Best Payroll Software: Ranked and Reviewed (2024)

Payroll management is a critical aspect of running a business, yet many small businesses still rely on manual methods to calculate employee wages and deductions. In fact, a staggering 40% of small businesses continue to process payroll manually, despite the availability of modern technological solutions.

Manual payroll processing is not only time-consuming and prone to errors, but it also hampers efficiency and productivity. With the advancement of technology, there is a wide range of payroll software options available that can streamline the payroll process, automate tasks, and ensure accurate calculations.

In this article, I will explore the best payroll software options for small businesses, taking into account factors such as affordability, ease of use, reliability, and efficiency. Whether you’re looking for cloud-based solutions, customizable features, or modern payroll software, I’ve got you covered.

Key Takeaways:

  • Over 40% of small businesses still process payroll manually.
  • Manual payroll processing is time-consuming and prone to errors.
  • Payroll software can streamline the payroll process and ensure accurate calculations.
  • Factors to consider when choosing payroll software include affordability, ease of use, reliability, and efficiency.
  • I will explore the best payroll software options for small businesses in this article.

Gusto Payroll

When it comes to finding the best payroll software, affordability, customization, and reliability are key factors to consider. One such software that ticks all these boxes is Gusto Payroll.

Gusto offers an extensive range of payroll features, making it one of the top choices for businesses of all sizes. In addition to payroll processing, Gusto also provides HR administration for health insurance and other employee benefits.

One of the standout features of Gusto is its ability to be customized to meet the unique needs of your business. Whether it’s setting up deductions, adding specific earnings, or tailoring your payroll reports, Gusto ensures a personalized experience.

At higher-price tiers, Gusto includes time-tracking features that allow you to easily track and manage employee hours. This can greatly simplify the payroll process by automating the calculation of accurate wages.

“Gusto Payroll stands out for its affordability, customizable features, and reliable performance.”

For businesses that require additional HR support, Gusto offers certified HR experts at the premium level. This can be invaluable in navigating complex HR issues and ensuring compliance with labor laws.

However, it’s worth noting that Gusto does not offer a mobile app specifically for payroll processing. While its platform is mobile-friendly, businesses looking for on-the-go payroll management may need to explore other options.

Pros Cons
• Affordable pricing plans • No mobile app specifically for payroll processing
• Customizable features to suit your business needs
• Reliable performance

Overall, Gusto Payroll is a solid choice for businesses seeking the best payroll software. With its affordability, customizable features, and reliable performance, it offers a comprehensive payroll solution that can streamline your operations.

QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll is an integrated payroll solution designed for small business owners who use QuickBooks Online for their accounting needs. It offers comprehensive payroll features, making it a top-rated and reliable payroll software option. With QuickBooks Payroll, you can streamline your payroll process and ensure efficient and accurate payments to your employees.

One of the key advantages of QuickBooks Payroll is its seamless integration with QuickBooks Online. This integration allows for smooth data transfer and synchronization between your payroll and accounting systems. By using the same platform for both payroll and accounting, you can easily track and manage your business finances in one place, saving time and eliminating the need for manual data entry.

Additionally, QuickBooks Payroll offers benefits administration at all levels, allowing you to easily manage employee benefits, deductions, and contributions. From retirement plans to health insurance, you can efficiently handle all aspects of employee benefits through the software. This comprehensive feature set further enhances the reliability and efficiency of QuickBooks Payroll.

Another notable feature of QuickBooks Payroll is its time-tracking capabilities. With this software, you can track employee hours worked, manage paid time off (PTO), and calculate accurate wages based on the recorded time data. At the premium level, QuickBooks Payroll also provides HR support, ensuring compliance with labor regulations and helping you manage employee data effectively.

QuickBooks Payroll Features at a Glance:

Features Description
Payroll Processing Calculate and process payroll, including accurate tax calculations and direct deposit options.
Benefits Administration Manage employee benefits, deductions, and contributions.
Time Tracking Track employee hours worked and manage paid time off (PTO).
HR Support (Premium) Access HR support for managing employee data and ensuring compliance with labor regulations.

Although QuickBooks Payroll offers a range of powerful features, it’s important to note that its integration is primarily designed for QuickBooks products. Limited integration with non-QuickBooks software may be a consideration for businesses using a different accounting system. However, for QuickBooks Online users, QuickBooks Payroll provides a reliable and efficient payroll solution.

OnPay Payroll

When it comes to finding the best payroll software for your business, affordability, ease of use, and efficiency are key factors to consider. That’s where OnPay Payroll shines.

OnPay offers a wide range of payroll features that cater to small and medium-sized businesses, making it an affordable payroll solution for companies on a budget. With its user-friendly interface and intuitive design, it’s easy to navigate and use, even for those without extensive payroll experience.

But don’t let its affordability and ease of use fool you – OnPay packs a punch when it comes to efficiency. It streamlines payroll processing, saving you time and effort in managing employee wages and deductions. Plus, it integrates seamlessly with third-party time tracking software, allowing for accurate and automated timekeeping.

In addition to its payroll features, OnPay also offers benefits administration and robust HR tools, all included in its simple base rate. This comprehensive suite of tools makes managing your payroll and HR tasks a breeze, consolidating multiple processes into one convenient platform.

For those interested in giving OnPay a test run, the software offers a one-month free trial. This allows you to experience its features and benefits firsthand before committing to a subscription.

However, it’s worth noting that OnPay does have some limitations. Unlike some other payroll software options, it does not run payroll automatically, requiring manual input each pay period. Additionally, its customer support hours are limited, which may impact the level of assistance available outside of regular business hours.

Why Choose OnPay Payroll:

  • Affordable pricing that fits your budget
  • Easy-to-use interface for seamless navigation
  • Efficient payroll processing and integration with third-party time tracking software
  • Comprehensive suite of payroll, benefits administration, and HR tools
  • One-month free trial to explore its features

Overall, OnPay Payroll is an excellent choice for businesses looking for an affordable, easy-to-use, and efficient payroll software solution. Its comprehensive features, intuitive interface, and budget-friendly pricing make it a standout option in the market.

“OnPay Payroll offers an affordable and efficient payroll software solution that caters to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. With its comprehensive features and user-friendly interface, it’s a top contender for businesses in need of an affordable and efficient payroll solution.”

Features Affordability User-Friendliness Efficiency
Payroll processing
Benefits administration
HR tools
Integration with third-party time tracking software

With OnPay Payroll, you can streamline your payroll processes, simplify benefits administration, and manage your HR tasks efficiently, all at an affordable price. Give it a try and experience the convenience of OnPay’s comprehensive payroll solution.

RUN Powered by ADP

When it comes to reliable and efficient payroll software, RUN Powered by ADP is a top-rated option that offers a strong list of features. Whether you’re a small business or a growing company, this software is designed to scale with your needs.

One of the standout features of RUN Powered by ADP is its 24/7 live payroll support, ensuring that you have assistance whenever you need it. This level of customer support is crucial for a smooth payroll process, giving you peace of mind that there’s someone available to help with any issues or questions that may arise.

In addition to its payroll capabilities, RUN Powered by ADP also offers benefits administration as an add-on. This allows you to manage employee benefits seamlessly within the same platform, streamlining your HR processes.

However, it’s important to note that while RUN Powered by ADP provides a robust payroll solution, its pricing structure may not be as transparent as some other options. It’s recommended to reach out to their sales team for detailed pricing information tailored to your business’s needs.

Furthermore, in terms of HR support, the base level of RUN Powered by ADP has some limitations. If you require extensive HR features and support, you may need to explore higher-tier plans or consider alternative software options.

Overall, RUN Powered by ADP is a reliable and efficient choice for payroll software, offering a strong feature set and 24/7 live support. However, it’s important to consider your specific business needs, pricing transparency, and HR requirements before making a final decision.

Features Pros Cons
24/7 live payroll support – Immediate assistance
– Peace of mind
– Pricing may not be transparent
Benefits administration add-on – Streamlined HR processes – Limited HR support at base level

Roll by ADP

If you’re looking for a mobile option for payroll processing, Roll by ADP has got you covered. With its user-friendly interface and convenient features, it’s a great choice for small businesses in need of an easy-to-use payroll software.

One of the standout features of Roll by ADP is its 24/7 support via chat. Whether you have a question about payroll processing or need assistance with any aspect of the software, help is just a few clicks away. This ensures that you can quickly resolve any issues that may arise, allowing you to focus on other important tasks.

Roll by ADP also offers next-day direct deposit, which means that your employees can receive their wages quickly and efficiently. This feature is particularly beneficial for businesses that prioritize prompt payment to their employees.

To help you get started, Roll by ADP provides a generous three-month free trial. This allows you to test out the software and determine if it meets your specific payroll needs before making a financial commitment.

However, it’s important to note that Roll by ADP may not be suitable for businesses requiring extensive HR and time-tracking features. If your company relies heavily on these functionalities, you may need to explore alternative options.

Additionally, Roll by ADP has limited payroll reporting capabilities. If detailed payroll reports are essential to your business operations, you may find that other payroll software options offer more comprehensive reporting features.

Pros Cons
– Easy-to-use mobile application – Lacks HR and time-tracking features
– 24/7 support via chat – Limited payroll reporting capabilities
– Next-day direct deposit
– Three-month free trial

Patriot Payroll

Looking for an affordable and reliable payroll software solution? Look no further than Patriot Payroll. With its extensive range of payroll features and transparent pricing, Patriot Payroll is the perfect choice for small businesses.

One of the standout features of Patriot Payroll is its affordability. It offers a wide selection of payroll features at a budget-friendly price point, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes. Additionally, Patriot Payroll offers add-ons for HR and time and attendance reporting, allowing you to customize the software to meet your specific needs.

But affordability doesn’t mean compromising on quality. Patriot Payroll is known for its reliability and efficiency. You can count on accurate calculations, on-time payments, and compliance with tax laws, ensuring a smooth payroll process.

Another advantage of Patriot Payroll is its user-friendly interface. The software is designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate, even for those with limited payroll experience. Plus, Patriot Payroll offers a one-month free trial, so you can try it out risk-free and see if it’s the right fit for your business.

When it comes to reporting, Patriot Payroll has you covered. The software provides abundant payroll reports, giving you valuable insights into your payroll data. Whether you need to analyze employee wages, track payroll expenses, or review tax filings, Patriot Payroll’s reporting capabilities will help you stay organized and informed.

To give you a visual representation of the features and benefits of Patriot Payroll, here is a comparison table with other top payroll software solutions:

Payroll Software Affordability Reliability Efficiency Benefits Administration
Gusto Payroll No Yes No Yes
QuickBooks Payroll No Yes Yes No
OnPay Payroll Yes Yes Yes No
Roll by ADP Yes Yes No No
Patriot Payroll Yes Yes Yes No

As you can see from the table, Patriot Payroll stands out in terms of affordability, reliability, and efficiency when compared to other payroll software solutions. While it doesn’t offer benefits administration, its strong performance in other areas makes it a top choice for small businesses.

Ready to streamline your payroll processes with Patriot Payroll? Sign up for the one-month free trial and experience the benefits of this affordable and reliable payroll software.

Patriot Payroll

Disclaimer: The above table is for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the latest information or pricing. Please refer to the official websites of each payroll software solution for the most up-to-date and accurate details.


SurePayroll is a reliable and efficient payroll software solution that has been serving businesses for many years. With its long-standing history, SurePayroll has gained the trust and loyalty of numerous clients. It offers support for specialized payrolls, catering to unique needs such as household help payroll processing.

One of the key advantages of SurePayroll is its seamless integration with popular accounting applications. This feature allows businesses to streamline their financial processes and maintain accurate records effortlessly. By eliminating the need for manual data entry, SurePayroll helps save time and reduce the chances of errors.

As an established payroll software provider, SurePayroll understands the importance of ensuring company longevity. This appeal to business owners who value the reliability and reputation of a trusted brand. By choosing SurePayroll, businesses can feel confident in their payroll management and focus on other aspects of their operations.

However, it is essential to note that SurePayroll does have some limitations. Additional fees are incurred for managing W-2s and 1099s, which may affect the overall cost-effectiveness of the software. Nevertheless, its robust features, extensive integration capabilities, and brand reliability make SurePayroll an attractive choice for businesses seeking dependable payroll software.

Affordable Pricing Options

While SurePayroll provides efficient payroll solutions, it also offers affordable pricing options to fit the needs and budgets of different businesses. Whether you are a small startup or an established company, SurePayroll offers flexible plans that can be tailored to your specific requirements. This commitment to affordability ensures that businesses can access reliable payroll software without breaking the bank.

SurePayroll Features

Features Description
Payroll Processing Calculate and process employee wages with ease
Direct Deposit Efficiently deposit employee salaries directly to their bank accounts
Tax Filing Automate tax calculations and ensure timely, accurate payments
Employee Self-Service Empower employees by providing access to past pay stubs and tax forms
Reports Generate comprehensive payroll reports for better financial analysis

By offering a range of essential features, SurePayroll simplifies the payroll process and enables businesses to manage their payroll efficiently and effectively.

Intuit QuickBooks Payroll

As a payroll solution designed specifically for QuickBooks Online users, Intuit QuickBooks Payroll offers a seamless integration with your existing accounting system. It simplifies the payroll process by providing payroll processing, tax filing, and direct deposit options. With QuickBooks Payroll, you can ensure accurate and timely payments to your employees while reducing the administrative burden.

One of the key advantages of QuickBooks Payroll is its reliability. It is known for its stability and dependability, making it a trusted choice for many businesses. The software’s efficient algorithms ensure accurate calculations, eliminating potential errors in payroll processing.

Although QuickBooks Payroll offers comprehensive payroll features, it is important to note that some functionalities are more limited in the Simple plan. For example, time tracking and PTO management may have fewer options in comparison to other plans. However, this can be easily remedied by choosing a more advanced plan if these features are essential to your business.

With integration into the QuickBooks Workforce portal, QuickBooks Payroll allows your employees to access their pay stubs and other related information conveniently. This further streamlines the process, giving your employees transparency and ease of access to their payroll information.

Overall, QuickBooks Payroll provides reliable and efficient payroll processing for businesses using QuickBooks Online. Its seamless integration, payroll features, and accessibility make it a top choice for small and medium-sized businesses.

  • Seamless integration with QuickBooks Online
  • Reliable and accurate payroll processing
  • Convenient access for employees through QuickBooks Workforce portal

Key Features:

  • Payroll processing
  • Tax filing
  • Direct deposit options
  • Integration with QuickBooks Workforce portal


Rippling is a top-rated payroll software solution that is suitable for both small and growing businesses. With its customizable payroll processing, extensive HR and benefits administration capabilities, and integration with over 500 apps, Rippling offers a comprehensive suite of features to streamline your payroll management.

One of the key advantages of Rippling is its versatility in meeting the unique needs of different business sizes. Whether you run a small startup or a rapidly expanding enterprise, Rippling provides reliable and efficient payroll services that can adapt to your changing requirements.

With Rippling, you have the flexibility to customize your payroll process according to your specific preferences. From setting up pay schedules and managing deductions to automating tax calculations and generating detailed reports, Rippling empowers you to tailor your payroll system to your exact specifications.

Additionally, Rippling goes beyond payroll processing to offer extensive HR and benefits administration capabilities. You can efficiently manage employee information, track time and attendance, and handle all aspects of benefits enrollment and management through Rippling’s user-friendly interface.

Integration is another area where Rippling excels. With its seamless integration with over 500 apps, including popular tools for time tracking, accounting, and project management, you can centralize your business operations and improve overall efficiency.

However, it’s important to note that Rippling’s extensive feature set and advanced functionalities may be overwhelming for some small business users. The complexity of the software may require a learning curve, particularly when it comes to generating and analyzing reports.

Benefits of Payroll Software

Payroll software offers several advantages that can greatly benefit your business. By utilizing payroll software, you can streamline your payroll process, save time, reduce errors, and ensure accurate tax calculations. Let’s explore the various benefits of using payroll software:

1. Time Savings

One of the key benefits of payroll software is the significant time savings it provides. With automated calculations and streamlined processes, you can efficiently manage the payroll tasks that would otherwise be time-consuming. This allows you to focus on other important aspects of your business.

2. Error Reduction

Manual payroll calculations are prone to errors, which can lead to costly mistakes. Payroll software eliminates human errors by automating calculations, ensuring accuracy in employee wages, deductions, and taxes. This reduces the risk of compliance issues and costly penalties.

3. Automation of Payroll Tasks

Payroll software automates various tasks such as generating pay stubs, calculating taxes, and filing tax forms. This eliminates the need for manual data entry and repetitive tasks, increasing efficiency and reducing the likelihood of errors.

4. Accurate Tax Calculations

Calculating taxes can be complex and time-consuming. Payroll software simplifies this process by automatically calculating taxes based on the latest tax laws and regulations. This ensures accurate tax calculations and helps you stay compliant with tax obligations.

5. On-Time Payments

With payroll software, you can ensure timely and accurate payments to your employees. The software allows you to set up direct deposit, enabling employees to receive their wages promptly. This boosts employee satisfaction and eliminates the need for printing and distributing physical paychecks.

6. Compliance with Tax Laws

Keeping up with ever-changing tax laws and regulations can be challenging. Payroll software stays up-to-date with the latest tax requirements, ensuring that your payroll processes remain compliant. This helps you avoid penalties and legal issues related to payroll taxation.

7. Direct Deposit Options

Payroll software often offers direct deposit options, allowing you to transfer funds directly into your employees’ bank accounts. This eliminates the need for paper checks and simplifies the payment process for both you and your employees.

8. Expense Management

Some payroll software includes expense management features, allowing you to track and manage employee expenses easily. This helps you maintain accurate records and simplifies reimbursement processes.

9. Employee Self-Service

Payroll software often provides employee self-service portals, giving employees access to their pay stubs, tax forms, and other important payroll information. This empowers employees to manage their own information, reducing administrative work for your HR team.

10. Reporting Features

Payroll software offers robust reporting features that provide valuable insights into your payroll data. You can generate reports on various payroll metrics, such as employee earnings, tax liabilities, and labor costs. These reports can assist you in making informed decisions and analyzing your payroll expenses.

By utilizing payroll software, you can simplify your payroll processes, ensure accuracy, and save time and effort. Payroll software offers numerous advantages, from automated calculations and on-time payments to compliance with tax laws and comprehensive reporting capabilities. Invest in the right payroll software to streamline your payroll operations and improve overall efficiency in your business.

How to Choose the Right Payroll Software

When it comes to selecting payroll software for your business, there are several factors to consider to ensure you make the right choice. By evaluating these key aspects, you can find a payroll software solution that meets your needs and helps streamline your payroll process.

  1. Pricing: Consider your budget and the cost of the software. Look for options that offer value for money and transparent pricing without hidden fees.
  2. Features: Assess the features offered by different payroll software solutions. Make a list of the must-have features and prioritize them based on your business requirements.
  3. Scalability: Think about the future growth of your business. Choose payroll software that can scale with your organization and accommodate additional employees or locations if needed.
  4. Integration: Check if the payroll software integrates with other systems or applications you currently use, such as accounting software or time-tracking tools. Seamless integration can improve efficiency and minimize manual data entry.
  5. Customer Support: Consider the level of customer support provided by the payroll software vendor. Look for options that offer responsive and helpful support, especially during critical periods such as tax season.
  6. User-Friendliness: Evaluate the user interface and navigation of the payroll software. Opt for software that is intuitive and easy to use, minimizing the learning curve for you and your employees.
  7. Compatibility: Ensure that the payroll software you select is compatible with your business size and industry. Some software solutions cater specifically to small businesses, while others are better suited for larger enterprises.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to read reviews and compare different payroll software options. This can provide valuable insights from other businesses and help you make an informed decision. By taking these factors into account and finding the right balance, you can choose payroll software that fits your business needs and streamlines your payroll processes.


After careful evaluation of various payroll software solutions, it is evident that choosing the best option for your business requires consideration of several important factors. Your budget, desired features, and scalability needs should be taken into account to ensure you make an informed decision.

Among the top-rated payroll software providers in the market, Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll, OnPay, RUN Powered by ADP, Roll by ADP, Patriot Payroll, SurePayroll, Intuit QuickBooks Payroll, and Rippling stand out as reliable and efficient choices. Each of these solutions offers its own unique strengths and considerations, making it essential for you to evaluate your specific business needs and priorities.

For businesses looking for affordable payroll software, options such as Gusto, Patriot Payroll, and QuickBooks Payroll offer competitive pricing without compromising on reliability. On the other hand, if you prioritize customization and scalability, Roll by ADP, Rippling, and SurePayroll provide robust features to meet your requirements.

Ultimately, the best payroll software for your business should align with your goals and provide the necessary tools to streamline your payroll processes. Take the time to review and compare the different solutions available, considering their affordability, reliability, and efficiency to choose the ideal option that suits your unique business needs.


What is payroll software?

Payroll software automates the payroll process by calculating employee wages and deductions, offering automated features, tax filing and payment options, direct deposit options, live support, and employee access to past pay stubs.

What are the benefits of using payroll software?

Payroll software offers numerous benefits, including time savings, error reduction, automation of payroll tasks, accurate tax calculations, on-time payments, and compliance with tax laws. It also provides direct deposit options, expense management, employee self-service, and reporting features.

How do I choose the right payroll software?

When selecting payroll software, consider factors such as pricing, features, scalability, integration with other systems, customer support, user-friendliness, and compatibility with your business size and needs. Additionally, read reviews and compare software options to find the best fit for your organization.

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