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Best Payroll Software Services of February 2023

These top payroll products are reliable, easy to use and full of useful features.

Jan 3, 2023

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The best payroll software for small businesses takes care of payroll dependably and with minimal fuss. For most companies, that means offering automated features, tax filing and payment options, direct deposit options, live support and employee online access to past pay stubs. Our top picks stand out by offering those features and more.

Best Payroll Software Services From Our Partners

Our pick for

Overall payroll software

Gusto
Shop now

on Gusto Payroll's secure website

Gusto Payroll

Gusto

Starting at

$40/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $80, custom pricing. Fee per employee varies by tier.

Promotion

25% off

the Plus plan for a limited time.

Shop now

on Gusto Payroll's secure website


Why we like it

Gusto includes a suite of HR features, like administration of health insurance and other benefits, in all its plans.

Pros

  • Benefits administration (401(k)s available in all 50 states; health benefits are available in 37 states and Washington, D.C.).

  • Time-tracking features at higher-price tiers (limited at Simple level).

  • Certified HR experts available (at the Premium level).

  • Free account setup.

  • Next-day direct deposit (at Plus and Premium levels).

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer a mobile app specifically for payroll processing.

  • Limited hours for live support.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Growing businesses

ADP
Shop now

on RUN Powered by ADP's secure website

RUN Powered by ADP

ADP

Starting at

$79/month

Plus $4 per employee. Custom pricing also available.

Promotion

Three months free

Terms apply

Shop now

on RUN Powered by ADP's secure website


Why we like it

ADP offers a strong list of payroll features, and if your business scales up, it has products for every stage of your growth.

Pros

  • First three months free; terms apply.

  • Ability to scale up for growing businesses.

  • Live payroll support is available 24/7.

  • Benefits administration available as add-on.

  • Time-tracking features available as add-on.

Cons

  • Opaque pricing.

  • Limited HR support at base level.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Integrated payroll solution

QuickBooks
Shop now

on QuickBooks Payroll's secure website

QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks

Starting at

$45/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $75, $125. Fee per employee varies by tier.

Promotion

50% off

50% off for three months or 30-day free trial; terms apply.

Shop now

on QuickBooks Payroll's secure website


Why we like it

QuickBooks Payroll is a logical choice for the many small-business owners who use QuickBooks Online for their accounting needs.

Pros

  • Benefits administration at all levels.

  • Time-tracking features and HR support available (Premium and up).

  • Next-day direct deposit at Core level (same-day at Premium).

  • The option to choose a 30-day free trial or 50% off base price for first three months; terms apply.

  • Easy integration with QuickBooks Online.

Cons

  • Limited integration with non-QuickBooks products.

  • Additional fees if you have employees in more than one state (Core and Premium).

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Best value

OnPay
Shop now

on OnPay Payroll's secure website

OnPay Payroll

OnPay

Starting at

$40/month

Plus $6 per employee.

Promotion

One month free

Terms apply

Shop now

on OnPay Payroll's secure website


Why we like it

OnPay offers a wide range of payroll features plus benefits administration and HR tools for one base rate.

Pros

  • Benefits administration included.

  • Integrates with third-party software for time tracking.

  • HR tools included.

  • One-month free trial; terms apply.

  • Straightforward pricing.

  • Integrates with QuickBooks and Xero.

Cons

  • Can’t run payroll automatically.

  • Limited customer support hours.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Low-cost option

Patriot Software
Shop now

on Patriot Payroll's secure website

Patriot Payroll

Patriot Software

Starting at

$17/month

Plus $4 per employee. Additional pricing tiers (per month): $37.

Promotion

One month free

Terms apply

Shop now

on Patriot Payroll's secure website


Why we like it

Patriot Payroll offers an affordable selection of payroll features, with add-ons that can cover HR and time and attendance reporting.

Pros

  • Transparent pricing.

  • One-month free trial; terms apply.

  • Scales from one to 100 employees.

  • Time tracking and HR support available as add-ons.

  • Abundant payroll reports.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer benefits administration.

  • Extra fee for 1099 e-filing (at Basic level).

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Best mobile option

Roll by ADP
Shop now

on Roll by ADP's secure website

Roll by ADP

Roll by ADP

Starting at

$29/month

Plus $5 per employee.

Promotion

Three months free

Terms apply

Shop now

on Roll by ADP's secure website


Why we like it

All functions can be performed on a mobile device, using a natural-language, chat-style interface — including adding a new employee, setting up and running payroll, and awarding bonuses.

Pros

  • 24/7 support via chat.

  • Next-day direct deposit with options for same-day for a fee.

  • Three-month free trial; terms apply.

  • Chat-style interface streamlines setup.

  • Employees have access to the app.

Cons

  • Lack of HR and time-tracking features.

  • Payroll reports are limited.

Read Full Review

Our picks for best online payroll software

Gusto Payroll

Our pick for: Best overall payroll software

Price:

  • Contractor: $35 per month plus $6 per person per month.

  • Simple: $40 per month plus $6 per person per month.

  • Plus: $80 per month plus $12 per person per month.

  • Premium: Custom pricing.

Highlights:

  • Unlimited payroll runs for users in all states.

  • Time-saving automation and integrations.

  • Ability to upgrade, downgrade or cancel plans at any time.

Gusto offers full-service payroll with unlimited payroll runs, tax filings and payment, and automated payroll options. HR features such as health insurance administration, employee self-onboarding and state new hire reporting are included at all pricing tiers. Employees also get access to a mobile app called Gusto Wallet to help them track their finances, and they can opt to be paid through debit card. For businesses that want the human touch, the Premium level offers dedicated HR support. Gusto integrates with many third-party software products, including popular accounting apps like QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks and Xero.

RUN Powered by ADP

Our pick for: Best for growing businesses

Price:

  • Essential: $79 per month plus $4 per employee per month.

  • Enhanced: Quote only.

  • Complete: Quote only.

  • HR Pro: Quote only.

Highlights:

  • Quality payroll features offered at all plan levels.

  • Health insurance, retirement services and other add-ons.

  • Scalability with multiple ADP payroll packages.

ADP RUN offers a strong list of payroll features and solid customer support optimized for businesses with one to 49 employees. And if you’re planning to scale your business up, ADP has products for every stage of your growth up to 1,000 employees or more. An employee portal is available to view pay history and tax forms, or employees can download the Mobile Solutions app to track time, access retirement accounts and review benefits. ADP integrates with a wide variety of apps, including popular accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero. Some drawbacks are that you have to talk to a sales rep to get a quote, and many features come with an extra price tag.

QuickBooks Payroll

Our pick for: Best integrated payroll solution

Price:

  • Core: $45 per month plus $5 per employee per month.

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

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

Highlights:

  • Payroll data automatically syncs with QuickBooks Online.

  • Next-day or same-day direct deposit options, depending on plan.

  • Elite plan includes an accuracy guarantee.

For the many small-business owners who use QuickBooks Online for accounting needs, turning to QuickBooks Payroll is a logical choice for the fast, convenient integration. The Core plan offers a full suite of payroll features, including unlimited payroll runs, automated tax filing, robust payroll reports and next-day direct deposit. Higher tiers add features such as same-day direct deposit, HR Support Center and mobile time tracking. At $125 a month plus $10 per employee, the Elite plan includes a personal HR advisor, expert setup help and a tax-penalty-free guarantee. Through the QuickBooks Workforce portal, employees can access their pay stubs and personal information.

OnPay Payroll

Our pick for: Best value

Price: 

  • $40 per month plus $6 per employee per month.

Highlights:

  • Simple pricing with first month at no cost.

  • Employee self-service for onboarding and personal account management.

  • Special payroll services for industries with unique needs.

OnPay keeps it simple, offering a wide range of features encompassing payroll, HR and benefits for one base rate — and the first month is free. While designed for smaller businesses, it can run larger payrolls and boasts support for specialized industries such as restaurants, farms, nonprofits and churches. OnPay provides self-onboarding tools and additional self-service features that let employees access pay stubs, update personal information, request time off and download tax forms. It integrates with accounting software such as QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop and Xero.

Patriot Payroll

Our pick for: Best low-cost option

Price: 

  • Basic: $17 per month plus $4 per person per month.

  • Full service: $37 per month plus $4 per person per month.

Highlights:

  • Free trial period of 30 days.

  • Add-ons for HR and time and attendance tracking.

  • Tax filing accuracy guaranteed with Full Service plan.

Patriot Payroll offers an affordable suite of well-regarded products covering accounting and payroll, with add-ons that can cover HR and time and attendance reporting. For price-conscious companies looking for a single, integrated package, it's worth a look. Be aware that the Basic level does not include tax filing and depositing. These features are included at the Full Service level, which bumps the monthly base fee to $37 — but keeps the per-employee fee low at $4 per month. Patriot guarantees to file your tax obligations on time and accurately, or they will pay the penalties and interest. Accounting software integrations include Patriot Accounting as well as both the online and desktop versions of QuickBooks.

Roll by ADP

Our pick for: Best mobile option

Price:

  • $29 per month plus $5 per employee per month.

Highlights:

  • Chat-based payroll app with AI-driven error checks.

  • Unlimited payroll runs in all 50 states.

  • Free trial period of three months.

Introduced in 2021, Roll takes full advantage of newer mobile-first technologies while retaining the useful features and reliability of ADP. ADP Roll functions on a mobile device, using a natural-language, chat-style interface to run payroll, add new employees, award bonuses — even set up your company's payroll for the first time. No desktop work is required, though a desktop interface is available. Employee self-service options let employees manage their own profiles and information. Roll integrates with QuickBooks Online, and you can choose to have your payroll registers emailed to you and your bookkeeper.

Last updated on January 3, 2023

Methodology

NerdWallet’s ratings of payroll software providers rewards companies whose products and services are priced well and work in a variety of payroll scenarios, among other criteria. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including overall cost, core features, employee access, HR features, integrations, reporting and customer service. Learn more about how we rate payroll software services.

These ratings are a guide, but cost, features and contract requirements can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several providers.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Payroll Software Services of February 2023