If you’re a small business owner, this is the right place to read and explore my Adp good for small business payroll blog. Adp is one of the best payroll software for businesses where you can keep your financial records with ease by using it.
Small business payroll can be quite a tedious job. It involves calculating tax, filing paperwork, and more. This can be very time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be. With Adp as your payroll provider, you take a load off your shoulders, so you can have more time to concentrate on growing your small business.
Small business payroll can be a daunting task, especially since each state has its own requirements. It’s important to understand your state laws when it comes to how you run the company payroll and maintain employee information for tax filing. The features offered by ADP can help you save time and avoid errors when running your payroll.
What Is ADP?
Some of the payroll software on our rating of the Best Payroll Software of 2021 are newer companies, but ADP has a long history. It was founded more than 70 years ago in Paterson, New Jersey. Since then it’s grown into a global provider of human capital management tools, like payroll, time and attendance, and HR services. ADP has more than 100 offices across the country and even more around the globe. It serves major companies like Honeywell, Dell, and Pfizer, as well as small businesses. With a market cap of close to $100 billion, ADP is a member of the NASDAQ 100, which includes other major tech brands like Adobe, Amazon, Facebook, and Intuit, another payroll software provider we reviewed.
ADP is one of the best choices for businesses that plan to expand and hire more employees in the near future. It has advanced HR features like new hire onboarding and background checks, on top of its full-service payroll and tax services. However, ADP is not ideal for small businesses with a tight monthly budget because it charges for extra payroll runs and year-end reporting. If you don’t need robust HR features or just need to save money, a top ADP competitor may work better for your business.
In this guide, we evaluated a dozen payroll software and narrowed the list down to the top eight.
- Paychex Payroll: Best overall ADP competitor for small businesses
- Gusto: Best for small companies looking for affordable full-service payroll with free tax filings
- Zenefits: Best for companies in heavily regulated industries that need top-notch HR support
- QuickBooks Payroll: Best for small business QuickBooks users
- Paycor: Best for companies needing a fully configurable payroll tool to handle complex salary calculations
- Rippling: Best for companies relying heavily on technology that need an integrated way to manage HR, payroll, and IT
- OnPay: Best for small agricultural companies needing Form 943 tax filings
- Inova Payroll: Best for companies wanting configurable human capital management (HCM) solutions and services
Top ADP Alternatives Compared
*Note that both Rippling’s and Inova Payroll’s pricing are based on quotes we received.
**This represents average user ratings from third-party sites like G2 and Capterra.
Paychex: Best Overall ADP Competitor for Small Businesses
What We Like
- Offers two-day direct deposits
- US-based 24/7 customer support
- Has a suite of integrated HR solutions (new hire reporting, onboarding, background checks, time and attendance, etc.)
- Pricing isn’t all transparent
- Access to a dedicated payroll specialist available only in premium plans
- Payroll tax administration and W2/1099 year-end reporting cost extra
- Doesn’t offer unlimited pay runs
- Paychex Flex Essentials: $39 per monthly + $5 per employee monthly
- Paychex Flex Select: Custom-priced
- Paychex Flex Pro: Custom-priced
Paychex Plan for Solopreneurs and the Self-employed
- Paychex Solo: Custom-priced
Like ADP, Paychex is a full-featured payroll system that provides different packages for small to enterprise-level businesses, including solopreneurs and the self-employed—an option that none of the other software in this list offer. Aside from payroll, it has several HR solutions like new hire onboarding, background screening, and learning management tools. It also handles federal, state, and local tax payments and filings for you, as well as W-2 and 1099 tax reporting, although you have to pay extra for these services.
If you want a single point of contact for your employee pay processing and payroll tax requirements, sign up for one of Paychex’s premium plans so you can get a dedicated payroll specialist. While both ADP and Paychex offer workers’ compensation and employee benefits plans, only Paychex provides access to a financial wellness program that includes short-term loans, educational resources, and other tools to assist employees in achieving their financial goals.
- Flexible system: Paychex allows you to review, edit, and submit payroll from desktop computers and mobile devices (for iOS and Android). You can start running payroll on your smartphones/tablets and then resume it on your computer, and vice versa. Unlike Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll, Paychex and ADP can grow with your business, providing you with efficient pay processing tools and robust HR solutions regardless of whether you have 10 employees or more than 500.
- User-friendly payroll features: Its easy-to-use online tools are designed to simplify the way you pay employees and contractors. Aside from automatic pay runs and customizable earning/deduction types, Paychex handles payroll tax payments and filings (federal, state, and most local taxes), including year-end tax reporting for you—although you have to pay extra for these. This is similar to Inova Payroll but unlike ADP that only charges add-on fees for W-2 and 1099 reporting. And while QuickBooks Payroll also offers automated tax filings, you have to sign up for its premium plans if you want the provider to file local taxes on your behalf.
- Multiple pay options: You can pay employees through pay cards, direct deposits, and paper checks. Similar to ADP, Paychex also offers check signing and stuffing services. If your staff requests early access to earned wages before a payroll date, you can use its pay-on-demand feature to help employees with their financial needs.
- Robust reporting: The reporting options of other providers in this guide aren’t as robust, except for those of Paychex and Inova Payroll. Aside from offering customizable reports, Paychex has over 60 reports that you can use for payroll and analyzing HR data.
- Full range of HR and payroll features: In addition to payroll, it has a full-featured HR solution suite that includes new hire onboarding, time and attendance, employee benefits, garnishment payment services, workers’ compensation, learning management, and hiring tools. Providers like QuickBooks Payroll and Gusto don’t offer a wide variety of HR solutions.
- Dedicated support: Paychex has a team of compliance experts, HR professionals, and payroll experts who can provide knowledgeable advice on labor regulations and HR-related issues. You also get 24/7 phone and chat support, which none of the other providers in this guide offers. And if you get one of its higher tiers, Paychex will assign you a dedicated specialist to help you handle HR and payroll issues.
- Add-on fees for payroll tax administration: While Paychex’s starter plan is reasonably priced ($39 plus $5 per employee monthly), having to pay extra for tax filings and year-end reporting may not be cost-effective for small businesses. For tax filing services that are already included in the monthly fees, consider any of our recommended ADP alternatives except Inova Payroll (tax filings cost extra) and QuickBooks Payroll (you have to get its higher tiers for local tax filings).
- Dedicated support isn’t included in its starter plan: Paychex may provide 24/7 customer support but if you require a dedicated payroll specialist, you have to sign up for its premium plans.
Gusto: Best for Small Businesses Needing Affordable Full-Service Payroll
What We Like
- Easy to use
- Affordable for small business owners
- Full-service payroll includes unlimited pay runs and tax filings services
- Health insurance limited to 39 states
- No dedicated payroll specialist
- Lacks plan options that support small businesses growing into enterprises
- Core: $39 per month + $6 per employee monthly
- Complete: $39 per month + $12 per employee monthly
- Concierge: $149 per month + $12 per employee monthly
- Contractor-only plan: $6 per contractor monthly
For small business owners who need help running payroll at a good value, Gusto is the best choice. The software is easy to use—no excess features you don’t need—and you can run unlimited pay runs at no extra cost. It files and pays federal, state, and local taxes, and automatically generates and sends W-2s and 1099s to employees and contractors at no extra cost, unlike ADP. Multiple pricing options are also available, with a starter tier that’s reasonably priced. For new users, set up and migration are free—you have to pay a setup fee with both ADP and Paychex.
Gusto also offers a wide range of employee benefits—from health insurance and 401(k) plans to commuter benefits and tax-advantaged college savings accounts. However, the coverage of its health insurance is limited to only 39 states. If you want health plans that are available across the US, any of the ADP competitors in this guide (except Zenefits, which is limited to 49 states) are great options as all provide extensive health insurance coverage.
- Ease of use: Gusto is easy to set up and use, plus it has an intuitive interface that allows you to process payroll in just a few clicks. Compared to Paychex and ADP, Gusto is more user-friendly and you can start using its online tools without any training required—provided you have a good background on how payroll works. If you need assistance, it provides how-to guides and unlimited phone, email, and chat support.
- Payroll processing and services: Process payroll as many times as you need without having to pay extra fees. It can handle multistate payroll and tip credits, plus its automated pay runs are a very handy feature. In addition to garnishments and new hire reporting, Gusto provides payroll tax payment and filing (federal, state, and local) services. Your staff can also access their pay stubs, benefits information, and W-2s/1099s (note that year-end tax reports with ADP and Paychex cost extra) through a self-service portal.
- Multiple pay options: Gusto lets you pay employees and contractors through direct deposits, checks, pay cards, and pay on-demand (Inova Payroll, QuickBooks Payroll, Zenefits, and Rippling don’t have pay on-demand capabilities). For direct deposits, you get four-, two- and next-day processing timelines, depending on your chosen plan.
- Full range of payroll and basic HR features: Aside from payroll, Gusto has solutions for hiring, onboarding, health benefits administration, PTO management, and simple time tracking. It also offers a robust selection of benefits such as medical, dental, vision, retirement, flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), college savings plans, and pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation.
- Lacks a dedicated payroll specialist: Gusto doesn’t assign a dedicated specialist to its clients as Paychex does—although it provides unlimited chat, phone, and email support to all its users. And while Gusto also offers access to HR professionals who can give expert advice on how to handle payroll and HR issues, this service is available only in its highest tier.
- Limited health insurance coverage: Gusto may have several benefits options that you can offer to your employees, but the coverage of its health insurance is limited to only 39 states. For wider coverage, consider any of the providers in this list as their health benefits plans are available across the US (Zenefits, however, is limited to 49 states).
- No live checks or check delivery options: While Gusto’s software gives you the capability to cut paychecks using your own printer, the service won’t process checks for you or give you the option to have them delivered to employees as ADP and Paychex do.
Zenefits: Best for Businesses in Highly Regulated Industries
What We Like
- Simple to use
- Unlimited pay runs
- Robust integration options
- Payroll and HR/payroll expert advising cost extra
- Base plans and add-ons require a minimum of five employees
- Customer support quality is inconsistent
- Health insurance limited to 49 states
- Essentials: $10 per employee monthly
- Growth: $18 per employee monthly
- Zen: $27 per employee monthly
- Add-on tools and services:
- Payroll: $6 per employee monthly
- Advisory services: $10 per employee monthly
- Benefits administration using own broker: $5 per employee monthly
Zenefits offers an end-to-end employee management solution that streamlines and automates HR, payroll, and benefits administration. It’s best for businesses in highly regulated industries because it has robust compliance tools to help keep them up to date with the latest regulations. Aside from advisory services, Zenefits’ compliance tools include built-in overtime and break safeguards, pay stubs that conform with most state requirements, and an online “Compliance Assistant” that monitors your HR, payroll, and benefits compliance status and the unique form submission deadlines that are critical to your business.
However, unlike ADP and the other software in this guide (except Rippling) that provide payroll as a base product and have no minimum user requirements, Zenefits offers its employee pay processing solution as an add-on tool and requires a five employee minimum. However, it comes with unlimited pay runs, automatic tax filings (federal, state, and local), and state new hire reporting. You can pay your employees via direct deposit, and they will be able to access their pay stubs through a web portal. And if you need time tracking tools, all of its plans come with a time and attendance solution at no extra cost—under ADP, this is a separate product.
- Feature-inclusive: While ADP and most of the providers in this list (except Gusto, OnPay, and QuickBooks Payroll) have a wide range of HR solutions, Zenefits’ platform is more robust, helping you manage the entire employee lifecycle—from hiring to retirement. In addition to payroll, it offers hiring, onboarding, time tracking, benefits, compensation planning, performance reviews, employee information management, engagement surveys, compliance support, and even communication tools through its “Zenefits People Hub.”
- Integrated payroll: Zenefits automatically syncs employee data, including actual work hours, PTO details, and benefits information from its other solutions directly into payroll.
- Efficient pay processing: From employee and contractor payments to tip reporting and wage garnishments, Zenefits has all the essential tools you need to accurately process payroll and payroll taxes. Tax payments and filings are also automatic, with Zenefits handling all federal, state, and local tax submissions on your behalf. It even has dynamic pay stubs (accessible through its mobile apps) where you can add messages in case there are salary changes and special payouts (none of the providers in this guide, or ADP, offer this feature).
- Robust integrations: Unlike OnPay, which has limited integration options, you can connect Zenefits to popular applicant tracking, time and attendance, accounting, productivity, legal, and learning software. Some of its integration partners include Greenhouse, JazzHR, Deputy, QuickBooks, Xero, Lessonly, Slack, and Asana.
- Health insurance coverage is limited: Zenefits, like Gusto, offer health insurance plans that aren’t available in all states—Zenefits is limited to 49 states (Hawaii isn’t included) while Gusto’s coverage is only 39 states. If providing health benefits with extensive coverage is a priority for you, then the other software in this guide (as well as ADP) can provide you with better options.
- Payroll is a paid add-on: Unlike most of the providers in this list (except Rippling), you have to pay extra for Zenefits’ payroll solution as it isn’t included in its base plans. You also need at least five employees to purchase its base plan and add-ons. This may not be ideal for those who only need pay processing tools. And while its starter plan with a payroll add-on (priced at $16 per employee monthly) may seem low cost, you may end up paying more as you grow your workforce. For those who need more affordable options, consider Gusto and OnPay. Paychex is a good option too, but you have to pay extra or sign up for a premium plan if you want payroll tax administration and year-end tax reports.
- Doesn’t provide a dedicated specialist to clients: While both Paychex and ADP assign dedicated payroll specialists to their clients, Zenefits only offers phone, email, and chat support. Although it provides HR and payroll advisory services, you have to pay $10 per employee monthly for this feature.
QuickBooks Payroll: Best for Small Business QuickBooks Users
What We Like
- Unlimited payroll runs
- Integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks accounting
- Same- and next-day direct deposits
- Tax accuracy guarantee includes penalty payments for late filings and payments—provided you gave QuickBooks the correct info on time and have sufficient funds in your account
- Offers a separate tax penalty protection program; QuickBooks to cover tax penalties (up to $25,000/year) regardless of who makes the mistake
- Tax penalty protection available only in its Elite plan
- Automated local tax filings included in higher tiers only
- Basic HR features only
- Inconsistent customer support quality
QuickBooks Payroll Pricing
- Core: $45 per month + $4 per employee monthly
- Premium: $75 per month + $8 per employee monthly
- Elite: $125 per month + $10 per employee monthly
QuickBooks Payroll can handle most employee pay processing functions, from payroll onboarding to tax preparation, although it doesn’t report new hires to the state—a feature that other solutions in this guide (as well as ADP) offer. Aside from paying contractors and employees, you can run auto payroll with either next- or same-day direct deposits (provided you sign up for at least its Premium plan). It also automatically calculates, files, and pays federal and state taxes (local tax filings available in premium tiers), including submission of year-end W-2s/1099s. And unlike ADP, QuickBooks Payroll has an internal accounting program specifically for small businesses—QuickBooks—that seamlessly integrates with its payroll system.
QuickBooks Payroll Features
- Intuitive interface: The software has intuitive controls that allow you to set up and run payroll in a few easy steps. It doesn’t have a complicated-looking interface, and if you have questions about its functionalities, QuickBooks Payroll has how-to articles that can guide you through its features. Plus, compared to Paychex and ADP, this software doesn’t have a steep learning curve.
- Efficient pay processing: Set payroll to run automatically so you have more time to focus on business-building projects. With its full-service payroll, you can efficiently pay both employees and contractors, although you have to subscribe to its higher tiers if you want local payroll tax filings.
- Tax accuracy guarantee and tax penalty protection: All plans are covered by a tax accuracy guarantee, where QuickBooks will file and pay payroll taxes correctly and on time. In case there are penalties due to late submissions, QuickBooks will pay for all fees—provided that you forwarded the correct tax details well beyond the submission deadlines and have sufficient funds in your account to pay taxes. In addition, signing up for its Elite plan entitles you to its tax penalty protection (wherein QuickBooks will pay all tax penalties, max of $25,000 per year) that even covers tax errors that you make. Neither ADP nor the other providers in this guide offer a similar program that includes client tax filing mistakes.
- Fast direct deposits: QuickBooks Payroll is the only software in this article that allows you to pay employees quickly. Aside from next-day direct deposits, it offers same-day direct deposits—provided you subscribe to either its Premium or Elite tier.
- Seamless integration with QuickBooks: While QuickBooks Payroll doesn’t integrate with a lot of third-party software, its native integration with QuickBooks allows for seamless data transfers between Intuit QuickBooks products. This means that your payroll information can flow directly to the general journal, plus you can use wage-related information for analytics and other reports using QuickBooks.
QuickBooks Payroll Drawbacks
- HR features aren’t robust: Aside from granting users access to QuickBooks Time to track employee clock-ins/outs (provided you get its higher tiers), QuickBooks Payroll doesn’t have a wide range of HR solutions for posting jobs, monitoring applicants, and deploying online learning sessions among others. If you’re looking for a platform with a full-featured HR and payroll solution suite, we recommend Paychex, Rippling, Paycor, and Zenefits, as well as ADP.
- Doesn’t provide a dedicated specialist: If you subscribe to QuickBooks Payroll’s highest tier, you get an HR professional you can contact to provide expert advice. However, if you need a dedicated payroll specialist, consider Paychex.
Paycor: Best for Businesses Needing a Fully Configurable Payroll Tool
What We Like
- Customizable pay grids
- Easy to set up and use
- Wide range of HR solutions (such as scheduling, time tracking, learning management, compensation planning, and engagement surveys)
- Pricey for small businesses
- Its starter plan has basic HR tools
- Phone support unavailable during weekends
- Lacks unlimited pay runs
- Small business plans (those with up to 49 employees)
- Basic: $99 per month + $5 per employee monthly
- Essential: $149 per month + $6 per employee monthly
- Complete: $199 per month + $7 per employee monthly
- HCM: $199 per month + $12 per employee monthly
- Mid-market plans (businesses with 50 and more employees): Custom-priced
Paycor, like ADP, has a robust suite of HR and payroll tools that can cater to all business sizes. It’s great for those with complex payroll needs because you can configure its pay grid to fit your requirements. Paycor even lets you create customized pay slips, although Zenefits allows the inclusion of pay messages to its online pay stubs. And like many of the providers in this guide, it offers automatic tax calculations, payments, and filings, including W-2 and 1099 processing.
However, Paycor isn’t great for those that have limited budgets. With a starter plan for small businesses (up to 49 employees) that costs $99 plus $5 per employee monthly—Paycor is the most expensive ADP alternative on our list.
- All-in-one HR platform: Paycor’s all-in-one platform combines several HR tools together, from hiring and time tracking to payroll and performance management. ADP competitors like Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll, and OnPay don’t have a robust HR solution suite.
- Flexible payroll: Run payroll the way you want it with Paycor’s customizable pay grids. You can add and remove earning/deduction columns that you need in addition to selecting whether or not you want its system to display the applicable amount or hours per earning/deduction type.
- Payroll tax compliance: Aside from year-end reporting and payroll tax filings (federal, state, and local taxes), Paycor has a team of tax experts who keeps you compliant and up-to-date with the latest tax regulations.
- Small business plans aren’t affordable: With a starter plan that costs $99 plus $5 per employee monthly, Paycor isn’t the best choice for small businesses that want a budget-friendly payroll solution. If you’re looking for reasonably priced ADP alternatives and only need payroll, we recommend Gusto, OnPay, and Paychex (although you have to pay extra for year-end reports and tax filing services).
- Starter tier only has basic HR tools: While Paycor’s starter Basic plan has all the tools you need to run payroll and manage payroll taxes, it doesn’t have the PTO tracking and onboarding solutions that Zenefits has in its starter Essentials tier. You have to upgrade to Paycor’s higher packages if you want these HR tools and more advanced features like employee surveys and performance management.
Rippling: Best for Companies Relying Heavily on Technology to Manage HR, Payroll & IT
What We Like
- Robust HR and IT products can be purchased separately and as needed
- Pricing is a bit more transparent compared to ADP
- Integrates with 400+ third-party software
- IT tools simplify the company computer/app provisioning and deprovisioning processes
- Its core Employee Management solution must be purchased before any other product
- Limited employee payment options
- Gets pricey as you add features
- Its HR help desk option with phone and email support costs extra
- 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
Similar to Zenefits, Rippling’s payroll product comes as an add-on to its HR platform. Aside from IT and HR management tools, it offers an extensive payroll feature set with automatic tax calculations and filings and direct deposit payment options. You can also print manual checks, but there’s no payroll card or on-demand pay options that you would get with ADP, Paychex, or Gusto. It does automatically sync your HR data with payroll though, which can be a time saver.
Rippling also is the only provider on this list that has IT solutions for managing company-issued computers and apps. It even integrates with more than 400 apps. This makes it ideal for companies that want to automate their computer provisioning and deprovisioning processes while streamlining essential HR and payroll tasks. However, you have to pay for each HR, payroll, and IT module in addition to its core employee management platform, which is a required solution. Further, there is no free live phone support like there is with ADP. If you want one-on-one HR support, then subscribe to Rippling’s HR help desk module that comes with phone and email support.
- Unified platform: Similar to Zenefits, Rippling has an integrated HR platform in which all of its solutions automatically connect with the other. This helps you save time since you don’t need to input employee data twice to capture staff information (like salary changes, time sheet data, and benefits) that will affect payroll.
- Full range of HR and IT features: You get a full HR suite with robust employee management, benefits administration, time and attendance, and applicant tracking. It also has onboarding/offboarding automation and IT management tools. Note that none of the software in this list, including ADP, have IT functionalities.
- Efficient pay processing: Rippling offers full-service payroll that lets you pay employees and contractors in just a few clicks. It also provides your staff easy access to online pay stubs and tax forms through its mobile apps (for iOS and Android devices). You don’t have to worry about payroll taxes, because it automatically calculates and files federal, state, and local taxes for you. And, compared to competitors like Gusto and Zenefits, Rippling’s pay processing capabilities are a bit more robust since, like ADP, it can handle international payroll.
- Robust integrations: In addition to application programming interface (API) access, you can connect Rippling to more than 400 third-party systems that include accounting, expense management, recruiting, training and onboarding, and office management software among others. ADP and the other providers in this article don’t integrate with as many third-party solutions.
- Flexible PEO: For businesses that need expert assistance in managing day-to-day HR and payroll tasks, Rippling offers professional employer organization (PEO) services. You can even turn it on and off directly from your account and easily transition to using Rippling’s platform again. While ADP and Paychex provide PEO services, neither have a flexible program like Rippling.
- Add-ons can get pricey: Rippling may be a great choice for those that only need payroll tools or specific HR, benefits, or IT solutions, but it can get pricey as you add more features. For full-service payroll plans with access to robust employee benefits, you can consider any of the providers in this list (including ADP) except Gusto and Zenefits since both have limited health insurance coverages—available only in 39 and 49 states, respectively.
- Live phone support isn’t free: You can contact Rippling via email and chat, but if you need to talk with an HR expert, you have to pay extra for its HR help desk solution ($100 monthly).
OnPay: Best for Small Agriculture Companies
What We Like
- Reasonably priced plan with flat pricing
- Files Form 943
- Unlimited pay runs
- Access to either two- or four-day direct deposits is based on OnPay’s risk assessment
- Live phone support unavailable during weekends
- Limited integration options
- $36 per month + $4 per employee monthly
One of OnPay’s standout features is its capability to handle payroll taxes for agricultural businesses. Not only does it file Form 943, but it can also process taxes for workers on H-2A visas. This makes it easy for farm owners to manage the payrolls of both agriculture workers and non-farm employees. It also offers unlimited pay runs, multiple pay rates, automatic tax filings (federal, state, and local), year-end W-2/1099 reporting, onboarding, benefits options, and PTO management. And while OnPay is adept in managing payroll and taxes for small agriculture companies, it also handles pay processing for churches and nonprofit organizations, as well as businesses in several industries, such as hospitality, healthcare, and fitness.
- Unlimited payroll runs: Similar to Gusto, Zenefits, Rippling, and QuickBooks Payroll, OnPay offers unlimited payroll runs. You also don’t have to pay additional fees for payroll tax administration and year-end tax reporting since it provides these for free, unlike Paychex and ADP. For farms and agriculture companies, OnPay can file Form 943 and process taxes for workers on H-2A visas.
- Multiple employee payment options: OnPay supports employee payments made through debit cards and direct deposits. You can also pay your staff through manual paychecks—although you have to handle check printings yourself. In addition, pay stubs, tax forms, and benefits information are available online through its self-service portal.
- Employee benefits: With OnPay, you can provide employees with retirement plans, disability insurance, and health benefits that are available across the US. This is unlike Gusto’s and Zenefits’ health insurance, which covers only 39 and 49 states, respectively.
- Essential HR tools: While you don’t get the robust HR solutions that Paycor, Zenefits, Paychex, and ADP offer, OnPay provides essential tools to help simplify new hire onboarding—from sending electronic offer letters to creating custom checklists. It also has an HR library that contains online HR guides and legal templates that you can use.
- Risk assessment to identify direct deposit options: Some of the ADP competitors on this list may offer different direct deposit turnaround timelines for its starter and premium tiers, but OnPay only has one tier and you can’t select which direct deposit option you want. You have to undergo its risk assessment so OnPay can identify whether you qualify for either two- or four-day direct deposits. While this is a security protocol on the provider’s part, it can be a bit inconvenient to some businesses who need two-day direct deposits but will only be approved for a four-day option. For fast processing timelines without the risk assessment, consider QuickBooks Payroll as it provides next- and same-day direct deposits.
- Email support only on weekends: OnPay’s phone support is available only during weekdays, so if you have urgent concerns on a weekend, you can only send your queries via email. In case you prefer to have 24/7 support, both ADP and Paychex are good choices. If you need a dedicated payroll specialist, Paychex assigns one to clients who subscribe to its higher tiers.
Inova Payroll: Best for Small Businesses Wanting Customizable HR Solutions & Services
What We Like
- Has a full-featured HR solution and services suite
- Two-year price guarantee for its payroll outsourcing services
- Excellent customer support
- Pricing isn’t transparent
- Limited third-party integration
- Tax filings and W-2/1099 reporting cost extra
- Doesn’t offer unlimited pay runs
Inova Payroll Pricing*
- Payroll processing: $24 per weekly pay cycle plus $1.60 per processed paycheck
- ACH direct deposits (add-on): $9 per weekly pay cycle
- State and federal tax processing and filings (add-on): $6 per weekly pay cycle
- Quarterly state and federal tax returns (add-on): $31.50 per quarter
- Year-end tax filings (add-on): $29 plus $5.95 per W-2/1099 form
Inova Payroll may not be as popular as ADP, but it offers full-service payroll, HR solutions, and HR outsourcing services for businesses of all sizes. It handles payroll for both contractors and employees, calculates taxes, and manages benefits. Its professional tax team also helps in monitoring federal, state, and local tax updates and resolutions in addition to filing payroll taxes (this is available as a paid add-on). Plus, Inova’s payroll team specializes in information technology so it can even customize its software and features to meet your needs—although it will cost extra. Note that Inova Payroll, like ADP, doesn’t publish its pricing online, so you have to ask for a customized quote that conforms to your specific needs.
Inova Payroll Features
- Robust feature variety: Compared to Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll, Inova has a more feature-rich platform. Aside from payroll, Inova Payroll offers online tools for time tracking, background checks, and employee benefits like health insurance, 401(k) plans, and workers’ compensation. It also has a suite of human capital management (HCM) solutions that include applicant tracking, onboarding, learning management, and performance management.
- Efficient pay processing: The software can handle simple pay runs to multilocation payrolls. Similar to ADP, you can pay your staff either through direct deposits, paper checks, or debit pay cards. It even lets you pre-process payroll so you can review and make last-minute adjustments before submission. You also don’t need to worry about payroll taxes because Inova provides accurate calculations, including access to its professional tax team that monitors regulation updates and resolves tax notices on your behalf. For a fee, it even offers year-end reporting and federal, state, and local tax filing services. This is unlike QuickBooks that doesn’t handle local payroll taxes unless you get its premium tiers.
- Smart reporting: Inova Payroll, like Paychex, has a wide range of reporting options that show payroll summaries, job costs, direct deposit details, general ledgers, and more. You can also create ad hoc reports and export these into Excel and CSV files.
- HR and compliance support: In addition to live phone support, Inova Payroll offers “HR On-Demand” services to help you stay compliant and provide you with expert advice from HR professionals. This service—which is similar to ADP’s HR support solutions—also includes access to HR tools and resources, such as custom employee handbooks, job descriptions, HR forms, and a policy library.
Inova Payroll Drawbacks
- Tax filings and W-2/1099 reports are paid add-ons: Similar to Paychex, Inova Payroll offers its payroll tax filing and year-end report services as paid add-ons. While you can opt to handle this yourself, it can be inconvenient and difficult especially for business owners who are non-payroll tax experts.
- Lacks unlimited pay runs: Inova Payroll doesn’t offer unlimited payroll—you have to pay for every pay run. This may not be budget-friendly for small businesses that need to pay their employees several times a month. For reasonably-priced full-service payroll that doesn’t charge on a per-pay run basis, we recommend Gusto, Zenefits, and Rippling.