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new payroll software options for small businesses

Paying your workers on time and in full is a non-negotiable component of a well-functioning team, which makes selecting payroll software for your small company a difficult choice.

There are several excellent choices out there for you, whether you want barebones, free payroll software or full-service payroll software. The four finest choices on the market right now are listed below.

The Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses: The Facts

Let’s get started on the information you’ve come to find. Here are the top ten payroll software options for small companies like yours:

Gusto Payroll

Gusto is our top choice for the finest payroll that provides the most comprehensive package at the most affordable pricing. Gusto is a payroll, benefits, and HR platform for small companies that starts at $45 per month ($39 as a basic fee plus an extra $4 per employee per month for their cheapest plan). Gusto has also added a new option for contractors-only businesses, who pay the $6/employee cost instead of the basic fee.

You’ll have access to full-service payroll regardless of whatever version of Gusto you choose. However, as you go through the levels, you’ll get access to additional capabilities via this payroll program. Every Gusto plan includes the following features, which are also available with the Core plan:

Payroll software that does it all

Employee profiles and self-service

Administration of health-care benefits

Administration of workers’ compensation

PTO tracking for customer service

The Gusto Complete plan is the next step up, with a basic price of $39 and a monthly fee of $12 per employee. The extra features include:

Employee offers and onboarding PTO approvals to go along with PTO monitoring Employee directory and surveys Admin permissions

The Gusto Concierge package, which is the most costly, costs $149 per month plus $12 per employee per month and includes the following services.

Customer service that is dedicated

HR resource hub for certified HR professionals

Furthermore, each of the three versions of Gusto payroll software comes with a month’s free trial, allowing you to evaluate whether it’s the perfect match for you. Remember that you may add additional benefits and insurance to any Gusto plan you choose, such as 401(k) retirement plans and health coverage, for example.

Payroll in QuickBooks

QuickBooks Payroll is another popular payroll program for small companies. This will be one of the simplest methods to automate your payroll if you already use QuickBooks accounting software to keep track of your company’s money, as many business owners do. In fact, if you use QuickBooks Online, you’ll be able to activate this payroll program with a single click in your accounting software.

You’ll be able to select between three versions of QuickBooks Payroll software. QuickBooks Payroll Core, the self-service version of QuickBooks Payroll software, is the initial plan choice for you. This software enables you to compute and submit year-end paperwork, as well as calculate and pay your workers’ paychecks. You’ll only have to pay $13.50 per month for the first three months of using this payroll software, plus $4 per employee each month. Your basic cost will rise to $45 per month after the first three months, however your employee cost will stay the same.

Consider upgrading to the Premium edition of QuickBooks Payroll if you need more assistance from your payroll software than the basic version can provide. You’ll have access to all of the capabilities included in the Self Service version of QuickBooks Payroll, as well as the following list of extra features:

Payroll taxes are taken care of for you.

Direct deposit the same day

You will get free W-2s that have been filed and mailed to you.

Assistance with payroll setup

Permissions determined by the user

Premium time management (via mobile app)

A human resources support center

Their promise of no penalties if you file your taxes on time

However, you’ll have to pay more for Premium QuickBooks Payroll’s additional features—the first three months will come with a reduced base cost of $22.50 per month, and future months will come with a base rate of $75. Again, each additional person on your payroll will cost you $8 per month.

Finally, there’s QuickBooks Payroll Elite, which is the company’s most complete payroll solution. This bundle includes everything from the Core and Premium packages, as well as the following extras:

QuickBooks is in charge of employee onboarding.

Geofencing and time tracking

Guarantee of no tax penalties

Additional customer service for companies headquartered in the United States

A personal HR consultant

For all of these extra benefits, you’ll pay $37.50 per month for the first three months. After three months, your monthly cost will rise to $125, plus $10 for each additional employee.

Payroll for Patriots

Patriot Software Payroll is another choice on our list of the top payroll software for small companies. Patriot Payroll software is available in two versions, both of which may be beneficial to small companies based on their requirements and preferences. Plus, for a modest monthly charge, you can add two additional capabilities to your Patriot Payroll software: time and attendance monitoring and HR software.

Patriot Payroll software’s Basic edition is just $10 per month, with an employee fee of $4 per month for each employee you add to your payroll. You’ll have access to the following payroll features at this price:

Setup and assistance for payroll

Payments may be made by cheque or direct deposit.

Payment plans that are flexible

Patriot’s Full Service payroll software is another alternative. You’ll have to pay a monthly base fee of $30 + $4 per employee if you choose this option. For an additional $20 each month, you’ll have access to all of the features of Basic Patriot Payroll, as well as the following:

W-2s and W-3s have been submitted on your behalf.

You will have your federal taxes filed and deposited for you.

You will have your state taxes filed and deposited for you.

You will have your local taxes filed and deposited for you.


If you’re looking for a completely free payroll software, Payroll4Free is your best option. If you have less than 25 workers on your payroll, you may take use of all of Payroll4Free’s basic features for free.

The following capabilities are included in these fundamental features:

Processing of payroll (for both W-2 employees and 1099 contractors)

Deposits made directly (to your own bank only)

Calculations and forms related to taxes

Tracking vacations

Integrations with third-party software

HR responsibilities


Live customer service is available.

In addition to those basic services, Payroll4Free charges $12.50 per month to deposit and submit your taxes straight from your payroll software. You’ll also have to pay your employees an extra $12.50 a month if you wish to send direct deposit money to their bank accounts rather than your own.

Aside from those two optional services, Payroll4Free is a totally free alternative that won’t need you to make too many sacrifices in exchange for its lack of cost.

Payroll by ADP

Advanced Data Processing, or ADP, is a well-known brand in the commercial software industry, and you’ve undoubtedly heard of them. Small companies may utilize ADP Run, which is a strategy they provide. The Essential, Enhanced, Complete, and HR Pro plans are the four options available with ADP Run. The plans have no pricing listed online, so if you’re interested, you’ll have to contact ADP for a quotation, but the plan specifics are accessible.

The following features are included in every plan:

Payroll may be done on a computer, tablet, mobile app, or over the phone.

Make a direct deposit

General Ledger Interface for Payroll Delivery Reporting

W-2s and 1099s for New Employees

Filing of Taxes

ADP Employee Discounts Employee Access New Hire Onboarding

The major features you receive in addition to the payroll you already get in the Essential plan when you go to the more costly plans have to do with human resources management and tools. The most basic plan, the Essential plan, or the most popular option, the Enhanced plan, will suffice if all you need is a payroll plan. Because you can use the mobile app on your phone, a tablet, a computer, or even call in to manage your payroll, this is a fantastic choice for company owners on the move.

Payroll through OnPay

OnPay is a fantastic choice to consider when it comes to a payroll service if you primarily pay hourly and contract employees. OnPay’s expenses are publicly accessible, and they only provide one payroll service, therefore there are no plans to filter through them. The monthly fee will be $36 plus an extra $4 each person you pay, regardless of whether they are a contractor, full-time employee, or part-time employee.

Payroll does not run automatically with OnPay, which makes it a suitable match for your company if you’re paying contractors or part-time workers. Before you can conduct the payroll, you must first choose the workers you wish to pay and then input their hours or salaries. However, since it is a cloud-based solution, you can process payroll fast and simply from your phone or computer.

OnPay Payroll services offer the following features:

Payroll runs are unlimited on a monthly basis.

Payments and filing of taxes

Forms W-2 and 1099

Employees may be paid by direct deposit, debit card, or a printed cheque.

Multiple pay rates and schedules are available.

Withholding of unemployment insurance

Payroll statements

Accounting and time-tracking integrations


Paychex Flex offers a variety of options, all of which are excellent for expanding companies. You can start with one of the lower-tier plans and work your way up to the more costly and robust ones as needed. Express Payroll is the most straightforward option, followed by Paychex Flex Select, Paychex Flex Pro, and Paychex Flex Enterprise.

The following features are included in each of the four Paychex plans we just mentioned:

Administration of payroll taxes

Reporting on new hires

App is available for download for free.

Support is available through phone and chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a

Financial wellness initiative for employees

Paycards and direct deposit

Services for verifying employment and income

The next level plans include additional services such as a dedicated payroll expert who can assist you with any tax or payroll concerns you may have. You may also get access to other payment options, such as check payments, as well as analytics and statistics. One disadvantage of Paychex Flex is that their price isn’t easily accessible on their website, making it impossible to compare their services to those offered by companies that do.

Payroll Square

You’ve undoubtedly heard of Square, at least in terms of their point-of-sale system, whether you’ve used it for your own company or at a competitor’s. They do, however, provide payroll services to company owners. Square Payroll offers a $5 per contractor per month option if you exclusively pay contractors. If you have full-time workers, the plan will cost you $35 per month plus $5 per person each month.

The following are some of the features offered in the full-service payroll:

Employees and contractors should be paid.

Provide health-related advantages


Tracking of PTO and sick leave

Keep track of your working hours.

To pay workers, use the mobile app.

Employees should have access.

Time cards may be imported.

submitting a tax return

Your workers can already clock in and leave if you utilize Square as your point of sale. The information may then be synced with the payroll provider, allowing you to simply monitor hours and ensure that they are correct come payday.

Payroll by Zenefits

Zenefits is a very complete payroll solution that also takes care of any additional benefits you wish to provide to your workers. Their payroll system works in tandem with their HR, benefits, and time and scheduling systems. They also provide a plethora of connectors for company owners to utilize. Everything from productivity to application monitoring, retirement savings, accounting, travel, staff management, and performance management has been integrated.

The following are just a few of the numerous functions available in payroll software:

New employees are automatically prorated.

Payroll reminders that are sent automatically

Paystubs with information

Messages on pay stubs

Deposits made directly into your bank account

Contractors are paid.

Earning codes that are unique

Various pay scales

You would assume that all of these capabilities would come at a high price, yet Zenefits’ three plans are affordably priced. The Essentials plan is the cheapest at $10 per month per employee, followed by the Growth plan at $18 per month per employee and the Zen plan at $27 per month per employee. More features are included in the pricing as the plan price rises.

Wave Payroll

You may be familiar with Wave since they provide some excellent free accounting and invoicing tools. They also have payroll software, which you must pay for, but if you’re looking for accounting software as well, now may be a good time to test both, since they sync smoothly.

The price of Wave Payroll will vary based on the state you live in, since certain jurisdictions allow them to provide tax services while others do not. In states where tax services are available, the monthly fee is $35, plus $6 for each active employee or independent contractor you pay. The basic fee will be $20 in places where taxes are deemed “self-service.”

However, the characteristics are the same regardless of whatever state you’re in:

Payroll accuracy of 100 percent

Free direct deposits are available indefinitely.

Check printing at the self-service station

Payroll reminders sent to your inbox

Customer service

Employee is in charge of

Where appropriate, tax returns must be filed.

Employee pay stubs and tax forms

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve learned about the best payroll software for small companies, it’s time to choose from these four choices to see which one best suits your payroll requirements and preferences.

But, with so many choices at your disposal, how can you choose the finest payroll software for your company?

Each choice has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but at the end of the day, you’ll need to consider how much assistance you’ll need with your taxes and payroll setup, as well as how much you’re prepared to spend each month for payroll software.