Top 8 Payroll Services: The Best Small Business Options
Managing employee projects may be difficult, but it doesn’t hold a candle to managing their payroll. Executing payroll manually involves a slew of complex calculations, check cutting and tax withholdings, which is a lot of extra work for a busy small business owner. The price for slipping up can be steep, and it may lead to a stressful (and costly) visit from an auditor or a letter from an attorney.
This is why many small business owners choose to outsource payroll. There are many options when it comes to managing payroll, including hiring an accountant and utilizing online or offline payroll services. Hiring an accountant might be ideal, but it also may not be in the budget for smaller companies.
This is a breakdown of eight top-ranked payroll service options to consider for your small business, which will help you simplify your payment and tax-filing processes:
Starting at $25 a month, Inuit Online Payroll is an affordable and simple option for newcomers to the world of payroll. It can be integrated with the popular QuickBooks accounting software (along with almost any other prominent accounting software) to support federal and state tax requirements for $39 a month. It’s generally considered one of the most accessible and straightforward payroll platforms for beginners, and it offers many helpful features, like Online Time Tracking for employees to record their hours. It provides employers with free mobile apps to manage payments. It also allows employees to check on their paycheck details online. Click here for a 30-day free trial of Intuit Payroll.
ADP is possibly the best-known brand name when it comes to payroll services, and it offers a full-service system that can also be integrated with QuickBooks. ADP RUN, their small business-focused payroll service, has more features than Intuit does but it’s also significantly pricier. Additionally, some users find it slightly more complicated to set up due to a greater diversity of options. Unlike Intuit, ADP RUN offers 24/7 customer service assistance as well as payroll mobile access for employees (rather than just employers). Due to the price, it's often considered a better option for mid-sized businesses or growing businesses that want (and can afford) its more extensive features.
ONPAY is another affordable full-service small business payroll service, which offers a lot of the perks of Intuit, like unlimited monthly payrolls, at a comparable price. It even has a few extra features, like employee compensation through Pay Cards, which are helpful for employees who may not have bank accounts. It can be integrated with QuickBooks, but lacks the ability to sync with other popular software, such as Quicken and QuickBooks Online.
Bank of America ($36/month)
To really bring together your business finances, you may consider connecting your banking system with your payroll service. Bank of America allows you to integrate your business bank account with Intuit’s Full Service Payroll for $99/month, or you can use their Easy Online Payroll Service, which costs $36/month with tax features included. It also offers integration with almost every type of software available through Intuit, and it's the only payroll service that we came across to provide a live support chat.
Another popular option, Paychex offers comprehensive online payroll services for small businesses. Like the previous two options, it can transfer payroll data into QuickBooks as well as other types of software, and it offers very comprehensive online payroll options. It does, however, charge an extra fee for certain services, such as direct deposit, and adds an extra charge per extra employee. It also lacks online employee access and a local check-printing feature offered by most other services.
SurePayroll is a subsidiary of Paychex. It offers comprehensive web-based payroll options focused on small business. It has all of the bells and whistles offered by popular services like Intuit, but unlike most services, it does not charge an extra fee for adding extra states. It has the option of filing taxes for you and will work with the IRS on your company’s behalf. On the downside, it’s relatively pricey and may be a better fit for small- to medium-sized businesses rather than those with a handful of employees.
ProPayroll is a very comprehensive online payroll system with an impressive collection of features and pay options. It is known for its excellent customer service, but has more limited software integration capabilities and requires a few more additional fees compared to other payroll services.
MyPayrollHR is another online option that offers integration with QuickBooks and Sage accounting software. It provides a good array of features and payment options. It offers several free features that many other services don’t, like not charging for the addition of extra employees, W-2 services or the inclusion of additional states. The only sticking point for smaller businesses may be the price, which still can’t compare to the affordability offered by Intuit and ONPAY.
*Prices are rounded approximations of the cost of the full-service payroll and tax-filing assistance for a business with five employees. They may vary based on number of employees or additional features.
** Features and qualities of these service options are subject to change.
Article by Rochelle Bailis