Best Payroll Tools for your Small Business

Assessing payroll tools for small business is one of the many tasks you will need to tackle before hiring more employees. Setting up a functional payroll service can help small businesses run smoothly, but choosing the best payroll software can take a lot of time that you’d rather dedicate elsewhere. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the best payroll tools and software for small businesses.

Take a look at these payroll services and consider which features would be most beneficial to your small business. Are you looking for something that will help your employees set up direct deposit? How about something that helps human resources track employees’ time and attendance? Whether you’re looking for a payroll software that prioritizes employee self service, doubles as an accounting software program, or something that is fully online, we think we’ve got you covered.

Grab something to take notes with, and take a look at our list of the best payroll services and tools for small business in 2020. Hopefully, one of these payroll services can help you tackle this hurdle and move onto the next in no time.

If we’re one of many articles you’ve tabbed to research small business payroll tools, you’ve likely come across Gusto already. And for good reason — Gusto offers a wide array of services to help small businesses with a competitive pricing model.

So first, let’s talk about pricing. Gusto’s cloud-based payroll service starts at $39 per month. You’ll be charged an additional $6 a month per each managed employee on your Gusto plan. This subscription pay model is highly competitive for a small business with a fluctuating number of employees. Often, payroll softwares charge a fee for adding more employees to the system with tiered pricing. So, if you’re paying for a plan that includes 1-20 employees, and you add a 21st employee, the price difference would be much greater than the $6 difference between employees that Gusto offers.

But what does that price get you? Gusto offers automatic tax filing on the local, state, and federal level. Gusto also automatically generates and shares W-2 and 1099 tax forms, and helps new hires file with the state. You can track PTO and integrate accounting programs like Quickbooks with Gusto. Unlike most other payroll software, Gusto offers automatic workers compensation billing and wage garnishment deductions. All of this comes with the most basic Gusto plan.
And, if that’s not enough, Gusto is all cloud-based. A cloud-based payroll software can help minimize setup time, and is especially useful in a time in which many small businesses are remote.

Intuit gives Gusto a run for its money when it comes to pricing. Small business owners only need to pay $20 a month plus $2 per employee for the Intuit Basic plan. Here’s what you get with the basic plan:

  • paychecks for all W-2 employees
  • an automatic calculation of taxes (but not filing)
  • free direct deposit
  • real-time support

As you can see, the resources for Intuit Basic are pretty bare-bones,  but if you’re just getting started, you might not need all the bells and whistles of other payrolling systems.

For $31.20 per month, Intuit offers a plan called Enhanced. On top of the features listed for the Intuit Basic plan, Enhanced offers tax form completion, tax filing, and payment options. If you’ve got a larger budget set away to run payroll, Intuit’s Full Service plan will run your payroll entirely. For $79 per month, Intuit will set up employees’ direct deposits, offer time tracking, workers’ compensation, and more.

Small business owners might already be familiar with Square as a point of sale tool (and if you’re not, you may want to look into Square as a solution for accepting card payment in a storefront environment). If you’re already using Square to accept payments, Square Payroll could have a leg up for its ease of integration. Square Payroll is an especially advantageous payroll software for small business managers with hourly employees, as it allows users to clock in and out using the Square app.

Square Payroll costs $29 per month, plus $5 per employee. Square Payroll automatically files taxes on a federal, state, and local level. It uses funds from your company balance to automatically pay employees without waiting on bank approval. Square also offers live customer support to help you get the most out of your plan.

ADP is super well-known in the HR world. You could think of ADP payroll as an HR software with payroll as a service. They really offer a wide array of services and prices, and that’s why they made the list. While ADP is not ideal for a super small business, their payroll software is a great option for a rapidly growing or midsize business.

First, the numbers. ADP’s payroll pricing is entirely custom based on your business needs. That means you’re not paying for more than what you need. So if you need time tracking and employee self-service, but no other bells and whistles, they could give you a custom quote on an essentials only plan. As your business grows, ADP allows you to scale up your payroll software plan with ease.

However, if you are already looking for a more comprehensive payroll and HR software for your business, ADP offers a handful of other options. In fact, ADP’s hybrid HR/payroll software options are some of the most highly reviewed in the industry. Their enhanced plan offers employee background checks and state unemployment insurance management. A step up from that is the complete plan, which gives you access to HR support via phone and email, employee handbook templates, advanced HR reporting, and detailed onboarding support. When you’re ready to scale  up your business to over 100 employees on payroll, their HR Pro plan includes all aforementioned perks, plus more.

Really, the biggest perk of ADP is its flexibility. If a lot of growth is in your future, and you’re worried about the headache of assessing future payroll and HR needs, ADP could be a great solution. Their payroll support team will guide you through the process of getting started and tackle some of the growing pains for you.

Whereas ADP payroll is great for a growing or midsize business, OnPay payroll is especially beneficial to very small businesses. One of its most obvious perks is its user-friendly payroll interface. Even a quick visit to their website proves just how much they prioritize functionality and access.

OnPay has a base fee of $36 per month, plus $4 per person on payroll. And you’re only billed for employees who are paid each month. So if you’ve got contract employees not working during a season or workers on leave, you won’t be charged. They also offer a free one-month trial, so you can give it a go before committing full force.

OnPay will automatically file your W-2s and 1099s. You can choose to pay employees with direct deposit, debit card, or use OnPay to print checks. OnPay payroll also offers automated withholding and tax filing, as well as accounting and time tracking integrations.

The days of handling small business payrolls by hand are long gone. Whether you’ve got one employee or 60, there’s a payroll software out there to help you save time and grow your business. We hope this list helps you find the right payroll option for your small business, so you can stop fretting the details and focus on the future.

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