Best Payroll Software Services in 2024 (Tested by Experts)

Best Payroll Software Services in 2024 (Tested by Experts)
December 16, 2023
15 min read
December 16, 2023
6 min read

The world is beyond manual payroll for businesses and firms. You can now manage and implement new payroll systems from your home. Interestingly, the best payroll services allow you to monitor payments for employers and employees globally.

Most companies limit themselves to payroll services that offer automated features, payment options, live support, employee online access, and deposit options. However, the payroll services on our list go above and beyond in their service offering. Hence, if you’re a business owner and need the best payroll services, read on. 

Best Payroll Software

Our Top Three Picks

Several payroll service providers exist on the market. However, after careful consideration, we have selected three payroll software that can help you automate your company. Each of these payroll service providers falls under three categories. They are; the best overall, the best budget option for small businesses, and the best for large companies.

Best Overall

Best Budget Option for Small Business

Best for Large Companies


Patriot Payroll


Gusto comes in as the best payroll service provider on our list. It provides Centralized HR, Time Tracking
Tax filing, Contractor payment in a affordable cost.  It is perfect for startups and small businesses because the software covers the almost every challenging parts of payroll processing.

Moreover, it automates the entire process. Hence, the platform makes business and administration seamless for you. 

  • Centralized HR 
  • Availability of a monthly price structure
  • Payroll
  • Time Tracking
  • Tax filing
  • Easy-to-use software

Patriot payroll is the best budget option for small businesses. It is easy to use and has an easy setup process.

It lets you pay individual contractors as well as your employees. Hence, it is a solid pick for small businesses with more than 200 employees and employee self-service portals. However, you need to pay for the full-service plan to access all the features this payroll offers. 

  • Tax calculations
  • Direct deposit
  • Time off accruals
  • HR integration
  • Contractor payroll
  • Net-to-gross payroll tool
  • 401k integration

OnPay is the best payroll software for large companies that want to integrate payroll. Also, OnPay has a robust payroll system with HR tools that make it versatile for vertical industries and large companies.

The software is also user-friendly and affordable. OnPay's key advantages are its simplified payroll operations, effective personnel management, and guaranteed payroll compliance. 

  • Fast processing payroll
  • Unlimited payroll
  • Employee self-service
  • Benefits administration
  • Timekeeping
  • Personalized reporting

Top 10 Payroll Software for Small and Large Businesses

Handling payroll on your own while running a business is no easy task. Calculating employee paychecks and ensuring that each paycheck goes out on time and to the right person is stressful. It can be overwhelming for you to handle. Fortunately, technology has brought a new age of innovation that makes business management convenient. 

1. Gusto

Gusto Payroll

This software is a full-service payroll that benefits US-based businesses and startups. Each account at Gusto comes with two options; automated or manual payroll. Interestingly, these options work for employees and contractors across the United States. Gusto is a famous name in the payroll business because of its efficiency.

The brand automates many HR, compliance, accounting, and other vital business tasks. Suppose you have a small startup and you haven’t figured things out. In that case, Gusto is the perfect payroll service to get you going. Gusto will save you significant time, and the payroll service also saves you money you would have used to hire HR professionals or small business accountants. 

Gusto is an easy-to-use payroll service for employers and employees. Employees have the option to leverage its early payout option. Interestingly, you can pay employees two days earlier if you choose their services. Also, the brand offers access to high-yield savings accounts. Employees and employers can leverage them to grow their savings. 

Running your employee payroll through Gusto is flexible and compatible with your company’s needs. Gusto takes care of filing and calculating payroll taxes for everyone on the list. Furthermore, the payroll service keeps track of employee pay stubs using their online profiles. In addition, each employee on the payroll service receives an email each payday to update them on their payment status. 

Another amazing benefit of using their payroll services is that you can completely automate payments. Also, you can set a fixed salary or an hourly wage on each employee’s profile and set the payment system on autopilot. Gusto will run the entire payroll for you automatically once it is time for the schedule you set.


  • Easy to use
  • Chat, email, or phone support
  • Automatic tax filing and compliance guidance
  • Integrated high-yield savings account for employees


  • Customer service is only open from Mondays to Fridays
  • Costly

2. RUN Powered by ADP

RUN Powered by ADP

This software is a payroll system for small businesses. It handles payments swiftly and with ease. Furthermore, RUN is a powerhouse payroll service that comes with an integrated, powerful technology to make business administration move swiftly.

You have an array of tools you can leverage depending on the size of your company. Furthermore, this payroll allows you to submit quarterly or annual reports automatically. You are always one step ahead with RUN. 

In case of any logistical change or issue, there is constant 24-hour support to address your complaints all through the week. In addition, these customer service attendants are payroll experts. Therefore, they can assist you with any problem you might have. The platform deducts and pays taxes and expenses automatically. Hence, your employee does not have to worry about taxes because the platform already takes care of it.

ADP runs other companies like ZipRecruiter. Therefore, you can advertise open positions in your company on their website. This benefit gives you an edge in hiring the best candidates in the labor market. 


  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • 24/7 customer service support 


  • No free trial 

3. OnPay

OnPay Payroll

Onpay is a cloud-based payroll service. It is one of the best payroll services in the business. Additionally, OnPay is essential for businesses because it assists managers in creating comprehensive employee records. Employers can also use OnPay to run unlimited payrolls each month without fuss. In addition, OnPay will handle all calculations involving the payment of taxes for every employee on the payroll. 

OnPay has restructured its employee app, which offers better collaboration with accountants and clients. The platform is an ideal payment service for your business because it is one of the fastest online payment services.

Additionally, the payroll service is flexible, simple, and has fair pricing. OnPay gives you two options. You can file employee records yourself. Alternatively, you can allow them to enter their data into the system. 

OnPay is similar to other payroll software in this regard. Allowing your employees to fill in their details gives you time to focus on other HR-related issues. Interestingly, you can easily manipulate the data fields on the platform. Furthermore, these data fields can hold text boxes, dates, and dropdown lists.

These fields are essential because you can use them to track company equipment and have proper checks and balances in your company. Furthermore, OnPay allows you to integrate its software with third-party services, like accounting services. You can leverage this feature to get the most out of your payroll service. 


  • Unlimited payrolls
  • Supports various vertical industries
  • Excellent employee versions
  • Fast and capable payroll processing 


  • No automatic payroll
  • Mobile admin version missing functions

4. TimeTrex

TimeTrex Payroll

TimeTrex Payroll is workforce management software that allows small businesses to enjoy the benefits of automation previously enjoyed only by large ones. Interestingly, you will find that TimeTrex is a highly advanced payroll service for small businesses. The payroll software easily automates some of the most complex government and business regulations. Also, it benefits an organization because it allows employers to monitor and track employee attendance in real time. 

You can also record GPS locations off of this software to know the current location of your employees. TimeTrex will alert you once an employee moves outside the boundary of your company walls. In addition, you and your employees will have access to state-of-the-art mobile apps usable on Android and iOS. The TimeTrex application also comes with biometrics and facial recognition for extra security. Hence, no one will access your software without your permission. 


  • You can monitor time and attendance 
  • Automated payroll
  • Human resource management
  • Invoicing
  • Expense tracking
  • Customizable reporting


  • High initial cost
  • Limited availability 

5. Rippling

Rippling Payroll

This software is a full-service human resources software that provides solutions that meet the needs of small and large businesses. Rippling started as a simple payroll management software but now has many services you can access.

It is now one of the best providers of payroll software services. They have tools and opportunities to manage your business effectively for better productivity. Additionally, it has services like ATS, PEO service options, or payroll automation. Rippling is a top-notch problem solver recommended by many business owners. 


  • All-in-one HR solution software
  • Customizable
  • Unique features for remote teams 
  • Easy to set up and use


  • No free trial
  • Requires custom quote

6. QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll

This software has an enormous global presence in the payroll service. The service is one of the most popular payroll systems on the market. QuickBooks Payroll has maintained a remarkable presence since the 1980s. It is the best service provider for in-house payroll software for small businesses and major companies. Also, the payroll service provider is a cloud-based, online payroll service that has sent most of the competitors off the market. 

QuickBooks payroll has two options for its customers. There is the basic plan, which is cheaper but relatively manual. Alternatively, there is a more advanced version with enhanced functionality and much more automation.

However, it doesn’t matter the plan you choose while using QuickBooks Payroll. You can integrate both options with other services and products that QuickBooks offers. Hence, you get more than just a payroll system when you pay for this service. You will get access to all the products that the company offers once you have chosen your plan. 


  • Excellent mobile app
  • Use of direct deposits or checks
  • Payroll reports
  • Payroll processing
  • Free trial
  • Unlimited payroll runs


  • Customer service agents don’t work round the clock

7. Roll by ADP 

Roll by ADP 

Roll by ADP is a chat-based payroll service provider that is a little different from the others on this list. The brand uses chat to process payroll for employees and contractors. All you need to do to complete the transaction is send text messages through the mobile app of the service provider.

Moreover, the mobile app is highly sophisticated. It has onboarding, employee self-service tools, and reporting. It is the perfect payroll service for tech-savvy entrepreneurs and businesses that require minimal payroll services.


  • Unlimited runs
  • Automatic payroll with tax payments and filings 
  • Covers employee and contractor payroll
  • Next-day direct deposit
  • Artificial intelligence 
  • Affordable


  • No time tracking
  • Limited HR tools
  • No third-party solutions integration

8. Patriot Payroll

Patriot Payroll

This software is a perfect solution for small businesses and teams that want to automate employee payments. You can digitally manage the salaries and bonuses of your employees. Patriot Payroll is a cheaper and more affordable payroll software that small businesses can leverage to automate salary payments. In addition, the payroll software is easy to set up and manage. 

You don’t need prior payroll knowledge to use this payroll software. Also, you can get basic payroll benefits with this platform for an affordable price. However, this plan doesn’t offer the full spectrum of benefits that premium subscribers enjoy.

If you want additional perks, you must pay for the full-service payroll plan. In addition, the full-service option assists its users to manage payroll taxes on federal and state levels. Hence, you don’t have to calculate each employee’s tax returns. Instead of wasting your time on tax calculations, you can use that time to focus on other areas of your business. 


  • Affordable 
  • Unlimited payrolls
  • Free and easy setup
  • Available employee portal
  • Employee management


  • Other services require additional payments
  • No tax filing and deposit for cheaper options

9. Paychex Flex 

This is straightforward payroll software that is most suitable for small businesses. This version of the software is an alternative to the more complex Paychex software for large enterprises. Paychex Flex provides you with what a small business needs to function; an easy payroll. The payroll service provider offers direct deposits to your employees. Furthermore, it also allows you to print checks if you want to hand them to your employees yourself.

The software can handle payroll taxes as well. However, that will cost an extra fee. In addition, your employees don’t have to come to you if they need clarification on their tax filing. There is a self-service employee portal that the software comes with. Hence, employees can check their tax forms and pay stubs without bothering you. 


  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Excellent customer service 
  • Customizable plan


  • Extra fee for payroll tax filing
  • Third-party is needed for time tracking

10. Payroll4Free


Payroll4Free is a perfect payroll system for any small business that wants to set up an advanced payroll system without spending thousands of dollars on software. The platform is an easy-to-use payroll software that is free and ideal for businesses that want to easily manage their employees. Furthermore, Payroll4Free offers top-class benefits like time tracking, derailed reporting, and paychecks.

The most attractive benefit of using this payroll software is that it is free. However, it will only remain free if it manages 25 employees or fewer. Hence, this payroll service provider is excellent for small businesses with limited labor. The software might be free, but it also comes with all the basic needs and benefits of paid payroll software. 


  • Easy to use
  • Free and low-cost subscription
  • Provides all the basic payroll services
  • Integrates with other popular payroll services like QuickBooks


  • Contains Ads
  • Limited to few employees

How to Choose the Best Payroll Solution for Your Needs

Before you select any payroll software for your company, there are several factors you have to consider. You have to evaluate each factor and ensure that the payroll software you select offers you the best value for your money. It is paramount that you shortlist payroll software that checks every box on this guide. The points in this guide don’t favor any particular payroll service. If a payroll service provider fits this guide perfectly, it is because it is a good payroll system. 

Define Your Payroll Needs

You need to have a clear vision of what your business needs payroll software for before you start researching. Furthermore, before you venture into the market to search for payroll services, you need to conduct a survey and try to answer the following questions:

  • How many employees do you have?
  • How large is your business?
  • Will employees have benefits?
  • Will you be printing out payslips for your employees?
  • How often will you conduct payroll?

After you’ve conducted this survey, use your answers to evaluate the different payroll systems available on the market. Your ideal payroll service provider under this category should answer all these questions and provide solutions to them. 

Determine Your Required Level of Analytics 

The perfect payroll software for your business should handle the analytics for your business. Ensure that your ideal payroll service provider can manage your business’s reporting demands and generate accurate reports. 

Comply With Payroll Legislation

Another important point you have to consider before selecting your ideal payroll service provider is the additional payroll legislation your company has to follow. These include federal, state, and local legislation. Ensuring that your payroll package complies with regulations on all levels will save you from costly penalties or financial losses. 

Research and Examine Payroll Benefits

Whether they’re extra benefits or must-have benefits, ensure that you evaluate the various benefits that your payroll software has to offer. Some of these benefits include tax filings, self-service terminals, integrations, etc. Examining your software's services and benefits will ensure you get the best value for your money. 

Leverage Free Trials

While payroll software might seem ideal on paper, you will have to test it out before you can conclude if it is suitable for your business or not. Ensure you leverage payrolls with free trials and weigh their benefits to get the best payroll service on the market for your business.

Usability and features on free payroll services might be limited, but they will offer you a glimpse of what you should expect from the payroll system. You can also read more on payroll advice for small businesses to gain more insight. Interestingly, you can also get a free payroll template to practice for your small business.

How Does Payroll Software Work?

A payroll software works by calculating each employee’s gross income and deducting all the required employee deductions. Once that’s done, the payroll software will either directly deposit the money into the employee’s bank account or it will write the employee a check. Furthermore, payroll software can pay employee expenses and taxes automatically without any human authorization or interference.

Who Should Use Payroll Software?

Payroll software is suitable for any business employing the services of workers. It doesn’t matter if your workers are full-time, part-time, or work by contract. Having payroll software helps you keep track of activities like payroll taxes, which are required. Furthermore, payroll software will ensure that you pay everyone the right amount and on time. 

What Does Payroll Software Cost?

The average cost of a payroll service is around $30 monthly. Furthermore, the monthly fee per employee ranges from $4 to $8 per employee. However, there are more expensive plans that range from around $150 per month. 

Most payroll service providers have moved to cloud-based solutions. Hence, you’re required to pay a monthly based fee in most cases. It works much like a monthly subscription, which will give you access to the benefits that the software provides. Furthermore, you will also have access to support if you regularly update your software. Some software is free, but only a few of them are. In addition, you won’t get the full benefits that a fully paid service will offer you. 

What Should I Look for in Payroll Software?

A decentralized and diverse workforce that spans different locations is harder to maintain. Since the number of employees will be too high, human error is likely to occur, which will result in many workers feeling unhappy. The same goes for small businesses. To eliminate this human error and ensure that payments and salaries are made on time, you have to employ the services of payroll software. Hence, below are the features and benefits you should be looking for in an ideal payroll software;

Unified Payroll System

When you’re searching for the right payroll system, ensure that you use software that has well-integrated solutions through which the company can easily monitor and process data and operations. This integration boosts performance and enables compliance at all levels of your organization. Having well-integrated software enhances the employee experience and builds real-time comprehensive reports for you. 

Manages Employees Efficiently

Reducing repetitive tasks will enhance overall efficiency and productivity in your organization. Automating tasks like monthly salaries and expenses will make management seamless and easy for you. Furthermore, it will be easier for you to curate data for record keeping. Hence, while selecting a payroll system, ensure that it reduces repetitive tasks for you. 

Time and Attendance Management

The best payroll systems have fully integrated time and attendance modules that support multiple time entries like swipe cards, facial biometric attendance recording, and biodevices. You should look for payroll systems that offer you the benefit of tracking your employees during working hours. You can invest the time you should have spent walking around and checking if each employee has clocked into work. 

Can You Manage Payroll on Your Own?

Yes, you can manage your payroll. You can either use payroll software or do everything manually. Regardless of which method you choose, you must gather some information on your own. However, processing payroll on your own can be tedious and challenging. You have to be extremely careful while managing your payroll so you don’t make any business-threatening mistakes. You can understand how to do payroll yourself by reading our articles on payroll.

Final Thoughts on the Best Payroll Solution

Working a company payroll can seem tricky and time-consuming. Using a payroll system can help you automate the entire process and save you time and money. Hence, finding the right payroll solution is essential to making business administration easier for you. 

If you’re a small business, you need to be mindful of the cost it takes to integrate payroll software into your company. The pricing of each package depends on the number of employees you have in your company. Furthermore, ensure you know the benefits the best payroll solution is offering before you make any monetary commitments. Furthermore, you have to ensure that your best payroll solution is simple to set up and easy to use. 

Finally, you should also ensure that the payroll you’re settling for is highly secure. The best payroll service providers integrate biometrics, retinal, and password security in their mobile apps and websites. Don’t ever go for software that isn’t highly secure. A poorly secured payroll system can lead to stolen data, which can be used to target the company.