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10 Best Payroll Services for Small Businesses in 2022

Best Payroll Services for Small Businesses Shortlist

Here’s the list of the best payroll service providers that I’ll cover in this article:

  1. Oyster HR

    Manage international hiring, payroll and compliance from within one platform

  2. Deel

    Cloud-based payroll software with robust compensation management for SMBs

  3. Paycor

    Administer payroll and benefits with a single solution

  4. PrimePay

    Track employee hours and access payroll information remotely

  5. Gusto

    Run payroll for international contractors from 80+ countries

  6. Paychex Flex

    Perform hands-free payroll reviews and approvals

  7. TriNet

    Save time when filing taxes with automation

  8. ADP GlobalView Payroll

    Help your team submit accurate timesheets with a mobile app

  9. QuickBooks Payroll

    Run payroll and create reports for multiple locations

  10. WAVE

    Automate your payroll process and set up direct deposit payments

Payroll services for small businesses help owners, especially those who are first-time employers, focus on what’s important - growing their business. 

Payroll is one of the challenges small business owners face when starting out. Paying your employees on time is a good first step in earning their loyalty, but running payroll can often feel overwhelming due to the large number of factors you have to keep track of - payroll forms, payroll frequency, employee hours, overtime, benefits, and payroll taxes. 

This is why many small business owners turn to payroll services. Payroll services help you pay your employees, keep track of their wages and benefits, and file your tax forms in a timely manner. They take some of the pressure of running a business off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on other things, such as closing new clients or improving your services. 

Read my review to discover the best payroll services small businesses can use in 2022. The review includes short descriptions and snapshots of the solutions that made the list, along with a comparison chart so you can compare the services and find the right one for your needs.

Comparison Criteria

Wondering how I selected the best payroll services for small businesses for this list? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): I selected payroll service providers that offer a simple interface so you won’t encounter any problems when navigating their solutions. 
  2. Usability: Running payroll should be easy with the right tools. I chose payroll services that offer comprehensive documentation or training materials so you can learn how to use them after a brief onboarding period. 
  3. Integrations: The payroll service should integrate with the other tools you might use, such as accounting or HR software.  
  4. Price: I selected payroll services that help you automate some of the tasks associated with payroll, so you can save time by running the process in the background and get the most out of your investment.  

Key Features

  1. Direct deposit payments: The payroll service should enable you to make direct deposit payments to your employees. 
  2. Payroll scheduling: You shouldn’t waste your time trying to remember when to run payroll. Instead, you should be able to schedule the payroll to run on certain dates. 
  3. Self-service portal: Payroll services serve as databases for your employment documents and pay slips. Your employees should be able to access these documents, and review and update their information when necessary. 
  4. Tax compliance: Running a successful business is difficult enough without having to track all the legal changes happening in your area. The service should automatically update its framework to comply with the latest tax law updates. 
  5. Tax filing: The service should help you file your taxes. It should point you to the right documents and make it easy for you to complete the necessary payments. 
  6. Reporting: You should be able to organize your data into neat reports so you can get an overview of how well your business is doing. 

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Overviews of the 10 Best Payroll Service Providers for Small Businesses

Here’s a brief description of each payroll service provider for small businesses to showcase each system’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface. 

1

Oyster HR

Manage international hiring, payroll and compliance from within one platform

Oyster HR is a payroll service that allows small businesses to manage employee payroll and tax filings for employees or contractors all around the world. Their software provides a detailed breakdown of payroll costs, allowing companies to track where their money is being spent. It is easy-to-use, with a user-friendly interface and helpful support documentation.

Oyster generates reports about employee earnings, hours worked, and deductions. The reports track payments made to employees and payments that are still pending. Moreover, the software provides a visual representation of a company's payroll data, allowing users to identify trends and patterns.

Oyster's employee cost calculator helps businesses consider factors such as salary, benefits, and payroll taxes before committing to hiring a new employee or contractor. It allows them to compare the cost of hiring a new employee with the cost of retaining an existing one. This is a useful feature for businesses considering layoffs or hiring new employees. Employee costs are also updated regularly to reflect changes in the labor market.

Users in select countries can view and manage their payroll information in their local currency. This includes current and historical payroll data and detailed information on taxes and social security contributions. Oyster's compliance feature provides businesses with a simple and effective way to manage their compliance obligations, and acts as a central repository for storing compliance-related documents and records.

Oyster's built-in expense management feature will enable employees to track their business expenses easily. Employees can upload their receipts and create entries for each expense, including the date, amount, and purchase description. The system then automatically generates reports for reimbursement requests and for tax purposes.

Oyster also allows administrators to add and manage benefit plans. It provides insight into participation and usage, allowing users to make data-driven decisions about staff benefits.

Pricing for Oyster starts at $399/employee/month (or $29/contractor/month). A free demo is also available.

Free demo available

From $399/employee/month

2

Deel

Cloud-based payroll software with robust compensation management for SMBs

Deel is a cloud-based payroll software that automates many tasks associated with payroll, including calculating taxes, issuing payments, and tracking employee hours. Deel is capable of flexible payment terms, allowing businesses to pay their employees on a fixed plan, per-project basis, or pay-as-you-go model. One of its key features is the ability to support multiple payroll cycles, which means businesses can run their payrolls weekly, biweekly, or monthly. The software can handle all types of deductions, including taxes, insurance, and retirement contributions. 

Deel offers a robust compensation management system that can help businesses keep track of employee salaries, bonuses, and other forms of compensation. Its dashboard lets users see an overview of their payroll data, providing various charts and graphs showing key information such as gross pay, deductions, and net pay. Users can also use the dashboard to drill down into specific pay periods, generate reports, and export data to Excel or CSV.

The payroll software backs flexible withdrawals and automatic invoicing, simplifying the bulk and international payments process. It supports various payment channels, including Wise, Payoneer, and Swift. Employees can transfer funds to their Deel prepaid credit card or withdraw in over 100 currencies. Deel can be integrated with popular accounting software such as Xero and Quickbooks.

Deel's web portal allows employees to securely access their payroll information and perform various tasks, such as updating their personal information, requesting time off, and viewing their pay stubs. Deel offers a mobile app for convenient access on the go. Deel is GDPR compliant, ensuring every document is accounted for, and enforces strict security measures such as single sign-on (SSO) login and two-factor authentication.

Deel costs from $599/employee/month and offers a free demo.

Free demo available

From $49/user/month

3

Paycor

Administer payroll and benefits with a single solution

Paycor is a human resources and online payroll software that enables you to simplify your payroll process with automation. The solution integrates with 401Ks and accounting software, allowing you to set up an automated payroll and manage employee benefits without difficulty.

Paycor offers a mobile-friendly self-service portal where your team members can access all their documents and benefits information. The software automatically updates its system when tax laws and employment regulations change in every US jurisdiction, ensuring that your business is always compliant. Paycor’s reporting feature allows you to create reports based on templates. You can also schedule and share the reports directly from within the platform.

Paycor integrates with multiple apps, including CloudPay, Fidelity, HIREtech, Human Interest, Indeed, and Payfactors.

Paycor costs from $99/month plus $5/employee/month. Businesses that qualify can use the solution for free for three months.

Free demo available

From $99/month + $5/employee/month

4

PrimePay

Track employee hours and access payroll information remotely

PrimePay is a payroll service that helps small businesses manage their employee compensation. It offers a variety of features, including direct deposit, tax withholding, and salary calculations. Small businesses can focus on their core operations while providing support to their employees with customizable automation options for compensation management, time tracking, benefits, and compliance. PrimePay's solutions are designed to grow with a company as its workforce expands.

PrimePay offers several payroll delivery options, with direct deposit being its most popular option. Paper check delivery is also available, allowing businesses to print and distribute checks themselves. Users can easily calculate and withhold taxes, process deductions, manage 401K contributions, and generate detailed online reports. The highly customizable platform allows users to tailor reports to focus on specific information. PrimePay also offers compliance assistance, helping users stay up-to-date with the latest payroll regulations and changing employment laws. The cloud-based software allows users to track employee hours and access payroll information remotely. It offers a variety of resources, including blogs, tutorials, and customer support.

By outsourcing payroll processing to PrimePay, small businesses can free up time and resources that can be better spent on other aspects of running their operations. PrimePay implements several measures to ensure your data is always protected. Its processing centers have the latest security technology, including digital certificates, encryption, and mandated passwords. Its full-scale security team constantly monitors the systems for any suspicious activity. In the unlikely event of a breach, PrimePay has a comprehensive response plan to mitigate any damage quickly.

Pricing for PrimePay is available upon request.


Pricing upon request

5

Gusto

Run payroll for international contractors from 80+ countries

Gusto is a full service payroll solution that helps businesses pay contractors in 80+ countries and stores all the I-9, W-2, and 1099 forms for their employees. The software also handles the state tax registration process in all 50 states and keeps track of changing tax laws so businesses are always compliant.

This payroll provider enables you to track your employees with geolocation, so you can easily deduct the breaks of hourly workers from their wages. The solution also allows you to create flexible payment schedules, run unlimited payrolls, and pay employee reimbursements. With Gusto, you can also administer benefits and set time-off policies too.

Gusto integrates with dozens of solutions, including 7Shifts, 15Five, Bonusly, Breezy HR, Clover, Greenhouse, JazzHR, and QuickBooks Online Payroll.

Gusto costs from $40/month plus $6/user/month and offers a free demo.

30-day free trial

From $39/month base fee

6

Paychex Flex

Perform hands-free payroll reviews and approvals

Paychex Flex is a payroll company that helps small businesses organize and run their payroll on desktop or mobile devices. The solution also gives business owners the option to submit payroll by phone to one of its specialists, and its voice assist feature enables managers to perform hands-free payroll checks, submissions, and approvals.

Paychex Flex handles your payroll taxes and reports new hires to government agencies. The software tracks your team’s payroll-related information, allowing you to create year-end reports and 1099s with ease.

Paychex Flex integrates with dozens of solutions, including BambooHR, Hubworks, Indeed, JazzHR, Xero, and QuickBooks Time.

Paychex Flex offers custom pricing upon demand and a free demo.

Request a free demo

Pricing upon request

7

TriNet

Save time when filing taxes with automation

TriNet is an online payroll service that helps you manage your payroll and navigate state and federal tax codes. The software’s payroll feature, along with its self-service tools, allow you to save time when running payroll while remaining compliant with all the payroll regulations in your area.

TriNet automatically calculates and withholds your taxes and submits them to the right authorities on your behalf. The software also helps you manage unemployment taxes and claims. TriNet allows your employees to complete their W-2s and its mobile app enables them to access all their documentation and pay stubs with ease.

TriNet integrates with multiple tools, including BambooHR, Oracle Netsuite, QuickBooks Online, Sage, and Xero.

TriNet offers custom pricing upon demand.

Pricing upon request

8

ADP GlobalView Payroll

Help your team submit accurate timesheets with a mobile app

ADP Payroll is a payroll management solution that enables you to store your employee information and payslips, calculate taxes, and track employee time. The software offers a nice-looking mobile app your team members can use to punch in and out, making it ideal for hourly-based engagements.

The software’s in-app onboarding is comprehensive and helps your employees understand how to get the most out of ADP’s self-service portal. The solution also helps business owners and managers run automated payrolls, complete their tax declarations, and create detailed reports of their financial activity.

ADP Payroll integrates with multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, including FinancialForce, Sage, and Workday.

ADP Payroll offers custom pricing upon request. They also offer free payroll processing for up to three months.

Request a free demo

Pricing upon request

9

QuickBooks Payroll

Run payroll and create reports for multiple locations

QuickBooks Payroll is an Intuit online payroll solution that enables small businesses to manage their payroll, track employee hours, and file their taxes. The tool is easy to use, allowing you to automate your payroll and integrate it with other employee services, such as 401K plans or other employee benefits.

QuickBooks Payroll calculates, files, and pays your state and federal taxes. You can customize your payroll reports based on different locations, deductions, and contributions. The software offers unlimited payroll runs and a mobile-friendly employee portal where your team members can access their tax forms and pay stubs.

QuickBooks Payroll integrates with the company’s accounting services and hundreds of third-party apps, including Bill.com, Float, PayPal, Square, Syft Analytics, Synder, Tax Planner Pro, and Wagepoint.

QuickBooks Payroll costs from $22.50 per month plus $5/employee/month and offers a 30-day free trial.

30-day free trial

From $25/month, though you’ll only pay 50% for the first 3 months

10

WAVE

Automate your payroll process and set up direct deposit payments

Wave Payroll is a small business payroll solution that enables you to plan and run your payroll. The software helps you make payments, creates a database for your accounting entries, and generates W2 and 1099 forms. The software’s reporting feature allows you to break down your payroll expenses based on expense type, individual employees, month, and other criteria.

Wave Payroll automatically transfers your tax payments to the authorities and files the necessary paperwork with your local tax office or the IRS on your behalf if you operate your business in a tax service state. The solution also helps you automate your payroll process and make deposit payments.

Wave Payroll integrates with hundreds of solutions through a paid Zapier account.

Wave Payroll costs from $35/month plus $6/employee/month and offers a 30-day free trial.

30-day free trial

From $35/month plus $6/employee/month

The 10 Best Payroll Service Providers For Small Businesses Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
Oyster HR

Manage international hiring, payroll and compliance from within one platform

Free demo available

From $399/employee/month Visit Website
2
Deel

Cloud-based payroll software with robust compensation management for SMBs

Free demo available

From $49/user/month Visit Website
3
Paycor

Administer payroll and benefits with a single solution

Free demo available

From $99/month + $5/employee/month Visit Website
4
PrimePay

Track employee hours and access payroll information remotely

Not available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
5
Gusto

Run payroll for international contractors from 80+ countries

30-day free trial

From $39/month base fee Visit Website
6
Paychex Flex

Perform hands-free payroll reviews and approvals

Request a free demo

Pricing upon request Visit Website
7
TriNet

Save time when filing taxes with automation

Not available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
8
ADP GlobalView Payroll

Help your team submit accurate timesheets with a mobile app

Request a free demo

Pricing upon request Visit Website
9
QuickBooks Payroll

Run payroll and create reports for multiple locations

30-day free trial

From $25/month, though you’ll only pay 50% for the first 3 months Visit Website
10
WAVE

Automate your payroll process and set up direct deposit payments

30-day free trial

From $35/month plus $6/employee/month Visit Website

Other Options

Here are a few more options that didn’t make the best payroll services for small businesses list:

  1. Payworks

    Payroll service provider for Canadian small businesses

  2. Justworks

    Manage payroll, bonuses, commissions, and reimbursements with ease

  3. Rippling

    Save time with workflow and payment templates

  4. Patriot Software

    Customize your payroll and automate your tax calculations

  5. OnPay

    Avoid mistakes and save time with automated tax filings

  6. Square

    Online payroll service that helps you offer direct deposit payments for hourly workers.

  7. Alliance Payroll Services

    Localized payroll service that helps you set up a paperless payroll and handles your taxes.

  8. Wagepoint

    Payroll software that enables you to simplify your payroll with automation and an employee self-service portal.

  9. Heartland

    On-demand payroll service provider that connects you with payroll specialists to solve important issues.

  10. SurePayrol

    Payroll provider that enables you to set up and automate your payroll process.

Payroll Service Helps you Focus on Growing Your Business

Payroll services take some of the pressure of running a business off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on growing your business. They help you avoid legal difficulties by filing your taxes on your behalf. But more importantly, they enable you to pay your employees on time. And this is crucial to forming an effective team. 

A survey showed that 80% of US workers prefer having their pay automatically delivered to their accounts as they earn it. In addition, 79% said that access to on-demand pay would make them feel more valued and increase their loyalty to an employer.  

By helping you create and respect a payment schedule, payroll services make it easier for you to build an effective team that propels your business to the next level. 

You can read more about payroll management in our articles on How To Manage Payroll For Small Business and Best HR Software For Small Business. You can also discover tools that can help you run payroll in foreign countries in our articles on the Best Employer Of Record (EOR) Tools and Best Global Payroll Solutions For Distributed Teams

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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. When away from her desk, she can usually be found outside tending to her ever-expanding garden.

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