Every small business owner has to deal with payroll taxes, and the process can be painstakingly complex. We’ve created this website and downloadable software in order to solve that problem for you. Our easy-to-use Sage payroll software is perfect for both small businesses and accounting firms serving small businesses, because it includes all of the features of most leading professional payroll services, but at a fraction of the price.
Software programs have become so advanced that almost any company, regardless of the industry, can benefit from using a computerized payroll system. Small business payroll software products offer benefits such as faster, cheaper, more accurate and consistent payroll processing.
Homebase Payroll: Best for Businesses Employing Hourly Workers
Overall Score: 3.66 OUT OF 5
What We Like
- Flat pricing with reasonable monthly fees
- Payroll plan includes time tracking, scheduling, job postings, and applicant tracking tools
- Unlimited pay runs with automated payroll tax payments and filings
- Payroll services available only in 43 states (as of this writing)
- Lacks health insurance options
- Integrates only with QuickBooks Online
Homebase Payroll Pricing
- $35 per month + $5 per employee monthly
Homebase has added a payroll module to its suite of time tracking and scheduling solutions. Similar to Square Payroll, Homebase Payroll offers flat pricing for its easy-to-use pay processing solution that includes automated payroll tax payment and filing services. Its payroll platform is designed specifically for hourly teams as it comes with essential scheduling and time tracking tools to help you manage your hourly workforce more efficiently. It even offers job postings, applicant tracking, PTO management, new hire onboarding, and time clock apps.
Homebase Payroll earned an overall score of 3.66 in our evaluation. Its reasonably priced plan with flat pricing and robust HR tools contributed to its high scores (4 and up), while the lack of online Homebase Payroll reviews resulted in it getting a zero rating in our popularity criteria.
Homebase Payroll Features
- Flat pricing: Both Square Payroll and Homebase Payroll offer flat pricing, allowing you to easily plan your payroll software expenses. You also don’t have to worry about having to pay extra fees if you exceed a plan’s user limits or need additional payroll and essential HR solutions. Homebase Payroll has only one plan that includes all the tools you need to hire, onboard, and pay employees.
- Robust payroll plan: Homebase Payroll is the only payroll system for small businesses that we reviewed that’s affordably priced and comes with several HR features. For only $35 plus $5 per employee monthly, you get hiring, onboarding, time tracking, and scheduling tools in addition to full-service payroll and automatic tax filing services. Paycor, ADP, Paychex, and Rippling may offer similar functionalities, but you either have to pay extra or subscribe to its higher tiers to get these solutions.
- Full-service payroll: Unlike Paychex, ADP Run, and Paycor, Homebase Payroll offers unlimited pay runs so you can process employee and contractor payments as many times as you need in a month. Salaries are sent to the employees’ accounts via direct deposits, although Homebase Payroll also supports payments made through printable checks. In addition to W-2 and 1099 reporting, Homebase provides automated payroll tax payments and filings.
- Early access to wages: Similar to Gusto and Square Payroll, Homebase Payroll offers an employee perk that grants your staff early access to wages. Your workers can transfer a portion of their salary to their bank account before payday to help pay for emergency expenses.
Homebase Payroll’s Drawbacks
- Doesn’t offer health insurance and retirement benefits: While it can help you find qualified candidates, onboard new hires, schedule work shifts, track attendance, and pay employees, Homebase Payroll doesn’t provide access to benefits options that you can offer to your workers. If you want robust benefits choices, consider any of the providers in this list except Square Payroll and Patriot Payroll. Gusto also has health insurance plans but it is limited to only 39 states.
- Limited payroll coverage: Given that Homebase’s payroll solution is fairly new (as of this writing), its payroll services only cover 43 states. However, the provider is working on adding new states, so check its website for updates.
If you’re looking for the best-rated service and support, you should really check out what Wagepoint’s offering. And since they’re Canadian, you can probably trust their claim to have the friendliest support and service staff around. In addition to clear and affordable pricing, Wagepoint offers a free trial period to let you try before you buy.
Pros & Cons
Superb customer service
Easy to use
Users remark that the reporting feature is weak
Only desktop access
Pricing includes a $20 base fee and an additional $2/user.
Free trial: No
Free plan: No
Like many other payroll software solutions, PayCor is about much more than just payroll. It is a modular system that can be used for payroll alone, or use additional modules offered on the platform to manage all employee “lifetimes” within the company, from recruiting to departure. Did we already mention that flexibility is important to payroll software?
Pros & Cons
Desktop and mobile access
Some users complain the interface is confusing
Basic plans start at $99/month for payroll services.
Free trial: No
Free plan: No
Bamboo HR is another great payroll software solution for small businesses. While specifically made for US-based employees, BambooHR provides an easy, 3-step solution to payroll. BambooHR saves employee information like wages, hours, bank account numbers, employee benefits, deductions, or withholdings and automatically transfers to the payroll process. Additionally, they have an employee portal so employees can access their payroll information (paystubs, direct deposit accounts) at any time. Lastly, they provide over 100 exportable payroll reports.
Billing & invoicing
Retirement plan management
Pros & Cons
Easy to use
Desktop and mobile access
Confusing user interface
In order to receive a price quote you must speak to a representative.
Free trial: Yes
Free plan: No
Patriot Payroll Software
Patriot Software provides online payroll services to help you save time and money in your business. Made for small business owners in the United States with 1 to 100 employees. Choose the payroll option that is best for you: Basic Payroll – a monthly fee of $10. + $4 for each additional employee Full-Service Payroll – Monthly fee of $30 plus $4 per employee. Paychecks can be deposited directly into your bank account or printed.
Gusto: Best Overall Small Business Payroll Software
Overall Score: 4.66 OUT OF 5
What We Like
- Unlimited pay runs
- Automated payroll tax payments and filings with year-end reporting
- Affordably priced for small businesses
- Health insurance limited to 39 states
- Time tracking is included only in premium plans
- No dedicated payroll specialist
- 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 person monthly
Gusto ranked high among its competitors for its full-service payroll, benefits options, and HR support at an affordable price. It enables small businesses to operate with the structure and amenities that some larger companies offer. In addition to running payroll on autopilot, plus offering direct deposit and pay card options, it sends out an onboarding email notice to each new hire so they can complete the required paperwork before coming into the office. A range of benefits is available, and if you’re in one of the 39 states where it offers insurance, you can offer national health insurance plans to your employees.
Scoring 4.66 out of 5 in our evaluation, Gusto earned perfect scores in pricing, reporting, and popularity among users. However, the limited coverage of its health insurance and having to subscribe to one of its higher tiers to access HR tools—such as time tracking and online paid time off (PTO) requests—prevented Gusto from getting a higher score.
- Automatic and unlimited payroll runs in all 50 states: Unlike ADP and Paychex, Gusto allows you to process unlimited payroll runs, including bonus and off-cycle payments, at no extra cost. And you can even set payroll to run on autopilot.
- Automated tax payment and year-end report filing: Gusto automatically withholds, pays, and files taxes on federal, state, and local levels. It handles year-end tax reporting (W-2s and 1099s) for free, unlike ADP Run, which charges a fee for this service.
- Employee benefits: Gusto provides employee benefits in all 50 states but its health insurance is available only in 39 (as of this writing). While some small business payroll providers are cheaper (Rippling is $18 per employee monthly, for example), they don’t offer some of the employee perks that Gusto does such as 529 college savings accounts, health reimbursement plans, and Gusto Wallet—a free financial management app that even has time tracking tools.
In case your employees have emergency expenses and need early access to their salary, they can easily get the funds through the Gusto Cashout feature of the Gusto Wallet. Aside from Square Payroll and Homebase Payroll, none of the other providers on our list offer an in-house solution.
- Multiple pay options: With Gusto, employees are paid through manual checks, pay cards, or direct deposits. The standard direct deposit timelines are two and four days, but subscribing to Gusto’s higher tiers gets you a next-day option. However, if you require fast processing timelines, QuickBooks Payroll’s starter Core plan comes with next-day direct deposits (same-day for higher tiers). Square Payroll also offers instant payouts through its Square Payments solution.
- Efficient time tracking and workforce management tools: Aside from monitoring your employees’ and contractors’ time through its system or via the Gusto Wallet, Gusto offers project tracking and workforce costing tools. You can even create custom PTO policies and send/approve time-off requests online. However, these features are available only in Gusto’s higher tiers. If you require reasonably priced full-service payroll with PTO and time tracking tools, consider either OnPay or Homebase Payroll (note that Homebase’s payroll services cover only 43 states as of this writing).
- Professional HR and tax experts on support: Gusto helps you avoid expensive compliance mistakes through its team of HR and tax experts that you can reach out to for help whenever you need them—provided you get its Concierge option.
- Limited health insurance coverage: While Gusto has Gusto Cashout, a Gusto Wallet app with time tracking functionalities, and other benefits offerings, its health insurance options are limited to 39 states. If you want health benefits that are available across the US, consider any of the providers in this guide except Patriot Payroll and Homebase Payroll.
- Doesn’t provide a dedicated payroll specialist: Gusto may provide access to HR Pros if you get its premium plan, but it doesn’t have dedicated payroll specialists who can help you navigate through the complexities of paying employees. This is where Paychex shines since it assigns a payroll expert to each of its clients—although you have to sign up for its higher tiers to get this service.
This legal payroll software has been around for years.Accurate and simple to use. Small business owners love it! Why? Because it is easy to use, inexpensive, and does everything you need for payroll taxes. Saves you and your employees time and money. Payroll taxes software for small business is now easier and more affordable than ever!