Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses of 2023

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Making the right payroll software solution for your small business is crucial since keeping a productive team in place depends on paying your employees on time and appropriately. Payroll software comes in a variety of forms, from free payroll apps with basic functionality to full-featured payroll systems with HR add-ons. Here are a few of the best choices to take into account.

Why Small Businesses Need Quality Payroll Software

Reliable payroll software offers small businesses several benefits, including time and money savings. You may reclaim hours of your day to invest in growing your business by automating tasks like your company’s payroll and tax filing, for instance. Payroll tax management may take up to five hours every pay period, according to Intuit QuickBooks.

What is beneficial to one business could not be beneficial to another, though. You can traverse some of those small business-specific selection criteria with the aid of our ranking of the Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses.

Check out our rankings for the Best Payroll Software of 2023 if you own a larger company or are curious about features and packages that are less geared towards small enterprises.

How Does Small Business Payroll Software Work?

payroll software for small business
Small Business Payroll Software Work

Working with payroll software is a simple procedure that will save you time and effort when managing your payroll schedule, even for business owners who are not very tech-savvy. Set up your payroll software first, of course. Although setting up your account with a payroll provider is often a straightforward procedure, you may find our guide on How to Choose a Payroll Software System to be of assistance.

You or a customer service agent will enter the financial information for your company and employees while setting up your account. The data supplied enables the payroll software to compute payroll taxes, transfer earnings into employees’ bank accounts immediately, and track employee paychecks, PTO, personal records, and more. The following step is to set up your payroll calendar, choosing the day of the week and the frequency of employee payments.

You may combine your payroll software with accounting, time and attendance, and HR software offered by your payroll provider or a third-party vendor after your payroll calendar is organized. While accounting connectors send general ledger entries from your payroll system to your bookkeeping programmer, time and attendance tool integrations allow you to import time card data into your payroll system. Both solutions lessen the need for physical labour and the chance of mistakes. Consequently, automating your payroll cycle is now considerably simpler. Even if you want to automate your payroll, you should still double-check everything.

Once you’ve set up your account, you can swiftly complete payroll while on the road. Many payroll service providers provide mobile applications or websites that are mobile-friendly. And right now, you can use your smartphone to conduct payroll with just a few short clicks.

What Should I Look for in Small Business Payroll Software?

There are several payroll software services numerous payroll software systems are available to small businesses. Here are a few of the most crucial attributes and choices your business should take into account from among those:

  • Automated tax filing
  • HR tools, like PTO and benefits management
  • Direct deposit
  • 1099s and W2s
  • Time tracking software

Taxes may be a huge burden for many small businesses. According to a research by Intuit QuickBooks, 25% of company owners feel unprepared for tax season, and 22% are concerned that they would owe more in taxes as a result of their ignorance of deductions.

Payroll services are an option for small business owners instead of adding more HR or accounting staff to handle tax filings and payments. This approach can result in cost savings while ensuring timely employee pay and tax compliance.

But businesses with fewer workers or seasonal activity might want to submit annual or quarterly tax returns and handle their own local, state, and federal tax payments. A no-tax-filing option is available from some payroll software vendors at a lesser price. There are full-service and no-tax filing programmers offered by Patriot and Sure Payroll.

For companies without an HR department, HR add-ons might be another crucial component. HR features, including as offer letter templates and document storage, are frequently included with payroll subscriptions. Organizational charts, staff directories, vacation time monitoring, and employee benefits administration are some other choices.

How Much Does Small Business Payroll Software Cost?

A standard monthly charge serves as the foundation of the pricing structure for payroll software. For instance, Gusto, the best payroll software for small businesses, has a $40 monthly fee. For each individual you pay, you also pay an extra monthly charge. Gusto’s payroll software is $6 per employee each month. Because of this, paying a team of 20 individuals would cost $120 in addition to the $40 monthly charge, for a total of $160 every month.

You may automate your payroll and taxes for this cost, process payroll a limitless number of times at any regularity, and reallocate the time you would have spent on payroll to another part of your small business.

Payroll Management System Costs

Payroll Management System Costs
Payroll Management System Costs

The majority of payroll management software providers use a price model that combines a monthly charge and a fee per employee. The base cost for using the platform is the monthly subscription. Smaller firms pay less to use payroll solutions thanks to the per-employee price. You may easily hire more staff for a nominal monthly cost as your company grows.

Payroll management rates are not always published by software providers, similar to many of the businesses on our list. If a firm requests that you contact them personally for pricing, it is most likely because they have individualized rates based on the features you want and the size of your organization.

How Do I Choose the Best Payroll Software for My Small Business?

Every business operates differently. Therefore, the finest payroll software for small businesses should satisfy your specific requirements. Payroll systems like On Pay, which provide HR capabilities for organizing hiring and onboarding papers on one platform, may be preferred by a well-established small business with more than 20 workers. Startups, meanwhile, might want to have the freedom to take care of their own tax obligations. Patriot or Sure Payroll’s no-tax filing programmers could be appropriate in this situation.

However, if your small firm just employs contractors, you might save a lot of money by using Square, which offers payroll software with its contractor-only version for just $5 per payee each month. However, because QuickBooks’ $15 Contractor Payments subscription covers up to 20 contractors for a single charge, it could be a better option if you pay more than three independent contractors each month.

Accounting connections have an impact on your choice as well. Some vendors charge extra for integrations or might not sync with your accounting programmer. You may acquire payroll and accounting software that integrates effortlessly with a provider like Patriot or QuickBooks.

By comprehending how your payroll currently functions and where improvements may be made, you can compare payroll services objectively. Consider the costs, extras, and features that will meet your small business’s requirements both now and in the future.

You May Also Like Reading: The best appointment schedulers and booking apps in 2023


It’s time to choose a solution that meets your demands and your budget now that you are aware of payroll software and how it may increase productivity for your company. With the aid of our advice, picking the ideal payroll and accounting system for an accounting firm or human resources division has never been simpler! You’ll be prepared to start receiving payments once your payroll is fully configured.


What businesses need to use automated payroll software?

Payroll services that are automated are advantageous to all organizations. Using payroll software can free up your time so you can concentrate on other aspects of running your business if it employs people. Paying employees, hiring employees, analyzing payroll data, and more are all made considerably simpler by automating payroll using software.

What is the best payroll software for accountants?

Although there are numerous payroll software solutions available to accountants, there is no denying that QuickBooks is a purpose-built payroll solution that works with one of the most sophisticated accounting systems in the world. Another software with top-notch accounting functionality is Wave Payroll. Check out our review post if you’re seeking for a more extensive selection of accounting software.

What is the best payroll software for large businesses?

Paychex is the company we advise using if you own a big business. This service is scalable and is already used by major corporations all throughout the United States.

What is the best payroll software for restaurants?

Although there isn’t a particular payroll software that works best for restaurants, Gusto (our top overall recommendation) is a great choice for establishments in the hospitality sector.

Is payroll software Mac and Windows compatible?

The payroll software you use will determine everything. For instance, Patriot doesn’t require you to download any software on your device. A web browser and an internet connection are all you need. For those who do, you must verify that your gadget complies with the demands of the business.

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