8 Best Payroll Software for 2022

Cody Cromwell
Written by
Last update:

8 Best Payroll Software for Small Business

The US economy has been on a slow roll since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). While much of the United States enjoys an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent (which is the lowest in nearly 50 years), there is some bad news for entrepreneurs. More businesses are becoming self-employed – and more reports are finding that small businesses are still shorting themselves on proper accounting processes.

This means that you are the one most likely to be left in the dark when off-the-books earnings bump up against quarterly taxes, or you’re not sure what to charge the IRS when you write off your business expenses.

To solve this problem, you need good accounting software and an accounting service provider (ASP), such as MMMain, to handle your payroll. Our goal is to put more power in your hands with these payroll software picks. Following these eight picks will give you everything you need to handle your payroll and taxes, making your business more efficient.

Which Payroll Provider Is Right for You?

Selecting the right payroll software is not an easy task. There are many factors to consider, including your industry, regulations, and the number of employees. So how do you identify the best payroll provider for your business?

These are some of the most common questions I get asked with regards to payroll software. Payroll processing is typically a manual process, so having the right software can help you save time and money not only in payroll processing but also in compliance and related tasks.

Question 1

How can you save money if you don't have a payroll software?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 765,000 payroll employees in the U.S. labor market. Without a payroll application on your company's computer system, you will be required to manually enter payroll data.

Most payroll departments will take five to 10 minutes for one entry in a system such as Quickbooks. But if each payroll entry is handled by someone entering the information manually, you will waste far more time than this. Payroll employees can use this time to handle other duties.

Question 2. How can you save money if you have Payroll Software?

When you enter payroll information manually, you have to figure out how much to pay each employee based on the number of hours the employee has worked. Payroll specialists must understand the payroll laws in each state. By entering payroll data in a computer system, you can save time and money by having payroll specialists perform payroll data entry.

For example, you may have a payroll specialist who has handled data entry for your payroll for many years. The specialist can adjust the amounts entered automatically with a few mouse clicks. The payroll specialist can also routinely check that the data entered is correct.

How many employees do you have in your business?

If you are like most small businesses, the number of employees you have is a moving target that changes on a weekly basis. Things change… Employees leave, new employees arrive, the newest employee is different than the previous one, your customers’ needs shift, and so does your business.

You may have started your business with one employee or one or two employees and had a leaner team. You are now ready for payroll. Consider these eight payroll software packages that will fit your business and help you to manage your payroll efficiently and effectively.

Question 2

“What is the best payroll software for small business?”

Question 3: “Which payroll software is the best for small businesses?”

Question 4:

In this article we will take a strategic approach to objectively looking at the most popular payroll software solutions. We will be comparing Wave Accounting, a cloud-based payroll solution with its low monthly cost and Cloudpay, who offer both cloud-based and on-premise payroll software.

Question 5:

For our fifth question, we are demarking between complete services or software only packages. We are typically choosing the out-of-the-box and complete service to be very easy to use and easy to customize in order to match the businesses requirements, budgets, and needs.

Question 6:

In part 3 and part 5, we have different requirements and packages that can be chosen on. In this question, we are separating between the software and the on-demand packages. This is the closest service to a traditional bricks and mortar accountants service. The costs are usually high and they can be very flexible with adding products and services. They are also able to offer custom accounting services, assisting businesses with less than 24 employees.

Question 7:

Do you want to provide an online portal for employees to view and manage their data?

Do you want to have a clear overview of who is doing what, where, when, and who and how they are paid?

Do you want to cut down payroll costs and do it in a way that is of the highest possible quality by using the most up-to-date payroll accounting software?

The right payroll software for your business can help you answer all of these questions.

As long as Payroll Accounting Software is within your reach, then that means it is also within your reach. Payroll Software is one of the most crucial payroll accounting tools your business can possess simply because it bridges the gap between your employees and the rest of the world.

For instance, they will be able to view the history of their paychecks and be able to track their individual earnings and data.

In this list, we will look at the top payroll software products available for various operating systems and browsers in both stand-alone and cloud solutions. Our list comprises different types of software applications, depending on the target audience.

We are going to take a look at payroll software for small businesses and a few that cater to medium-sized to large company payroll needs.

This list represents the best-reviewed and chosen payroll software across the board. Depending on your company’s needs and budget, you might select a subset of applications that highlights a specific business need.

Question 3

Are they adaptable and responsive to customer inquiries?

Think of different payroll software companies and ask whether they have responded to your inquiries and requested enhancements over the years.

If you’re like many businesses, you’ll have a worse experience with a payroll provider than with any other vendor you work with. The reason is that payroll is such a large expense for most tax firms that it’s the most critical function that must run smoothly.

And the danger is that most payroll companies are neglecting focus on customer service because they’re just looking to make a quick buck in the short term.

Payroll software providers definitely need to make it easy to get in touch with them, because a handwritten letter, email, or phone call will not cut it. Much like with mailing a form-based return, getting in touch with your payroll provider should be as easy as it can be.

If you check out our website, you’ll realize that we do not fall into the "bad" category.

  • We are very adaptive & responsive to your inquiries. Your inquiries are always addressed promptly.
  • We are at your service to help you address your payroll needs.
  • We are transparent with our rates & fees. Our rates & fees are more than attractive compared to other payroll companies.

Are you interested in purchasing benefits directly through the payroll provider?

When you purchase benefits through the payroll provider, you can buy them as long-term pay plans or time-limited pay plans. With a long-term pay plan, you can buy all the benefits on a single pay run. And since previously the benefits will have been purchased through a separate vendor, you can select the features you are getting within the provider’s benefit package. The benefit package will be put together by the provider and chosen from a variety of options that you can create. However, with your benefits being managed by the provider, you will be charged for HIPAA and other pay-related expenses.

With a time-limited pay plan, you can purchase benefits at the beginning of the pay period and then sell them to the provider as a time-limited pay plan. With this, you will be charged a fee per pay period to access the benefits, but you can save the money by selling credits of previously purchased benefits. The benefit credits will expire at the end of the pay period and will require a full payout of the purchase.

If you don’t need to purchase benefits from the payroll provider, you will still have access to the benefits you purchased through your chosen benefit processor.

In short, purchasing benefits through the payroll provider is a great way to either improve your budget or get rid of overlapping forms.

Question 4

Is automated payroll a must-have for your business, or do you prefer saving money using a self-service plan?

If you’re already using a payroll software for your business, you probably know that higher processing costs often translate into higher payroll taxes and other costs. Not to mention that these fees can reduce the profitability of your business.

How We Evaluated the Best Payroll Software

Our panel consists of 21 HR managers from 9 different small to mid-sized companies, including 1 accounting firm and 1 medical billing company. All of the participants were screened as part of our user research program.

Our screening process focused on industry-specific knowledge, core expertise, and hands-on experience.

As a result, most of our experts have been on payroll teams for more than 5 years. Two of our experts worked with payroll software for nearly 20 years. To compile our panel, we visited more than 25 different companies that use payroll software to see if there were any experts who could take part in the process. This allowed us to assemble a group of people who were not only familiar with the technology but could also help us determine which software was best for a company like ours.

Before we began looking through payroll software, we developed a list of characteristics from which we based our research and evaluation. The overall top priorities were user-friendly, easy customization, and timely functionality.

Those were just a few of the criteria we used, but they are important ones.

So how did we conduct our evaluation?

Gusto: Best Overall Payroll Software for Small Businesses

After reviewing numerous payroll software packages, we found one clear favorite. Gusto’s software stood out thanks to its best-in-class report features, user interface, mobile app, and ease of use. It’s certainly not perfect, but it ultimately landed at the top of our list.

Most people should consider the following features when comparing payroll software:

  • Reliable interaction with human payroll employees
  • Mobile-friendly display
  • User-friendly interface
  • Report-generating package
  • Reporting options

With all of these factors considered, Gusto ended up being our top pick. Plus, we found its new subscription plan for businesses to be very reasonable. So if you’re looking to upgrade your payroll software package, consider Gusto.

Processing reports takes forever……or does it?

The ability to produce reports in a timely fashion has been steadily increasing over the years. The impact of payroll regulations and compliance requirements has had a major impact on this process, but even so it’s still one of the top concerns for payroll users.

The good news is that most payroll software packages have taken steps to correct this in recent years. But it’s still worth noting which companies are leading the charge when it comes to meaningful reporting features.

Gusto’s Pricing

Gusto is one of the best payroll software around. While its pricing is somewhat high, its flexibility and easy interface make it worth the price.

If you’re needing a solution for the whole company or your business is just getting started, you should choose Gusto because it is well equipped to handle all those processes. Its payroll module can also help you save money by eliminating the need for a human payroll clerk.

With all of its options and resources, Gusto is ideal for companies of any size.

The pricing varies quite a bit depending on what type of organization you’re in, which subskills, and how many employees you have. The price also depends on whether you want your workers to log in to the app or just access the information on their computer.

Gusto has all of the major business functions covered, as well as employee benefits and HR management and outsourcing.

As far as payroll goes, you can get a 1099 or W2 report. You can also customize your paychecks to fit your employees’ needs. The company will even be able to create a fund for you if you’re looking to set something up for your employees.

Gusto Features

With Gusto, all your employees and tax information is accounted for automatically, leaving you the ability to save valuable time. As far as payroll systems go, it’s the simplest to use. It’s cost-effective too, allowing you to reduce the cost of payroll processing for your business.

Gusto also comes with a built-in mobile app, so you can view your payroll securely from any location. The system is available on a monthly subscription basis, so you don’t have to worry about annual or installation fees.

With an attractive online interface and user-friendly functionality, Gusto is perfect for small business across North America. It’s also suitable for use in any industry, including accounting, finance, banking and customer service.

Among its top features are:

Chase QuickPay …an online payment system that links directly to the Chase Bank accounts of your customers. This enables them to pay you via your online platform.

Customizable …customize your payroll system according to your needs and your tax laws and allow your employees to save time through automating their tax details.

Establish the best payroll solution for you …or even start with a free plan and upgrade to the full version later.

QuickBooks Payroll: Best for QuickBooks Accounting Users

QuickBooks payroll is a well-known product, and it’s one of the top payroll software industries. QuickBooks payroll has a large client base, and it’s a well-known software for small business owners, freelancers and freelancers. QuickBooks payroll is a very popular payroll software solution, and it’s one of the best payroll software available on the market right. QuickBooks payroll is made for smaller businesses with less than ten employees because the software will take an average business owner about an hour to learn the software. The QuickBooks payroll software is also easy to use.

Your business is vital to you and to your employees, and you should be careful with the software that you use for your business. As long as you calculate your business taxes correctly, there is no need for an expensive payroll software. Keep in mind that payroll software is only as good as the businesses that use it. Your payroll software should be able to calculate your taxes accurately and quickly.

Right now, payroll software is the best way to pay employees. You can go check out legislation, government tax regulations implemented, and your company’s recently filed IRS tax form.

QuickBooks Payroll Product Plans

Most of the payroll software providers offer different products for different types of businesses. If you are planning to get any payroll software for your business, make sure you select a payroll software solution that can support all your financial requirements.

QuickBooks Payroll has various product lines that are available under the QuickBooks Payroll Open (not Pro or Premier versions) category. These payroll software solutions are ideal for small businesses with no data room support, financial solutions, or IT support which is included in the Pro and Premier plans. QuickBooks payroll phone support might not be included in these payroll software solutions. The companies who offer payroll products for different types of businesses are listed below.

Quickbooks Payroll Open is apt for the small business that has no data room and IT support. While they’re not appropriate for businesses that are planning to implement the innovative accounting reports, QuickBooks Payroll Open is the ideal software solution for small businesses in the UK.

Quickbooks Payroll Premier is apt for businesses that have multiple support systems to take care of different features like data room support, financial report/report support, and IT support. However, this payroll software solution is expensive, and it is not suited for small and mid-scale businesses.

QuickBooks Payroll Features

QuickBooks is a popular payroll software that many small business owners find useful for their company. It’s one of the most widely used payroll programs used by companies of various sizes and therefore has several useful features.

QuickBooks has its own point of sale system that is compatible with a number of telephone systems. It also has integration with QuickBooks Online so that the transactions are properly logged, even if your company doesn’t have a QuickBooks Online subscription. QuickBooks’ support is available to companies of various sizes in different time zones. This allows for a faster response time to any queries that you might have. QuickBooks Direct Pay allows you to streamline your process so that you can more easily process payroll for employees.

QuickBooks has several features that are useful for both employers and employees. The accounting software by Intuit has easy-to-use templates that are commonly found in businesses of various sizes. QuickBooks’ advanced reporting features allow you to obtain in-depth information about your business operations. The software also allows for customized reporting according to your business needs, which is useful for ensuring compliance.

Patriot Software: Best Budget-Friendly Choice for Full-Service Payroll

Buying a full-service payroll package is a major step for any small business, and it's wise to make sure you choose the payroll software that best suits your needs. While some payment software providers offer full-service payroll setups (with chart of accounts, simple breakdown of separate and summated files, etc.), others only offer limited payroll features like check printing and direct deposit. If you are looking for a full-service payroll software, look at Patriot Software.

The Patriot payroll service can help you get through the entire payroll process, from the initial setup to every paycheck. Keep reading to learn how the Patriot payroll service will help you ensure that everyone gets paid on time and your business is protected.

Patriot Payroll Subscription

Patriot is a subscription-based service, which means that your payroll service, which includes everything from the initial setup to distributing paychecks on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis, is billed in advance.

Overall, Patriot works out to be a little less expensive than other payroll providers, and they offer several different salary formats such as FLSA, hourly, and salaried. Pricing estimates vary based on your payroll frequency, which means that you can choose your preferred payment frequency and see exactly how much you're charged for each paycheck.

Patriot offers more payment options than just check printing. With Patriot, you can also send direct deposits, make payments, and more.

Patriot Payroll Product Pricing Plans

Patriot Payroll is a payroll service that integrates with other systems to streamline your business. Since it’s a cloud-based solution, it’s easy to use your data no matter where you are. With a single dashboard, you can see your payroll data all in one place. Patriot Payroll is a payroll service that offers many of the same features as Intuit’s Quickbooks, such as invoice tracking and employee management, that are perfect for small business owners.

A Professional Alternative to Quickbooks

If you are looking for a payroll service that is a little less expensive than Quickbooks, Patriot Payroll is also a good choice. Other options include Intuit’s Xero and FreshBooks, which are both software-only solutions that don’t include payroll. Meanwhile, Quickbooks is an accounting software that provides more business-oriented features such as invoices, customer tracking, and estimates. If you are a small business owner and aren’t making payroll errors, the more complicated Quickbooks is unnecessary. Instead, experts believe that small business owners should choose a payroll service that is an accounting software.

Patriot Payroll Features

Patriot Payroll is considered to be one of the best payroll software today, and credit goes to its latest features known as Scan & Pay. This can be a great option for business to cut down their payroll processing time.

Expense Tracking – Patriot Payroll comes with built-in expense tracking software that allows wage earners to record their expenses and submit for reimbursement. The expense tracker creates a seamless record of all your expenses so you can use it to claim every penny you’re entitled to.

Employee Self Service – Patriot Payroll is designed for employee self-service. As a result, you can access all your reports and policies right from the Patriot portal without having to contact us for review.

Reporting – Patriot Payroll provides powerful reporting capabilities that gives you access to all the necessary information that you need. Let us do the heavy Excel analysis and give you the right information while minimizing your payroll processing time.

Direct Deposit – Direct deposit of payroll checks or funds into your employees’ bank account is available through Patriot Payroll.

24/7 Customer Support – Each customer is entitled to a dedicated account manager who is readily available 24 hours a day to help support their payroll needs.

Email Alerts – Patriot Payroll alerts gives you a real-time and automated status update with automated reminder emails when your payroll processing is done.

ADP: Best for Startups & Growing Businesses That Need Flexible Plans

Advantage Payroll is the best choice for small- and medium-sized companies that want to enjoy flexibility and the cost savings that come with outsourcing their payroll. It provides a huge amount of flexibility (for example, you can pay hourly and salaried employees at any time, including after holidays), and it’s great for families with largely similar income levels.

As a startup with limited funds, it’s worth trying out Advantage PAYROLL for free. Once you’re more established, it’s a good idea to get the best paying vendors you need. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it if you need that extra boost.

ADP got its start in 1964 with the Watts Medical Company in California. Now a division of Vista Equity Partners, it’s still headquartered in Los Angeles. It’s one of the top providers of