Traditional payroll management can be such a nightmare for business owners and HR staff. Imagine wading through tons of paperwork, finding and fixing data entry errors, and then keeping these records for 3-4 years (as federal law requires). You'd also need to manually keep track of employee vacation and sick leave, compensation, time sheets, and even payroll taxes. Quite a headache, isn't it? Thankfully, technology brought us payroll services.
Payroll services are third-party companies that will handle payroll and related processes on your behalf. From tracking employee time and attendance to computing payroll taxes, these services can help automate the entire payroll process. This way, you won't have to do everything manually, only to deal with costly errors later.
Is it a software program, or an agency that will take care of everything?
Payroll services use either on-premises or cloud-based payroll solutions. Depending on your chosen platform, you can either just get the software or outsource your entire payroll processing. The former helps automate everything, giving you more control and eliminating payroll mistakes. However, note that you'd still have to input all the necessary information. For businesses looking for more than just the basic software, we've shortlisted full-service payroll services that will handle everything so you can focus on growing your business and other equally-important tasks.
What can payroll services help me with?
Besides automating your entire payroll process to make it fast and accurate, many payroll services offer loads of additional features. Full-service suites like the ones we've shortlisted above can also handle employee benefits, 401(k) and retirement, time and attendance, hiring and onboarding, and many more. At its core, however, these payroll services can help you with the following:
Automatic Payroll Processing: Set your payroll to run automatically to get your employees paid on time, reduce errors, and keep data secure. You can even provide self-service options to your employees and save hours of billable time!
Payroll Compliance: When you're trying to run a business, staying on top of laws and regulations affecting payroll processing can be challenging. Payroll providers stay up-to-date on the ever-changing federal, state and local regulations, ensuring payroll compliance to avoid hefty penalties and legal action.
Employee Time & Attendance: Many payroll services also have automated time tools to easily manage work hours, schedules, time off, holidays, sick leaves, and other PTO stuff.
Payroll Taxes: Not only do payroll services automatically calculate your employees' pay, but they can also calculate and subtract all the necessary taxes, withholdings, and other deductions from each paycheck. Many full-service payroll solutions can also assist with preparing, filing, and distributing filing tax forms such as W-2, 1099-NEC, 1099-MISC forms, etc.
Payroll Reports: Many payroll services offer detailed insights that give you a deeper look at how your business operates and enable you to make smart decisions based on actual numbers. These reports include payroll summary, employee paycheck and earning statement, cash requirements and deposits, timesheets, new hires, and more.
Employee Self-Service: Empower your employees to access, review and print their payslips, apply and check the status of leave requests, update their withholdings, update personal information, review attendance, and more.
Okay, but how do I choose the best payroll service provider for my business?
You can start by asking yourself the following questions:
Based on your current payroll challenges, what features do you need?
Does it integrate with the existing software you use for accounting, time-tracking, attendance, expense and employee management, recruiting, etc.?
Which pricing structure fits your budget and needs?
How many employees do you have? Are there seasonal ones?
Do you need assistance with taxes?
Do you want to offer self-service access to employees?
Would you like automated new hire reporting?
Do you prefer month-to-month or long-term contracts?
Answering these questions will get you closer to the payroll service that best meets your organization's unique needs. In addition, make sure to consider ease of use, mobile access, customer support, and industry reputation.
How much does it cost?
Payroll services usually offer a multitude of price structures to accommodate a wide array of businesses. Most payroll services typically charge a base fee per month or per pay period. The former means you can run unlimited payrolls for a fixed monthly fee, while the latter means you get charged per period, say, weekly or bi-weekly. Base fees usually range from $20 - $120 per month. On top of that, there's a per-employee fee that usually costs about $5 - $15 per month. It may sound like quite a lot, but it actually pales compared to the costs of outsourcing, wasted labor, training, penalties due to wage or tax violations, and more.
The aim of this website is to help you find the perfect software for your needs in an easy-to-view comparison list. You can read more about how we review and about our background in the About Us section of this website. Software.fish does not feature all of the software available in the market, we cherry-pick what we consider to be the leaders in each vertical. We try to keep this site updated and fresh, but cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information as well as the prices featured at all times. All prices quoted on this site are based on USD so there could be slight discrepancies due to currency fluctuations. Although the site is free to use, we do earn commissions from the software companies that we have partnered with. If you click on one of our links and then make a purchase, we will get paid by that company. This has an impact on the ranking, score, and order in which the software is presented in our list and elsewhere throughout the site. Software listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement.
Before you go...
Get award-winning payroll, HR, and more for one clear price.