Best Payroll Vendors - March 2021

The Best Payroll Vendors plus pricing guidelines, implementation advice and more!

Are you looking to upgrade your payroll vendor to a more automated and modern solution?  We've done hours of research to put together the below list of the best payroll vendors so that you can zero in on the solutions that make sense for your business. Please note, this list is really for companies that are less than 1,000 employees!

In addition to the best payroll software, we're also going to tell you a bit of advice around what to look for in these vendors, pitfalls that we've seen HR teams fall into, the key benefits, and some pricing guidelines.

We hope this is a useful resource as you look to pick the payroll company that is best for your business.

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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 small fee if you click on vendor links on this page. Learn more

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40
Hours Researched
3
Experts Consulted
16
Vendors Reviewed

Featured in

Top Payroll and Benefits Software for HR Teams

We track thousands of HRTech solutions, these are the best payroll software for HR per our research and expert council as of March 2021

OnPay

Review

OnPay is perfect for smaller companies (500 employees or less) who want a simple and straight-forward payroll process, plus help with HR. Onpay customers love the customer service and the transparent pricing - it’s one monthly fee for everything. They offer benefits management in all 50 states including medical, dental, vision, and 401k retirement plans.

OnPay

Stats

  • 98% of their clients recommend them
  • Benefits and HR in all 50 states of the US
  • Processes over $2 Billion in payroll annually

OnPay

Pricing:

OnPay charges a base fee of $36, plus $4 per employee per month. They also offer a one month free trial.

Best For

OnPay is a great solution for smaller, budget conscious companies that also want a basic HRIS in addition to payroll.

Worth Checking Out:

OnPay’s customer base is much more than just startups with many non-tech businesses and non-profits on their client roster.

Paylocity is one of the largest payroll providers in the United States. Nearly 1/3 of their company is in R&D to continue to build a great product, and their average hold time for customer service is only 19 seconds! If you're looking to work with an established company, Paylocity is a great option.

Paylocity

Stats

  • 20,000 customers
  • 92% retention rate

Paylocity

Pricing

The exact pricing for Paylocity's offering is not publicly-disclosed.

Best For

Paylocity is used by small, medium, and large businesses in widely-varying industries, but mostly in the United States.

Worth Checking Out:

Zenefits is best known for their product experience with an effortless payroll and a self-service benefits experience. They work with companies that are as small as 1-employee to companies with up to 1,000 employees.

Zenefits

Stats

  • Over 11,000 customers in 35 different industries
  • 80% of the new hires they onboard complete the process before their first day
  • 50% less time onboarding new employees
  • Some cases can complete new hire onboarding in under 10 minutes

Zenefits

Pricing

Zenefits' Payroll tool starts at $6 per month per employee.

Best For

SMBs and companies with less than 1,000 team members.

Worth Checking Out:

Zenefits’ bread and butter is their benefits offerings and allows the use of other payroll systems, if needed, allowing for a great fit for a wide-range of companies.

JustWorks is a top PEO (Professional Employment Organization) and packages its pricing to include Payroll, Benefits, HR tools, and Compliance at varying pricing levels per employee from basic to more comprehensive access and tools. It is a great option if you need a comprehensive solution in addition to your payroll and benefits needs!

Justworks

Stats

  • Founded in 2012
  • 600+ employees

Justworks

Pricing

Justworks has two types of plans, Basic and Plus. The former includes payroll, benefits, HR tools, and compliance. The latter has all the modules from basic, plus access to medical, dental, and vision plans.

The price of each plan depends on the number of employees you have. For instance, a company with 25 to 99 employees would pay $44 per employee per month for Basic or $89 user/month for Plus.

Best For

Justworks is mainly for small or medium-sized businesses. Their plans can accommodate organizations with less than 25 employees or slightly more than 175.

Worth Checking Out:

JustWorks allows smaller companies to pool together and get better benefits options and pricing through the shared employment model.

Gusto was previously known as ZenPayroll, and originally started as the easiest way to run payroll for smaller companies. It has since added benefits administration as well as other features that are commonly found in your HRIS (onboarding, org charts, etc). Gusto continues to scale their customer base rapidly and has now acquired over 100,000 customers.

Gusto

Stats

  • 90% of customers said switching to Gusto was an easy process
  • 3 out of 4 customers say Gusto makes compliance easier

Gusto

Pricing

If you're just looking for payroll, Gusto's Concierge plan includes the full-service payroll for all 50 states of the US. This one starts at $12 per person per month plus a $149 monthly base price.

As you move forward, Gusto's plans become more expensive but offer things like benefits and document management. They also have a plan for payroll that's just for contractors, at $6 per person per month and without the base price.

Best For

Small businesses

Worth Checking Out:

Gusto is a dead simple way to run payroll for smaller companies.

Namely’s HR software includes payroll and benefits functionality that also integrates into the rest of their HRIS. If you’re looking for a full HR software suite, check out Namely’s solution.

Namely

Stats

  • More than $16 billion processed in annual payroll
  • Built a community of 1,400+ HR leaders

Namely

Pricing

Namely's pricing is not provided on their website.

Best For

Namely is suitable for many company sizes, but it's best for those that would like more HR functions to be administered through the same tool.

Worth Checking Out:

Namely processes over $16 billion in payroll each year across thousands of companies.

Square has become a household name for over 2 million businesses who use it to receive payments. But that’s not all they should be known for! Square also manages payroll and benefits administration amongst other fantastic features for small and medium businesses.

Square

Stats

  • Used by over 2 million businesses
  • Founded in 2009
  • Over 6,000 employees

Square

Pricing

Square's payroll pricing depends on who you want to pay. If you want to pay employees & contractors, it starts at a $29 monthly subscription fee + $5 a month per person paid. If you'd like to pay contractors only, then it's just the $5 per month per each of them.

None of their plans require an annual commitment, so you can cancel at any time or freeze billing if you're not using the tool.

Best For

Square is made for small and medium-sized businesses. It's ideal for those already using their platform to receive payments at the point of purchase, but any business could find value in their payroll tool.

Worth Checking Out:

Square is a great option for companies which hire many contractors as there are no added fees to pay those employees.

Nearly 700,000 clients us PayChex to run their payroll, nearly all of them are less than 1,000 employees. Simply put, this is one of the largest providers in the space.

PayChex

Stats

  • 200+ compliance experts: federal, state, and local regulations
  • 600+ HR professionals averaging 8 years of training and expertise
  • Over 100 locations served in the US & Europe
  • PayChex is used to pay 1 out of every 12 American private sector employees

PayChex

Pricing

PayChex's pricing is not provided on their website, but the process to get a quote is pretty quick and simple.

Best For

Mainly, PayChex can handle payroll for SMBs.

Worth Checking Out:

PayChex has a track record and scale that makes them worth a look.

ADP is perhaps the best known company in the payroll space. Given their scale, they can offer just about everything your business needs when it comes to payroll and benefits.

ADP

Stats

  • 860,000+ clients around the world

ADP

Pricing

Sometimes ADP has special offers, like getting 3 months free when you sign up for their small business payroll processing plan. However, they don't share the prices for their payroll packages, so you'd have to request a quote to move forward.

Best For

ADP can work for companies with less than 50 employees, less than 1,000, or those with well over a thousand team members.

Worth Checking Out:

ADP has a reputation of great customer service.

Many small businesses use Quickbooks for their accounting and financial reporting. They know that small business owners may not have enough time to be doing payroll, so their solution focuses a lot on running things automatically and freeing up your time. The same goes for taxes, as they'll calculate, file, and pay your payroll taxes for you, in some cases.

QuickBooks

Stats

  • Over 7 million customers across 70k companies globally use QuickBooks.
  • Customers save an average of over $2100 per year tracking their finances with QuickBooks.
  • Customers that use QuickBooks Time can save an average of 5% on payroll costs.

QuickBooks

Pricing

For payroll, Quickbooks has three plans:

  • Core: The basics to pay your team and have payroll taxes done for you at $22.50 per month
  • Premium: Manage your team's payroll with HR support and some employee services for $37.50 per month
  • Elite: This plan provides access to on-demand experts in order to simplify payroll to the max. It starts at $62.50 per month.

QuickBooks often offers discounts for its plans. They currently have a 50% discount on all plans for the first three months of subscription.

Best For

SMBs with a fairly simple payroll structure but little time to handle it all themselves.

Worth Checking Out:

PayChex has a track record and scale that makes them worth a look.

Paycom ensures your payroll is processed quickly and efficiently, so your efforts to attract, hire, engage and retain great employees aren’t blemished by errors. Besides payroll processing, the platform also offers features for expense management, tax management, garnishment administration and reporting.

Paycom

Stats

  • Paycom was founded in 1998.
  • Paycom has offices in 27 states.

Paycom

Pricing

The pricing of Paycom’s plans isn’t disclosed upfront. Contact their sales team to get a custom quote.

Best For

Paycom serves companies of all sizes across different verticals.

Worth Checking Out:

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Final Advice on Buying Payroll Software

For most HR teams, it’s a matter of who to partner with, not if it should be explored in the first place.  Partnering with a top payroll and benefits solution can save your team a lot of time and money.  Our hope is that this page will arm you with the information you need to make the right decision, and guide you towards the top vendors in the space.

From here, we’d then advise that you jump into demos with 2-3 vendors to get started.  Remember to stay organized as you tick through the feature sets that matter to you on demos.  Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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