Best Payroll Solutions for Small Businesses


Payroll processing software is great for small businesses. Using these programs allows them to solve so many payroll challenges in-house. For one, it’s much easier to accurately withhold and pay federal, state, and local taxes and deductions using payroll software. More importantly, these payroll solutions for small businesses make it a lot easier to stay up to date with ever-changing tax laws.

If you aren’t using one yet, any of the following five would be an excellent choice for your payroll administration services.


Gusto is a full-service payroll processing solution that takes care of tax filings, health benefits, and employee retirement plans. It also has unique features to make remote hiring and onboarding easier. For instance, employers can build onboarding checklists and send new hires invitations remotely.

Prices start from $6/employee per month. However, the Core plan, priced at $39/month + $12/employee, is considered the best option for full-service payroll.


  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Ability to track paid time off
  • Available in all US states
  • Basic reporting at all tiers


  • Dedicated support lacking in lower tiers
  • Next-day deposit not available in lower tiers


You’re likely aware of QuickBooks, the accounting software if you’ve been in business for more than a few years. Well, QuickBooks now also has a payroll solution known as QuickBooks Payroll.

The best thing about QuickBooks Payroll is the ease of setup. The program installs seamlessly if you already use the QuickBooks accounting software. Better still, once installed, QuickBooks Payroll allows you to consolidate payroll, invoicing, cash flow, and expenses in a single place. All of which then sync and update automatically. Prices start at $22.50 per month.


  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Automated payments after the first run
  • Next-day direct deposit
  • 24/7 live support


  • It can seem expensive combined with Quickbooks
  • Time tracking missing in lower-tier plans


Paychex is considered the best payroll solution for reporting and automation. It automatically files payroll taxes, ensures compliance, and integrates with several essential software solutions. Including but not limited to accounting and employee benefit apps.

The software is also incredibly versatile. You have a dedicated customer service representative and it allows employers to enroll employees in a wide range of plans. The best part is that registered employers can check their status and contributions from their phones and calculate their savings using the in-platform calculator. Plans start at $45 a month.


  • Supports recruiting and onboarding
  • Enjoy powerful real-time analytics
  • Supports direct deposits, paper checks, and pay cards
  • PTO and benefits management


  • Hidden setup fees
  • Questionable support quality


A common challenge with payroll processing software is cost. Some can be extremely expensive, especially as you go up the tiers.

OnPay solves this problem with a single pricing plan with no tiers. Subscribers get access to all payroll features at a monthly rate of $36 + $4/employee. The only downside is that you must understand basic accounting to set up the software properly.


  • Unlimited monthly payroll runs
  • W-2 and 1099 capabilities
  • Automated tax calculations/filings
  • Integrated worker’s comp, insurance, retirement


  • No automatic payroll submission
  • No same-day or next-day direct deposit options


Finally, ADP makes another excellent choice when looking for a payroll solution. It currently serves more than 700,000 businesses in more than 140 countries.

The solution is cheaper than similarly-rated alternatives, including Gusto. Additionally, it’s available in all US states. ADP handles many payroll and HR requirements, including retirement packages and paid leave packages. You must fill a form to get a quote for pricing. However, generally, prices start from around $150/month.


  • Scalable with several plans
  • Supports many HR addons
  • Robust reporting and customization
  • Handles worker’s compensations


  • Lack of pricing transparency
  • Several unexplained fees - be sure to ask about additional fees during signup


Other excellent payroll solutions for small businesses missing from the list are Payroll4Free, Rippling, and Workful. The choice is yours, however, ensure you double-check for any hidden fees. After all, you want to ensure your payroll solution saves you time and money!

Looking for help? Tired and believing there has got to be a better way?

Let's talk about your business. With over a decade of experience leading companies and transforming lives, and a Master's degree in Org. Development and Leadership, Mike can help you find the best way forward!

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