5 Best Payroll Software Systems for Your Small Business


Payroll can be a nightmare. While small business managers often wear many hats, you probably did not envision spending hours hunched over a spreadsheet calculating payroll taxes and overtime. This is tedious and time consuming, so it may make you consider getting payroll software for your company.

When it comes to payroll software, each business has specific needs. You may want something customized or ready to go out of the box. If you travel, you may need mobile access to payroll. Of course, cost is also an important factor. Here are five of the top payroll systems for small businesses.

1. Intuit Online Payroll

$20-$99/month + $2 per employeepayroll systems

Intuit is a top-rated payroll software company offering three tiers of service. The least expensive service is a paycheck-only service. The top tier offers direct deposit, electronic tax filing, and the ability to run payroll from a mobile device, including iPhone and Android devices. Intuit Payroll can be integrated with Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting software or can be purchased as a standalone product. The company offers a 30-day free trial and can be easily downloaded from the company’s website.

2. Patriot Pay

$10-33/monthbest payroll options

Patriot Software specializes in human resource systems for small businesses employing up to 50 employees. The company also offers software packages that include tax services, hiring databases, and accounting software. Patriot Pay was chosen as one of the best payroll software programs of 2012 by FindTheBest.com.

Patriot Pay is supported by most operating systems and also offers mobile access from iPhone and Android devices. There are several options for screening the product before purchase, including a free 30-day trial. Additionally, the software offers a data-restore feature in case of system failure. However, the software is not all inclusive. Expect to pay more if you want features such as tax services and employee time tracking.

3. ezPaycheck Payroll

$89/yearpayroll software

Offered by HalfPriceSoft.com, exPaycheckPayroll software claims to be the best for non-accountants, and may be best for businesses with fewer than 10 employees. The software is a bare-bones product that calculates payroll taxes, prints tax forms and paychecks, and supports customized wage systems, as well as traditional ones such as hourly and commissioned systems. Direct deposit is not offered with this software and it does not offer mobile connectivity. A 30-day free trial is available.

4. CenterPoint Payroll

Starting at $795best payroll software

Offered by Red Wing Software, CenterPoint Payroll is a customizable system for a one-time fee. CenterPoint Payroll received a positive review by CPA Practice Advisor. Direct deposit, electronic tax filing, and customized wage calculations are a few of the features offered.

The real benefit, however, is the software’s flexibility, with the ability to manage payroll for unlimited employees and multiple companies, all at one price. However, an annual fee is added for unlimited customer membership support. The company does not offer a free trial, but it does offer an online demonstration with a sales representative. Another disadvantage is that the software does not offer mobile access.

5. Sage HRMS Payroll

$3-$7/employee/monthpayroll software

If your company uses Peachtree Accounting software, Sage HRMS Payroll is an ideal choice as it easily integrates with Peachtree, thus eliminating some data entry for your accounting staff. Ideal for companies with fewer than 20 employees, Sage HRMS Payroll also allows a customizable system with unlimited direct deposits as well as paycheck printing. A free demonstration is available at the company’s website. However, Sage HRMS does not calculate local taxes, nor does it electronically file taxes.

Payroll is the largest expense for many small businesses. An effective payroll system designed to meet your specific needs is critical to a successful venture, allowing both you and your employees to concentrate on making your small business the best it can be.