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With so many different Canadian payroll software solutions available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want to streamline and simplify the process of calculating and managing employee wages, deductions, and tax withholdings for businesses operating in Canada—but now need to figure out which tool is best. In this post, I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using Canadian payroll software with teams of all sizes, with my picks of the best Canadian payroll software overall.

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Best Canadian Payroll Software Comparison Chart

This comparison chart summarizes key pricing details for my top Canadian payroll software selections, or you can scroll down to compare more detailed specs side-by-side.

Tools Price
Deel Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people
Papaya Global From $15/employee/month
Humi From $8/user/month
Rise From $8/user/month (billed annually)
Rippling From $8/user/month (billed annually)
ADP Workforce Now From $62/month
Remofirst From $25/user/month (billed annually)
QuickBooks Online From $15/user/month
Ceridian Dayforce Pricing upon request
Push Operations From $11 per employee, per month
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

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How to Choose Canadian Payroll Software

Canadian payroll software offers numerous benefits for Canadian organizations, including straightforward compliance monitoring against Canadian laws and regulations, to start. To help you figure out which Canadian payroll software best fits your needs, you need to pinpoint your key users and document their specific challenges first.

As you work through your own unique software selection process, keep the following points in mind:

  • What problem are you trying to solve - Start by identifying the challenges you're trying to overcome. This will help you clarify the features and functionalities the payroll software needs to provide.
  • Who will need to use it - To evaluate cost and requirements, consider who will use the software and how many licenses you'll need. You'll need to evaluate if it'll just be your HR professionals, select accounting staff, or entire departments that will require admin-level access. Once that's clear, it's also useful to rank the needs of your different users to identify the key priorities for your power users, managers, and employees, to ensure they're all met.
  • What other tools it needs to work with - Clarify what tools you're replacing, what tools are staying, and the tools you'll need to integrate with, such as accounting, time-tracking, or other human resources software. You'll need to decide if the tools will need to integrate together, or alternatively, if you can replace multiple tools with one all-in-one Canadian HR management system.
  • What outcomes are important - Review the capabilities you want to gain or improve, and how you will measure success. For example, you may want to provide more flexible payment options for your employees, such as on-demand pay. You could compare software features until you’re blue in the face but if you aren’t thinking about the outcomes you want to achieve, you could waste a lot of valuable time.
  • How it would work within your organization - Consider the software selection alongside your existing workflows and systems. Evaluate what's working well, and any problem areas that need to be addressed.

Remember every business is different — don’t assume that a payroll system will work for your organization just because it's popular or made in Canada.

Best Canadian Payroll Software Reviews

Here’s a brief description of each 1op 10 Canadian payroll software solution, including each tool’s best use case, some highlighted features, and screenshots to give you a sense of the user interface. Keep reading to find additional bonus picks at the bottom of the list.

Best global payroll solution for Canadian organizations interested in hiring foreign talent

  • Free demo available
  • Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

Deel is a global HR solution with global payroll features that companies can run even without supervision. This software can run payroll in over 90 different countries worldwide, including Canada, while also streamlining operations, and eliminating problems with handling taxes, local compliance, and benefits.

Deel's payroll software helps Canadian businesses stay compliant with relevant Canadian regulations. Canadian businesses won’t have to worry about taxes, compliance, government declarations, and calculations as Deel will handle everything for them.

Companies can get their entire team operational with Deel in just a month, which is impressive since other payroll providers often take many months to finish the payroll setup process. Subscribing to one of Deel’s plans with payroll functionalities can help Canadian businesses expand and hire more talent abroad while ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations by being able to handle taxes, provide benefits, and handle local, legal, tax, and accounting expertise.

Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include an easy-to-use platform that unifies EOR (employer of record) services, contractor payments, and payroll management. Deel’s in-house payroll team processes payroll directly and provides end users with support to resolve any issues within your payroll process. In addition, Deel can help you offer localized benefits for staff based within Canada or any other location they support.

Integrations include Ashby, BambooHR, Expensify, Greenhouse, Hibob, Netsuite, Okta, OneLogin, Quickbooks, SCIM, Xero, Workday, and Workable. They also have an API that supports additional custom integrations as well.

Pricing for Deel is a flat rate and varies depending on the country you're based in and the type of plan you select. They offer three plans: Direct Employees, Contractors, or EOR Employees. Payroll handling features are only available in the Direct Employees and EOR Employees packages.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Manages Canadian compliance obligations on your behalf
  • Flat rate pricing with no hidden fees
  • Add-ons available to localized benefits and global payroll

Cons:

  • No free trial available
  • Could be too pricey for small businesses

Best global payroll software for Canadian organizations with global expansion plans

  • Free demo available
  • From $15/employee/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Papaya Global is a global payroll platform offering smart, simple, and streamlined payroll solutions for many companies worldwide, including ones in Canada. Their global payroll platform supports 160+ countries and comes with payroll, compliance, benefits, and HR features that are suited for global businesses. Using this solution allows companies to comply with Canadian regulations, including SOC2.

Using Papaya Global, Canadian businesses receive a robust payroll solution that handles their local payroll needs, plus the added ability to hire talent abroad while also ensuring that they comply with all relevant regulations. New customers will be able to go live with the platform quickly, get 360-degree visibility on their workforce spending, and boost productivity and performance when using their solution.

Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include numerous payroll automations for payroll calculations, tax filing, compliance, equities, and time and attendance tracking. Businesses can also access all their data from one intuitive dashboard, giving them a comprehensive view of their entire workforce. From there they can request standardized reports and handle risk-free payroll payments without leaving the platform.

Integrations are available with most financial tools, as well as with BambooHR, Expensify, NetSuite, SAP SuccessFactors, and Workday.

Pricing for Papaya Global varies depending on the end user’s use case and country. They charge a setup fee per location, a cycle fee per employee, and a year-end fee for tax filing. Papaya Global does not charge any additional fees.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Automatic compliance monitoring
  • Can be used to pay international contractors or foreign employees
  • Well-suited for companies interested in global expansion

Cons:

  • No mobile app
  • Pricing structure can be complex depending on your workforce needs

Best payroll software for teams seeking a Canadian based, user-friendly option

  • Free demo available
  • From $8/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

Payroll is, by nature, complicated. Humi aims to take the guesswork out of payroll and HR software by making their interface as intuitive and easy-to-use as possible. HR info such as hires, terminations, vacation usage, and benefits enrollment are integrated with payroll processing, reducing dual entry work. Employees can also access self service pay stubs that detail vacation accruals and deduction breakdowns, and easily receive direct deposits.

Humi provides an excellent option for Canadian businesses or teams with HR in Canada because T4s, Records Of Employment (ROE), Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) remittances, and Employer Health Tax (EHT) calculations are automatically included in the platform. Multi-province payroll makes it easy to manage employees across the country. And Humi’s tax engine is specifically designed for Canadian regulations, making any audit and compliance efforts that much easier. Standout Features and Integrations: Features include unlimited pay runs, automatic T4 and ROE generation, records and reporting, EHT and WCB calculations, direct deposit, self-serve pay stubs, multi-province payroll, and automatic CRA remittance.

Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include automatic T4s and ROEs, records and reporting, EHT calculations, direct deposit, self-serve pay stubs, multi-province payroll, benefits, and automatic CRA remittance.

Integrations include Xero, Indeed, Greenhouse, Voila!, Workable, and Zapier.

Pricing for Humi is based on your number of employees and how many modules you’d like to integrate into your program. A free demo is available prior to signing up.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Covers all Canada-specific payroll needs
  • Clean and intuitive design makes it easy for employees to self-serve
  • Easy tracking of all employees

Cons:

  • Growing list of integrations means some of your existing providers may not yet be on the list
  • Documents require some elbow grease to customize
  • Free trial does not include exact customization, so some guesswork must be done

Best software for reliable regulatory compliance and Canadian tax knowledge

  • 90-day free trial + free demo
  • From $8/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.1/5

Rise is a Canadian payroll software that places compliance first. Their solution has been designed to make sure that small business owners and large enterprises alike are paying and remitting taxes on time and with accuracy in accordance with both provincial and federal regulations. If you’re thinking about switching from an existing payroll provider, Rise will even talk to the CRA and government agencies on your behalf, to ensure that the transition runs smoothly and without errors or oversights.

Flexibility is huge for Rise, and they make sure to offer customization as a standard feature. For example, you can run payroll as many times as you need, cancel a pay run, make payments off-cycle, or even pay out a bonus without having to calculate tax. Automatic tax remittance is built in via a Canadian tax engine that’s compliant with all regulations.

Standout Features and Integrations:

Integrations include Freshbooks, Intuit Quickbooks, WealthSimple, and Xero.

Features include employee benefits, time management, recruiting, onboarding, time off requests, scheduling, time tracking, and unlimited pay runs.

Pricing for Rise begins at $6 per employee per month. A $30 minimum monthly base fee applies for small businesses with less than 20 employees. A 90-day free trial is available for their Optimize module.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Cost effective
  • Very easy to pull documents like ROEs
  • Responsive support staff

Cons:

  • Some manual data entry is necessary when vacation requests are canceled
  • Reports could use greater customization options
  • Few integrations available

Best Canadian payroll software for CAD businesses with international employees

  • Free demo available
  • From $8/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

Rippling is a Canadian HR, IT, and finance platform with a powerful full-service payroll software solution. Rippling’s payroll solution automates several payroll processes, including tax filing, compliance, approval failure alerts, and other workflow processes.

The platform offers a Global payroll solution, allowing organizations to pay their employees in local currencies. Canadian companies can seamlessly pay their Canadian and international employees while tailoring payrolls according to foreign holidays and policies.

Businesses can automate payroll compliance by enforcing minimum wages, overtime, and employee leaves based on country/state requirements. This also comes with analytics functionalities through pre-built or custom reports and integrations for employee attendance, expense management, employee benefits, and deductions administration. This is built for all sizes and can support as few as two employees to as many as thousands.

Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include support for all provinces and territories in addition to other countries, GDPR and CCPA compliance, tax filings, workers’ comp, garnishments, job costing, direct deposits or checks, time tracking, mobile payroll, and more.

Integrations include Google Workspace, Typeform, Databricks, BrightHire, Atlassian, Google Workspace, Slack, Checkr, Zoom, GitHub, Asana, 1Password, Zendesk, Dropbox, Sage Intacct, Netsuite, Microsoft 365, QuickBooks, DocuSign, Upwork, LinkedIn, and hundreds more.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Continuously improved and updated
  • Tracks both billable and non-billable hours
  • Only pay for what you need

Cons:

  • Lack of phone support
  • Some users have reported issues with non-Chrome browsers

Best all-in-one solution for time tracking, benefits, talent, HR and payroll management

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $62/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.1/5

ADP Workforce Now is an all-in-one cloud-based platform that offers functionality like time tracking, benefits, HR, talent, and payroll management. Since you can manage your entire workforce from their single dashboard, you’ll never again have to waste time toggling between platforms to find what you need. This solution also boasts enterprise-grade data security and comprehensive privacy practices.

ADP’s single dashboard reduces manual data entry by pre-populating data across workflows in real time, so you can enter information once and move on to more important tasks. Proactive error detection sends alerts to reduce mistakes and ensure accurate payroll processing.

Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include automated online payroll processing, a self-serve app for employees, in-house payroll experts, time tracking, HR data management tools, and tax calculation and remittance tools.

Integrations include accounting solutions like Quickbooks, Wave, and Xero, ERPs like Oracle, SAP, and Workday, time and attendance solutions like Clock Shark, Deputy, and Dolce, and recruiting and onboarding solutions like GoodHire, Sapling, and Zip Recruiter.

Pricing for ADP Workforce Now is available upon request and is based on the size of your organization and the features you’d like integrated. They do not provide a free trial option.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Extensive list of integrations
  • Global functionality for large multinational teams
  • Market leader for payroll processing and tax filing

Cons:

  • No free trial available
  • Pricing is supplied via custom quote rather than transparently on the website
  • Larger customer base may mean slightly longer wait times for customer service

Best for Canadian businesses interested in growing global teams

  • From $25/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

Remofirst is a global employment platform that enables companies to hire, manage, and pay remote employees in over 160 countries without the need to establish a local entity. The tool provides an Employer of Record (EoR) service, taking on the legal and administrative responsibilities of employment. Remofirst is designed to support businesses in expanding their international workforce by providing a centralized system for managing global employment tasks.

Remofirst assists Canadian payroll software by providing a global payroll service that integrates the management of employees and contractors across multiple countries. With the support of Remofirst's payroll services, Canadian companies can extend their operations internationally while still using their Canadian payroll software for domestic operations. The combination of Remofirst's global capabilities with Canadian payroll software can provide a comprehensive payroll management solution for businesses operating both within Canada and internationally.

Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include contractor management, RemoHealth health insurance, visa and work permit assistance, background checks, remote access, time and attendance tracking, and workforce management.

Integrations include third-party payment providers, such as Wise and PayPal.

Pricing starts at $199/employee/month for EOR and $25/user/month for contractors. Remofirst does not offer a free version or free trial, but a free demo is available.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Good value for money
  • Strong customer support
  • Easy-to-use interface

Cons:

  • Limited integration with other platforms
  • Limited customization
  • No free version or trial

Best for managing contractors and freelancers around the globe

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $15/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4/5

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software designed to help small and medium-sized businesses manage their finances. It offers a range of features, including invoicing, expense tracking, and payroll management. As a user of QuickBooks Online, I've found it to be a reliable and user-friendly tool that has helped me keep track of my business finances with ease.

QuickBooks Online provides direct deposit options for your employees, making it easy to pay them on time and securely. You can also set up custom pay schedules to accommodate different payment frequencies, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Another standout feature is the ability to generate T4 slips and other year-end tax forms for your employees. This makes tax season much less stressful, as you can easily provide your employees with the necessary documents for filing their taxes.

QuickBooks Online is highly suitable for managing contractors around the globe with the ability to track contractor expenses, generate and send contractor invoices, and efficiently handle contractor payments through the platform. With QuickBooks Online, businesses can accurately categorize contractor transactions, manage their contractor database, and generate contractor-specific reports for simplified financial management. The platform's user-friendly interface and comprehensive contractor management tools make it a powerful solution for effectively organizing, tracking, and managing contractor-related activities.

Standout Features and Integrations

Features include automatic tax calculations, which means you don't have to worry about manually calculating taxes and deductions for your employees. This is a huge time-saver and helps ensure accuracy in your payroll process. QuickBooks Online also offers robust reporting features that help you analyze your payroll data and make informed decisions about your business. You can generate reports on payroll expenses, and employee hours.

Integrations include over 400 business apps like Rewind Backups, Knowifiy for Customers, Plooto, Expensify, Fathom, BigCommerce, Verify, Insightly CRM, Mailchimp, and others. 

Pricing starts at $24/month CAD or $30/month USD. It comes with a 30-day free trial.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Industry leader in accounting means existing trust in accuracy and reliability
  • Easy and efficient tax filing system
  • Businesses with remote employees may incur additional costs for province-specific filings

Cons:

  • Limited users, even then highest plan caps at 25
  • Setup services and expert review are only available in higher tiers

Best cloud-based HCM suite with compliance-centric payroll

  • 60-day free trial
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.2/5

Ceridian Dayforce is a recognized HCM leader with a team of in-house compliance experts who remain continuously on top of regulatory changes. You can also offload day-to-day benefits administration and payroll entirely to their team, freeing up your time to focus on other tasks. This payroll software is an excellent solution for Canadian companies who plan to scale internationally, given that Ceridian supports payroll delivery in more than 160 countries. 

Ceridian’s consolidated pay and time engine simplifies the payroll process while increasing accuracy with real-time calculations. Ceridian will manage and file taxes on your behalf, aligning with all provincial and federal regulations. Employees can also access their pay stubs and tax information directly with their self-serve feature. 

Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include talent management, real-time audits, smart benefits, workforce management, managed payroll, and streamlined HR tools.

Integrations include CIBC SmartBanking for Business and QuickBooks.

Pricing for Ceridian Dayforce is available upon request, and a 60-day free trial is available.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Two-month free trial
  • Scalable; supports payroll in 160+ countries
  • Reliable in-house compliance support

Cons:

  • Some mobile app limitations
  • Timesheets are presented in biweekly view, not weekly
  • Transparent pricing not readily available

Best full-service payroll software for food services companies

  • Free demo available
  • From $11 per employee, per month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

Restaurants have very specific payroll needs, and Push Operations has developed a software to meet them. This fully integrated cloud-based payroll software boasts clients in Canada like Wendy’s, Boston Pizza, A&W, and Denny’s. Push operations allows users to streamline hours into payroll, saving time that would normally be spent manually inputting time calculations for employees serving a variety of shifts.

Push Operations can be used as a standalone payroll software, or you can take advantage of all the features as a comprehensive employee management suite. Push will calculate and pay taxes on your behalf, assist you in pulling T4s and ROEs, and can pay your employees by direct deposit or cheque. Push makes it easy to pay employees who have multiple rates (like overtime) and will monitor split shift premiums and minimum tip top-offs.

Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include regulatory compliance, onboarding, self-serve pay stubs, time tracking, real-time payroll reporting, and one-click payroll processing.

Integrations include Avero, CTUIT, Focus POS systems, Greenline POS, HIK Vision, Par, Squirrel Systems, Ultipro, and Upserve.

Pricing for Push starts at $11 per employee, per month for their Starter + Payroll plan. A free demo is also available. 

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Run payroll for employees with multiple pay rates
  • Built to meet the specific needs of restaurants
  • Helpful and courteous support

Cons:

  • User permissions can be time-consuming
  • Better interface on desktop than mobile
  • Primarily for restaurants and food services companies

Other Canadian Payroll Software

Here are a few more options that didn’t make the best Canadian payroll software list. I didn’t have room for a full review for each of these but they are still worthy of consideration:

If you still haven't found what you're looking for here, check out these other related tools that we've tested and evaluated:

Selection Criteria for Canadian Payroll Software

Selecting the best payroll software for this list required a thorough understanding of how common pain points can be alleviated by choosing the right software. My approach to selecting the best systems for this list is grounded in thorough research coupled with my personal experience maintaining payroll details within a human capital management (HCM) system for numerous years.

Here’s a summary of the selection criteria I used to develop this list of the best Canadian payroll software:

Core Payroll Software Functionalities (25% of total score): To be considered for inclusion in this list, each solution had to offer the following basic payroll functionalities first:

  • Automated and accurate calculation of wages and taxes and timely employee payment processing
  • Compliance with CRA reporting and remittance requirements
  • Management of employee benefits and deductions
  • Generation and submission of year-end tax forms
  • Digital pay stubs that are accessible to employees through a self-service portal
  • Integration capabilities to sync data with time tracking and other Canadian HR software to reduce manual data entry

In addition to these basic requirements, each software system in this list needed to either 1) show clear evidence of being developed within Canada by Canadian payroll specialists, or 2) demonstrate their experience in serving the Canadian labor market specifically.

Additional Standout Features (25% of total score): To help me pinpoint the best Canadian payroll software, I also took note of any unique features, including:

  • Sophisticated features, such as pay-on-demand or earned-wage-access
  • Advanced analytics and reporting capabilities for deeper financial insights
  • Advanced integrations with bookkeeping and accounting software to streamline operations
  • Enhanced security features, such as multi-factor authentication, to protect sensitive employee data
  • Environmental sustainability through paperless payroll processes

Usability (10% of total score): To evaluate the usability of each payroll system, I considered the following:

  • An intuitive design and user-friendly interface that simplifies complex processes and requires minimal training to master
  • Quick access to essential features without overwhelming users
  • A user-friendly mobile experience or dedicated mobile apps for Android and iOS mobile devices
  • Role-based access control that's straightforward to configure

Customer Onboarding (10% of total score): To get a sense of each software provider's customer onboarding process, I considered the following factors:

  • Quick setup processes and clear guidance for first-time users
  • The availability of training materials such as videos or interactive tutorials
  • Support systems like chatbots and webinars to guide new users through the initial learning curve
  • Support for migrating historical employee data into the new platform

Customer Support (10% of total score): To evaluate the level of customer support each vendor offered, I considered the following:

  • The availability of multiple support channels, including email, phone, and chat
  • The existence of a self-service knowledge base, FAQ repository, or other self-help resources to speed up troubleshooting
  • The overall quality, responsiveness, and helpfulness of the support team during customer onboarding and post-purchase, as inferred from customer reviews
  • Whether the company offers a dedicated account manager, full-service payroll services, or any additional human resources support services

Value for Price (10% of final score): To gauge the value of each software, I considered the following factors:

  • The availability of free trials or demos to test the software before purchasing
  • Transparent pricing models that clearly explain which payroll features are included at each level, with no additional hidden costs for training or set-up
  • Tiered pricing plans that cater to different business sizes, from small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) up to enterprise-level organizations

Customer Reviews (10% of final score): Evaluating customer reviews is the final element of my selection process, which helps me understand how well a product performs in the hands of real users. Here are the factors I considered:

  • Whether a product has consistently high ratings across multiple review platforms, indicating a broad level of user satisfaction
  • Specific praises, criticisms, or trends in customer feedback that indicate the software's strengths or areas for improvement
  • Whether customer feedback specifically mentions issues with ease of use, customer support responsiveness, or lacking features
  • Any testimonials that highlight how a platform solved a particular challenge or adapted to changing payroll needs

By using this assessment framework, I was able to identify the Canadian payroll software that goes beyond basic requirements to offer additional value through unique features, intuitive usability, smooth onboarding, effective support, and overall value for price.

As of 2024, the landscape of Canadian payroll software has continued to evolve, driven by a combination of regulatory changes, technological advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and shifting business needs. Here are several trends that are impacting payroll software development in Canada currently:

  • Integration of AI and Machine Learning: Some payroll systems have started to use AI and machine learning algorithms to predict payroll outcomes, identify discrepancies, and suggest optimizations. This cutting-edge feature represents a significant leap towards proactive payroll management, offering insights that can lead to cost savings and more strategic financial planning.
  • Predictive Analytics for Payroll Management: Another developing trend is the use of predictive analytics that forecast future payroll costs and trends based on historical data. This advanced feature helps businesses plan more effectively and manage their finances more efficiently.
  • AI-Powered Payroll Queries: An unusual yet increasingly popular feature is the use of AI to handle employee payroll queries. This AI-driven approach not only improves efficiency but also enhances the employee experience by providing instant responses to common questions.
  • Global Payroll Management Abilities: As businesses become more global, the need for payroll software that can manage multi-country payroll across different currencies has become crucial. Tools like Papaya Global and Deel have emerged as leaders in this space, offering solutions that simplify the complexity of global payroll, tax, and compliance issues.

These trends indicate a shift towards more intelligent payroll solutions that exceed basic payroll processing needs to offer strategic value to businesses. As Canadian payroll software continues to evolve, you can expect to see more sophisticated features designed to streamline payroll management, ensure compliance, and enhance decision-making capabilities.

What is Canadian Payroll Software?

Canadian payroll software is a digital tool that automates and facilitates the intricate task of managing employee compensation and payroll-related tasks for businesses in Canada. It encompasses functions like calculating salaries, deductions, taxes, and generating pay stubs and reports, offering a reliable and efficient means for businesses to accurately pay their employees while adhering to Canadian payroll regulations and easing the burden of manual payroll processing.

Features of Canadian Payroll Software

Aside from being able to manage your basic payroll needs in compliance with Canadian regulations, here are some of the other key payroll features to look for:

  • Canadian Payroll Tax Filing: Most of the payroll software on this list have tools to help you file your federal payroll taxes with the CRA, including Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions.
  • Provincial Tax Filing: There may also be tools to help you with filing specialized provincial payroll taxes, including the Employer Health Tax in Ontario or British Columbia, Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) contributions, and workers' compensation premiums for each province or territory.
  • CRA Compliance: This feature is vital because it guarantees that the software is updated with the latest tax rates and Canada Revenue Agency rules and regulations, preventing legal issues and ensuring accurate payroll tax calculations.
  • Year-End Tax Form Preparation: Automating the preparation and distribution of required tax forms — including T4, T4A, and RL-1 slips — is crucial for meeting CRA deadlines and requirements, reducing workloads during the busy year-end period.
  • Multiple Payment Options: Many tools will allow you to pay employees by direct deposit or cheque, and may also have invoicing options for contractors and freelancers.
  • Electronic Records of Employment (ROE): This feature is important because it automates the creation and submission of ROEs to Service Canada, a mandatory step when an employee leaves a company, ensuring compliance and efficiency.
  • Employee Self-Service: Usually employee portals are available where staff can access their pay stubs and tax forms, update their bank account information, and more.
  • Workforce Management & Time-Tracking: Some systems provide tools for employee time tracking, managing time off requests, scheduling shifts, and more. Integrated time tracking, in particular, is helpful since it ensures accurate pay based on the exact hours worked.
  • Payroll Services: In addition to software, some providers also offer payroll management solutions (also called full-service payroll), meaning they can handle pay runs on your behalf.
  • Customizable Reporting & Analytics: Most payroll software will generate payroll reports and may offer real-time dashboards to help you track your payroll process. Customizable reports help businesses make informed financial decisions and ensure transparency.

Choosing a Canadian payroll software that offers these features will help you automate tedious portions of your payroll process and ensure compliance with Canadian tax laws and labor regulations. By prioritizing these features, you'll reduce the risk of errors, and maintain good standing with regulatory bodies, all while saving time and resources.

Benefits of Canadian Payroll Software

For Canadian HR professionals, selecting the right payroll software is not just about automating salary disbursements; it's about finding a solution that addresses the unique regulatory environment, diverse workforce, and specific operational needs of Canadian businesses. Here are several key benefits you can expect to gain by investing in the best Canadian payroll software for your needs:

  • Compliance with Canadian Regulations: Using software that automatically updates to reflect changes in CRA guidelines and national and provincial tax laws and regulations helps businesses avoid penalties and ensures compliance.
  • Robust Reporting for Canadian Requirements: This feature aids in strategic decision-making and ensures that businesses have the necessary documentation to meet CRA audits and inquiries, providing peace of mind and operational transparency.
  • French and English Language Support: Given Canada's bilingual nature, having software that supports both English and French is essential for clear communication and to accommodate all employees comfortably.
  • Localized Data Security: Canadian payroll software is designed to comply with Canadian data privacy laws such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and other provincial data protection laws, ensuring sensitive employee information is securely managed.
  • Customizable for Canadian Union Rules: For organizations with unionized workers, Canadian payroll software can be customized to adhere to union-specific rules and collective bargaining agreements, ensuring that payroll reflects negotiated terms accurately.

These benefits highlight the importance of selecting a solution that's designed with the Canadian market in mind, ensuring that HR professionals can manage payroll efficiently, accurately, and in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Costs & Pricing for Canadian Payroll Software

Whenever you’re investing in a new HR solution, it’s important to consider how cost-effective it will be. Payroll software providers offer a range of pricing options to suit different business sizes and needs. Understanding these options will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your business requirements and budget constraints.

The payroll systems in this list generally offer a subscription-based payment model based on the number of employees you have. However, some payroll providers offer custom pricing based on your business needs (see our breakdown of payroll software costs for more details).

Plan Comparison Table for Canadian Payroll Software

Plan TypeAverage Monthly PricePrice Per Employee, Per MonthCommon Features
Free$0$0Basic payroll processing, CRA remittance, T4 slips, ROE, direct deposit, up to a certain number of employees
Basic$20-$30 per month$2-$4 All Free features plus additional employees, enhanced reporting, and customer support
Standard$30-$50 per month$3-$5All Basic features plus multi-province support, advanced reporting, and integration with other software
Premium$50-$70 per month$4-$6All Standard features plus priority customer support, custom features, and advanced analytics
EnterpriseCustom PricingCustomAll Premium features plus unlimited employees, dedicated account manager, and bespoke integrations
A breakdown of plans and pricing details for Canadian payroll software.

As you're trying to determine the best plan for you, it's essential to weigh the cost against the features and support provided. Consider both your current needs and future growth to select a plan that offers the best value and flexibility for your business. The price per employee metric is particularly useful to help you forecast incremental costs if your business scales.

FAQs: Common Questions About Canadian Payroll Processing

Still have questions about how to process payroll in Canada, and what software you can use to help you out? Here are some answers to FAQs on this topic:

What makes Canadian payroll software unique?

There are plenty of payroll software options available on the market—but not all of them are suitable for Canadian employers.

Canada’s payroll requirements are notoriously complex. Both employers and employees pay payroll tax and contribute to CPP and EI. Payroll taxes include both federal and provincial taxes, meaning that companies with employees spread across Canada need to navigate many varied deductions. This is why payroll software specifically for Canadian companies is so helpful–because it takes the guesswork out of the deductions and taxation process, ensuring that your company remains compliant and your employees receive their pay without issue.

What is an Employer of Record for Canada?

An Employer of Record (EOR) for Canada is a third-party service provider that acts as the legal employer for future employees you wish to hire within Canada, while your parent company maintains day-to-day control of your employee’s tasks and workload. As the legal employer, the EOR assumes full legal responsibility for any new hires, including payroll, tax deductions, compliance management, benefits administration, and any other Canadian-specific employee perks.

Using an EOR service is beneficial for companies wanting to hire Canadian staff or expand their operations into Canada since it simplifies this process considerably. Rather than burdening your HR professionals with the task of becoming experts in Canadian labor laws and regulations, you can outsource these requirements to an EOR in Canada and gain peace of mind that your future operations will be compliant.

To find out more about Canadian EOR services, check out my list of the best employer of record in Canada.

How do Canadian payroll software handle provincial tax differences?

Most Canadian payroll software is equipped for handling provincial tax differences. These systems are built to automatically adjust calculations based on the employee’s location, whether someone’s in Ontario with its health premiums or Québec with its unique tax requirements. Generally, the software updates payroll calculations to comply with provincial and federal tax laws.

This built-in assurance means fewer headaches for HR and payroll teams because the software stays on top of legislative changes, ensuring accuracy and compliance without manual intervention. However, you’ll want to be sure to double check with the provider how they handle provincial taxes before you buy, to be sure it will cover your needs.

What are the data security measures in Canadian payroll software?

Canadian payroll software providers generally take data security seriously by employing a mix of the following safeguards:

  • Encryption to ensure data in transit and at rest is unreadable to unauthorized users.
  • Secure data centers with robust physical and cyber security measures protect against breaches.
  • Role-based access controls to ensure only authorized personnel can view or modify sensitive information.

Regular security audits and compliance with Canadian privacy laws further bolster trust. It’s like having a digital fortress safeguarding employee data—pretty solid! Check with a provider what security systems they have in place so you’re well-informed ahead of purchasing.

How do these platforms manage employee benefits and deductions?

These platforms typically have automation capabilities to handle various deductions like taxes, retirement contributions, and health insurance premiums, adjusting them according to employee selections and legislative requirements. For benefits, they track eligibility, enrollments, and changes, ensuring accurate benefit deductions from paychecks. It simplifies what could be a complex process, making sure everything from health benefits to pension contributions is accurately recorded and applied.

What Do You Think About This List?

One of the biggest benefits of cloud-based payroll software is that it’s constantly being updated. As new functionality becomes available and each solution adopts it in their own time, the list of the best Canadian payroll software will inevitably evolve over time.

To remain up to date on all the latest insights from top thinkers in Canadian HR and payroll, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter. From there, you’ll have access to articles and podcasts interviews from passionate industry experts, right from the comfort of your own inbox.

Kim Behnke
By Kim Behnke

Kim Behnke is an HR Tool Expert & Writer for People Managing People. She draws on her 9 years of human resources experience and her keen eye for systematic processes to support her analyses of the top HR tools on the market. She is passionate about maximizing efficiencies and streamlining workflows to ensure internal systems run smoothly. Kim's HR experience includes recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training and development, policy development and enforcement, and HR analytics. She also has degrees in psychology, writing, publishing, and technical communication, and recently completed a Certified Digital HR Specialist program through the Academy to Innovate HR. When away from her desk, she can usually be found outside tending to her ever-expanding garden.