Accounting

Best Payroll Software (2024)

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As companies strive for enhanced productivity and compliance, investing in the right payroll software becomes imperative.

Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, the benefits are manifold. Firstly, payroll software streamlines payroll processes, saving time and reducing errors, also, it ensures compliance with ever-evolving tax regulations and labor laws, mitigating legal risks. Furthermore, these software solutions offer robust reporting features, empowering businesses with valuable insights into their finances and workforce.

Below, we delve into the realm of payroll software, spotlighting two industry-leading solutions: QuickBooks Payroll and Gusto. By exploring their features, functionalities, and user experiences, businesses can make informed decisions to optimize their payroll operations and drive organizational growth. Join us as we navigate through the intricacies of payroll management and unlock the potential of these cutting-edge software solutions.

Best for Seamless Integration
Best for Small Businesses
4.8
4.7
Why choose them::
QuickBooks Payroll simplifies payroll processing with automated calculations, tax filings, and direct deposits. Its integration with QuickBooks accounting software ensures seamless financial management, making it the ideal choice for businesses seeking efficiency and accuracy.
Why choose them::
Gusto Payroll offers intuitive, comprehensive solutions with exceptional support, ensuring accurate processing, tax compliance, and seamless management, allowing businesses to focus on growth with confidence and peace of mind.
Best for Seamless Integration
4.8
Why choose them::
QuickBooks Payroll simplifies payroll processing with automated calculations, tax filings, and direct deposits. Its integration with QuickBooks accounting software ensures seamless financial management, making it the ideal choice for businesses seeking efficiency and accuracy.
Best for Small Businesses
4.7
Why choose them::
Gusto Payroll offers intuitive, comprehensive solutions with exceptional support, ensuring accurate processing, tax compliance, and seamless management, allowing businesses to focus on growth with confidence and peace of mind.
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QuickBooks Payroll

Renowned for its prowess in business accounting software solutions, QuickBooks stands out as a top-tier provider, lauded for its adeptness in streamlining payroll processes. With a keen focus on automation, the platform simplifies payroll processing, making it a seamless endeavor. While all QuickBooks Payroll products arm businesses with user-friendly tools for managing employee payroll, elevated tax filing capabilities and a plethora of other valuable tools and features await those who opt for higher-tier plans from the outset or decide to upgrade later.

Best for Seamless Accounting Software Integration
Streamline payroll with QuickBooks: simplify, save time, succeed.

QuickBooks Payroll simplifies the payroll process, allowing businesses to efficiently manage employee compensation, tax filings, and compliance requirements. By choosing them, businesses can streamline their payroll operations, reduce manual errors, and save valuable time to drive growth.

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Pros

  • Seamless integration with other popular QuickBooks services.
  • Accommodates unlimited payroll runs across all 50 U.S. states.
  • Supports direct deposit payments.
  • Employee self-service portal.
  • Generate comprehensive payroll reports.
  • Precise payments through this interconnected ecosystem.
  • Online chat support available 24/7.
  • Mobile app time and mileage tracking.
  • Automation.
  • Personal HR advisor at Elite subscription tier.

Cons

  • Several advanced payroll processing features, such as on-the-go time tracking, same-day direct deposits, and the HR advisor support feature, are exclusively available in more expensive tier plans.
  • Low tier plans have limited features.
  • Additional fees for tax filings in multiple states, unless on Elite plan.
  • Need to pay additional filing fees for employees working in other states.

Tailored to meet diverse payroll needs, QuickBooks Payroll software offers an array of plans and packages. Whether you’re a seasoned QuickBooks user or new to the platform, options abound to seamlessly integrate payroll into your existing plan or select from dedicated payroll, payroll and bookkeeping, or contractor-specific packages.

Starting at $45 per month plus $5 per employee, QuickBooks’ payroll-only plan covers essential payroll functions like payroll processing, tax calculations, and state and federal tax filings. With unlimited payroll runs and a robust workforce portal facilitating access to pay stubs, W-2s, and detailed payroll reports, businesses gain comprehensive payroll management capabilities. Furthermore, the inclusion of free direct deposit payments expedites the payment process.

Accessible across desktop PCs, laptops, Android, and iOS devices, QuickBooks Payroll software ensures convenience and flexibility, allowing users to manage payroll tasks effortlessly from any location.

Gusto

Gusto stands out as a premier payroll software solution tailored for small businesses, earning acclaim for its comprehensive features and user-friendly interface. With a range of plans and pricing starting at $40 per month plus $6 per person, Gusto simplifies the complexities of payroll management while providing additional HR tools to ensure compliance.

Best for Small Businesses
Simplify payroll management with Gusto.


Gusto Payroll offers comprehensive, user-friendly payroll solutions tailored to businesses of all sizes. With intuitive features and exceptional customer support, Gusto ensures accurate and efficient payroll processing, tax filings, and compliance. Choose Gusto for seamless payroll management, freeing your team to focus on growth.

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Pros:

  • Accurate payroll tax filing.
  • Access to payroll services for international contractors spanning over 120 countries.
  • Enhanced HR features.
  • Integration of Gusto-brokered health insurance with payroll across all plans.
  • Self-service capabilities
  • Mobile time tracking
  • Availability of customer service via phone, email, or chat channels.

Cons:

  • Limited customer support on weekends.
  • Restricted access to the HR resource center is exclusive to the most expensive Premium tier plans.
  • Gusto’s pricing structure may not be the most budget-friendly for organizations with a large number of employees.

Limited Specialized Features for Accounting: While Gusto excels in payroll and HR functionalities, it may not offer as many specialized features for accounting and bookkeeping as some competitors, potentially requiring additional software integration for comprehensive financial management.

Despite these considerations, Gusto remains an appealing payroll solution for businesses seeking streamlined processes and efficient HR management. The Simple plan serves as a cost-effective option for basic payroll needs, while the Plus and Premium plans offer a wider array of HR features to meet the diverse needs of growing small businesses. With its cloud-based platform and intuitive interface, Gusto provides a versatile solution for businesses looking to simplify payroll and HR management tasks while ensuring compliance and employee satisfaction.

Payroll – Everything You Need To Know

The term “payroll” encompasses the entirety of compensation that a company disburses to its employees for their services. It encompasses not only the disbursement of wages but also the computation of employees’ net pay and the subsequent initiation of payments to them. Regardless of whether your workforce consists of a solitary employee or a hundred, the processing of payroll remains essential to guaranteeing accurate compensation and maintaining meticulous records.

How to process payroll?

When it comes to processing payroll, there are three primary methods: manual processing, outsourcing, or utilizing a payroll service platform.

Payroll processing involves several crucial steps, which are as follows:

  • Establish Your Employer Identification Number (EIN): This unique identifier is necessary for tax reporting purposes and is obtained through the IRS.
  • Collect Relevant Employee Tax Information: Gather essential details such as Social Security numbers, withholding allowances, and other tax-related information from your employees.
  • Choose a Payroll Schedule: Determine how frequently you will process payroll, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, to ensure consistency and timeliness.
  • Calculate Gross Pay: Total up employees’ earnings before any deductions or taxes are withheld, including regular wages, overtime, bonuses, and commissions.
  • Determine Each Employee’s Deductions: Subtract applicable deductions from gross pay, such as federal and state taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and any voluntary deductions like retirement contributions or health insurance premiums.
  • Calculate Net Pay and Pay Your Employees: Subtract total deductions from gross pay to arrive at each employee’s net pay, which is the amount they will receive. Issue payments through direct deposit, paper checks, or other agreed-upon methods.
  • Keep Payroll Records and Make Necessary Corrections: Maintain accurate records of all payroll transactions, including earnings, deductions, and tax withholdings. Rectify any errors promptly to ensure compliance and accuracy.
  • Pay Taxes and Maintain Records of Payment: Submit payroll taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks to the appropriate tax authorities on time. Keep detailed records of tax payments and filings for auditing and compliance purposes.

Manual processing entails using tools like Microsoft Excel to compute taxes owed and deductions from employees’ pay. While feasible for small employee pools, it often consumes more time and is prone to errors. If you have a growing business with an increasing number of employees, it’s highly suggested to make use of a payroll platform or system.

How do I choose a payroll software?

Top-tier payroll services provide fundamental functionalities, extensive software integrations, and additional crucial features. Here are some of the features that you need to consider.

  1. Integrations Payroll software integrations are the final step on the way to true payroll automation. Businesses serious about efficiency need to integrate payroll with other workforce management tools like time and attendance management to achieve end-to-end automation.
  2. Advanced reporting Payroll software must generate government reports on payroll operations and support internal reporting. It should assist HR, payroll, and accounting in extracting data for financial reports and workforce planning.
  3. Data and data analytics functions Payroll software should offer a well-structured dashboard and functions for viewing, analyzing, and extracting various data sets at any time to better manage payroll data.
  4. Automation The efficiency of payroll software depends on automation levels. The more processes automated, the better. A range of capabilities leads to higher automation levels.
  5. Scalability Businesses should choose payroll software that can scale with their growth. Planning for future headcount increases ensures the software remains effective as the business expands.
  6. Security Payroll security is imperative, regardless of whether the software is cloud-based or self-hosted. Businesses must ensure the provider meets high-security standards to protect sensitive payroll data.
  7. Cloud-based vs. self-hosted The choice between cloud-based and self-hosted payroll software depends on existing IT landscapes and expertise. While not a fixed criterion, it’s essential to consider for automation solutions.
  8. Compliance support Payroll software should help businesses stay compliant with statutory rules. Automatically implementing legal changes, sending reminders, and generating required reports are vital compliance support features.
  9. Customization Payroll software should be customizable to adapt to individual business requirements. Without the ability to customize, it may not meet the specific needs of the organization.
  10. In-built payment capabilities Good payroll systems should include functions for issuing payments to employees. Automated salary payments and mass payments should be possible with just one click.
  11. User-friendliness Ease of use is crucial for effective payroll software. If it’s not user-friendly, it defeats the purpose of making payroll efficient, regardless of its features.
  12. Employee self-service functions Self-service functions improve the employee experience and reduce HR and payroll workload by allowing employees to manage their information. It’s an essential aspect of modern payroll software.
  13. Customer support Payroll software should come with excellent customer support to address any issues promptly. Given the critical nature of payroll, quick problem resolution is essential to avoid disruptions.

Verdict

In today’s business landscape, where productivity and regulatory compliance are paramount, selecting the right payroll software is crucial. Both QuickBooks Payroll and Gusto offer comprehensive solutions tailored to various business needs. QuickBooks Payroll excels in seamless integration with other services, unlimited payroll runs, and robust reporting features. Meanwhile, Gusto stands out for its user-friendly interface, accurate payroll tax filing, and additional HR tools.

Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on the specific requirements of your business. Whether you prioritize advanced payroll processing features or streamlined HR management, both QuickBooks Payroll and Gusto have much to offer. Explore their features, functionalities, and pricing to make an informed decision that aligns with your organization’s goals.

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