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10 Best Payroll Software For Small Businesses [2023]

The Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses List

Here’s the list of the best payroll software for small businesses that I’ll cover in this article.

  1. Deel

    Global payroll and hiring platform for growing international teams

  2. Papaya Global

    Best for small businesses looking to hire globally

  3. Buddy Punch

    Simplified payroll software with integrated time-tracking and employee self-service features

  4. Paycor

    Payment flexibility with multiple payroll options

  5. Paychex Flex

    Integrated payroll, time tracking, benefits administration, and HR solution

  6. RUN Powered by ADP

    Simple payroll automation solution

  7. Remofirst

    Best payroll software for small businesses wanting 24/7 payroll support

  8. Patriot Software

    Basic payroll software and tax services for US companies

  9. OnPay

    Best full-service payroll software for entrepreneurs or startups, including integrated benefits administration

  10. Gusto

    File your payroll taxes automatically

Growing a small business is not easy. As a manager, you’re responsible for everything, from creating an efficient long-term strategy to keeping your employees happy and reducing your churn rate. Juggling so many things can feel overwhelming. But you can simplify one aspect of managing a business with software. 

Payroll software solutions help you draw up payroll calculations and deductions, generate accurate payslips, and calculate bonuses or expenses on time and with minimum effort. The platforms also help you reduce the burden of compliance, eliminate your need to understand complicated tax legislation and store important data, such as payslip records and annual reports. 

Read my review to discover the 10 best payroll software for small businesses on the market today. My review includes a brief description of each software that made my list, along with screenshots and a comparison chart so you can work out which solution would be a fit for your company.

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best payroll software for small businesses? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): I look for software that offers clean interfaces. The person who oversees the payroll process should be able to find the solution’s functions with ease.  
  2. Usability: I look for tools that are easy to use. Your accountant or bookkeeper should be able to learn how to handle the payroll process with speed and efficiency after a short training period. 
  3. Integrations: I look for solutions that integrate with other tools, such as conferencing tools, resource management platforms, or your HR software
  4. Value for $: I look for platforms that help you complete multiple payroll-related processes with ease, so you get the most out of your investment. 

Payroll Software For Small Businesses Key Features

  1. Automation: The software should enable you to automate part of the payroll process, so you can run it without errors in good time. 
  2. Information database: The tool should provide enough information to help you stay compliant with local and federal laws when completing your tax forms. 
  3. Reporting: The solution should offer an in-depth view of your expenses, so you can make informed business decisions. 
  4. Accessibility: The tool should make it easy for your team to access and update their information and keep track of their pay stubs.
  5. Real-time calculations: The software should calculate your expenses in real-time, so all the information is updated when you run payroll. 

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Overviews of the 10 Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses

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

1

Deel

Global payroll and hiring platform for growing international teams

Deel is a payroll platform designed for businesses of all sizes. For small businesses looking for additional help, Deel lets you hire freelancers and employees from anywhere in the world without having to figure out local laws, tax systems, or international payroll.

Deel's platform includes various elements that make it simple to pay employees and contractors without having to juggle several tools. The user-friendly interface incorporates features such as contract and stock option management, expense reimbursements, and compliance tracking for every client.

Employees and contractors can self-manage their pay and personal data, which reduces admin load. Deel uses major payment providers like Wise, PayPal, Payoneer, and Revolut to offer flexible withdrawal options and reduce unnecessary international transfer fees.

Deel has positive online reviews from clients and their workers. They also offer 24/7 online chat support.

Deel offers flat rate pricing with no contract, so you can simply scale up or down depending on your situation. You can also request a free demo through their website.

Free demo available

From $49/user/month

2

Papaya Global

Best for small businesses looking to hire globally

Papaya Global is a payroll software for small businesses that helps companies remove barriers to global hiring. Papaya’s automated, SaaS platform provides an end-to-end global workforce management solution—onboarding to cross-border payments in 160+ countries.

The platform supports all employee options (payroll, EoR, contractors), integrates with all management tools, and uses smart technology to ensure compliance and eliminate errors. It creates a highly visible system for tracking payroll spending and real-time business intelligence (BI). Papaya Global can help any company simplify global people management. Businesses can access Papaya’s state-of-the-art automation, security, and BI without replacing their existing payroll system.

Papaya Global integrates with most financial tools.

Papaya Global costs from $20/employee/month and offers a free trial.

Free trial available

From $25/employee/pay cycle

3

Buddy Punch

Simplified payroll software with integrated time-tracking and employee self-service features

Buddy Punch is a cloud-based payroll management system tailored for small businesses and startups. Their affordable automated payroll system makes the payroll process more approachable and efficient for small business owners.

The software comes with automatic payroll tax filings and payments, as well as enterprise-grade support with just one click. It also helps simplify the payroll process through an integrated time-tracking system and online punch clock, so payroll administrators can easily track employee working hours within the same system.

Thanks to their quick import function, you can process payroll for your employees and contractors in a few simple steps. All you need to do is review the work hours and time off requests of employees through their intuitive payroll dashboard and sync up your employee time records with a few clicks. After a quick review of the important data, you can submit the finished payroll register for processing.

Buddy Punch has an employee self-service feature that is especially useful for small businesses that don’t have an extensive payroll department or HR personnel. The function helps improve the overall employee experience while reducing the need for HR administrative emails. With this self-service feature, employees can enter their personal details into the system and gain access to their 1099 forms, W2s, and paystubs at any time, using their internet-enabled device.

Buddy Punch integrates with commonly used accounting software systems like ADP, Gusto, Paychex, Paylocity, PayPlus, SurePayroll, Quickbooks, Workday, and Zapier. They also have a mobile app for Android and iOS devices as well.

Buddy Punch costs from $3.49/user/month plus a $19/month base fee for their Standard plan. They also offer a 14-day free trial too.

14-day free trial

From $3.49 - $4.49/user/month + $19/month base fee

4

Paycor

Payment flexibility with multiple payroll options

Paycor is a human capital management solution with powerful analytics and payroll features. The platform helps small businesses with employee onboarding, performance reviews, time and attendance, and benefits management.

Paycor’s payroll solution provides in-depth compliance feedback to help you respect the employment laws in your state. Thanks to the software’s automation features, you can set up the payroll with ease. And once you set it up, you can schedule it to run automatically on a specific day and time.

One of the good things about using this software is that it offers multiple payment options. You can pay with direct deposit, paycards, or on-demand pay. You can set up different pay options for your employees and have them run in the background.

This tool also has a mobile version. Your employees can use the mobile app to review their pay stubs, approve timecards, and communicate with one another.

Paycor integrates with a variety of solutions, including Certify, Payfactors, Pay Solutions, ESR, WageWorks, and others.

Paycor’s base fee costs from $99/month plus an additional $5/employee/month. The software also offers a live demo.

Free demo available

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

5

Paychex Flex

Integrated payroll, time tracking, benefits administration, and HR solution

Paychex Flex is an online platform that helps small businesses manage payroll and other HR functions. It allows employers to manage everything from calculating employee paychecks to managing employee benefits and tracking time off requests. Users can access their accounts from anywhere, ensuring they always have access and control over their data. The platform offers features such as tax filing and compliance services, paperless onboarding tools, and employee self-service options.

Paychex Flex makes it easy for employers to track employees' hours worked and leave taken through its automated time tracking feature. This ensures that employees are paid accurately according to the hours worked each week or day and any applicable overtime rates or vacation days taken off work. The software supports multiple payment methods for both direct deposit and paper checks. Additionally, it allows users to quickly generate reports on employee wages, salaries, overtime payouts, and deductions taken from wages, enabling businesses to stay compliant with local laws and regulations. Paychex Flex helps simplify the filing process by automatically calculating all federal tax requirements and state or local taxes to ensure accuracy when filing returns. It also allows small businesses to make timely payments while avoiding late fees or penalties due to delayed filings or incorrect data entry.

The employee self-service portal feature allows employees to access their account information securely online without contacting HR for assistance. Employees can log into their accounts to view pay stubs, update personal information such as address changes, or view the status of benefits enrollment. Paychex Flex integrates with popular accounting software like QuickBooks Online so employers can sync their payroll data across multiple systems for greater accuracy and convenience. Paychex Flex protects users against online negligence resulting in a data breach, such as a hacker accessing confidential employee or customer information. Its cyber liability insurance helps small business owners protect themselves from potential public relations or litigation costs from the incident.

Paychex Flex offers pricing upon request and free demo.

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

6

RUN Powered by ADP

Simple payroll automation solution

RUN by ADP is a small business payroll provider that helps you automate recurring payroll and file payroll taxes. The software also calculates benefits and retirement deductions, and flags potential errors to make sure you remain compliant when filing federal or local taxes.

Thanks to its automation features, RUN enables you to process invoices and run your payroll in a timely manner, so you can focus on your growing business. You can also set schedules for your team, see when they clock in and out of work and attach notes to shifts.

One of the good things about using this solution is that the system automatically keeps track of your team’s work and calculates everything for you. The automated payroll system ensures that you pay employees and file taxes on time, so you can save time managing this aspect of the business.

RUN by ADP integrates with many popular software systems, including 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.

RUN by ADP offers custom pricing upon request. Eligible small businesses may also qualify for their first 3 months of payroll processing for free.

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

7

Remofirst

Best payroll software for small businesses wanting 24/7 payroll support

Remofirst is a payroll software that helps employers quickly generate accurate paychecks, direct deposit payments, and tax filings. In fact, you can completely outsource your payroll processing needs to Remofirst, making them a worthy option for companies that do not have the resources or expertise to handle payroll processing internally.

Their software helps businesses manage their payroll processes remotely, including managing employee information, tracking employee hours, and processing payroll payments. Remofirst provides a convenient way for users to pay their employees through transfers directly into their employees' bank accounts, eliminating the need for paper paychecks and saving money on check-writing fees. Their self-service portal allows employees to access their payroll information online, including pay stubs, W-2 forms, and tax information. They can also update their contact information and banking information.

Remofirst offers businesses a central platform for distributing and managing employee benefits, allowing users to easily add, remove, or update employee benefits and view and collect benefit usage statistics. Payroll reports can be customized to show specific information, such as employee compensation and taxes, and can be generated for a particular period. They can be exported to various formats, making it easy to share with accountants or other team members. Remofirst also automatically sends invoices per month with complete reports detailing payroll expenses.

Remofirst’s team of experts offers 24/7 support to help users resolve any payroll issues immediately. Compliance documentation is also always accessible via your dashboard, making it easy to comply with international HR regulations at all times.

Pricing for Remofirst starts at $199 per person, per month. You can also request a free demo through their website.


Free forever plan with limited features

From $199/employee/month

8

Patriot Software

Basic payroll software and tax services for US companies

Patriot Payroll is an online payroll service provider that helps small businesses grow on a budget. Their software includes free payroll setup, free 2-day direct deposits, and free USA-based customer support. They also offer an add-on for time & attendance tracking, which links employee work hours directly to your payroll processing module, plus an add-on for HR software if you don’t already have a digital employee database.

Patriot’s full-service payroll platform acts as a concierge for US-based businesses and takes care of their local, state and federal taxes. The company’s customer service team also reaches out if they need more information to file your taxes, so you don’t have to worry about them yourself. Their system also includes a whole host of easy-to-access payroll reports covering tax credits, tax filings and deposits, payroll registers, paycheck histories, time off reports, W-2 summaries, payroll tax liabilities, and more.

The highlight of using this payroll service provider is its effectiveness. The tool is simple to navigate and use. Their information database is comprehensive, so you can get a detailed guide on how to complete your tax files, and their customer support service is always there.

Patriot integrates with Intuit QuickBooks Online, GoCo, Plaid, Workforce.com, and WorkforceHub Time & Attendance.

Patriot costs from $17/month plus an additional $4/employee/month. The company offers a free trial for 30 days as well as a self-guided demo or personalized tour.

30-day free trial

From $17/month + $4/employee/month

9

OnPay

Best full-service payroll software for entrepreneurs or startups, including integrated benefits administration

OnPay’s full-service payroll software helps entrepreneurs manage payroll, HR functions, and benefits all in one place. Their software includes a full suite of payroll services and compliance settings for all 50 states. For no additional cost, they also offer special payroll services for certain industries like restaurants, farms and agriculture, churches and clergy, and nonprofits. As well, OnPay offers great customer service, with platform specialists available to help you set up your payroll process and automate your taxes, even if you don’t have any previous experience with this kind of software.

To get your business up and running as fast as possible, new business owners will appreciate the free employee handbook and HR templates that are included in the platform. Essential HR tools such as automated onboarding flows, employee personnel files, document storage with e-sign capabilities, compliance audits, paid time-off tracking and task management features are also included.

Their team of licensed in-house insurance brokers also help small businesses set up health, dental and vision plans with top providers such as Humana, Cigna, Blue Cross / Blue Shield, Aetna and UnitedHealthcare. Once in place, benefit costs are synced with payroll, which means you won’t have to worry about capturing any cost fluctuations yourself. Another interesting feature is their 401k integration that automatically supports employer matching and profit sharing options, and can garner small businesses extra tax credits.

OnPay integrates with Deputy, Magnify, Mineral, PosterElite, QuickBooks, When I Work, Xero, and with the 401k retirement platforms America’s Best 401k, Guideline, and Vestwell.

There is only one pay-level for OnPay, so you can access all their features right from the start. It costs $4/employee/month plus an additional base fee of $36/month. If you sign up for an account, you’ll also receive your first month of services for free. A free 30-day trial is also available.

30-day free trial

From $4/employee/month plus an additional base fee of $36/month

10

Gusto

File your payroll taxes automatically

Gusto is a top payroll processing and HR solution that covers most of your workforce-related business needs. The platform has a simple design that makes it easy to use and its training materials are comprehensive, so you don’t need a payroll specialist or HR support to run it.

This software makes payroll and benefits administration a breeze. With automatic tax reporting, scheduled reminders, and a documents database, the platform helps you manage all your HR, accounting, legal, and taxes problems without hiring a specialist, making it ideal for early-stage startups.

Gusto stands out from its competition thanks to its ease of use and affordable pricing plans. The solution takes care of your W-2s and other tax items, it withholds money for health insurance and retirement plans, all while providing a great user experience.

Gusto integrates with many accounting and performance management platforms, including Xero, QuickBooks, Hubstaff, 7Shifts, Ardius, Box, Clover, Google Workspace, and others.

Gusto’s core plan costs a base fee of $39/month plus an additional fee of $6/user/month. The platform offers a free trial for 30 days.

30-day free trial

From $6/employee/month + $39/month base fee

Need Expert Help Selecting The Right Payroll Management Software?

People Managing People has joined forces with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the best tool for your needs. Crozdesk’s Payroll Management Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business's needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.

It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:

The 10 Best Payroll Software For Small Businesses Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
Deel

Global payroll and hiring platform for growing international teams

Free demo available

From $49/user/month Visit Website
2
Papaya Global

Best for small businesses looking to hire globally

Free trial available

From $25/employee/pay cycle Visit Website
3
Buddy Punch

Simplified payroll software with integrated time-tracking and employee self-service features

14-day free trial

From $3.49 - $4.49/user/month + $19/month base fee Visit Website
4
Paycor

Payment flexibility with multiple payroll options

Free demo available

From $99/month + $5/employee/month Visit Website
5
Paychex Flex

Integrated payroll, time tracking, benefits administration, and HR solution

Free demo available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
6
RUN Powered by ADP

Simple payroll automation solution

Free demo available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
7
Remofirst

Best payroll software for small businesses wanting 24/7 payroll support

Free forever plan with limited features

From $199/employee/month Visit Website
8
Patriot Software

Basic payroll software and tax services for US companies

30-day free trial

From $17/month + $4/employee/month Visit Website
9
OnPay

Best full-service payroll software for entrepreneurs or startups, including integrated benefits administration

30-day free trial

From $4/employee/month plus an additional base fee of $36/month Visit Website
10
Gusto

File your payroll taxes automatically

30-day free trial

From $6/employee/month + $39/month base fee Visit Website

Other Options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Paychex Flex – Elite online payroll service provider with strong HR features that helps you file year-end taxes with ease. 
  2. Paylocity – Payroll and workforce management solution that makes it easy to track your team’s time and stay tax compliant. 
  3. Heartland – Employee management solution that helps you speed up the payroll process and access business loans. 
  4. APS – Complex payroll system that automates most payroll tasks and helps you reduce payroll errors. 
  5. SurePayroll – Online payroll solution that offers unlimited payroll runs in its core service plan.  
  6. Paycom Pay – HRIS system with a strong payroll solution that includes applicant tracking, new hire reporting, a great self-service portal, and helps you avoid payroll issues. 
  7. TriNet – Full-service HR software that helps small businesses allocate their resources, run payroll, and track their employees’ activity in real-time. 

Related Read: 10 Best HRMS For Small Business In 2023

What Are The Benefits Of Payroll Software For Small Businesses?

Payroll solutions help small business owners save time when running payroll. In addition, the tools reduce the chances of making costly errors and ensure that your team members are paid what they’re owed, on time. 

Good payroll tools also remove the need to hire a specialist such as a bookkeeper or an accountant, depending on your location and tax legislation. 

What Type Of Small Businesses Can Use Payroll Software? 

Every small business can use payroll software. From manufacturers to service providers and non-profits, every business can speed up their payroll with this kind of software. 

Simplify Your Payroll Process With Software Solutions 

Running a small business is complicated. There are a lot of things an owner should look out for. But one of the most complicated aspects of being a small business owner is running the numbers and filing your taxes. 

Payroll software solutions can help you simplify this aspect of your business. Thanks to modern automation, you can set up the payroll and run it in the background, so you can focus on growing your business. 

Delegation is important for business managers. Beth Schneider, president of Process Prodigy, said “Delegation is about handing over authority, and for many small-business owners, that's a scary concept because you don't know what will happen when you give up control. But the good news is, delegating doesn't have to be scary-you have more control than you think”. 

And when you delegate your payroll process to a software solution that helps you avoid costly mistakes, you increase the effectiveness of your business. 

You can read more about how to manage payroll for small businesses on our blog. If you want to receive tips on how to improve your business processes from top thinkers in the industry directly in your inbox, subscribe to the People Managing People newsletter

For even more help on choosing the best HR software, check this out: The 10 Best HR Software Companies 2023

Related List of Tools: Payroll Companies To Modernize Your Payroll Processes

By Tim Reitsma

Tim is the co-founder and General Manager of People Managing People, an online publication focused on building a better world of work. He is experienced with people & culture, leadership, business strategy and operations with a focus on building great teams who are excited about their craft and their organization. With over 15 years of leadership experience, Tim has always been guided by his core values: faith, family, curiosity, and fun. He is a coach, mentor, speaker, advisor, and an active volunteer in his community. Tim loves spending time outdoors with his wife and two kids as well as mountain biking in the north shore mountains.