HR & Payroll

Best Payroll For Small Business (2023)

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From calculating employee salaries to withholding taxes and staying compliant with ever-changing regulations, the payroll process demands precision and attention to detail.

Fortunately, with the advent of advanced payroll software solutions tailored specifically for small businesses, entrepreneurs now have access to efficient tools that can simplify their payroll operations and alleviate the associated headaches. In this article, we explore the best payroll solutions available to small business owners, designed to streamline their payroll processes, enhance accuracy, and save valuable time and resources. Whether you’re a startup or an established company, finding the right payroll solution can make all the difference in managing your workforce and ensuring your business thrives in a highly competitive landscape.

Comparison Chart

Product NameGustoOnPayADPQuickBooks Payroll
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Starting Price$40/month
$6/month per person
$6/month per person
Custom Pricing$45/month
$5/month per person
Trial Period1 month3 months30 days
Mobile AppNoNoYesYes

What Are Payroll Services?

A payroll service is a comprehensive solution that helps businesses manage and streamline their employee payroll processes. It involves outsourcing payroll tasks to a specialized service provider who takes care of various payroll-related activities, including salary calculations, tax deductions, benefits administration, and generating payslips. This relieves small business owners of the burden of handling complex payroll tasks, allowing them to focus on core business operations.

Small businesses often find payroll services indispensable due to several reasons. First and foremost, payroll services offer expertise in payroll processing and tax compliance, ensuring accurate and timely payments while minimizing the risk of errors or penalties. They keep up with changing tax laws and regulations, saving small business owners the time and effort required to stay updated with complex payroll legislation.

Moreover, payroll services offer a range of features tailored to the specific needs of small businesses. These features may include automated payroll calculations, direct deposit options, tax filing and reporting, employee self-service portals, and integration with accounting software. By automating these tasks, payroll services reduce the administrative burden and provide a user-friendly platform for both employers and employees.

One of the notable advantages of utilizing payroll services is the time and cost savings they offer. Small business owners can dedicate their valuable time to strategic decision-making and growing their business, rather than spending hours on manual payroll calculations. Additionally, outsourcing payroll eliminates the need for in-house payroll staff, saving costs associated with hiring, training, and managing payroll personnel.

However, it’s important to consider some potential drawbacks as well. One of the main concerns for small businesses is the cost of payroll services, as they typically involve subscription fees or charges based on the number of employees. Moreover, entrusting sensitive employee data to a third-party provider raises concerns about data security and confidentiality. It’s crucial to choose a reputable and trustworthy payroll service with robust security measures in place to safeguard sensitive information.

Best Payroll Service For Small Businesses


Gusto earns its reputation as one of the best payroll software solutions for small businesses. With its range of plans and comprehensive features, Gusto simplifies the complexities of payroll management while providing additional HR tools to ensure compliance. Gusto has three plans: Simple, Plus, and Premium, with pricing starting at $40 per month plus $6 per person.

The Simple plan serves as a cost-effective option for basic payroll needs. It covers essential features such as automated payroll processing and tax management. As you move up to the higher-tier plans, Plus and Premium, you gain access to a wider array of HR features. These include benefits administration, time-off management, employee onboarding, and more. These additional tools are invaluable for small businesses looking to streamline their HR processes and ensure compliance with regulations.

Gusto’s cloud-based platform offers a simple and intuitive interface, making it easy for users to navigate and manage payroll tasks efficiently. The software takes care of tax responsibilities and payroll calculations, handling tax registration for all 50 states. Furthermore, it supports payments to contractors in over 80 countries, making it a versatile solution for businesses with remote workers.

There is no need for formal training to become proficient with the software. Running payroll is as simple as logging in, initiating the payroll process, and entering the necessary information. The platform’s intuitive design and step-by-step guidance ensure a smooth and error-free experience.


OnPay offers a comprehensive package that combines payroll and HR tools, making it an excellent choice for small businesses. Their pricing structure is straightforward, offering a single package that covers all payroll and HR needs. Starting at $40 per month plus $6 per person, small businesses can access the full suite of features without any additional costs. This makes OnPay an attractive option for companies seeking affordability and a robust payroll solution.

One of the standout qualities of OnPay is its simplicity. The software’s user interface is clean and intuitive, allowing users to navigate effortlessly and perform payroll tasks with ease. Running payroll becomes a hassle-free experience, as the software supports unlimited payroll runs. Moreover, OnPay enables users to add employees to payroll, manage paid time off, and offers a benefit deduction withholding system for a comprehensive HR management experience.

OnPay’s payroll tax preparation feature further simplifies the payroll process. It automates tax calculations, ensuring accurate withholding and facilitating easy tax filings. This functionality helps small businesses save time and minimize the risk of errors when managing payroll taxes.


ADP offers a variety of packages designed specifically for smaller businesses. While the lack of upfront pricing information may be seen as a drawback, the range of options ensures that businesses can select the package that best suits their needs and budget. From basic payroll processing to more advanced HR functionalities, ADP’s packages provide a comprehensive solution for small business owners.

One notable advantage of ADP is the availability of a three-month trial period, allowing businesses to test the software before making a commitment. This trial period gives users the opportunity to explore the features and evaluate whether ADP meets their specific requirements.

ADP’s payroll software is accessible across multiple devices, including laptops, desktops, and mobile phones through their mobile app. This flexibility enables business owners and HR administrators to run payroll and manage related tasks conveniently, even while on the go.

The software’s ease of use is another significant advantage. ADP automatically calculates paychecks, simplifying the payroll process and minimizing the risk of errors. Even with the basic package, ADP offers essential features such as direct deposit payments, new hire reporting, W-2s, 1099s, and tax filing. These features ensure compliance with tax regulations and streamline reporting obligations for small businesses.

QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll software offers a range of plans and packages designed to meet the payroll needs of businesses. Whether you’re an existing QuickBooks user or new to the platform, QuickBooks Payroll provides options to seamlessly integrate payroll into your existing plan or choose from dedicated payroll, payroll and bookkeeping, or contractor-only packages.

The payroll-only plan from QuickBooks starts at $45 per month plus $5 per employee. This plan covers essential payroll functions such as running payroll, calculating payroll taxes, and filing and paying state and federal taxes. It provides unlimited payroll runs, allowing businesses to process payroll as often as needed. The plan also includes a workforce portal, enabling employees to access their pay stubs and W-2s, as well as generating payroll reports for comprehensive payroll management. Free direct deposit payments further streamline the payment process.

QuickBooks Payroll software is accessible on various devices, including desktop PCs, laptops, and Android and iOS devices. This multi-platform compatibility ensures that users can manage their payroll tasks conveniently from anywhere.

A notable advantage of QuickBooks Payroll is the availability of a free 30-day trial period. This trial allows businesses to explore the software’s features and functionalities before making a commitment. It provides an opportunity to assess whether QuickBooks Payroll meets the specific requirements and seamlessly integrates into the existing workflow.


When it comes to payroll software for small businesses, there are several strong contenders in the market. Gusto stands out for its user-friendly interface, comprehensive features, and robust tax compliance capabilities. OnPay offers a cost-effective solution with a straightforward pricing structure and essential payroll and HR features. ADP provides a complete payroll platform with a range of packages, though the lack of upfront pricing information may be a downside. QuickBooks Payroll offers flexibility with various plans, seamless integration for existing users, and comprehensive payroll functions.

Each of these payroll services has its own strengths. Consider your specific business needs, budget, and desired features when selecting the best payroll software solution for your small business. Remember to take advantage of trial periods to test out the software before making a final decision. With the right payroll software, you can streamline your payroll processes, ensure tax compliance, and efficiently manage your employees’ compensation.