7 Incredible Payroll Software Solutions Reviewed

Human Resources

Nowadays it’s easier than ever to manage the process of payroll, with many services making it surpsingly easy and affordable, letting you get back to focusing on your customers. Most payroll services either automate or make the tax filling process a simple review and click, while others go into the realm of providing an all-in-one solution: health benefits, workers comp and other HR tools like compliance, time-tracking and onboarding. Here’s a look at some of the highest rated and most popular payroll solutions currently out there.



Offers a 30 day free trial with an introductory $20 per month cost and $2 for every new employee. Features include automatic calculation of forms and reminders so you can do your payroll taxes in one-click, paying for contractors and options for either direct deposit or physical checks. Ability to file federal taxes is from enhanced plan which is introductory at $31 but regularly $39 per month. Needless to say it integrates as part of Quickbooks to provide good accounting and a friendly dashboard.




Gusto is a top-rated payroll and benefits service that provides automated payroll via direct deposit or physical check. Taxes are filed automatically and the entire system can be controlled from the ease of a mobile phone. Employees’ have a portal where they can enter all their information so you don’t have to do the work twice. Integrates directly with popular accounting software like Quickbooks, Freshbooks and Xero. They also offer workers comp and health benefits so you can get everything under one roof. The cost is $29 for the service and then $6 per person, higher than Quickbooks but also better rated by real users. Gusto used to be known as ZenPayroll before they changed their name and got into benefits as well as payroll.





Much like how people who worked for companies always went for big blue, because you knew you were always getting something proven and backed by years of experience – ADP is the choice of many companies and provides an integrated feature set that is more required by bigger companies. ADP Run was designed for small businesses and is already used by some 400,000 businesses. It makes it simple to add employees, automate payroll and create a seamless tax filling process. Being ADP, it also has options on the HR side, so you can manage your new employees and stay in compliance. They offer several packages Essential Payroll, Enhanced Payroll, and Complete Payroll but even the base package offers necessary tax and automated payroll while the others provide more features that would be used by medium sized businesses. The cost is based on quote only but is several times more than Gusto and Quickbooks.





Xero is one of the more fully featured accounting suites for small to medium sized businesses and has recently been offering an online payroll service that covers so far about half of the US population (some states still not available). They have all the standard features, direct deposit and physical checks but also provide time tracking, review and one-click tax calculation. Payroll is not a stand alone service but their standard plan at $21 introductory and $30 regular per month features up to 5 employees, while each higher plan increases the number of employees, generally this comes out pretty low, about $1-2 per employee once you get into 20 or more.


Patriot Payroll


Patriot is an easy to use program that costs only $10 per month and starts at $2 per employee but decreases as you add more. They provide an automated report you can use to do payroll taxes, or you can get the full service payroll which does this for you and costs $25 per month and $4 per employee. Both options offer an employee portal where they can enter or update their information and view payroll history. For $5 more a month you can get a time & attendance system added to manage your employee hours. Offers a 30-day free trial.




OnPay provides an easy to use payroll service that starts at $40 which is a bit higher than most but provides the first ten users for free, making it half as much as Gusto for the same number of users.  When you take into account that full tax filling is included with this plan it’s also quite a bit cheaper than Quickbooks. This makes it an affordable but fully featured option and it integrates with the popular accounting tools out there like Xero and Quickbooks. The user interface is not as friendly as Gusto, but the low price and helpful support make it an attractive choice.




SurePay provides all the features of start and stop payroll, automatic payroll taxes, mobile control and a whole host of accounting and time tracking integrations. It’s geared specifically for small businesses and costs $69 a month as a base price and $2 per user. That means initially it’s more on the expensive side but once you get up above about 5 employees the price becomes more mid-point.

Here’s a full overview that takes into account all user reviews from G2Crowd, Softwareadvice and PCMag. For this comparison we went with the plan that provided some form of tax filing, used the after introductory rate and calculated for 10 employees. OnPay did not have sufficient reviews to calculate an average rating though it was the cheapest option of those available for 10 users, while Gusto was the highest rated but one of the most expensive. Patriot provided a strong middle ground, getting generally high marks while costing less. Xero is a also a good option for those who already need an accounting software and are located in one of the states they offer payroll services in.

Payroll Service Cost for 10 users Average all reviews Review from Softwareadvice.com Review from PCMAG Review from G2Crowd
Intuit $59 5.1 4 3.5 7.9
Gusto $89 6.1 4.5 4.5 9.3
ADP $200 5.3 4 3 9
Xero $70 5.5 4 4 8.5
Patriot $65 5.8 4.5 3 9.8
OnPay $40 3.5
SurePayroll $89 5.4 3 4 9.1


Which online payroll providers have you tired? Share your recommendations in the comments.


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