The Best Payroll Apps for 2024: Features and Pricing Compared

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Discover the best payroll app of 2024, designed to streamline your payroll process effortlessly.

Explore top-rated apps that simplify payroll management, ensure accuracy, and save time. From automatic tax calculations to employee self-service, these apps offer comprehensive solutions for businesses of all sizes.

The Best Payroll Apps 

  1. Paychex — Best app for freelancers
  2. Rippling — Best time tracking for international employees
  3. ADP — Best all-in-one app solution
  4. Gusto — Best payroll app for mobile web browsers
  5. Papaya Global — Best for managing international teams
  6. Remote — Best EOR payroll app
  7. Roll by ADP — Best for innovation

The Best Payroll Apps Reviewed

To come up with our ranking, we analyzed a list of payroll apps and narrowed them down to a best of seven. The shortlist criteria were the range of features, ease of use, customer support, pricing, user reviews, plus what our own experts had to say.

We assigned weightings to each one; with pricing, features, and ease of use accounting for 60% of the total. When the maths were done, these seven payroll apps prevailed. Here’s how we ranked them.

1. Paychex – Best Payroll App for Freelancers

Paychex Flex Logo

Best For Freelancers
Free Plan
Starting Price Custom pricing
Compatibility iOS, Android
Top Features Integrated app for employers & employees
Feature rich self-employed plan

Paychex mixes user-friendliness with convenient payroll automation to make life easier for small businesses, freelancers, and solopreneurs.

Even better, while payroll providers like Gusto have one mobile app for managers and another one for staff — or an app for employees only — Paychex gives you both in one. Its highly rated iOS and Android ‘Paychex Flex’ apps deliver the goods for both.

Employees can use Paychex Flex to track time, clock in and out, access pay stubs, and manage their personal details. Managers can use it to view, approve, and execute payroll runs. That’s even more beneficial for self-employed individuals who are both owner and employee.

Lack of transparent pricing does put Paychex on the back foot against its peer competitors. Even at the self-employed tier you have to go through the firm’s qualifying process and request a quote.

Read the full Paychex review.

Paychex Price Plans

While Paychex has four distinct payroll plans for businesses of different sizes, to see the price you have to request a quote. To get things started we’ve included a quick summary of each plan to make comparison with other solutions easier.

  • Self-Employed — Solutions for self-employed solopreneurs who want to pay themselves a salary. Also includes retirement savings options.
  • 1-19 Employees — Simplifies payroll management for small businesses and includes basic compliance tools (US)
  • 20-49 Employees — Payroll for growing small businesses and includes more advanced regulatory tracking (US)
  • 50-1,000 Employees — A blend of payroll automation and personal consulting for large organizations


  • An all-in-one app for employers and employees
  • Benefits management tools
  • Advice from payroll experts available


  • Lack of transparent pricing
  • Inconsistent customer support
  • Range of feature options can be hard to navigate

    2. Rippling – Best Time Tracking for International Employees

    Rippling Logo


    Best For International employees
    Free Plan
    Starting Price Custom pricing
    Compatibility iOS, Android
    Top Features Straightforward time tracking
    Single sign-on for other apps

    Rippling is another solution that aims to take the complexity out of paying international workers. Employees in far-flung jurisdictions can use the Rippling app to see schedules, access pay stubs, request time off, and connect with colleagues. Managers back at HQ can use it to view reports, execute payroll runs, manage expense reimbursement, and approve PTO requests.

    A dedicated time-tracking app makes it easy for employees abroad to clock in and out, or use a built-in timer for more granular task measurements. One unique feature of the Rippling app is its ability to blend into existing workflow by acting as a single sign-on for solutions like Salesforce or Slack. This is a great feature that not all payroll apps offer.

    We rate Rippling higher than Remote thanks to its app being suitable for both employees and employers, as well as being easier to use. However, it’s beaten by Papaya and ADP on price and overall offering.

    Read our full Rippling review.

    Rippling Price Plans

    Rippling bills itself as a full workforce management platform with different service packages under its ‘HR Cloud’ solution suite. Global Full-Service Payroll is a standalone module with rich a set of features, however, all Rippling pricing is quote-based.


    • Robust set of payroll and complementary features
    • Easy time tracking with advanced reporting
    • All-in-one payroll and HR solution


    • Lack of pricing transparency
    • Frequent app updates

    3. ADP – Best All-in-One Payroll App

    ADP Logo

    Best For All-in-one app
    Free Plan
    Starting Price Custom pricing
    Compatibility iOS, Android
    Top Features Multi-state (USA) payroll
    Direct debit card
    Retirement planning

    For businesses that want an established partner to manage their pay runs, ADP has long been a safe choice. Today it’s one of the best SaaS payroll platforms on the market.

    The smartphone app functions like a portal to ADP’s family of branded payroll services. Whether you’re a larger firm that outsources payroll to ADP or a smaller business managing payroll in-house, the app enables you to see team calendars, approve time off requests and receive summary reports. Plus adjacent features like tax filing, W-2s and 1099s, secure e-signatures and multi-jurisdiction (e.g. multiple US states) payroll delivery are available.

    Employees and contractors can use the app to clock in and out, submit PTO requests, contact co-workers, and access pay stubs.

    ADP caters to businesses from small to large to very large, so smaller firms should be able to sign up for a lower-priced plan and upgrade as revenues and headcounts expand. ADP’s custom pricing, however, makes that possibility harder to assess. Other solutions like Gusto or Papaya make pricing transparent from the get-go. What you do get with ADP is trust, reputation, accountability, and a host of practical features — some of them unique.

    ADP’s Wisely Direct Debit card is one innovation that a competitor like Papaya or Rippling doesn’t offer. Included in every plan it enables companies to offer ‘paperless pay’ to employees, with paycheques deposited directly onto the card.

    Read our full ADP review.

    ADP Price Plans

    ADP’s pricing is customized to each business, so you’ll have to request a quote to see which plan offers the best value. To get things started we’ve included a quick summary of each plan to make comparison with other solutions easier.

    • Essential Payroll — For small to mid-sized companies with basic payroll needs
    • Enhanced Payroll — Everything in Essential plus recruitment services, State Unemployment Insurance, and new hire background checks
    • Complete — Everything in Enhanced plus basic HR services
    • HR Pro — Everything included in Complete plus enhanced HR support


    • Suitable for businesses small and large
    • Robust functionality on the user-friendly mobile app
    • Multi-jurisdiction payroll for US market
    • Multiple international versions of the solution
    • Top user ratings in the iOS and Google Play stores


    • Lack of transparent pricing
    • Learning curve for new customers
    • Some complaints about long waiting times for customer service
    • Pre-built reports can be confusing and hard to decipher

    4. Gusto – Best Mobile Responsive Web Version

    Gusto Logo

    Best For Mobile web browsers
    Free Plan
    Starting Price $40 per month plus $6 per paid employee
    Compatibility Any leading mobile web browser
    Top Features Full-featured web app for mobile browsers
    Autopilot feature lets you schedule pay runs in advance

    Gusto is an award-winning SaaS solution that helps managers get to grips with payroll by automating the manual processes around tax filings, (US) retirement benefits, and pay runs.

    While it doesn’t offer a locally installed mobile app for employers, there is one for employees. Gusto’s mobile web presence is so perfectly optimized for mobile web that it looks, feels, and operates like a native app. So long as you have a fast connection, you can manage payroll on the move.

    Payroll apps like Gusto offer an autopilot feature helps set it apart from solutions like ADP or Rippling by enabling managers to schedule payroll runs in advance. Employees can use the Gusto Wallet app available in the iOS Store and Google Play to self-manage payroll tasks through their personal Gusto portal. Along with accessing pay stubs and tax documents, it doubles as a time-tracking app and allows staff to request early payment up to two days in advance.

    Read our full Gusto review.

    Gusto Price Plans

    Gusto is one of the payroll apps that offers a simple three-tier plan with transparent pricing and clear lists of included features.

    • Simple — $40 per month plus $6/month/employee
    • Plus — $80 per month plus $12/month/employee
    • Premium — Custom pricing by quote


    • Time-saving autopilot feature for payroll automation
    • Scalable pricing
    • Software integrations available for no additional fee


    • 100% price jump from starter to mid-tier plan
    • Mainly for the US market
    • No free trial

    5. Papaya Global – Best for Managing International Teams

    Papaya Global Logo

    Best For Managing international teams
    Free Plan
    Starting Price Starting from $25 per employee per month
    Compatibility iOS, Android
    Top Features Payroll services for over 160 countries
    Support from in-country payroll experts

    Papaya Global’s professional employer organization (PEO) solution is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses that need to pay international workers and contractors.

    Employees get a native iOS or Android app for time tracking and payslip access, while managers can access Papaya’s mobile web app on their smartphone browser. The native app for employees doubles as a communication tool. Staff working abroad can receive company alerts in-app, upload and view tax documents, and get chat support from Papaya customer service.

    Overall the app is similar to Gusto and Paychex in the sense that employees have access to their payslips and time tracking, but during our testing, we found both the competitors’ apps easier to navigate which is why they were rated higher than Papaya. However, for companies with a majority of international employees, Papaya should definitely still be a contender thanks to its lower price point.

    Read our full Papaya Global review.

    Papaya Global Price Plans

    • Grow Global — Starting from $25/month/employee
    • Scale Global — Starting from $20/month/employee
    • Enterprise Global — Starting from $15/month/employee
    • Contractor — Starting from $30/month/contractor


    • Payroll management support for workers in over 160 countries
    • Sliding scale price structure
    • Global contractor payment


    • Final pricing is quote based
    • Fees for setup and onboarding
    • Contract required

    6. Remote – Best EOR Payroll App

    Remote Logo

    Best For EOR app
    Free Plan
    Starting Price $29 per contractor per month
    Compatibility iOS, Android
    Top Features End-to-end payroll services across 50 countries
    Option to add indemnity coverage for contractors

    Remote is an employer of record (EOR) solution that simplifies the legal and practical headaches around hiring, employing, and paying international employees. That makes Papaya Global, which has an EOR solution of its own, the nearest competitor on our payroll top 7 list.

    What sets Remote’s payroll offer and app apart is its end-to-end service package, which wraps together payroll processing and reporting, direct deposit, employee onboarding, local regulatory compliance, and time tracking for more than 50 countries and currencies.

    However, only employees and contractors get a native app. Managers can access Remote’s mobile web-optimized solution using their smartphone browser.

    Read our full Remote review.

    Remote Price Plans

    • HRIS — Free (time tracking but not payment)
    • Contractor Management — $29 per contractor per month
    • Employer of Record (EOR) — Starting at $599 per month
    • Global Payroll — Starting $50 per employee per month


    • Seamless onboarding
    • Compliance support
    • Benefits management for multiple countries


    • Lack of full pricing transparency
    • Limited payroll features in the free plan

    7. Roll by ADP – Best for Innovation

    Roll by ADP-logo

    Best For Innovation
    Free Plan
    Starting Price $29 per month plus $5 per paid employee
    Compatibility iOS, Android
    Top Features Chatbot only interface
    Automated real-time error checks

    ADP’s Roll solution gets the nod for innovation. It’s the only chat-based payroll app and uses GenAI (the tech that powers ChatGPT) to handle payroll tasks with simple text commands.

    While the idea of chat-based software may be a bit jarring at first, Roll by ADP operates like any chatbot and mimics the live human interactions you’d get on any mainstream messaging app. Roll by ADP’s smart assistant executes commands, answers questions, anticipates issues, and guides you through features and functions. It also sends notifications and alerts proactive alerts.

    While you can expect almost every payroll provider to add AI to its solution this year, with Roll, ADP is first out of the chute.

    Roll by ADP Price Plans

    Roll by ADP is keen to have people try its novel new tech, so it currently starts everyone on a free three-month trial. After that, there’s just one price tier: an affordable $29 per month plus $5 per paid employee.


    • A breeze to use
    • Same-day direct deposits are available
    • Conducts real-time error checks


    • Chat-based software takes time to get used to
    • Reporting is limited
    • Limited third-party integrations

    The Best Payroll Apps Compared

    Solution Best For Standout Features Free Plan Offer Suitable for Employers Suitable for Employees Compatibility
    Paychex Best for freelancers Loads of capabilities for self-employed workers No free plan iOS and Android
    Rippling Best time tracking for international employees Acts as a single sign-on tool for other apps No free plan iOS and Android
    ADP Best all-in-one payroll app – Multi-state (USA) payroll
    – Direct debit card
    – Retirement planning
    No free plan iOS and Android
    Gusto Best for mobile web browsers – Full-featured mobile web app
    – Schedule pay runs in advance
    No free plan Any leading mobile web browser
    Papaya Global Best for paying international teams – Service in 160 countries
    – Support from in-country payroll experts
    No free plan iOS and Android
    Remote Best EOR payroll app Optional indemnity coverage for contractors Basic HRIS with time tracking and expense management iOS and Android
    Roll by ADP Best for innovation Chat-based interface No free plan iOS and Android

    How We Review And Test Payroll Products

    To provide our readers with accurate and well-informed recommendations, we test the most popular payroll products on the market to find the best options for you. Our methodology consists of the following criteria:

    • Features: We examine the features to determine what capabilities are offered, how useful those capabilities will be for the user, and how the variety of features compare to competitor software.
    • Scalability: We look at how many users can be added to a platform, and how easy it is to do so, to ensure companies can bring more employees on payroll with ease as they scale their operations.
    • Error Handling: Errors in payroll can be disastrous for a company, so it’s critical payroll software safeguards against them. We evaluate how quickly each software can adjust and fix errors to ensure there are no interruptions in payroll operations.
    • Price and Value for Money: We look at the features, integrations, customer service, and extras to determine if the price matches the value it provides. We score a product higher if it offers a free trial, and if it is transparent about its pricing plans.
    • Integrations: We evaluate the integrations of each piece of software to determine how well it fits in with other key pieces in a business’s software stack, and whether its functionality can be expanded as required.
    • User Experience: We get hands-on with each product to put ourselves in the shoes of a new user, testing each platform to gain understanding if the platform is easy to use or requires onboarding.
    • Security: We dig into the security policies of each company, interrogating the safeguards they have in place to ensure the software protects user data properly.
    • Compliance: We evaluate payroll software based on whether it offers local compliance when it comes to accounting, taxes, documentation, and more.

    How Do Payroll Apps Work?

    Payroll apps automate the process of calculating employee wages, taxes, and deductions. They typically integrate with time-tracking systems to accurately record hours worked.

    These apps allow employers to input employee information, including pay rates and benefits, and generate payroll reports effortlessly. Many payroll apps also handle tax filings and compliance, ensuring accuracy and reducing the risk of errors or penalties.

    Employee self-service features enable staff to view pay stubs, update personal information, and request time off conveniently.

    Overall, payroll apps streamline administrative tasks, improve efficiency, and provide a centralized platform for managing payroll-related tasks in organizations of varying sizes.

    How to Choose the Best Payroll Software

    The choice of payroll app can make the difference between time-saving convenience and cumbersome nuisance.

    If you’re thinking of trialing a new app or investing in a new payroll solution for the first time, here are some key considerations:

    Ease of useEssential FeaturesPricingIntegrationsCustomer Support

    Is the interface and functionality intuitive, or will training be required? A small business owner should be able to run payroll taxes with ease. From tax forms and manual data entry to benefits administration and health insurance, a good payroll software will help small businesses run better.

    Does the solution combine payroll with complementary features like time tracking, PTO management, income tax calculation, and expense management? Paying employees should be easy with a wide variety of features. Look for payroll software that offers off-cycle payments, unlimited pay runs, multiple pay rates, payroll reports, retirement plans, HR tools, employee benefits, automatic payroll, and more.

    Is there a plan for my budget that offers all the capabilities I need? How easy is it to scale up or down if business needs change?

    Can the solution blend easily into my existing payroll workflow? There should be options to do payroll taxes, direct deposit, payroll processing, do same-day direct deposit, benefits administration, and more.

    What levels of support are offered and do they change depending on how much I pay?


    What is the best payroll app for a small business?

    How much do payroll apps cost?

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    Mark De Wolf
    Technology Journalist
    Mark De Wolf
    Technology Journalist

    Mark is a freelance tech journalist covering software, cybersecurity, and SaaS. His work has appeared in Dow Jones, The Telegraph, SC Magazine, Strategy, InfoWorld, Redshift, and The Startup. He graduated from the Ryerson University School of Journalism with honors where he studied under senior reporters from The New York Times, BBC, and Toronto Star, and paid his way through uni as a jobbing advertising copywriter. In addition, Mark has been an external communications advisor for tech startups and scale-ups, supporting them from launch to successful exit. Success stories include SignRequest (acquired by Box), Zeigo (acquired by Schneider Electric), Prevero (acquired…