SurePayroll Review 2019
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.
How often have you wanted a product made especially for you? Say, a mattress tailored to your uniquely bad back or a set of headphones that nestles perfectly against your ears?
Custom-tailored products are still out of reach for most industries, but if you own a small business, employ fewer than 100 people, and need an easy way to pay people, you’re in luck. Payroll software made just for businesses of your size—not for accountants, midsize businesses, or outsourced human resources companies—is in your reach.
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 first online payroll and tax solution tailored to companies of that exact size. While the company’s services have expanded to include benefits and HR perks, its focus remains on providing payroll software to small businesses.
Want to find out if SurePayroll is right for you? Keep reading. 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 Basic plan users.
|Plan name||Starting price||Additional cost per employee||Tax-penalty guarantee||Free trial||Payroll processing times||Learn more|
|Basic||$29.99/mo.||$4||Yes||1 mo.||4 days||View Plan|
|Standard||$39.99/mo.||$5||Yes||1 mo.||2 days||View Plans|
|Premium||$49.99/mo.||$6||Yes||1 mo.||2 days||View Plans|
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. And as a full-service payroll solution, SurePayroll’s software automatically files state and federal payroll taxes for you.
What else does SurePayroll do for you? Our list of pros and cons breaks it down. Note that we verified this information through a chat with customer service—you can’t find most of these plan specifics without having a full conversation with a customer service rep.
- Super-affordable Basic plan
- 100% tax-filing guarantee
- US-based customer support team available 6 days a week
- 4-day payroll processing with Basic plan
- Add-on fees for multiple-state tax filing, local tax filing, and two-day processing (for Basic plan)
- Fee for accounting software integration
Affordable full-service plans with low per-employee fees
Before September 2019, SurePayroll advertised only one payroll plan and didn’t include any pricing on its site. As of September, though, SurePayroll offers three full-service payroll plans:
- Basic, which includes payroll tax filing, year-end tax-form filing (W-2s and 1099s), automatic payroll runs, direct deposit, and employee access to online paystubs
- Standard, which includes Basic’s features plus two-day payroll processing, access to an HR advisor, and compliance posters
- Premium, which includes Standard’s features plus free accounting software integration, unlimited multiple-state tax filing, and local tax filing
It’s worth noting that with its new pricing, SurePayroll beats out our top payroll pick, Gusto, for affordability. Gusto’s cheapest plan starts with a $39 per month base fee and a $6 cost per employee, which is a pretty good price for the comprehensive features Gusto includes. But SurePayroll’s Basic plan costs just $29.99 a month and only $4 per employee while still including free new-hire reporting, employee self-service portals, unlimited payroll runs, and easy payroll automation.
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, SurePayroll’s Basic plan is one of the most affordable ones out there.
Worried that automating payroll—especially payroll tax filing—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. They’ll pay any fines or deal with any penalties caused by their own errors.
Best of all, the 100% tax-filing guarantee is included with every plan; you don’t have to pay extra for SurePayroll’s assurance.
With SurePayroll’s 100% tax-filing guarantee, SurePayroll deals directly with tax groups like the IRS. They’ll pay any fines or deal with any penalties caused by their own errors.
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. SurePayroll also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and fewer than 20 BBB-registered customer complaints—which is pretty good for a business as big as SurePayroll.1
Customer service is an area where a lot of payroll companies struggle, up to and including QuickBooks. 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.
Additional fee for accounting software integration
SurePayroll integrates with the best accounting software, including QuickBooks—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 unless you opt for the most expensive plan, Premium. Charging consumers a monthly fee just to integrate payroll with accounting is a low blow, even if it’s a fairly affordable $4.99.
If you want the more affordable Basic or Standard plans, but you also want some of the Premium plan’s perks, here’s what SurePayroll told us you’d pay when we confirmed pricing with their customer service:
- $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
Right now, timeclock integration isn’t included free with any of SurePayroll’s plans, but you can add it on to any plan for $4.99 per month plus $3 per employee per month.
Longer payroll processing time with Basic plan
In the past, one of SurePayroll’s main perks was its expedited one-day and same-day payroll options. But now, the Basic 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.
- No contracts or commitments
- Full-picture visibility into your business’s finances
- Results-oriented approach to support growth
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. You can learn more about payroll calculators (also known as paycheck calculators) by reading our piece, “What Is a Payroll Calculator?”
Does SurePayroll offer nanny payroll?
Because nanny payroll is pretty different from typical small-business payroll, SurePayroll offers a nanny payroll plan for 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?
Yes. The iOS app is exceptionally well reviewed; it has a total of 4.8 stars out of 5 from 2.3K customers.2 However, the Android app has only 24 customer reviews and a less-than-impressive 3.7 out of 5 stars.3 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.
Before SurePayroll’s most recent update, our main concern was the website’s sparseness. We’re pretty frustrated that SurePayroll updated their website and then took down the pricing a week later—it always feels fishy when a company requires you to give out your contact information or talk to a sales representative just to get pricing information.
Still, assuming the updated pricing and plans still stand, we’re happy to say that SurePayroll is one of the more affordable providers out there. Of course, costs add up if you want to add perks to your Basic 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.
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.