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Top 5 Online Payroll for Small Business

Top 5 Online Payroll for Small Business

Online payroll for small businesses - It is wonderful to expand your staff as a small business owner. It indicates that your firm is expanding and that more people are eager to invest in your ideas. The logistics of managing them, alternatively? Not that enjoyable.

Online payroll software relieves you of a substantial amount of labor, allowing you to concentrate on your core business activities. We have compiled a list of the top payroll services to assist you in comparing and selecting the finest platform for your small business.

What Is Payroll?

Payroll refers to the entire amount of remuneration paid to workers for their labor. The process of determining workers' net compensation and starting payment to them is sometimes referred to as payroll. Whether you have one or one hundred employees, you must manage payroll to guarantee that they are paid accurately and that accurate records are maintained.

How to evaluate payroll services

Before starting to search for payroll processing services, you must first evaluate which characteristics are most essential. Here are a few considerations:

1. Feature availability

While the majority of payroll providers provide comparable services, in some circumstances they may be included in the standard price, while in others they may incur an extra fee.

Smaller businesses without a dedicated HR staff member may benefit from HR features; however, are HR features included in the price, or do you have to pay extra for them?

When searching for a payroll service provider, it is important to bear in mind that some payroll businesses provide many plans, with certain capabilities only available in more costly plans.

2. Usefulness

Small business owners typically have neither the time nor the inclination to study a difficult software product.

Before choosing a payroll application for your business, ensure that the solution is user-friendly and can be implemented quickly.

3. Availability

What can your business reasonably pay? We are aware that affordability is relative. While the majority of payroll service providers on this list are priced similarly, some programs include all functions while others give a basic plan with the opportunity to add other features for an additional fee.

In addition, bear in mind that although the basic charge may be greater in certain apps if all the features are included in the base price, you may save money.

4. Availability of benefit management

If you give benefits to your workers, you will also need access to tools for benefits administration. These may include access to cheap health, life, and disability insurance coverage and standard benefit management.

Moreover, if you already provide benefits such as group term life insurance exceeding $50,000, personal use of a vehicle, aid with dependent care, or a gym membership, you may need to include the value of these benefits as imputed income. Ensure that your payroll service provides this option.

How Does Payroll Software for Small Businesses Work?

Working with payroll software is a simple procedure that will save you time and effort in managing your payroll schedule, even if you are not a computer-knowledgeable business owner. First, you must configure your payroll software. While this is usually an easy procedure, and many payroll providers can assist you or even set up your account for you, you may find our information on How to Choose a Payroll Software System usefully.

During the account setup process, you or a customer care representative will provide the program with financial information for both your business and its workers. The information given will enable the payroll software to transfer earnings directly into your employees' bank accounts, compute payroll taxes, and maintain track of employee paychecks, PTO, personal records, and more. Then, you'll create your payroll calendar, determining which days of the week and how often your workers will be paid.

Once you've established your payroll schedule, you'll be able to combine your payroll software with accounting, time and attendance, and HR software offered by your payroll provider or a third-party source. Integrations simplify the payroll process by synchronizing your paycheck with your workers' working hours. This simplifies the process of automating your payroll calendar. Even if you opt to automate your payroll, you should still double-check everything.

After you've set up your account, you'll be able to conduct payroll swiftly while on the road. Many payroll companies have mobile applications or mobile-friendly websites. And, at this point, it just takes a few fast taps on your mobile phone to run your payroll.

How Much Does Payroll Software for Small Businesses Cost?

Payroll software has a price strategy that begins with a monthly base cost. OnPay, our No. 1 Best Small Business Payroll Software, for example, costs $36 per month. You must additionally pay a monthly charge for each individual you pay. OnPay's payroll software costs $4 per employee every month. That implies that if you have to pay a team of 20 employees, you will spend $80 in addition to the $36 monthly charge, for a total monthly cost of $116. You may automate your payroll and taxes for this price, process your paycheck an infinite number of times at any regularity, and reallocate the hours you would have spent on payroll to another part of your small business.

Top 5 best online payroll systems for small businesses

When it comes to hiring a payroll service provider, small business owners have a lot of options. While the bulk of the payroll systems assessed provide online payroll services, a couple provides an on-premise solution, and one is even free. Here are our top five picks.

1. OnPay

For reason, OnPay is Ascent's top option for payroll services for small companies. Though developed for small enterprises, OnPay can easily scale up to meet the needs of medium-sized organizations as well.

OnPay delivers simple system navigation and industry-specific functionality for restaurants and other enterprises that must account for employee tips.

OnPay's package also includes unlimited payroll runs, mobile access from any device, direct deposit, and multistate payroll functionality, as well as employee onboarding and self-service.

There is no need for a separate mobile app since the program is intended to function on any platform. The application effortlessly pays both workers and contractors, issuing both W-2s and 1099s at the end of the year.

OnPay provides extensive HR resources, including employee offer letters, PTO approvals, compliance tools, and a selection of HR templates that may be utilized in a variety of circumstances, in addition, to completing payroll processing.

OnPay has good integration possibilities with a wide range of third-party accounting and timesheet/timekeeping apps, and its support personnel is APA-trained.

OnPay provides a single plan, with prices starting at $36/month plus a $4 per employee charge. The pricing includes all functionality, including HR and full support options.

2. QuickBooks Online Payroll

QuickBooks Online Payroll is designed to interface with QuickBooks Online Accounting, but it may also be used as a standalone payroll software solution. QuickBooks Online Payroll may be utilized for up to 50 workers, however, due to varying price levels, it is most cost-effective for organizations with 15 or fewer employees.

QuickBooks Online Payroll has a simple onboarding procedure that allows you to get up and running fast. In all of its plans, the program provides limitless payroll runs, direct deposit functionality, and tax reporting and remittance.

Your workers may also obtain pay stubs and tax forms via an employee portal. All plans come with a mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones.

HR capabilities are accessible in QuickBooks Online Payroll, but only in the Premium and Elite plans. Both plans offer time monitoring functionality.

QuickBooks Online Payroll begins at $22.50 per month, with the Premium plan costing $37.50 per month and the Elite plan costing $62.50 per month. All prices include a 50% reduction for the first three months, with a $4 per employee charge applied to the standard price.

3. Patriot Payroll

Patriot Payroll is not as well-known as some of the other payroll software mentioned here, but it provides many of the same benefits. Patriot Payroll is intended for small companies and presently has two options, both of which include free direct deposit, an employee portal, and a free payroll setup.

Remember that the Basic plan excludes tax filing and remittance. Patriot Payroll has a simple, straightforward interface, and the price covers a full software setup. Because the program works on any device, no mobile app is required. The tool also features an outstanding accrual rule option for convenient employee PTO monitoring.

Optional Time and Attendance and HR modules, both of which integrate with the payroll application, are also available.

Patriot Payroll does not provide many frills, but small companies searching for a simple method to pay workers and payroll taxes would enjoy its simplicity.

Patriot Payroll has two plans: Basic, which costs $10 per month, and Full-Service, which costs $30 per month plus a $4 per employee charge. The Time and Attendance module are $5 per month, and the Human Resources module is $4 per month, with an extra $1 per employee cost.

4. Gusto Payroll

Gusto is intended for small companies, and it is especially well suited to those in the hospitality sector since it provides tools and resources that make monitoring changing income levels and tip amounts a very straightforward chore. Gusto also aids new users with basic payroll setup, allowing you to get up and running fast.

Gusto features new-hire reporting, customizable payroll schedules, limitless payroll runs, contractor payments, and multistate payroll functionality, as well as simple system navigation. Gusto is accessible from any device, so no mobile app is required.

Employee onboarding, comprehensive tax reporting, and remittance are all included in the platform. Gusto provides HR resources as well, but only under their most-priced plan.

The AutoPilot function is ideal for companies that have a large number of paid workers, and Gusto has strong integration possibilities with a wide range of third-party apps.

Gusto provides four plans: Basic, which is appropriate for one or two workers; Core, which is appropriate for smaller firms; Complete, which is appropriate for developing enterprises; and Concierge, which is appropriate for bigger organizations with HR demands.

Gusto's Basic plan costs $19 per month with a $6 per employee charge; the Core plan costs $39 per month with a $6 per employee fee; the Complete costs $39 per month with a $12 per employee fee; and Concierge costs $149 per month with a $12 per employee fee.

5. SurePayroll

SurePayroll is intended for small business owners and features a version specifically for those paying domestic employees. SurePayroll, which is best for small firms with 10 or fewer workers, has worked to automate the whole payroll process, which is a huge benefit for already overworked business owners.

SurePayroll provides direct payment, reporting on new employees, and time and attendance monitoring. The program also offers full tax reporting and payment, as well as a mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones.

SurePayroll also offers employee self-service and interfaces with a broad range of third-party apps. SurePayroll delivers an easy-to-use payroll dashboard with access to all payroll functionality. The program has streamlined the payroll entry process by reducing the quantity of data input required. For salaried personnel, AutoPayroll is also an option.

SurePayroll has two plans: Self-Service, which does not include tax reporting and filing, and Full Service, which includes a two-day payroll processing timeline, HR services, and compliance posters.

The Self-Service plan costs $19.99 per month plus $4 per employee, while the Full-Service plan costs $29.99 per month plus $5 per employee.

What Should I Look for in Payroll Software for Small Businesses?

Working with payroll software may benefit small companies greatly. While it does involve an initial investment, you may discover that payroll software saves you time and money in the long run.

For most small firms, the most crucial payroll software function is automatic tax filing. Using payroll software to automate your business taxes saves you money on hiring an HR or accounting staff to handle your payroll calendar and compute your payroll and taxes. While some business owners may choose to handle payroll manually to save money, payroll software not only ensures that your workers are properly paid but also helps ensure that your taxes comply with all tax rules. Taxes may be a daunting obstacle for many small companies. According to research performed by Intuit QuickBooks, 25% of business owners feel unprepared for tax season, and 22% are concerned about paying more in taxes owing to a lack of information on deductions.

Not every payroll software provides the ability to file and pay federal, state, and local taxes. Patriot is the Finest Payroll Software for Small Businesses and our choice for the best payroll software for startups because of its overall cost for the features required to execute an error-free payroll. Small firms, on the other hand, will need to upgrade to Patriot's Full-Service plan to obtain automatic tax filing. Patriot's Full-Service package is comparable in price to the other payroll software options in our small business ranking that include automatic tax filing.

HR add-ons may be a significant payroll tool for small organizations that do not have a fully staffed HR department. Many payroll software firms incorporate HR help and features in their monthly fees. These tools may assist with things like offer letters, onboarding, organizational charts, staff directories, monitoring vacation time requests, and managing employee benefits.  


The top online payroll systems pay both hourly and salaried employees correctly. Your tax responsibilities are computed automatically, and pay runs are always precise. Payroll taxes may even be submitted for you in certain circumstances, guaranteeing compliance. Online payroll software makes life simpler for both small company owners and seasoned HR experts.