Best Payroll Software for Small Business 2022

To rate each payroll software program, we assessed payroll and HR features, ease of use, price, plan scalability, and customer service reviews.
Budget pick
SurePayroll
SurePayroll
Starting from
$19.99 + $4.00/payee
  • pro
    Employee benefits
  • pro
    Full service or self service
  • pro
    Two months free
Best overall
Gusto
Gusto
Starting from
$40.00 + $6.00/payee
  • pro
    Employee benefits
  • pro
    Automatic tax filing
  • pro
    Free demo
Best HR add-ons
ADP
RUN Powered by ADP
$79.00 + $4.00/payee
  • pro
    Employee benefits
  • pro
    Thorough HR support
  • pro
    Three months free
Best for growth
Paychex
Paychex
Starting from
$39.00 + $5.00/payee
  • pro
    Employee benefits
  • pro
    Easy-to-scale plans
  • pro
    Two months free
Best value
OnPay
OnPay
Starting from
$40.00 + $6.00/payee
  • pro
    Employee benefits
  • pro
    Simple flat-fee price
  • pro
    One month free

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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The bottom line: The best payroll software for many small businesses is Gusto. With comprehensive payroll features, automated payroll tax administration, and scalable plans, Gusto works nicely for small and midsize businesses in many industries.

But even though we love Gusto, it’s not the only payroll software on the market. The cheapest, most budget-friendly software is SurePayroll, which has affordable self-service and full-service plans. We also recommend Paychex and ADP for more thorough HR management and OnPay for comprehensive-but-affordable payroll.


Our top-rated payroll software: Gusto

Gusto’s friendly design and full-service payroll system with HR features make it the best overall payroll software provider.


Compare the best payroll software costs and features

Provider
Starting monthly base price
Monthly fee per employee
Free year-end tax filing
Health benefits administration
Free trial
Get started
$19.99

$4.00

Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
2 mos.
$40.00

$6.00

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  DarkYes
Free demo
$79.00

$4.00

Icon No  DarkAdditional fee
Icon Yes  DarkYes
3 mos.
$39.00$5.00
Icon No  DarkAdditional fee
Icon Yes  DarkYes
2 mos.
$40.00

$6.00

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  DarkYes
1 mo.

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

SurePayroll is the most affordable payroll software

Best budget payroll software
SurePayroll
Starts at
$19.99 + $4.00/payee
  • pro
    Automatic payroll tax administration
  • pro
    Workers compensation and health insurance add-ons (additional fee)
  • pro
    Two-day direct deposit (full-service plan only)

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

SurePayroll’s customer service, affordable self-service, and easy HR add-ons make it a good payroll option for small-business owners who prioritize saving money without sacrificing customer service.

With self-service online payroll software starting at $19.99 a month and full-service software starting at $29.99 a month, SurePayroll is one of the most affordable payroll systems in our top 10. Its extended customer service hours on weekdays and Saturdays are perfect if you want (nearly) round-the-clock assistance for payroll problems, which can cause major issues for your employees if they aren’t resolved ASAP.

SurePayroll is cheap, but it has a few additional costs. For instance, multi-state payroll tax filing costs an extra $9.99 a month. And SurePayroll lacks the expansive employee benefits, scalable plans, and HR perks you’ll get with Gusto or Paychex—another reason it works best for the smallest of small businesses. If you have just a few employees and want to offer good benefits without going all-in on expensive add-ons, SurePayroll’s online payroll system could work well for you.

Pros
pro Affordable full- and self-service plans
pro Extended customer service hours
pro Affordable insurance add-ons
Cons
con Limited scalability (two plans only)
con Limited HR assistance

Gusto is the best overall payroll software provider for small businesses

Best overall payroll provider
Gusto
Starts at
$40.00 + $6.00/payee
  • pro
    Automatic payroll tax administration
  • pro
    Affordable insurance options (in-house brokers)
  • pro
    Two-day direct deposit with mid-tier plan

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The heartily named Gusto is our favorite payroll software for small businesses. Its beautifully designed, full-service payroll system includes plenty of payroll and HR features:

  • Automatic local, state, and federal payroll tax filing
  • Automatic end-of-year tax-form filing, including W-2s and 1099s
  • Automatic state new-hire form filing
  • Health benefits administration and workers compensation administration
  • Employee benefit options like HSAs, FSAs, commuter benefits, and college savings plans
  • Employee self-service portal for pay stub, direct deposit, and W-2 access

Even better, Gusto includes these features for free when many payroll providers charge extra. For instance, Gusto’s in-house insurance brokers ensure that if you sign up for employee medical insurance and workers compensation insurance through Gusto, you’ll pay the premium only.

In contrast, ADP, which outsources its insurance integrations, charges an extra fee on top of the premium. Ditto Paychex, which does have an in-house insurance team but still charges extra for insurance add-ons. ADP also charges extra for end-of-year tax-form filings. Gusto doesn’t.

Pin
Gusto's Contractor plan

If you hire contractors instead of working with a full-time team of employees, choose Gusto’s Contractor plan, which has no monthly base cost. You pay only $6 per month per payee.

Gusto's customer service reviews took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, according to reviewers, Gusto's customer service has steadily improved over the course of 2022. For instance, in March 2022, Gusto's rating on consumer review site Trustpilot was just 2.6 out of 5. But as of mid-2022, its rating is up to a much more encouraging 3.6.1 We're pleased to note that current user reviews call out helpful tech support, though a few customers are still dealing with tax-filing issues.

Additionally, while Gusto has more employee add-ons than many other online payroll systems, it’s not a total HR management solution. Our Gusto HR review can tell you more, but if you need more than the most basic HR, you’ll want to look elsewhere—like Paychex, ADP, or even an HR-focused service like Zenefits.

Pros
pro Unique employee benefit options
pro No extra fee for payroll tax filing
pro No extra fee for insurance add-ons
Cons
con Third-party customer service based outside the US
con High monthly per-payee fee
con Limited HR management and administration
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ADP is the best payroll and HR provider

Best payroll with HR add-ons
ADP
Starts at
$79.00 + $4.00/payee
  • pro
    Automatic payroll tax administration (additional fee for some services)
  • pro
    Workers compensation and health insurance add-ons (additional fee)
  • pro
    Direct deposit, check, and debit card payment options

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

ADP is the biggest name in the world of PEOs, or professional employer organizations. But if your business isn't big enough to warrant a PEO, RUN Powered by ADP distills ADP’s decades of HR expertise into an easy online payroll service with thorough HR add-ons.

All of ADP’s payroll plans include direct deposit, automatic payroll tax filing, and W-2 submissions. It also goes heavy on the HR help. Even the cheapest plan, Core Payroll, includes HR perks like employee onboarding, health care compliance forms, and a regular HR checkup. And if you want more than the HR basics to support your growing team, ADP’s more expensive plans include employee background checks, ZipRecruiter assistance, and dedicated HR assistance.

In contrast to Gusto, OnPay, and QuickBooks Payroll, some of ADP’s basic payroll services cost extra, namely W-2 form filing. So how much does ADP payroll cost? For a 1-person business, the starting price is $79.00 per month plus $4.00 per payee. You have to fill out a form online with your information to get a quote. 

Pros
pro Dedicated HR and payroll assistance
pro Multiple customizable plans
pro Heavy focus on human resources support
Cons
con Additional fee for payroll tax administration
con Additional fee for insurance add-ons
con No transparent pricing

Paychex is the best payroll company for growing businesses

Best for growth
Paychex
Starts at
$39.00 + $5.00/payee
  • pro
    Automatic payroll tax administration (additional fee may apply)
  • pro
    Workers compensation and health insurance add-ons (additional fee applies)
  • pro
    Direct deposit, check, and debit card payment options

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Does your business need thorough HR assistance without full-on HR outsourcing? Paychex Flex combines cloud-based payroll management and human resources software for small and midsize businesses that want thorough, affordable HR management.

All Paychex payroll programs include new-hire state reporting, payroll tax filing, and an employee financial wellness program. And with three customizable packages, Paychex is one of the most scalable payroll options on our list. Growing businesses won’t have to look elsewhere for plans that support additional employees—growth is built into Paychex’s model.

Info
Paychex's payroll app for employers

If you frequently run payroll on the go, Paychex might be the best small-business payroll software for you. Only a few payroll providers offer employer-facing mobile payroll apps. Of the five or so that do, Paychex’s is easily the best: the Paychex Flex app has 4.8 stars (out of five) on Apple’s App Store and 4.0 on Google Play.2,3 

Even though Paychex’s cheapest plan has a lower per-employee fee than Gusto, Paychex’s add-on fees can dramatically increase your monthly payroll costs. Unlike Gusto and other top payroll options, Paychex may charge additional fees for payroll tax administration, time and attendance software integration, accounting software integration, and workers comp and employee benefits administration. With all the extra fees, Paychex is better suited to midsize businesses that care more about built-in scalability than cost.

Pros
pro Combined HR and payroll plans
pro Affordable starting per-payee price
pro Customizable plans for growing businesses
Cons
con Additional fees for payroll tax administration
con Additional fees for third-party software integration
con Pricier plans with limited pricing transparency

OnPay's payroll software has the fewest additional fees

Best value full-service payroll software
OnPay
Starts at
$40.00 + $6.00/payee
  • pro
    Automatic payroll tax administration
  • pro
    Affordable insurance add-ons (in-house brokers)
  • pro
    Direct deposit, check, and debit card payment options

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

OnPay's payroll software program offers more value for its price than any other payroll provider on our list. Yes, its base price and per-payee fee are notably low—though not as low as Patriot's or SurePayroll's. However, OnPay is much more comprehensive than either of those two options, especially in terms of HR: 

  • Medical and dental insurance plans (all 50 states)
  • Vision, disability, and life insurance add-ons
  • Workers compensation plans
  • Custom PTO policy creation with built-in automatic accrual tracking and approval
  • Detailed, customizable organization charts
  • ACA compliance plus dedicated COVID-19 business assistance and resources
  • Thorough HR resource library

Thanks to OnPay's in-house team of insurance brokers, you pay just the premium with no integration fees. And just like Gusto, OnPay can help you find unique employee perks like education savings plans, commuter benefits, and even fertility benefits—a rarity among payroll providers.

Other notable OnPay benefits? OnPay tailors its payroll services to certain industries (farming and nonprofits, among others) at no additional cost. And if you recently hired your first employee and are still a little unclear on the payroll process, OnPay is a fantastic fit. Its interface is extremely intuitive, and its experts set up your software for free before talking you through your first payroll run.

While we love OnPay (as do its users), it’s not the best fit for businesses that want more perks and support as they grow. The base price ($40) and per-employee price ($6) never change—but neither do the features. If you’re hoping for scalable, comprehensive HR packages, you might consider Paychex or Gusto instead.

Pros
pro Extremely affordable full-service payroll
pro Comprehensive payroll tax administration at no additional cost
pro Solid employee benefits and insurance options
Cons
con One plan only (limited scalability)
con Recently increased price
Still undecided on which payroll service to choose?

Enter some basic information about your business's payroll needs and expectations, and we'll pair you with quotes from payroll services we think will work for you. 

More payroll software solutions for small businesses

We gave you our top recommendations above, but the payroll software market is a crowded one. Here are more small-business payroll solutions worth considering.

Compare top payroll features: Honorable mentions

Provider
Starting monthly base price
Monthly fee per employee
Free year-end tax-form filing
Health benefits administration
Free trial
Get started
$22.50*$5.00
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
30 days or 50% off for three months*
Contact for free quote$8.00
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
None listed
$0.00**$5.00
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
None listed
$17.00$4.00
Icon Yes  DarkYes (full-service plan)
Icon No  DarkNo
30 days
$20.00$6.00
Icon Yes  DarkYes (full-service plan)
Icon No  DarkNo
30 days

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Sales price (50% off) for the first 3 months.
**Monthly base price waived with contractor-only plan only. Employee payroll plan starting at $35.00/mo. + $5.00/payee/mo.

QuickBooks Payroll is the best payroll for QuickBooks users

Most user-friendly interface
Quickbooks
Starts at
$22.50* + $5.00/payee
  • pro
    Automatic payroll tax administration
  • pro
    Health insurance add-ons (no workers comp add-on with cheapest plan)
  • pro
    Next-day direct deposit

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Sales price—50% off for three months

QuickBooks Online, known best for its high-quality accounting software, also offers three full-service payroll plans—and they're some of the best payroll systems you can find. The cheapest starts at $37.50 a month and includes automatic payroll runs, employee health care options, next-day direct deposit, and 1099 contractor management.

That starting base price looks high, but the cheapest plan's per-employee fee is just $5 per payee per month. Thanks to that lower fee, Intuit QuickBooks Payroll actually has one of the lowest payroll starting prices on our list, as long as you have more than one employee. 

But its best feature might be its ease of use. QuickBooks Payroll’s interface has next to no learning curve, and its well-reviewed employer-facing mobile app makes on-the-go payroll easier. Plus, syncing QuickBooks Payroll with your existing QuickBooks Online account doesn't cost anything—which instantly sets Intuit QuickBooks Payroll apart from providers like Paychex, ADP, and SurePayroll, which charge an extra monthly fee for accounting software integration. 

Unfortunately, while you’ll enjoy full-service payroll management with every QuickBooks Payroll plan, only the two more expensive plans include workers compensation insurance options, mobile time tracking, and HR support.

Pros
pro Extremely affordable starting price per user
pro Straightforward QuickBooks accounting integration
pro User-friendly software and app
Cons
con Additional fees for some add-on services
con No workers comp option with cheapest plan

Rippling is best for international payroll

Best international contractor payroll
Rippling logo
Rippling
Starts at
$8.00/payee*
  • pro
    Automatic payroll tax filing and legal compliance
  • pro
    Global payroll for international companies
  • pro
    Comprehensive employee management

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Custom monthly price. Contact for free quote.

If your business is based in the US and you want to pay employees in Canada and Indonesia, Rippling should be one of your top picks. Why? Because Rippling the only payroll system on our list that offers international payroll processing. 

Rippling's national and international payroll features include direct deposit and payroll tax administration. You can also use Rippling to track PTO, have employees clock in and out, and generate customized reports that break down expenses by time worked.

You can use Rippling payroll on its own, but to get the most out of Rippling, you'll want its comprehensive employee management platform. You get thorough benefits management, time and attendance tracking, and app consolidation for employees. And again, Rippling's add-on talent management is a bit pricy—but it's still one of the best online payroll software for international employers.

Pros
pro Easy international contractor payroll
pro Reasonable per-employee fee
pro Built-in PTO tracking
Cons
con Confusing pricing structure
con Lack of transparent costs on website
con Limited HR features at a high price

Looking to switch payroll providers?

If you're not sure how to start searching for a new payroll provider, we can help! Let us match you a payroll solution personalized to your business and location. Enter some basic business information to get started.

Square Payroll is the best payroll for contract work

Best contractor-only payroll
Square
Starts at
$5.00/contractor*
  • pro
    Automatic payroll tax administration
  • pro
    Health insurance add-ons
  • pro
    Direct deposit, Cash App, and check payment options

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Monthly base price waived with contractor-only plan only. Employee plans start at $35.00 per month.

Do you only employ freelancers and other 1099 contractors? Square Payroll’s contractor-only plan skips the typical monthly base fee. Instead, you pay just $5 per month per payee with unlimited payroll runs.

If you employ a mix of 1099 workers and W-2 employees, Square Payroll’s base fee is a perfectly reasonable $35 a month. And since Square Payroll includes multi-state payroll at no additional cost, it’s even cheaper than SurePayroll if you have two or three W-2 employees working in separate states.

However, Square Payroll has some of the same drawbacks as other single-plan payroll providers. If you’re planning to hire more workers and expand locations, Square is probably too simple for your business’s future needs. A payroll provider with scalable plans, thorough employee benefits, and HR add-ons could work better.

Pros
pro No base for contractor-only plans
pro Low per-payee price
pro Easy integration with Square suite of products
Cons
con Limited HR administration
con One plan only (limited scalability)

Patriot is the most affordable self-service payroll

Most affordable self-service plans
Patriot Software
Starts at
$17.00 + $4.00/payee
  • pro
    Automatic payroll tax administration (full-service plan only)
  • pro
    Workers compensation add-on (no employee health benefits)
  • pro
    Direct deposit and paper check payment options

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

If payroll pricing is your top priority, we can’t recommend Patriot Payroll highly enough. With a monthly base price of just $17 plus $4 per employee, Patriot Payroll’s self-service plan is one of the cheapest out there. If you want a few more features, you can add HR assistance starting at $6 a month and time and attendance integration at the same price.

On top of its $17 basic payroll price, Patriot's payroll software offers affordable add-ons, including HR assistance for $6 a month and time and attendance tracking for the same price. (Both plans also charge $2 per user per month.)

So if you have four employees and want both HR and time and attendance tracking, you'll add $28 to your monthly base price. In other words, the add-ons up Patriot's price by quite a bit without adding as many features as Gusto, which includes more features than Patriot in its base pricing.

If you want the full-service option, the cost bumps up to a $37 base price plus $4 per payee.

Pros
pro Extremely affordable self-service plans
pro Affordable HR add-ons
pro Responsive customer service
Cons
con Limited HR administration
con Two plans only (limited scalability)

Wave Payroll is the cheapest payroll + accounting software solution

Best accounting and payroll integration
Wave Payroll logo
Starts at
$20.00 + $6.00/payee
  • pro
    Automatic payroll tax administration (full-service plan only)
  • pro
    Workers comp add-on (no employee health benefits)
  • pro
    Direct deposit only

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Wave Payroll's $20 self-service plan has all the basics, including self-service employee portals, contractor payments, and direct deposit. And its $40 full-service plan (currently available in 14 states) includes federal, state, and local payroll tax filing plus end-of-year tax forms.

Honestly, you'll get more features with SurePayroll's self-service payroll at a lower per-user cost. So why do we recommend Wave at all? Because Wave Accounting, Wave Payroll’s sister product, is a completely free accounting solution. (In our opinion, it’s the best free accounting solution for many small businesses.) For now, Wave Accounting only syncs with Wave Payroll—so if you’re already benefiting from Wave Accounting’s free software and just hired an employee, Wave Payroll is a perfectly serviceable, affordable payroll system.

If you aren’t using Wave’s accounting program, though, most of the other picks on this list will give you more payroll and HR features for less.

Pros
pro Straightforward integration with Wave's free accounting software
pro Affordable starting price
pro No additional charge for payroll tax administration (full-service plan only)
Cons
con Basic HR features only
con Limited third-party integrations
con One plan only (limited scalability)

The takeaway

Unless you can afford to pay an in-house bookkeeper, we recommend most small businesses use software for payroll so they can pay employees and calculate tax deductions. The right payroll software provider should remove much of the hassle, cost, and risk from managing payroll and free you up to do what you’d rather be doing: growing a successful business.

Still wondering which of our top payroll software options is right for you? Here's a quick recap:

  • For all-in-one automatic payroll with built-in HR tools, it’s hard to beat Gusto.
  • For supremely affordable self-service and full-service plans with notably outstanding customer support, SurePayroll is the best solution.
  • If you own a midsize business and need more comprehensive HR management, ADP or Paychex could fit nicely.
  • For ease of use, affordability, and useful benefits for business owners with one or more employees, we recommend OnPay.

Looking for great accounting software to complement your new small-business payroll application? We can help: read through our list of the year’s best accounting software for small businesses.

Related reading

Payroll software FAQ

What is the best payroll software for small businesses?

In our opinion, Gusto offers the best small-business payroll features for your buck. Starting at $40 a month plus $6 per person paid, Gusto calculates and files your payroll taxes. It also submits your end-of-year tax paperwork at no additional cost, which HR-first providers like ADP and Paychex don’t. Gusto also has more versatile employee benefits than most payroll providers, and its online payroll service is popular enough to sync with most accounting software options.

However, the best small-business payroll software for you depends on your business’s needs, including how many people you pay and what benefits you want to add. If you want thorough human resource management, you might want to try a provider like Paychex or ADP. If you’re looking to save money, Patriot Software’s $17 self-service plan might be the best payroll solution for you. Before you commit to a payroll plan, thoroughly assess your own needs and make sure they mesh with your preferred plan.

Still not sure which payroll platform to pick? Get more in-depth guidance by reading our article on how to find payroll software that meets your needs.

What should you look for in payroll software?

The best payroll software for you depends in large part on your company’s HR and payroll needs—but what does that mean in practice? We recommend taking these four steps to start:

  • Check the price. Remember, you need to assess not just the base price, but also the additional price per employee. Decide upfront how much you can and are willing to spend on payroll system software.
  • Examine the features. Do you need payroll features only, or do you prefer a combined HR and payroll software solution?
  • Ask how much time and effort you want to spend on payroll. For instance, are you okay paying less for software and filing taxes yourself? You'll likely be fine with cheaper self-service payroll software. If you'd prefer a system that takes care of everything with minimal effort on your part, a pricier but comprehensive full-service payroll plan is a better solution . 
  • Verify each payroll program’s customer service reputation. You'll want to make sure your provider guarantees tax-filing accuracy, and you should check out any current user reviews to find out how quickly customer service responds to tax and payroll problems. 

For more guidance, read our in-depth article on how to find the right payroll management solution. If you want to learn more about payroll processes, our Ultimate Payroll Guide can get you started.

What is the easiest way for small businesses to run payroll?

The easiest way to run payroll for your small business is to invest in a full-service payroll solution. With this type of software, you'll enter your employees' information, such as salary rate and tax status, and a few business details, such as your company's pay schedule. Once you've finished the initial setup, payroll is as easy as pressing "run payroll" once a pay period—or you can choose payroll software like Gusto with an autopilot feature that processes payroll for you automatically on a preset schedule.

As for the easiest payroll software to use, we recommend QuickBooks Payroll or OnPay. QuickBooks Payroll syncs with QuickBooks Online, one of the most popular accounting solutions in the world. If you already use QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Payroll's familiar interface and automatic integration will help you get used to the world of payroll. We also love OnPay's user-friendly interface, but we especially like that OnPay's experts will set up the software for you for free, which means you don't have to deal with data entry yourself.

Is there free payroll software?

Yes, but free payroll options are pretty limited. In our opinion, the best free payroll software is Payroll4Free, which lets you run payroll for up to 25 employees. And if you’re not sold on software, you can always try a free payroll software alternative, such as free payroll calculators and payroll templates.

In general, though, we don't recommend free payroll management software for employers with more than one or two employees (unless you’re using Payroll4Free). Paying your employees the right amount—and withholding the right amount in payroll taxes and other wage deductions—is a big, complicated issue. Paid payroll software companies are often more secure, effective, and trustworthy than free payroll management systems.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t find cheap payroll processing software. Of all the options listed here, our favorite cheap payroll program is Patriot, a self-service payroll platform starting at $14 a month for one employee. (Its full-service payroll program starts at $35 a month for one employee.) UZIO offers similar payroll pricing for its full-service plan, and Wave Payroll’s $26 payroll service isn’t bad either.

Can you use Excel to run small-business payroll?

Yes, you can use an Excel template for basic payroll calculations. If you’re interested, we have a list of the best free payroll templates you can use to calculate payroll by hand. Using Excel, Google Sheets, or a free payroll program is undoubtedly the cheapest way to process payroll.

However, we recommend using spreadsheet software in combination with a payroll calculator and only if you have 15 or fewer employees. (You should also be super confident in your document organization skills.) While spreadsheets can help you calculate payroll taxes, they can’t guarantee that those calculations are accurate. If you can afford it, we recommend using cheap self-service plans from payroll providers like Wave, SurePayroll, or Patriot Software. All three options give you a solid organizational system, accurate tax calculations, and accounting software integration to make bank reconciliation super easy.

What's the best payroll software for accountants?

QuickBooks Payroll, OnPay, and Gusto are three of the top payroll software systems for accountants. But most of the programs on our payroll software list should work just as well for accountants (and other payroll professionals) who work with small businesses as they do for small-business owners themselves.

Our advice? If you’re an accountant looking for small-business payroll platforms, make sure the online payroll processing software you’re looking into includes a page specifically for accountants. (OnPay has a pretty thorough page for accountants, and so does QuickBooks Payroll.)

Our brand ranking methodology

To generate our star ratings and rank payroll software, we looked at 20 of the most popular payroll programs in the US. We then assessed those programs in five key areas:

  • Pricing, such as the balance between cost and features, additional fees, and more
  • Payroll and HR features, such as employee benefits options, automatic payroll tax filing, tax compliance, workers compensation insurance integration, and more
  • Scalability, such as the number of plans and payroll features
  • Customer service, including customer service hours, overall company reputation, user reviews, and more
  • Ease of use, including mobile payroll app access, employe self-service features, interface, learning curve, and more

We also weighed our own expert opinion when deciding which payroll features and HR software factors to prioritize. Please note that star ratings are reviewed frequently and are subject to change.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources
1. Trustpilot, “Gusto.” Accessed November 4, 2022.
2. App Store, “Paychex Flex on the App Store.” Accessed November 4, 2022.
3. Google Play, “Paychex Flex—Apps on Google Play.” Accessed November 4, 2022.

Kylie McQuarrie
Written by
Kylie McQuarrie
Kylie McQuarrie has been writing for and about small businesses since 2014. Prior to writing full-time, she worked with a variety of small-business owners (from freelance writers to real-estate solopreneurs), which gave her a front-row look at small-business owners' struggles, frustrations, and successes. Currently, she’s Business.org’s accounting and payroll staff writer. Her work has been featured on SCORE.org, G2, and Fairygodboss, among others.
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To rate each payroll software program, we assessed payroll and HR features, ease of use,...
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How to Calculate Payroll Taxes
As an employer, you must withhold payroll taxes from employees’ paychecks. Learn what those taxes...