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A Price Comparison of the Best Payroll Software


A payroll software that’s robust and integrated, will help businesses of all types and sizes maintain compliance with tax laws and other financial regulations. But with so many to choose from and little time to decide, how do you figure out which to go for?

This guide will look at different payroll software solutions, allowing you to carry out a comparison and find the best one for you. But first, let's look at payroll software in more detail.

Birds eye view of team meeting about payroll software

How does payroll software work?

Simply put, a payroll software solution is integrated with other business IT systems to make sure that company employees get accurate and timely payments into their bank accounts.

Typically, employees are able to access the software directly, so that their personal information and preferences remain up to date.

As an employer, any payroll system needs to be reliable and easy to configure. Plus, it must also be able to manage the automation of payments to all of its workforce.

Depending on the type of business, this might include making payments across different locations, potentially around the world. A major benefit of payroll software is that it simplifies tasks, and makes complying with complex tax rules much easier.

3 people having a casual meeting outside about their payroll app

How does payroll benefit businesses?

Organisations of all types and sizes, worldwide, rely on some form of payroll software to streamline and manage their employees payments.

Maintaining payments to employees can be very complicated and time consuming. Especially when the workforce starts to scale and is spread across different locations. New hires join, existing colleagues move on, pay scales change, people take holidays and annual leave…the complications quickly mount up! By employing payroll software, organisations can be sure that employees are paid the right amount and on time.

Payroll software also provides transparency into one of a businesses most significant costs, its people. Through integration with other parts of the business, accounting, an organisation can have granular insight into costs, allowing them to:

  • Stay on budget

  • Write reports

  • Make accurate growth plans

Woman looking overwhelmed by paperwork, realising she needs payroll software

How does payroll software help employees?

Strong payroll software solutions help to avoid instances where employees are paid incorrectly, or maybe not paid at all!

It can also protect and secure personal data by making sure that only the right people have access to certain information. Payroll software is designed to provide peace of mind to employees. It gives them the assurance that their wages will be paid on time, in their preferred way and with all taxes and benefits correctly calculated and applied.

Employees can also use the software to view their payment history and edit personal information.

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A price comparison of the best payroll software

Read below for a guide to some of the different payroll software solutions in the market.

Rippling: Rippling is a full HR software solution that can meet the needs of businesses ranging in scale from 2 to 2,000 employees (and then some!). The products on offer include management of payroll and benefits, time and attendance tracking and training management.

A benefit to engaging Rippling is that its staff helps you get through every step of the setup process. Members of their team will help you get going and they’ll even make sure that they can meet your needs before making any commitment to purchasing the product.

Price: Rippling starts at $35 plus $8 per user, per month. But you need to request a bespoke quote to get a more accurate idea of ongoing costs.

OnPay: OnPay is a cloud based HR and Payroll solution that markets itself as an affordable solution for small businesses. OnPay offers a single plan, giving users full access to the suite of features available. These include an employee portal that allows new hire onboarding and unlimited payroll runs. Payroll is the main reason people choose OnPay, but there’s some helpful HR tools and features too, such as a HR resource library and personnel checklists.

Price: There are no pricing tiers with OnPay. There’s only one base rate and an additional flat fee per person. The base rate is $40 per month. On top of that there’s a $6 per person fee per month.

Gusto: Gusto provides an online payroll and HR admin platform. Aimed at small businesses, the solution takes the friction points out of payroll processing and benefits administration. The software is able to process payroll for employees and contractors, alongside any employee benefits a business might offer.

It’s simple to set up employee payroll using Gusto, it’s easy to use interface means it’s also very flexible if your needs change. It can be set to pay users a salary or hourly wage using the employee’s profile. Payroll can also be set to autopilot, letting Gusto run payroll for you automatically on a predetermined schedule.

Gusto also takes care of calculating and filing payroll taxes for your business and your employees.

Price: Gusto currently offers three monthly pricing tiers:

Simple: $40/month + $6 per person paid

Plus: $80/month + $12 per person paid

Premium: Custom pricing - contact Gusto for a quote

Stressed founder trying to find payroll software

Paycor: Paycor is both a payroll software service and a full service human capital management (HCM) solution.

Available on different pricing plans, the lowest tier plan offers your business automated payroll and a mobile payroll app for your employees. It can also provide you with new hire reporting and it will automatically file your tax documents.

Higher-priced plans will give you access to benefits management, alongside HR tools and compliance support.

Amongst the many advantages of Paycor are its well designed mobile app and the on-demand support. The mobile app is designed for use by both employers and employees, so business leaders can approve payroll from a phone, and workers can see their salary and tax info on an app.

Price: The Basic plan costs $99 plus $5 per person per month. There are other plans available and you should check with Paycor directly to ensure you get the best plan for your business.

Justworks: Justworks is a human resources software solution that offers a payroll software service. It’s a robust cloud-based payroll solution that helps businesses run and manage their administration. Everything from paying employees, vendors and contractors to offering and managing employee benefits.

Price: There are two plans offered by Justworks. The amount you pay per month depends on whether you choose the Basic or Plus plan and how many employees you manage.

For businesses with less than 25 employees, you pay $49 per person per month for the Basic plan, and $99 per person per month for Plus.

The price per employee decreases as the size of the company grows.

Both plans cover payroll, 24/7 support, self service onboarding, tax filing and a range of other benefits.

Two workers comparing payroll apps

Wave Payroll: Wave Payroll offers businesses a hybrid manual and automated payroll software.

Payroll itself isn’t automated, but it is simple to set up and schedule. They also provide reminders so that payroll is run on time. Employees and contractors set up their own profiles and taxes using the employee portal.

Wave Payroll includes all of the basics business leaders need to run payroll for a small business. Despite some features being manual, such as timesheets, they’re user friendly, making this solution a good choice for new businesses and those inexperienced in running payroll.

Price: You can expect to pay either $20 or $35 per month as a base cost, depending on the location of your business. Plus a $6 fee per person, per month.

Paychex Flex: Paychex is a payroll and HR solution for businesses of all sizes. Paychex Flex is the payroll software offer for small businesses, aimed at those with less than 50 employees. It’s a stripped-down version of payroll software that utilises an employee and contractor self-service platform. It forgoes the HR and wider benefit administration that’s offered by some of its competitors. If you’re a small business looking for an affordable payroll software package, this might be a good option.

Price: Exact price depends on the needs of the company. Pricing starts at $39/month plus an additional $5 per employee.

KeyPay: KeyPay is a cloud based workforce management and payroll platform. It’s available in Australia, the UK, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. KeyPay provides a fully automated payroll software that offers time-saving benefits to businesses of all sizes. Able to automate payroll calculations, with employee self service and a robust and user friendly mobile payroll app, KeyPay makes payroll and workforce management a breeze.

Price: The standard tariff is $4 per month, but KeyPay Plus is $6 and comes with added benefits and protections.

collaborative team meeting to find a payroll app

Payroll and HR mistakes that founders experience

Early stage startups won’t always benefit from a payroll or HR expert on the team. In fact, right at the beginning, it may be that someone with no previous experience of this is managing these aspects of the business. It’s not uncommon in startups for the founders to be responsible for multiple areas of the business that fall outside of their expertise. Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, when it comes to payroll and employee management, a lack of experience can lead to some common (and costly), payroll mistakes.

These can include:

Not having the required company policies and procedures.

This can lead to miscommunications, errors, delays and frustration within your workforce.

Workplace discrimination or discriminatory hiring practices.
This is not only a problematic start to your business, but could also lead to legal cases in the future.

Lack of compliance with local employment and tax laws.
This could potentially be terminal for an early stage business and the consequences might be long lasting.

Failing to provide the required employee benefits.
This can damage your employee retention rates, your company culture, and cost you talent.

Incorrectly paying or taxing employees.
This can cause upset and mistrust amongst a workforce.

Making sure you set up your business for long term success is vital in the formative stages of your startup. You can help this process by securing a partnership with experts in payroll and accounting services. There’s many options available in the market, the very best amongst them offer not just specific technical and financial expertise, but also have the technology solutions to back them up.

Hi we’re Accountancy Cloud

We have a team of financial experts looking to work alongside your business to give you the freedom to focus on what you love most, by simplifying your financial processes.

We provide startups with a combination of high tech software and industry expertise to support and maximise your company’s growth.

When it comes to payroll, we offer an online payroll manager that makes it easy to adjust, update and add payroll details for new and existing employees in just a few clicks. Whether you have lots of staff or are looking to hire, our payroll manager can save you hours of payroll admin every month.

Start making business decisions on your finances by utilising our forecasting and budgeting features to allow you to create growth projections, allowing you to budget and focus on the right activities for your business.

Through our motivated and personalised service, we can help you to achieve your business goals. Talk to us today to see how we can help you.

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