CheckMark Payroll Review 2022: Cost, Features, Alternatives

Explore CheckMark's features, pricing and alternatives to choose the best payroll service for your business.
Caroline Goldstein
By Caroline Goldstein 

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CheckMark Payroll is an accounting and payroll services provider that currently serves over 12,000 small-to-midsize businesses. CheckMark also offers comprehensive business-management tools. Take a closer look at what this company can offer small businesses that want to streamline or outsource their payroll processes.


Despite the name, CheckMark Payroll offers much more than just payroll processing services.

Payroll services

First and foremost, CheckMark Payroll offers payroll processing services, which allow small-business owners to fully outsource their payroll and tax filings to CheckMark’s team of experts. These payroll pros guarantee compliance and accuracy, and they’re trained to handle multi-state taxes if you have employees in multiple states.

If you use Checkmark Payroll as your payroll service, you can submit your payroll information to the company via phone, fax, email or online. Then, your dedicated payroll expert will take care of the rest for you, including:

  • Set and track benefits and deductions.

  • Ensure that your employees receive timely payments via direct deposit, paper or printable check or pay cards — whichever method you choose.

  • Prepare and file all quarterly and annual payroll tax forms and W-2 and 1099 forms (unless you choose to do so yourself).

  • Prepare custom reports that you can integrate with your business accounting software.

Even though CheckMark Payroll will do all the heavy lifting for you, you’ll still be able to access all your payroll reports online through CheckMark’s digital payroll portal.

Accounting services

CheckMark was actually among the first companies to develop accounting software for the Mac in 1985, so it’s no surprise that the company still offers its small-business clients accounting services (albeit updated for the 21st century).

CheckMark Accounting Services is a division of experts trained to handle accounting for small to midsize businesses. You’ll be assigned a dedicated accounting expert who can provide your business with monthly bank reconciliations, profit and loss statements, balance sheets and more.

HR services

CheckMark Payroll’s HR services are designed to help small-business owners streamline their internal HR functions and stay compliant. CheckMark Payroll also provides small-business owners with useful HR tools and information, like an employee handbook wizard, HR documents and other learning resources. Businesses can also contact CheckMark’s on-demand HR pros for consulting purposes.

CheckMark offers two HR solutions packages. The first offers small-business owners tools to supplement their existing internal HR processes, and the second allows them to fully outsource their HR system:

  • HR Support Center: With this plan you’ll have access to digital HR-related tools and resources, and you can contact an HR expert and more resources via HRProMobile, CheckMark’s HR mobile app.

  • HR On-Demand Program: This plan gets you every feature available with the HR Support Center plan, plus access to HR Concierge, CheckMark’s live-chat feature, and unlimited consultations with HR pros via phone or email. This plan also offers customized HR documents, a harassment training program, a ticket tracker and custom employee handbook development.

Time and attendance solutions

CheckMark offers SwipeClock’s cloud-based timekeeping, labor-management and appointment-scheduling software, plus SwipeClock’s range of plug-and-play hardware that collects employee’s clock-in/clock-out data via badge cards, PIN, finger scans or phone. All daily time and attendance data is immediately exported to your CheckMark Payroll software or to your dedicated CheckMark Payroll expert if you’ve chosen to outsource your processes.

Other products

CheckMark Payroll offers small-business owners a range of other products: Four types of payroll software (CheckMark Payroll, CheckMark MultiLedger, CheckMark 1099 and CheckMark 1095); paper products like high-security, customizable checks and envelopes, business forms and tax forms; and a cloud backup for your CheckMark software.


CheckMark Payroll has a quote-based pricing model, so the cost of your services will depend on your business’s needs and which of its services you select. You can choose from CheckMark’s three levels of payroll processing services, or you can have CheckMark design a completely custom solution for your business.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s included with CheckMark Payroll’s three service plans, which increase in features and capabilities:

  • Basic Payroll Processing: You’ll submit payroll information online, and CheckMark will process payroll, make deposits and process FUTA/SUTA reports on your behalf.

  • Pay & File Pro: CheckMark Payroll will take on all payroll burdens for you, including processing payroll and federal, state and local payroll taxes, payments and filings.

  • Pay & File Complete: In addition to fully outsourced payroll processing and tax filings and payments services, you’ll also have access to a virtual HR department.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay an additional fee for CheckMark's add-on products, like its payroll software, cloud backup and paper products.


CheckMark Payroll can offer small businesses a comprehensive suite of business-management tools, but it’s far from the only payroll provider available.

OnPay Payroll

Cloud-based payroll service provider OnPay Payroll fully automates payroll processing and payroll tax administration for you. This software also allows for employee self-onboarding and provides employees with an easily navigable online portal where they can manage and view important information, like their paystubs, tax forms and voluntary deductions.

OnPay Payroll also offers features that can help you streamline HR and employee management, including an HR resource library, compliance audits, state new-hire reporting, robust PTO management features and digitized processes like e-signing and online I-9 and W-4 forms.

Unlike CheckMark Payroll, OnPay is a licensed health insurance broker in all 50 states, so it can help you find and compare the most cost-effective plans you can offer your employees. OnPay also partners with Guideline, America’s Best 401(k) and Vestwell, so you can also provide your staff with retirement plans. OnPay also offers pay-as-you-go workers’ comp insurance.

OnPay boasts a good-sized list of integrations with other well-loved business management, HR and accounting software, like QuickBooks, Xero, ThinkHR and more.

Square Payroll

For an even simpler payroll solution, consider Square Payroll. With Square, you can automatically run payroll according to your payroll schedule, and this software can accommodate both salaried and hourly workers at multiple pay rates, plus automatically track sick leave and PTO. Square handles all tax administration duties, including tax calculations and withholdings and making tax payments to federal and state agencies. Square Payroll also supports benefits deductions and company contributions and can offer workers’ comp insurance through its insurance partner, Next Insurance.

Setup is easy: You’ll just enter your basic information, customize your payroll schedule and add your team members’ information or invite them to enter their information themselves. As Square Payroll integrates with all other services in the Square ecosystem, you can sync your Square POS app (and its clock-in/clock-out feature) with Square Payroll — that way, your employees’ hours will automatically integrate with your payroll software.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet