There are countless HR software for payroll solutions available, so figuring out which is best for you is tough. You want to ensure accurate and timely payment, comply with tax laws and regulations, and manage deductions and benefits—but now need to figure out which tool is the best fit. In this post, I make things simple, leveraging my experience as an HR expert who has tested dozens of different payroll tools to bring you this shortlist of the best HR software for payroll.
What is HR Software for Payroll?
HR software for payroll is a digital tool designed to manage and automate the process of paying employee wages. It calculates salaries, handles taxes and deductions, and ensures timely and accurate payment.
Key features include automated wage calculations, tax compliance tools, direct deposit, time and attendance integration, benefits management, payroll reporting, and self-service portals where employees can access their pay information.
Deel is an HR and global payroll platform that enables hiring in over 150 countries. It allows you to hire anyone as a contractor or employee without worrying about local laws, complicated tax systems, or international payroll, which is why I think it's one of the best tools for global HR teams.
Why I picked Deel: Deel offers features for expense reimbursements, managing contractor and employee contract and pay data, doing payroll, and handling off-cycle adjustments. Local country experts provide consultation for each location you hire from, ensuring your contracts are properly worded, while helping you avoid contractor misclassification. Employees and contractors can also self-manage their pay and personal data, which reduces admin load.
An advantage of going with Deel is that it's one of the largest international payroll solutions—it's a reputable company with 24/7 online customer support and dedicated account managers. It also complies with SOC2 and ISO 27001 security standards.
Deel Standout Features & Integrations:
Features that make Deel especially great for global payroll include international payroll, local compliance monitoring, global mobility support, and dedicated account managers to help you navigate any complexities in managing a global workforce. You can also compare different country costs and see what benefits and withholdings are required.
Integrations are available with popular accounting platforms, including NetSuite, Quickbooks, and Xero. Deel also uses major payment providers like Wise, PayPal, Payoneer, and Revolut to offer flexible withdrawal options and reduce unnecessary international transfer fees.
- Great for international payroll
- Handles contractor and employee payments
- You can access Deal-owned EOR entities to hire internationally
- Not much selection in available employee healthcare plans
- More expensive than most basic payroll software
Papaya Global is an HR and payroll software platform that offers end-to-end global workforce management solutions and cross-border payments in 160+ countries. The platform supports all employee options (payroll, EoR, and contractors), and supports payroll payment as well as payments to vendors and authorities.
Why I picked Papaya Global: Even though they have some standard HR features, this platform really focuses on being the best-in-class in workforce payments, and as such, they've built some of the best payment tech, built on their own regulated payments network backed by JP Morgan. This allows them to guarantee a 72-hour delivery of payments (they take liability if it doesn't), and it enables their uses to cut out the cost and hassle of third party payment integrators.
Papaya Global Standout Features & Integrations:
Features that differentiate Papaya from its competitors include AI-driven account funding that can simulate your payments in advance so you know how much to fund and what your FX fees will be. But the main advantage is its proprietary payment network—Papaya's payment tech gives you control over when payments arrive (not just when payments should send), and since it's not going through a separate third party, you're able to make full value transfers with no hidden fees, unlike when you pay through a third party.
Integrations are available with BambooHR, Expensify, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Namely, NetSuite, Priority Software, SAP Business One, SAP Concur, and SAP SuccessFactors. They can also create additional custom integrations for your existing HR software upon request.
- Advanced forecasting features to predict costs
- Proprietary payment network that guarantees timing of payment delivery
- Can handle international vendor payments in addition to contractors and employees
- User interface takes a while to learn to navigate
- Isn't available in a few countries, especially in the Middle East
Rippling is a popular, modern workforce operations platform that offers an entire HR suite. It offers payroll management, in addition to a lot of other things—operational workflows, applicant tracking, and even some IT features like device and IT inventory management.
Why I picked Rippling: For our purposes here, I focused on Rippling's payroll features—which, to be totally honest, are comprehensive but also pretty standard. It's definitely good for payroll management, but I think the real value of Rippling comes into play when factoring in all of the other workforce management features it offers in addition to payroll. That's why this is a great tool for larger workplaces with an established HR department that can take advantage of all the advanced functions of the tool.
Rippling Standout Features & Integrations:
Standout features for managing payroll in Rippling include their automatic tax filing (it calculates and files your federal/provincial taxes, factoring in when employees move) and robust features that are helpful for pay compliance in a large workforce, such as automatic minimum wage enforcement, overtime enforcement, and leave enforcement.
Integrations are available with 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 dozens more.
- Advanced and comprehensive HR features
- Has much more advanced HR workflow management than most other tools
- Robust, enterprise grade tool with additional IT and Finance modules available
- Complex feature set creates a steeper learning curve for employees learning to use it
- Built-in time tracking system is not very customizable
Remofirst is a payroll software that provides users with a secure, efficient, and easy-to-use platform for managing payroll processes. Users can input employee information, calculate taxes, and generate pay stubs. The software offers many features, including employee self-service, direct deposit, tax compliance, and reporting.
Why I picked Remofirst: The software provides tools for managing employee shares and dilution, as well as for issuing specialized reports on equity and bonus activity. Its reporting feature allows users to generate detailed reports on their payroll data which can be generated for a specific period. The cost calculation feature helps businesses budget costs effectively by considering various factors, including the number of employees, the type of benefits provided, and the frequency of payments. Employees can also view their equity and bonus information in real-time, and the system automatically calculates vesting schedules and payout dates.
Remofirst lets businesses manage employee benefits programs with ease. Users can track employee eligibility, enroll employees in benefits plans, and even change existing plans. It also allows businesses to generate employee enrollment and participation reports. Dashboards summarize team distribution and spending with visual graphs and charts.
Remofirst can also manage payroll and invoicing for businesses with employees abroad. The software automatically generates accurate paychecks and invoices in the local currency and tracks employee vacation days, sick leave, and expense reimbursements. Remofirst sends invoices every month, ensuring your employees are paid on time. Users can access a dedicated account manager and Remofirst's knowledge base to troubleshoot any issues.
Remofirst Standout Features & Integrations:
Features include employee self-service, time and attendance tracking, leave management, an employee cost calculator, an HR analytics dashboard, performance appraisal tools, and 24/7 customer service.
Integrations are available with trusted payment providers like PayPal and Transferwise.
Paycor is a human capital management solution that modernizes every aspect of people management, from HR and payroll to recruiting, onboarding, talent management, career development, and employee retention. More than 40,000 business owners trust Paycor to help them solve problems and achieve their goals.
Why I picked Paycor: They are well-suited for small to medium-sized businesses with salaried employees, since you can take advantage of their ability to automatically run payroll when salaries are known. For any salary changes, Paycor includes proactive alerts to help you catch any potential errors before they become problematic. Their OnDemand Pay feature also allows employees to access their wages in advance of their next pay day, if they need it.
Paycor Standout Features & Integrations:
Features include easy-to-use yet powerful payroll tools, flexible payment options, auto-run capabilities, notifications & alerts, powerful real-time reporting, and engaging employee self-service. Paycor also integrates with tools for wage and salary verification, expense management, employee wellness, certified payroll, and FMLA to cover all your business needs.
Integrations are available with over 200 applications through Paycor's Marketplace, including Emburse Certify, Equifax, GoCo, GoodHire, HireTech, Ignite, Instant Pay, My Enroll360, Payfactors, Sterling, Tapcheck, WorkforceHub, Zillion, and other systems.
- Mobile app allows for payroll management on the go
- Offers live and on-demand product training and webinars
- All-in-one solution well suited to enterprise businesses
- UX can be a little clunky at times
- Time cards are a bit simplistic
Paychex Flex is an HR software platform offering a larger set of features for time tracking, payroll processing, and benefits administration. They have many different plans, but because they offer more advanced features that go simple payroll administration, I think this is best for midsize to enterprise companies who can take advantage of those features.
Why I picked Paychex Flex: Beyond offering your standard payroll management features, Paychex Flex is great for midsize companies in that it helps you manage 401(k)s, health insurance plans, retirement savings accounts, and other benefits options in one centralized system. It tracks contributions and eligibility requirements while automating enrollment processes and simplifying benefit administration tasks such as invoicing providers or managing FSA claims.
It's also a great tool for companies doing a lot of hiring; it automates collecting required documentation from new hires and manages the process of new hire reporting to government agencies.
Paychex Flex Standout Features & Integrations:
Standout features include online payroll processing (with multiple payment options ranging from direct deposit to paycards and paper checks), as well as a very customizable employee-facing portal (you can customize employee access rights based on job roles). It also has really good tools for budgeting and forecasting and comprehensive reporting capabilities for quick analysis of financial data. It's got a great feature for businesses with hourly employees: mobile time cards, which lets employees clock in and out from their phones.
Integrations are available with major business tools such as ApplicantStack, AxisCare, BambooHR, Buddy Punch, Built for Teams, Time Tracker, Xero, and Quickbooks Online.
- Comprehensive set of HR features (employee health, retirement, etc)
- Detailed and customizable employee portal
- Offers mobile time cards to clock in and out via mobile phone
- Relatively more expensive than some payroll tools (better suited to larger businesses)
- More complex platform and feature set; steeper learning curve
Bambee's cloud-based HR software is specifically tailored for small and medium-sized businesses. Their software covers a wide range of functions, including onboarding, compliance, and employee termination. They also offer a guided payroll service, which is available as an add-on.
Why I picked Bambee: I included Bambee in this list because their combined HR and payroll service covers everything needed to manage HR tasks efficiently. I also appreciate the fact that each client receives a dedicated account manager for an affordable monthly price, a great service for any small business owner who doesn't have the budget or resources to hire an in-house HR or payroll specialist.
Bambee Standout Features & Integrations:
Features include 2-day direct deposit, integrated compliance monitoring, and automatic federal, state, and local taxes. It also includes task management tools to ensure no key tasks fall through the cracks.
Integration details are currently not available.
TriNet is an HR and global payroll service provider with a software platform to help businesses manage their HR processes, employee benefits, and compliance requirements. Businesses operating on a global scale can manage their payroll and other HR processes through the system.
Why I picked TriNet: The software's integrated payroll system can handle complex payroll regulations in various countries, making it a suitable choice for businesses that operate in several different locations. It can manage payroll tax withholdings and can also be used to administer employee benefits. Compensation benchmarking can be performed in the software, giving you reliable, accurate data to inform your compensation structure and pay ranges.
In addition to its payroll management capabilities, the platform can support various other HR tasks like employee onboarding, time tracking, and workforce analytics, bringing various aspects of your people operations into a single hub. It also has document management features to keep all of your HR documents organized and accounted for.
TriNet Standout Features & Integrations:
Features include an employee perks program, a global payroll solution, compliance with local tax laws and regulations, custom rewards, a variety of payment options, and employee recognition programs.
Integrations include QuickBooks, Oracle NetSuite, Sage Intacct, BambooHR, Lattice, Greenhouse Software, Carta, and Xero.
- Centralizes all of your HR processes in one platform
- Company provides HR services as well as software
- Global payroll management for multi-national businesses
- Robust system, comes with a learning curve
- Full functionality may not be needed
ADP is a well-known and trusted HR software company with over 70 years in the workforce management field. Their cloud-based ADP Workforce Now product is a modern HCM solution that combines core HR functions with payroll processing, time and attendance tracking, talent management, benefits management, performance management, a recruiting system, and hiring and onboarding tools.
Why I picked ADP Workforce Now: This solution is particularly good for scaling businesses or startups undergoing rapid growth. You can start with the basic payroll administration features, and you can scale up, adding on modules as your employee count grows. For example, the company I've worked at used it for payroll at first, and as we grew, we started using it for managing performance reviews, too.
It's also an industry-standard solution available in 140 countries, and fully accessible on all web devices.
ADP Workforce Now Standout Features & Integrations:
Standout features that differentiate ADP Workforce Now from their competitors lie in their above average employee-facing reporting tools. These include a cool pay history tool that automatically detects differences in pay checks and helps compare pay periods side-by-side, a payroll deductions calculator to help employees better predict their income after calculations, and a YTD pay summary. These make it easy for employees to answer their own questions about payroll without asking someone from HR to look it up.
Integrations are better than many other tools, as ADP has been around for a while. These include Absorb LMS, Avionte, ClearCompany, Clockshark, Deputy, Dolce, FinancialForce, Infor, JazzHR, Oracle, PayActiv, PlanSource, QuickBooks, Replicon, Sage Intacct, SAP SuccessFactors, Sapling, TempWorks, Wave, When I Work, Workday, Xero, ZipRecruiter, 7shifts Restaurant Scheduling, and many more.
- Extensive custom functionality
- Features are separated into modules you can opt to pay for (or not)
- Reputable and secure provider with many years in the industry
- Navigation between modules is not very intuitive
- Legacy system could use some UI modernization
Insperity is an all-in-one HR software solution that offers a range of features including payroll management.
Why I picked Insperity: What makes Insperity stand out is the fact that their software includes access to experienced payroll professionals with local knowledge who'll help guide you through the payroll process. This includes hands-on advice from HR experts and resources that can help you navigate complex HR issues and stay compliant with local and federal regulations. This makes it a great option for less experienced payroll teams.
Insperity Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include employee self-service, federal, state, and local tax filings, online paystubs, and direct deposit, and a general ledger interface. Their payroll software solution also integrates benefits administration, time and attendance tracking, and HR advisor support.
Integrations are available with TurboTax, GoodJob, Indeed, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, Adzuna, QuickBooks, Sage Intacct, NetSuite, BambooHR, Salesforce, Taleo, Workday, Zenefits.
- Integrates payroll with other HR functions
- Includes access to experienced payroll professionals
- Their automated onboarding wizard helps new employees get up-to-speed and added to payroll quickly
- Not a specialized payroll software product so new features might take a while to develop
- Only available for US-based organizations
Need Expert Help Selecting The Right Payroll Management Software?
We’ve joined up with Crozdesk.com to give all our readers (yes, you!) access to Crozdesk’s software advisors. Just use the form below to share your needs, and they will contact you at no cost or commitment. You will then be matched and connected to a shortlist of vendors that best fit your company, and you can access exclusive software discounts!
Best for global HR teams
Free demo available
|Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people||Website|
Best for cutting out third party payment integrators
Free trial available
|EOR from $650/employee/month or $2/contractor/month; Global payroll from $3 to $12/employee/month||Website|
Best for mid-market businesses with an established HR department
Free demo available
|From $8/user/month (EOR pricing upon request)||Website|
Best for processing external contractor invoices
Free demo available
|From $199/employee/month for EOR and $25/mo for contractors||Website|
Best for automating payroll tasks
90-day free trial + free demo available
|From $5/employee/month + $99/month base fee||Website|
Best for midsize to enterprise companies
Free demo available
|From $39/month + $5/employee/month||Website|
Best for easy onboarding with a dedicated account manager
Free demo available
Best payroll and HR platform for integrated compensation benchmarking capabilities
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
ADP Workforce Now
Best for startups and scaling businesses
30-day free trial
|From $160/month for up to 49 employees||Website|
Best for combining HR & payroll software with additional expert services
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Other HR Software Options For Running Payroll
I shortlisted a few more tools during my research—they're not in my top 10 for HR software for doing payroll, but still worth checking out:
Best for managing both hourly & salaried timesheets
Best for small businesses in the US
- Patriot Software
Best for small-to-midsize US companies
Best all-in-one solution for small US businesses
Best budget-friendly option for beginners
Best for small to medium businesses
- Natural HR
Best for advanced analytics and reporting
Best for restaurants and hospitality businesses
- NetSuite SuitePeople
Best for tracking employee goals
Best for employee payroll in large, US-based enterprises
Best for high-growth companies with international contractors
Best for programing and automating bonuses
- Oyster HR
Best HR and payroll service for international, remote-first businesses
Best for Canadian companies
Selection Criteria for HR Software with Payroll
Wondering how I selected the best HR software for payroll? I drew on my years of previous experience managing employee data in support of payroll processes to add more expertise to my assessment. In the past, I spent a lot of time updating and checking HR data prior to running payroll. Way too much time, in fact!
Here's what I evaluated:
First, I evaluated and compared a wide range of popular payroll software systems that also include core HR functionalities. Here are the basic functionalities the products have to provide in order to make it onto my list:
- Enable you to pay employees via direct deposit
- Allow you to administer your employees' financial records, including salaries, bonuses, incentives, pay stubs, and expense reimbursements
- Allow you to manage employee data related to time off and overtime
To deliver the core functionality I outlined above, here are some features I think are key in an HR system for managing payroll:
- Payroll processing and management: This feature allows your HR department to administer your employees' financial records, including salaries, bonuses, incentives, pay stubs, expense reimbursements, and more.
- Time and attendance tracking: It's difficult to handle payments without tracking your employees' activity and attendance. The best HR software for payroll keeps track of your team's paid time-off (PTO), unpaid time off, and overtime.
- Direct deposit: It almost goes without saying, but every payroll system in this list allows you to deposit pay directly into your employees' bank accounts. Some offer additional payment options, such as pay cards or early earned wage access as well.
- Reporting: There's no use in collecting data if you can't interpret it. The HR solution should help your HR department create customizable payroll reports so you can present them to your management team.
- Tax filing: To help you with your corporate tax obligations, HR and payroll software also includes tools to prepare annual tax documents such as T4's, W-2's, and 1099 forms.
- Talent management: The software should collect and interpret employee data, such as employee lifecycle states, employee benefits enrolment, employee engagement, and churn rates, so your talent management team can plan for the future.
You can find more detail in this article that goes into more depth about payroll system features.
I prioritized tools that created a positive user experience and appeared easy to implement and use. While there's always a learning curve with new software, your HR team shouldn’t waste weeks learning how to use the payroll system or HR features.
I chose solutions with clean and simple interfaces that are intuitive and easy to use with neatly organized menus. Your payroll and HR professionals should be able to find the right functionalities without difficulty.
I selected solutions that integrate with other tools, such as time and attendance tracking platforms and popular core HR software solutions. To save you time, I've noted key integrations for each system. Other helpful integrations include links to compensation management systems, and benefits administration systems so you can easily transfer information from one system to the other when you're processing payroll.
Value for Price
A lot of HR systems that offer payroll processing operate on a model that charges a base monthly cost, with additional monthly fees per employee. For basic payroll and HR systems, you can expect to pay a monthly base fee plus an additional charge per employee.
The base monthly cost varies, but for most products, it's less than $100. The typical range for base fees is between $15 to $99 per month. In addition to the base fee, expect to pay around $5 to $30 per month per employee.
For a business with 50 employees, a good average cost for using the basic features for simply calculating and paying out payroll is ~$350/month, and using peripheral features like time tracking, employee onboarding, and cost reporting would bring it closer to the $1,000/month range.
What are the main benefits of using HR software for payroll?
What do HR tools for payroll typically cost?
What HR and payroll software is best for small businesses?
Are there different types of payroll software?
Other Payroll Software Reviews
If you're looking for a different type of payroll software, here are some other reviews from experts at People Managing People:
- Automated Payroll Software
- Global Payroll Solutions
- Free Payroll Software
- Payroll Software
- Online Payroll Software
- Payroll Companies
- Payroll Services
- Payroll Services for Small Businesses
- Payroll Software for Small Businesses
- Canadian Payroll Software for Canadian Businesses
Other Resources for Payroll Pros
If you're interested in more than just software, these other resources for payroll professionals may just do the trick:
- Payroll Costs: A Comprehensive Breakdown and Tips to Reduce
- How to Run a Successful Payroll: A Checklist
- Who Should Handle Payroll in Your Organization?
HR solutions are transforming People Operations through technology. Especially as more companies are hiring remotely, in 2023 there are more companies developing global payroll solutions and offering full-service EOR and payroll platforms that help you pay an international workforce that's made up of both employees and contractors.
Using a payroll processing system with incorporated HR functionalities can really help a lot. You'll gain a central location for all your employee records and documents. You'll also be able to track your employees' work hours accurately and ensure they're always paid correctly. On top of that, your tax and compliance requirements will be tracked and managed for you.
I hope my detailed breakdown of the top HR & payroll software helped you find the right fit!
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Related read: Best Employee Management Systems