Best 10 Payroll Software for Small Business In 2021

Paying your employees on time and in full is a non-negotiable part of a well-functioning team, which makes selecting payroll software for your small business a problematic option. There are some fantastic alternatives out there for you, whether you’re searching for barebones, free payroll ready for full small business payroll systems software. The four top alternatives on the market right now are listed below.

The Details on the Best Software for Small Business Payroll Systems

Let’s get started on the information you’ve come to find. Here are the top ten payroll software options for small businesses like yours:


small business payroll systems


1. Gusto Payroll

Gusto is our top selection for top payroll service. It provides the most comprehensive package at the most affordable pricing. Gusto is a payroll, benefits, and HR platform for small business payroll systems that start at $45 per month ($39 as a basic fee plus an additional $4 per employee per month for their cheapest plan). Gusto has also added a new option for contractors-only businesses, which pay the $6/employee cost instead of the standard fee.

You’ll have access to full-service payroll regardless of the version of Gusto you choose. However, the higher your level, the more services you’ll access using this payroll software.

Every Gusto plan includes the following features, which are also available with the Core plan:

  • Full-service for small business payroll systems
  • Employee profiles and self-service
  • Administration of Health-Care Benefits
  • Administration of workers’ compensation
  • Customer service
  • Tracking PTO

The Complete Gusto plan is the next step up, with a $39 and a monthly fee of $12 per employee.

The extra features include:

  • Permissions for administrators
  • Onboarding and employee offers
  • PTO approvals will consist of the tracking of PTOs.
  • Surveys and an employee directory

The Gusto Concierge package, the most costly, costs $149 per month plus $12 per employee per month and includes the following services.

  • Customer service that is dedicated
  • HR experts who are certified
  • Human Resources Resource Center

Additionally, each of Gusto’s three payroll software packages comes with a month’s free trial, allowing you to evaluate if it’s an appropriate match for you. Remember that you may add extra benefits and insurance to any Gusto plan you choose, such as 401(k) retirement plans and health coverage, for example.


2. QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll is another popular software small business payroll system. That will be one of the common approaches to automating your payroll if you already use QuickBooks accounting software to keep track of your company’s money, as many business owners do. If you use QuickBooks Online, you may activate this small business payroll systems software by clicking a button in your accounting program.

You’ll be able to pick between three versions of QuickBooks for small business payroll systems software. QuickBooks Payroll Core, the self-service version of QuickBooks Payroll software, is the first plan option for you. This software allows you to compute and file year-end paperwork. As well as calculate and pay your employees’ paychecks. You’ll only have to pay $13.50 per month for the first three months of using this payroll software, plus $4 per employee every month.

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Your cost will grow to $45 per month after the first three months, but your employee cost will remain the same. Consider upgrading to the Premium edition of QuickBooks for small business payroll systems if you need more assistance from your payroll software than the basic version can provide. With Premium QuickBooks Payroll, you’ll get access to all of the capabilities included in the Self Service version, as well as the following list of extra features:

  • Payroll taxes are taken care of for you.
  • Direct deposit the same day
  • You will receive free W-2s that have been filed and delivered to you.
  • Assistance with payroll setup
  • Permissions determined by the user
  • Premium time management (via mobile app)
  • A human resources support center
  • Their promise of no penalties if you file your taxes on time

However, you will have to pay more for Premium QuickBooks Payroll’s additional features. Your first three months will charge at a reduced cost of $22.50 per month, and future months will be set at $75 per month. Again, each additional person on your payroll will cost you $8 per month.

Finally, there’s QuickBooks Payroll Elite, which is the company’s most complete payroll solution. This bundle includes everything from the Core and Premium packages, as well as the following extras:

  • QuickBooks is in charge of employee onboarding.
  • Geofencing and time tracking
  • Guarantee of no tax penalties
  • Additional customer service for firms located in the United States
  • A personal HR consultant

For all of these extra benefits, you’ll pay $37.50 per month for the first three months. After three months, your monthly fee will rise to $125, plus $10 for each additional employee.


3. Patriot Payroll

Patriot Software Payroll is another option on our list of the best software for small business payroll systems. Patriot Payroll software is available in two versions, which might be beneficial to small enterprises based on their requirements and preferences. In addition, for a modest monthly charge, you can add two additional capabilities to your Patriot Payroll software: time and attendance monitoring and HR software.

Patriot Payroll software’s Basic edition is only $10 per month, with an employee fee of $4 per month for each employee you add to your payroll. You’ll have access to the following payroll features at this price:

  • Setup and assistance for payroll
  • Payment via cheque or direct deposit
  • Flexible payment plans

Patriot’s Full-Service payroll software is another alternative. You’ll have to pay a monthly base fee of $30 + $4 per employee if you choose this option. For an additional $20 each month, you’ll get access to all of the features of Basic Patriot Payroll. As well as the following:

  • W-2s and W-3s have been filed on your behalf.
  • You will have your federal taxes filed and deposited for you.
  • You will have your state taxes filed and deposited for you.
  • You will have your local taxes filed and deposited for you.


4. Payroll4Free

If you’re looking for free payroll software, Payroll4Free is your best bet. If you have fewer than 25 employees on your payroll, you may take advantage of all of Payroll4Free’s basic features for free.

The following capabilities include in these fundamental features:

  • Processing of payroll (for both W-2 employees and 1099 contractors)
  • Deposits made directly (to your bank only)
  • Calculations and forms related to taxes
  • Tracking vacations
  • Integrations with third-party software
  • HR responsibilities
  • Reporting
  • Live customer service is available.

In addition to those essential services, Payroll4Free charges $12.50 per month to deposit and submit your taxes straight from your payroll software. You’ll also have to pay your employees an extra $12.50 a month if you wish to send direct deposit funds to their bank accounts rather than your own. Aside from those two extra services, Payroll4Free is a free solution that won’t require you to make too many sacrifices.


5. ADP Payroll

Advanced-Data Processing, or ADP, is a well-known company in the commercial software industry, and you’ve undoubtedly heard of them. Small business payroll systems can use ADP Run, which is a strategy they provide. The Essential, Enhanced, Complete, and HR Pro plans are the four options available with ADP Run. The plans have no costs listed online, so if you’re interested, you’ll have to contact ADP for a quotation, but the plan specifics are available.

The following features are included in each plan:

  • Payroll can do on a computer, tablet, mobile app, or over the phone
  • Make a direct deposit
  • Payroll Distribution
  • Reporting
  • Interface for General Ledger
  • Reporting on New Hires
  • W-2s and 1099s are two types of tax forms
  • Filing of Taxes
  • Employee Access at ADP
  • Onboarding New Hires
  • Employee Benefits

When you move to the more costly programs, the primary features you acquire and the payroll you already have in the Essential plan have to do with human resources management and tools. The most basic plan, the Essential Option, the Enhanced Plan, will suffice if you need a payroll plan. Because you can use the mobile app on your phone, a tablet, a computer, or even call in to manage your payroll, this is a fantastic choice for company owners on the road.


6. OnPay Payroll

OnPay is a fantastic choice to consider for a payroll service if you primarily pay hourly and contract workers. OnPay’s expenses are publicly known, and they only provide one payroll service. Therefore, there are no plans to filter through them. The monthly fee will be $36 plus an extra $4 for each person you pay, whether a contractor, full-time employee, or part-time employee.

Payroll does not run automatically with OnPay, which is why it’s a suitable match for your business if you’re paying contractors or part-time employees. Before conducting payroll, you must first choose the employees you wish to pay and input their hours or earnings. However, since it is a cloud-based service, you can conduct payroll fast and simply from your phone or a computer.

OnPay Payroll services offer the following features:

  • Payroll runs are unlimited monthly.
  • Payments and filing of taxes
  • Forms W-2 and 1099
  • Employees can pay through direct deposit, debit card, or a printed cheque.
  • Multiple pay rates and schedules are available.
  • Withholding of unemployment insurance
  • Payroll statements
  • Accounting and time-tracking integrations


7. Paychex

Paychex Flex offers a variety of options, all of which are ideal for expanding organizations. You can start with one of the lower-tier plans and work your way up to the more expensive and robust ones as needed. Express Payroll is the most straightforward option, followed by Paychex Flex Select, Paychex Flex Pro, and Paychex Flex Enterprise.

The following features are included in each of the four Paychex plans we just mentioned:

  • Administration of payroll taxes
  • Reporting on new hires
  • Free mobile app with phone and chat assistance available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Financial wellness initiative for employees
  • Pay card and direct deposit
  • Services to verify employment and income

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Next-level plans include additional services such as a personal payroll consultant who can assist you with any tax or payroll issues you may have. You may also have access to other payment options, such as checks, analytics, and reports. One disadvantage of Paychex Flex is that their price isn’t easily visible on their website, making it impossible to compare their services to those offered by companies.


8. Square Payroll

You’ve probably heard of Square, at least in terms of their point-of-sale system, whether you’ve used it for your own business or at a competitor’s. They do, however, provide payroll services to company owners. Square Payroll offers a $5 per contractor per month option if you exclusively pay contractors. If you have full-time employees, the plan will cost you $35 per month plus $5 per person each month.

The following are some of the features offered in the full-service payroll:

  • Employees and contractors should pay.
  • Provide health-related advantages
  • Tracking 401(k) PTO and sick leave
  • Keep track of your working hours.
  • For paying staff, use the mobile app.
  • Allow employees to log in and import time cards.
  • Submitting a tax return

Your employees can already clock in and leave if you utilize Square as your point of sale. The information may then be synced with the payroll provider, allowing you to track hours and ensure they are accurate for come payday.


9. Zenefits Payroll

Zenefits is a complete payroll solution. It also takes care of any additional benefits you wish to provide to your employees. Their payroll system works hand in hand with their HR, benefits, and time and scheduling systems. They also offer a plethora of connectors for company owners to employ. Everything from productivity to application monitoring, retirement savings, accounting, travel, staff management, and performance management has been integrated.

The following are just a few of the numerous functions available for small business payroll systems software:

  • Recruitment is automatically prorated.
  • Payroll reminders are sent automatically
  • Paystubs with information
  • Messages on pay stubs
  • Deposits made directly into your bank account
  • Contractors are paid.
  • Earning unique codes
  • Various pay scales

You may assume that all of these capabilities would come at a high price, yet Zenefits’ three plans are affordable prices. The Essentials plan is the cheapest at $10 per month per employee, followed by the Growth plan at $18 per month per employee and the Zen plan at $27 per month per employee. More features include in the pricing as the plan price rises.


10. Wave Payroll

You may be familiar with Wave because they provide some excellent free accounting and invoicing tools. They also have payroll software, which you must pay for, but if you’re looking for accounting software as well, now would be a good time to try both since they sync easily.

The price of Wave Payroll will vary based on the state you live in, as certain countries allow them to provide tax services while others do not. In states where tax services are available, the monthly fee is $35, plus $6 for each active employee or contractor you pay. The base fee will be $20 in countries where taxes are deemed “self-service.”

However, the features are the same regardless of which state you’re in:

  • Payroll accuracy of 100 percent
  • Free direct deposits are available indefinitely.
  • Check printing at the self-service station
  • Payroll reminders sent to your inbox
  • Customer service
  • The employee is in charge of
  • Where applicable, tax returns must fill.
  • Employee pay stubs and tax forms

Now that you’ve learned about the best small business payroll systems software, it’s time to choose from these four alternatives to see which one best suits your payroll needs and preferences. But with so many alternatives at hand, how can you choose the top payroll software for your company?

Each choice has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but at the end of the day, you’ll need to consider how much assistance you’ll need with your taxes and payroll setup, as well as how much you’re prepared to spend each month for payroll software.

Remember to include in the extra monthly cost of each of your payrolled employees, as well as prospective payrolled employees, for your payroll software. Payroll software costs will rise as your small business grows.