Open Source Payroll Software for Small Business

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Open source payroll software has risen in popularity through the needs of businesses. As the world of freelancing has increased, so has the demand for open source alternatives to closed-source solutions or their proprietary alternatives. The reason being is the increase in ability of freelancers to work on their own schedule versus employees who are on a strict schedule. This allows companies to get more work done without having to pay for that extra time, while still taking advantage of some great benefits that come with hiring freelancers.

In this article, you will find the best open source softwares with great features.



OnPay is a cloud-based payroll software that provides all the payroll functionality and features for small and mid-sized businesses.

The solution helps businesses by streamlining the payroll processes and automating tax filing and payment workflows. Users can easily and quickly enter payroll information (hours, tips, bonuses, etc.). OnPay can also handle benefits such as health insurance and compensation insurance.

Users who can pass the risk assessment conducted by the provider can use the direct deposit feature. Still, all users can pay employees through check without going through any tests or inspections.

OnPay can also calculate state and federal taxes, do the withholding, file tax forms, and even make tax payments. The solution guarantees the accuracy, and the provider will take responsibility if any errors ever were to happen in the tax filings.

On the surface, OnPay may look basic, or more basic than some of its competitors, but this means that the solution can focus 100% on delivering its core services as efficiently as possible. This simplicity also serves to help new users get the most out of the software without being confused by an interface that’s overcrowded with features that they may never get to use.

The solution is not free, but it is in the “affordable” price zone, which makes it suitable for small and midsize businesses, and OnPay offers a one month free trial on all their plans if you think this might be the solution for you.


  • Unlimited pay runs
  • Automated Tax fillings – Accuracy guaranteed.
  • Automated Tax Payments
  • Pay by direct deposit, debit card, or print checks.
  • Employee self-service
  • Employee online portal
  • Custom reports
  • Digital paystubs
  • Integrated health benefits and 401(K)
  • Mobile friendly
  • Time-off tracking
  • Free data migration, export, and setup
  • Lifetime accounts for employees.
  • Third-party integrations (QuickBooks, Xero)
  • Charge-free cancellation
  • Certified payroll professionals
  • Support via chat, email, and phone for free



OpenPro is a cloud-based resource planning solution designed for businesses of all sizes. The suite can deliver financial accounting, order management, distribution planning, and order management. The financial accounting features include payroll management and accounts payable, check reconciliation, accounts receivable, and general ledger.

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OpenPro also comes with distribution management features, including order processing, purchase orders, a point of sales (POS), job costing, warehousing, inventory control, and EDI. OpenPro offers a CRM module that allows users to handle customers and their relations with them with efficiency.

As the name might suggest, OpenPro is an open-source application, and the solution can run on Windows, Mac OS, or Linux.

OpenPro is easy to use and easy to personalize so that it can play nicely with your business’s already-existing systems and workflow. Another strength of OpenPro is a rapid entry as users can enter information quickly and in no time, making the workflow a bit smoother and more efficient.

If you were to run into any issues with the software, you could always reach the customer support, which has been reported to be very helpful and efficient, and the software has a reputation of being reliable so you shouldn’t need assistance anyway. OpenPro is suitable for businesses in different businesses, but most of its customers are in the Manufacturing business, and the software is more ideal for midsize to large companies.


  • Ease of use
  • CRM Module
  • Financial Accounting
  • Finance Management
  • Distribution Management
  • Automatically-updated employee records
  • Employee policy records
  • Track employee benefits plan
  • Manage employee pay grades and salaries
  • Accounts Receivable & Payable
  • Check reconciliation
  • Distribution planning
  • Order Management
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Module
  • Sales Analysis
  • Job Costing
  • Inventory Control
  • Purchase orders

eSmart Paycheck: Best For Quick Payroll Calculations

eSmart Paycheck
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Best for companies that want to quickly crunch payroll numbers with state-specific calculators.

There’s a lot of arithmetic that goes into completing payroll. eSmart Paycheck is a free payroll calculator that can quickly compute payroll for hourly or salaried workers while taking care of 401k contributions and other deductions.

eSmart stands out from other payroll calculators in that it lets users download and print paychecks and pay stubs. If you live in a state with more complicated payroll taxes, such as New York or Maryland, state-specific calculators can help safeguard you’re withholding the right amount.


  • Helps you abide by state income tax laws
  • The pay cycle has eight settings (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually)
  • The interface for inputting information is very intuitive.


  • The free calculator does not save data, so you’ll need to make records separately.
  • Does not help file taxes.
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eSmart Paycheck Features & Pricing

eSmart Paycheck is more of a payroll calculator than it is a software solution. Small business owners can use eSmart to input employee wage and withholding information to run payroll themselves. Among the standout free features that come with the eSmart Paycheck calculator include:

  • Print paychecks and pay stubs
  • State-specific calculators
  • Adjustable pay cycles
  • Quick web-based access

Businesses that need tools to file tax information will need to subscribe to a paid eSmart Payroll service plan. eSmart Payroll provides paid access to federal and state payroll forms at various prices.

eSmart Paycheck Summary

eSmart is best saved for businesses that already have a firm grasp on how to calculate their payroll and are confident in filing taxes themselves. If your company is well-organized and just needs a solution to calculate and print its payroll numbers, then eSmart Paycheck may be right for you.

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Honorable Mentions

IRIS: Best UK Payroll Service

UK-based businesses with fewer than 10 employees can take advantage of IRIS’s free payroll software. Payroll calculations are done automatically on an ongoing basis once information is inputted. Data is backed up with each use, so you won’t have to start over from scratch each time you do payroll. Besides the geographic and employee constraints, another downside is that the ability to print pay stubs and reports is only free for 30 days.

Rise: Best Canadian Payroll Service

At this stage, Rise only offers payroll services for small businesses in Canada with 20 employees or less. In addition to calculating payroll, qualifying businesses can generate personalized payroll reports and completely customize their payment schedule.

Should You Use Paid Payroll Software Instead?

If the aforementioned free platforms aren’t checking all your boxes, a paid payroll software is another option. In addition to greater customer support, these apps typically come with a more diverse array of features that businesses with any number of employees can utilize.

Paid VS Free Payroll Software

While the best free payroll software can come in handy for payroll calculations and printing checks, it may not cover all the bases for completing payroll. Also, companies may not be eligible for free services as they grow in size.

If you’re looking to take your payroll support further to file taxes and make direct deposits, the time savings may be worth the cash required monthly to pony up for a paid payroll software. Many paid providers offer different payroll tiers according to access, meaning there are options for nearly any budget.

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The Best Free Payroll Software Alternatives

If you decide that the free apps aren’t cutting it for your payroll and HR needs, there are plenty of other cost-effective options to consider. There are many solutions out there, so we’ve done some of the legwork to put together a list of the best payroll software for small businesses.


ADP Payroll

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ADP has been working in payroll and workplace management for decades. As an established firm, they have built their reputation on customer service and support for major companies with thousands of employees. However, ADP’s four-tiered RUN plan is geared towards small businesses with 1-49 employees. The software includes payroll processing, direct deposit, tax filing, new hire reporting. To manage HR through payroll, you will have to upgrade above the Essential RUN plan.

To determine if ADP fits your budget, you’ll have to reach out for a quote, as pricing and add-on fees are not explicitly disclosed online. For growing mid-sized businesses, the extensive features and in-depth customer support could be worth the higher prices and hidden fees. Read our complete ADP review to see if this payroll software is right for you.

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If your main priority is getting payroll taken care of without much hassle, then Gusto is a top candidate for the job. The cloud-based system can fully automate calculations and tax filing through a service called Gusto AutoPilot, which can provide 24-hour notice and ultimately submit payroll on time in case you forget. Even Gusto’s cheapest package, the core plan, lets customers manage deductions, garnishments, and additional earnings for their payroll. Employees can do some time tracking and download pay stubs within the portal too.

If reporting and complex scheduling are a priority for your small business, then Gusto may not be the best choice. Otherwise, its straight-forward approach and attentive customer support make it a hit among small to mid-size businesses. Read our full Gusto review for more details.

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If you’re in the business of providing small business services, you’re likely to have employees. And if you’re one of those companies, there is a great deal of money that flows through your business that needs managing. Whether it’s paying your employees, keeping your books complete or actually keeping track of your payroll, Open Source Payroll Software can help you do all this with the transparency and oversight you need without overspending on overpriced software!

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