The Best Payroll Software for 2024: Compared

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Companies often have teams scattered all over the US and beyond. The right payroll software allows them to pay everyone regardless of location, timezone, or currency.

Nowadays there are dozens of outstanding US and global payroll companies to choose from. Let us help you decide by walking you through the best options and what they’re most suited for.

The Best Payroll Software 2024

  1. Deel – Best global payroll software with flexible payment options
  2. Papaya Global – Best end-to-end workforce management in 160+ countries
  3. Rippling – Best for USA and Canada-based payroll with tons of integrations
  4. Remofirst – Best international payroll software for global teams in 170+ countries
  5. Paycor – Best payroll software for automating manual payroll tasks
  6. Paychex Flex – Best for streamlining payroll processing with accuracy, compliance, and ease
  7. Bambee – Best software and services for ease of use and expert guidance
  8. Trinet – Best payroll software with compensation benchmarking
  9. ADP Workforce Now – Best scalable payroll software for small businesses
  10. ADP TotalSource – Best manager and employee self-service features

The Top Payroll Processing Software Reviewed

Our review analyzes each payroll solution by exploring its features, pricing, and customer support. Using this information, we decide each one’s pros, cons, and best use cases. If you want to learn more about the review process, read our ‘how to’ section.

1. Deel – The Best Global Payroll Software With Flexible Payment Options

Deel Logo

Best For Global payroll with flexible payment options
Free Trial Free 30-minute demo
Price From Starting from $49/month
Mobile Compatibility No
Countries available +150
Why We Picked It

Deel not only serves over 150 countries worldwide but provides a range of payment methods, frequencies, and types. That means you can pay employees and contractors in a way that suits them. There’s support for all the major finance apps like Revolut and Wise and the option to transfer pay in cryptocurrency.

  • Fully managed global payroll solution: Deel handles everything from onboarding, document collection, payroll calculations, payroll taxes and filing, compliance with local regulations, and payslip issuing, eliminating the need for an in-house payroll team.
  • Full-service payroll data and processes: Deel consolidates all your global payroll data into one system, making it easy to review reports, spot discrepancies, and manage multi-currency payments.
  • Expertise in international compliance: Deel ensures your company complies with global and local payroll laws across over 100 countries.
  • Automated processes: Tax filing and onboarding/offboarding are automated, saving time on administrative tasks.
Pricing Plans

Like many alternatives, Deel has modular modular pricing for all its features. The following plans allow you to handle payments and taxes:

Deel Plans Monthly
Contractors Starts at $49/month
Global Payroll Custom
EOR Starts at $599/month
  • Contractors – Ability to hire and pay international contractors compliantly.
  • Global payroll – A full-service payroll plan, including automation, reporting, and compliance management.
  • EOR – A set-up where you outsource HR, payroll, and benefits to Deel.

All plans give you access to Deel’s free HR module with automation tools, org charts, and document management.

Who's It Best For?

If you have a distributed global team, Deel is perfect for you. The payroll features let you manage payroll for different countries and banking systems with ease. With the EOR service, you can hire and pay remote hires wherever you need to without the risk of establishing a legal entity.

Pros pros

  • Global payroll services
  • Free HR module
  • A range of Slack integrations
  • Advanced reporting tools
  • Immigration and visa services
  • Support for multiple payment types

Cons cons

  • Mobile app unavailable
  • Limited time tracking tools
  • No performance management

Read our full Deel Review

2. Papaya Global – The Best End-to-End Workforce Management in 160+ Countries

Papaya Global Logo

Best For End-to-end workforce management
Free Trial Free demo
Price From Starting from $25/month
Mobile Compatibility Yes
Countries available +160
Why We Picked It

The comprehensive suite of features on Papaya allows you to manage every aspect of the payroll process, from recording hours to verifying payment. All the time tracking and employee portal features are available in the main plan. That way you don’t need to add lots of additional tools to streamline essential payroll and workforce management tasks.

For businesses just needing basic payroll software for a local team, simpler payroll systems like Gusto provide better value than Papaya’s comprehensive global offering.

  • Extensive global coverage: Papaya can manage payroll, HR, and compliance in over 160 countries through its network of local in-country experts and partners. This unmatched international footprint is its most significant differentiator.
  • Comprehensive services: It provides end-to-end support covering payroll, hiring, onboarding, benefits, tax filing, expense management, and more for a distributed global workforce.
  • Expert compliance assistance: Besides software, Papaya advises local labor law experts to ensure compliance with each country’s regulations.
  • Flexible pricing tiers: Papaya has transparent pricing tiers based on workforce size, with per-employee costs reducing for larger businesses taking advantage of economies of scale.
Pricing Plans

Papaya bases the price of its Payroll Plus product on your workforce size and number of legal entities.

Papaya Global Plans Monthly
Grow Global Starts at $25/month
Scale Global Starts at $20/month
Enterprise Global Starts at $15/month
Contractor Payments Starts at $30/month
EOR Starts at $599/month
Agent of record Starts at $200/month
  • Grow Global – Payment disbursement and liability coverage for up to 500 employees over 4 entities.
  • Scale Global – The same as Grow but for up to 1000 employees and 10 entities.
  • Enterprise Global – The same again but for unlimited employees and entities.
  • Contractor Payments – Assistance hiring and paying freelancers in over 100 currencies.
  • EOR: An outsourced solution with an employee portal and built-in payments.
  • Agent of record: An option like the EOR for contractors with payments and classification support.

Every plan gives you access to the employee self-service portal and Papaya Global mobile app.

While Papaya Global offers robust global payroll software and PEO services, potential drawbacks include a quote-based pricing model with additional fees, limited free trial options, and implementation requirements that might involve upfront contractual commitments.

Who's It Best For?

Multinational companies with large teams across several areas would appreciate Papaya Global. It is best suited for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a workforce ranging from 100 to 1,000 employees across multiple countries. The end-to-end workforce management is perfect for managing payments for hundreds of staff at one time.

Pros pros

  • Discounts at volume
  • Sliding scale pricing based on size
  • Dedicated plan for contractors
  • Coverage for over 160 countries

Cons cons

  • Setup fee
  • Caps on entities
  • Limited integrations

Read our full Papaya Global Review

3. Rippling – The Best for USA and Canada-Based Payroll

Rippling Logo

Best For USA and Canada-Based Payroll
Free Trial Free demo
Price From Starting from $8/month
Mobile Compatibility Yes
Countries available 50+ countries
Why We Picked It

Rippling is specially designed to handle the complex and ever-changing North American tax laws. It can ensure compliance with federal, state, and local legislation. The payroll software solution provides support with filing taxes and filling out tax forms for both state and federal taxes. Additionally, you have the option to add its finance tools so you can more easily factor payroll data into strategy.

  • Modular, customizable platform: Rippling allows you to select the specific HR modules/features you need, such as full-service payroll, benefits, performance management, etc. You only pay for what you use.
  • Global workforce management: It supports global payroll in over 90 countries, local benefits packages, and Employer of Record (EOR) services for compliantly hiring international contractors/employees.
  • Automated workflows: Rippling automates core HR processes like hiring, onboarding, time tracking, and document management through smart workflow builders.
  • Integrated HR tools: All HR tools, from applicant tracking to LMS, surveys, and analytics, are unified in one platform instead of disparate systems.
Pricing Plans

As Rippling has custom pricing, you must contact them for a quote. Here are the payment modules available:

  • US and Global Full Service Payroll – The option to manage payroll in over 50 countries worldwide.
  • Global EOR – Assistance with international hiring and payroll.
  • PEO – A solution that allows you to outsource your US payroll and benefits administration management.

Aside from payroll, Rippling has a range of other HR, IT, and finance modules. It’s worth noting that benefits administration is standalone and not included in the plans above.

Rippling’s integration ecosystem, though extensive, is not as wide as platforms and accounting software like Workday or BambooHR. Therefore, businesses heavily invested in niche HR/workforce software may find integration gaps and want to consider other payroll systems.

Who's It Best For?

Rippling is one of the best HR payroll software for US-based companies with divisions in other countries. The tax compliance management can help them avoid penalties at their main location while helping them run payroll for foreign teams.

Pros pros

  • Flexible modular pricing
  • Option to add other HR, IT, and finance products
  • Over 500 integrations
  • Very customization

Cons cons

  • No upfront pricing
  • Too complex for small businesses
  • Costlier than some alternatives

Read our full Rippling Review

4. Remofirst – The Best International Payroll Software for Global Teams in 180+ Countries

Remofirst Logo

Best For International payroll for global teams in 180+ countries
Free Trial Free demo
Price From Starting from $25/month
Mobile Compatibility No
Countries available +180
Why We Picked It

With its extensive coverage and affordable pricing, Remofirst enables you to hire from anywhere in the world. The ease of use means that it’s easy to onboard and implement across your company too.

The payroll solution stands out for its simplified payroll processing and compliance solutions, lifting the burden of managing international employment complexities and providing cost-effective, transparent pricing in contrast to traditional agencies. Its global reach facilitates access to a diverse talent pool across regions.

  • Employer of record (EoR): Remofirst is the legal employer for your international workforce, handling onboarding, payroll, taxes, and compliance. This eliminates the need for local entity set-up, saving significant time and resources.
  • Global reach: Remofirst operates in over 180 countries and regions, offering more comprehensive talent pool access than geographically limited competitors.
  • Cost-effective: Remofirst offers transparent pricing and payroll processing with no hidden fees, making it a budget-friendly option compared to traditional staffing agencies.
  • Fast & easy onboarding: Onboard international employees in a single day with minimal paperwork compared to complex and time-consuming local procedures.
Pricing Plans

You can find two main plans on Remofirst with a fixed monthly rate:

Remofirst Plans Monthly
EOR Starts at $199/month
Contractors $25/month
  • EOR – A combination of HR, payroll, and hiring features as part of the third-party service.
  • Contractors – Onboarding and payments for international freelancers.

Remofirst gives you the option to add equipment provisioning and visa services. The price is based on your requirements.

Who's It Best For?

Remofirst has special rates and features for startups. You won’t have to worry about costs as you hire abroad and expand your business.

Pros pros

  • Extensive global coverage
  • Competitive pricing
  • No setup fee
  • Generous discounts
  • Intuitive interface

Cons cons

  • Limited HRIS features
  • Lacks integrations
  • No mobile app

Read our full Remofirst Review

5. Paycor – The Best Payroll Software For Automating Manual Payroll Tasks

Paycor Logo

Best For Automating manual payroll tasks
Free Trial Free demo
Price From Custom
Mobile Compatibility Yes
Countries available US only
Why We Picked It

Many companies turn to Paycor for its powerful automation tools, which reduce the time and effort required to process payroll. These tools include wage and tax calculations, payment scheduling, and reporting.

Paycor’s key strength is its ability to handle multiple HR functions within a single platform, including payroll, benefits administration, onboarding, talent management, and compliance support. This comprehensive approach makes this full-service payroll solution an excellent choice for businesses that want to streamline their HR processes and have access to a wide range of tools without investing in separate systems.

  • Comprehensive HR functions: This full-service payroll solution handles multiple HR functions within a single platform.
  • Inclusive features: The platform encompasses payroll, benefits administration, onboarding, talent management, and compliance support.
  • Streamlined processes: Paycor is an excellent full-service payroll software choice for businesses aiming to streamline their HR processes.
  • Access to diverse tools: Users benefit from a wide range of tools without needing separate systems.
  • Financial wellness: Give employees access to resources like goal tracking and budget setting via the app.
Pricing Plans

Paycor requires you to contact them for a quote. However, they have published their four payroll plans online.

  • Basic – Tools to pay and file taxes for employees compliantly.
  • Core – Everything in Basic plus hiring and onboarding tools.
  • Essential – The addition of employee engagement and development features.
  • Complete – Access to advanced analytics and development tools.

You can add time tracking, benefits, and recruitment tools to any of the plans. There’s often a discount for signing up like 50% off for six months.

Who's It Best For?

Paycor offers fantastic payroll software services for companies looking to scale. The impressive automation tools mean staff can spend less time on manual tasks and allocate resources more effectively. You can sustain this efficiency even as you hire more workers.

Pros pros

  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Employee enablement tools
  • Flexible modular pricing
  • On-demand pay

Cons cons

  • No upfront payroll software pricing
  • Setup fee
  • Too complex for small businesses

Read our full Paycor Review

6. Paychex – The Best For Streamlining Payroll Processing With Accuracy, Compliance, and Ease

Paychex Flex Logo

Best For Streamlining payroll processing with accuracy, compliance, and ease
Free Trial Free demo
Price From Custom
Mobile Compatibility Yes
Countries available US only
Why We Picked It

Paychex offers a highly dependable payroll service with a reputation for compliance. Both the finance team and employees will find the tools easy to navigate and use. If you need support with anything, their customer service is highly responsive and available.

  • Voice assistant: Ask questions and get immediate responses about any aspect of payroll.
  • Time tracking: Give employees the ability to clock in touchlessly via the app.
  • Compliance alerts: Get notifications about changes to state and federal tax laws.
Pricing Plans

All of the plans and modules on Paychex have custom pricing. There are three payroll bundles aimed at different business types.

  • Select – A small business plan with direct deposit pay solutions such as card, credit, and on-site check printing. payments, tax filing, and basic workforce management tools.

Electronically transfer wages into the employee’s bank account, pay card, or conveniently print checks yourself.

  • Pro – Extra workforce management features like unemployment and workers’ comp services. You also get a general ledger so you can easily transfer payroll data to accounting software to create customizable and flexible reports and improve your business operations.
  • Enterprise – In addition to the features above, you also get access to performance and document management. You can also access the payroll preview, which helps you reduce payroll discrepancies and costly corrections.

Users can also add on features such as the voice assistant, insurance, and benefits administration.

Who's It Best For?

US businesses that require a lot of support with payroll should look at Paychex. You can contact the customer service team anytime to overcome issues or seek guidance on using the features.

Pros pros

  • Wide range of integrations
  • Extensive HRIS features
  • Multiple payroll schedules
  • Dedicated 24/7 support
  • Intuitive interface

Cons cons

  • No upfront pricing
  • Limited features in the basic plan
  • Lots of add-ons

Read our full Paychex Review

7. Bambee – The Best Software and Services For Ease of Use and Expert Guidance

Bambee Logo

Best For Ease of use and expert guidance
Free Trial $1 for a $30 day trial
Price From Starting from $99/month
Mobile Compatibility No
Countries available US only
Why We Picked It

Most payroll platforms focus on their software features over their customer support. Bambee stands out for offering personalized support with all your HR and payroll management. You can handle everything from new hires to terminations with confidence.

  • Policy management: Create and enforce payroll policies across your business.
  • Dedicated HR manager: Consult with an expert on policies and compliance issues.
  • Training: Show your employees how to stay compliant with different tax and employment laws.
Pricing Plans

Bambee has five paid plans based on your number of employees. If you exceed the upper limit, you can get custom pricing and choose the features you need.

Pricing Plan Employees Set-up Fee
No employees yet $99/month $0
1-4 Employees $299/month $500
5-19 Employees $399/month $500
20-49 Employees $499/month $1,500
50-70 Employees $1299/month $2,000
  • No employees yet—The budget-friendly option allows you to establish your business and draft policies before hiring staff. With this plan, you’ll have access to the Bambee HR software, a select number of policies, and fundamental customer support.
  • 1- 4 Employees – Once you start paying employees, you’re eligible for the second price tier. Here you have a $500 one off setup fee and gain access to six policies and a dedicated HR manager.
  • 5 – 19 Employees – Here you get up to four policies, and the set-up fee is still $500. This makes the third tier the best value for money, in our opinion, as you can manage up to 19 salaried employees with the same set-up fee as the lower tier.
  • 20 – 49 Employees – The main difference is that you get access to eight custom HR policies but the price jumps by $100/month compared to the previous pricing tier, and the set-up fee is now $1,500. That makes the 20-49 employee tier quite expensive.
  • 50 – 70 Employees – The highest tier, except for the custom pricing tier, gives you up to 16 policies but will cost you $1,299/month + the one-off fee of $2,000. If this is the pricing you’re looking at, we would recommend another payroll service provider that can offer specialized payroll services for similar, or less cost.

          Each plan comes with a one-time setup cost except the ‘no employees yet’. The total depends on how many users you need to onboard.

          Who's It Best For?

          If you don’t have the budget for a full in-house HR department, Bambee can fill the gap. The support can provide guidance for a competitive monthly cost – much lower than what you might pay for another team member.

          Pros pros

          • Policy management features
          • Personalized HR support
          • Choice of support options
          • Generous low-cost trial

          Cons cons

          • No mobile app
          • Setup fee for most plans
          • Limited features and integrations
          • Benefits only available through payroll plan

          Read our full Bambee Review

          8. TriNet – The Best Payroll Software With Compensation Benchmarking

          TriNet Logo

          Best For Compensation benchmarking
          Free Trial Free demo
          Price From Starting from $10/month
          Mobile Compatibility Yes
          Countries available US only
          Why We Picked It

          TriNet has some unique offerings that businesses of all sizes will appreciate. Notably, there’s compensation benchmarketing to help you attract top workers. The platform also gives you access to a comprehensive benefits marketplace that complies with US ACA and ERISA regulations.

          • Compensation benchmarking: Get insights into the salaries you should pay employees based on role, location, and credentials.
          • Benefits: Sync payroll with benefits inside the platform to manage data and payments more easily.
          • Data analytics: Configure data into easily understood graphs and get actionable insights.
          Pricing Plans

          Although TriNet has three monthly plans, payroll is only included in the top tier. You can add it to the lower-cost plans for $6 per employee per month.

          Plan Monthly Cost Yearly Cost
          Essentials $10/month $96/year
          Growth $20/month $192/year
          Zen $33/month $324/year
          • Essentials – The Essentials pricing plan caters to small businesses with up to 50 employees, offering resource management and employee productivity tools. Key features of the Essentials Plan include automated onboarding, employee management, time-off scheduling, an analytics dashboard, integrations, and a mobile app.

          Additionally, new users can access free payroll management during the first subscription year, with a subsequent $6 fee added to the Essentials subscription price thereafter.

          • Growth – The Growth Plan subscription offers advanced features tailored for small- and mid-scale businesses aiming to expand their employee base.

          Key features include configurable people analytics, compensation management, and performance management.

          • Zen – Unlock access to the payroll feature within a priced plan, with the TriNet Zenefits Zen subscription plan emerging as a standout choice for its comprehensive offerings.

          In addition to encompassing functionalities from the Essentials and Growth plans, the Zen Plan boasts three extra features. These include employee engagement surveys, a people hub, and permanently included payroll.

          With its payroll tools, businesses can streamline compensation management, ensuring accurate calculations, payroll taxes, and seamless direct deposit options. This, in turn, saves time and minimizes errors, allowing businesses of all sizes to redirect their focus towards core operations.

          You can also add benefits administration for $5 per employee monthly and consultancy services for $8 per employee monthly.

          Who's It Best For?

          Companies that focus on salary and benefits to attract top workers should consider TriNet. You can both ensure you’re offering the right pay and perks. Plus, the TriNet team gives you support with choosing the best plans.

          Pros pros

          • Low starter cost
          • Competitive pricing
          • Generous discounts for annual commitments
          • No per employee charge in Zen plan

          Cons cons

          • Payroll not included in all plans
          • Long setup times
          • Limited customer support options

          Read our full TriNet Review

          9. ADP Workforce Now – The Best Scalable Payroll Software for Small Businesses

          ADP Logo

          Best For Scaling small business payroll
          Free Trial Free demo
          Price From Custom pricing
          Mobile Compatibility Yes
          Countries available US only
          Why We Picked It

          ADP Workforce Now’s automation, notification, and reporting tools make it easy to streamline payroll and expand the process to include more workers. Advanced permissions mean you can create complex permissions as you create new departments and levels within your company. The modular pricing and integrations also let you add tools as and when you need them.

          • Dashboard: Customize the dashboard and receive notifications of potential compliance issues.
          • Reporting: Create custom reports by adding fields and selecting data sets.
          • General ledger: Import payroll data into your books for easier accounting.
          Pricing Plans

          ADP Workforce Now has custom pricing based on your business size and requirements. They have three plans which all include payroll and tax filing:

          • Select – A range of features including HR, onboarding, document management, and employee engagement.
          • Plus – Everything in the Select plan and benefits administration.
          • Premium – Access to workforce management tools like scheduling, time tracking, and TO management.

          There’s a range of additional modules concerning employee management and development. You can add them all to any plan.

          Who's It Best For?

          Growing US businesses can benefit from ADP Workforce Now’s scalable payroll solution. You can onboard new employees without exponentially increasing your costs or burdening the finance team.

          Pros pros

          • Comprehensive basic plan
          • All payroll features included in every tier
          • Flexible modular plans
          • Wide range of integrations
          • Customizable features

          Cons cons

          • No upfront pricing
          • Limited customer support
          • Lots of add-ons

          10. ADP TotalSource – The Best For Manager and Employee Self-Service Features

          ADP Logo

          Best For Manager and employee self-service features
          Free Trial Free demo
          Price From Custom
          Mobile Compatibility Yes
          Countries available US only
          Why We Picked It

          The efficiency of payroll often relies on employee cooperation as they must input hours, collect pay stubs, and collect wages. That’s why we were glad to see ADP TotalSource had a robust self-service portal for both the website and mobile app. Teams can check hours and wages easily due to the straightforward design.

          • PEO: Outsource management of payroll and HR to specialists at ADP.
          • Compensation analysis: Compare salaries across different roles and industries.
          • Expert support: Consult on everything from payroll to benefits and tech.
          Pricing Plans

          ADP TotalSource is made of one comprehensive plan with a range of payroll features plus HR, benefits, and talent management. You must contact them to get a quote.

          Who's It Best For?

          ADP TotalSource serves a similar market to Workforce Now. However, you should choose TotalSource if you require more direct guidance with HR, payroll, and benefits as it includes a PEO service.

          Pros pros

          • Certified PEO
          • Dedicated expert support
          • Comprehensive US benefits
          • Range of integrations

          Cons cons

          • No upfront pricing
          • Time tracking only available as add on
          • Only one core plan to choose from

          The Best Payroll Management Software Compared

          Provider Best For Starting Price Free trial Countries covered Expense Management Mobile App
          Deel Flexible payment options $49/month per independent contractor Free demo +150 Yes No
          Papaya Global End-to-end workforce management $25/month per independent contractor Free demo +160 Yes Yes
          Rippling USA and Canada-based payroll $8/month per employee Free demo +50 Yes Yes
          Remofirst Global teams in 180+ countries $25/month per independent contractor Free demo +180 No No
          Paycor Automating manual payroll tasks Custom Free demo US Yes Yes
          Paychex Streamlining payroll processes Custom Free demo US Yes Yes
          Bambee Ease of use and expert guidance $99/per month $1 one-month trial US No No
          TriNet Compensation benchmarking $10/month per employee Free demo US Yes Yes
          ADP Workforce Now Scaling payroll for small businesses Custom Free demo US Yes Yes
          ADP TotalSource Employee self-service features Custom Free demo US Yes Yes

          What is Payroll Software?

          Payroll software is a cloud-based or on-premises solution that manages the task of paying salaries and wages to employees. The payroll systems calculate amounts, deduct taxes, and run payroll at scheduled intervals. Some platforms allow unlimited pay runs, while others have a set pay period. The best payroll software providers ensure compliance with local and international laws.

          Used properly, these tools will make running payroll a breeze and remove the need for manual data entry, therefore helping businesses of all sizes reduce costs.

          How Does Payroll Software Work?

          Running payroll is complex and involves many backend calculations and compliance assurances. Most payroll software is a combination of different tools and processes. Either you input employee data or the system collects it from other platforms. Then, it automatically calculates wages and taxes based on your location.

          Manual Payroll Solutions:

          To calculate payroll manually, you will need to track the time worked by each employee, and calculate the related payroll tax, like employee benefits or other tax withholdings. Lastly you must pay employees manually and note down when and how it was paid.

          Automated Payroll Solutions:

          If you’re using one of the best payroll software solutions, the tool will calculate the labor cost (with multiple pay rates if required) and tax deductions. Many systems also have an employee self-service payroll app where the employees can receive their pay stubs (that only need approval from your finance team to process). You can also improve business processes with customizable payroll reports and centralized tax documents and feel relief knowing you have a dedicated customer success manager on hand if needed.

          To learn more about the process, read our article on how to do payroll.

          Who is Payroll Management Software for?

          Anyone can use payroll processing software. It’s designed specifically for the payroll team in a business, but HR and accounting departments use it too. Even employees may co-operate in the process by using self-service features.

          Free vs Paid Payroll Software

          There are many excellent free payroll platforms available for businesses on a limited budget. However, they’re best for very small teams with basic operations. Most companies need a paid version to get all the features they need and reap the benefits.

          Benefits of Payroll Processing Software

          Using payroll processing software can bring you numerous benefits including:

          • Time savings: The automation takes care of lengthy administration processes in seconds.
          • Accuracy: Software can calculate the amounts with less risk of errors than humans.
          • Lower costs: Payroll software can reduce the amount you spend on labor and penalties arising from compliance issues.
          • Data security: Often platforms provide secure storage and encryption that’s compliant with international laws.
          • Higher team morale: Employees are happier when they get paid promptly and without mistakes.

          Top Payroll Software Features to Look For

          Payroll software can have a variety of features, but the following are the most essential:

          Automatic calculations

          Automatic calculations: As this is one of the most time-consuming and error-prone tasks, the software should handle it for you.

          Tax deductions

          Tax deductions: Payroll software should withhold the right taxes from wages and send them to the relevant authorities. If you’re international, it should be able to differentiate between different systems.

          Direct deposit

          Direct deposit: Top payroll software handles the payments for you. If you have a global team, it should support your staff’s local currencies.

          Self-service portal

          Self-service portal: If employees can log in to edit and review their details, that means less work for you. They can also have more peace of mind over their wages and flag issues quickly.


          Reporting: You should be able to generate payroll reports for accounting, finance, and compliance purposes.

          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 – and their usefulness – compare to competitor software on the market.
          • 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 make sure there are no interruptions in payroll operations.
          • 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 an understanding if the platform is easy to use or requires onboarding.
          • Price and Value for Money: We look at the features, integrations, customer service, and extras to determine if the price of the software matches the value it provides. We score a product higher if it offers customers a free trial, and if it is upfront and transparent about its pricing plans.
          • 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 to Choose the Best Payroll Software

          When deciding between top payroll providers, several key factors can help you make a final choice.

          PricingFeaturesScalabilityEase of useCustomer supportIntegrations

          Consider whether you can access all the features you need within your budget. Most payroll platforms charge per employee so calculate how much you can expect to spend on average. Check to see whether any features or services come with additional fees.

          Ensure you can get the essential payroll tools for your location and business size. For example, large multinational companies are likely to need localized compliance support. Look at other plans to check that you’ll be able to add other features as you grow and change.

          Analyze the pricing plans to see how your costs may change and increase as you upgrade. Ideally, you should continue to receive the same value as you rise through the tiers. Make sure the platform can handle the number of employees you expect to hire in the coming years.

          The software should require minimal setup and training so you can start using it immediately. It should also fit around your team’s daily workflow. Look for software with a clean interface and plenty of access options.

          Look at the service options for your location and timezone. The provider should offer different types of support and contact methods. At a minimum, there should be a knowledge base and 9 to 5 phone, chat, and email services.

          As you use other software, you need to connect them to your payroll platform. Otherwise, you won’t be able to share data across the tools and perform tasks efficiently. Payroll software should integrate with a selection of HR, workforce management, and accounting apps.

          Our Other Payroll Guides


          How much is payroll software?

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          How to use payroll software?

          How do you set up payroll?

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          John Iwuozor
          Tech Writer
          John Iwuozor
          Tech Writer

          John Iwuozor is a writer at Techopedia with over three years of experience and expertise covering topics on HR, business software, IT security, and finance for small and medium-sized businesses. His work has been featured on reputable platforms like Forbes Advisor and EsecurityPlanet. Leveraging his background in mathematics and data analysis, he specializes in delivering original and high-quality content with a keen eye for detail and accuracy.