The Best Payroll Software for Small Business Needs: Top 10 Compared for 2024

Finding the best payroll software for small business can help you better manage your time and finances. With different payroll software packages, you can calculate employee wages and tax deductions, automate repetitive tasks, and create employee self-service portals – and much more.

However, with hundreds of payroll systems available, finding the ones that work best for small businesses isn’t easy. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve created a list of the best software for small business payroll. Keep reading to learn more about our picks, including the cheapest, most feature-rich, and most flexible payroll services – so you can find the best payroll software for small business for your organization.

Top 10 Tools for Small Business Payroll Management

Our top pick for the best payroll system for small business owners is Rippling, thanks to its exceptional all-in-one business services. Here’s our list of the best small business payroll software, and you’ll find our in-depth reviews of each provider below.

  1. Rippling$35 + $8/month — Overall, the best payroll software for small business needs in 2024, which provides a scalable all-in-one solution.
  2. Paychex$39 + $5/user/month — Budget-friendly payroll system with exceptional employee self-service tools.
  3. DeelCustom-Priced — A beginner-friendly platform with unmatched customer support and excellent remote workforce features.
  4. ADPCustom-Priced — Ideal for tax filing as it can deal with inquiries from tax agencies and pay fines in the event of mistakes.
  5. OnPay$40 + $6/user/month — A feature-rich payroll service with transparent pricing, which is ideal for small businesses on a budget.
  6. Gusto$40/month + $6/user/month — Integrates with numerous third-party services and helps you hire, pay, and manage your workforce.
  7. QuickBooks$45 + $6/user/month — Full-service payroll with reliable automation that lets you focus on your business instead of administrative tasks.
  8. RemoteCustom-Priced — Excellent payroll solution for businesses with a global workforce running in-house payroll processing.
  9. Homebase$39 + $6/user/month — Comprehensive time-tracking features that let you convert your timesheets to payroll with a single click.
  10. SurePayrollCustom-Priced — In-depth payroll reports to help you stay organized and in control of your payroll process.

Why Your Small Business Should Use Payroll Software

Integrating a payroll service into your small business can transform your operations and improve efficiency, accurate recordkeeping, and compliance.

Automated calculations, streamlined tax management, and error reduction are just some of the benefits payroll systems offer, and they can help you focus on your business by reducing admin.

Here, we’ll discuss some crucial benefits payroll software brings to your company to help you make an informed decision.

Accuracy

Unlike manual payroll calculations, the best payroll processing software isn’t susceptible to human error, which can result in overpayments, underpayments, and compliance issues. Payroll solutions can simplify complex calculations, such as tax withholding and deductions, in minutes.

In addition, payroll software stays up-to-date with ever-changing tax and legal regulations that apply to different industries. That means you can rest easy knowing your payroll software calculates employee taxes accurately, preventing potential penalties and fines for non-compliance.

Some payroll companies will also warn you about inconsistencies, such as conflicting or missing data, alerting you to potential issues stemming from manual data entry.

Tax Compliance

Leveraging payroll software for tax compliance can help your small business mitigate the complexity of tax management and ensure you meet all your tax obligations accurately and on time. It can generate and file necessary tax forms, including W2s and 1099s, reducing the risk of costly errors in tax reporting and saving you time.

The best payroll system for small business owners can also help reconcile payroll tax deposits and provide records for audits. In addition, it gives you peace of mind knowing that it can calculate the correct amount for each employee’s paycheck based on their preferences and tax rates.

Integration

Considering integration capabilities is crucial when comparing the best payroll companies for small business owners.

Since payroll closely connects with other aspects of your business, such as accounting, human resources, and time tracking, finding a solution that seamlessly shares data with your other business solutions can help with time management.

For example, integrating your payroll software with the best accounting software for small business ensures tax calculations and filings are synchronized, minimizing compliance risks and inconsistencies.

Reporting

The best payroll services for small business owners offer comprehensive reporting features that can provide actionable insights. For example, you’ll get valuable visibility into your labor costs, payroll performance, tax liabilities, and other metrics.

Depending on your payroll software, you’ll have a variety of customizable reports to tailor to your business’s needs. For example, you can track employee attendance, benefits utilization, overtime trends, and more. This provides a detailed view of your staffing and costs, allowing you to make better business decisions.

Mobile Accessibility

Opting for a mobile-compatible payroll solution lets you access and manage various payroll-related tasks while on the go. This allows you and your team managers to stay connected to your workforce, even when away from the office.

In addition, real-time access to payroll data ensures you can approve a payroll run anywhere, make last-minute adjustments, and address issues.

One significant advantage of having a payroll solution with mobile accessibility is the ability to access employee self-service portals. This feature, typically found in full-service payroll systems, helps your employees view their pay stubs, benefit information, and tax forms via the provider’s mobile app or website.

What Does a Full-Service Payroll System Offer Businesses?

A full-service payroll system aims to automate as much of the payroll process as possible, minimizing the need for manual work. While full-service payroll comes at a higher price point, it offers unmatched cost and time savings and a more hands-off payroll management experience.

However, since these solutions typically have a dedicated team that handles all payroll processing tasks in your stead, they aren’t as customizable and flexible as in-house payroll solutions. Here are some benefits to expect if you opt for a full-service payroll system:

  • Real-Time Data — The dedicated team will update your records in real-time, including billable hours, salaries, deductions, and bonuses for each employee. This can be invaluable for accurate data keeping and generating reports.
  • Customer Support — Full-service payroll solutions provide great customer support to help businesses with payroll-related questions and issues. This means you’ll be less likely to make an error, making these services ideal for first-time users.
  • Benefits Administration — Some providers offer benefits management for each employee, calculating and deducting contributions for retirement plans, health insurance, and other employee benefits.
  • Direct Deposits and Payments — Full-service teams ensure timely and accurate distribution of salaries by facilitating direct deposit payments to employees’ bank accounts or issuing physical paychecks.
  • Onboarding — The best full-service payroll solutions can assist you in onboarding new members, helping them complete necessary payroll-related paperwork and set up direct deposit accounts.

Although traditional payroll software helps save time and keeps accurate records of your obligations toward employees, outsourcing these tasks to a full-service provider minimizes the administrative burden on you and your managers, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Comparing the Best Payroll Companies for Small Business Needs

To provide an at-a-glance comparison of the payroll providers on our list and their offers and features, we’ve created a comprehensive master table. So, what’s the best accounting and payroll software for small business for you?

Payroll System Best For Cheapest Plan Free Version Benefits Management Contractor Payments Tax Filing
Rippling Best overall $35 + $8/user/month None Yes Yes Yes
Paychex Employee Experience $39/month + $5/user/month None Requires add-ons Yes Yes
Deel Usability Custom None Yes Yes Yes
ADP Tax Filing Custom None Yes Yes Yes
OnPay Industry-Specific Payroll $40/month + $6/user/month 30-Day Free Trial Yes Yes Yes
Gusto Integrations $40/month + $6/user/month None Yes Yes Yes
QuickBooks Benefits Administration $45/month + $6/user/month 30-Day Free Trial Yes Yes Yes
Remote Global Payroll Custom Free Plan Yes Requires add-ons Yes
Homebase Time Tracking $39 + $6/user/month Free Plan + 14-Day Free Trial Requires add-ons Requires add-ons Requires add-ons
SurePayroll Reports and Analytics Custom 30-Day Free Trial Yes Yes Yes

The Best Small Business Payroll Solutions Reviewed

Now that you know what to expect from these services, we’ll dive into the details for each provider on our list. Here, you’ll learn more about their features, unique benefits, pricing, and more.

1. Rippling — Overall, the Best Payroll Software for Small Business Needs

Rippling stands out from the competition because it provides an exceptional all-in-one solution for small businesses that can help you manage your payroll and HR processes effortlessly – and it’s one of the best EOR solutions around.

As the best HR and payroll software for small business owners, Rippling provides numerous advanced features to streamline workforce management. Although an all-in-one solution may sound complicated to master, this provider ensures you’re comfortable by providing a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

best payroll software for small business

Best For

Cheapest Plan

Free Version

Benefits Management

Contractor Payments

Tax Filing

Best overall

$35 + $8/user/month

None

Yes

Yes

Yes

Rippling is an ideal pick for small businesses with a global workforce, especially if you work with contractors and require onboarding features. It can ensure compliance in over 100 countries and help you tackle complex tax filing processes in foreign countries.

In addition, it’s ideal for multi-state employment in the US, as it handles new hire reporting, state-specific tax forms, and year-end W2s, no matter the state.

Thanks to its impressive customization and ease of use, Rippling lets you create reports that include charts, dynamic date ranges, and formulas without you needing any coding knowledge.

These provide an in-depth view of your payroll and tax data, allowing you to make better business decisions, and you can download or share them as spreadsheets.

Although it can be relatively expensive, depending on add-ons, Rippling’s feature-rich payroll solution is great for growing businesses. It integrates with hundreds of popular business solutions and makes data importing a breeze, so you can effortlessly switch to its platform and integrate with your other tools.

Pricing

Rippling doesn’t offer a fixed set of pricing plans, as it provides a custom plan for each business based on its needs and preferences. That means you’ll have to contact its sales team for a quote that fits your requirements. However, it has a minimum $35 + $8/user/month fee, making it an affordable payroll service.

Pros 

  • Excellent customization
  • Device management for remote teams
  • Flexible payroll processing
  • Numerous third-party integrations
  • Automated tax information filling

Cons 

  • No free plan or trial

2. Paychex — Budget-Friendly Payroll System 

Paychex is the cheapest payroll software for small business and micro business owners and one of the only payroll providers with features for self-employed professionals. Its subscription-based plans offer excellent payroll management features, and the service is compatible with numerous third-party solutions and add-ons.

It excels at handling complex, unlimited payroll processes, including calculating wages, withholding taxes, and processing direct deposits and checks.

best hr and payroll software for small business

Best For

Cheapest Plan

Free Version

Benefits Management

Contractor Payments

Tax Filing

Employee Experience

$39/month + $5/user/month

None

Requires add-ons

Yes

Yes

You can access its platform via desktop and mobile devices, enter your payroll with a few clicks, and contact a dedicated payroll manager to help you. In addition, Paychex lets you automatically calculate, file, and pay taxes directly from its platform.

Besides making payroll management a breeze for small business owners, Paychex can boost employee satisfaction. Adding your existing and future employees to your Paychex account lets them use its employee self-service portal via their desktop and mobile devices.

The portal can improve team collaboration by providing insights into your recent business activities and letting your employees view their pay and tax information.

In addition, Paychex offers numerous add-ons to offer advanced features for your employees. For example, opting for its Paycheck Preview add-on lets your employees review their paychecks before payday, which can reduce discrepancies and reduce the need for costly corrections.

Paychex is an excellent pick if you’re looking for the best accounting and payroll for small business needs, given that it offers some advanced features you typically only find in accounting tools.

For example, you can opt for its time and attendance-tracking add-on, which can help with scheduling, vacation requests, time off management, labor distribution, and more.

Pricing

Paychex offers three subscription-based plans for its payroll services for small business owners. Its cheapest payroll service lets you access most of its payroll features, while the more expensive plans add functionality with HR features.

While its most expensive plan, Pro, includes some add-ons, Paychex still charges additional fees for retirement services and time-tracking, among others.

best hr and payroll software for small business

Pros 

  • Excellent 24/7 customer support
  • Affordable
  • Simplifies hiring and onboarding
  • Includes numerous HR features
  • In-depth analytics

Cons 

  •  Additional fees for some features

3. Deel — Beginner-Friendly Platform With Unmatched Customer Support

Deel is one of the leading payroll companies for small business owners looking to improve their HR and payroll management. Whether you opt for its HR add-on – one of the best cloud HR software solutions – or use a third-party program, Deel will help you synchronize your data and manage it from one platform.

Unlike many competitors, Deel excels at onboarding new team members, no matter where they’re from. You can prepare compliant employment contracts and handle all payroll calculations, which means your new team members just need to get used to the platform – and it’s one of the most user-friendly portals in the industry.

Deel HR

Best For

Cheapest Plan

Free Version

Benefits Management

Contractor Payments

Tax Filing

Usability

Custom

None

Yes

Yes

Yes

Although Deel doesn’t offer a free plan or trial for its payroll features, adding HR features to your payroll plan is free. This makes it an excellent pick for small companies looking to improve their leave management, employee data records, and documentation storage.

Since these features are free for teams of up to 200 employees, Deel is an excellent choice for growing businesses looking for a budget-friendly solution.

Besides its user-friendly interface, Deel provides some of the best customer support in the industry. Its agents are knowledgeable and resourceful, and you can contact them 24/7 via live chat or using Deel’s web ticketing system. In addition, Deel has a knowledge hub with helpful tips for managing a global workforce.

Deel provides an impressively well-designed self-service platform for employees that can help them with onboarding. In addition, the platform can reduce your admin hours by allowing your employees to check their tax documents, payslips, and contracts with a single click.

Pricing

While it publicly displays its pricing for its other business solutions, Deel doesn’t disclose its payroll pricing. You’ll need to contact the sales team for a quote after you decide on the features you need.

cheap payroll service

Pros 

  • Excellent add-ons
  • Beginner-friendly interface
  • Helpful payroll templates
  • Ideal for immigration and visa-sponsoring
  • Secure data storage

Cons 

  • Can get expensive as your business grows

4. ADP — Ideal for Tax Filing

ADP, founded in 1949, has a rich history as a provider of human capital management solutions, which include payroll, HR, time management, and more. With over 60,000 agents providing full-service payroll solutions to more than a million companies worldwide, ADP is a reliable choice for small-to-large businesses.

Its key strengths lie in its comprehensive payroll features, which offer numerous benefits for small business owners. You can task ADP with placing direct deposits into employee accounts or delivering paychecks to your business for you to hand them out, and this payroll provider will ensure they arrive on time.

payroll for small business

Best For

Cheapest Plan

Free Version

Benefits Management

Contractor Payments

Tax Filing

Tax Filing

Custom

None

Yes

Yes

Yes

As a full-service payroll system, ADP can reduce your admin hours to a minimum so you can focus on your business processes instead. It’ll calculate and pay taxes automatically, send you quarterly and annual reports, handle IRS inquiries in your stead, and much more.

Besides saving you time, this service ensures accuracy and lets you rest easy, knowing you won’t face any compliance issues. In addition, ADP will continuously notify you about recent wage and hour law changes, new hire reporting regulations, payroll and tax requirements, and more.

ADP’s feature-rich plans also let you subscribe to its impressive add-on selection. It can help you create well-planned small business marketing campaigns to attract new customers and grow your business.

In addition, it can help you attract talent by offering a competitive retirement plan, health insurance, and workers’ compensation add-ons to meet your employees’ health and wellness needs.

Pricing

ADP doesn’t publicly disclose its payroll pricing since it takes your business’s needs and requirements into account before providing a quote. However, it has four plans you can choose from, including an essential payroll plan and plans with background checks for new employees, added HR features, and HR support.

payroll for small business

Pros 

  • Great for business growth
  • Well-designed and intuitive mobile apps
  • Seamless integration with accounting tools, including QuickBooks
  • Reliable 24/7 customer support
  • Comprehensive HR features

Cons 

  • Time and attendance tracking available only via an add-on

5. OnPay — Feature-Rich Payroll Service

OnPay ensures you can easily manage payroll and HR tasks with minimal effort via its simple and easy-to-use platform. Its simplicity and transparent pricing make it ideal for beginners, as it’s easy to master and doesn’t charge you for employees who aren’t paid in a given month, leaving room for mistakes on your part.

The platform is the cheapest payroll software for small business owners if you’re in the market for a full-service payroll solution. That means you can rely on OnPay to handle tax and payroll, including complex tasks like deducing garnishments or unemployment insurance withholding.

small business payroll

Best For

Cheapest Plan

Free Version

Benefits Management

Contractor Payments

Tax Filing

Industry-Specific Payroll

$40/month + $6/user/month

30-Day Free Trial

Yes

Yes

Yes

OnPay provides unmatched industry-specific features for small businesses at no extra cost. For example, it can automate all of the calculations for restaurant owners, from overtime hours to minimum wage tips. It’s also the cheapest payroll service to offer expertise for agricultural businesses that struggle with complex tax filing.

Although OnPay doesn’t integrate with as many business services as some competitors, it integrates with popular accounting tools like Xero and QuickBooks, and it won’t subject you to add-on fees for its HR features.

 

These can help you with onboarding, storing documents and employee data, and compliance audits, among other tasks. This payroll service can also help you deal with paid time off (PTO) and PPTO.

It lets you set up custom paid time off policies and split PTO earnings into categories depending on factors like seniority, location, or employee type. Besides making PTO easy to calculate, OnPay helps your team managers and employees arrange and track PTO on its platform.

Pricing

OnPay has a single, transparent pricing plan that costs $40/month. In addition, you’ll be paying $6/month for each employee, up to 1,000 employees. This makes it an excellent pick for growing businesses seeking a solution that combines efficiency and affordability.

full service payroll

Pros 

  • Transparent pricing
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • User-friendly platform
  • PTO calendar and reminders
  • Pay-as-you-go policies

Cons 

  • Fewer integrations than most of its competition

6. Gusto — Integrates With Numerous Third-Party Services

Gusto is a user-friendly solution for workforce management that offers affordable services and an exceptional plan for contractor-only businesses.

It integrates with more third-party business solutions than most of its competition, making Gusto a popular choice for businesses already using some of the best project management tools or similar platforms.

payroll software

Best For

Cheapest Plan

Free Version

Benefits Management

Contractor Payments

Tax Filing

Integrations

$40/month + $6/user/month

None

Yes

Yes

Yes

The platform’s payroll solutions are accurate, easy to use, compliant with complex, ever-changing tax regulations, and practically automatic once you register. Gusto lets you make next-day payments, meaning you won’t have to plan your payroll a week in advance, leaving room for last-minute changes.

Gusto is impressively easy to get started with and supports online signatures to make your initial registration and bank accounting linking a breeze – it might just be the easiest payroll software for small business out there.

Since providing state tax information is complicated, Gusto can register your business for you for a small fee and mail you your tax account numbers and rates.

While navigating its interface, we noticed how intuitive it is and that it includes numerous features other providers charge additional fees for.

From time-off reports and hiring and onboarding tools to employee financial benefits and health insurance, Gusto offers a transparent service via its easy-to-use platform. This means you won’t have to hire an accountant and send over paperwork for every hire, as you can do it with a click.

However, while reading through first-hand user experiences, we noticed its time-tracking and earnings features don’t work for eCommerce platforms. For example, if you integrate Gusto with Shopify, you’ll need another third-party service for time-tracking and earnings summarizing.

Pricing

Gusto has three transparent, well-priced plans you can switch between as your business needs and preferences change. Although its cheapest payroll plan is ideal for small businesses that don’t depend on time tracking, its more expensive plans add HR and remote work functionality.

For contractor-only businesses, you’ll pay a smaller fee of $35/month plus $5/contractor/month, and the plan is free for the first six months.

пayroll for small business

Pros 

  • Excellent employee financial wellness tools
  • Modern, well-designed interface
  • Customizable employee surveys
  • Great scalability for growing businesses

Cons 

  • No time tracking in its cheapest plan

7. QuickBooks — Full-Service Payroll With Reliable Automation

QuickBooks payroll is an excellent pick for small business owners looking for a full-service payroll provider that lets you automate most of its features. While testing its interface, we noticed you need to make just one successful payroll run to be eligible for its auto payroll feature, which lets you set up scheduled payrolls.

While the provider can automatically make direct deposits to the bank accounts of your workers, you can configure the software to ask permission before transferring the funds. In addition, it won’t withdraw the funds until its payday, and you can schedule next-day payrolls when in a hurry.

payroll systems

Best For

Cheapest Plan

Free Version

Benefits Management

Contractor Payments

Tax Filing

Benefits Administration

$45/month + $6/user/month

30-Day Free Trial

Yes

Yes

Yes

QuickBooks helps you take care of your team, even with its cheapest payroll service, by giving you access to affordable 401(k) plans and excellent healthcare packages.

It teams up with Guideline, an easy-to-use retirement plans service that lets your team members decide how much they want to spend on retirement with each salary.

For healthcare, QuickBooks partners with SimplyInsured to offer nationwide medical, dental, and vision insurance. Thanks to this partnership, it takes less than ten minutes to bring these benefits to your employees.

According to Glassdoor, health insurance impacts employees’ satisfaction the most, making it highly beneficial for small businesses.

QuickBooks helps you handle W-2 and 1099 forms by automatically preparing and filing them electronically. In addition, it will send a copy of the forms to your employees and give contractors online access to their forms.

Pricing

Although we’re impressed with its intuitive interface and the speed and accuracy of its payroll service, QuickBooks offers fewer features than most of its competition on its cheapest plan.

That’s because most of its advanced features, including time and project tracking and HR features, are reserved for its more expensive plans. That said, it’s one of the only leading payroll services to offer a lengthy free trial, allowing you to try its services risk-free today.

QuickBooks payroll

Pros 

  • Next-day and same-day direct deposit
  • Tax penalty protection with its most expensive plan
  • Well-designed, customizable reports
  • Available in all 50 states

Cons 

  • More expensive than most of its competition

8. Remote — Excellent Payroll Solution for Businesses with a Global Workforce

Remote offers unmatched expertise with global payroll, with in-house experts in local jurisdictions in over 180 countries worldwide. It also makes onboarding a remote team easy by helping you handle country-specific benefits and taxes. In addition, it offers EOR services to simplify global employment and contractor payments.

Thanks to its free plan, which is ideal for learning the ropes of Remote, we familiarized ourselves with its interface, which was easy to navigate and informative of every feature it offers.

cheap payroll service

Best For

Cheapest Plan

Free Version

Benefits Management

Contractor Payments

Tax Filing

Global Payroll

Custom

Free Plan

Yes

Requires add-ons

Yes

We also contacted its customer support, asking questions about onboarding and global payroll processing, and received a swift, informative answer from the team that was straight to the point.

Remote offers a unique benefit to businesses looking to hire abroad, as it helps you calculate global payroll and create estimates on profit and loss related to paying for benefits, tax filing, and other fees in foreign countries.

That means you’ll know in advance if hiring in certain countries is optimal for your business, and if it is, Remote will handle all the intricacies of filing taxes and handling employment there.

Managing a workforce that operates in different time zones, with different holidays, and under different laws can get complicated quickly.

Remote can help improve your team’s collaboration by allowing you to schedule PTO, pay your workers in their local currency, and provide the best healthcare and retirement benefits in any country Remote operates in.

Although Remote is the best software for payroll for small business owners with remote workers, managing a local workforce may be cheaper and more streamlined with the other providers on our list.

Pricing

Remote can help you establish an accurate and reliable payroll process for a diverse team, but it doesn’t disclose the costs of its features. You’ll need to contact its sales teams for a quote, but thanks to its free plan, you can check out its interface risk-free today.

payroll software for small business

Pros 

  • Free plan that’s ideal for testing
  • Custom setup options
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Seamless onboarding for global employees

Cons 

  • Doesn’t disclose its pricing for payroll features

9. Homebase — Comprehensive Time-Tracking Features

Homebase stands out from the competition with its impressive time-tracking features that are included even with its free plan. This all-in-one employee scheduling and HR solution provides payroll services via an add-on.

However, it has a comprehensive free plan compatible with its payroll add-on, meaning you can use its other features for free.

small business payroll

Best For

Cheapest Plan

Free Version

Benefits Management

Contractor Payments

Tax Filing

Time Tracking

$39 + $6/user/month

Free Plan + 14-Day Free Trial

Requires add-ons

Requires add-ons

Requires add-ons

Integrating its payroll add-on with its other services lets you utilize its time-tracking and scheduling to track hours, overtime, breaks, tips, and wages and turn them into payroll within seconds.

Unlike most time-tracking solutions, Homebase gives you an invaluable tool, Time Clock, that works on most Android, iOS, and desktop devices and helps minimize labor theft and control labor costs.

Since Homebase is mainly a time-tracking and scheduling tool, all its payroll features are enabled by opting for its payroll add-on. From there on, it operates as a full-featured payroll service that handles your tax filing, provides employee satisfaction benefits, and helps you fill out 1099 contractor forms.

Homebase is also one of the best payroll systems for automation since it has time tracking, payroll running, and tax filing as a part of a single platform, which allows you to pay your workers with minimal admin hours.

You simply need to input your business’s hourly wages per employee role and let Homebase do the rest, from converting billable hours to payroll and distributing the salaries to automatically filing taxes.

However, if you’re looking for a service that lets you run payroll for a global workforce, Homebase may not be the best option.

Pricing

Homebase is priced on its HR, time-tracking, and scheduling features, split into four tiers. Its free forever tier offers excellent features that complement its payroll add-on, meaning you won’t have to pay for anything but payroll as a small business owner.

However, if you’d like a more in-depth workforce management platform, you can consider one of its more expensive plans.

small business payroll

Pros 

  • Free-forever plan
  • Helps you turn phones, tablets, and desktops into time clocks
  • Drag-and-drop scheduling tool
  • Superb onboarding and offboarding features

Cons 

  • No global payroll

10. SurePayroll — In-Depth Payroll Reports

SurePayroll is a comprehensive payroll solution that helps small businesses run and understand their payroll processes. It’s also one of the best payroll systems for employers hiring childcare-related help, such as nannies, caregivers, or other domestic workers.

Whether you’re paying your workers or household help, SurePayroll will get the job done in minutes and automatically calculate and file taxes, freeing up your time to focus on your business.

payroll software for small business

Best For

Cheapest Plan

Free Version

Benefits Management

Contractor Payments

Tax Filing

Reports and Analytics

Custom

30-Day Free Trial

Yes

Yes

Yes

It’s a full-service payroll system, meaning you can just input your employees’ hours or salary, preview deductibles, and hit approve to let SurePayroll do all the work for you. Running a payroll with any payroll provider is easy, but understanding your payroll process while remaining highly organized can be a challenge.

That’s why SurePayroll provides a variety of report templates to help you get into the details of your business’s expenses. These reports include payroll summary, date range, deductions, check register, cash requirements, taxable wages, and more.

SurePayroll stands out from the competition with its taxes paid and filed guarantee. Although the service excels at tax filing and stays on top of changing tax laws so you don’t have to, SurePayroll will handle any expenses associated with mistakes made while filing taxes.

It lets you use its pre-employment screening features to run background checks, behavioral assessments, and skill testing on your potential employees to ensure a safe and healthy working environment. Regarding benefits administration, SurePayroll will manage FSA and HSA funds and 401(k) deductions.

Pricing

SurePayroll offers two pricing plans for small businesses – No Tax Filing and Full Service. Although it doesn’t disclose its monthly fees until you register and provide company data, reading through user reviews suggests it charges less than most of its competition.

However, its price can increase if you require additional HR features that other providers typically include in their plans.

Pros 

  • Supports multiple vertical payroll types
  • Integrates with excellent accounting tools, including FreshBooks
  • Well-designed and feature-rich mobile app

Cons 

  • Fewer HR features than similar providers

How We Ranked the Best Small Business Payroll Software Services

To ensure the payroll providers on our list fit the needs and requirements of small businesses looking to improve their workforce management, we explored what these services offer and how easy they are to use.

From seamless payroll processing to accommodating regulatory requirements, the payroll systems on our list offer unmatched accuracy and speed.

Since there are dozens of payroll systems to choose from, we focused on these core factors while deciding which services to include on our list:

Deposit Options

Direct deposit and check issuance are two fundamental methods of paying employees, and ensuring your payroll software supports both options can increase your employees’ satisfaction.

Consider payroll systems with same-day and next-day deposit options to allow for faster access to funds for employees and ensure flexibility and convenience.

Direct deposits allow for the seamless transfer of employees’ wages or salaries into their bank accounts, providing security and efficiency. However, since some employees prefer check issuance, it would be wise to consider their preferences before deciding on a payroll system.

Pricing

This crucial consideration goes beyond just the cost of the software itself when evaluating payroll software services. While creating our list, we assessed the overall value provided to small businesses, including the payroll system’s features and functionality.

For example, software that offers HR, tax compliance, and payroll features in a single plan that costs less than what the average accountant would charge you for a single one-on-one session provides incredible value for your business.

Additionally, custom-priced payroll systems will often include all the features you need for a fair price, ensuring you aren’t paying extra for unnecessary functionality.

Growth

Future-proofing a business’s payroll system should be your goal if you own a fast-growing small business. That minimizes the need for frequent software replacements and data migration and ensures your business can grow without compromising performance, efficiency, or accuracy.

Consider software that offers services for a wide range of users and can seamlessly handle increased data volumes and user accounts as your business expands. However, having a scalable solution doesn’t automatically mean it should be expensive.

Although some payroll providers increase their pricing as you add more users, there are affordable solutions to consider as you transition from a small business to a medium-sized company, including OnPay and Rippling.

Security 

As with any software that connects to your bank and manages your finances, considering the security of payroll systems is crucial. They house sensitive employee data, tax details, and company and financial information, meaning they should have robust security measures to protect this data.

Each payroll provider on our list utilizes encryption protocols to protect data during transmission and storage, ensuring no unauthorized parties can access it. In addition, some payroll providers offer two-factor authentication and role-based permissions.

However, it’s up to your employees to protect their accounts from social engineering attacks, such as phishing, and the best way to do that is to use one of the best password managers company-wide.

Our Other HR and Payroll Guides

From payroll to HR management and beyond, our guides offer expert advice and product reviews on a range of valuable business tools. Here’s a list of guides spanning the HR and accounting sectors.

Conclusion – What is the Best Payroll Software for Small Business Needs?

We’re confident Rippling is the top contender for small businesses seeking the best payroll services for their unique needs. It offers robust features for accurate wage calculations, efficient payroll management, tax compliance, and other crucial and complex processes.

What sets it apart from its competition is its holistic approach to workforce management via its all-in-one platform and plans.

It seamlessly integrates its payroll features with other HR functions, including benefits administration, employee onboarding, and time tracking. Moreover, it provides simple automation features that help you avoid repetitive tasks and minimize errors.

In addition, it integrates with numerous third-party apps, so switching to Rippling is simple. All of this makes Rippling the best payroll software for small business owners looking for a long-term solution. You can contact Rippling’s sales team for a quote and start streamlining your payroll and HR operations today.

Small Business Payroll FAQs

What is the best free payroll software?

What payroll system do most companies use?

Can QuickBooks do payroll?

How do I run my own payroll?

Is Excel good for payroll?

What is the cheapest payroll software for small business?

Ilijia Miljkovac

Ilija Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with 7 years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about everything from cybersecurity to ISPs, ensuring businesses and customers are educated about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not maniacally hacking away at his keyboard, Ilija spends his time either hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.