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10 Best Payroll Software For Small Businesses [2022]

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. RUN by ADP

    Simple payroll automation solution

  4. Patriot

    Basic payroll software and tax services for US companies

  5. OnPay

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

  6. Rippling

    Easy domestic and international payments

  7. Zenefits

    Full-service payroll solution for small businesses

  8. Ceridian Dayforce

    Get all the information in organized dashboards

  9. Gusto

    File your payroll taxes automatically

  10. QuickBooks Online Payroll

    Hassle-free accounting software

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. 

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

Flat pricing upon request

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

From $20/employee/month

3

RUN 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

4

Patriot

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 days free trial

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

5

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 days free trial

From $4/employee/month + a base fee of $36/month

6

Rippling

Easy domestic and international payments

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

7

Zenefits

Full-service payroll solution for small businesses

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.

From $8/user/month

8

Ceridian Dayforce

Get all the information in organized dashboards

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.

Pricing upon request

9

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 days free trial

From $39/month

10

QuickBooks Online Payroll

Hassle-free accounting software

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.

30 days free trial

From $25/month

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

Flat pricing upon request Visit Website
2
Papaya Global

Best for small businesses looking to hire globally

Free trial

From $20/employee/month Visit Website
3
RUN by ADP

Simple payroll automation solution

Free demo available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
4
Patriot

Basic payroll software and tax services for US companies

30 days free trial

From $17/month + $4/employee/month Visit Website
5
OnPay

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

30 days free trial

From $4/employee/month + a base fee of $36/month Visit Website
6
Rippling

Easy domestic and international payments

Not available

From $8/user/month Visit Website
7
Zenefits

Full-service payroll solution for small businesses

Not available

From $8/user/month Visit Website
8
Ceridian Dayforce

Get all the information in organized dashboards

Not available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
9
Gusto

File your payroll taxes automatically

30 days free trial

From $39/month Visit Website
10
QuickBooks Online Payroll

Hassle-free accounting software

30 days free trial

From $25/month 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 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

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.

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