Looking for the best payroll solution for your business? Whether you’re the manager of a successful company or an entrepreneur for a brand new startup, it’s always a good idea to periodically check to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your payroll system.
The payroll solutions industry is constantly changing. Switching to a new payroll provider may seem like a pointless hassle – until you realize that you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars per month.
With that in mind, we’re going to help you pick the best payroll solution for businesses and entrepreneurs.
4 Best Payroll Solution For Businesses & Entrepreneurs
Intuit Online Payroll – Payroll Solution
Any time you look up payroll software rankings online, you’ll typically find Intuit Online Payroll at the top of the list. The company’s popular online payroll service syncs perfectly with QuickBooks over the cloud – so there’s no need to double enter your company’s information.
In fact, the moment you submit payroll data through Intuit Online Payroll, that data will be reflected in QuickBooks (and vice versa). Obviously, Intuit Online Payroll isn’t the only payroll solution that syncs with QuickBooks (they all do), but it syncs with QuickBooks better than the rest.
The pricing is also extremely competitive. If you’re a small business or entrepreneur who hasn’t yet purchased accounting software or payroll software, then you can bundle both QuickBooks and Intuit Online Payroll together to save 50% off the price of both.
Here are some of the features of the Intuit Online Payroll solution you should know about:
We already mentions that bundling Online Payroll with QuickBooks can save you 50% off the price of both. But even if you already own QuickBooks, Intuit Online Payroll is very affordable. Intuit Online Payroll is priced at $31.20 per month plus $2 per month per employee. There’s a cheaper version available for a base rate of $20 per month, although this version will not calculate or submit payroll taxes for you (it just provides basic W-2 form support). Intuit’s pricing isn’t the cheapest or more expensive in the industry, but it is very reasonable and strikes a competitive middle ground.
Full Payroll Tax Support (With Some Paid Extras)
You’re buying payroll solutions like Intuit Online Payroll because you want the software to handle all aspects of your payroll. With Intuit Online Payroll, your monthly subscription gives you full payroll tax support with local, state, and federal governments. However, you will need to pay extra for filing anything beyond W-2 forms (1099 contractor e-files on Intuit Online Payroll cost you an extra $14.99 per month, for example).
Works Around the World
Intuit’s Online Payroll software is available in countries all over the world. Many of the other solutions on this list only cater to American customers. Intuit Online Payroll’s supported countries include Canada, Australia, France, Ireland, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, India, Singapore, Philippines, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.
Scalable Plans to Meet Your Needs
Intuit Online Payroll comes with three different plans to meet the needs of businesses of all different sizes. Those plans include Intuit Online Payroll Basic, Enhanced, and Full Service. The Basic plan lets you submit payroll data every pay period but will not submit or file taxes for you. The Enhanced version lets you run a complete payroll every pay period. The Full Service plan, which is the most expensive, actually gives you a dedicated Intuit employee who will run your payroll for you.
Guaranteed Tax Penalty Coverage
If you subscribe to the Intuit Online Payroll Full Service plan, then you’ll get a tax penalty guarantee. That guarantee means you are protected from all tax penalties assessed while using Intuit Online Payroll. If your business is penalized for an incorrect submission or a missed deadline, then Intuit will pay this penalty for you.
The same interface that made QuickBooks famous can also be found in Intuit Online Payroll. Intuit is famous for making intuitive UIs (get it?). The web-based interface is good (there’s no desktop software, it’s all web-based), but the mobile apps are where this Online Payroll solution truly shines. There are Online Payroll apps available for both iOS and Android.
30 Day Free Trial
Like all good online payroll companies, Intuit Online Payroll comes with a 30 day free trial. That free trial gives you full access to the system for 30 days without needing to pay a dime.
Ultimately, Intuit Online Payroll is the best payroll program for small businesses who have grown attached to QuickBooks. Yes, all other payroll software also integrates with QuickBooks, but Online Payroll is particularly good at it – especially when syncing everything over the cloud.
Gusto – Payroll Solution
If you haven’t heard of Gusto, then don’t worry: the software was known as ZenPayroll until September 2015, when the company underwent a sudden rebranding.
Gusto is essentially the same as ZenPayroll (the company mostly rebranded because it’s branching into health insurance and workers’ compensation in addition to payroll). Today, Gusto is available in all 50 states (ZenPayroll was once only supported in 26 states). It provides feature-rich payroll services at a price that’s slightly higher than the competitors on this page.
Some of the important things to know about the Gusto payroll solution include:
Gusto is priced at a $29 base rate, which is relatively cheap. The price per employee, however, is relatively expensive at $6 per employee per month. Smaller companies with 5 to 10 employees will find that Gusto is priced similarly to other competitors, but larger companies might end up paying significantly more (Intuit charges $2 per extra employee per month, for example, while OnPay charges $1). That being said, everything is included in this plan, so there’s no need to pay extra for services like W-2s, W-3s, or 1099 contractor support.
Gusto has popular features like the ZenPayroll Employee App for Chrome that gives employees access to their pay history, paystubs, and information from an easy online interface. The company actually doesn’t use apps for iOS and Android because it doesn’t want sensitive information stored on users’ phones (it would prefer storing this information on its own secure online servers). Nevertheless, you can easily access Gusto from any mobile device through your web browser and perform all the payroll features you need.
Excellent Customer Service and Support
Gusto has plenty of customer support option available online, including toll-free phone and email. But the best part about Gusto’s customer service is the extensive online database of tutorials, videos, and more. Most payroll software customer service departments have a FAQs section, but support beyond that is limited. Gusto takes customer service to the next level.
Arguably the most popular feature of Gusto/ZenPayroll is the AutoPilot function. As the name suggests, AutoPilot lets you automatically run payroll at scheduled periods. Your payroll will run just as it normally would, and you’ll receive notifications once the payroll is complete. Hands-on business owners may not use this functionality, but it’s a good option for business owners who like a hands-off approach.
2 Month Free Trial
As part of the rebranding to Gusto, the company now offers a 2 month free trial. The industry standard is 30 days, so Gusto offers a free trial that’s twice as long as most of its competitors.
Bonus Features Included in the Price
Gusto charges a higher per-employee monthly rate than most of its competitors. However, it also includes more features than many of its competitors. Key features include email paystubs for employees, employee self-reporting, automatic new hire reporting, and automated tax filings. You can view the full list of included Gusto features here: https://zenpayroll.com/features
Ultimately, if you want your payroll to run on autopilot, and don’t mind paying a little extra for it, then ZenPayroll/Gusto is an excellent option that is packed with plenty of features.
OnPay – Payroll Solution
OnPay is another popular payroll solution that is particularly popular among small businesses. The company handles all of your payroll taxes for you and charges a competitive flat rate fee of $40 per month (that rate includes up to 10 employees).
OnPay’s payroll solution key features include:
With OnPay, businesses pay a flat rate of $40 per month. That rate includes 10 employees for free. You can add additional employees for $1 each. That’s the cheapest per-employee rate in the industry. For most businesses, OnPay will be the most cost-effective option.
Full Tax Services
OnPay’s full lineup of tax services make it easy to file all applicable local, state, and federal taxes. All payroll software is expected to do this, so this is no surprise. OnPay also files quarterly and annual payroll returns to the appropriate tax authorities on behalf of your business.
OnPay, like Gusto, does not offer any mobile apps of its own. The software does, however, offer a great mobile website that basically functions like an app. As mentioned above, many payroll solutions avoid offering apps because it means sensitive employee data has to be stored on a phone, which could lead to a potentially devastating data leak. By storing everything on the mobile site, OnPay avoids this problem. In any case, you’ll be easily able to run payroll using iOS, Android, Windows, and other devices.
One of the benefits of working with OnPay is that you get an accuracy guarantee: instead of worrying about tax deadlines and amounts, you can relax knowing that your business’s taxes and forms will be filed on-time every time. And even if they’re not, and OnPay messes up with a deadline or an amount, then the company will pay all of your penalties for you. That’s how confident OnPay is that it will not make a mistake.
OnPay is affordably-priced for small businesses and offers attractive benefits like a tax penalty guarantee. As one of the newest members on the payroll scene (OnPay was launched in 2011), OnPay is backed by 30 years of payroll experience from its parent company, Payroll Center, Inc.
Patriot Payroll Software – Payroll Solution
Patriot Payroll is very close to OnPay in terms of low pricing. For most small businesses (under 20 employees), Patriot will be the cheaper option (although OnPay is cheaper for larger companies).
Here are the most important things to know about the Patriot Payroll solution:
Patriot’s Online Payroll software starts at $10 per month for the Basic Payroll plan. That’s not a bad price – although the Basic plan is relatively limited. You’ll only pay $10 per month if you have one employee. Companies with 5 employees will pay $18 per month, while companies with 10 employees will pay $27.85 per month.
Basic Payroll Versus Full Service Payroll
The most important thing to know about Patriot Payroll is that there’s an enormous difference between the Basic and Full Service plans. The Basic plan includes free direct deposit or printable checks, printable W-2s, and an employee portal (this is the place priced at $10 per month). The Full Service Payroll plan, however, includes the ability to file local, state, and federal taxes (these plans start at $25 per month, or $60.80 per month for a company with 10 employees).
Worried about tax penalties? Patriot has a comprehensive guarantee that your tax reports will be filed on time. If they’re not, and Patriot Payroll is at-fault, then they will pay your penalty.
Free Trial and Free Demoes Available
Patriot Software is the only payroll solution on this list to offer both a free trial and a free demo. You’ll need to create a free membership for both, but the free demo lets you play around with the UI before you start entering company information. It’s a good way to check if you like the software before you decide to buy it.
Patriot Payroll comes with two add-ons that aren’t always available with other payroll software: Time & Attendance and HR Software. The Time & Attendance add-on starts at $5 per month and is a complete online time and attendance system that lets employees track their own hours easily. The HR Software add-on starts at $4 per month and includes features like paperless records for your employees, tracking of employees’ employment history, employee census data, and the ability to share important documents with employees.
Patriot Software is a feature-rich payroll solution for businesses and entrepreneurs that is surprisingly low-priced. The free demo makes it easy to see if you like the software long before you have to enter any payment information.