The Best Payroll Software in Canada For 2024

Searching for the best Canadian payroll software can feel as difficult as navigating the tax maze itself. But worry not – we’ve examined a wide range of products on the market, and Dayforce (formerly known as Ceridian) is the obvious winner for 2024.

With Ceridian Dayforce, your workflow will be accelerated by automated payroll processing, but what sets Dayforce apart and makes it one of the best payroll software is its understanding of the unique challenges faced by Canadian businesses.

Payroll laws in Canada are complex. The integrated tax compliance features in Dayforce act as your guardian angels, helping you to manage the constantly changing world of CPP contributions, GST, and other related matters.

However, every business is unique. This guide delves into a diverse selection of 10 payroll software picks for Canada, each catering to specific needs and budgets. We’ll guide you through the features, compare the options, and help you find the perfect match for your Canadian venture.

The 10 Best Payroll Software for Canada Ranked

  1. Ceridian (Dayforce): Best automated payroll software for Canada overall
  2. ADP: Best for large enterprises in Canada
  3. QuickBooks: Small businesses-oriented software for Canada
  4. Wave: Canadian payroll ideal for freelancers and solopreneurs
  5. Payworks: Best for full-service payroll
  6. Knit: User-friendly payroll service in Canada
  7. Deel: Best global payroll software for Canada
  8. Rippling: Best for its extensive integrations
  9. WagePoint: Best for Canada construction payroll
  10. Humi: Best for HR management in Canada

The Best Payroll Software for Canada Compared

Payroll Software Best For Starting Price (CAD) Free Version Benefits Management & Tax Filing Contractor Payments
Dayforce Large and Complex Businesses $49/month 2 months free on Powerpay and Powerpay Plus
ADP Large Enterprises Available on request 3 months free for Roll by ADP
QuickBooks Small Businesses $61/month 30-day free trial
Wave Freelancers and Solopreneurs $0 Forever free
(Basic 1099)
Payworks Full-Service Payroll Available upon request No free plan o trial
Knit User-friendly Interface $54/month + $8/employee/month Yes, 14-day free trial
(Basic 1099)
Deel Global Payroll Available upon request Free for organizations up to 200 people
Rippling Integrations Available on request No free plan or trial
WagePoint Small businesses, Startups $27/month Yes, 14-day free trial
Humi HR Management $8 per month Yes, 14-day free trial

The Best Payroll Software for Canada Reviews

Choosing the best payroll software for Canada can be complex. For this reason, we have carefully evaluated the leading candidates using our testing methodology and criteria, such as scalability, value, usability, compliance, and functionality. The detailed reviews reveal the software’s strengths and weaknesses to help you make an informed decision.

Ceridian (Dayforce) – Best Canadian Payroll Software Overall in 2024

Ceridian software settings

Source: Dayforce

Best For Starting Price Free Version Benefits Management & Tax Filing Contractor Payments
Large and complex businesses in Canada $49 CAD/month per user (Essentials plan)
• 14-day free trial + 2 months free on Powerpay and Powerpay Plus

Ceridian (Dayforce) is the best payroll software for Canada, especially for large and complex businesses, with its robust features, built-in compliance tools, and exceptional scalability. Unlike some competitors, it doesn’t shy away from intricate needs, offering a stress-free experience for businesses with evolving payroll demands and large teams.

Compared to ADP, a popular choice for large enterprises, Dayforce boasts a more user-friendly interface and caters better to smaller businesses. While ADP offers similar functionalities, its interface can be more complex, and its pricing structure might be less attractive for smaller teams.

Feature-wise, Dayforce offers automated payroll processing, multiple pay schedules, benefits administration, and robust reporting. Compared to Payworks, which requires add-ons for some features, or Deel, which focuses solely on global payroll, Dayforce offers a comprehensive solution under one roof.

Dayforce integrates with accounting software, human resource information systems (HRIS), and benefits providers.

Dayforce Pricing Plans

  • Essential Plan: $49 CAD per user, per month.
  • Advanced Plan (Prestige, Premier, and Elite tiers): price varies depending on features and number of users (contact Dayforce for a quote).

The best way to determine the most suitable and cost-effective Dayforce plan for your business is to contact their sales team and discuss your specific needs. They can provide you with a personalized quote and help you choose the plan.

Pros

  • Built-in Canadian tax compliance tools
  • Best for larger businesses
  • Strong track record and industry expertise

Cons

  • Higher starting price compared to some competitors
  • Limited free trial
  • Customization options can be complex

ADP – Best for Large Enterprises in Canada

ADP automated payroll

Source: ADP

Best For Starting Price Free Version Benefits Management & Tax Filing Contractor Payments
Large enterprises, global payroll Custom
• 3 months

If you’re managing a complex foreign workforce while also negotiating Canadian payroll, ADP is also one of the best payroll companies Canada offers. It provides powerful features, worldwide reach, and the scalability required by major organizations. Unlike some competitors, it addresses difficult payroll challenges head-on, offering an all-around solution with extended support and connectors.

ADP outperforms Ceridian Dayforce, another popular alternative for large businesses, in terms of its worldwide payroll capabilities and integrations. It integrates with a wide range of third-party applications, including accounting software, HRIS, time and attendance systems, and benefits providers.

This makes it excellent for businesses with a worldwide presence and diversified staff base. Dayforce may, however, be more user-friendly and cost-effective for smaller Canadian businesses.

QuickBooks may appear appealing to budget-conscious businesses, but its features and support may be inadequate for large-scale requirements.

ADP Pricing Plans

  • Roll by ADP: $39 CAD per month plus $6.74 CAD per employee; first three months of access are free.
  • ADP offers a customizable approach to pricing for Canadian businesses. You’ll receive a personalized quote.
  • RUN Powered by ADP: Four main pricing tiers, including Essential Payroll, Enhanced Payroll, Complete Payroll & HR Plus, and HR Pro Payroll & HR. Specific pricing details are available upon request.

ADP’s starting price is custom as they offer tailored quotes based on your business needs and size. It’s typically higher than most other providers listed due to its advanced features and global capabilities.

Pros

  • Global payroll expertise
  • Payroll tools for different business sizes
  • Advanced features and dedicated support

Cons

  • Not all prices are available
  • Might require training for less tech-savvy users
  • Not ideal for smaller budgets

QuickBooks – Small Business-Oriented Software for Canada

QuickBooks automated payroll

Source: QuickBooks

Best For Starting Price Free Version Benefits Management & Tax Filing Contractor Payments
Small businesses $6.25 CAD per month + $4 per employee
• 30-day free trial

Running a small business in Canada means juggling multiple hats, and payroll should not be an added burden. QuickBooks Payroll is a user-friendly and cost-effective program for your Canadian payroll.

Unlike some competitors, it focuses on making the process easier for small firms with basic to modest payroll requirements. It’s an ideal payroll software for Canadian accountants, as it also features in-built accounting software, which also happens to be one of the best out there. Its familiar interface and straightforward features make it easy to use, especially for non-payroll pros.

QuickBooks is less expensive and has a simpler interface than Dayforce, which is a great alternative for large enterprises. Dayforce has extensive capabilities for intricate needs, but its cost may be prohibitive for smaller businesses. Similarly, ADP, another enterprise-focused service, may overwhelm you with complex features that you don’t need.

QuickBooks integrates with other QuickBooks products, such as QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop, as well as with a number of third-party applications, including accounting software, HRIS, and time and attendance systems.

QuickBooks Pricing Plans

  • Core: $6.25 CAD/month + $4 per employee, per pay run (ideal for 1-5 employees).
  • Premium: $13.75 CAD/month + $8 per employee, per pay run (suitable for 6-10 employees).
  • Elite: $20 CAD/month + $15 per employee, per pay run (ideal for 11+ employees).

Overall, QuickBooks Payroll stands out with its user-friendly interface, affordable pricing, and Canadian-focused support. If you’re a small business seeking a simple and budget-friendly payroll solution, QuickBooks is a strong contender.

Pros

  • Affordable pricing plans
  • User-friendly interface and intuitive features
  • Dedicated Canadian support

Cons

  • Limited features for complex payroll
  • Limited benefits management
  • Only handles 1099-NEC (T4A) payments

Wave – Canadian Payroll Ideal for Freelancers and Solopreneurs

Wave payroll software

Source: Wave

Best For Starting Price Free Version Benefits Management & Tax Filing Contractor Payments
Solopreneurs, freelancers, micro-businesses Free
• Forever free
✅(Basic 1099)

Wave Payroll is a free payroll software Canada offers. It simplifies payroll for solopreneurs, freelancers, and micro-businesses. Unlike some competitors with hefty price tags, Wave offers a “forever-free” plan covering basic payroll needs, making it ideal for those just starting. However, additional features come with a fee (Plus plan).

Compared to QuickBooks, another budget-friendly option, Wave boasts a completely free plan with no hidden fees. While QuickBooks offers more features in its paid tiers, its free version might be limited for some users.

Additionally, Dayforce, a powerful choice for larger businesses, comes at a significantly higher cost and caters to complex needs that you might not require as a solopreneur.

Wave integrates with a few third-party applications, including accounting software and tax software.

Wave’s free plan covers core payroll processing, tax calculations, and direct deposit. It’s perfect for solopreneurs and micro-businesses testing the waters. Unlike Deel, which has limited functionalities in its free plan, or Gusto, which offers a free trial but then requires a paid subscription, Wave lets you use it free forever. Wave also offers dedicated Canadian support tailored to your needs.

Wave Pricing Plans

  • Free: Covers basic payroll needs for solopreneurs and micro-businesses.
  • Plus: $25 CAD/month + $6 per employee, per month (for added features like multiple pay runs and integrations). Available in all provinces and territories, except Quebec.

While Wave Payroll is a great option for starting, it might become too limited in terms of scalability as your business grows.

Pros

  • Forever-free plan
  • User-friendly interface and intuitive design
  • Canadian-focused support

Cons

  • Limited contractor payment features
  • No mobile app
  • Not suitable for complex payroll needs

Payworks – Best for Full-Service Payroll in Canada

Payworks payroll software for Canada

Source: Payworks

Best For Starting Price Free Version Benefits Management & Tax Filing Contractor Payments
Growing businesses, mid-size enterprises Available upon request

Payworks is a full-service payroll partner for Canada that provides comprehensive features, scalability, and dedicated support. Unlike some competitors, it serves bigger companies and mid-sized enterprises with proficient payroll needs and diverse workforces.

Payworks offers more extensive capabilities and compliance tools than QuickBooks, a less expensive solution for small enterprises. However, the starting price may be higher for smaller companies. Similarly, Wave, while appealing for its free plan, lacks the scalability and robust capabilities required by larger enterprises.

Payworks provides you with everything you need, including automated payroll processing, tax compliance tools, and benefits administration and reporting. Compared to Knit, which focuses on freelancers and solopreneurs, Payworks provides a full service tailored to the Canadian market (for example, tax remittances and WCB premiums are done for you, and ROEs are submitted directly to Service Canada on your behalf).

Payworks’ dedicated account managers and Canadian payroll specialists are readily available to answer your questions and ensure smooth operations.

Payworks Pricing Plans

  • Payworks offers a variety of plans, with custom quotes available based on your specific needs. Prices are available upon request.
  • No free version: requires a paid subscription.

While Payworks excels in offering a full-service solution, be aware that its cost structure can be more expensive compared to some alternatives, as it doesn’t disclose the pricing publicly. Compare features, pricing, and support options with other providers to find the best fit for your specific business needs and budget.

Pros

  • Comprehensive features
  • Adapts to your growing business needs
  • Easy to navigate and manage your payroll

Cons

  • No free version
  • No free trial
  • Prices are not disclosed

Knit – User-friendly Payroll Service in Canada

Knit payroll application for Canada

Source: Knit

Best For Starting Price Free Version Benefits Management & Tax Filing Contractor Payments
Freelancers, solopreneurs $6 CAD + $40 base
• 30-day free trial
✅(Basic 1099)

Freelancing or solopreneurship in Canada involves juggling multiple hats, and payroll should not add to the burden. Knit is another user-friendly and cost-effective payroll program for Canada. Unlike some competitors with complicated features and costly prices, Knit prioritizes simplicity and affordability, making it suitable for new entrepreneurs.

Compared to QuickBooks, another low-cost choice, Knit has a more design-focused layout and features that make it easy to use. QuickBooks provides more advanced functions, but its UI may be less simple for some people. Similarly, Wave, while appealing for its free plan, may lack the user-friendliness sought by freelancers and solopreneurs.

With Knit, you’ll stay compliant and navigate the nuances of Canadian payroll with ease. It integrates with several third-party applications, including accounting software, HRIS, time and attendance systems, and benefits providers. Knit’s Canadian-based team understands the local regulations and provides dedicated customer support.

Knit Pricing Plans

  • Lite: $6 CAD/month + $40 base price (ideal for basic needs).
  • Complete: $8 CAD/month + $50 base price (includes additional features like multiple pay schedules and integrations).
  • Concierge: tailored quote and plan.

In a nutshell, Knit is a budget-friendly option for independent professionals, but its features might not be sufficient as your business grows – it’s limited in its ability to scale.

Pros

  • Easy to navigate, even for beginners
  • Tailored to comply with Canadian regulations
  • Integrations with popular accounting software

Cons

  • Might not be suitable for complex payroll needs
  • Not ideal for businesses with employee benefits
  • Only handles basic 1099 payments

Deel – Best Global Payroll Software for Canada

Deel payroll software

Source: Deel

Best For Starting Price Free Version Benefits Management & Tax Filing Contractor Payments
Startups, freelancers, businesses with international teams Available upon request
• Up to 200 users

Deel is known as one of the best global payroll software options for Canada. It simplifies worldwide payroll and compliance for organizations of any size. Unlike competitors focusing on local payroll, Deel focuses on managing teams across borders, making it perfect for businesses with remote and international employees.

Compared to ADP, which caters to large enterprises, Deel’s flexible pricing and focus on global payroll make it more appealing to startups and freelancers. While ADP provides robust functionality for sophisticated demands, the cost may be prohibitive for smaller businesses.

Similarly, while Payworks is effective for growing Canadian firms, it lacks Deel’s global reach and contractor-centric approach.

Navigate regulations across 150+ countries with ease. Deel takes care of tax filings, payments, and local compliance, removing the headache of managing global teams. Unlike Knit, which focuses on Canadian solopreneurs, or Wave, whose features lack international capabilities, Deel specializes in global payroll solutions. It also easily integrates with some third-party applications, including accounting software, HRIS, and time and attendance systems.

Deel offers both EOR (Employer of Record) and contractor payment options, allowing you to choose the best fit for each team member.

Deel Pricing Plans

  • Free access to Deel HR for teams of up to 200 people.
  • $1,000 offered to users who combine Global Payroll and HR.

Pricing information for Global Payroll is only provided to new customers who request a free demo from Deel.

Pros

  • Global payroll and compliance across 150+ countries
  • Consolidates all your payroll data and processes in one system
  • Handles onboarding and offboarding on your behalf

Cons

  • Only suitable for companies with a lot of international employees
  • Limited transparency in pricing
  • Not the best customer support

Rippling – Best Canadian Payroll Service for Extensive Integrations

Rippling payroll service for canada

Source: Rippling

Best For Starting Price Free Version Benefits Management & Tax Filing Contractor Payments
Modern businesses, growing teams, integrations Available upon request
• (free demo only)

If you’re looking for a consolidated platform to handle your HR, payroll, and IT requirements in Canada, Rippling provides intuitive and comprehensive payroll software that is suitable for modern organizations looking to increase efficiency and automation.

Unlike some competitors that use separate systems for HR and payroll, Rippling blends the two, streamlining your operations and providing important insights.

In contrast to ADP, software for major corporations, Rippling targets smaller and mid-sized firms with its emphasis on integrations and a user-friendly platform. Additionally, Rippling ensures seamless compliance with CRA regulations, handles provincial variations, and simplifies T4/T4A slip generation – all crucial aspects for Canadian companies.

From onboarding and benefits to payroll processing and tax compliance, Rippling handles it all. Connect your favourite apps and tools to Rippling, creating a customized ecosystem that works for your business. Whether it’s Slack for communication or Gusto for expense management, Rippling integrates seamlessly to streamline your workflow – including third-party apps like Zapier, Slack, Xero, and many more.

Rippling Pricing Plans

  • Pricing is modular and based on custom quotes.

Rippling does not disclose its prices for Canadian users, but you can sign up for a free demo to see Rippling in action and get a quote.

Pros

  • Seamless integrations with popular apps and tools
  • Integrated HR and payroll in one platform
  • Canadian assistance for your payroll questions

Cons

  • No free trial or version available
  • Unclear pricing structure
  • Fewer country options than competitors

WagePoint – Best for Canada Construction Payroll

WagePoint payroll program for canada

Source: WagePoint

Best For Starting Price Free Version Benefits Management & Tax Filing Contractor Payments
Small businesses, startups $20 CAD/month + $4 per employee
• 14-day free trial
✅ (Basic 1099)

WagePoint is a budget-friendly payroll program for Canadian users. Unlike some competitors with complex features and high costs, WagePoint focuses on clarity and affordability, making it ideal for small businesses with basic to moderate payroll needs.

We like that WagePoint targets smaller ventures with its lower cost and user-friendly interface. While another competitor, ADP, offers robust features, its price tag might be prohibitive for small businesses. Additionally, Payworks, while strong for growing mid-sized businesses, might be overkill for simpler payroll needs that WagePoint readily fulfills.

WagePoint’s intuitive interface is easy to navigate, even if you’re not a payroll expert. It’s designed with small business owners in mind, making it easy to process payroll, manage taxes, and file ROEs. It also integrates with a number of third-party apps, including accounting software, HRIS, and time and attendance systems.

What’s more, WagePoint offers transparent and competitive pricing plans, making it an attractive option for cost-conscious businesses. This is a bonus point for WagePoint, as many other competitors don’t disclose their pricing (Rippling or Deel).

WagePoint Pricing Plans

  • Solo: $20 CAD/month + $4 per employee/contractor (1 payroll per month).
  • Unlimited: $40 CAD/month + $5 per employee/contractor.

With WagePoint, you can get started without breaking the bank. It also offers professional customer support, if you need help.

Pros

  • Transparent and budget-friendly pricing
  • Tailored to comply with Canadian regulations
  • Canadian-focused support

Cons

  • Only server small businesses in Canada
  • Limited contractor payment features
  • No forever free version

Humi – Best for HR Management in Canada

Humi payroll services for Canada

Source: Humi

Best For Starting Price Free Version Benefits Management & Tax Filing Contractor Payments
Growing businesses, HR integrations and management $8 CAD per month
• 14-day free trial

Humi is a small business payroll software in Canada, combining user-friendly payroll processing with powerful HR features like onboarding, benefits administration, and performance management. Unlike some competitors with separate systems, Humi streamlines your workflow and centralizes your employee data.

With Humi, you can manage all your employee needs in one platform, from onboarding and benefits to payroll processing and tax compliance. This saves time, effort, and reduces data silos. Compared to Wave, which focuses solely on payroll, or QuickBooks, whose HR features are limited, Humi offers a complete solution. Plus, Humi has integrations like Xero, Zapier, Workday, and many more.

Humi’s intuitive platform is super easy to use, even if you’re not a tech-savvy user. Plus, the mobile app keeps you connected to your employees and data on the go. Unlike Rippling, whose interface might be more complex, or WagePoint, whose focus is primarily on basic payroll, Humi prioritizes user experience and accessibility.

Humi’s Canadian HR and payroll experts are available to answer your questions and ensure your business stays compliant with all regulations. They understand the unique complexities of Canadian HR and payroll – from provincial variations in regulations, including minimum wage, and overtime rules, to vacation pay calculations.

Humi Pricing Plans

  • Plans start at $8 CAD per month per user.
  • The basics, Advanced, and The works plan have a custom quote.

You can get a free demo to discuss Humi’s platform, features, and if it’s the right fit for you.

Pros

  • Canadian-focused support and compliance
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • Integrated HR and payroll in one platform

Cons

  • Certain modules are clunky
  • Customer support might be slow
  • Lack of user configuration

Conclusion – What is the Best Payroll Software In Canada?

Ceridian (now known as Dayforce) stands out as the best payroll software in Canada with its rich features and great compliance assistance. Its capacity to manage complex payroll, navigate ever-changing regulations, and adapt to growing staff makes it an excellent choice for large and advanced enterprises.

While competitors such as ADP provide similar services for bigger companies, Ceridian Dayforce’s user-friendliness gives it an advantage. QuickBooks is still a popular choice for budget-conscious businesses, but its functionality may not be sufficient for complex requirements.

How We Test Canadian Payroll Software

Choosing the right payroll software Canada requires takes careful evaluation. To assist you, we’ve thoroughly tested each contender based on the following benchmarks:

  • Pricing – We evaluate different pricing plans and features for users in Canada to determine value for money. We look for software offering free versions, low-cost choices, or feature-rich plans to meet a variety of purposes.
  • Features – We delve into the core payroll functionalities and additional features offered. We prioritize software with comprehensive payroll processing, tax calculations, reporting, and integrations to streamline your workflow.
  • Integrations – Every integration requires seamless connectivity to existing HR, accounting, or timekeeping applications. We assess the availability and depth of integrations provided by each program to ensure a unified payroll ecosystem.
  • Automation – We evaluate the level of automation available, including automatic tax calculations and payroll processes.
  • Ease of use – A user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation are one of the key components. We test the onboarding process, data entry, reporting tools, and customer support to guarantee that Canadian users have an efficient experience.
  • Third-Party Reviews – We look into insights from reputable review platforms and industry experts to gain a comprehensive understanding of each software’s strengths, weaknesses, and user sentiment.

How To Choose the Best Payroll Software In Canada

Finding the best Canadian payroll software is more than just checking off boxes. It’s about creating the proper balance between your budget, demands, and ease of use. Here’s a guide to selecting the ideal match:

  • Budget – Review your budget alongside the features offered in different plans. Find a plan that delivers the functionality you need at a price you can afford.
  • Compatibility – On-the-go payroll management is essential. Check if the tool has a mobile app and if needed integrations, such as accounting software, are included in your selected subscription. Remember that some integrations may be limited to higher tiers.
  • Ease of Use – Read our reviews and user feedback to see how easy the product is to use. Remember that you want a system that is easy to navigate and does not require extensive configuration or training.
  • Features – Don’t settle for a bare-bones solution. Check whether the software offers all the features you need now, like automatic tax calculations and reporting. Be mindful that some advanced features might be locked in higher plans, too.
  • Support & Training – Payroll hiccups can happen. Choose a provider with reliable support options, including extended Canadian hours and multiple contact methods. Our reviews incorporate user feedback on support quality, so you can make an informed decision.
  • Scalability – Choose a dynamic software that can adapt to your growth. Consider the cost of scaling up and ensure the added functionalities you’ll need are available within the same provider.
  • Integrations – Choose software that connects smoothly with your existing Canadian accounting, bookkeeping, and other company tools. This will improve your process and save time.

FAQs

What is the best payroll software on the market?

What is the best free payroll software for small businesses in Canada?

What is the most affordable payroll service in Canada?

What is the best software for payroll calculation?

Is QuickBooks payroll or ADP better?

References

Related Reading

Inga Valiaugaite
Editor

Inga is an accomplished tech copywriter with a wealth of experience spanning 3+ years writing in the cybersecurity and fintech fields. With a Media and Communications degree in store, she's been a go-to tech wordsmith crafting content that simplifies the complex and enlightens the curious. From startups to cyber havens, she's been employing her expertise to help you navigate the intricacies of technology with ease.