The best payroll services—such as online payroll software, professional employer organizations (PEOs), and human resources (HR) systems—help businesses pay employees correctly, manage tax withholdings, and ensure deductions are withheld (for benefit premiums, retirement savings, and more). In this guide, we compiled a list of the nine best payroll services for small business owners.
- Gusto: Best for small businesses needing full-service payroll and solid HR tools
- ADP Run: Best for fast-growing businesses that want flexible payroll services
- Rippling: Best all-in-one HR, payroll, and IT solution (also offers PEO services)
- QuickBooks Payroll: Best for accountants and contractor payments
- Paychex: Best for solopreneurs and startups wanting payroll and incorporation services
- Square Payroll: Best for bars, restaurants, and Square POS users
- Papaya Global: Best for paying international employees
- TimeTrex: Best free payroll service for companies willing to file taxes on their own
- Justworks: Best low-cost PEO to outsource HR and payroll administration
QuickBooks Payroll is a great option for businesses that have many different types of employees due to its versatility, ease of use, and wide variety of features.
QuickBooks Payroll is a great option for businesses that have many different types of employees due to its versatility, ease of use, and wide variety of features.
Top Online Payroll Services Compared
An Employer of Record (EOR) is an HR service that allows you to hire and pay workers in countries outside of the US. Learn more about it in our What is an EOR article and find out if it’s the solution for you.
In numerous buyer’s guides across our site, we evaluated these payroll companies using a 5-star scale with criteria specific to the type of payroll services they provide and the businesses they cater to. We prioritized affordability and ease of use in our rankings. You can reference any of the featured products below in specific buyer’s guides that apply to your business.
You can also check out our video below for essential features you need to consider when looking for a payroll service and some of our recommended software.
Gusto: Best for Small Businesses Needing Full-service Payroll & Solid HR Tools
Gusto ranks well among our payroll buyer’s guides, earning the best overall in seven guides and ranking high in many others. It’s a great payroll service for small businesses because it’s reasonably priced and its features are very well-rounded—you can run payroll an unlimited number of times, automate tax payments and filings (federal, state, and local taxes), post job ads, track applicants, and receive HR support.
While Gusto offers health insurance, the coverage includes 37 states only (unavailable in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming). For health benefits options that are available in all states in the United States, consider other payroll providers, like Paychex and Square Payroll.
Gusto Is Featured in
- Simple: $40 plus $6 per employee monthly
- Includes full service-payroll, two- and four-day direct deposits, employee profiles, new hire reporting, basic hiring and onboarding, basic support, and Gusto-brokered health insurance administration
- Plus: $80 plus $12 per employee monthly
- Simple + multi-state payroll, next-day direct deposits, paid time-off (PTO) management, advanced hiring and onboarding, and time tracking
- Premium: Custom priced
- Plus + performance reviews, employee surveys, dedicated support, payroll migration and account setup, and access to HR advisors
- Contractor-only payroll plan: $35 plus $6 per contractor monthly
- For companies without W-2 employees only
- Includes full-service payroll, four-day direct deposits, and new hire reporting
- State payroll tax registration: Pricing varies per state
- HR advisory services for Plus plan only: $8 per employee monthly (this is included for free in the Premium tier)
- International contractor payments in more than 120 countries: Custom-priced
- Health insurance broker integration: $6 per eligible employee monthly
- 401(k) retirement savings: Pricing varies by 401(k) integration
- Health savings account (HSA): $2.50 per participant monthly*
- Flexible savings account (FSA): $4 per participant monthly*
- Commuter benefits: $4 per participant monthly
- 529 college savings: $6 per participant monthly (with an $18 monthly minimum)
*Requires a $20 monthly minimum
- Robust payroll tools: Running payroll with Gusto is very easy, mainly because of its intuitive interface and solid pay processing tools. Aside from full-service payroll, all plans include tax filing services and automatic and unlimited pay runs. Gusto also handles garnishment deductions and sends child support payments for all states except South Carolina. Note that QuickBooks Payroll and Square Payroll don’t handle garnishment remittances but only deduct the applicable amount.
- Multiple payment options: Employees can receive their pay via manual checks, pay cards, and direct deposits. The standard direct deposit timelines are four and two days, but you can get next-day options if you subscribe to either its Plus or Premium tiers. If you prefer same-day payments, QuickBooks Payroll is a great alternative—provided you get at least its Premium plan. Square Payroll also offers instant payments but you have to be a Square Payments user.
- Robust benefits options: Gusto offers a wide variety of employee benefits (such as dental, vision, workers’ compensation, HSA, FSA, retirement, and college savings plans), but its health insurance coverage is limited to 37 states. Although the other providers included in this list have better coverage, you may want to consider Justworks for its health and wellness perks, Paychex for its financial wellness program, and ADP for its employee discounts.
- Hiring and onboarding tools: While Gusto’s job posting tools aren’t as robust as ADP’s, which can post jobs to 25,000-plus job boards, it can distribute job listings to 1,000 job sites. Essential hiring and onboarding tools are also available, like offer letters, new hire state reporting, and a self-onboarding portal. Its software provisioning and deprovisioning solutions also allow you to create, manage, and delete your employees’ email accounts (Gmail and Microsoft 360) and provide access to business software (such as Slack, Zoom, Asana, Box, and GitHub).
Gusto’s average online rating on third-party review sites like G2 and Capterra is 4.3 out of 5 (as of this writing). Many reviewers like its user-friendly interface and efficient payroll tools that make paying employees easy for them. However, there are mixed responses about its customer service. Several users said that its customer representatives are helpful, while others complained about the long wait times contacting support.
ADP Run: Best for Growing Businesses That Need Flexible Payroll Tools
ADP Run has subscription options that include features ranging from payroll to a combination of payroll, time tracking (with GPS functionalities), and HR (recruiting, background checks, and even consulting are available). It also has numerous products beyond the payroll solution, including a professional employer organization (PEO) that makes it easy for businesses with plans to grow over the years to transition easily.
Its suite streamlines HR processes, from hiring to retiring. Payroll companies like Gusto don’t offer all the tools you’ll need to manage the entire employee lifecycle, especially as your company grows. Paychex has features similar to ADP’s, but they aren’t as robust, such as job postings (ADP can post to more than 25,000 job boards, while Paychex only has a dozen).
While ADP Run ranked in several of our best payroll lists, ADP’s other products also made it to some of our payroll and HR buyer’s guides. Roll by ADP and ADP TotalSource are on our list of the best payroll apps and best PEO companies, respectively.
ADP Is Featured in
- Essential*: $49 base monthly fee plus $2.50 per employee, per pay run
- Includes full-service payroll, multi-state pay runs, new hire reporting, onboarding, and payments via direct deposit, checks, and the Wisely direct debit card
- Enhanced: Custom priced
- Essential + state unemployment insurance (SUI) management, check signing and stuffing services, and ZipRecruiter job postings
- Complete: Custom priced
- Enhanced + salary benchmarks, HR forms and documents, an employee handbook wizard, and access to a dedicated HR support team
- HR Pro: Custom priced
- Complete + applicant tracking, learning management, employee handbook assistance, and enhanced HR support
*Pricing is based on a quote we received for 25 employees
- Feature-rich products: While ADP Run is ADP’s full payroll solution, the provider has a variety of products that can cater to the HR and pay processing needs of small to large businesses. Its PEO solution, ADP TotalSource, comes with enterprise-level benefits, robust compliance support, and access to a dedicated specialist in addition to advanced cloud-based HR software.
- Flexible pay processing: Similar to Paychex, ADP Run lets you start processing payroll through its mobile apps (for iOS and Android devices) and then continue it on a computer. It even has a separate payroll app product, Roll by ADP, that allows you to pay employees through chat-based commands.
- Multiple payment options: Apart from direct deposits, ADP offers a Wisely Direct debit card to provide your unbanked employees another option to receive payments. It also provides paper checks (with 10 advanced fraud protection features), but this option is available only in ADP Run’s higher tiers.
- Employee benefits: While this is a paid add-on, ADP’s benefits options cover all 50 states. It also provides employee discounts with partner retailers and businesses but doesn’t have the health and wellness perks that Justworks offers.
Scoring an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 on G2 and Capterra (as of this writing), ADP Run received many positive reviews in which users praised its user-friendly solutions that make payroll easy to run. Several others also appreciate its reporting tools, while some noted that it can be a bit expensive for small businesses.
Rippling: Best All-In-One HR, Payroll, and IT Software
Rippling appears in a lot of our HR and payroll buyer’s guides, primarily due to its efficient and modular HR, payroll, and IT products that you can integrate—provided you get its core workforce management platform. It’s great for tech-heavy companies, given the IT solutions that allow you to manage the devices and work-related apps that are usually provided to employees.
Since Our Last Update: Rippling has released a new headcount planning and compensation bands solution. This feature provides you with a single source of truth for all your headcount numbers and compensation costs, streamlining the process of tracking approved headcount for new hires while preventing out-of-compensation band salary offers.
The platform also integrates with 500-plus third-party software, such as accounting, HR, sales, expense management, and productivity tools, and offers employer of record (EOR) services for hiring global employees, international payroll solutions, a PEO option you can switch on/off, and workflow tools you can easily customize. It can handle payroll, manage employee information, administer benefits, automate time and attendance, and track applicants.
Rippling Is Featured in
Rippling’s pricing page shows a starter monthly fee of $8 per user. However, you need to contact the provider so it can create a custom package based on the features you need. With Rippling’s modular solutions, you can add tools like applicant tracking and payroll to its core platform.
Based on the quote we received, an HR payroll package that includes full-service payroll, time tracking, and Rippling’s workforce management platform costs $35 plus $8 per employee monthly. This also includes access to onboarding and offboarding tools, as well as software integration options.
- App, device, and computer inventory management*: $8 per employee monthly
- Benefits administration: Pricing varies, depending on your insurance broker
- HR help desk: Custom-priced
- Global payroll*: $20 per employee or contractor monthly
- EOR services*: $599 per employee monthly
- PEO services: $65 per employee monthly
*Pricing is based on a quote we received
- Robust product portfolio: Similar to ADP, Rippling’s product line covers a wide range of HR functionalities—from hiring and time tracking to PEO services and international payroll. What also sets Rippling apart from the software in this guide is the finance and IT solutions that it offers, allowing you to manage expenses and business apps in one HR platform.
- Full-service payroll: You get automated payroll and tax filings for federal, state, and local taxes. Employee payments can be done via direct deposits and checks. Rippling also offers automatic compliance services that include new hire reporting and year-end tax reporting. The provider can even help you manage global payroll so you can pay employees and contractors working in different parts of the world.
- IT support: Rippling’s app management module can help you set up, manage, and disable employee apps (like Slack and Office 365), while its device management solution enables you to manage company computer devices remotely. The provider can even store your computers in its warehouse and help you with the device provisioning and deprovisioning processes. Further, Rippling has robust integration options with more than 500 software. None of the providers in this list can integrate with that many solutions.
- PEO on/off switch: Rippling’s PEO service has a convenient on-and-off switch that allows you to transition smoothly from its PEO to using its software again. This differs from all the others on our list, which don’t have an easy on/off option and a seamless transition to HR software.
Overall, Rippling earned an average online rating of 4.85 out of 5 on third-party review sites like G2 and Capterra (as of this writing). The features that many reviewers are happy about include its ease of use, intuitive interface, integration options, and extensive solution suite. However, some complained about occasional login errors and software glitches.
QuickBooks Payroll: Best for Accountants & Contractor Payments
- Automated local tax filings available only in its higher tiers
- Tax penalty protection is included in the Elite plan only
- Payroll product with special discounts for accountants requires you to use QuickBooks Accounting
- Basic HR features
- Limited health benefits coverage (not available in HI, VT, and DC)
QuickBooks Payroll provides same-day direct deposits—a feature that none of the other providers in this list offer, except for Square Payroll. In addition to three full-service payroll plans that help users manage their payroll entirely online, it has payroll products for specific niches like accounting firms. It’s also reasonably priced and has a free trial.
It ranks well in our payroll buyer’s guides—currently holding the No. 1 spot in our best Payroll for accountants and best payroll for paying contractors guides. What we and many users like about the platform is the variety of products it offers. Its online payroll solutions are part of a larger set of Intuit products that integrate seamlessly. Since many small businesses start out using QuickBooks for accounting, adding payroll is usually the logical next step.
Find out more about what it can do for your business by checking out our What Is QuickBooks article.
One of the things that makes QuickBooks Payroll a great payroll service for small businesses is its mobile responsive platform, allowing you to access its system via mobile web browsers. Apart from letting you process payroll on tablets and smartphones, you can pay and file payroll taxes electronically while on the go.
QuickBooks Payroll Is Featured in
- Payroll Core: $45 plus $6 per employee monthly
- Includes full-service payroll, automatic pay and unlimited pay runs, next-day direct deposits, federal and state tax filings, access to health and 401(k) plans, and a tax guarantee that only covers penalties for mistakes that QuickBooks’ representatives will make
- Payroll Premium: $80 plus $8 per employee monthly
- Payroll Core + same-day direct deposits, time tracking, local tax filings, workers’ comp administration, payroll setup review, 24/7 product support, and access to HR forms and documents
- Payroll Elite: $125 plus $10 per employee monthly
- Payroll Premium + project tracking, tax penalty protection, and access to an HR advisor
- Contractor payments package: $15 monthly for 20 workers; plus $2 for each additional contractor
- Includes next-day direct deposits, 1099 e-filings, and a contractor self-setup tool
QuickBooks Payroll Partner Accountant Program
- Accountant perk: Free access to QuickBooks Payroll Elite with QuickBooks Online Accountant
- Discounts: 30% off the monthly base fees and 15% off the per-employee fees, with the option to pass the discount to new clients
- Efficient payroll processing: In addition to full-service payroll, you get automated calculations, payments, and filings for federal and state taxes, including year-end reporting. For local payroll tax filings, you have to upgrade to its higher tiers.
- Low-cost contractor payments: If you only employ contract workers, QuickBooks will process your contractor payments at a lesser cost than the other providers on our list. It even comes with next-day direct deposits (Gusto offers a four-day option). However, if you’re a very small business with two contract workers, Square is more affordable than QuickBooks—costing only $12 monthly for two persons (vs $15 monthly). Papaya Global also has an affordable plan, but only for paying international contract workers (priced at $2 per worker monthly).
- Fast direct deposits: QuickBooks Payroll offers next-day direct deposits as part of its basic Core plan, but upgrading to its higher tiers will grant you access to a same-day option. None of the providers in this list offer this, except for Square Payroll.
- Tax accuracy guarantee and penalty protection: QuickBooks’s tax filing and payment accuracy guarantee covers all plans, wherein the provider will pay the tax penalties resulting from late or inaccurate submissions—provided that it received the correct details on time and your account has sufficient funds to pay the applicable taxes. For those who sign up for the Elite tier, QuickBooks will cover all penalties (up to $25,000 a year), regardless of who made the mistake. No other providers in this guide have a plan that covers errors you make.
Users who left QuickBooks Payroll reviews on G2 and Capterra gave it an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 (as of this writing). Reviewers like its user-friendly tools that streamline payroll processes. However, some users said its customer service quality is less than ideal, adding that its support team can be difficult to reach at times. A few reviewers also said that it can be pricey for small businesses.
Paychex: Best for Solopreneurs & Startups That Need Payroll & Small Business Incorporation Services
Paychex offers a suite of HR and payroll solutions, including PEO services, that make it a great option for businesses of all sizes. Solopreneurs can start with its Paychex Solo tier, which includes access to payroll, a self-employed 401(k) plan, and incorporation services to help establish and protect their business.
Once their companies start to expand, they can transition to Paychex Flex, which is great for fast-growing businesses that need payroll and HR tools. The services of a dedicated payroll specialist are even available for all Paychex Flex users if needed—you won’t get the same service with the other providers in this list, except for ADP.
The provider appears in several of our buyer’s guides, even ranking high on our best nanny payroll list and best payroll apps guide. Having access to a dedicated payroll specialist is one of its best features, in addition to flexible pay options and a “Voice Assist” solution for hands-off pay processing. However, you have to pay extra or sign up for a premium plan to access many of its HR tools and services like benefits administration, SUI management, garnishment payment services, and time tracking.
Paychex Is Featured in
- Paychex Flex Essentials: $39 plus $5 per employee monthly
- Includes full-service payroll, multiple payment options, hiring, onboarding, new hire reporting, HR documents, and Voice Assistant integrations
- Paychex Flex Select: Custom priced
- Essentials + learning management and job posting website integrations
- Paychex Flex Pro: Custom priced
- Select + pre-employment screening, garnishment payment services, SUI management, custom analytics, and an employee handbook builder
Paychex Plan for Solopreneurs and the Self-employed
- Paychex Solo: Custom priced
- Includes payroll, self-employed 401(k), and incorporation services
NOTE: Paychex is offering 6 months of free payroll for new clients who sign up before 11/30/2023 and run their first payroll by 12/7/2023.
- Voice-assisted payroll: Paychex is the only provider on this list that offers “Voice Assist,” a voice-enabled solution for processing, reviewing, updating, and submitting payroll. You can start a new pay period, make adjustments, or continue a pay run that’s already in progress—without having to manually log in to your Paychex Flex account. It works on Siri and Google Assistant-compatible devices and comes with built-in verification and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for user authentication.
- Multiple pay options: Paychex supports employee payments made through direct deposits, prepaid pay cards, and paper checks. However, you may want to consider QuickBooks Payroll if you need same-day direct deposits or Square Payroll if you want instant payments (provided you have an active Square Payments account).
- Employee benefits: Paychex offers employee benefits services to help keep your workforce happy. The benefits options include health insurance, dental and vision, HSA, FSA, and retirement plans. But what sets it apart from other providers in this list is its financial wellness program. If you want to offer employee discounts or wellness perks, then try either ADP or Justworks.
- Dedicated payroll support: Similar to ADP, you are granted access to a dedicated payroll specialist who serves as your point of contact for all of your payroll and tax questions.
Users who left Paychex Flex reviews online said that it is generally easy to use. Some said that its wide range of solutions helps simplify HR management. However, others commented that its support team isn’t always responsive and helpful, and that the hold times can be long. A few users also wished for more customization options. Overall, its average user rating on G2 and Capterra is 4.15 out of 5 (as of this writing).
Square Payroll: Best for Bars, Restaurants & Square POS Users
Square Payroll comes with several essential solutions that make managing employee payments easy for administrators. In addition to full-service payroll, it has basic time tracking, tips and commissions tracking, employee benefits, and team management tools. If you only employ and pay contractors, Square Payroll has a low-cost contractor-only plan, which is cheaper than Gusto’s contractor payroll tier.
Since Our Last Update:
Square Payroll has increased its per-employee fees, from $5 to $6 per month.
It ranks well in our payroll buyer’s guides, appearing in many of our lists given its affordability and efficient pay processing tools. Square Payroll is even our top-recommended payroll app for small businesses. It’s also a great option for bar owners and restaurateurs using Square POS since its payroll solution connects seamlessly with Square’s POS and payments products. Learn more about what it offers and how it works in our What Is Square article.
Square Payroll Is Featured in
- Pay employees and contractors: $35 plus $6 per employee monthly
- Full-service payroll, unlimited and multi-state pay runs, tips and commissions tracking, multiple payment options, online timecards, and account setup support
- Pay contractors only: $6 per contractor monthly
- Unlimited payroll, check and direct deposit payments, and 1099-NEC forms mailing services
- Affordability: Square Payroll offers one of the lowest-priced contractor-only plans in this guide. Even if you need to pay both employees and contractors, it charges a monthly rate that is cheaper than most payroll companies. While Rippling also offers reasonably priced plans, you have to purchase its payroll, benefits, time tracking, and HR help desk solutions separately on top of its core workforce management solution.
- Multiple payment options: Square Payroll supports paychecks and direct deposits. Its direct deposits typically take four days, so if you want faster processing, consider QuickBooks Payroll (it has next- and same-day deposits). However, if you have an active Square Payments account, you can pay employees the next business day or instantly if they use Square’s Cash App.
- Time tracking through Square POS: Employees can use a four-digit passcode to clock in and out through the Square POS app. The system will collate all time entries into online employee time cards that you can review and import into Square Payroll for pay processing.
- Payroll support: You can contact Square Payroll’s team of payroll service specialists (via phone, email, and chat) if you have pay-related inquiries or need help setting up your account and accessing features. In case you need a dedicated payroll specialist, ADP and Paychex are great alternatives.
Most of the Square Payroll reviews online are positive, with users highlighting its ease of use, affordability, and the integration between Square products as its best features. However, others dislike its limited timecard editing options and the support team’s slow response times. Overall, Square Payroll earned an average rating of 4.45 out of 5 on G2 and Capterra (as of this writing).
Papaya Global: Best International Payroll Service
- Can get expensive depending on the services you require
- Lacks 24/7 customer support
- Business intelligence reports and immigration services cost extra
- No local entities; only has partners in countries that it services
Papaya Global offers solid payroll services for global businesses. It handles both employee and contractor payments, plus it automates global payroll in more than 160 countries—making it our top choice for international payroll services. It also provides PEO services, offering a suite of solutions that includes full benefits management, legal and compliance support, and hiring services.
Since Our Last Update:
Papaya Global has reduced the monthly fee of its contractor plan, from $25 to $2 per worker.
In addition to its efficient payroll and HR tools, we like that it has transparent pricing. Similar international payroll providers and PEO services, such as ADP and Rippling, typically require you to request a quote. Further, Papaya Global integrates with HRIS, time tracking, expense management, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. However, its partner systems aren’t as robust as Rippling’s 500-plus options.
Papaya Global Is Featured in
- Full-Service Payroll: Starts from $12 per employee monthly
- Ideal for companies with three to 20 locations
- Includes payments, workforce analytics, and a unified payroll platform
- EoR: Starts from $770 per employee monthly
- Lets you hire, onboard, and pay employees across more than 160 countries
- Contractor management: Starts from $25 per employee monthly
- Ideal for onboarding and paying international contractors
- Global Expertise Services: Starts at $250 per employee monthly
- Supplemental benefits plans and immigration support
- Data and Insights Platform License: Starts at $150 per location monthly
- Access to real-time headcount and payroll costs
- Payments-as-a-Service: Starts at $3 per employee monthly
- Add-on services to facilitate ad-hoc workforce payments (eg. pension payments)
- Payroll Platform License: Starts at $3 per employee monthly
- Access to Papaya Global’s platform to manage employee data (no payroll services)
- EOR function: Papaya Global’s EoR feature allows it to hire and pay international employees on your behalf. It also has a network of partners located across 160-plus countries, enabling it to provide benefits options and workforce management solutions. Rippling also offers an EOR solution, but its services only cover more than 110 countries.
- Payroll and tax filings: Papaya Global pays your employees (via direct deposits and bank transfers) in their local currency with pay stubs in their own language. It also handles tax filings and year-end reporting, as well as provides local tax filing assistance.
- Extensive immigration services: Unlike ADP, Papaya Global can help you secure work permits for your expatriates and employees on short-term assignments. Its immigration services also include obtaining the necessary residence and spouse/family permits.
- Compliance support: In addition to helping you stay compliant with local employment regulations, Papaya Global tracks global tax laws to ensure you’re up-to-date with the latest rulings. However, it lacks the 24/7 customer support that ADP, through its ADP TotalSource solution, offers to its international clients (via Globalization Partners).
Papaya Global earned an average online review rating of 4.45 out of 5 (as of this writing). It doesn’t have a lot of reviews on G2 and Capterra, but those who left positive feedback said it has a user-friendly platform and a helpful and responsive support team. It received very few negative reviews; however, one user said that some areas of the platform can be unintuitive as it requires him to scroll really far to the right just to see data that’s at the end of the screen.
TimeTrex: Best Free Payroll Service for Companies Willing to File Payroll Taxes on Their Own
TimeTrex is great for businesses looking for a payroll service that’s feature-rich and free to use. With its platform’s Community Edition, you get all the basic tools you need to manage payroll, staff attendance, PTO, schedules, and employee information. However, its interface looks outdated and is an open-sourced platform that needs to be downloaded (a cloud-hosted option is available only to paid plan holders). Plus, its payroll tax functionalities don’t include automated tax filings.
Aside from payroll and HR tools, it offers online time clock apps that work on web browsers and mobile iOS/Android devices—although signing up for TimeTrex’s free product only grants you access to its web browser-based time clock. If you need job costing, geofencing, invoicing, expense tracking, and recruiting tools, you have to get the higher tiers of its paid version.
TimeTrex Is Featured in
TimeTrex’s Community Edition is free to use. It includes online solutions for staff scheduling, PTO tracking, employee data management, performance reviews, and pay processing. Workers can record their time-in/out transactions via a web browser-based time clock app.
Three paid product editions are also available for purchase. However, you have to contact TimeTrex to discuss your requirements and software implementation options—either cloud-hosted or installed directly on your computer servers. Based on the quote we received, monthly fees for its cloud-hosted version start at $3 per employee. Meanwhile, the on-site hosted version costs $35.88 per employee yearly.
- Feature-rich free tier: TimeTrex’s Community Edition comes with features that most providers typically charge extra for. Aside from employee data management and payroll, its online tools can help you time track and schedule employees.
- Efficient pay processing: TimeTrex offers automatic pay runs, payroll tax calculations, custom deductions, electronic pay stubs, and free direct deposits. However, it doesn’t handle payroll tax filings. For full-service payroll that includes federal, state, and local tax payments and filings, we recommend either Gusto or Square Payroll—both are affordably priced.
- Touchless time clocks: With TimeTrex’s time clock apps for iOS and Android devices, you can turn a tablet into a touchless time clock. Employees don’t have to touch the device since it supports clock ins/outs via facial recognition. TimeTrex will automatically scan, identify, and verify a person by comparing his/her facial features from the saved image in its database.
Users gave TimeTrex average ratings of 4.3 out of 5 on third-party sites like Capterra and G2 (as of this writing). What they like most about it is its user-friendly tools and how it helps automate time tracking and payroll management. Others said it is difficult to set up, and some of its features aren’t intuitive.
Justworks: Best for Companies That Need a Low-cost, High-functioning PEO
Justworks didn’t show up in a lot of our buyer’s guides mainly because of its price and the type of service it provides. It’s a PEO that acts as a co-employer that handles your day-to-day HR, payroll, and benefits administration tasks.
It isn’t ideal for those looking for a no-frills payroll solution, as its PEO service comes at a much higher cost than other straight payroll providers. Although, what’s great about Justworks is its transparent pricing. Most PEO providers, such as ADP TotalSource, Rippling PEO, and Paychex PEO, will require you to contact their sales team to request a quote.
Its PEO plans are affordable and include a wide range of features—from automated direct deposits and off-cycle payments to online employee onboarding and HR consulting. Justworks even has fitness memberships and wellness perks that you can offer as benefits to your employees.
Justworks Is Featured in
- Basic: $59 per employee monthly for the first 49 workers ($49 per employee monthly for the 50th worker onward)
- Includes full-service payroll, vendor and contractor payments, PTO management, onboarding, plan setup help, HR consulting, 24/7 support, and access to workers comp, commuter benefits, 401(k), life and disability insurance, health and wellness perks, and fitness memberships
- Plus: $99 per employee monthly for the first 49 workers ($89 per employee monthly for the 50th worker onward)
- Basic + COBRA administration, health advocacy services, HSA, FSA, and medical, dental, and vision insurance plans
- Efficient payroll tools: With Justworks, you can pay salaried and hourly employees, contractors, and even vendors. It can handle federal, state, and local payroll tax filings for you, including end-of-year reporting (W-2s/1099s). However, it only supports direct deposits and paychecks, so if you need multiple payment options, ADP and Paychex are great PEO alternatives. You must also adhere to its pay schedule (payments are made on Fridays).
- Employee benefits: Justworks offers a variety of traditional and nontraditional benefits. Apart from the typical health insurance, 401(k) plans, and HSA/FSA accounts, it has Teladoc services, health and wellness perks, and gym memberships. None of the providers in this list offer options that go beyond the standard benefits, except for ADP (which provides access to employee discounts), Gusto (which offers 529 college savings), and Paychex (which has a financial wellness program).
- Compliance support: Included in all Justworks PEO plans are HR consulting services and compliance support to help ensure you’re following federal, state, and local employment regulations. You’re also granted access to online learning sessions that include sexual harassment prevention and inclusion training.
Justworks earned an average user rating of over 4.65 out of 5 on third-party review sites like G2 and Capterra (as of this writing). Many users appreciate its intuitive interface, ease of use, and good customer support. On the other hand, some reviewers wished that it offered additional reports, customization and integration options, and a more robust PTO calculator.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Payroll services for small businesses provide you with all the tools you need to pay your employees accurately. Many include payroll tax payments and filings in their services, so you don’t have to worry about handling these yourself. Most providers provide access to basic HR solutions like employee data management, onboarding, and benefits administration.
Paying employees can be challenging, especially for employers who don’t know how to handle payroll, and partnering with a reliable payroll service eliminates the need for manual pay calculations. Plus, there are legal obligations and laws you need to follow when paying employees. Payroll companies can help you manage compliance requirements—from state new hire reporting to payroll tax computations and tax form filings.
For standard payroll services, which include automatic pay calculations and tax filing services (including basic payroll compliance tools), you should expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $60 per employee monthly. The cost will go up if you need other solutions like time tracking and employee benefits.
If you know the basics of doing payroll, then yes, you can process this yourself. You can manually compute payroll either by hand, with a calculator, or by using Excel. However, this is only advisable for businesses with very small teams―fewer than 10 workers―as it can be confusing and stressful to keep track of payments, deductions, benefits, and tax reports if you have a large workforce.
Choosing the best payroll service for a small business can be a bit challenging and overwhelming given the range of payroll solutions available in the market. If you are looking for the best option or are switching payroll providers, consider your company’s immediate HR and payroll needs, including your growth plans.
You can also check our buyer’s guides where we compare many of these providers side by side. You could even choose to hire a local bookkeeping or accounting service to do your payroll; it’ll likely be more expensive than some of the options we reviewed, but if you value face-to-face service, it could be worth it.