This article is part of a larger series on Payroll Services.
What We Recommend OnPay For
OnPay has a cloud-based system that enables you to quickly calculate and finalize payroll for both employees and contractors. It provides all the essential tools for managing new hire onboarding, benefits, paid time off (PTO), and employee information. It also offers full-service payroll, which includes unlimited pay runs, year-end W-2/1099 tax reports, and payroll tax payment and filing services. It can even handle the payroll and tax requirements of agriculture companies, churches, and nonprofit organizations.
In short, OnPay is best for:
- Small companies needing to switch from complex software: Many businesses that use OnPay have fewer than 50 employees and swear by it because it’s easy to use and handles important payroll-related tasks (paying workers and tax agencies). If you have a low-maintenance business, you’ll find it less cluttered (meaning fewer extraneous payroll and HR services) and more affordable than some of the big-name and popular payroll providers. OnPay is even one of our leading Gusto competitors because its fees are more budget-friendly than Gusto’s.
- Small agricultural companies: OnPay processes separate tax filing reports for farm and non-farm workers. Plus, if you have employees on an H-2A visa, OnPay can also process payroll and taxes for them. Not all providers have this functionality, which is why OnPay is one of our recommended small business payroll software for farms and agricultural companies that need Form 943 filings.
- Small businesses requiring HR support: Rated as one of our best human resources payroll software, OnPay offers small business owners access to various HR tools—such as employee offer letters, self-onboarding, PTO management, in-app messaging, and compliance auditing. It also provides benefits administration and will connect you with several top-notch benefits providers so that your employees can sign up for retirement, health insurance, life, disability, FSA, HSA, and commuter benefits.
When OnPay Would Not Be a Good Fit
- International payroll operations: OnPay does not support large businesses needing payroll for foreign employees or even those assigned in US territories. Check out our guide on the top international payroll providers as they are better suited for this.
- Businesses that need 24/7 live customer support: If you need on-demand phone support to get quick answers to payroll, benefits, and HR-related questions, especially during weekends and holidays, OnPay may not be the right provider for you. Its customer support team is available only on weekdays. Some providers such as Justworks offer 24/7 support, or you can check out our top payroll services picks for more options.
If you are already using a payroll solution and are considering changing to another, read our guide on how to switch payroll providers to ensure you make all the right moves beforehand.
|Runs unlimited payroll, remits tax payments, and files tax forms with no extra cost||Assesses risk before determining eligibility for either two- or four-day direct deposits|
|Offers an affordably priced plan||Doesn’t offer multiple plan tiers that cater to varying needs|
|Files Form 943||Doesn’t have live phone support on weekends|
OnPay’s pricing scheme is very straightforward. It offers one plan that costs $40 plus $6 per employee monthly, and OnPay will charge you only for the actual number of workers paid in a month. System setup and data migration of prior wages and employee information come at no extra cost of new users. Plus, your first month with OnPay is free.
However, you need to pay for the following services:
- Non-sufficient funds (NSF) returns: $50 per returned item, in case you don’t have sufficient funds to cover a pay run; same amount as the returned item if it is less than $50
- W-2 and 1099 forms: $5 per W-2/1099, if you want OnPay to print and mail the forms to employees (free, if you print the forms yourself)
- Employee benefits plan premiums: Premium payments vary depending on the benefits plans selected
What’s great about OnPay is that it offers all the essential tools you need to process payroll, manage PTO, and streamline onboarding. It also provides access to several benefits options that you can offer to employees. Let’s look at some of its features to help you determine whether it’s right for your business.
You can run payroll, including off-cycle and bonus payouts, as many times as you need and want at no extra cost. OnPay can handle multistate payroll, multiple payout schedules, tip calculations, and different pay rates for individual employees. It withholds all your employees’ state and federal unemployment insurance payments and deducts garnishments.
Processing payroll with OnPay takes just a few clicks. It even provides a summarized view of your payroll but with expandable data columns if you want to see breakdowns of salaries, taxes, and deductions.
Mobile Responsive Platform
With OnPay, you don’t need a mobile app to access its system while on the go. It has a mobile-responsive platform, allowing you to process payroll from tablets and smartphones—provided there’s an available internet connection.
Multiple Employee Payment Options
With OnPay, you can pay employees and contractors via paper check, debit card, and direct deposit. Turnaround times for direct deposits are two and four days, depending on OnPay’s risk assessment. It will also determine whether you are approved for wire-only or reverse wire-only transactions.
- Wire Only: OnPay may require companies with very large payroll amounts to wire the direct deposit and tax funds so that it can process payroll.
- Reverse Wire Only: It may require some companies to authorize it to make a reverse-wire or drawdown request from your bank account so that it can process payroll.
If your approved direct deposit transaction doesn’t fit your payroll needs, you can contact OnPay to discuss other options. You can also request the company to reevaluate your approval status, but you have to wait six months.
Payroll Tax Management
OnPay automatically calculates, withholds, pays, and files payroll taxes. It also has a penalty-free guarantee that covers tax filing mistakes by its representatives. Aside from quarterly and annual tax reports, OnPay provides the following special payroll services:
- Restaurants: Helps with minimum wage tip makeup and prepares Form 8846
- Farms and agriculture: Processes tax filings for agricultural workers (Form 943) and non-farm employees, including payment and processing of taxes for workers on H-2A visas
- Nonprofit organizations: Handles and files federal unemployment taxes (FUTA) and tax exemptions for 501(c)(3) organizations
- Clergy and churches: Excludes any parsonage allowances from calculations and FUTA, Social Security, and Medicare taxes (FICA)
Onboarding & New Hire Reporting
OnPay’s essential HR tools aim to automate new hire onboarding processes while keeping you compliant with the latest labor regulations. It has customizable offer letters, built-in document templates, and a library of HR guides. Incoming employees can also onboard themselves via a self-service portal to complete their profile and e-sign HR documents.
It even allows you to create, delegate, and track onboarding tasks to specific individuals—such as setting up the employee’s computer, planning the orientation training, and assigning an onboarding buddy to your new hire. You also don’t have to worry about state new hire reporting because OnPay will do this for you.
If you need I-9 and W-4 forms for your new hires, OnPay has electronic versions of the two forms in its system. Both are automatically included in the mandatory onboarding documents in OnPay.
Paid Time Off (PTO) Management
Aside from online PTO requests and approvals, OnPay has three accrual tiers, allowing employees to earn PTO credits depending on several factors like location and seniority. Creating custom time off policies in OnPay is also very easy, and once you’ve assigned these to employees, the system will automatically calculate the accruals and add to each staff’s PTO balances.
OnPay partners with several benefits providers from which your employees can sign up for a wide range of benefits—from medical and dental to retirement and workers’ compensation plans in all 50 states. It has established partnerships with the following:
- America’s Best 401(k)
- BlueCross BlueShield
- United Healthcare
It even has in-house licensed brokers who can help you identify the best options when you need other benefits like vision, disability, and life insurance. All premiums are also automatically deducted each time you run payroll.
Allow employees to access their pay stubs and documents through OnPay’s self-service portal—even after they resign. Employees can also download tax forms, update their personal information, and adjust their voluntary payroll deductions, such as 401(k) plans.
With OnPay, payroll reports can be viewed in real time, downloaded as a PDF or spreadsheet, and exported to your existing accounting software. It has a report designer for creating custom reports, although you can also use one of its pre-built reports.
Third-party Software Integrations
OnPay integrates with several accounting, time tracking, and HR solutions. Here are its partner systems:
- Accounting: QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, and Xero
- Time tracking: Deputy, Humanity, When I Work, and QuickBooks Time (formerly TSheets)
- Farm financial management: Magnify
- HR and compliance: PosterElite and Mineral (formerly ThinkHR)
Apart from free system setup and data migration services for new clients, OnPay has a support team that can help set up your third-party software integrations. You can also get weekday assistance from payroll experts through phone and chat from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time and via email (starts at 7 a.m. Eastern time). However, only emergency email support is available during weekends.
OnPay Ease of Use
- System setup and data migration support
- User-friendly with an intuitive dashboard
- Mobile responsive platform to run payroll anywhere
- FAQ with how-to articles
- Online library of HR guides and document templates
- Self-service portal
OnPay is easy to set up and navigate, even for those with no payroll background. Its interface is not overwhelming for beginners, and the learning curve isn’t steep.
What Users Think About OnPay
Users Don’t Like
Easy to use
Limited PTO customization options
Intuitive and feature-rich
Third-party software integrations aren’t robust
Responsive customer service
Some reports are difficult to find
Many reviewers who left positive OnPay reviews online like that it is easy to use and navigate, even for new users. Others highlighted its affordability, good customer support, and efficient onboarding tools. Some, however, wish for additional third-party integration options, more robust PTO tracking features, and an option to run payroll automatically.
At the time of publication, OnPay earned the following scores on popular reviews sites:
Top OnPay Alternatives
Best for: Small businesses needing full-service payroll and solid HR tools
Best for: QuickBooks accounting small business users
Best for: Square POS users, particularly retailers and restaurants
Base monthly fee from: $40
Base monthly fee from: $45
Base monthly fee from: $35
Per-employee monthly fee from: $6
Per-employee monthly fee from: $4
Per-employee monthly fee: $5
If you need help evaluating which software is right for you, check out our guide on how to choose the best payroll software.
OnPay is a cloud-based payroll software accessible to small businesses and organizations in several industries. It lets you process employee and contractor payroll, automate tax payments and filings, streamline new hire onboarding, and more. Overall, it is a comprehensive and flexible payroll system that’s affordable and easy to use. Sign up with OnPay for a 30-day free trial—no credit card required.