Best Payroll Software For Small Business


What is the best payroll software for small business owners?

Many factors reflect the answer. One of the major factors is the size of your company: very small business, in-house work with household employees, small but growing company and etc.

The top payroll programs are easy and simple to use service and at the same time cover anything in the process of paying employees – from filing all type of payroll taxes to sending employee paystubs.

Nowadays, the most popular are online payroll systems. Running on a cloud, they allowed you to manage them from everywhere you want. But before choosing a web-based program, you have to know many important details (such as this is not a very affordable and cheap software).

Here you will find:

Best Payroll Software for Small Business Needs


Gusto is definitely among the most popular and top payroll software for small business available on the market. The service cover anything in the process of paying a company’s employees: from filing all type of payroll taxes to sending employee paystubs and W-2s.

One of its main strengths is that it is really simple to use and easily integrates with benefits and workers’ comp. Actually, you can manage everything in one place. Also, they have great support available by phone or email.

Why is Gusto among the best payroll services for small businesses?

  • Very intuitive, mobile-friendly online interface.
  • Employees can use it when they want – they can download their paystubs and W-2s, even after they leave.
  • Automated filled taxes – All of the state, local and federal taxes are filed automatically.
  • Seamless integration with other financial software such as Quickbooks, Freshbooks and more.
  • Excellent customer care that provides friendly and professional support.
  • Unlimited bonus & off-cycle payrolls – you can pay your employees at any time.
  • Flexible payment schedules – you can easily make a schedule for payment on a weekly, bi-weekly, twice a month, or monthly basis.
  • No calculator needed and easy cancellation options when you make a mistake.

Gusto is a fully-featured payroll, benefits administration and compliance solution for small businesses that allows you to seamlessly manage your  workforce’s HR needs. One of its best parts is that Gusto is very user-friendly for both employers and employees.


Patriot Payroll

Patriot Payroll is also one of the simplest to use online payroll software for small business. It is famous for an easy and affordable accounting and payroll software. The company offers his services in two plans: Basic Online Payroll and Full-Service Payroll.

Patriot Payroll includes streamlining the whole process of keeping payroll, and can help you calculate payroll tax, print checks, establish direct deposits and much more.

It is also great for startups who have not a previous experience with payroll systems and programs.

Why is it great for small business needs?

  • The program is primarily created for small businesses with 1-50 employees.
  • Suitable for multiple types of industries such as retail, engineering, distribution, field service and more.
  • Very easy to set up and use. Paying your employees is really easy with no necessary efforts.
  • Very good and affordable price for the small business and in-home companies.
  • You can instantly print paychecks for the employees (using pre-printed paychecks or blank checkstock), or you can pay them via direct deposit (it’s free).
  • The program handles all aspects of depositing and filing federal, state, and local payroll taxes. The system determines which payroll taxes are necessary for your business.
  • Free email, phone, and chat support providing answers quickly when necessary.
  • Run payroll online from anywhere with no additional charge.
  • Guaranteed accuracy – the software is tested, audited, and bonded, guaranteeing that the payroll and tax filings are accurate

As a conclusion, we can say that Patriot Payroll is one of the easiest and fastest payroll systems available out there and specially created for small business needs. Everything in the payment process is well organized. If you are a newbie or startup, the software does a wonderful job of guiding you through everything.

No previous experience required. Also, this is one of the cheapest and affordable online payroll software solutions. The payroll program is priced for the smallest of small businesses.


Intuit Payroll

Intuit payroll is another full service and top payroll software for small business and a competitor of Gusto and Patriot Payroll. It covers basically everything in the field of employee payment process and steps.

Actually, the company offers 3 types of plans Basic (just paychecks), Enhanced (Paychecks & payroll taxes) and Full Service (You enter hours, they do the rest). Intuit also supports a huge range of  payroll features that you can take in addition such as Workers’ Compensation Payment Service, Labor Law Poster Compliance Service, 1099 Contractor Forms & Services, Employee Time Tracking, Web and Mobile Apps.

Why is it one of the best payroll software for small business needs?

  • Over 1 million small businesses choose Intuit for their payroll system.
  • You can pay your employees very quickly and easily.
  • Comprehensive payroll support and services – you can call for free support from live experts or chat online with a payroll specialist.
  • Everything you need to manage your employees – hiring tips and tools, workers’ compensation, poster compliance service and more.
  • A great selection of payroll-processing tools and customizable reports.
  • Great design and a flexible interface.
  • Reliable cloud-based payroll solution. Run payroll online or on your mobile phone (iPhone and Android).
  • Known as one of the top payroll services.
  • Can be used as a standalone app or integrated with QuickBooks.
  • Federal and state payroll tax forms completed for you (Enhanced version only)
  • Instant paychecks or use free direct deposit.

Intuit Payroll is one of the largest online payroll services in the country. The company offers one of the highest values in the pricing. If you need a high level of payroll services, it is worth to consider Intuit.

The Full-Service Payroll package provides you and your employees with comprehensive payroll support that help make the whole payroll process easier and simpler.



Wagepoint is one of the cleanest and easiest web-based payroll systems for small business. It is an  all-in-one payroll solution filled with all list of the features small business needs. Everything the small businesses need to pay their employees or contractors is included in one simple plan at a very affordable price.

The program is suitable for a huge range of business fields, including retail, banking, distribution, healthcare, and much more. Wagepoint is compatible on PCs and Macs.

This system works seamlessly for  sole proprietors, startups and any small business with less than 100 employees. Also, they provide one of the friendliest and quickest support available in the industry.

Why does Wagepoint fit small business needs?

  • Simple, user-friendly and fast online payroll software built especially for small businesses.
  • One of the friendliest support with a great speed of the contact.
  • Everything you need to pay your employees and contractors.
  • Federal, State & Local Taxes – payroll taxes are calculated and collected with each payroll.
  • Payment to Contractors – Pay both your hourly / salaried employees and contractors via direct deposit.
  • W2 / 1099 / W3 Reports – At year-end, the system automatically populates all W2s / 1099s with the payroll amounts for the year.
  • Detail Reports
  • New Hire Reporting – Wagepoint submits your New Hire Reports within 20 days of adding a new employee or re-hiring an employee.
  • Additional Incomes – bonuses, commissions, expenses, holiday pay, overtime and etc. Wagepoint automatically calculates the tax implications of any income.
  • Additional Deductions – Easily deduct 401K contributions, health benefits, parking etc. from an employee’s paycheck.
  • Other features: online pay stubs, workers compensation, 401(k) plans for small business and more.

Wagepoint has some of the most positive reviews and a high level of customer satisfaction. If you are searching for a flexible, absolutely easy to use platform with dedicated and fast support, Wagepoint can suit you very well.

Their one simple plan covers everything you need to pay your employees and contractors. As a small business owner or startup and first-time user, you will see an easy to navigate system that can save much of your time.


Wave Payroll App

Wave Payroll is a software designed for real small business. The system has one of the most affordable prices in the industry – with one simple, everything-included price.

Wave payroll lacks some features but has the right combination of options needed for sole proprietors, freelancers and contractors, and very small businesses with 5-10 people.

Why is it suitable for real small businesses and sole proprietors?

  • The right and smart selection of features and options for very small companies and self-employed.
  • Very simple, online setup.
  • Free email, phone and chat support.
  • Seamless integration with the rest of Wave.
  • Direct deposit and check printing included.
  • Easy to understand tax liabilities tracking.
  • Streamlined Year-end Filing.
  • Employee self serve portal for pay-stubs and W2s.
  • 256-bit SSL encryption, and automatic backup.
  • Very affordable pricing with no surprises –  there are no set-up fees and no hidden charges.
  • Tax calculations and deductions.
  • Overtime, vacation and bonus tracking.

Wave is an intuitive application and a popular solution for in-house work, self-employed,  and very small companies with few employees and simple finances.

There are more feature-rich software out there but if you’re willing to pay a low price, Wave Payroll may suit your needs.


How to choose the best payroll software for your small business needs? Infographic.

This is an important question because as a business owner finances and employee payment process has a crucial role in the overall success.

First, you have to evaluate your specific business needs. You have to consider your company size and number of employees. Are you a very small business owner, self-employed in-house worker or your company has 20 or 50 employees?

If you have a very small company with 3 employees, a really simple and cheap (affordable) software with a low number of features can suit you the best.

But if your company has 50 employees and you are about to grow your business, then you need a full-featured payroll system with no gaps.

A good payroll program has to allow you to easily perform and track your payroll processes.

Here list of some buying considerations and useful tips to follow when you choose a payroll software for small business:

Tax Filing Features 

Tax filing features are essential for every payroll system and every good payroll software has to provide these features. You have to know that tax regulation is changeable and you have to be compliant with these changes in order to avoid penalties.

Make sure you choose a payroll software that offers tax filing features! This will relieve you of the complexities and will help your overall employee process to be smooth without mistakes or other law problems.

Actually, the top payroll programs have an option that allows all of the state, local and federal taxes to be filed automatically.

Printing and Delivery Options

Small businesses have a couple of options to deliver paychecks to their employees. The main are: a direct deposit ( directly into the employees’ bank accounts), checks sent from the payroll provider and more.

Actually, the most preferable for employees is direct deposit because this is the most convenient and time-saving method.

Not all payroll software offers direct deposit. It is a good option for you to find a program that allows direct deposit.

Employee Self Service Options

This option includes an online portal login for employees to view paychecks, to manage their own personal payroll data and to access other types of information.

It is a great feature that saves a lot of time and eliminates additional communication between small business owners and employees.


This is an important feature because it has a direct effect on implementation and maintenance costs.

Depending on the size of your business, you may need the data to be pulled from the payroll system from various other software, such as time-tracking, core HR, accounting software, etc.

If this is the case for you, make sure your payroll system provide seamless integration with other financial programs.

Customer Care and Support

This is an important option too. A fast, reliable and competent help via phone or live chat can save you time and help you resolve quickly different types of issues.

Free email, phone, and chat support that provides answers quickly when necessary, is a very valuable help to the whole payroll process.

Simple and Easy to Use System

Best payroll systems are easy to use with no necessary efforts. Also, they have to be quick and user-friendly.

This is a crucial characteristic! If you have a slow and difficult to use program, this will cause you unnecessary headaches and waste of time and resources.

Download the following infographic (How to choose the best payroll software) for free: 


Picking the best payroll software for small business needs has a very important role in the whole business process. The right software can bring you a lot of benefits and advantages not only for you but for also for your employees.

By using a quick and efficient payroll system, there is great potential to save money, time and to make the whole employee paying process an easy and seamless task.

When you examine the different payroll programs and options, always compare the software features with your individual and specific needs and characteristics such as the size of your business, the number of benefits you offer, your payment frequency, etc.

The best payroll software program for your small business is the one that covers all of them.

See also our previous posts Job Management Software for Tracking & Scheduling: Best List and Applicant Tracking Systems & Software.

Share with us your thoughts and experience?

Which payroll system do you use and recommend?

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