Best Payroll Vendors - 2022

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

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast
October 10, 2022

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We spend all day researching the best HR software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on experts to refine our recommendations.  We may earn a fee if you click on vendor links on this page. Learn more

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Our Expert Picks: The Best Payroll and Benefits Software

Deel is making waves in the payroll space, being one of the first companies to specialize in international payroll for remote teams.
Remote is a robust and modern platform specialized in HR, payroll, and benefits for, as their name suggests, remote-first teams.
We love OnPay because it takes less than one hour to setup and is the lowest cost option on the market.
Rippling puts a strong focus towards automation in their payroll solution. It syncs all your HR data and can run payroll in 90 seconds.
ADP is a widely-trusted payroll solution that also offers many other HR tools if you need them. Their expertise is a good fit at SMBs but also enterprises.
Zenefits is known for effortless payroll and a self-service experience that's intuitive and simple. They're also known for a full HRIS, benefits management, onboarding, and more.
Gusto is a beautiful-looking tool and a simple to use payroll, benefits, onboarding, and support platform designed for smaller companies.
PayChex is a top player in HR software for SMBs, with an offering that includes PEO, 401(k) management, benefits, and of course, easy payroll.
Paylocity is one of the top names in payroll for the US market. They're fit for many company sizes and industries. People love them for their great support and friendly approach.
Square has been very wise to branch out and offer more tech products to the SMBs market. Millions of small business owners use them as an integral part of their operations.
Quickbooks is a trusted name in financial tracking, payroll, expense reports, and even time and attendance software for small businesses.
Paycor is a robust and data-centric HCM for leaders at US-based companies that want their teams to save time with HR transactional tasks.
Namely provides a quick and easy payroll solution with modern design and UX. Their all-in-one HR platform is designed to be used by everyone and made specifically with mid-sized companies in mind.
Paycom offers online payroll services and HR software solutions for both big and small businesses to manage the entire employment life cycle.
Justworks has a neat-looking tool that can take care of payroll, benefits, compliance, and other HR needs. Notably, their payroll module can also take care of off-cycle, vendor, and contractor payments.

Best Payroll Vendors - 2022

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

Phil Strazzulla, HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast Oct 10, 2022

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.

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

We put in the effort to make this guide awesome

46
Hours Researched
4
Experts Consulted
20
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

An Intro On Payroll and Benefits Software

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.

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 2022

Deel

Review:

With Deel, companies can hire employees in a multitude of countries without it getting messy. From the same dashboard, you can manage international payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance in 150 countries.

Deel

Stats:

  • Trusted by over 2,400 companies
  • Over 200 legal partners worldwide
  • Trusted by over 2,400 companies
  • Over 200 legal partners worldwide

Deel

Pricing:

A cool thing about Deel is that you can sign up for free and play around with the tool, not being charged until you pay your first team member. Once you do, pricing for Deel will vary as follows: 

  • Contractors: At $49 per contractor per month, Deel takes care of payroll and compliance for contracts in 150 countries. 
  • Full-time: From $500, this plan lets you hire full-time employees in a new country without having to set up a legal entity there. Deel becomes an Employer of Record and hires the employee for you.

A cool thing about Deel is that you can sign up for free and play around with the tool, not being charged until you pay your first team member. Once you do, pricing for Deel will vary as follows: 

  • Contractors: At $49 per contractor per month, Deel takes care of payroll and compliance for contracts in 150 countries. 
  • Full-time: From $500, this plan lets you hire full-time employees in a new country without having to set up a legal entity there. Deel becomes an Employer of Record and hires the employee for you.

Best For

Companies, big or small, who wish to stay compliant when hiring people in multiple countries.

Remote

Review:

Remote fully owns local legal entities in all the countries they cover. Since they have no intermediaries to deal with, they’re able to offer more flexibility and speed at very interesting costs.

Their platform is a globally-distributed HR hub where you can process payroll, perform salary simulations, onboard new team members, manage benefits, and take care of most of the administrative tasks that come with having a distributed team.

Remote

Stats:

  • 99.999% uptime
  • <150ms response times
  • Founded in 2019 as a remote-first company
  • VC-backing from Sequoia, Index Ventures, and General Catalyst, among others.
  • 99.999% uptime
  • <150ms response times
  • Founded in 2019 as a remote-first company
  • VC-backing from Sequoia, Index Ventures, and General Catalyst, among others.

Remote

Pricing:

Remote has four plans. “Contractors” lets you manage and pay global contract workers for free; you only pay for payment processing fees. Then, they have their “Global Employment” plan, which starts at $299 per employee per month. For the other two plans, “Payroll & Benefits” and “Global Employment Plus”, they offer customized pricing.

Remote has four plans. "Contractors" lets you manage and pay global contract workers for free; you only pay for payment processing fees. Then, they have their "Global Employment" plan, which starts at $299 per employee per month. For the other two plans, "Payroll & Benefits" and "Global Employment Plus", they offer customized pricing.

Best For

Remote-first teams

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
  • 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.

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.

Rippling

Review:

Rippling is a relatively new company started by Zenefits alumni. They focus on helping small and medium organizations kill HR and IT busywork with one solution. An interesting thing about them is that they try to make their software easy to use and intuitive not just for HR professionals and recruiters but for the CEO, IT staff, and any team member who will interact with the product.

Their product falls in line with what you’d expect from a Silicon Valley-based startup: a great UI, eye-catching design, and fast performance. Notably, they also have over 500 integrations with everything from Slack to GitHub.

Rippling

Stats:

  • Named a “Next $1B Startup” by Forbes in early 2020
  • Became an actual $1B startup just months after that mention, getting valued at $1.35 billion in August 2020
  • Over 1,000 reviews on the main business software sites, all averaging 4.9 stars
  • Over 4,000 health insurance plans to choose from on platform
  • 500+ integrations
  • Over 1,000 reviews on the main business software sites, all averaging 4.9 stars

Rippling

Pricing:

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.

Rippling starts at $8 per month per user, but the final fee you pay will vary depending on which modules you'd like to use (or if you want the whole platform) and for how many people.

Best For

SMBs with a strong need for automation in HR processes.

ADP

Review:

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
  • 1200+ reviews on the web with an average of 4.4 stars out of 5
  • Named among Fortune World's Most Admired Companies for 14 consecutive years
  • 4-time winner of the Human Resource Executive Top HR product award

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.

Custom pricing is available upon request of a demo for each specific product.

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.

Square

Review:

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.

Paylocity

Review:

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.

PayChex

Review:

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.

Namely

Review:

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.

QuickBooks

Review:

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.

Justworks

Review:

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.

Gusto

Review:

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

Paycor

Review:

Aside from having payroll, employee experience, recruiting, benefits, and performance management, Paycor stands out from most HCM and payroll vendors for having some of the most potent HR analytics out there. They provide a custom company dashboard that leaders can build out as they please, choosing from literally hundreds of reports such as headcount trends by employment time, projected headcount, and voluntary turnover by tenure, just to mention a few.

Paycor

Stats:

  • Paycor is used by over 40,000 businesses
  • Raised $270M in private equity during 2020
  • Went public in July 2021, raising $426M in their IPO
  • 2080+ employees
  • Founded in 1990

Paycor

Pricing:

Fees will vary depending on your number of employees and the modules you add.

Best For:

Companies in the US with up to 1,000 employees, mainly in manufacturing, healthcare, food and beverage, non profits, and professional sport organizations.

Paycom

Review:

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.

Zenefits

Review:

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.

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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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