Advantage Payroll Services Review: Guide to Cost, Features and Alternatives

Advantage Payroll Services was acquired by Paychex Inc. in 2002.
Lisa Anthony
By Lisa Anthony 
Edited by Claire Tsosie

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Advantage Payroll Services is a Paychex company that has been offering payroll services for over 40 years. Its products and services are designed for small and midsize businesses that want to outsource their payroll functions and prefer not to purchase payroll software.

Advantage services include payroll processing, tax filing and new-hire reporting. Industry-specific options are offered for restaurant owners who want features such as tip reporting and validation, shortfall reports and FICA tip-credit tracking.

What Advantage does

If you're looking to outsource payroll, Advantage can handle the majority of the payroll process. In addition, it offers tax filing and new-hire reporting services. A professionally staffed tax department stays current on tax laws and reporting requirements and provides full-service tax filing, including the calculation of federal, state and local taxes and responding to agency tax notices. This gives you more time to focus on other aspects of your business.


Advantage doesn't publish pricing for products and services on its website. To receive a price quote, you have to complete an email form or call to speak with a sales representative.


Advantage uses an online system that doesn’t require the purchase of software. After the employer transmits their payroll data for the payroll period, Advantage takes over the process. Tax filing, management reports and new-hire compliance services are also available.

Payroll processing

You can submit your payroll data to Advantage through a web-based payroll platform called Instant Payroll, an emailed form, a call to your client services representative or fax. With Instant Payroll, employers can enter payroll hours, change rates, set up new hires and submit payroll for processing.

Employee checks can be delivered to your office, or the funds can be directly deposited into the employees’ bank accounts. Advantage also offers a central payroll checking account option for businesses that use a single debit to the employer’s account instead of individual debits for each employee. Or, the employee payroll can be drawn on a separate employer-owned account.

Tax-filing services

Advantage will report and pay your tax obligation each pay period. These services include the following, according to its website:

  • Calculation of federal, state and local taxes.

  • Payment of employer and employee taxes.

  • Filing of quarterly and annual payroll returns.

  • Handling of tax regulations and filing requirements.

  • Responding to agency tax notices.

In addition, a team of skilled tax professionals is available to make sure tax payments are accurate and timely.

Records and reports

Payroll records and other business reports can be accessed online through an option called Advantage Online Reporting. You can select from over 150 different management reports including department summaries, workers compensation reports, vacation and sick accrual reports, and fiscal year reporting. Online Reporting is set up through a call to Advantage, and reports are available for a 12-month period.

New-hire reporting

Advantage offers new-hire compliance services to meet federal and state requirements. These services include the generation of weekly new-hire reports and the information being sent directly to the appropriate state agencies.

Other payroll options to consider

QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll is a popular choice for small-business owners because it allows most of the payroll process to be automated. Full-service payroll including automated tax filing and payments, next-day direct deposit and automatic payroll for salaried employees are features available with its Core plan.

QuickBooks plan pricing structure:

  • Core: $45 per month, plus $4 per employee per month.

  • Premium: $75 per month, plus $8 per employee per month.

  • Elite: $125 per month, plus $10 per employee per month.


Gusto is another full-service software that can streamline the payroll process by calculating, filing and paying your federal, state and local taxes automatically. It also includes new-hire reporting, time tracking and benefits administration services in its plans.

Gusto offers the following service plans:

  • Simple: $40 per month, plus $6 per month per employee.

  • Plus: $80 per month, plus $12 per month per employee.

  • Premium: Quote-based pricing.


OnPay is a good low-cost, cloud-based payroll option for small businesses. It offers unlimited monthly payroll runs, calculates and disburses wages and files and pays taxes. If the IRS contacts you about any payroll-related issues, OnPay can also respond on your behalf.

OnPay pricing is simple: You'll pay $40 per month, plus an additional monthly fee of $6 per employee.

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