Best Payroll Vendors For Canadian Businesses - 2022

The Best Canadian Payroll Vendors, their benefits, pitfalls, pricing, and more

Emmanuel Smith
Human capital management writer, environmental crusader, and dog lover
January 24, 2022
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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.

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  However we may earn a fee if you click on vendor links on this page. Learn more

Best Payroll Vendors For Canadian Businesses - 2022

The Best Canadian Payroll Vendors, their benefits, pitfalls, pricing, and more

Emmanuel Smith, Human capital management writer, environmental crusader, and dog lover Jan 24, 2022

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.

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  However we may earn a fee if you click on vendor links on this page.

Learn more

A Quick Breakdown: Top Canadian Payroll Software

Besides payroll, ADP Workforce provides other HR add-ons and tools that are available when you need them and sync seamlessly between each other.
Ceridian allows you access and audit payroll data anytime you want during the pay cycle.
Quickbooks is easy to use and it integrates with just about any other accounting, financial, and HR software.
Wage point boasts a particularly intuitive design and user-friendly interface, great for the average user.
Payworks makes it easy and seamless to switch from any payroll provider. Plus, it generates lots of customizable and shareable reports.
It is very affordable, easy to use, and its accounting software is free to use as an add-on.
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.
It is 100% Canadian and you can set up the platform to run your payroll on autopilot.
Push Operations offer an integrated solution with all your operations (payroll, time tracking, etc., in one tidy interface).

We put in the effort to make this guide awesome

95
Hours Researched
6
Experts Consulted
17
Vendors Reviewed

Our criteria: How we chose the best vendors

We take our research seriously and want to make sure we are presenting our readers with the very best solutions in a given software category.  Here's how we select vendors to be in our buyer guides:

  • Product: We want to have a deep understanding of a vendor's product before recommending it.  This usually means getting a demo by a senior executive (their CEO, head of product, etc), and/or using the product ourselves to make sure it has a solid UI, intuitive workflows, and the features to make it a best in class offering.
  • User feedback: We do our best to understand what users say when they experience this product.  User input allows us to accomplish a more thorough due diligence of products, put new vendors on our radar, and generally make sure we are presenting the right products to our readers.
  • Financial metrics: We are very much finance nerds and so use a product's retention rates, growth, profitability, and scale to understand whether or not it is truly best in class.
  • Best for a use case: Sometimes the best solution is the cheapest, the best tool for international companies, or the best for startups. We try to include a diversity of solutions so that our readers can find the tool that is best for what they need.

Here's more detail if you want to read further on how we research vendors.

In this guide you'll find

Featured in

Top Payroll Vendors for Canadian Businesses

We reviewed thousands of payroll solutions and, based on our stringent research procedures and expert council, these are the best payroll software for Canadian businesses as of 2022.

Payworks

Review:

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.

Payworks

Stats:

  • Founded in 2000
  • Has a total of 304 employees across all of its locations

Payworks

Pricing:

The price for Payworks’ payroll software is a monthly base fee of $20.90 and an additional $2 per employee.

Best For

Small businesses, corporations, and franchises especially.

Worth Checking Out:

Payworks was designated winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies from 2012 to 2018. It is also partners with the Johnston group, Meridian, Paychex, and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

Wave Payroll

Review:

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

Stats:

  • 500,000+ customers in North America use Wave Payroll
  • Founded in 2009

Wave Payroll also offers the following services:

  • Accounting
  • Invoicing
  • Online Payments

Wave Payroll

Pricing:

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.

Best For

Freelancers, small businesses, and sole proprietorships with very few employees (<50).

Worth Checking Out:

QuickBooks

Review:

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.

QuickBooks

Stats:

  • Subscribers ranked Intuit on number 8 in terms of privacy trustworthiness among all companies.
  • Over 1.4 million people worldwide use Quickbooks for their payroll
  • Has an average rating of 4.5
  • Customers save an average of 40 hours per month and find, on average, $3,000+ in tax savings per year.

QuickBooks

Pricing:

You pay a $20 monthly base subscription rate for Quickbooks payroll and $3 extra for each employee you add.

Best For

Small businesses that just want to get their payroll done without the bells and whistles of an HCM software suite.

Worth Checking Out:

In addition to their core payroll offering, Quickbooks also features invoicing, expense tracking, a receipt scanner, bill management, and even mileage tracking.

Knit People

Review:

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

Stats:

Knit People

Pricing:

Knit people’s payroll software goes for a flat rate of $39.00 per feature per month.

Best For

Startups, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as accountants that manage payroll for their clients.

Worth Checking Out:

As a 100% Canadian company, Knit People is well vast in Canadian provincial laws. You can easily manage payroll no matter where you are in Canada or where your employees work.

Push Operations

Review:

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

Stats:

  • Companies save an average of 6 hours a week with Push Operations.
  • Companies that use this software tend to save an extra 0.75% on labor cost.
  • Run payroll in 10 minutes 

Push Operations also offers the following services:

  • Hiring and onboarding 
  • Time tracking 
  • Scheduling 
  • Reporting and Insights

Push Operations

Pricing:

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.

Best For

Businesses that have hourly employees and multi-locational businesses with 50 employees or more.

Worth Checking Out:

ADP

Review:

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.

ADP

Stats:

  • Named 2021 Canadian HR reporter reader’s choice for payroll management, payroll solutions, and HR management solutions.
  • Named 2021 Canadian customer’s choice for cloud HCM suites.
  • 860,000+ clients around the globe, 500,000 of whom are small businesses.
  • One of Fortune’s most admired companies for 15 consecutive years
  • Leader in Nelson Hall payroll services for 7 consecutive years.

ADP

Pricing:

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.

Best For

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.

Worth Checking Out:

Outside their payroll offering, ADP’s solution for this space also features employee time tracking, scheduling and attendance management, recruiting and onboarding solutions, and hiring and employee development solutions.

Ceridian

Review:

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.

Ceridian

Stats:

  • Founded in 1992
  • Recognized as a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for HCM in 2019 and 2020
  • When Guitar Center, an American music retailer chain, adopted Ceridian Dayforce, they recorded a return on investment (ROI) of 1000%.
  • 3,000+ companies use Ceridian Dayforce.

Ceridian also offers the following services:

  • Talent management solutions (recruiting, onboarding, compensation, e.t.c)
  • HR solutions (reporting, employee management, e.t.c)
  • Workforce management (time management and attendance, scheduling, e.t.c)
  • Dayforce wallet (as a stand-alone service)

Ceridian

Pricing:

Dayforce payroll tool starts at $10.00 per employee per month.

Best For

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.

Worth Checking Out:

Wagepoint

Review:

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.

Wagepoint

Stats:

  • Over 500 reviews on Capterra and GetApp averaging 4.6 stars
  • Partners with Deloitte., Grant Thorton, LiveCA, and SUMMA Financial
  • 12,000+ small businesses as customers
  • Over $3 billion annualized revenue

WagePoint also offers the following services:

  • Time tracking
  • Paid time off management
  • Direct deposit

Wagepoint

Pricing:

The price for WagePoint’s payroll software is a monthly base fee of $20 and an additional $2 per employee.

Best For

Wagepoint works well for sole proprietors, startups, and any small business with less than 100 employees.

Worth Checking Out:

Humi

Review:

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.

Humi

Stats:

  • Founded in 2016
  • Over 4,000 companies use Humi for their payroll
  • Humi saves you 7 hours a week
  • Humi has partnered with Inkblot, PocketPills, and Phyxable

Humi Payroll also offers the following services:

  • Onboarding tools
  • Recruiting tools
  • Performance management
  • Training tracker

Humi

Pricing:

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.

Best For

Canadian SMBs with 5 to 500 employees

Worth Checking Out:

Rise People

Review:

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.

Rise People

Stats:

  • Became the fastest-growing Canadian payroll provider in 2012
  • Rise saves HR and payroll officers up to 10 hours a week

Rise also offers the following services:

  • People management
  • Recruiting
  • Onboarding
  • Performance
  • Time off
  • Benefits management
  • Time tracking and scheduling

Rise People

Pricing:

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.

Best For

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.

Worth Checking Out:

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Last Advice About Buying Canadian Payroll Software

If you’ve made it this far, you will likely choose a payroll solution that fits your business perfectly. That being said, we recommend you always follow SSAFE - Security, Support, Affordability, Features, and Ease of use. Once all those are in place, you are very likely to end up with a good deal.

As a final word, if your business involves hiring a lot of remote employees outside Canada, you will want to be compliant with international legislation in their respective regions. Choosing one of the best international payroll companies to run your payroll is your best bet. You get to pay your employees with ease without having to worry about whether or not you are breaking any laws.

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