17 minutes read

Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses Overall

Last Updated on:

27 February 2023
best payroll software for small businesses

Do you want to use payroll software in your business operations as the owner of a new company? I am aware that it is a difficult task, but in an effort to make your life easier, I will now provide you with recommendations for the best payroll software for small businesses and more!

Let's start!

Why Do Businesses Need to Use Payroll Software?

Payroll software provides the best solutions for employee management systems that automatically track and monitor the tax and pay-related issues of a company. It has an automated function of managing, handling, and organizing employees’ payments, compensation, and benefits with expert HR technology. These features make organizations and companies rely on this software to develop their businesses. 

Payroll software works as an HR team for a company. It processes with the core system of a business to ensure employees’ benefits, like receiving proper and accurate direct deposit, salary, or payment card compensation. Employees can access the information datasheet to edit their personal information related to payment and other preferences. 

A payroll software has to be easy to use to get the best effective outcome for a company. Payroll software should be reliable for employees so they can easily maintain their profiles for pay and tax purposes. It also should be easy to configure and flexible enough to handle all types of tasks related to employee benefits issues. 

Payroll software gives the best experience of automated HR technology by making management tasks easier and less complicated. It makes payroll flows, complex rules, checklists, and compliance with tax laws and other financial regulations easier for employees. 

There are millions of organizations that depend on payroll software to execute their business management in a streamlined manner. There are so many reasons for using payroll software in a business. Some reasons are given below:

1. Timeliness and accuracy

Payroll software makes the system of new hires, shifting regulations, and payment of employees easier to control for the HR team of an organization. This process becomes time-consuming and complicated by acquisitions and mergers. By using payroll software, organizations can pay salaries to their employees based on their types in the right amount and time. It helps to grow the trust and confidence of employees in the company. 

2. Transparency

The personal cost is one of the highest expenses for any company. Payroll software merges with other business sides of the company, such as finance and accounts, and provides transparency, which helps organizations to stay on budget, create plans for the future, and submit reports on time.

3. Adaptation and scale

Payroll software shows flexibility when changes happen in the business setup. It can adapt to any changed situation in business and can work accordingly. Companies don’t need to edit data or information to suit the situation. 

4. Extra time to develop business policies

Payroll saves lots of time for an organization to develop its business’ other policies and management. It saves time by providing an automatic system for taxation and benefits compared to providing this information manually. Thus, organizations can use this extra time effectively to plan and organize other business policies during this time. 

What are the Functions of Payroll Software?

To get the best compatible solutions for HR management and employee benefits, there is no better option than having payroll software for a company. Nowadays, smart working approaches on different tasks are more demanding than working on a single task for hours. 

In this situation, payroll is one of those helping software for the HR team to work smartly. It will save time, increase productivity, and give an experience of working with an intelligent approach. 

Within a short time, payroll has become the most demanding and reliable software for small, medium, or large organizations. Organizations are now using payroll for its excellent features rather than working in a manual or outdated way. 

At present, there are different types of payroll software in the software market with different automated features. But there are a few key features of payroll software that it must have to operate a business efficiently. The following functions that payroll software should have: 

  • Payroll management: Payroll management is the most significant feature of payroll software. Payroll management ensures employees' compensation and pays them through their preferred payment option. Payroll management is fundamental to any payroll software.
  • Direct deposit: Direct deposit is another key feature of payroll software. The main objective of payroll software is to ensure that employees get paid properly on time. Direct deposit has replaced part of the check payment system after payroll software comes.

In the direct deposit process, payroll management ensures employees about their payment in their preferable way. They don't need to carry out checks or any hassle related to check issues after the direct deposit system arrives. Also, organizations can save time and money by having this process because this system is automated, and there is no need to print paychecks to pay their employees' salaries. 

  • Tax filing: Tax filing is a complex process for any organization if done manually. That’s why payroll software introduced a new feature for tax filing that automatically can calculate tax bills by acknowledging the state, federal, and local laws. It calculates accurately and ensures exact tax documentation. 

Payroll software ensures the W2 and 1099s format of documentation for depositing tax, and it also ensures that these documents are sent to the right person automatically. 

  • Compensation administration: Compensation administration is a non-traditional payment process of payroll management and accounts. This feature includes handling employee benefits like compensation, bonus, vacation, and sick leave and adjusting the changes with minimum wages. 

Here Are the Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses in 2022:

1. RUN Powered by ADP

run powered by adp payroll software

ADP is a custom payroll software that provides a large number of plans and add-on features to have a custom payroll package that helps to do business in an easier way. 


  • It offers employee benefits management. 
  • It provides automatic calculation, deduction, and payment of tax.
  • It gives annual or quarter reports automatically.
  • It automatically updates HR regulations and state and federal tax laws to keep ahead, covering all states.
  • It provides integration of time tracking with payroll.
  • It provides 24/7 expert support for any kind of issues related to payroll.
  • It has an HR help desk to answer any HR questions.
  • It has an option of a handbook wizard for employees to create a complete and professional quality handbook following a few steps. 
  • It provides an experience for employee onboarding and a market-leading app. 

RUN Powered by ADP helps you to get what you need and when you need it by providing a full suite of HR tools and services. This software can also help you in business with payroll systems in a quick and easy way. This software has strong technology and a streamlined process that can help you to complete your payroll within a minute. 

By upgrading from a simple payroll plan to a complete suite of HR products and services, even a single person can put their recurring paycheck to automation.

In addition, Run can help you stay on top of federal and state tax rules and HR requirements with automatic updates that span all 50 states. At the end of the day, Run users can rest assured knowing they'll have access to payroll professionals around the clock.

Why we chose RUN:

  • It is cloud-based.
  • It works on smartphones.
  • It offers 24/7 live support.

Drawbacks of RUN:

  • You cannot buy this software at a cheap rate.
  • It does not provide a self-service option.

2. Gusto

Gusto provides solutions for HR management in a business that help manage employees’ payroll, benefit administration, time tracking, hiring, and more.


  • Benefits administration
  • Human resource software
  • Payroll Management
  • Direct deposit option
  • Provides check and W2 form reports.
  • Provides automatic tax calculation and tax filing.
  • Has a free trial version

Gusto is an online and modern human resources software that can help small business owners take care of their company’s HR tools and services. It provides employees’ onboarding management, payroll, and health administration benefits. It brings together all employees and terms by using one integrated platform. Gusto can make you feel like an experienced pro in HR management, no matter what the situation is!

Gusto provides payroll management and benefits management to any small business. By providing full-service support, gusto payroll service offers automatic payroll processing, compliance, and tax filing. Also, Gusto provides health insurance benefits for employees from the first day. You can provide any type of health benefits to your employees with online enrollment and a user support team of experts on call at any time.  

Why we chose Gusto:

  • It is cloud-based. 
  • It offers 24/7 live support.
  • It has free trial options.

Drawbacks of Gusto:

  • All features are not included in the free trial version.

3. OnPay

OnPay is a cloud-based platform payroll solution that provides automated tax filing and payment workflows for small businesses.


  • It provides compliance management.
  • It provides human resource management.
  • It provides payroll management. 
  • It includes all tax filings.
  • It provides hourly and salaried wages.
  • It provides easy PTO approvals.
  • It offers automated onboarding.
  • It provides direct deposit.
  • It offers 401(k) tracking.
  • It provides employee benefits management.
  • It provides time-off tracking management.

OnPay can update information, onboarding, past access stubs, and tax forms in a single employee portal. It includes the features of self-onboarding, automated payroll taxations, new hire reporting, and scheduled pay runs.

It also helps with employee benefits management by tracking employees’ PTO, sick leave, and vacation. OnPay can help you to make an employee database where you can store contracts and employee notes. It also integrates with third-party apps like Xero, Quickbooks, Guideline, Vewstwell, and more.

OnPay offers another employee management feature, which is employee retirement management. The solution provides 401(k) planning which helps employees to plan their retirement. Users can manage compliance, deduction, and investment portfolios by OnPay. It also helps employees with their pay stubs and W2 forms online. 

Why we chose OnPay: 

  • Cloud-based features
  • Online training
  • Offers live support
  • Has a free trial option
  • Run payroll in minutes

Drawbacks of OnPay:

  • Less integration with timekeeping tools.
  • Customer service is not responsive.
  • The price of this software is high.

4. Patriot Payroll

Patriot Payroll is a platform integrated with HRM and payroll management solutions that can streamline different processes of managing payroll payments and tax submissions. 


  • It offers free direct deposit.
  • It offers free payroll management.
  • It provides a time-off tracking option.
  • It offers time-off accruals.
  • It offers employee management services with a free employee portal.
  • No-hassle cancellation.

Patriot Payroll platform effectively takes care of instances such as maintenance and recording of payroll information and generating detailed financial reports. It also includes tax documentation features. Users can directly issue payrolls through bank deposits by Patriot Payroll. With the help of a personalized portal of this software, employees can access their payroll and financial information. 

Patriot Payroll’s functionality of application reporting will give you the year-end reports and print the tax report in W2 form.

Patriot Payroll offers two payroll options: basic payroll and full-service payroll. Basic payroll service provides you with three simple steps to run your payroll. You have to manually file your payroll taxes using data from the reports of payroll tax liabilities. In full-service payroll, you will enter the hours and paychecks, and Patriot Payroll will automatically generate the report for tax submission.

Why we chose Patriot Payroll:

  • It offers a free trial option. 
  • It works on a PC.
  • It works on mobile devices.
  • It offers live support.

Drawbacks of Patriot Payroll:

  • Initially, the interface may look a little bit difficult.
  • Sometimes Customer service does not respond on time.  

5. Paychex Flex

paychex flex payroll dashboard

Paychex Flex is a web-based solution for human capital management with an expert service center to solve the HR needs of employers of any size and company.


  • It offers payroll management.
  • It provides biometric recognition.
  • It provides online enrollment for benefits management.
  • It offers tax compliance.
  • It provides the interface of the benefit dashboard.
  • It provides compensation management.
  • It offers customizable reports.
  • It provides employee management benefits.
  • It provides 401(K) tracking and W2 forms.
  • It offers direct deposits.

Paychex Flex creates different data profiles for different employees on a central platform. So whenever you need to manage applicant profiles, onboarding, job and labor costing, and automated testing of compliance, just click on a single button, and you will get the result.  Paychex Flex also helps you to track information in real-time and go across customizable apps.

Paychex Flex has a dedicated support team that provides business solutions for any size of company. It can help you to reach your goal for the company. 

Why we chose Paychex Flex:

  • It is cloud-based.
  • It works on Pc.
  • It has a mobile version.
  • It provides live support 24/7.

Drawbacks of Paychex Flex:

  • It has few accessibility options.
  • It does not integrate all third-party apps, such as Quicken.

6. Paycor

Paycor is software that business owners can use to solve payroll services and payroll-related instances.


  • It provides payroll management software.
  • It offers benefit administration.
  • It offers an onboarding option.
  • It’s a time clock software.
  • It manages schedules. 
  • It provides applicant tracking.
  • It provides human resource management.
  • It provides video interviewing.

Paycor provides the HCM platform of people management for leaders. It helps business owners to make a difference. Paycor helps empower business owners to have a modernized vision of people management, recruiting, onboarding, and paying associates payroll from any aspect and reach their goals. 

It helps the HR teams by providing deep insights into any HR-related issues through strong analytical visions and personalized support. It brings together all data and information of employees to a single platform so that you don’t need to take the pressure of handling all employees' information by taking several actions. Paycor stores all data in a single platform that reduces the extra pressure of analyzing them and helps to take a deep visual insight for making decisions. 

Paycor can also help you get updates on local and state laws and compliance issues. For that, you don’t need to check your payroll account all the time. Paycor will automatically update your payroll product in the background so that you can keep ahead of local and state laws.   

Why we chose Paycor:

  • Offers a modern payroll solution
  • Provides intuitive recruiting and HR solutions.
  • Works on PC and Mobile.

Drawbacks of Paycor:

  • Change, edit, or adjust the time off option
  • The primary interface does not include all options. 

7. Quickbooks Online

Quickbooks Online is accounting software that offers web-based controls of financial reports of a business from all aspects.


  • It provides invoice management.
  • It provides customizable invoices and reports.
  • It provides tax management and expense management.
  • It offers online payment.
  • It provides payroll management.
  • It provides a general ledger.
  • It provides time-tracking and expense-tracking options.
  • It integrates with third-party apps.
  • It offers commission management for small businesses.

Quickbooks Online is reliable for bookkeeping, invoice management, payroll, bank reconciliation, financial reporting, and expense tracking. Quickbooks Online is the best choice to get organized with time properly and get paid fast. Freelancers, small businesses, and mid-sized businesses in any industry can use Quickbooks Online. 

Using Quickbooks Online, users can download and reconcile their credit card transactions so that the business can organize weekly timesheets and track bank deposits. Quickbooks Online offers you to organize your books, manage expenses, track inventory, invoice mailing, and payroll. Quickbooks is designed for professional and smart financial management for any kind of small business. 

Why we chose Quickbooks Online:

  • It works on a PC.
  • It works on mobile devices.
  • It offers online training.
  • It offers 24/7 live support.

Drawbacks of Quickbooks Online:

  • Categorizing expenses can sometimes be more difficult than it feels it should be.
  • Limitations in calculating year-end donation statements.
  • The price of this software is high.

8. Rippling

Rippling is a platform for the effective business management that manages all HR, IT, and Finance, like payroll and expense benefits of businesses. 


  • It is a virtual HR software.
  • It provides HR analytics management. 
  • It provides payroll management.
  • It helps benefit the administration.
  • It provides attendance tracking.
  • It provides applicant tracking.
  • It integrates with third-party apps.
  • It provides an onboarding system.
  • It helps in recruiting management.
  • It provides compensation management.
  • It has an employee database option.

Rippling is the best HR platform for business management. Rippling can give the best experience of the modern system by managing the company's payroll, IT, and HR benefits and also the facility of onboarding new hires within a few seconds. Some other unique features make Ripping the All-In-One HR-related platform for doing business more easily and automatically.  

It brings together all data and system information of employees, making your work easier. For example, it provides an onboarding system that helps you take care of new hires, offer letters, health insurance, payroll, and benefits with only one click. Business owners can automate their businesses by using Rippling because it reduces all manual function work by connecting the business systems into one source. If you want to work online and paperlessly, Rippling can give you the best experience.

Why we chose Rippling:

  • It automatically updates the employee database.
  • It has a free trial version.
  • It is cost-effective.
  • It has a great user review.

Drawbacks of Rippling:

  • The user support team is not responsive.
  • Rippling does not file withholding taxes.

9. Square

Square is the platform of full-service solutions for payroll management that helps small-sized businesses to pay their employees online and handle payroll tax.


  • It provides payroll management. 
  • It provides employee benefits management.
  • It provides direct deposit.
  • It provides tax compliance management.
  • It provides 401(k) tracking and W2 preparations.
  • It provides wage garnishment.
  • It provides a timesheet database.
  • It offers a dashboard activity option.

Square Payroll has the function of managing employees based on their types of hourly, salaried and contractual work. The running payroll functionality helps businesses to pay employees based on their worked hours during a defined pay period. It automatically pulls data from Square Point to the Sale app. Square Payroll also calculates hours worked, total labor cost, and paid time off. 

It integrates with third-party tools for payment processing, employee management systems, and financial and accounting software, which includes popular choices like Quickbooks, Square POS, etc. Besides this, Square Payroll makes the processes of payment, salary management, tax calculation, and reporting, etc., into automated processes by using tools and functions.

It also helps in the recruitment process by providing features like W2 forms and other state or federal tax laws during the onboarding process.

Why we chose Square:

  • It keeps track of salaried and hourly employees.
  • Pay W2 employees and contractors, or both.
  • It works on cloud-based.
  • It works on mobile devices.
  • It offers phone support.
  • It has a free trial option.

Drawbacks of Square:

  • Customer support is not responsive.
  • No account login feature.
  • It does not provide customization to load weekly summaries into the client bookkeeping.

10. Zenefits Payroll

zenefits payroll dashboard

Zenefits online is an HR solution software on a Saas cloud-based platform that helps small and mid-sized companies from any industry empower their management workforce and stay compliant. It makes HR administrative work easier through robust offerings spanning HR, benefits, payroll, and well-performance apps combined with advisory services. 

Zenefit offers a people management platform that delivers the most experienced HR management. Zenefit provides the best HR management service that helps you focus on your business without taking the extra complexity of hand notes and paperwork. 


  • It provides compliance management.
  • It provides human resource management.
  • It provides payroll management. 
  • It offers compensation management for employees.
  • It offers performance management tracking.
  • It provides attendance tracking.
  • It provides workforce management. 
  • It provides tax compliance.
  • It offers ORG charts.
  • It provides benefits administration management.
  • It provides direct deposit.
  • It offers 401(k) tracking.
  • It provides performance management.

Why we chose Zenefits Payroll:

  • Serves SMBs of all sizes of companies, 5 employees, to businesses with 1000+ employees.
  • It works on cloud-based.
  • It works on PCs.
  • It works on mobile devices.
  • It offers phone support.
  • It has a free trial option.
  • Run payroll in minutes.

Drawbacks of Zenefits Payroll:

  • This software is not efficient for customization.
  • Customer support is not responsive.

To Conclude

I hope you utilize our suggestions to locate payroll software for your business. There are other options available that may better suit your needs. Remember that the best option is the one that fits you best, not the one with the highest rating. Try out trial versions of any payroll software you're considering purchasing, and then decide what to purchase or invest in!

Sam Turner

Written by:

Sam Turner


With several years of experience in the HR field, Sam is a go-to source of information for professionals. Sam helps people with data regarding the latest software and following trends and developments in HR. He is fond of testing HR and productivity software out there. His expertise exposes his knowledge in productivity, educating others and so forth.

Related Posts:

Workforce Planning Software

Are you in a new business looking to implement workforce planning software into your business? I know it can be a d...

erp for small business

With so many options, picking one chance out of countless others can get confusing and frustrating. So today, I am...

employee referral software

Are you the owner of a new company interested in incorporating Employee Referral Software into your operations? I k...