OnPay Review 2021

If you want easy-to-use software, free account migration and professional setup, and one affordable price, OnPay is a solid payroll software choice for your small business.
Best for Budgets
4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Transparent pricing and low base cost
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    Free account setup
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    Custom PTO policies and tracking
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    No mobile app

As a small-business payroll software provider, OnPay aims to simplify as many aspects of payroll as possible. Unlike most payroll solutions, OnPay offers free professional setup before your first run, and its affordable payroll includes wage garnishment capabilities, multi-state payroll, and unlimited payroll runs. Of course, like any company, OnPay falls short in a few areas, and it’s not necessarily right for every small business. But is it right for you? Business.org’s OnPay review can help you find out.

OnPay pricing 2021

OnPay base price
Additional price per employee
Free trial
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30 days

Data effective 11/29/20. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

OnPay's pricing

OnPay has just one plan, which makes the company a good fit for small to midsize businesses that don’t require too much customization. It’s super up-front with its pricing too: OnPay costs $36 a month and an extra $4 per payee per month.

On the site’s pricing page, you can calculate your exact cost per month by entering your number of employees. For instance, if you have one employee, you’ll pay $40 a month; if you have 15 employees, you’ll pay $96 a month. Most payroll companies go out of their way to highlight just the base price, as if that cost were the maximum amount you’d pay. We like that OnPay takes the opposite tack.

OnPay also offers a month-long free trial for any new user. Bear in mind, too, that unlike other online payroll service providers, such as Paychex, OnPay’s cost is per month, not per payroll run. You can run payroll as frequently as you need—say, every week or every other week—without paying extra.

OnPay features

OnPay comes with all the features you’d expect from full-service payroll software:

  • Automatic payroll tax calculation and filing
  • Easy wage garnishment deductions
  • Direct deposit, paper check, and prepaid debit card payment options
  • Free accounting and time-tracking software integration
  • Multi-state payroll that includes all 50 states
  • Employee self-service portals to access pay stubs, tax forms, and direct deposit bank account information
  • Employee self-onboarding
  • Year-end tax forms, including W-2s and 1099s
  • Tax-filing accuracy guarantee, meaning OnPay deals with the IRS and pays any associated fines if the company makes a mistake with your payroll taxes

Wondering how these features compare to other payroll solutions? If your employees operate out of multiple states, you’ll definitely want a provider like OnPay over one like Wave, which hasn’t yet expanded automatic tax filing to all 50 states.

And if integrating your cloud-based payroll software with your accounting software is important for you—which we’re guessing it is, since most business owners want to save time and keep accurate books—OnPay’s integration doesn’t cost anything. In contrast, SurePayroll charges an extra $4.99 a month for integration.

Note the tax-filing guarantee too. Even though QuickBooks Payroll files all your taxes for you, the company won’t promise to pay IRS fines caused by QuickBooks’ own mistakes unless you pay the exorbitant $125-a-month fee for its most expensive plan.

Tired of payroll? Gusto handles payroll taxes and more

With unlimited payroll runs and automatic tax filing, Gusto helps small-business owners worry less about payroll and put more time into growing their business.

  • Get automatic payroll tax filing, including end-of-year tax forms
  • Manage workers compensation insurance
  • Track paid time off, sick leave, and holiday pay

OnPay pros

Customer service

One area where OnPay really stands out is with its customer service. First of all, it offers free account setup. All you have to do is list some basic information about your company; after that, OnPay’s customer service professionals will set up all your employee payroll information on your behalf. For free.

OnPay also offers customized help integrating your OnPay software with any existing accounting or time-tracking software, like QuickBooks, Xero, or T-Sheets.

And if you want to get in touch with OnPay reps, you have three options: email, phone, or chat. You can use phone and chat only during weekdays, but working hours extend to 8 p.m. EST. And the team still offers email support on weekends.


With OnPay, it’s easy to create a custom paid time off (PTO) policy for your company. The software will then automatically calculate how much time your employees have accrued per paycheck, which makes tracking vacation and sick days a lot easier for employees and employers alike.

Employees can even request time off using their own OnPay account; managers can approve time-off requests on OnPay, which will automatically adjust the employee’s paycheck and accrued time.

Why’s it worth calling attention to OnPay’s PTO features? Even Gusto, one of our top payroll picks, charges extra for PTO policy creation and tracking—we’re talking $12 per employee per month on top of the $39 base fee.

Benefits add-ons

OnPay makes it easy to add crucial employee benefits, including these:

  • Workers compensation
  • Medical and dental health plans
  • 401(k) plans and contributions

Since OnPay is a licensed insurance broker, its representatives can draw up workers compensation and health insurance quotes to help you narrow down insurance providers.

OnPay cons

Okay, we’ve spent a lot of time singing OnPay’s praises. There have to be at least a few drawbacks, right?

First, OnPay doesn’t have an employer-facing mobile app. That isn’t necessarily a deal breaker; most payroll companies still lack employer-facing apps (it’s pretty weird, actually—only about five payroll companies have solid apps that we feel comfortable recommending).

And on its site, OnPay says it’s optimized for mobile, which means you can technically access OnPay on your phone’s web browser without problems. Still, an app is the simplest and fastest way to do payroll processing on the go. If you travel a lot and want easy mobile payroll, you might want to try QuickBooks, Square Payroll, or Paychex.

Second, OnPay’s single payroll plan emphasizes its focus on simplicity, which means it’s not necessarily complex enough for the heavy HR lifting required by larger businesses. It’s not that OnPay can’t work for big companies—it’s just that companies with hundreds of employees might benefit from a dedicated HR and payroll specialist. You’ll get that additional support with a plan from ADP or Paychex.

Best Small Business Payroll Software
Best overall
Best HR add-ons
Best reporting
Simplest setup
Best customer service
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The takeaway

You’ve guessed as much from reading our entire OnPay review, but listen: we really, really like OnPay. If you want affordable, user-friendly software for your small to midsize business and don’t care quite as much about fast app access, OnPay payroll is a great way to go.

Not sure OnPay is the right online payroll solution for you? No worries—check out our other online payroll reviews to find a better fit.


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.

Kylie McQuarrie
Written by
Kylie McQuarrie
Kylie is an accounting writer for Business.org. Kylie spent two of the last four years writing for and with small-business owners—from dentists in Australia to plumbers in the Midwest. She spent the other two writing in depth about internet and security. She’s passionate about reading, hiking, and dedicating every spare second to writing for fun (at lunch, between meetings, on the train, before breakfast . . . ). Her content helps small-business owners tackle the logistics of running a business so they can focus more on their passions too.
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