Payroll software allows companies to simplify the task of calculating and distributing employee pay. While there are both desktop and online payroll software for small businesses, many of the top payroll companies have moved online.
Check out our table with a complete list of payroll software providers, and features they offer. Use it to see every feature these 74 payroll providers offer, how common each feature is, and figure out which software is right for your company.
Best Small Business Payroll Software:
$29.00 + $5.00 / employee
$36.00 + $4.00 per employee
$9.95 /pay run
$100.00 /year /employee
$399.00 for a license.
$1.00 /mo. /employee
$2500.00 one-time payment
$20,000.00 one time payment
$24.95 per download
About Our Rankings:
To create our rankings we reviewed 75 different payroll software providers, looking at features, pricing, and customer reviews. Ultimately we chose Gusto as our top pick because it offers the most features at a very affordable price. We also learned that key time-saving features, like an employee self-service portal, tax filing, automation capabilities, reporting, and compliance management, are a general standard across the majority of companies we reviewed.
Some of the more interesting and niche features we came across include reports that inform FICA Tip Credit claims for restaurants, R&D Tax Credit filing for businesses performing qualified R&D activities, and the ability to allow employees to make charitable donations directly from their paychecks.
When comparing pricing, we noticed that the prevalent cost structure is a basic service fee per month or pay run plus a smaller fee per employee with an average starting price of around $10.00 to $40.00. Only a few companies charge a one-time fee.
For help choosing the best payroll software for your business, read our step-by-step guide on how to choose a payroll software.
Payroll Feature Glossary:
256-bit SSL Encryption:
This refers to a 256-bit cipher key for encryption on an SSL connection, making data more secure.
Allows users to integrate major accounting functions onto one system with accounting software such as QuickBooks Payroll, Xero, and FreshBooks. This creates a singular portal for all payroll activities, making it easier to compare information across categories.
The homepage of your payroll software where you can access apps and services, reminders, calendars, to-do lists, employee data, and insights into your payroll data.
All Tax Forms:
Federal, state, and local tax forms are filed on behalf of your business.
Local, state, and federal payroll taxes are automatically calculated, filed, and paid. This is the most common feature we found in payroll software.
This allows team members to approve or reject payroll requests. Some payroll software solutions also allow instant messaging and media sharing.
Tool for calculating tax and benefits deductions from wages.
Federal R&D Tax Credit:
R&D tax credit (also known as research and experimentation tax credit) is awarded to businesses that incur expenses from research and development projects in the U.S. This includes wages paid to employees conducting research, money spent on equipment, and payments to energy consortia.
FICA Tip Credit for Restaurants:
FICA Tip Credit is awarded to employers when a server's tips exceed the minimum wage requirements. Tips are considered income tax, so employers are rewarded for reporting all tip earnings as well as benefits and meals.
Garnishments are a portion of an employee's wages that employers withhold for outstanding, court-ordered payments such as debt and child support. The amount is sent directly to the entity.
Integrated Pre-Tax Benefits:
Money is deducted from employees's wages before taxes, and is put towards benefits.
Multiple Pay Rates:
Tool for paying an employee multiple rates for various jobs they perform for the business.
Tool for calculating gross wage payments before taxes, based on net payment amounts.
Payroll reports are submitted to notify the government of tax liabilities. The payroll report should include bank transactions, deductions, taxes, and paid time off.
Allows employees to be reimbursed for business-related expenses such as travel costs and off-site meetings.
SuperStream is a mandatory system used by Australian employers to make their compulsory superannuation guarantee payments for employees.
Imports data on employees's hours with time-tracking systems.
Unlimited Bonus and Off-Cycle Payrolls:
Allows one-off payments like bonuses to be processed without tax deductions.
What is the price range for small business payroll software?
The base cost for small business payroll software is from $6.00 - $49.99 per month or more, depending on the number of employees you have and the features you need.
Where can I find payroll software for Mac computers?
Any online payroll software will work on a Mac. There are fewer offline payroll options all the time, but check out the App Store to see some of what's available.
Is there a cheap payroll software for small businesses?
What are some payroll software providers for accountants?
Is it still possible to get pay check printing software?
Yes, even though more and more people are switching to direct deposit and totally digital payroll solutions, companies like Intuit, Evolution Payroll Software, Abacus Payroll Software, and Patriot Software still make it possible for you to print checks.
What are the best payroll software providers for large companies?
Is it still possible to find offline payroll software?
Yes, although it's getting harder. You might check out Versacheck payroll software as one alternative.
What is the best small business payroll software for restaurants?
Is there a simple payroll software small businesses can use with a short learning curve?
Are there any open source payroll software options?
What are the different types of payroll software?
- Open Source.
- Web-based (online).
- For accountants.
- For enterprise.
- For small businesses.
Is there an online accounting software with payroll?
Yes, there's Xero, Quickbooks, Kashoo, Sage, Wave, and AccountEdge Pro payroll system software.
Is there a basic payroll software that can handle time tracking/attendance?
Yes, there are several accounting & payroll software companies that make attendance payroll software, including Quickbooks, Sage, and AccountEdge Pro.