As a business set up in Canada, it is only wise you are critical of the payroll vendor you choose to handle one of the most important aspects of your business. Costing organizations up to 70% of total business costs, improper handling of your labor costs can have severe impacts on your bottom line. Choosing one that is not built to understand Canadian legislation around payroll can be dire for your business in the long run.
On the other hand, well-rounded Canadian payroll software will be beneficial to your business in so many ways. Companies have recorded massive successes using some of the payrolls in this article; some as unbelievable as 1000% return on investment (ROI).
The good thing is, you don’t have to do all the hard work of looking for one that will best suit your business and will, at the same time, ensure compliance with Canadian provincial laws; we have done a good part of the work for you. We put in hours of research to bring you a list of the best payroll vendors for a variety of Canadian businesses— big, small, freelance, etc.
We will also talk about what you need to look out for before committing to a particular software, some pitfalls to avoid, and we will be answering some commonly asked questions around the topic, so stick around till’ the end.
Top Canadian Payroll Software
When selecting the best Payroll Vendors for Canadian Businesses, we talked to Canada-based business owners and HR professionals in many industries to see how they were handling payroll. We also spoke to the product teams at each shortlisted software company, had demos, and got feedback from their clients.
Payroll vendors needed to excel on numerous fronts to make the final cut, and on the following three more heavily: Canadian legislation compliance, customer support, and reporting capabilities.
- Canadian Legislation Compliance: Our priority was ensuring vendors adhere to Canadian payroll legislation in an outstanding fashion. We rigorously assessed their capability to handle complex regulations, tax requirements, and statutory deductions unique to Canada.
- Customer Support: We focused on vendors providing exceptional assistance to Canadian businesses. The chosen solutions offer reliable support channels to swiftly address queries, ensuring seamless payroll operations and prompt issue resolution.
- Reporting Capabilities: Software products with comprehensive reporting features tailored for Canada were easy to earmark. Rest assured, the tools below provide diverse customizable reports, empowering businesses with insights for managing costs, compliance, and workforce optimization.
We also tried to pick tools with modern-looking UX and simple workflows that are easy and intuitive to figure out for both the payroll manager and the small business owner. For more insights into how we come up with these lists, read our general criteria for evaluating HR tech vendors.
Deel has a robust global payroll offering that of course covers Canada as well as 150 other countries for companies that need to pay contractors and employees internationally.
- Customer support is one of Deel’s standout qualities. With around-the-clock in-app assistance and an industry-leading onboarding speed of 2-3 days, users gain access to local payroll specialists across various jurisdictions.
- This support is especially valuable for contractors navigating the complexities of establishing themselves as LLCs.
- The platform integrates with widely used business software like Quickbooks, Bamboo HR, and Greenhouse, among others. Custom integrations are available too.
- Deel's self-service approach is empowered by tech-enabled features. Our user research underscores the ease of setup; identity verification consistently takes less than 24 hours and sometimes mere minutes.
- The platform generates invoices automatically. This works for both the company and the contractor or employee's side.
- One of the best features of Deel is its customer service. They offer 24/7 in-app support and the fastest-in-class onboarding speed of 2-3 days. Users get access to local payroll experts in each jurisdiction, and support is available for contractors facing challenges setting themselves up as an LLC.
- Integrates seamlessly with common platforms like Quickbooks, Bamboo, Greenhouse, and more. They also offer custom integrations to automate and sync processes.
- Self-service approach; tech-enabled features so customers can jump in quickly and easily. Our user researchers found it quite easy to set up: the identity verification process consistently took less than 24 hours, and in some cases, it took mere minutes.
- Automated invoices, which are a breeze to do as long as they’re in English, both on the company and the contractor or employee’s side.
- Certain features, such as onboarding automation, are offered only as add-ons.
- The platform's flexibility in modifying contracts or service agreements is limited, often necessitating the use of addendums to accommodate changes.
- A $5 fee is charged per payout, which can accumulate over time, impacting cost-effectiveness, particularly for businesses managing frequent payouts.
- Currently, Deel's invoice generation is exclusive to English, which could pose constraints for organizations requiring multi-language invoicing capabilities.
- Some of Deel’s best and most powerful services, like onboarding automation, appear to be add-ons, which might be too costly for some companies
- There is little to no flexibility when it comes to altering their contracts or service agreements, so many changes would require an addendum.
- There is a $5 fee per payout
- As far as we’ve seen, it’s not possible to generate invoices in another language.
If you're looking for a Canadian payroll solution, Deel is a great option. Their offering will facilitate paying both contractors and employees in Canada. They also have a free HRIS that they recently launched in 2023. This HRIS offering includes the basic employee of record functionality, in addition to onboarding, employee engagement, and a host of other features.
If you're looking to pay employees in Canada, Deel will setup a local entity for your business, which allows you to compliantly pay employees. They will also take care of payroll taxes, necessary filings, benefits, and basically everything else you need to stay in compliance and keep your employees happy.
They also have a contractor offering in case you have non-employees that you need to pay and don't want to worry about the paperwork!
When it comes to Canadian payroll, Rippling can be an excellent choice because of their localized offering. Also, as a part of their recently-launched global payroll product, this portion of their broader HR suite could have you hiring people in Canada within minutes.
- Operates in CAD straight out of the box
- Strong workflow automation capabilities
- Wide analytics possibilities
- Holistic view of company outflows— headcount costs included
- All-in-one platform for employee management + PEO services offered, and even a suite of other IT products
- With 500 integrations, it’s very likely that they integrate with other key tools from your tech stack.
- Operates globally with any currency
- Workflow automation
- Analytics opportunities
- Provides a holistic view of company outflows—headcount costs included
Rippling’s payroll offering is not available as a stand-alone tool. Getting the core HR platform is necessary in order to access it.
- Total buy-in to Rippling is essential
- Very SMB-oriented, in case you’re a larger company.
- New features tend to be buggy in ways that tech teams are not accustomed to fixing
Started by Zenefits alumni, Rippling focuses on supporting organizations of all sizes to streamline HR and IT, and Finance busywork with one tool. Their payroll offering, while adjacent to their broader HR tool, has grown to be able to handle international scenarios of many kinds.
As a US-based startup, a Canada-focused product was always in the cards for Rippling. While you can now use Rippling to pay people in hundreds of countries, the northernmost country in North America gets a tailored offering. You can hire Canadian employees in as little as 90 seconds, pay people in Canadian Dollars, and handle all related documents in English or Canadian French.
We’ve been well acquainted with the tool since around 2018, and we’ve had the chance to demo it and even use it as HR professionals several times since. One thing that has always stood out is the sleek design, great user interface, no-stress loading times, and great customer service.
Rippling’s pricing starts at $8 per month per user and will vary depending on which modules you’d like to use (or if you want the whole platform) and for how many people.
Besides payroll, ADP Workforce provides other HR add-ons and tools that are available when you need them and sync seamlessly between each other.
ADP is a trusted platform for just about anything HR, with over 70 years of experience (since 1949). They provide HCM solutions in anything related to employee management, talent management, payroll, etc. Due to their global reach, they offer payroll services both locally (within Canada) and internationally.
ADP is an all-in-one, easy-to-use system for just about any business with any number of employees. This is evident in their payroll packages designed according to business size.
With ADP Workforce, you can either get the Essential package, Enhanced package, Complete package, and the HR Pro - each with varying tools and add-ons of course. And if you feel the need to upgrade, you can easily switch between these packages.
- Signature Aluminium Canada Inc.
- pt Healthcare Solutions Corps
- Intertape Polymer Group
ADP offers tailor-fitted prices for their services depending on the number of employees you have and the size of our business. They generally do not give out the prices on their packages outright, so you would have to request a quote to get an idea.
ADP is a good choice for just about any company of any size looking to get a quality payroll solution without compromising on the price.
Ceridian allows you access and audit payroll data anytime you want during the pay cycle.
Ceridian provides an innovative cloud-technology payroll and HR solution in their Dayforce platform. Dayforce makes it possible for you to manage all your HR and Payroll transactions in one single database.
Most users commend the flexibility of the system as it allows you to access and audit payroll data at any time during the pay cycle, allowing more time for reviews and a more accurate payroll documentation.
- The BlueMan Group
- Harley Davidson inc.
- Air Canada Jazz
Dayforce payroll tool starts at $10.00 per employee per month.
Ceridian Dayforce is a good option for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) looking to grow and will need the flexibility to opt for other HCM options in the future. It can also be used by large corporations.
As an HR leader working in the COE, I used Ceridian as an administrator. I had access to add and remove reports, run reports for North America, Canada, and Mexico, and control benefits administration - including open enrollment, life event changes, reconciliations, etc. I used Ceridian as the main HRIS for the company I was employed in at the time.
I loved that the platform reached our global audience and that our employees could manage their own data in the system. I also liked the reporting functions and how easy it was to make benefit changes in the system from an administrative view.
We chose Ceridian because it was one of the only systems that had the global support we needed. We needed a robust system that would allow our employees to manage their data in the US, EMEA, Canada and Mexico, as well as hone into reporting functions easily for our COE. I used Ceridian for almost 4 years, managing benefits, reporting, and employee data. I trained my team how to use it, so they could emulate this training at their respective locations.
Ceridian is not the most user-friendly interface. It is not impossible to use, but for anyone who struggles with tech, it can be a challenge. Companies with large populations may also find it easy to get analysis paralysis, as all of the reports can be overwhelming and hard to sort through. Lastly, it only gets easier with practice, so if you are not on this platform often it will not get easier to navigate. One truly must familiarize themselves with it in order to understand how to navigate it.
What sets Ceridian apart is its global capability and reporting functionality. I have yet to come across another platform that can store the amount of data this can and pull it together in the same way Ceridian can.
The size and location of their organization/employees, data analytics, user interface and price.
I think they are trying to make a dashboard more user-friendly but otherwise, I think they know their strength and lean into that.
Large global organizations
Small businesses operating on a local scale.
Quickbooks is easy to use and it integrates with just about any other accounting, financial, and HR software.
Quickbooks is perhaps the most popular accounting software in the market, revered by many for its dedication to providing accounting software suites that help businesses manage clients, finance, and inventory. They also offer a comprehensive payroll solution to business organizations.
Intuit’s Quickbooks is characterized by its simplicity and friendly interface. Plus, they offer a 30-day free trial.
You pay a $20 monthly base subscription rate for Quickbooks payroll and $3 extra for each employee you add.
Small businesses that just want to get their payroll done without the bells and whistles of an HCM software suite.
Wage point boasts a particularly intuitive design and user-friendly interface, great for the average user.
Wagepoint is a Canadian payroll software company founded in 2012. It has everything you need to pay your employees and contractors while staying compliant with payroll regulations.
This software was built with the small business owner in mind as it is evident in the simplistic design that can be operated by just about anybody.
The price for WagePoint’s payroll software is a monthly base fee of $20 and an additional $2 per employee.
Wagepoint works well for sole proprietors, startups, and any small business with less than 100 employees.
Payworks makes it easy and seamless to switch from any payroll provider. Plus, it generates lots of customizable and shareable reports.
Payworks inc. is a Canadian company that provides total workforce management solutions, HR tools, and of course, cloud-based payroll for Canadian organizations. Established in 2000, they have since made a name for themselves as Canada’s trusted payroll solution provider.
Payworks especially stands out for its excellent understanding of Canadian tax laws. Unlike most small business payroll solutions, Payworks also processes Quebec payroll. Making it an excellent choice for any Canadian business.
- Meridian Farm Market
- Standard Motors
- Oxford Learning Centre
- Statoil Canada
The price for Payworks’ payroll software is a monthly base fee of $20.90 and an additional $2 per employee.
Small businesses, corporations, and franchises especially.
It is very affordable, easy to use, and its accounting software is free to use as an add-on.
A subsidiary of Wave Financial, Wave Payroll is a management solution designed to simplify and automate payroll processes. It is primarily built for payroll but you can connect the software to the Wave accounting platform for heavy-duty accounting such as invoicing and receipt management.
Wave payroll costs a $20 base fee per month and an additional $6 per active employee or independent contractor paid. Also, you get a 30-day free trial with Wave Payroll.
Freelancers, small businesses, and sole proprietorships with very few employees (<50).
Humi lets HR managers improve benefits administration by centralizing information about benefits cards, health spends, employee profiles, and multi-level plans on a single platform.
Humi is designed to help small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) automate payroll and HR tasks. A peculiar feature of Humi is that you get your HR and payroll in one place, thereby eliminating dual entry.
The fully integrated system is easy to use and can literally run payroll in just three clicks.
To get the price of their payroll package, you will have to reach out to get a quote as they do not disclose their prices.
Canadian SMBs with 5 to 500 employees
It is 100% Canadian and you can set up the platform to run your payroll on autopilot.
Knit people is a Canadian payroll software company that provides simplistic HR and payroll solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Being 100% Canadian, Knit keeps up-to-date on tax and employment legislation in Canada, thereby helping you stay compliant with strict tax legislation in places like Ontario and Quebec.
Unlike other systems, this Canadian payroll software performs some complex operations that are peculiar to Canadian businesses like WSIB reporting, ROE filing, and employee health tax (EHT) remuneration for companies that are in Ontario or have employees that reside in the province.
The software is also easy to set up and it features a very simple user interface.
Knit people’s payroll software goes for a flat rate of $39.00 per feature per month.
Startups, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as accountants that manage payroll for their clients.
Excellent customer support.
Rise people is also a 100% Canadian payroll software company. Though relatively young in the industry, they have made a tremendous impact and have helped many Canadian businesses manage employee engagement and payroll.
The software is easy to use and everything is laid out perfectly so you can customize your screen to suit your preferences.
- Timecode Lab
- Annex Pro
- Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
- CF Canadian Financial
You will need to contact Rise People to get a quote on their packages. For small businesses that have less than 20 employees and just want to run payroll, you can get Rise Lite for free.
Small and medium-sized businesses in Canada that want HER together with their payroll, but do not want the hefty and expensive packages Ceridian and ADP provide.
Push Operations offer an integrated solution with all your operations (payroll, time tracking, etc., in one tidy interface).
- Seamless integration with POS systems
- Proactively prevents break violations with timely alerts for enhanced compliance
- Tailored reporting options to extract precise insights for informed decision-making
- POS system integration
- Eliminate break violations through proactive alerts
- Customized reporting
- Some of the users we consulted raised concerns about the intuitiveness of the interface, prolonged loading times, and occasional unexpected logouts from the platform.
- Some users have reported issues like a confusing interface, long loading times, and the platform logging out randomly.
Push operations provide a fully integrated solution that allows you to utilize data from scheduling, time tracking, and other HR applications in your payroll activities.
They offer robust features that are ideal for Canadian businesses of any type. However, due to their integrated functionality, they are specifically good for businesses with hourly employees. Note that Push Operations only offer payroll as an add-on. They are more of an HR product that caters to the needs of small Canadian businesses.
Push Operations has three base plans - Starter, Pro, and Premium. The Starter plan costs $4 per employee per month, Pro costs $5 per employee per month, and Premium costs $8 per employee per month. To get payroll as an add-on, you have to pay an additional $6 per employee per month with any of these plans.
Businesses that have hourly employees and multi-locational businesses with 50 employees or more.
Papaya Global simplifies payroll and benefits management for Canadian employees and contractors, regardless of location. Operating in over 160 countries, their EOR model ensures seamless operations.
- Papaya ensures swift payouts within 72 hours across 160+ countries.
- Personalized health plans for employees, tailored to their location, accessible through web and mobile platforms.
- Transparent pricing with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
- Dedicated customer success managers in your time zone for localized support.
- Starter monthly fee is reduced to $12 per employee for full-service payroll.
- Papaya Global packs the EOR services you need to do global payroll and employment compliantly in over 160 countries.
- Automated payments in over 100 currencies, 80 of them directly to the worker's bank account through its global banking partners.
- Dedicated customer support providing locations-specific knowledge regarding employment and payroll.
- End-to-end payroll guaranteed payouts in 72 hours.
- Offers four standalone solutions: data and insights, supplemental benefits & immigration support, payment services, and employee data management, making the platform more affordable and scalable.
- Limited local entities in certain operational countries; no tax penalty guarantee available.
- No provision for a free trial or plan.
- Additional costs include setup, onboarding, cycle per employee, and year-end fees, along with a refundable deposit.
- Limited integration options but access to free pre-built APIs and custom API integrations.
- No free trial or free plan.
- Doesn’t own entities in all the countries it serves. The platform forms relationships with existing local in-country partners to handle employment in a specific region on the client’s behalf.
- BI analytics reports and global immigration services cost additional fees.
- Charges extra fees for setup, onboarding, employee cycle, and tax filing. Also requires a refundable deposit.
- Built-in integration options aren’t very robust. However, the platform does offer pre-built APIs, SFTP, and custom API integrations for free.
Papaya Global is a good choice for Canadian businesses looking to pay workforces comprised of local and overseas employees. You can make sure to adhere to both Canadian and international regulations when it comes to payroll, benefits, and equity.
Their platform, which we’ve been following since early 2021, is one of the pioneering tools of the global payroll software industry. They put a software face on an employer-of-record model, making it a breeze to manage employees— and Contractors— in their 160+ jurisdictions.
The pricing, of course, varies with each scenario. That said, one of the things we appreciate about Papaya is that they have a fairly flexible offering. Regardless of your mix of Canadian and international employees, they can likely propose a package that suits your needs. The same goes for managing payroll across provinces.
Johnson & Johnson, Deezer, Wix, Fiverr, Microsoft, Intel, Toyota
- Full-Service Payroll service: Starts at $12 per employee per month, with flexible options based on operational needs.
- Payroll Platform License service: Begins at $3 per employee per location for tech upgrades.
- Data and Insights Platform License service: From $150 per employee per month, offering real-time analytics on payroll costs and headcount.
- Payments-as-a-Service service: Starting at $3 per employee per month, delivering a dedicated workforce payment platform.
- Global EOR plan: Ranges from $650 to $1000 per employee per month for comprehensive EOR management.
- Contractor Management & IC Compliance plan: Tailored services for outsourced contractors, starting at $2 per contractor per month.
- Global expertise services: Starting at $190 per month per employee, this lets you add the global health plan, immigration support, and global equity for employees.
Papaya Global is an excellent choice for Canadian businesses seeking to streamline global payroll and benefits operations, particularly for those with international hires within Papaya Global’s extensive country coverage.
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