Compare Payroll Software

From payroll processes and tax features to industry applications and services, we research everything you need to compare payroll software and make a decision. Learn how our editors compare the different factors of payroll software below.
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Select 2 payroll software companies to compare

How we Compare Payroll Software

Payroll Processes - 30%
Tax Features - 25%
Payment Services - 20%
Industry Applications - 15%
Services - 10%

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

Payroll Software with the Best Payroll Processes:

Traditional Payroll (email, fax, call-in)
Web-Based Payroll
Electronic Transfers of Payroll Data
Live Payroll Reports
Check Printing
Employee Self-Service
Payroll Reports Printing
Payroll Online Access

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

Payroll Software with the Best Tax Features:

State Taxes Calculation
Federal Taxes Calculation
Tax Forms Electronically Filling
Local Taxes Calculation
Federal Tax Forms
State Tax Forms
Electronic Payroll Tax Payment

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

Payroll Software with the Best Payment Services:

Direct Deposit
Pay Cards
Print Checks

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)

Payroll Software with the Best Industry Applications:


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 


Payroll Software with the Best Services:

Full Payroll Software Comparison

Payroll ProcessesTax FeaturesPayment ServicesIndustry ApplicationsServices
Intuit Payroll Software10.
Wave Payroll Software10.
Sage HRMS Payroll Software9.
ADP Payroll Software9.
Paychex Payroll Software8.
IOIPay Payroll Software8.
Payroll1 Payroll Software7.
zenpayroll Payroll Software7.
TRAXPayroll Payroll Software6.
Paycom Payroll Software6.
ProPayroll Payroll Software5.
Select 2 payroll software companies to compare


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.