SurePayroll Review 2021

If you want full-service payroll software with good customer service and add-on HR perks, SurePayroll could be a good fit. But if you don’t want to pay extra for two-day payroll processing and accounting software integration, you might want to look elsewhere.
Best Customer Service
SurePayroll
4 out of 5 stars
4.0
  • Check
    100% tax-filing guarantee
  • Check
    Reasonably priced full-service payroll plans
  • Check
    Workers compensation, 401(k), and health insurance options
  • X
    Four-day payroll processing with self-service plan

SurePayroll, an online payroll service now owned by Paychex, was created specifically for small businesses with no more than 100 employees. In fact, SurePayroll was the very first online payroll and tax solution tailored to small businesses, and small businesses only.1 Want to find out if SurePayroll is right for your small business? Business.org’s SurePayroll review covers the software’s perks, like its 100% tax-filing guarantee and Auto Payroll feature, and its drawbacks—namely its longer payroll processing time for self-service plan users.

SurePayroll plans and pricing

Plan name
Starting price
Additional cost per employee
Guarantees
Free trial
Payroll processing times
Learn more

Self-Service

$19.99/mo.

$4.00/payee

Tax Calculation Guarantee

1 mo.

4 days

Full Service

$29.99/mo.

$5.00/payee

No Penalty Tax Guarantee

1 mo.

2 days

Data effective 12/11/20. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

SurePayroll pros and cons

Okay, we said SurePayroll was made specifically for small-business owners, not accountants or corporations, but what does that look like in practice?

Basically, SurePayroll aims to take as many payroll-related tasks off your plate as possible so you can focus on different business activities. As a cloud-based payroll solution, SurePayroll is entirely online—no pricey desktop software required. Its self-service payroll solution makes e-filing taxes yourself as easy as possible while its full-service payroll solution automatically calculates and files state and federal payroll taxes for you.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Super-affordable plans
Pro Bullet 100% tax-filing guarantee
Pro Bullet US-based customer support team available 6 days a week
Weaknesses
Con Bullet 4-day payroll processing with self-service plan
Con Bullet Add-on fees for multiple-state tax filing, local tax filing, and two-day processing (for self-service plan)
Con Bullet Fee for accounting software integration

SurePayroll pros

Affordable plans with low per-employee fees

SurePayroll’s payroll plans are some of the cheapest out there. Its $19.99 self-service plan is comparable to Wave’s $20 per month plan, while its full-service plan is $10 cheaper than Gusto’s established plans. (Gusto’s newest $19 a month full-service plan is still in beta-testing mode.) It's also $16 cheaper than QuickBooks' cheapest plan—and, crucially, SurePayroll provides an all-important tax penalty guarantee, while QuickBooks doesn’t.

Gusto still gives you more features for your buck (especially when it comes to state and local tax filing, which Gusto includes even with its cheapest plan). But if cost is your biggest consideration, either the self-service or full-service plan should fit your bill.

Tax guarantees

Worried that automating payroll tax filing with a full-service plan could cause you to miss an error? As long as a tax-related mistake isn’t your fault (for instance, as long as you didn’t enter an employee’s withholding information incorrectly), you don’t have to worry about fines and penalties from the IRS. Instead, with SurePayroll’s 100% tax-filing guarantee, SurePayroll deals directly with the IRS and pays any fines or penalties caused by its own errors.

Most payroll companies include a guarantee with only full-service plans. Some (most notably QuickBooks) don’t include tax-filing guarantees with each plan, which is unfair to the point of being unjustifiable. But SurePayroll offers a guarantee with its self-service plan too: the Tax Calculation Guarantee verifies that SurePayroll calculates taxes withholding correctly so you don’t have to worry about errors when you file taxes yourself.

Customer service

One of SurePayroll’s biggest perks is its US-based customer service, which runs six days a week and not just during regular business hours. You can reach SurePayroll’s customer support team Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. central time, or Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. central time.

Best Small Business Payroll Software
Gusto
Best overall
ADP
Best HR add-ons
Paychex
Best reporting
OnPay
Simplest setup
SurePayroll
Best customer service

Learn more about our top brands.

SurePayroll also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and fewer than 50 BBB-registered customer complaints—which is pretty good for a business as big as SurePayroll.2 (Make sure to take BBB ratings with a grain of salt, though: they're not necessarily all they're chalked up to be.)

Customer service is an area where a lot of payroll companies struggle, up to and including QuickBooks. So if fast, helpful, US-based customer service is important to you, you might want to give SurePayroll’s small-business payroll team some extra consideration.

SurePayroll cons

Additional fee for accounting software integration

SurePayroll integrates with the best accounting software, including QuickBooks Online—which is great news, since QuickBooks Online Payroll is too pricey for us to really get behind. But with the new SurePayroll plans, accounting software integration costs extra. Charging consumers a monthly fee just to integrate payroll with accounting is a low blow, even if it’s a fairly affordable $4.99.

Extra costs for add-ons

If you want the more affordable self-service plan, but you also want some of the full-service plan’s perks, you can pay a little extra for some full-service features:

  • $7.99/mo. for 2-day payroll processing
  • $9.99/mo. for an HR advisor

 

Whether you choose full service or self service, each of these services costs an additional monthly fee:

  • $4.99/mo. for accounting software integration
  • $9.99/mo. for local tax filing in OH and PA
  • $9.99/mo. for unlimited multi-state tax filing

 

You can also integrate a timeclock feature for an extra monthly cost:

  • $5/mo. + $3/employee to integrate with StratusTime, Paychex’s time-tracking software
  • $9.99/mo. to integrate your own timeclock software
Longer payroll processing time with self-service plan

In the past, one of SurePayroll’s main perks was its expedited one-day and same-day payroll options. But now, the self-service plan has a four-day payroll processing time, which is a lot longer than SurePayroll’s previous offer.

The longer processing time is definitely a hassle—a four-day turnaround means you need to run payroll super early in the work week if you want your employees to get paid on time. Still, we like that you have the option of paying an additional monthly fee for two-day payroll processing instead of being forced into one of the more expensive plans. That’s a big nod toward customer care, and it helps smooth over the loss of SurePayroll’s expedited payroll options.

Find Your Money—and Keep More of It

With plans starting at $15 a month, FreshBooks is well-suited for freelancers, solopreneurs, and small-business owners alike.

  • Track time and expenses
  • Create custom invoices
  • Accept online payments

SurePayroll FAQ

Can accountants use SurePayroll?

SurePayroll was built for small businesses—and those include accounting, bookkeeping, and human resources firms that work on payroll for other companies. Additionally, SurePayroll partners with accountants to resell its software. If you’re an accountant, bookkeeper, or HR firm who provides outsourced payroll services to small businesses, you can reach out to SurePayroll’s accountants to learn more.

Does SurePayroll have a payroll calculator?

Yes. Even if you don’t have a SurePayroll account, you can use SurePayroll’s calculator to calculate net wages for your hourly employees. (And if you want a second calculator option, we’ve got a paycheck calculator too.)

Does SurePayroll offer nanny payroll?

Because nanny payroll is pretty different from typical small-business payroll, SurePayroll offers a nanny payroll plan specific to household employers. If you employ a nanny (or other household employees, like house cleaners), you’re responsible for filing new-hire paperwork with the state and local governments, withdrawing payroll taxes, and submitting year-end tax forms—all of which can seem overwhelming to a parent who’s never hired an employee before.

Does SurePayroll offer HR help and benefits?

The smallest of small businesses—a.k.a. SurePayroll’s target audience—don’t usually need an HR department or have the budget for a huge benefits package. But if you do want extra HR help, or if you just like the idea of keeping all your payroll-related eggs in one basket, SurePayroll lets you add on some HR and benefits features:

  • Workers compensation coverage
  • 401(k) retirement plans
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Pre-employment screening
  • New-hire reporting

While SurePayroll’s site has a good guide to their workers compensation plans, you have to call to get additional information about its other add-ons.

Does SurePayroll have a mobile app for employers?

Yes. The iOS app is exceptionally well reviewed: it has a total of 4.8 stars out of 5 from 3.3K customers.3 However, the Android app has only 85 customer reviews and a middling 3.2 out of 5 stars.4 So while Apple users are in luck, Android users might not have the smoothest app experience.

Do I need to wait until the next fiscal year to switch to SurePayroll?

No. You can change payroll service providers any time of the year.

The takeaway

SurePayroll is one of the more affordable providers out there. Of course, the cost goes up if you want to add perks to your self-service plan, and we’re not thrilled with the four-day turnaround time. But if you have fewer than 100 employees and need simple, streamlined small-business payroll software, SurePayroll might just be made for you.

Not sure if SurePayroll fits the bill? See our best payroll software article to explore more good options for small-business owners.

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. SurePayroll, "About Us." Accessed December 11, 2020.
2. Better Business Bureau, "SurePayroll." Accessed December 11, 2020.
3. App Store, “SurePayroll for Employers.” Accessed December 11, 2020.
4. Google Play, “SurePayroll for Employers.” Accessed December 11, 2020.

Kylie McQuarrie
Written by
Kylie McQuarrie
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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