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Best Hr and Payroll Software for Small Business

Not getting the best HR and payroll software for your small business? You need to consider a few features before deciding which software to buy. Best Hr and Payroll Software for Small Business is the best way to get started.

Get the Best Hr and Payroll Software for Small Business today! Save money on payroll expenses while making your life easier with a cloud-based hr software program.



Gusto is the best payroll software in terms of features and ease of use. They offer a ton of functionality and flexibility, so you can create the ideal payroll and HR setup for your small business.

It’s used by over 100,000 small businesses, just like you.

The cloud-based payroll system is simple to set up, plus it gives your workers a dashboard to manage their employee information.

You’ll find standard payroll management features like automatic deductions and filings, direct deposits, and W-2s and 1099s.

It will automatically calculate and file local, state, and federal taxes. There are also plenty of integrations with popular accounting software like Quickbooks, Clover, Xero, and more.

Note: We use Gusto at WPBeginner to manage payroll for remote team members across different states. We started using Gusto back when it was called ZenPayroll and have been loving it since then.

When we were smaller, we used their HR features, but we’ve outgrown it since our team is now worldwide, and Gusto doesn’t support non-US team members.

However, their platform is packed with enough HR functionality to be an all-in-one tool for most US based small businesses.

For example, you can set up employee health insurance enrollment, 401k, workers comp, commuter benefits, and employee savings programs.

Gusto has a range of employee onboarding features like custom offer letters, document signing and storage, onboarding checklists, even software account creation and management.

There are also time tracking tools, compliance paperwork filing, anonymous surveys, and virtual org charts for users on the higher plans.

Best of all, Gusto offers month to month pricing. So, there’s less risk when moving or starting your new payroll system.

The plans start at $19 per month for small teams of 1 to 2 people. Most small business owners will find the Core plan the most valuable, it starts at $39 per month. Higher level plans give you more features like time tracking.

The heartily named Gusto is our favorite payroll software for small businesses. Its beautifully designed, full-service payroll system includes plenty of payroll and HR features, including these:

  • Automatic local, state, and federal payroll tax filing
  • Automatic end-of-year tax-form filing, including W-2s and 1099s
  • Automatic state new-hire form filing
  • Health benefits administration and workers compensation administration
  • Multiple employee benefit options, including HSAs, FSAs, commuter benefits, and college savings plans
  • Employee self-service portal for pay stub, direct deposit, and W-2 access

Even better, Gusto includes these features for free when many payroll providers charge extra. For instance, Gusto’s in-house insurance brokers ensure that if you sign up for employee medical insurance and workers compensation insurance through Gusto, you’ll pay the premium only.

In contrast, ADP, which outsources its insurance integrations, charges an extra fee on top of the premium. Ditto Paychex, which does have an in-house insurance team but still charges extra for insurance add-ons. ADP also charges extra for end-of-year tax-form filings. Gusto doesn’t.


Heads-up: Gusto’s Contractor plan

Do you hire contractors on an individual basis instead of working with a full-time team of employees? Gusto’s new Contractor plan has no monthly base cost. You pay only $6 per month per payee.

However, in the last few months, Gusto’s customer service has taken a few hits: for instance, on the review site Trustpilot, Gusto’s rating dropped from nearly four to just 2.1 (yikes!) out of 5 from nearly than 1.3K reviews.1 In particular, users call out slow response times and payroll errors. Thanks to its expansive employee benefits and built-in free tax filing, Gusto’s still our top payroll solution, but we did lower its star rating to account for its lowering user reviews.

Additionally, while Gusto has more employee add-ons than many other online payroll systems, it’s not a total HR management solution. Our Gusto HR review can tell you more, but if you need more than the most basic HR, you’ll want to look elsewhere—like at Paychex.ProsPro BulletMore employee benefit options than most competitorsPro BulletNo extra fee for payroll tax filingPro BulletNo extra fee for insurance add-onsConsCon BulletPoor customer service ratingsCon BulletHigh monthly per-payee feeCon BulletLimited HR management and administration

Expert Review: We believe Gusto is the best payroll software for small businesses. They offer a hassle-free experience, and the best part is that they don’t nickel and dime you like payroll services from your bank or some other larger well-known industry players.



BambooHR is the best HR software for small businesses.

It’s a complete Human Resource Management System (HRMS) and is trusted by over 20,000 businesses to manage HR tasks. It’s very intuitive, easy to use, and well suited for companies of all sizes.

The cloud-based system focuses on HR tasks like hiring, compensation, onboarding, and company culture.

There’s an applicant tracking system (ATS) that speeds up the hiring process, and performance management features to improve your company culture.

It also includes employee benefits tracking, PTO management, easy employee onboarding, training, and more.

This SaaS tool is big on employee data collection, which makes it easy for business owners to make informed decisions about new hires.

It’s one of the few providers that qualifies as a Human Capital Management (HCM) tool, which helps your employees reach their potential.

Note: We have a worldwide remote team in 27 countries, so we started using BambooHR. They make it simple to manage everything across multiple countries and time zones.

Their Android and iOS mobile app is handy and lets team members manage their information at home or on the go. It also makes it easy to find employee contact information throughout your organization.

BambooHR offers custom pricing based on your business needs. But there are two different plans you’ll choose between.

The Essentials plan has standard HR management features like PTO, benefits administration, document storage, and more.

While, the Advantage plan includes an ATS, onboarding and offboarding features, and advanced reporting functionality.

Since BambooHR doesn’t offer full-service payroll features, we use Gusto and BambooHR together to manage all of our HR and payroll needs.

However, you will find addons for tax filing, time entry and timesheets, overtime pay, and various employee performance review tools and assessments.

BambooHR is designed with small businesses in mind, but it is also used by companies like ZipRecruiter, Grammarly, and Postmates. This software can grow with you as your company grows, and we can vouch for that 100%.

Expert Review: We believe BambooHR is the best HR software for small businesses, hands down. This is why we use it on WPBeginner.



OnPay offers HR payroll software and is a great option for growing small businesses and startups.

Their payroll solution is flexible and supports business owners who have contract, part-time, and hourly employees. Managing all of this on your own can be difficult and time consuming, but with OnPay, it’s much easier to do.

Since payroll doesn’t run automatically, you can choose which employees you want to pay before you run payroll. It’s not as automated as other solutions, but some business owners might need more control.

You can pay employees via direct deposit, printed check, or debit card.

It includes other features like unlimited payroll runs, tax filing, support for multiple pay schedules and rates, unemployment insurance withholding, and more.

You can also integrate your business payroll with your preferred accounting and time-tracking software.

The pricing is straightforward, with a base fee of $36 per month and an additional $4 per person. So if you’re a 50 person company, you’ll pay $236 per month.

Since there’s only one plan, you get access to all features, including HR tools.

The bundled HR tools include templates for employee offer letters, paid time off management, HR document management, and more.

Expert Review: We believe OnPay is the best HR and payroll tool for businesses with contract and hourly workers.

Rippling: Best Overall HR Software for Small Business

Rippling Logo

What We Like

  • Offers full-service HR and payroll options
  • Has modular HR, payroll, benefits, and IT solutions
  • Provides international payroll and PEO services
  • Integrates with more than 400 apps

What’s Missing

  • Its employee management solution must be purchased before adding other modules
  • Gets pricey as you add features
  • Phone support from HR experts costs extra
  • PEO service isn’t IRS and ESAC certified

Rippling Pricing*

  • Employee management platform: $10 per employee monthly
  • Full-service payroll: $8 per employee monthly
  • Employee benefits: $6 per employee monthly
  • Flex HSA/FSA and commuter benefits: $6 per employee monthly
  • HR help desk: $100 per month
  • App management: $8 per employee monthly
  • Device management: $8 per employee monthly

*Pricing is based on a quote we received

Rippling is the best overall HR software for small businesses because it offers a range of HR products that you can choose to integrate now, later, or never. Compared to Gusto and Homebase, it is pretty robust in offering more than just basic HR features. Aside from an employee database, you get applicant tracking, payroll, benefits administration and plan options, time tracking, learning management, and onboarding solutions. It even provides PEO and international payroll services.

In addition, Rippling is an excellent choice for tech-heavy companies because its modular system not only handles HR and payroll but IT functions as well. It lets you assign computers and software to new hires as part of the onboarding process and has device and app deprovisioning tools for resigning employees. With more companies going remote and relying on technology to function, having a system that specializes in this area is essential.

Rippling Is Featured in:

Rippling Features

  • Modular solutions: Big providers like Paychex and ADP Run focus on providing more bundled options at less transparent rates. While Rippling’s pricing isn’t all transparent either, what’s great about its system is that you can select the features you want based on the HR needs of your business. However, you have to purchase its core employee management solution before you can add other modules to its software.
  • Hiring tools: Hiring support is a big role for HR teams, and Rippling provides numerous tools to help. Its applicant tracking product makes it easy to find qualified candidates and manage screening processes. Aside from listing job ads on major job posting sites (like Indeed and LinkedIn), sending offer letters and running background checks are done completely online. Plus, you only need to input basic hiring information for incoming employees into its system, and Rippling will guide your new hires through the onboarding process.
  • IT solutions: Rippling is the only HR software we reviewed that provides basic IT solutions for setting up and managing your employees’ computers and business software. You can even order laptops through Rippling, and all of your staff’s system permissions and app accounts will be set up. If you have resigning employees, Rippling can also help with the deprovisioning process and store your computers in its warehouse for safekeeping and reassignment.
  • Robust software integrations: None of the other software in this guide have as robust third-party integration options as Rippling does. It connects with over 400 software applications, making it much more efficient for companies planning to add Rippling to an existing group of software products.
  • Payroll processing: Payroll is an add-on but still a quality system for users that need HR and payroll support. It offers direct deposit payments and tax filing services, plus it can handle payroll for W-2 and 1099 staff, including international employees. Reporting is also intuitive—it has metrics you can evaluate immediately before running payroll to ensure you’re not missing anything.
  • Help desk: Rippling provides customer service, although not over the phone unless you’re willing to pay a flat monthly rate. You can also email and chat with them, and many users say they’re very responsive. However, if you want dedicated support, consider either ADP Run or Paychex.
  • Flexible PEO: Rippling offers PEO services you can turn on when you need to outsource your HR administration; you can also turn it off with the click of a button when you’re back to only needing the software. ADP Run and Paychex may have PEO services, but they lack Rippling’s easy on/off button. In addition, ADP’s PEO (ADP TotalSource) is a completely separate product that runs on a different software than its small business HR and payroll solutions, so toggling back and forth isn’t an option.

Rippling User Reviews

Rippling earned an average score of 4.7 out of 5 on popular user review sites like G2 and Capterra. Users said they love the intuitive interface and easy integrations. Several others also commented that its robust solutions, ease of use, customizability, and good customer service are standout features.


Employers no longer have to spend thousands of dollars upfront for an HR and Payroll software package. best hr small business has it all in one complete hr system with payroll. Full payroll compliance with IRS, SSA and state requirements, employee self-service portal, peer-to-peer review, talent management, training tracker, labor law charts and more. A perfect HR and Payroll software system for small business!

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