10 Best Payroll Software For Small Businesses [2022]

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 in 2022. 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. 

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. Rippling logoRippling

    Easy domestic and international payments

  2. Zenefits logoZenefits

    Full-service payroll solution for small businesses

  3. Ceridian Dayforce logoCeridian Dayforce

    Get all the information in organized dashboards

  4. Gusto logoGusto

    File your payroll taxes automatically

  5. RUN by ADP logoRUN by ADP

    Simple payroll automation solution

  6. QuickBooks Online Payroll logoQuickBooks Online Payroll

    Hassle-free accounting software

  7. Oyster logoOyster

    Global payroll and benefits platform

  8. Paycor logoPaycor

    Payment flexibility with multiple payroll options

  9. Patriot logoPatriot

    Affordable payroll and tax filing solution

  10. Onpay logoOnpay

    Mobile-friendly payroll solution

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. 

  • From $8/user/month

Rippling - Easy domestic and international payments

Rippling synchronizes your HR data with payroll, so you don’t have to enter data manually.

Rippling is a complex platform that combines IT, HR, and accounting software. The solution is easy to navigate, and it doesn’t require a lot of training to get started. The menu is clear and provides quick access to the tool’s key areas, including People, Payroll, and Reporting.

Rippling automatically syncs your payroll and HR data. The automation helps you save time when running payroll. You can see important information at a glance, such as your total labor expenses, total hours worked, or deductions, and make adjustments if necessary.

One of the best things about using Rippling is its Global Payroll feature. This feature enables you to make international payments as easy as you would domestic ones. It doesn’t matter if your contractors or employees are located on the other side of the world, you’ll be able to pay them in minutes while respecting the tax-filing requirements.

Rippling offers hundreds of integrations, including with solutions like Slack, Google Workspace, Zoom, Amazon Web Services, GitHub, Asana, Zendesk, Notion, Mavenlink, and others.

Rippling costs from $8/user/month. You can also book a live demo.
  • From $8/user/month

Zenefits - Full-service payroll solution for small businesses

Zenefits offers managers a detailed breakdown on the costs associated with employees.

Zenefits is a human resources platform that helps you run payroll and stay compliant. The software has a clean interface that makes it easy to navigate, and its automation features enables you to save time on repetitive tasks.

This tool can help you coordinate benefits, create a database for important documents, send offer letters, oversee paid time off, and do payroll taxes. The payroll processing features enable small business owners to set up payment via direct deposit and create all the documents you need for tax filing.

The highlight of using this software is that it increases your organization’s transparency regarding payment. Employees can keep track of their worked time, clock in and out, and track their PTO. The platform’s time tracking capabilities make it a good solution for businesses that collaborate with freelancers or contractors for their work.

Zenefits offers integrations with tons of accounting, communication, and productivity tools, including Spark, Microsoft Office, Slack, G Suite, Salesforce, Hive, Zapier, T-Sheets, Betterment, and others.

Zenefits costs from $8/user/month. You can schedule a live demo to learn more about the solution.

  • Pricing upon request

Ceridian Dayforce - Get all the information in organized dashboards

Dayforce’s compensation dashboard makes it easy to configure and review payroll information.

Ceridian Dayforce is a human capital management platform that helps small business owners manage their employees. The solution simplifies a lot of the problems managers encounter on a regular basis, such as payroll processing, employee onboarding, approving time off requests, managing employee benefits, and tax calculations.

This tool has a mobile app that acts as an employee self-service portal. The app helps your employees update their personal information, schedule time off, check their benefits, review earnings, and receive questionnaires or company news. Managers can also use the app to review requests in real-time and approve time sheets.

Dayforce’s dashboards help you make informed business decisions. The dashboards organize the data in actionable reports you can access at any time. Review your workers’ compensation, run payroll, and download tax forms with ease.

One of the great things about using this solution is that it offers flexibility in how you pay your employees with payment cards. The cards remove the hassle of paper checks and offer the convenience of a bank account without the monthly service fees.

Ceridian Dayforce integrates with other solutions, such as DATABASICS, Beekeeper, Microsoft 365, QuickBooks, CIBC SmartBanking, and others.

Ceridian Dayforce offers custom pricing upon request. You can book a demo.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $39/month

Gusto - File your payroll taxes automatically

Gusto offers an in-depth view of the payroll process before you run it.

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.

  • Pricing upon request

RUN by ADP - Simple payroll automation solution

RUN by ADP helps you with your tax filing and sends reminders so you can avoid costly mistakes.

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 tens of solutions, including Intuit QuickBooks, Xero, Wave, Workday, Oracle, Sage Intacct, Dolce, ClockShark, Sapling, and others.

RUN by ADP offers custom pricing upon request. You may be eligible for a free period of 3 months for small business payroll processing.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $25/month

QuickBooks Online Payroll - Hassle-free accounting software

QuickBooks’ dashboard points out things that may need your attention.

QuickBooks is one of the most popular accounting software solutions for small businesses. This platform is cloud-based, so your team members can access it from different locations without any problems. The tool has a simple interface, and even people who are not experienced with accounting software should be able to navigate it with ease.

With QuickBooks, you can send invoices to clients, pay your team, and access benefits. You can also automate the payroll process, and the platform can calculate and file your payroll taxes. You can initiate any payment through QuickBooks, so you don’t have to log onto your bank account to make a payment.

This tool has a mobile version compatible with iOS and Android devices. Your team can use the app to click in and out, and submit timesheets. Your management team can use the app to track worked time, approve PTO, and edit employee schedules or shifts.

QuickBooks integrates with a wide variety of solutions, including Square Payroll, PayPal, Amazon Business Purchases, Shopify, Gusto, BigTime, Buildertrend, and others.

QuickBooks Payroll costs from $25/month and offers a free trial for 30 days.

  • From $399/employee/month

Oyster - Global payroll and benefits platform

Oyster enables small business owners to calculate the cost of employment for people residing in 75+ countries.

Oyster is one of the best payroll services for small businesses that collaborate with foreigners on a regular basis. The platform comes with HR tools that help you pay and offer health benefits to employees around the world, all while complying with the local tax authorities, whether it’s the IRS, the CRA, HMRC, or other institutions that require abbreviations.

The software enables small businesses to hire specialists from over 75 countries just as they would hire someone in their own country. The hiring company doesn’t have to create a legal entity in the employee’s country in order to respect the local workforce regulations, and the specialist can become a regular employee instead of being forced to work as a contractor.

Oyster is not a professional employer organization (PEO). The company operates as a hybrid employer of record (EOR), which means that it can hire, contract, run payroll plans, and support employees according to local laws. The platform is responsible for employment contracts, pensions, severance, garnishments, vacations, and so on. Oyster’s customer support makes sure that both you and the employee remain compliant throughout your collaboration.

The highlight of using Oyster is its basic payroll process. You don’t need to use different payment platforms or payroll companies to make sure that your distributed team members receive their paychecks. You can process payroll and make the payments via direct deposit.

Oyster costs from $399/employee/month. The platform offers a free-forever version with limited capabilities. You can also schedule a live demo.

  • From $99/month

Paycor - Payment flexibility with multiple payroll options

Paycor provides a detailed breakdown of your organization’s payroll needs.

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.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $10/month plus an additional $4/employee/month

Patriot - Affordable payroll and tax filing solution

Patriot enables you to run payroll in good time with a simple three-step process.

Patriot Payroll is a payroll service provider that can help small businesses grow on a budget. The software offers free direct deposit, free payroll setup, and free USA-based support. With good time-off tracking capabilities and payroll tax liability reports, the software can help you run payroll and calculate your taxes with minimal effort.

Patriot’s full-service payroll service acts as a concierge for US-based businesses and takes care of their local and federal taxes. The company’s customer support service reaches out to you if they need more information to file your taxes, so you don’t have to worry about them.

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, GoCo, Plaid, TimeWorksPlus, and others.

Patriot costs from $10/month plus an additional $4/employee/month. The company offers a free trial for 30 days. You can also take a self-guided demo.

  • From $36/month plus an additional $4/employee/month

Onpay - Mobile-friendly payroll solution

OnPay helps you save time by simplifying the payroll process.

OnPay is a HR and payroll software that helps small business owners onboard employees, run payroll, and automate their taxes. You can also add on integrated benefits and set up pay-as-you-go compensation plans.

OnPay has a simple interface and you can learn to use it without difficulty. The tool offers great customer service, and the platform’s specialists can help you set up your payroll process and complete your tax forms, even if you don’t have any previous experience with this kind of software.

One of the things that make OnPay stand out among its competitors is its ease of use. You can find all the elements you need to initiate the payroll process, enter the necessary data, and run payroll with ease. The software’s reporting features help you identify gaps in your data and to ensure that you’re keeping your books in order.

OnPay integrates with a lot of tools, including QuickBooks, Xero, When I Work, Deputy, Vestwell, Guideline, and others.

OnPay charges a base fee of $36/month plus an additional $4/employee/month. You can book a demo.

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

Software USP Free Option Price Site
Rippling Rippling logo Easy domestic and international payments Not Available From $8/user/month Check out Rippling
Zenefits Zenefits logo Full-service payroll solution for small businesses Not Available From $8/user/month Check out Zenefits
Ceridian Dayforce Ceridian Dayforce logo Get all the information in organized dashboards Not Available Pricing upon request Check out Ceridian Dayforce
Gusto Gusto logo File your payroll taxes automatically

30 days free trial

From $39/month Check out Gusto
RUN by ADP RUN by ADP logo Simple payroll automation solution Not Available Pricing upon request Check out RUN by ADP
QuickBooks Online Payroll QuickBooks Online Payroll logo Hassle-free accounting software

30 days free trial

From $25/month Check out QuickBooks Online Payroll
Oyster Oyster logo Global payroll and benefits platform Not Available From $399/employee/month Check out Oyster
Paycor Paycor logo Payment flexibility with multiple payroll options Not Available From $99/month Check out Paycor
Patriot Patriot logo Affordable payroll and tax filing solution

30 days free trial

From $10/month plus an additional $4/employee/month Check out Patriot
Onpay Onpay logo Mobile-friendly payroll solution Not Available From $36/month plus an additional $4/employee/month Check out Onpay

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 2022

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 2022

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