11 Best Payroll Software in 2021

11 Best Payroll Software in 2021

If you want to be aware of all the recent changes in financial and tax legislation, you definitely need to install a payroll software. It will help you if you don’t have money to hire a professional accountant and tax manager but want to keep your business under control.

Top 11 Payroll Software

  1. Gusto - Best overall
  2. Patriot Software - Scalable functional
  3. Wagepoint - Most user-friendly
  4. ADP Run - Built-in HR functions
  5. QuickBooks Payroll - The best interface
  6. Workday HCM - Full Human Capital Management
  7. Wave Payroll - Most affordable
  8. OnPay - Simplest setup
  9. SurePayroll - The best customer service
  10. Paychex - The best reporting
  11. Square Payroll - For contract work

Thanks to these tools you will always pay your taxes in time and realistically assess your financial condition. Moreover, you will easily manage your employees’ paychecks and salaries. Whether you have a big company or a small business, payroll software will greatly simplify your operations.

If you want to find programs to manage your taxes, you can get separate tax software for small business.

1. Gusto — Our Choice

 
Best overall
  • Automatic local, state and federal payroll tax filing
  • Payroll runs in every state are not limited
  • Positive online ratings
  • User-friendly interface
  • Helpful support team
  • None

Verdict: All things considered, Gusto is one of the best payroll software on the market. To begin with, this service is suitable both for beginners who have just started a business and for “business sharks” working for big companies.

Gusto payroll software is the best option among similar services as it can easily beat almost all its competitors. If you decide to get this software, you will be pleasantly surprised by the price of the subscription.

In case you face any issues when using this product, you can contact the support team. These guys are known for their extreme responsiveness and high level of competence. In any case, you can count on qualified technical and legal advice.

gusto payroll software interface

2. Patriot Software

 
Scalable functional
  • Functional setup wizard
  • Works with the vendor’s time tracking and attendance software
  • Scalable plans, new functionality can be added in the future
  • Decent employee portals
  • Additional fees for some options

Verdict: Apart from numerous payrolling features, Patriot payroll service offers additional options, like native integration with time-tracking and attendance software, useful employee portals and accounting add-on features. However, you will need to pay for some additional functions.

In addition, if you are a beginner looking for the best payroll software, this option has a functional setup wizard that will help you figure everything out. Step by step, it will guide you through the system and help set the features up.

patriot payroll software interface

3. Wagepoint

 
Most user-friendly
  • Great security hosting with 256-bit SSL encryption
  • Employees can access their payslips
  • Payroll auto-approve function
  • Intuitive software with a convenient UI
  • Reporting issues in some regions

Verdict: Wagepoint payroll services combine user-friendly options and great security. This solution is hosted on the SSL-encrypted servers with key lengths of 256-bit so it is impossible to break into the system via servers.

However, the same cannot be said about users’ passwords; sometimes clients’ indiscretion might result in data leaks. Try using password managers to prevent password leaking. Don’t forget to encourage your employees to do the same.

This payroll software is developed for people who are ready to pay for the security of their corporate info. The product gives employees access to their payslips. It also has an auto-approve option for payrolls.

wagepoint payroll software interface

4. ADP Run

 
Built-in HR functions
  • Payroll runs are not limited
  • Standard HR functions in every package
  • No-penalty guarantee
  • A Core Payroll plan only
  • Wage garnishment is not available with the cheapest plan

Verdict: ADP Run is a sweet combination of payroll services and HR instruments. Its cheapest plan (Core Payroll) offers HR tools, such as employee onboarding, health care compliance forms and a regular HR checkup. Premium plans provide background checks, ZipRecruiter assistance and more comprehensive payroll help.

However, there are still some drawbacks. To begin with, if you don’t want to subscribe to the cheapest plan, you should contact ADP to get your quota.

adp run payroll software interface

5. QuickBooks Payroll

 
Best interface
  • User-friendly intuitive interface
  • Automatic payroll runs
  • Healthcare options
  • Next-day direct deposit
  • No-tax penalty guarantee only for the most expensive plans

Verdict: What distinguishes QuickBooks from other similar services is its simplicity. This best payroll software for beginners has a mobile app that allows for easy payrolling. Its basic plans are rather cheap, but they still include such useful features as automatic payroll runs, healthcare management and next-day direct deposits.

However, some users are scared by the fact that the cheapest plan doesn’t offer a no-tax penalty guarantee. At the same time, I can’t say that this software provides low-quality payroll services and tax calculations. If there are some errors, you will be held accountable for them.

quickbooks payroll software interface

6. Workday HCM

 
Full human capital management
  • Great integrated time-tracking option
  • Automatic payroll calculations
  • Great report analytics
  • Decent employee self-service options
  • A steep learning curve
  • UI is not intuitive

Verdict: Workday payroll services are a part of the Workday HCM Suite that successfully combines all financial management functions in one system.

To begin with, Workday offers a self-service feature for employees enabling them to view payroll information online from the desktop or via their smartphones. Moreover, employees can edit current federal and state tax forms, view any year-end tax documents and add or edit direct deposit information.

The only drawback of this software is that it is not easy to master. Due to the steep learning curve and unintuitive UI, the workflow is rather complicated.

workday hcm payroll software interface

7. Wave Payroll

 
Most affordable
  • Cheap base cost ($20/month)
  • Simple integration with Wave’s free accounting software
  • Employee W-2 and pay stub access
  • Automatic tax filing is limited
  • Lacks customization options

Verdict: Thanks to its low cost, Wave Payroll can be called the best payroll software for small businesses with few employees. By paying $20 a month, you will get all the necessary services and some additional features, such as access to W-2 and pay stub forms for employees as well as easy integration with free accounting software developed by Wave.

If you decide to use this product, it will save you tons of money. However, the automatic tax filing option is limited. Besides, Wave lacks advanced customization features.

wave payroll software interface

8. OnPay

 
Simplest setup
  • Free professional account setup
  • Easy PTO tracking
  • Cheap base cost
  • Mobile application is not available
  • Only one plan

Verdict: OnPay is the best payroll software for small businesses that have recently appeared on the market. Even if you are a complete beginner, it is easy enough to master this software. It offers free account setup done by professionals. You can also easily adjust options by yourself; if any issues arise, you can contact the support team.

The base cost is rather cheap, and the tool provides plenty of useful options, such as PTO tracking, etc.

onpay payroll software interface

9. SurePayroll

 
Best customer service
  • Tax accuracy guarantees
  • Affordable monthly plans
  • Customer service available 6 days a week
  • 4-day payroll processing with self-service plan
  • Extra payments for accounting software integration

Verdict: SurePayroll guarantees you the best accuracy, which is the most important thing in payrolling and taxing. Moreover, these guys provide excellent customer support services. You can contact the customer support team 6 days a week and solve your issues, both technical and financial.

Although SurePayroll offers budget monthly subscription plans, you will have to pay additionally for the integration of accounting software. If you get a self-service plan, you will have to wait up to 4 days until the payroll is processed.

Such payroll services can be used by managers of small and big companies who want to keep corporate finances and taxes under control.

 payroll software interface

10. Paychex

 
Best reporting
  • Provides 160+ reports with payroll and HR packages
  • Useful FAQ’s and guides
  • New-hire state reporting
  • Automatic employee financial wellness program
  • Most of the plans are expensive

Verdict: Paychex Flex provides cloud-based payroll and HR services suitable for small companies that are not eager to use HR outsourcing. Any plan includes new-hire state reporting, automatic payroll tax filing and an employee financial wellness program.

Paychex Flex is a complex service, so most subscription plans are quite expensive. However, it is cheaper than hiring an outsourcing HR company. If Paychex Flex’s functionality completely satisfies your needs, this product is worth buying. This small business payroll software provides a great reporting system that will greatly simplify your workflow.

For better efficiency, try using it with project management software.

paychex payroll software interface

11. Square Payroll

 
Best for contract work
  • Only $5 per month without a base fee
  • A mobile app for employees to clock in and out of work
  • Easy vacation/leave tracking
  • Reports might be difficult for new users

Verdict: Square is the best payroll software for companies working with freelancers and contractors. You can get a basic plan for $5 a month per person; what is more, it doesn’t require a base monthly fee. The procedure is very simple, contractors log in to a Square portal, enter their information, and you can pay them. As you see, it is affordable and simple.

Square has a convenient mobile application for employees allowing them to check-in and out. You can add it to your plan as a separate service. The tool also has a vacation/leave tracking feature.

However, mind that if you are a beginner, it’s better to hire a specialist to work with the software since the reports might be confusing for new users.

square payroll software interface
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