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Free Payroll Software for One Employee

This online payroll software for one employee is provided for free by SuperOffice & its affiliates. This program is in the form of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that uses your monthly salary data as entered in the designated cells of each month and automatically updates your wages, income tax withholding, federal and state unemployment (FUTA) taxes and FICA taxes.

Complete online payroll software solution for a single employee–no setup or customization fees. Simple and easy to use. Provides an overview of the year (tax-related information), and detailed transactions for each pay period. E-file options available for most states.   

Payroll4Free: Best overall

Best overall free payroll softwarePayroll4Free

3.9 out of 5 stars

3.9

  • How it’s free: In-software ads, paid plan options
  • CheckEmployee self-service portal and payslip access
  • CheckPre-filled end-of-year tax forms
  • CheckDirect deposit and paycheck printing
  • CheckPTO and vacation time tracking

See Plans

Payroll4Free is a master in the free payroll software genre. For one thing, it’s chock-full of functions that are often enjoyed only in premium, top-tier platforms. Some of these perks include:

  • Paycheck calculations
  • 1099 contract and W-2 employee payments
  • Direct deposit and paper check options
  • Federal, state, and local payroll tax calculations
  • Pre-filled tax form access
  • Reports on taxes, benefits, payroll statistics, and more
  • Employee self-service portal
  • Paid time off, vacation, and sick time accruals
  • Accounting software integration, including QuickBooks

Payroll4Free’s reporting and paid time off (PTO) tracking features are particularly impressive. (Even many paid providers don’t include those features with their cheapest plans.) And while Payroll4Free can’t file your payroll taxes for free, it calculates payroll tax deductions and autofills the tax forms. You have to do the actual filing, but form filling is easily the most time-intensive part of the process.

Don’t worry though if you’d prefer to let someone else handle taxes: the company offers full-service tax filing for a below-average $15 monthly fee.

Now that you know the good stuff, here’s the catch. The platform is barebones, so most of the features mentioned above require patience and some basic administrative knowledge. Afterall, the title’s made for getting the job done at no cost, so you get what you pay for when it comes to user-friendliness and visual allure.

That leads to our next point. Payroll4Free is only gratis because it’s loaded with advertisements. This might feel distracting and cumbersome, although this marathon of marketing doesn’t fundamentally alter your payroll process.

Pricing

Free for 25 or fewer employees. For $15 per month, Payroll4Free will file and deposit payroll taxes, as well as process year-end tax forms. Business owners can pay another $15 per month, if they’d like, to use Payroll4Free’s bank for direct deposit.

ProsCons
Calculates federal, state and local taxes.Will file payroll taxes and process year-end tax forms for a monthly fee.Direct deposit.Can set up benefits deductions.Track sick time, vacation time and PTO.Employee portal provides access to paystubs, W-2s, vacation time and personal info.Customer service available via phone and email.Better Business Bureau accredited company with an A+ rating.25-employee cap.Ads.Only works with Windows; not cloud-based.

Feature overview

Compared to other free payroll software products, Payroll4Free’s tax filing options really set it apart. For one, it protects a business from making mistakes that can prove costly. It also saves the business owner a great deal of time. According to the company, the majority of its free payroll software clients pay to enroll in the service. Though Payroll4Free doesn’t let employees clock in and out or record their hours within the system, the software can import employee hours from outside files. Despite its features, the product isn’t a good fit for business owners who are averse to Windows or have more than 25 employees.

TimeTrex: Best time tracking

Best time tracking softwareTimeTrex

3.4 out of 5 stars

3.4

  • How it’s free: Open-source software
  • CheckEmployee self-service portal and payslip access
  • CheckPre-filled end-of-year tax forms
  • CheckDirect deposit and paycheck printing
  • CheckPTO and vacation time tracking

See Plans

Developers in 50 countries volunteer their time and expertise to keep the open-source TimeTrex Community Edition up and running. Thanks to this global effort, you can score these nifty perks at no charge:

  • Paycheck calculations, including taxes, wage garnishments, and other deductions
  • Direct deposit and paper checks
  • Easy-to-generate tax forms, including forms W-2, W-3, 940, 941, and 1099
  • Employee access to electronic pay stubs
  • Integration with other payroll software, including QuickBooksPaychexADP, and SurePayroll

The suite’s parent company, TimeTrex, offers time-tracking software that’s also included free on the Community Edition. But employees can clock in only online, and they can’t use the mobile app that comes with TimeTrex’s paid plans. Still, the time and attendance tracking syncs automatically with your payroll software, which makes paycheck calculation a breeze.

What We Like

  • Has automatic pay runs with free direct deposits
  • Offers a feature-rich free plan (comes with payroll, time tracking, scheduling, and HR management tools)
  • Integrates with other payroll tools like QuickBooks, ADP, and Paychex

  • Dashboard looks somewhat dated
  • Details about the free option and paid plans are difficult to find on its website; pricing isn’t transparent
  • Doesn’t handle payroll tax filings

TimeTrex Pricing

  • Free version: Payroll software free forever with no employee minimums
  • Paid options: Three custom-priced product editions (Professional, Corporate, and Enterprise) that include basic HR, recruiting, time tracking, scheduling, payroll, invoicing, and expense tracking functionalities

TimeTrex is our top-recommended free payroll software for small businesses because it does more than Payroll4Free and HR.my. Aside from pay processing, it has time tracking, scheduling, paid time off (PTO) monitoring, and HR management solutions that you can access at no cost. You even get an online time clock that lets your employees clock-in/out through web browsers.

Scoring an overall 4.7 out of 5, with perfect marks in nearly all our criteria, TimeTrex would have gotten a 5 out 5 in our evaluation if not for its limited payroll tax services. While it calculates federal, state, and local taxes in addition to generating tax forms (like W-2s and 1099s), TimeTrex doesn’t remit and file taxes for you. However, users still appreciate its user-friendly platform that makes pay processing easy. If you need tax filing services, you may want to consider Payroll4Free.com, but it isn’t free—you have to pay $15 per month.TimeTrex Payroll Processing Wizard

TimeTrex has a payroll wizard to help guide you through the process.

TimeTrex Pricing

You can access TimeTrex’s free payroll software through its Community Edition solution, which is a downloadable open-source workforce management platform. What’s great about it is that there are no employee limits, and you get basic HR and payroll tools for free.

TimeTrex offers three paid product editions (Professional, Corporate, and Enterprise) with additional features like facial recognition tablet time clocks, document management, applicant tracking, invoicing, and expense monitoring. However, pricing isn’t transparent—you have to call the provider to request a quote.

The representative we contacted said that pricing is based on the number of employees you have and the system deployment option selected (cloud-hosted or on-site). For a cloud-based version of its Professional Edition, you have to pay $3 per employee monthly for 10 employees. There’s also an account activation fee of $99.

TimeTrex Features

  • Feature-rich free tier: Even at its free level, TimeTrex grants you access to several integrated solutions designed to help you manage your workforce. You get online tools to create schedules, capture clock-ins/outs, track attendance, monitor PTO, pay employees, conduct performance reviews, and record staff information in a centralized database. This is more than what Payroll4Free.com offers (it doesn’t have free HR tools) and what HR.my provides as part of its forever-free solution (which doesn’t have performance reviews).
  • Online time tracking: TimeTrex has robust time tracking capabilities—making it one of our leading time and attendance software for small businesses. Its web browser-based time clock allows you to turn computers into employee time tracking devices. However, geofencing capabilities, facial recognition time clocks, and mobile time tracking apps aren’t included in its free Community Edition. If you require geolocation and face verification tools to prevent buddy punching, we recommend HR.my as it offers those functionalities for free.
  • Efficient pay processing: With TimeTrex’s efficient payroll tools, you don’t have to worry about doing payroll yourself. In addition to automatic payroll runs, it automatically calculates taxes and custom deductions like garnishments, PTO accruals, and benefits. It also offers electronic pay stubs, free direct deposits, and pay checks that you can print in several formats.
  • Third-party software integrations: TimeTrex seamlessly integrates with other payroll software like QuickBooks, ADP, Paychex, Ceridian, and Sage. Note that HR.my doesn’t have this functionality, while Payroll4Free.com has limited options and connects with other software through payroll data exports and time data imports.
  • Custom reporting: Aside from standard payroll, HR, and employee reports, TimeTrex has built-in templates that you can customize.

TimeTrex’s Drawback

  • Basic payroll tax services: With TimeTrex’s free payroll software, you have to handle tax payments and filings yourself. If you don’t want do-it-yourself (DIY) taxes and you’re willing to pay extra, consider Payroll4Free as it offers automated tax filing services for $15 monthly.

Best for international businesses: HR.my

Best for global venturesHR.my

2.9 out of 5 stars

2.9

  • How it’s free: Crowdfunding, in-app ads
  • CheckEmployee self-service portal and payslip access
  • CheckPaycheck printing (no direct deposit)
  • CheckPTO and vacation time tracking
  • XNo pre-filled end-of-year tax forms

See Plans

Unlike the majority of payroll software—both free and paid—HR.my’s payroll software is available in 65 different languages. Beyond its multiple tongues, the title serves up comprehensive payroll-processing features that compare to both TimeTrex’s and Payroll4Free’s. Some noteworthy perks include:

  • PTO management
  • Attendance management and time clock integration
  • Automatically generated payslips
  • Multiple pay schedules, including weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, and monthly
  • Leave approval
  • Unlimited users, including employees and managers
  • Unlimited employee web accounts for pay stub access and PTO requests
  • Mobile payroll app (Android and iOS) for employers and employees

There are some downsides, though. First, every language translation except for English and Chinese relies entirely on Google Translate with no human oversight. This makes the translation quality hit or miss.

Also, HR.my is based in Malaysia, which could be a problem for US-based customers who need customer service support during regular business hours. Plus, HR.my’s site is the sparsest we’ve reviewed. It lists a lot of features and includes a handy user guide for getting started, but we’re a little wary of its lack of product details.

Conclusion

Our free payroll software makes it easy for you to keep track of employee earnings and deductions. Simply enter or import your employee’s hours and earnings, add any deductions such as taxes, retirement contributions, and other costs, and the payroll software creates a printable paycheck showing the net amount due on payday!

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