Desktop Payroll Software for Small Business

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There are many software programs in the market which are designed to make payroll easier. These programs make it easy for the users with its user-friendly platform. There are number of benefits associated with Payroll Software.

Accorn is a great software, but in this review, I willbe showing you some other essential software that yu can use.


You might associate Square with the portable square-shaped credit card reader, but this company has grown to include full-service payroll software as well. Like Gusto, Square’s services are customizable so you can adapt the plan to suit your company’s needs. The software can accommodate full-time employees as well as part-time workers and freelance contractors, paying both hourly rates and monthly salaries. It can also manage health benefits, which employees can see when they log in to their own Square accounts.



Workful is one of the newer online payroll services available, and it’s already making a name for itself with its top-notch customer support, which is why it’s our best customer service option. The geolocation time-clock tracking is easy enough to set up and ensures employees clock in and out from wherever you’ve set as appropriate. Also, employees can submit expenses through the app, so they can get reimbursed with the next payroll run.Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Includes employee expense tracking
  • Offers geolocation time-clock tracking
  • Includes document storage


  • Limited reporting features
  • Setup seems clunky

Workful is an affordable and easy-to-use application but is not without its restrictions. For example, it doesn’t do automatic tax filing for you. But, it gets our nod for best customer service because it provides fast guidance with easy-to-understand directions for a small business owner.

Workful is one of the easiest-to-use online payroll services available. The left-side main menu is intuitive, and the dashboard is clean. Setup is easy enough, with a tutorial that walks you through establishing your services. Once you have the time-clock set up, it’s kind of hands-off work for you. Employees simply use the app to clock in and out.

When it comes to integrations, Workful doesn’t seem to play well with others. You can integrate QuickBooks Online, but that’s it. Workful is trying to be a single software solution, which is why it offers built-in time tracking, document storage, and HR options. However, if you’re happy with your time-tracking solution, use a different accounting program, or need Indeed or Zapier integrations, Workful isn’t the right payroll software for you.

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OnPay offers an easy-to-use, affordable online payroll solution that’s ideal for small businesses. There are no hidden fees, which is important for a small business on a budget. The full-service payroll automates calculations and files your federal, state, and local payroll taxes. You’ll still have to run and approve payroll each time.Pros

  • No hidden fees
  • Easy to use
  • Good value for the cost


  • No same-day or next-day direct deposit
  • No automatic payroll submission

Setting up payroll the first time in a new program can be time-consuming, but OnPay makes it easier with its setup wizard. Follow the steps and make sure your information is accurate, and you should be just fine. If you have data from another payroll service that you want to import into OnPay, you can get help with that, and OnPay guarantees accuracy.

At $36 per month and $4 per person per month, OnPay is a little more expensive than others, such as Workful and Payroll4Free. However, you get a lot more for the price, which makes it our top choice for small business owners trying to simplify payroll and human resources. 

In addition to the full-service automated payroll you get from OnPay, you’ll also get filing for W-2 and 1099 workers at no extra cost. There’s also plenty of HR features to help you hire new employees, including offer letters, e-signing, automated onboarding, and document storage—features typically offered as add-ons or in top tiers from other services.


Payroll goes hand in hand with HR, so it’s worth looking at HR software when seeking your payment solutions. BambooHR covers all your bases, providing a separate payroll platform to sync with its main talent management software. This makes it super easy to onboard new employees, tracking hours right from the start. Additional features include staff databases, applicant tracking, time-off tracking, and digital signatures.



One of the most well-known names in payroll and HR is ADP. The brand recognition and years of experience make it ideal for large companies or businesses that plan on growing pretty fast. The lowest-priced plan includes full-service payroll, direct deposit, reporting, and a self-service employee portal. More complete features and HR services come with higher-priced plans.Pros

  • Scalable with several plan options
  • Robust reporting, including customization
  • Lots of HR add-ons
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  • Pricing isn’t transparent.
  • Possibly too many features for small businesses
  • Several fees, including for setup

Consider ADP’s main competitors and you’ll see why it’s typically used by larger businesses. ADP always has been more of a professional employer organization (PEO), but it has evolved to offer a payroll service that’s more suitable for small businesses. It’s a good idea to choose a payroll service that can grow with your business, though, if only so you can avoid migrating data to a different service in the future. ADP makes that possible with its ADP RUN service, which is best for businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to compare the cost of ADP’s plans to other services because ADP doesn’t publish its plans’ pricing. You’ll have to fill out forms to get a custom quote for your business, which will be based on your needs and the number of employees your business has. We received a variety of quotes and setup fees for a 10-person business, which fell between $150 to $200 per month, making it an expensive choice compared to all the software on this list. Setup fees ranged from $25 to $200, but reps often offered to waive the fee if we signed up immediately.


Another HR platform that includes comprehensive small business payroll software is Zenefits. It builds time-off tracking, hour tracking, salary upgrades, and benefits into a single one-size-fits-all platform. If your HR and payroll departments are intertwined, it makes it much easier to avoid making double entries. For example, your HR administrator only needs to input a salary change once for it to sync with payroll. As with other software on this list, there are multiple subscription packages to choose from, each with its own features.



Payroll4Free is the best free payroll service you can find that’s truly free—as long as you’re willing to do a bit of manual work. You won’t be able to file payroll taxes or pay your employees via direct deposit, unless you’re willing to fork out a low payment. If you have a business with fewer than 25 employees, this would be a step up from a pen-and-paper method of doing payroll.Pros

  • Free to use
  • Inexpensive to file taxes and pay via direct deposit
  • Pay W-2 or 1099 workers
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  • Limited features
  • Setup is totally manual

Payroll4Free is the only free software that allows for all the administrative components needed to run a payroll. Essentially, Payroll4Free lets you input hours for payroll for your business, leaving a lot of the administrative tasks up to you. It’ll calculate things for you, though. Setup is manual, but it includes a setup tool to help you enter the right information in the right places. This leaves room for error, but that could be said for many payroll software tools.

There are no fees to use Payroll4Free unless you have more than 25 employees or you want Payroll4Free to file your payroll taxes for you. Payroll tax filing costs $15 per month as a flat fee. If you want to pay your employees via direct deposit, that will be another $15 per month. Otherwise, funds will be deposited into your account so you can manually pay your workers by check, though you may want to consider paying for check printing software. Even if you choose to pay for these services, you’ll still pay less than most other services.


You’re probably familiar with QuickBooks already, but this accounting software also includes an easy auto-pay feature. Perhaps the biggest benefit of using this platform is that it is designed to run automatically, so theoretically, you only need to set up your payroll once. The program will handle taxation, payments, and other issues without manual input.


Finally, Paychex is a major payroll software provider dating back to 1971. This comprehensive program is a great choice if you’re interested in boosting employee retention, because it includes a built-in learning management system allowing employees to upgrade their skills. When it comes to payroll, Paychex automatically calculates both state and federal taxes and integrates fully with 401(k). It also includes a free mobile app for management on the go.


Acorns is a free payroll software to manage your business, personal finance and taxes. It brings you a refreshing way to invest your small change. Acorns will round up your purchases and invests your spare change for you. With no account minimums and no fees, it takes the hassle out of investing, so that you can invest more often, with less time and less effort. You can check that also on their website.

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