Payroll Software

What is the best Payroll Software?

The best Payroll platforms offer a suite of tools designed to help companies more efficiently and accurately handle payroll activities such as payroll processing, employee paycheck disbursement, and tax calculation and filing. 

Payroll platforms are extremely efficient and replace manual, error-prone processes with streamlined systems you can automate to ensure that employees are paid on time and taxes are appropriately calculated and filed.  Fines and penalties for incorrect or late payroll taxes can be quickly become hefty costs for a company, and using Payroll platforms can help minimize this risk by automatically calculating the appropriate taxes and withholdings for each employee to ensure that all taxes are accurate and filed on time. 

The top Payroll platforms features and tools include:

  • Payroll Processing, Paycheck Disbursement, and Tracking
  • Direct Deposit and ACH Payment Options
  • Tax Calculation, Compliance, and Filing
  • Compensation Tracking
  • Self-Service Tools
  • Reporting & Analytics
  • Tax and Labor Law Compliance Management

The benefits of Payroll Platforms include:

  • Eliminates payroll errors and costly mistakes
  • Ensures payroll processing is accurate and on-time
  • Offers more payment options for employees (check, direct deposit, payment card, etc)
  • Automates payments for employees 
  • Saves time, reduces costs, and improves efficiency
  • Easy to use without technical expertise
  • Improves compliance with tax calculations and filing options
  • Provides reporting and analytics for increased insights and process improvements

Cloud-based software solutions are a continuing trend in business as they offer mobility and flexibility demanded by an ever more mobile business landscape. Payroll platforms are no exception. More businesses are choosing to embrace SaaS payroll solutions that provide convenient and mobile-accessible tools to support a business on the move. This also means that small companies can afford payroll systems much earlier than in the past, simply due to the lower cost and barrier to entry on a cloud software versus a more expensive on-premise system.

Employee self-service dashboards and mobile access to payroll software solutions are also trending. As a result, payroll platforms and vendors are focusing on providing more employee-focused tools that people can use to manage their time and benefits with their company more seamlessly.

Payroll platforms are an essential part of every business with employees. As you’re growing your business, you will need to put the right processes in systems in place to ensure that you have a reliable and efficient way to keep your employees paychecks flowing out on time, while also accounting for variable such as taxes and benefits.

Selecting or switching to the perfect payroll platforms for your company involves deep business examination and thoughtful research and analysis of the features and system capabilities that will best suit your business now and scale with you as you grow.

Top 10 Payroll

RUN / APS / Paychex / UKG Pro Pay / Namely / Paycor / Gusto / TriNet / Patriot / Paylocity

WH Score
9.9
Gusto

Gusto

79reviews
Starting Price:$6 / employee / per month
Gusto offers small businesses an online payroll solution that's completely flexible to your needs, including: 
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WH Score
9.8
UKG Pro Pay

UKG Pro Pay

173reviews
Starting Price:N/A
With a focus on people in everything they do, UltiPro® offers comprehensive capabilities and simplicity of use to make your life easier. You get HR, payroll, and talent management in a single solution. Ultipro devotes 100% of resources to the research, development, and delivery of i...
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WH Score
9.8
RUN

RUN

67reviews
Starting Price:N/A
RUN, powered by ADP, is a web-based payroll solution tailored to the payroll needs of small businesses. RUN can integrate with multiple third-party accounting software and human resource management services from ADP to give you a full spectrum of features and tools you need to manage everything from...
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WH Score
9.8
Paycor

Paycor

175reviews
Starting Price:$12 / employee / per month
More than 30,000 medium and small businesses nationwide trust Paycor to help them engage, manage and develop their people. Paycor is known for delivering the best unified HCM platform for the SMB market, featuring user-friendly Payroll & Tax compliance software, HR & Benefits, Learning Manag...
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WH Score
9.8
APS

APS

0reviews
Starting Price:N/A
APS (Automatic Payroll Systems, Inc.) provides payroll and tax compliance services to small to medium-sized companies, and has been for almost 20 years.
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WH Score
9.8
TriNet

TriNet

0reviews
Starting Price:N/A
Trinet offers full-service human resources (HR) and payroll solutions tailored to the needs of small and midsize businesses including: payroll processing, payroll administration and electronic W-2 preparation and delivery. TriNet enables users to view estimated invoices, and it updates in real time....
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WH Score
9.7
Paylocity

Paylocity

50reviews
Starting Price:N/A
Paylocity has delivered industry-leading software and unmatched customer service since inception. Their mission of elevating payroll and human resources across the backroom and into the boardroom speaks to just that.
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WH Score
9.6
Patriot

Patriot

74reviews
Starting Price:$4 / employee / per month
Patriot Payroll from Patriot Software is a cloud-based payroll software tailored to small businesses up to 100 employees who need powerful, but affordable, tools for managing payroll processing and tax filing. With this solution, you can easily maintain payroll records, print checks, establish direc...
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WH Score
9.2
Paychex

Paychex

7reviews
Starting Price:$5 / employee / per month
Save time and improve payroll accuracy. Paychex makes it easier to enter employee hours, calculate payroll taxes, and keep up with wage and hour laws – without taking time away from your business.
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WH Score
9.1
Namely

Namely

44reviews
Starting Price:N/A
Namely offers a cloud-based solution for mid-size companies who want a powerful way system to manage HR, payroll, benefits, and talent all in one place.
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Learn more about Payroll Software

What is Payroll Software?

Payroll software is a suite of tools for managing and automating payroll processing, distributing employee paychecks, and calculating taxes. Payroll software is an efficient software for all types of companies that want to ensure accurate payments to employees, stay in compliance with tax laws, and automate payroll processes for reduced costs and efficiency. 

How Does Payroll Software Work?

Payroll software works by automating payroll processing and empowering employees with options to edit their personal information, update details, and choose how they want to receive payments (check, direct deposit, or payment card). Payroll software integrates with core business systems, such as HR and Accounting software, to help ensure that employees receive their paychecks on time.

What is HR and Payroll Software?

HR and Payroll software are often combined into a singular system so that employee payroll, benefits, training, career development, and time & attendance can be managed in a centralized platform. However, there are also stand-alone Payroll software systems that benefit smaller companies or businesses looking to streamline payroll alongside their existing accounting and HR systems. 

What are Main Elements of Payroll?

The main elements of payroll include:

  • Processing paychecks for employees (Salary, Hourly, Contract)
  • Calculating Income Tax, Social Security Withholding, and Payroll Tax
  • Storing employee records and payroll data
  • Providing employees and admins tools to simplify and streamline payroll processes

What are the Common Features of Payroll Software?

The common features of Payroll Software are:

  • Accurate, On-Time Payroll Processing
  • Direct Deposit and ACH
  • Tax Calculation and Filing
  • Admin Tools for Managing Compensation
  • Self-Service Tools for Employees
  • Compliance Management
  • Reporting & Analytics

What are the Benefits of Payroll Software?

The benefits of Payroll Software include:

  • Eliminates Payroll Errors and Costly Mistakes
  • Ensures payroll processing is accurate and on-time
  • Automates payment methods for employees (check, direct deposit, payment card, etc)
  • Saves Time, Reduces Costs, and Improves Efficiency
  • Easy to use without technical expertise
  • Improves compliance with tax calculations and filing options

Is Payroll Software Needed by a Company and Why?

Payroll software is needed by a company because it helps avoid critical, costly mistakes in processing payroll, calculating taxes and withholding, and storing employee payroll data. 

Do You Need Payroll Software?

You likely need payroll software if you have one or more employees. Payroll software can help companies of all sizes with tools for preparing and processing payroll and accurately calculating taxes and withholding. Some payroll software also offers tools and services to help with tax filing.

What are the Challenges with Payroll Software?

The challenges with payroll software include:

  • Accurately paying employees while relying on manual payroll processing and payment disbursement.
  • Staying updated on labor laws, payroll tax changes, and other regulatory changes impacting how employees are paid. 
  • Accurately keeping payroll records for all employees.
  • Maintaining data privacy and security.
  • Managing payroll activities in a streamlined, efficient manner.
  • Overcoming software incompatibilities when introducing payroll tools to a business.

Why is Compliance a Payroll Challenge?

Compliance is a payroll challenge because there are large penalties for incorrectly filing taxes or failing to adhere to tax laws and payroll regulations. 

How Much do Payroll Systems Cost?

Payroll systems cost anywhere from $25 a month to $200 a month for basic payroll tools like payroll processing, paycheck disbursement, self-service portals for employees and admin, tax calculation and filing, and direct deposit payment options. 

How to Buy Payroll Software?

You can use the following checklist to help you determine how to buy the best Payroll software for your business.

  • Focus on business needs, payment issues, and growth goals driving the decision to get a new or upgraded Payroll system.
  • Plan for data migration, implementation costs, IT involvement, and any downtime that may impact ongoing employee payroll.
  • Make a plan to support user adoption through training.
  • Understand the Payroll processes you’re looking to streamline and automate.
  • Don’t skip the product demos offered by Payroll software vendors to show features and functionality.
  • Understand reporting and analytics needs for Payroll and HR.