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5 Free Payroll Software You Can Test Drive For 30 Days

Most major payroll software programs offer free trials. For whatever reason, these free trials typically last 30 days. This 30 day period lets users enter payroll information, pay employees, and get a feel for the software and its UI.

If you’re trying to find the best payroll software for your business, then we want to help. Here are the top 6 best payroll software programs that offer 30 day free trials for your business:

Recommended: Intuit Enhanced Payroll

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As mentioned above, Intuit Enhanced Payroll is the most popular member of the Intuit Payroll family. Enhanced is available for just $8 per month more than the basic version and offers – you guessed it – “enhanced” features.

If you need payroll software, Intuit Enhanced Payroll is exactly what you need. Intuit also offers a 30 day free trial and its only $2/ per additional employee.

Those enhanced features include:

  • Instant paychecks for W-2 employees as well as 1099 contractors
  • Automatic local, federal, and state tax calculations
  • Federal and state forms are automatically completed by the software and ready for submission
  • Pay and file taxes electronically at year-end
  • Access your payroll information from the iPad, iPhone, or Android devices
  • Compatible with and without QuickBooks
  • Prints out W-2s for employees

Basically, Intuit Enhanced Payroll is everything a small or medium-sized business needs to speed up the payroll process. It features the same simple interface of other Intuit products and, just in case you need extra help, direct tech support is available to all paying clients.

The pricing is where Intuit Enhanced Payroll truly shines. When you sign up for Intuit Enhanced Payroll today, you get the first month free. This effectively gives you a 30 day free trial during which you can play around with the software and decide whether or not it’s the right option for your business.

You can continue on a month-to-month plan with Intuit Enhanced Payroll. That plan costs $28 per month plus $2 per employee per month. However, if you sign up for the plan on an annual basis, you’ll pay a base rate of $24 per month, making Intuit pricing extremely competitive compared to other 30 day free trial payroll software listed here.

QuickBooks Online

Quickbooks Free Trial

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QuickBooks Online comes with a few different options. You can sign up for QuickBooks Online to easily manage your business from any internet-connected mobile device. QuickBooks by itself, however, does not include payroll software. QuickBooks includes a 30 day free trial and no credit card is required in order to sign up. If you continue using QuickBooks after the 30 day free trial, you will pay $12.95 per month.

If you’re reading this list, then I assume you’re looking for the best 30 day free trials for payroll software. QuickBooks Online can be bundled with Intuit payroll software to create a convenient all-in-one business management tool.

When you sign up for QuickBooks Online with payroll, you enjoy a number of valuable benefits, including:

  • Save 20% off the listed retail price of both QuickBooks and Intuit Payroll software
  • Instantly calculate paycheck amounts
  • Automatically calculate federal and state payroll taxes and deductions
  • Instant paychecks for your employees via direct deposit
  • Easily create invoices, pay bills, and manage all business expenses from a single interface
  • Automatically sync bank transactions
  • Access your business’s bookkeeping software and financial data from any internet-connected device at any time

Whether you just want to try QuickBooks Online or you’re trying out both QuickBooks Online and Intuit Payroll, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial with no credit card or commitment required. Once the 30 day free trial period is over, QuickBooks Online with payroll costs a total of $52.76 per month, while the basic version of QuickBooks Online without payroll support costs $12.95 per month.

FreshBooks

Freshbooks Free Trial

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FreshBooks is the first payroll software on this list not created by Intuit. It comes with a free 30 day trial that does not require you to enter credit card information.

FreshBooks comes with the same basic features and functionality of other payroll software programs, although it has a unique interface designed to simplify payroll management on any computer or mobile device. There are also enhanced security features – like automatic secure backups using 256-bit encryption – designed to safeguard your information no matter what happens.

Here are some of the features and qualities that distinguish FreshBooks from other payroll management software:

  • Accept payments via a number of different payment methods, including credit card, PayPal, and “twelve other payment gateways”
  • Manage business expenses by directly connecting FreshBooks with your credit card or bank account
  • Take pictures of business expense receipts and watch those expenses instantly appear in FreshBooks; or, take a picture of a business expense you need to rebill and attach that expense to a client’s invoice
  • Access FreshBooks over iPhone and Android apps
  • Track the time you spend at your desk and on-the-go to determine how to fairly pay yourself and your employees
  • Manage team timesheets to accurately track the amount of time a group spends on a particular project or activity
  • View detailed accounting reports for your business, including profit and loss statements, account aging, expense reports, sales tax info, and balance sheets
  • Track time using different rates for each project and a simple timer available on all computers and mobile devices
  • Create invoices, recurring invoices, auto-payments, and late payment reminders for your clients

FreshBooks isn’t a typical payroll solution. It won’t send payroll information or help you file state and federal taxes.

However, it does let you track exactly how much time and expenses have been put into each client and each project. You may want to combine FreshBooks with some of the other payroll software options on this list to effectively manage your business’s finances.

If you’re looking for a payroll software program that manages taxes, deductions, and direct deposits, then FreshBooks isn’t it. However, if you’re looking for QuickBooks replacement software that will simplify your business and let you manage vital financial expenses from a single spot, then FreshBooks is an excellent choice.

Once again, the FreshBooks 30 day free trial does not require any credit card information or commitments. Signing up takes only a few minutes and you only need basic company information and a valid email address to begin.

Patriot Software

Patriot Software Free TrialPatriot Payroll Software is most notable for its affordability. It’s by far the most affordably-priced payroll software on this list. It starts at just $10 per month for businesses with one employee and that price rises to $14.43 per month for businesses with 10 employees, or $21.46 per month for businesses with 25 employees.

What’s the catch? Patriot Payroll Software is affordable because it offers basic payroll software features as add-ons. If you don’t need any bells and whistles with your software, then this may be the best option for you.

In addition to the base rates listed above, you’ll have to pay extra for the following services with Patriot Payroll Software:

  • $12 per month for Patriot to handle all federal, state, and local payroll taxes (this amount increases based on the number of employees at your business)
  • $3 per month to track employee hours online
  • $2 per month to allow employees to enter their own hours online
  • $2 per month to manage employee files and “other critical employee data” online

Other available extra features include website builders, 1099 software, accounting software, and more. If you’re running a larger business, then you may find that Patriot PAY isn’t quite as cheaply-priced as it looks at first glance.

For example, if you ordered Patriot PAY with its payroll software and payroll tax service for 10 employees, the entire bundle will cost $35.23 per month.

Even with all of these extra features added onto your software package, Patriot remains one of the most affordable options out there. If you just need basic payroll software and aren’t interested in the government form submission options, mobile apps, or other additional features, then there’s nothing wrong with Patriot.

One of the advantages of Patriot is that you do not have to commit to a long-term contract. The user interface is also designed to be as simple as possible. Even if you’re a novice computer user, you shouldn’t have any trouble figuring out Patriot PAY.

The Patriot PAY free trial is not quite like other free trials listed here. You need to sign up for a Patriot PAY account first. Your first 30 days are free with a new account sign-up and you are free to cancel at any time. You also do not need to enter credit card information.

PenSoft Payroll Software

Pensoft Free TrialWhile Patriot PAY was the cheapest payroll software on our list, PenSoft tends to be the most expensive. PenSoft offers six different pricing levels, including Lite, Standard, Professional, Enterprise, Platinum, and Accounting. Lite packages are designed for between 1 and 25 employees and start at $249 per year while the Platinum package offers robust features and can handle 501+ employees at a cost of $1329 per year.

At these price levels, you’re getting lots of helpful payroll features. Those features include the ability to print federal and state forms, print and generate W-2s, manage timesheet and department payrolls, and invoice clients all from a single software program.

PenSoft can be used by small businesses with only a handful of employees, but it tends to be more popular with larger businesses with multiple departments and dozens of employees. You can download trial versions of all six different Editions of PenSoft software, making it easy to see which Edition is the right choice for your business.

PenSoft can provide you with a 30 day free trial of both its Payroll software and Employee Tracker software. The free trial versions let you enter information for up to 50 employees and use the software for up to 30 days. You can either download the trial software program onto your PC or ask for a copy to be mailed to you. Downloading the trial copy is free, although you will need to pay a $5 fee to have the software mailed to you.

About Johnson Hur

After having graduated with a degree in Finance and working for a Fortune 500 company for several years, Johnson decided to follow his passion by embarking on a path to the digital world. He has over 8 years of experience with large companies setting marketing strategy and he likes to workout in his spare time.

5 comments

  1. I have a small fleet claim processing business with 7 employees. I still use QuickBooks + Enhanced Payroll.

    Based on my experience, it’s very hard to know which software is good until you are well deep into it. A good payroll service should address each of the following.

    Integrated w/ bookkeeping software
    tax tables subscription (Federal & State)
    print checks and stubs
    Print Federal tax forms
    Print State tax forms
    e-file Federal forms
    e-file State forms
    e-pay Federal taxes
    e-pay State taxes (for states that have the option)
    direct deposit option

    Once your efile/epay accounts have been established with the IRS and your State, your payroll software should be able to automate it.

  2. This information is just what I needed. I’ve researching different payroll options once I found out my accountant is charging my $2,250/yr for payroll services. I have three w-2 employees and 5 1099 contractors.

  3. Which service do you recommend for a digital marketing company with 7 paid employees?

    • For a small business such as yourself, we recommend Intuit Online Payroll. In addition to payroll with full tax service, Intuit can also handle workers comp insurance, retirement plans, track PTO w/ accruals and much more.

  4. Hey! you may heard about SutiSoft, Inc. one of the fastest growing SaaS providers in the industry with a 97% renewal rate. It is headquartered in Los Altos, California, and have regional offices in Germany, India, and Japan.

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