should also be exportable.
  4. Direct deposit: It allows you to directly deposit paychecks to your employees.
  5. Integrations: If your operations are divided across multiple employee management software, it should let you integrate these existing systems into one.
  6. Employee accessibility: You employees should be able to access and review their personal payroll data.
  7. Tax filing: It helps simplify the process of collecting, generating, and filing taxes.
  8. Notifications: It sends you reminders, alerts, and push notifications, and enables you to notify your employees if they need to perform actions, for instance, review their timesheet.
  9. Price: It is cost-friendly and suits your budget.
  10. Support: It comes with good customer support to help you with any issues.

The 12 Best Payroll Software Solutions of 2022

  1. Best All-in-one payroll solution. 

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    connecteam-quickbooks-payroll-giffy

    Connecteam is an all-in-one payroll management solution that provides business owners and managers with all the tools they need to prepare 100% accurate timesheets for payroll.

    With its fully automated GPS-Time Clock, your employees can clock in and out straight from the jobsite using the mobile app.

    All tracked hours are automatically organized on a digital Timesheet. Here you can quickly see and review all logged data, such as total daily work hours, the number of hours worked during a payroll period, overtime, breaks, time off, and any irregularities.

    Managers can make edits if necessary and notify users to check their timesheets, ensuring all information is accurate and discrepancy-free. You can then lock timesheets in a click to stop further adjustments.

    When ready, you can simply process payroll using Connecteam’s Gusto or Quickbooks Online payroll integrations or directly export timesheets to any additional preferred payroll software.

    Overall, Connecteam is extremely simple and intuitive to use.

    Key Features

    • Payroll system integrations (Quickbooks & Gusto)
    • GPS-work hour tracking
    • Timesheet management
    • PTO & absence management
    • Overtime management
    • Timesheet errors/irregularities highlights

    Pros

    • Intuitive and easy to use
    • All-in-one solution
    • Great customer support
    • Budget-friendly

    Cons

    • Additional integrations in development

    Pricing

    Starts at just $29/month for up to 30 users Free 14-day trial Free plan available

    14-day free trial, no credit card required

    Start your free trial
  2. Best for: Automating payroll processes.

    • web
    gusto payroll software solution user interface

    Gusto’s full-service payroll software aims to help small businesses take care of their teams.

    With it, you can easily run payroll for salaried employees and contractors as often as you need each month. It also allows you to automatically file payroll taxes, manage healthcare and other employee benefits, perform direct deposits, and more.

    Gusto is a good pick for small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to automate their payroll processes to minimize administrative hires and instead direct their resources toward the business’s mission.

    Learn more about Gusto

    Key Features

    • Benefits management
    • Check printing
    • Direct Deposit
    • Electronic forms

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • Feature-rich

    Cons

    • Poor customer support
    • Limited reporting options

    Pricing

    Pricing starts at $40/month + $6/month per user. Free Trial: No Free Plan: No

  3. Best for: Automating recurring payroll.

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    RUN by ADP is a small business payroll software solution that aims to handle the “nitty-gritty” of processing payroll, so you can instead focus on running your business.

    It offers step-by-step screens, guidance, and tips for managing payroll and allows you to set up automations for recurring payroll. It includes multiple payment options, including direct deposit and ADPCheck.

    RUN also includes add-ons for benefits administration and tax form filing for additional fees.

    This software is specifically designed for businesses with up to 50 employees. It can still be a good fit if you expect to grow beyond that, as it allows you to migrate to ADP’s enterprise platform.

    Learn more about RUN by ADP

    Key Features

    • Benefits tracking
    • Check printing
    • Compensation management
    • Direct deposit
    • Employee database
    • Payroll reporting

    Pros

    • Good customizability
    • Easy to use

    Cons

    • Limited data import capabilities
    • Hard to set up

    Pricing

    Pricing isn’t publicly available Free Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  4. Best for: Automating state and federal tax filings.

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    quickbooks

    Quickbooks Online is a great accounting software solution that aims to provide small- to medium-sized businesses with smarter business tools. This payroll software solution offers the essential features needed to run payroll, including wage garnishments, health insurance and other benefits administration, and automated state and federal tax filings. Managers can also set payroll to run automatically so that they can focus on the bigger picture.

    Learn more about Intuit QuickBooks

    Key Features

    • Activity dashboard
    • Automatic billing
    • Billing and invoicing
    • Budgeting/forecasting
    • Expense tracking
    • Payroll management
    • Inventory tracking

    Pros

    • Feature-rich
    • Easy to use

    Cons

    • Learning curve
    • Poor customer support

    Pricing

    Their most popular plan costs $80/month and includes 5 users. Free Trial: Yes, 30 days Free Plan: Yes

  5. Best for: New-hire reporting to government agencies.

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    Paychex Flex

    Paychex Flex is a small business payroll software solution that aims to make handling complex HR, payroll, and benefits simple for business owners.

    With this payroll app for small businesses, you can process payroll for your employees and contractors online or submit payroll by phone to a payroll specialist. It however does not include benefits administration offered by some competitors.

    You can use different payment methods, including direct deposit, pay cards, paper checks, online tip sharing, and on-demand access to earned wages.

    Learn more about Paychex Flex

    Key Features

    • Check printing
    • Compensation management
    • Direct deposit
    • Employee database

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • Good customizability

    Cons

    • Limited capabilities
    • Hard to implement

    Pricing

    Pricing isn’t publicly available Free Trial: No Free Plan: No

  6. Best for: Accessing payslips online.

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    Sage Payroll

    Sage’s payroll app for small businesses aims to simplify your payroll process and grant access to accurate reports for quicker decision-making.

    With it, you can process weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly payrolls. Payslips are accessible online for you and your employees to view or look back on. It also includes tools to manage workplace pension schemes and to help ensure you comply with legislation.

    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.

    Learn more about Sage Payroll

    Key Features

    • ACA reporting
    • Benefits management
    • Check printing
    • Compensation management

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • Easy to integrate

    Cons

    • Unintuitive user interface
    • Poor customer service

    Pricing

    Starts at $8/month Free Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  7. Best for: Running payroll from your mobile phone.

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    SurePayroll

    SurePayroll’s small business payroll app aims to help simplify and saves time on important back-office operations.

    It was the first software-as-a-service payroll company that expanded its services into a total online payroll and tax filing software. These include services for workers’ compensation, 401(k) plans, and health insurance.

    SurePayroll’s services are specifically designed for small and micro business owners that don’t need a wide variety of HR tools.

    Learn more about SurePayroll

    Key Features

    • Benefits management
    • Check printing
    • Compensation management
    • Wage garnishment

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • Feature-rich

    Cons

    • Limited reporting customizability
    • Poor customer service

    Pricing

    Starts at $19/month + $4/user per month. Free Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  8. Best for: Automating payroll taxes.

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    Wagepoint

    Wagepoint’s payroll software, created just for small businesses, aims to make it easy to pay everyone and stay on top of your payroll taxes.

    With this online payroll software, you can automatically calculate incomes, deductions, and paid time off. It can also automate payroll taxes to ensure compliance.

    You can then pay your employees and contractors using direct deposits. Everyone can then access their paystubs online.

    Learn more about Wagepoint

    Key Features

    • Direct deposit
    • Tax compliance
    • W-2 preparation
    • Wage garnishment

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • Good customer support

    Cons

    • Limited reporting capabilities
    • Insufficient customizability

    Pricing

    Pricing isn’t publicly available Free Trial: No Free Plan: No

  9. Best for: Ensuring compliance.

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    • android
    paycor

    PayCor Perform is a payroll app for small businesses that aims to make the entire payroll process simple and seamless and make mistakes easy to catch.

    With this payroll and tax service software, you can pay employees from wherever you are. The software constantly updates, making it easy to comply with local, state, and federal laws.

    PayCor Perform guides you through the payroll process and allows you to make real-time calculations. This way, you can see exactly what’s being debited before you run payroll. You can also set up automations to process payroll on a specific day and time without having to be at a computer.

    Learn more about PayCor Perform

    Key Features

    • 401(k) tracking
    • Benefits management
    • Compensation management
    • COBRA administration

    Pros

    • Intuitive user experience
    • Easy to implement

    Cons

    • Limited reporting options
    • Poor customer service

    Pricing

    Starts at $99/month + $5/month per user Free Trial: No Free Plan: No

  10. Best for: Managing payroll reports.

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    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. This payroll app for small businesses 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.

    Learn more about BambooHR

    Key Features

    • Compensation management
    • Benefits management
    • Direct deposit
    • Retirement plan management

    Pros

    • Easy to implement
    • Good customer support

    Cons

    • Unintuitive user experience
    • Features need refinement

    Pricing

    Pricing isn’t publicly available Free Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  11. Best for: Syncing HR data.

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    rippling

    Rippling is a full-service payroll software solution for small businesses that aims to make processing payroll instant and reliable. To be precise – Rippling states that it runs payroll within 90 seconds.

    The payroll software syncs all of your business’s HR data with payroll allowing you to skip manual calculations and data entry. It also provides automatic compliance and automatic filing of tax forms.

    Rippling payroll software for small businesses allows users to create reports from pre-built templates or fully customizable. Lastly, Rippling’s payroll app for small businesses integrates with over 400 apps to simplify your payroll and HR processes.

    Learn more about Rippling

    Key Features

    • Check printing
    • Compensation management
    • Deduction management
    • Life insurance administration

    Pros

    • Intuitive user experience
    • Sufficient integration options

    Cons

    • Limited customization options
    • Unresponsive customer support

    Pricing

    Starts at $8/month per user Free Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  12. Best for: Providing employees with a guided self-service experience.

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    Paycom is a payroll software that aims to empower employees to manage their own data.

    With it, employees can do their payroll – as well as their timecard, PTO, expenses, and benefits – with a guided self-service experience. The system checks the payroll to ensure there are no errors and helps employees fix mistakes. Paycom also provides garnishment administration and payroll tax management.

    Learn more about Paycom

    Key Features

    • Benefits management
    • Check printing
    • Compensation management
    • Health insurance administration

    Pros

    • Simple to navigate
    • Easy to use

    Cons

    • Prone to bugs
    • Unengaging user interface

    Pricing

    Pricing isn’t publicly available Free Trial: No Free Plan: No

Compare the Best Payroll Software Solutions

Topic
Reviews
4.8
4.7
4.5
4.3
4.1
4.8
4.1
4.6
4.4
4.6
4.9
4.3
Pricing
Starts at just $29/month for up to 30 users
Pricing starts at $40/month + $6/month per user.
Pricing isn’t publicly available
Their most popular plan costs $80/month and includes 5 users.
Pricing isn’t publicly available
Starts at $8/month
Starts at $19/month + $4/user per month.
Pricing isn’t publicly available
Starts at $99/month + $5/month per user
Pricing isn’t publicly available
Starts at $8/month per user
Pricing isn’t publicly available
Free Trial
yes
14 days
no
yes
yes
30 days
no
yes
yes
no
2 months
no
yes
yes
no
Free Plan
yes
Yes, up to 30 users
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no

What Is a Small Business Payroll Software Solution?

Small business payroll software is a modern solution for small business owners to automate and streamline payroll processing, instead of having to invest hours of their time or hire HR or accounting personnel for this task.

Payroll software automates data entry and often includes modules or integration options for employee attendance and time tracking, payroll tax filing, and benefits management.

There are a large number of payroll solutions that are suitable for different business sizes. Small businesses usually need a payroll software solution with basic capabilities such as payroll processing, time tracking, and tax filing.

How Does Small Business Payroll Software Work?

With payroll software, you can entirely automate payroll processing.

It automatically calculates the amount you need to pay each employee based on factors, such as the number of hours they worked, their hourly pay or salaries, and whether they took time off during the pay period, and calculates and deducts taxes and other withholdings from gross wages.

It can usually also generate detailed payroll reports and pay slips each pay period and allows you to deposit payrol to your employees directly or through integrations.

What Are The Benefits of Small Business Payroll Software? 

Shifting to an small business payroll software solution from running payroll manually has many benefits.

The main ones are that it:

  • Automates tedious tasks: Rather than manually managing payroll tasks and filing taxes, small business payroll software helps speed up and simplify the entire payroll process.
  • Saves time and labor costs: It frees up the time that business owners or their hired HR and payroll personnel spend on managing payroll, and so also cuts down on the labor costs associated with the processing of payroll. For some businesses, a small business payroll software may even replace the need for a full-time payroll employee.
    • This means that the time, money and effort once invested in manually managing payroll can now be invested in more important aspects of the business.
  • Increases accuracy and ensures compliance: Automated payroll processing eliminates inaccuracies and the possibility of other human-made errors throughout the process. Payroll software also helps small businesses streamline processes and better fulfill compliance requirements, especially those related to taxes.
  • Generates reports: Detailed payroll reports will offer you valuable insights and allow you to analyze you processes.

How much does Small Business Payroll Software Cost? 

The cost of a small business payroll software solution varies strongly per provider and is often dependant on the size of your business and the amount of users. Most small business payroll software providers also offer different feature bundels, ranging for instance from Basic to Expert, for different fees.

When choosing the best payroll solution for your business, it is important to make sure that it is both budget-friendly and offers you the features you need. Some payroll software options for instance are affordable when you have less than 10 employees but get very expensive when your team grows. Others may be expensive altogether while lacking certain important features.

Out top pick, Connecteam, offers a fixed price of $29 per month for the first 30 users. This is a fair pricing and includes all important features for payroll management and everything related to it such as time tracking, making it a worthwhile investment.

FAQs

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.

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.

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 Payroll Software Solution

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?