Paycheck Manager Review: Is It the Right Payroll Software for Your Business?
This article is part of a larger series on Payroll Services.
What We Recommend Paycheck Manager For
Paycheck Manager provides both do-it-yourself (DIY) and managed payroll solutions for processing employee salaries accurately and efficiently. With an interface that’s simple to learn and use, you can create paychecks in a matter of minutes. Its software and managed payroll services are affordably priced, allowing you to invest in an online payroll tool without having to break your budget. New users can even sign up for a three-month free trial.
Paycheck Manager can calculate federal and state payroll taxes and generate the applicable tax forms. However, its DIY option doesn’t include tax deposits and filings. You have to handle these transactions yourself, or you can upgrade to its premium service. Note that its managed tax filings and payments only cover a small number of US states as of this writing (specifically California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia).
In short, Paycheck Manager is best for:
- Mom-and-pop businesses with a handful of employees: Paycheck Manager offers a low-priced payroll solution, with fees that start at $6 per employee monthly (for its Basic service, wherein pricing decreases as your employee count increases). Although the DIY option doesn’t cost much, since you have to file and pay your own taxes, it’s only suitable for businesses with a few employees.
- Self-employed entrepreneurs who need to pay themselves: Aside from Paycheck Manager’s basic DIY service, it has a free-to-use online calculator to help you compute payroll (i.e., deductions, earnings, and taxes) and print paychecks on a per-employee basis.
When Paycheck Manager Would Not Be a Good Fit
- Business owners who need a payroll solution with HR tools and support: Unlike popular payroll software like Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll, Paycheck Manager doesn’t have basic HR functionalities for onboarding new hires, managing benefits, and tracking employee attendance. There is also limited live phone support and no dedicated representative. Read our HR payroll software guide if you want more suitable options.
- Companies with remote employees in different states: While Paycheck Manager can calculate payroll taxes for all states, its system is limited to only reporting in the state the employer is located. If you need more flexible solutions, check out our top picks for payroll services.
- Employers who employ mostly contractors: Paycheck Manager can only handle pay processing for W-2 employees. If you need an online solution to pay both employees and contractors, consider any of the providers on our best payroll software for contractors list.
- Small businesses needing a free forever payroll solution: While it has an online payroll calculator you can use for free, it can only handle pay computations one employee at a time. Paycheck Manager’s monthly plans are affordable and come with a three-month free trial for new users, but its Basic plan will still cost you between $1.50 to $6 per employee (depending on the number of employees you have). Our best free payroll software guide has some good options if you’re looking for a free-forever solution.
Not sure how to decide if Paycheck Manager or one of its competitors is right for you? Check out our guide on finding the right payroll solution for a step-by-step walkthrough on how you should navigate the process.
Paycheck Manager Overview
|Unlimited payroll runs||Payroll tax deposit and filing services are limited to a small number of states|
|Affordably priced||Creates and prints paychecks one employee at a time|
|The free trial period runs for three months||Charges a setup fee for its managed payroll service|
|Maintains access to previous period salary information for year-to-date comparisons and accurate computations||Doesn’t handle contractor payments|
|Its Basic Service plan doesn’t have a setup fee||State tax computations are limited to the employer’s home state only|
Starts at $6 per employee*
$12 plus $2 per employee
Type of Payroll Processing
Unlimited Pay Runs
Manual Paycheck Printing and Direct Deposit Options
Calculate and Track Federal and State Taxes
Add Earnings and Deductions like tips, 401(k), and child support
Real-time Updates of Taxes and Tax Forms
Electronic IRS and State Tax Payments
available as paid add-ons
Payroll tax filing services in seven states**
Mail or E-file State Payroll Forms and Forms 941, 940, W-2, and W-3
available as paid add-ons
Payroll tax filing services in seven states**
*Basic’s pricing starts at $6 per employee monthly but can go as low as $1.50 depending on your employee count.
**As of this writing, Paycheck Manager’s tax deposit and filing services are available only in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.
Paycheck Manager Add-ons
If you select the Basic Service option, you can add the following solutions and self-managed services to your plan:
- Federal tax e-payments (direct ACH to IRS): $25 per year
- State tax e-payments (if and where available): $25 per year
- E-file Forms 941, 940, and 944: $30 per year
- E-file State forms (if and where available): $4.95 per form
- E-file Forms W-2 and W-3: $5 plus $2 per employee
- Print and mail W-2s to employees (include envelope and stamp): $2 per employee
The Basic Service, which grants you access to its self-managed payroll software, comes with monthly and annual subscription options. Paycheck Manager’s pricing for its Basic option depends on the number of employees with saved paychecks in your account for the calendar year. The system will only reset the employee count every January after it has run all the payroll reports for the previous year.
For example, you started with five employees in January, and in May, one left and two joined your company. In Paycheck Manager’s system, your employee count is seven (five in January + two in May) even if you’re only processing payroll for six workers.
With the Basic monthly plan, the fee decreases as the number of employees increases. It starts at $6 and can go to as low as $1.50 per employee monthly.
- One employee: $6 per month
- Two to three employees: $3 per employee monthly
- Four to 10 employees: $2.50 per employee monthly
- 11–20 employees: $2 per employee monthly
- More than 20: $1.50 per employee monthly
You can also switch during the year from a monthly subscription to an annual plan—provided the change happens before Oct. 1. Paycheck Manager will also prorate the fees based on the number of remaining months left in the year.
With Paycheck Manager’s Basic annual plans, you get bigger savings as you add more employees to your subscription. For a company with 60 employees, it costs $499 per account, per year—with a monthly plan, you have to pay $1,080 per year.
- One to three employees: $59 per account yearly
- Four to 10 employees: $99 per account yearly
- 11–20 employees: $189 per account yearly
- 21–30 employees: $269 per account yearly
- 31–40 employees: $349 per account yearly
- 41–60 employees: $499 per account yearly
- 61–90 employees: $599 per account yearly
- 91–120 employees: $799 per account yearly
- More than 120 employees: Custom pricing
The Managed Service option provides you with all of the features included in the Basic Service plan. However, instead of filing and paying federal and state payroll taxes on your own, Paycheck Manager will handle these transactions for you.
Unlike the Basic Service’s pricing scheme, wherein you’re only charged per-employee fees, the Managed Service option has a base monthly fee and a per-employee rate that remains the same even with headcount changes. It costs $12 plus $2 per employee, per month, but if there are instances in which you don’t have paychecks to process for the month, Paycheck Manager will only bill you its base monthly fee. Note, though, that new clients will be charged a one-time setup fee of $10.
Paycheck Manager Features
Paycheck Manager is an online payroll software that makes processing employee salaries simple and affordable. Apart from unlimited pay runs and payroll tax calculations, it provides real-time tax updates and managed payroll services. Let’s look at some of its essential features to help you identify whether it fits your business’s requirements.
Free Paycheck Calculator
Paycheck Manager provides a free payroll tax calculator that you can access online. Simply input the essential payroll data, such as your state, salary information, pay cycle, marital status, work hours, deductions, and earnings (like bonuses and commissions). If you want accurate computations, enter your year-to-date salary information. The calculator then provides a detailed analysis with estimated payroll taxes and net income.
However, all salary data entered on the free online paycheck calculator will not be saved once you close the webpage. You have to register for a Paycheck Manager account and select a payroll service if you want the system to retain your business’ information.
Self-service Payroll Management
Paycheck Manager offers a complete self-service payroll management software for any user wanting to prepare, view, and print paychecks, payment vouchers, and payroll reports. All information is securely saved for easy payroll management. It can handle child support and tip payments—although you have to manually add an earning item for each type and input the appropriate amounts.
You can even input your previous months’ payroll information or recreate employee paychecks for up to three prior years. Doing so will ensure you get accurate calculations, including correct quarterly and year-end tax forms.
The dashboard shows upcoming payroll deadlines, account alerts, and the total paychecks you have created in the current year. If you selected its Basic Service, you can e-file federal and state tax forms directly from the dashboard—provided you purchase the applicable electronic filing add-ons.
Aside from a blank paper check, you need a laser printer (inkjet/thermal printers won’t work) to print checks via its system. Once you enter the bank information, company name, and employee name, Paycheck Manager prepares the check image in PDF format, and you can save and print it anytime. Adobe Acrobat Reader is also needed to view and print the check.
Paycheck Manager offers real-time updates on employee payroll taxes and tax forms. The provider even asserts that it can accurately calculate and track federal and state payroll taxes. However, if you have employees working in different states, its system can only handle tax reporting for the state where the employer or business is located.
With its Managed Service option, small businesses get access to online payroll services that include filing of federal forms 941, 940, W-2, and W-3. It also comes with automated payments of payroll taxes. However, its electronic tax deposit and filing services are available only for California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia as of this writing.
Paycheck Manager Ease of Use
- User-friendly interface
- Easy setup
- In-app help button and how-to guides
- Phone and email support
- Free paycheck calculator
Paycheck Manager’s online payroll software is designed with simplicity in mind. It has a straightforward interface, plus setting it up is fairly easy to do. You just need to register for a Paycheck Manager account, create your company profile, and input your employees’ information. After which, you can run payroll and print paychecks anytime you want.
While the software has a user-friendly interface, you need to have a good understanding of basic payroll requirements and tax withholding, deposits, and reporting guidelines. This will help you use Paycheck Manager’s pay processing tools properly.
If you are unsure how to use a specific feature, you can click on the software’s “help” button. FAQ items are also available both in-app and on the Paycheck Manager’s website. You can even contact the provider’s support team via phone or email, although phone support is limited.
What Users Think About Paycheck Manager
As of this writing, there aren’t a lot of Paycheck Manager reviews available online. A review posted on PAT Research described it as an easy-to-use DIY payroll solution. The third-party site, which uses a proprietary algorithm for rating software products, gave Paycheck Manager an overall editor score of 9.1 out of 10 and an aggregated user rating of 8.9 out of 10. Some of the criteria that received high points included the software’s ease of use, system implementation, and customer support.
Top Paycheck Manager Alternatives
Best for: Small businesses wanting full-service payroll
Best for: QuickBooks accounting small business users
Best for: Solopreneurs and employers needing dedicated payroll support
Base monthly fee: $39–$149
Base monthly fee: $45–$125
Base monthly fee: Starts at $39
Per-employee monthly fee: $6–$12
Per employee monthly fee: $4–$10
Per-employee monthly fee: Starts at $5
If you’re not sure if Paycheck Manager will fit your pay processing requirements, see how it compares with other small business payroll software.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective payroll solution for small businesses, you may want to consider Paycheck Manager. Both its DIY and managed payroll solutions are affordably priced, plus it provides a free paycheck calculator that allows you to print paychecks one at a time. While its electronic tax deposits and filings are available only under the provider’s Managed Service plan, you can pay minimal add-on fees to include those functionalities in your Basic Service subscription.
Sign up with Paycheck Manager for a three-month free trial—no credit card required.