Best Payroll Services — Pay Your Employees Easily

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Initially, being able to pay your workers timely or without problems requires hard work. However, the best payroll services make this task easy and seamless. What was a payroll manager’s nightmare is now an easy task of tapping or clicking a couple of times to complete the job. In truth, there are some payroll service companies that provide totally automatic payroll processing.

Therefore, you can pay all your workers immediately and easily, even without moving a finger. It is essential to be as effective as possible while tightening your economic belt. Payroll services can assist you in automating functions that would otherwise cost you a lot of workforces.

From large business services to basic small business payroll services, there is something today for anyone looking to arrange their payments. All you need to is know where to find them. If you don’t want to spend hours thinking about the arduous task of figuring out numbers and referencing information frames, it’s time to step into the modern world and get trusted payroll software. Below are the best payroll services available in the market with their strengths and weaknesses.

1. Gusto

Easy to use, thorough, feature-rich payroll

Gusto is one of the best payroll services for small businesses today, plus, it’s equally an excellent choice for self-employed people and freelancers. By providing a list of human resource benefits like teeth, health, vision, 401K, college funds, automatic tax filing, and the capacity to handle endless payrolls, Gusto is a cheaper method for companies to optimize their accounts every month. 

It’s also gratifying that Gusto is integrated with many other software, including accounting software like Freshbooks, QuickBooks Online, and Xero. Also, you can sync apps for time tracking (such as Time Homebase or Tracker) and tools for managing expenditure, for example, Expensify to get a comprehensive database.


  • A lot of beneficial integrations
  • Totally automates taxes and payroll
  • Appropriate for both freelancers and contractors


  • Customer support isn’t available always
  • All the human resource benefits are not present in every state


  • From $6 per month per person plus $39 base month

Benefits and HR

  • Medical, dental, vision, 401k, commuter, 529

2. ADP

Professional all-inclusive payroll services

ADP is part of the first and best online payroll services, and that must tell you a little about the experience these people have had. Provide a full host of human resource services, payroll, and time management services, ADP is a payroll service for companies seeking for more features than just their core software. From the hiring, resources, and special service personnel to complete tax compliance, self-service capabilities, and reporting ADP has an astonishing range of abilities and services. 

ADP will seamless calculate your tax liabilities, seize and pay your taxes, and process all reports and issues, including W-2 and 1099. Moreover, ADP does more than just stay at the local borders. This payroll company handles problems in over 140 nations around the world.


  • Professional, top-notch service and features
  • Oldest payroll company online
  • All-inclusive benefits, including full service payroll


  • More expensive than the competitors
  • Does not serve small businesses


  • From $39 per month plus $6 per employee

Benefits and HR 

  • 401k, SIRA, SEP IRA, health, workers’ compensation 

3. Quickbooks Payroll

Accounting-focused payroll services

QuickBooks from Intuit is also a popular name that just entered the payroll market. Reliable accounting software, this company now provides one of the best payroll services that connect effortlessly with all your accounting software for a round-the-clock, inclusive service. 

One of the strengths of QuickBooks is its tax collection service. It is one of the best payroll services providers for tax organizations all year round.

QuickBooks automatically handles your taxes, takes care of deductions, allows you to design customized tax groups, and keeps track of sales tax, for example, if you own an e-commerce store. This is an elegant way of tracking a part of the most critical branches of your company. 


  • Seamless onboarding customer support
  • Comprehensive tax-filing tools
  • Totally integrates with your bookkeeping system


  • It’s not very customizable
  • The basic plan doesn’t have a lot of features


  • From $22.50 per month and $4 per employee per month

Benefits and HR

  • Health benefits

4. Square

Simple, innovative, and easy payroll services

Square is one of the best payroll services for small businesses on the market, especially if you already use Square for your point of sale needs. One of the cost-effective options, Square takes care of your payroll, has the usual benefits like health insurance and 401k, and has a lot of integration to boot.

Additionally, Square makes your payroll system fully automated, and you can have unlimited payrolls for an entire month. You can track your employees’ working hours, import time cards and tips, and prepare and leave your tax filing. Also, Square is available throughout the United States. So you can access online payroll services anywhere.


  • Fast and easy software to use
  • Run payroll multiple times per month
  • Affordable and feature-rich


  • The reporting feature is limited
  • It doesn’t support all payment options


  • From $29 per month plus $5 per employee month

Benefits and HR

  • Health, 401k, workers comp, pre-tax

5. Deluxe

Over 100 years of service excellence

In over a century, this company has proven to be a trusted check printing provider for over 4.5 million clients nationwide. To be in touch with the latest trends, Deluxe has extended its business provisions to include comprehensive human resources benefits and one of the best payroll services.

From restaurants up to large companies, Deluxe has designed a totally automatic software that lets you pay fastly and effectively every month, regardless of if you work with full-time or employees on part-time basis or freelancers who have to be remunerated based on their own time.

Deluxe has a simple, efficient, and intuitive control panel. From there, companies can run payrolls, print reports, receive service reports, and set up automatic payroll instructions, plus local, state, and federal tax reporting, electronic new hire reporting, plus self-service functions for your employees.


  • You can customize the feature for reports
  • Works well with most accounting software
  • Safe online payment systems


  • Pricing information isn’t available
  • Too many choices for new companies


  • From $32 per month plus initial costs

Benefits and HR 

  • Healthy, 401k, etc.

6. Paychex 

The easier way to get payroll done

Paychex is cloud-based and one of the best payroll services, offering business plans of all sizes but especially suitable for small businesses with up to 50 employees. Paychex Flex, the plan for small and medium-sized enterprises, lets you update your database via desktop or mobile control panel, set automated rules, and pay your employees quickly and efficiently. In fact, with self-service, Paychex allows your employees to do most of the data input, leaving you with enough time to attend to other tasks. 

Apart from running your payroll, Paychex will calculate, pay and file all of your taxes from local to federal.  Pay your employees via instant deposit, paper check, or payment cards, whichever is best for you.  Paychex plans also include features such as onboarding, HR analytics, and event logging for seamless computing.


  • User-friendly software anyone can run
  • An excellent choice for small businesses
  • Affordable without missing out on features


  • Lots of reports options can be confusing
  • New version launch takes getting used to 


  • Quote-based

Benefits and HR

  • Health, retirement, onboarding, management

7. Zenefits

All in one employee benefits, including payroll

Zenefits is a simple payroll company that offers self-service by default for a seamless and quicker user experience. And although their payroll functions are excellent, Zenefits is really impressive in the employee benefits aspect. Get all the features from employee health insurance, dental insurance, visual insurance to life insurance, disability insurance, 401k retirement pensions, HSA and FSA accounts, traveler benefits, plus lots more.

This does not mean that Zenefits is not one of the best payroll services on the market because it is. The payroll system can be trusted, and it’s simple. Zenefits has features such as unlimited payments, exclusions, consulting reports, and payment of your contractors. You can also receive dynamic mobile payments through an easy-to-use application. 


  • Comprehensive benefits for your employees
  • Simple and intuitive control panel
  • Robust business intelligence analysis


  • The mobile app doesn’t have all the features
  • It’s tough to learn how to use


  • From $8 per month per employee

Benefits and HR

  • 401k, supplemental, FSHA HSA, commuter

8. Paycor

Affordable, comprehensive payroll services

Paycor is not as popular as the industry’s big names like ADP and Gusto, but it has also become one of the best payroll services in the industry.

This is because Paycor is a feature-rich and credible payroll management service that lives up to its promise. Paycor includes features like direct deposit, a handy mobile app, optimized payroll, and customizable widgets so you can do almost anything you need to do within the software. 

One of Paycor’s strong points is that it includes many of the most advanced features offered by high-end payroll providers at significantly lower rates.


  • Competitive pricing with room to scale
  • Huge knowledgebase of human resources
  • Robust reporting and analytics tools


  • No pricing information is published online
  • The employee review process is clunky 


  • From $49 per month, $3 per user

Benefits and HR

  • 401k, child support, health

9. Patriot Software

Payroll in three easy steps

Another of the best payroll services for small businesses, Patriot Software, makes things easy for everyone. The system is ridiculously easy to use, with all the essential features just one or two clicks away.

Patriot Software payroll services include printable W-2 forms, leisure calculators, employee compensation consolidations, and complete tax filing. There is also free expert help, so if you ever get stuck, there is someone to turn to.

Patriot Software also simplifies its pricing system. The base price is only $10 per month and $4 per additional employee per month. Also, Patriot Software offers a free 30-day trial and free setup support.  So you can get it up and running and test your software at no financial cost to see if it is right for your business. 


  • Convenient setup wizard for fast startup
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Full tax compliance


  • Add-ons make the price jump considerably
  • No benefits included


  • From $10 per month, $4 per employee

Benefits and HR

  • HR management software

10. JustWorks 

Modern-day payroll for businesses of all sizes

JustWorks is one of the best payroll services of the 21st century serving small and large businesses. Available for all kinds of payroll tasks, from freelancers to full-time employees, employees on a payroll, hourly, or whatever, JustWorks allows you to efficiently execute any type of payroll you want.

You can automate direct deposits, stay up to date with tax and compliance regulations, and integrate with QuickBooks, Xero, and other software using this user-friendly system.

And JustWorks goes one step further with its utility packages. You will receive things like fitness subscriptions, bike share, and other fun benefits that are not usually included in a payroll services plan.


  • Above and beyond benefits
  • Easy and complete compliance
  • HR tools for managing new employees etc.


  • No free trial
  • Have to pay more for several add-ons 


  • From $39 per month per employee

Benefits and HR

  • Workers compensation, life, health, fitness, 401k

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a payroll software that is free?

The majority of the best payroll services require payment, although many will offer a free trial and other sign-up benefits, such as ADP and Gusto.

2. How do I configure a payroll for a small business?

The first thing is to select the right service for the capacity and needs of your business. After that, you have to register, select a plan, get the necessary software, where possible, and get to know its features and tools.

3. How long does payroll take to process?

Payroll processing usually takes a short period. Depending on the services you make use of, it can last from some hours to some days.

The Advantages of Making Use of a Payroll Company

Payroll used to be a big task for any employer or manager. Once each month (or maybe more, according to the company’s payroll structure), they would have to respond to the arduous task of checking, calculating, complying, and setting up the payroll for each worker.

This included things like day-offs, vacation days, sick leave, full-time employees, hourly employees, temporary employees, and others. Things became way easier as payroll companies and software became available.

The main advantage of using a payroll service is that this time-consuming work leaves your shoulders and mind. Besides, there are other benefits that an experienced employer can receive by using a reputable payroll service, such as:

Removes human error: Thousands of dollars are lost by businesses every year simply because of incorrect periods or forgotten zeros.  Mistakes can occur when people calculate numbers.  When machines perform the task, the error margin is reduced to a negligible number or eliminated entirely.

Tax compliance: Most of the best payroll services will also offer tax compliance and filing in their packages. This includes calculation, filing, reporting, and any other necessary tax requirements. It also means that you will fully comply, as these services will be up to date with the constantly changing legal requirements for each state and business.

Keep employees in the loop: Payroll providers keep all your important payroll data in a secure location but easily accessible to all employees. This way, employees can quickly print out payslips, get an overview of their annual payments, and add information as needed.

Other benefits include cost savings through reporting and data analysis, time efficiency, management of human resources, including new-hire recruitment, vacation day calculations, earnings management, and others. 

How to Choose the Right Service for You

You can not tell your company which software or service is best for them, but there are some essential features to keep in mind when making comparative purchases. Before registering for a service, make sure that all of the following vital checkboxes are available:

Complete payroll management: Nowadays, you really shouldn’t do more than clicking one or two buttons to start paying your employees.

Easy payment methods: Whether you prefer direct deposit, payment cards, or business checks, make sure your payroll software has the options you need so you can pay your employees quickly and easily.

Tax filing: This is one of the most significant advantages of using payroll software today. Make sure the payroll service provider you are looking for is fully tax compliant. That is, they record all tax returns, keep track of changes, and file and file forms such as W-2 and 1099 for all your employees.

Compensation management: Taxes are not the only thing you need to manage. Ensure your online payroll services support things like employee compensation, bonuses, adjustments, and other add-ons required by law.

HR benefits management: What are the added benefits of the payroll services? Do they treat health as dental and vision care? Are there benefits such as fitness and mental wellness packages?  The more you can give to your employees, the happier and more productive they will be.

Employee self-serve: This is not a necessary feature, but it is definitely worthwhile. Employee self-service means that employees can submit information on their own. This way, you do not have to spend valuable time entering all the data. Employees also have access to their data so they can print out their payslips and see the number of vacation days remaining without the hassle of your having to search for the data.

Reporting: Reporting is an important feature that allows you to gain valuable information about your organization’s internal functions. From tax and budget assessments to employee productivity assessments, reporting is a necessary form of business intelligence that you do not want to be without.

The Difference Between a Payroll Software and a Payroll Service

At first look, a payroll software is no different from traditional payroll services.  However, if you look closely, some essential differences make it easy to choose the type of salary you want to invest in. Here are some critical areas where these two options differ:

Security: Security is probably the most crucial aspect where software and payroll services are different. The payroll service must send all payroll information to employees. This includes highly sensitive data such as employee identification numbers, banking information, and employee records. Of course, all this is done through a secure channel with the highest level of encryption. But the important thing is that you are still sending very sensitive data. 

On the other hand, payroll software allows you to manage all your payroll needs without having to transfer sensitive data to anyone. You store all your information on your own servers, and only your eyes will see these details. So it’s definitely a safer choice for you.

Convenience: A payroll service is better than payroll software on this point. Although running a payroll from most of the best payroll services online today is effortless, but it is a more straightforward step for you to transfer all the information to someone else by clicking some buttons. Therefore, if you are looking to forget about payroll, payroll service is a better choice.

Price: Of course, one of the most critical factors that a lot of companies consider when comparing payroll options is the price.  Without a doubt, payroll software wins this battle. This is because software and service pricing structures cannot be compared. So if money is a factor, payroll software wins the war.


My top recommendations for most users are Gusto and QuickBooks. This is because they are easy to use, affordable, and full of powerful features.

However, there are other high-quality options to choose from.

Therefore, do not forget to use the above tips in the process of choosing the best online payroll service for your business.