9 Best Payroll Services for Small Businesses in 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Payroll Services.
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 (overall) payroll service for small businesses
- 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 firms needing same-day direct deposits
- Paychex: Best for solopreneurs and startups wanting payroll and incorporation services
- Square Payroll: Best for businesses paying only contractors and seasonal employees
- 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
Top Online Payroll Services Compared
Starter Monthly Pricing
Health Insurance in All States
Best payroll service for small business
$6 per employee plus $40 base fee
Limited to 37 states
Best for fast-growing businesses
$2.50 per employee, per pay run plus $49 base fee*
Best all-in-one HR, payroll, & IT tool
$8 per employee plus $35 base fee**
Best for payroll accountants
$5 per employee plus $45 base fee
HI, VT & DC not covered
Best for solopreneurs and startups
$5 per employee plus $39 base fee
Best for paying seasonal workers and contractors
$6 per employee plus $35 base fee
Best for paying international employees
$12 per employee monthly for global payroll
Best free payroll service
$0 (for the Community edition)
Best low-cost PEO
$59 per employee for the first 49 workers
*Pricing is based on a quote we received for 25 employees
**Monthly fee is from a custom quote; includes time tracking and payroll add-ons.
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 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 Overall Payroll Service
What We Like
- Full-service payroll with federal, state, and local tax payments/filings included in all plans
- Unlimited pay runs Offers a low-cost contractor-only option
- Offers a low-cost contractor-only option
- Intuitive and user-friendly platform
- Basic job posting tools
- Health insurance is limited to 37 states
- Time tracking and paid time off (PTO) management included only in premium plans
- No dedicated payroll specialist
Gusto Plans & Pricing
- Simple: $40 per month plus $6 per employee monthly
- Plus: $80 per month plus $12 per employee monthly
- Premium: Custom priced
- Contractor-only payroll plan: $35 plus $6 per contractor monthly
- Full-service payroll, four-day direct deposits, and state 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 across 90-plus countries: Custom-priced
Gusto ranks well among our payroll buyer’s guides, earning the best overall in seven guides (first seven as shown below) and ranking high in many others. It’s a great payroll service for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees because it’s affordable 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), 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 QuickBooks Payroll and Square Payroll.
Gusto Is Featured In
Gusto Key Features
Running payroll with Gusto is very easy, mainly because of its intuitive interface and solid pay processing tools. All of its plans include full-service payroll with 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.
Tax calculations, payments, and filings for federal, state, and local payroll taxes are handled automatically by Gusto, including year-end tax reporting (ADP and Paychex charge extra for this). Gusto will even send digital copies of W-2/1099 forms to your employees and contractors.
With Gusto, you can pay employees via manual checks, pay cards, and direct deposits. The standard processing timelines for its direct deposits are four and two days, but you can get next-day options if you subscribe to either its Plus and 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.
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.
While Gusto lets you track applicants, its job posting tools aren’t as robust as ADP’s, which can post jobs to 25,000-plus job boards (Gusto only distributes job listings to 1,000 job sites). However, Gusto does provide essential hiring and onboarding tools, such as offer letters, online W-4 and I-9 forms, new hire state reporting, onboarding checklists, and a self-onboarding portal.
It even has email and business software provisioning and deprovisioning solutions. This allows you to create, manage, and delete your employees’ email accounts (Gmail and Microsoft 360), including access to software that small businesses typically use, such as Slack, Zoom, Asana, Box, and GitHub.
You can contact Gusto’s support team via phone, email, and chat. For its Premium subscribers, Gusto provides dedicated phone support and assistance from certified HR professionals. However, if you need a dedicated payroll specialist, we suggest Paychex or ADP since both provide this service to their clients.
Gusto User Reviews
Gusto’s average online rating on third-party review sites like G2 and Capterra is 4.35 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 commented that its support team’s response time isn’t as fast as before.
ADP Run: Best for Growing Businesses That Need Flexible Payroll Tools
- Multiple plan options
- Offers secure paychecks with advanced fraud protection
- Feature-rich solution suite; has hiring, talent management, and learning tools, including PEO services
- Benefits plans include standard and nonstandard options (like employee discounts)
- Pricing isn’t transparent
- Time tracking, health insurance, and workers’ compensation are paid add-ons
- W-2/1099 form delivery and filing are available for an additional fee
- Lacks unlimited pay runs
ADP Run Plans & Pricing
- Essential*:$49 base monthly fee plus $2.50 per employee, per pay run
- Enhanced: Custom priced
- Complete: Custom priced
- HR Pro: Custom priced
*Pricing is based on a quote we received for 25 employees.
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 services for small businesses 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
ADP Run Key Features
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. It also has a PEO solution, ADP TotalSource, that comes with enterprise-level benefits, robust compliance support, and access to a dedicated specialist in addition to advanced cloud-based HR software.
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. However, both solutions lack QuickBooks Payroll’s capability to electronically file taxes.
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.
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.
ADP offers a full range of solutions—from basic and global payroll to HR management and employee information management. With its time and attendance tools, you can capture your employees’ clock-ins/outs and monitor your field staff’s location as they clock in. ADP’s robust hiring tools even let you post jobs to more than 25,000 job boards.
ADP Run User Reviews
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 for All-in-one HR, Payroll, and IT Software
- Integration with over 500 business software
- Modular HR, payroll, and IT solutions
- PEO option can easily be switched on and off
- Global payroll capabilities
- You can’t buy its payroll solution (and other modules) without purchasing its core workforce management platform first
- Gets pricey as you add features
- One-on-one HR help desk with phone and email support is a paid add-on
Rippling Plan & Pricing*
- $35 plus $8 per employee monthly
- Includes Rippling’s core workforce management platform, employee onboarding and offboarding, full-service payroll, time tracking, and software integrations
- 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
*Pricing is based on a quote we received.
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.
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 Key Features
Despite having to purchase its core platform first, Rippling provides you with the flexibility to choose the HR and/or IT solutions as you need them. For example, you can opt to get its payroll solution and then add its applicant tracking module at a later date.
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.
Rippling is the only HR software we reviewed that offers IT solutions. Its 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 remotely manage company computer devices.
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 over 500 software. None of the providers in this list can integrate with that many solutions.
Rippling’s PEO service has a convenient on and off switch that allows you to smoothly transition 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
Rippling User Reviews
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 said that its mobile app has limited features and is glitchy with occasional login errors.
QuickBooks Payroll: Best for Accountants & Companies That Need Same-day Direct Deposits
- Unlimited and automatic payroll runs
- Next- and same-day direct deposit options
- Seamless integration with QuickBooks Accounting
- Tax penalty protection program covers penalties (up to $25,000/year) regardless of who makes the mistake
- Partner program for accountants includes discounts that can also be passed to clients
- 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 Plans & Pricing
- Core: $45 per month plus $5 per employee monthly
- Premium: $75 per month plus $8 per employee monthly
- Elite: $125 per month plus $10 per employee monthly
- 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 perks:
- 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
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 Software for Accountants roundup. 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.
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
QuickBooks Payroll Key Features
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.
QuickBooks Payroll is the only provider that we reviewed that allows you to pay and file your payroll taxes via the mobile web browsers of smartphones and tablets.
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.
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.
Further, QuickBooks has a separate tax penalty protection program in which it will cover the penalty and interest for any payroll tax error, up to $25,000 a year, regardless of who made the mistake. Note, however, that you must purchase its Elite plan to have your errors covered and send the tax notice to QuickBooks within 15 days of having received it. No other providers in this guide have a plan that covers errors you make.
QuickBooks Payroll User Reviews
Users who left QuickBooks Payroll reviews on G2 and Capterra gave it an average rating of 4.15 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.
Paychex: Best for Solopreneurs & Startups That Need Payroll & Small Business Incorporation Services
- Special package for solopreneurs include payroll, incorporation support, and access to a 401(k) plan
- Multiple pay options
- Offers a dedicated payroll specialist
- Flexible payroll and HR plans
- Pricing isn’t all transparent
- Some of its payroll tax administration services and year-end tax reports cost extra
- Has a bit of a learning curve (due to robust features)
- Lacks unlimited pay runs
Paychex Plans & Pricing
- Paychex Flex Essentials: $39 monthly plus $5 per employee monthly
- Paychex Flex Select: Custom priced
- Paychex Flex Pro: Custom priced
Paychex Plan for Solopreneurs and the Self-employed
- Paychex Solo: Custom priced
- Includes payroll, self-employed 401(k), and 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. Paychex even assigns a dedicated payroll specialist to its Paychex Flex Select and Pro customers—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 small business payroll software guide. Having access to a dedicated payroll specialist is one of its best features, in addition to flexible pay options and its employment and income verification services. However, you have to pay extra or sign up for a premium plan for tax payment and filing services, as well as year-end reporting.
Paychex Is Featured In
Paychex Key Features
Paychex offers plan options that can cater to the payroll and HR needs of a range of business owners, including solopreneurs. Self-employed entrepreneurs can start with its Paychex Solo plan that includes payroll, expert assistance in setting up their business, and choosing a 401(k) plan.
Once your business and workforce start to grow and you require additional solutions like benefits, employee onboarding, and dedicated payroll support, its Paychex Flex product can help you manage essential HR and payroll processes efficiently. If you’ve grown your company to a point that you require a bigger HR team but you’re not willing to hire, then Paychex’s PEO services is a great option.
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).
Paychex offers employee benefits services to help keep your workforce happy. The benefits options include health insurance, dental and vision, HSA, FSA, and retirement plan; 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.
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.
Paychex User Reviews
Users who left Paychex Flex reviews online said that it is generally easy to use and offers a wide range of HR and payroll tools. However, some complained about having received poor support. A few reviewers also said that it can be glitchy at times. Overall, its average user rating on G2 and Capterra is 4.15 out of 5 (as of this writing).
Square Payroll: Best for Businesses Hiring Only Contractors & Seasonal Employees
- Low-cost contractor-only plan
- Seamless integration with Square products
- Offers next-day direct deposits and instant payment options
- Next-day direct deposits and instant payments require a Square Payments account
- Standard direct deposit timeline is four days
- Phone support requires a customer code
Square Payroll Plans & Pricing
- Pay employees and contractors: $35 per month plus $6 per employee monthly
- Pay contractors only: $6 per contractor monthly
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, tip management, employee benefits, and team management tools. If you only employ and pay contractors, Square Payroll has a low-cost contractor-only plan ($6 per worker monthly), which is cheaper than Gusto’s contractor payroll tier.
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 retailers and restaurateurs using Square POS since its payroll solution connects seamlessly with Square’s POS and payments products.
Square Payroll Is Featured In
Square Payroll Key Features
Square Payroll offers the lowest-priced contractor-only plan in this guide. Even if you need to pay both employees and contractors, it charges a monthly rate that is cheaper than most online payroll services (like Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll). While Rippling also offers reasonably priced plans, you have to separately purchase its payroll, benefits, time tracking, and HR help desk solutions on top of its core workforce management solution.
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.
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.
While you can attend payroll training to enhance your know-how, you can also 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. Note that speaking with one of its payroll specialists on the phone requires a customer code. In case you need a dedicated payroll specialist, ADP and Paychex are great alternatives.
Square Payroll User Reviews
Most of the Square Payroll reviews online are positive, with users highlighting its ease of use, affordability, and the seamless 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
- Transparent pricing
- Handles payroll, HR, and compliances across several nations and localities
- Employer of Record (EoR) in 160+ countries; lets you hire without assistance from a local entity
- Can get expensive depending on the services you require
- Lacks 24/7 customer support
Papaya Global Plans & Pricing
- Full-Service Payroll: Starts from $12 per employee monthly
- EoR: Starts from $770 per employee monthly
- Contractor management: Starts from $25 per employee monthly
- 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 adhoc 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)
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.
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
Papaya Global Key Features
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.
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.
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.
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 TotalSource offers to its international clients (via Globalization Partners).
Papaya Global User Reviews
Papaya Global earned an average online review rating of 3.93 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 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
- Feature-rich free tier
- Automatic payroll runs
- Integrates with other payroll tools like QuickBooks, ADP, and Paychex
- User dashboard looks cluttered and confusing
- Pricing for its paid plans isn’t transparent
- Details about the free option and paid plans are difficult to find on its website
- Doesn’t handle payroll tax filings
TimeTrex Plans & Pricing
- Community Edition: Free
- Paid options
Three custom-priced product editions (Professional, Corporate, and Enterprise) that include additional tools like recruiting, invoicing, and expense tracking functionalities.
Pricing depends on the number of employees and the software deployment option.
Based on the quote we received, monthly fees for its cloud-hosted version start at $3 per employee. Meanwhile, on-site hosted version’s fees start at $35.88 per employee, per year.
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—although its interface is outdated. However, you have to download its open-source workforce management solution, 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 Key Features
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.
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.
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.
TimeTrex User Reviews
Users gave TimeTrex average ratings of 4.2 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 minimize the time needed to track employee attendance and process payroll. 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
- Intuitive interface
- Transparent pricing with affordable PEO plans
- Enterprise-level benefits from major insurance companies + 401(k) plans; offers health and wellness perks
- Lacks a mobile app
- Limited reporting
- Integration options aren’t robust
- Forced to pay on Justworks’ pay schedule
Justworks Plans & Pricing*
- Basic: $59 per employee monthly for the first 49 workers ($49 per employee monthly for the 50th worker onward)
- Plus: $99 per employee monthly for the first 49 workers ($89 per employee monthly for the 50th worker onward)
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
Justworks Key Features
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).
Justworks offers a variety of traditional and nontraditional benefits. Apart from the typical health insurances, 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) and Paychex (which has a financial wellness program).
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 trainings.
Justworks User Reviews
Justworks earned an average user rating of over 4.13 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, 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.
However, most providers go beyond calculating earnings and deductions and filing taxes. They have additional solutions to help you manage payroll and employees. Here are some of the add-ons typically offered by payroll service providers:
- Online management of basic employee information
- Paperless onboarding with electronic new hire forms and payroll-related documents
- Access to Fortune 500 benefits plans that you can offer to employees
- A sample employee handbook (other providers even have an online handbook builder)
- Payroll software integration with platforms most small businesses use (like accounting, time tracking, and point-of-sale systems)
- HR advisory services and compliance alerts
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 running 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 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.