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10 Best Payroll Software of 2018

Get a detailed look into the Best Payroll Software available today. Learn how this service could help you simplify your payroll process.   

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Payroll software are any programs designed to automate the task of paying a company’s employees. They are beneficial because they can reduce the number of man hours associated with processing this manually, while allowing employees to play an oversight role on the backend, ensuring all is being calculated correctly.

Payroll software programs are great for companies that not only want to reduce the monthly or bi-monthly time expenditure, but also to bolster corporate transparency. Programs also enable employees to electronically view their paystubs, and visualize tax and benefit breakdowns.

When selecting a specific payroll software program, make sure to consider those features that would most make an accountant’s life easier. For instance, many options will guarantee flawless tax calculation and filing. This should hold true for federal, state, and local taxes.

Before you decide on your payroll software package, you’re going to want to consider the following. Does the software allow direct deposit, check printing, and pay cards? Is the platform cloud-based, on-premise, or otherwise? Is the total rate match the same as was initially quoted?

Top 10 Companies

9.9 / 10
  • Starts at $20 per month, $2 per employee
  • QuickBooks integration
  • Eliminate tax penalties
  • Automatic tax payments
  • W2 employees, 1099  contractors
  • Payroll setup
9.6 / 10
  • Starts at $9 per month (base fee plus one employee)
  • Access anywhere, anytime
  • Wage and tax reports
  • Employee income tax forms
  • Weekly, bi-monthly, monthly payrolls
  • Benefits, vacation pay and overtime 
Our Partner
9.1 / 10
  • Time and attendance management
  • In-house and outsource payroll solutions
  • Check printing
  • Debit card payment option
  • Tax filling and year end processing
  • US and Canadian tax compliant
8.6 / 10
  • Fast, easy to setup
  • Cloud-based
  • Mobile device compatible
  • Flexible time collection methods
  • Expert support for hardware installation
Our Partner
8.2 / 10
  • Dedicated payroll specialists
  • Software as a Service
  • Monthly subscription
  • No contract
  • Mobile access
8.0 / 10
  • Call-in, fax-in, email payroll entry
  • Web-based
  • Mobile apps
  • Detailed reports
  • Tax features
  • Year-End W-2 Processing
7.3 / 10
  • Highly personalized services
  • Detailed reporting
  • Great customer service
  • Payroll tax services
  • Direct deposit, check signing payments
  • QuickBooks integration
6.7 / 10
  • Starts at $29 ($25 base plus $4 per employee)
  • 24/7 web and mobile access
  • Automated tax payment and filling
  • One, easy to understand pricing
  • FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Xero integration
  • Calculates state and federal taxes
5.9 / 10
  • Online, access anywhere, anytime
  • Unlimited number of employee accounts
  • Tax features
  • Management reporting
  • General ledger
5.6 / 10
  • Cloud-based
  • Check payment processing
  • Reporting features
  • Unlimited users
  • Tax processing
Additional Companies:  

How We Compare Payroll Software

Payroll Processes


Traditional payroll (email, fax, call-in)

Web-based payroll

Electronic transfers of payroll data

Receive live payroll reports

Tax features

Direct deposits

Check printing


Employee Self-service

Payroll software does not only make it easier for managers to handle payroll processes, it should also promote better transparency by giving employees access to this information.

  • View, print employee paystubs and payroll details
  • Access to tax information (deductions, taxable income, net pay total)
  • View benefits
  • Access to pay statements
  • Benefits (overtime hours, available vacation and sick leaves)



Information is a valuable tool in business and having the ability to transform your data into reports is essential. We look at payroll software that has a variety of reporting features. This gives businesses the ability to track and manage payroll expenses.

  • Payroll at a glance
  • New hire reports
  • General ledger positioning
  • Payroll funding
  • Audit reports
  • Online payroll and tax reports

Tax Features


One of the most essential task for any payroll manager, payroll software with tax features make this difficult task easier and simpler. Just like many of today tax preparation software, features include an accurate tax guarantee and automated tax filing. This should also include tax services not only for regular but contractor and seasonal employees.

  • W2 employees
  • 1099 contractors
  • Electronic tax filing
  • Print tax forms for employees
  • Federal, State tax forms
  • Automated tax payments
  • Quarterly tax returns and reports
  • Annual tax returns and reports

Payment Services


Your payroll software should offer a variety of employee payment solutions. This includes direct deposit, pay cards and check payment options. The nature of your business and how salaries are computed have a direct correlation with your payroll scheduling.   

  • Direct deposit
  • Print checks
  • Pay cards

Industry Applications


It is possible to purchase customized payroll software for any industry but this could cost you more. A payroll software that can work with a variety of industries ensures that this system can be used without major modifications. All payroll software have the same basic functionalities. It collects employee work data (hours worked, overtime, benefits) and computes compensation (salary). Special cases such as businesses which are project based of those with seasonal employees require payroll software that addresses this needs.



A variety of deployment options gives businesses the flexibility to work with existing equipment or systems they have. Cloud-based payroll solutions are the easiest to integrate since this only require a stable internet connection.

  • On-premise
  • Software
  • Cloud-based
  • Software as a Service (Saas)



Getting help when you need it is essential and the best payroll software services offer a variety of customer support options. This include email, online chat, dedicated support lines and expert help.

  • Dedicated customer support lines
  • Live chat
  • Email
  • Account experts 


What's important to know about Payroll Software?

Why should I get Payroll Software?

Handling a payroll is a huge responsibility for anyone, let alone someone who is trying to learn it on their own. If done incorrectly, you won’t just throw your company’s finances off, but could also impact your employees’ pay or benefits, and errors in tax reporting could mean paying penalties.

If you plan on managing payroll yourself, be prepared to do a lot of accounting, study up on federal and state payroll laws, keep track and meet deadlines, and manage your employees hours and benefits. If this is more than you are willing to take on, you are not alone, but at the same time hiring a part-time accountant can be expensive, which is why many business owners find payroll software to be a happy medium.

What Payroll Software should I get?

The answer to this question depends on the needs of your business. Whether you are looking for payroll software that just calculates paychecks and taxes, or one that allows you to enter in the data and takes care of the rest, there is a payroll software for you.

With most payroll software services, you can calculate paychecks, file payroll taxes, provide direct deposit, issue year-end W-2s, report new W-2 hires, and help manage your employee benefits. Additionally, many companies include error-free guarantees backing their products, live specialist support, and many offer mobile friendly formats for easy access anywhere.

How much does Payroll Software cost?

The cost of payroll software depends on the services you need and the size of your company. Oftentimes, payroll software has a base rate (starting as low as $9 a month) and then charges a small amount per employee. This could mean that a small businesses pays $25 a month, while a larger business pays $200 a month for the same software.

Also, if you are looking for a customized payroll software program, expect to pay more than if you select a pre-packaged software program.

As a result of the varying prices, we suggest getting quotes from companies you are interested in before making your final decision.

Best Overall
Our Partner
9.1 / 10
  • Time and attendance management
  • In-house and outsource payroll solutions
  • Check printing
  • Debit card payment option
  • Tax filling and year end processing
  • US and Canadian tax compliant