Best 7 Payroll Management Software of 2023

Human Resources plays a huge role in running a well-oiled organization. Automation makes this process easier and more efficient. Several HR management software (HRMS) offers end-to-end recruitment solutions right from attracting talent to onboarding, and performance management to offboarding.

Once a candidate has been hired for a role, one of the most important stages is onboarding. A huge aspect of onboarding is payroll management. 

Payroll management includes:

  • employee ID creation
  • employee demographics
  • attendance tracking
  • performance management integration
  • salary calculation 
  • salary pay-out on time
  • distributing payslips and tax slips 

While these activities used to be done manually, payroll management software has made it easier to get all this done instantly.  Now, payroll management can be a standalone software or may be included in HRMS. An integrated payroll system is more effective since it reduces manual data entry errors and duplication of data and effort.

The benefits of integrated HR and payroll software are:

  • Accuracy of information
  • Increased efficiency of the payroll process
  • Bulk validation for faster payroll calculation
  • On-time pay-outs
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Increased compliance with tax laws

How is the best HR and payroll software compared?

If you have not adopted any automated HR and payroll software yet, here are the most important criteria for you to make a decision:

#1 Free Trial

Free versions or at least free trials give you a glimpse of the main features, user-friendliness, and how easy it will be to adopt the software to help you make a buying decision.  

#2 Pricing

Depending on the size of your business and your HR processes, pricing matters. If the new software can reduce administrative costs or losses caused due to errors and delays, you can invest in the software. 

#3 Features

If the software has features that meet your requirements for HR and payroll management, it will be easy for you to adopt it. If your HR processes are not completely established, you could benefit from the features available in the software.

#4 Integration

Your software must allow integration with other existing software or processes like biometric systems, performance management systems, and tax calculators. If you are already using some software, you must check if it is easy to migrate to a new one.

#5 User-friendliness

One of the major factors that are a put-off for many technology users is difficulty in using the software. You and your team should find the software easy to use to make your processes more efficient.  

#6 Customization

Every organization has the same HR and payroll framework but may have some different processes like sabbaticals, financial and non-financial benefits, family insurance, etc.  

#7 Reporting

Data analytics and reporting are important for any organization. If the software allows you to create customized reports and gives you visibility of your bottom line, you can surely invest in it. 

Key features to look for in the best HR and payroll software

There are many features in payroll software that the HR team, the organization, and the employees can benefit from. Here are some of them:

#1 Salary processing

Calculating the salaries of employees is a big task for the payroll team. In older days, Human Resources had to record and track the attendance (or absence and leave) of all employees, add benefits, create pay slips and maintain records of the organization’s investment in the workforce. All this done manually would be tedious and also prone to errors and missing data. Therefore, the software must be integrated with attendance trackers and other systems to process salary seamlessly. The software must also allow you to create and customize fields as per your HR processes.  

#2 On-time and accurate pay-outs

Once a certain system and schedule have been set, the software must be able to calculate salaries accurately (especially for a large workforce). With bulk validation, you must be able to pay out salaries on time.   

#3 Multiple payment options

The software must be safely and seamlessly integrated with your banks and be able to generate salary statements. Although many organizations prefer to use a single bank or source to pay out salaries, the software must have the flexibility of multiple payment options in case of any changes or glitches. The software must also have the option of paying out in multiple currencies.

#4 Employee self-service

As useful as the software is, for the payroll and HR teams, it must also allow the employee to access some information like their own attendance and leave statistics and performance management scores. Employees must also be able to view and download payslips and income tax statements. 

#5 Statutory compliance

The software must be compliant with all legal norms in the countries in which the organization functions. Some common norms to comply with are Minimum Wages Act, Provident Fund, Employee State Insurance, Professional Tax, Workers’ Compensation, etc.

#6 Accessibility on the Cloud

Accessing your payroll system from anywhere securely can greatly benefit you, making your process efficient. The organization also reduces the costs of storing and maintaining computer systems and servers.

#7 Reporting

The payroll management software must allow you to access information easily and create audit reports, especially with a higher number of employees. You should be able to create customized reports by choosing different data sets making the audit process relatively simpler.

7 Best HR and Payroll software

#1 Gusto

It offers an all-in-one HR platform for all kinds of businesses. It claims to be user-friendly, even for users who are not tech-savvy. It has been famous among small businesses and US-based start-ups.

Pros:

  • Automated tax calculations and filing 
  • Tax compliance and identifying tax credits
  • Unlimited payroll runs for no extra charge
  • International contractor payments in over 80 countries
  • Direct deposits

Cons:

  • Per-person pricing gets costly at scale
  • No invoicing or accounts receivable features

Pricing:

There are 3 pricing models – Simple, Plus, and Premium

Simple: 

  • Offers basic hiring and onboarding tools
  • Health insurance administration
  • Employee financial benefits
  • Payroll and time-off reports
  • Custom admin permissions
  • Integrations for accounting, time tracking, expense management, etc.
  • Basic support
  • Priced at $40/month plus $6/month per person

Plus:

  • Advanced hiring and onboarding tools
  • PTO management and policies
  • Time tracking and project tracking
  • Workforce costing and reports
  • Team management tools
  • Full support
  • Priced at $60 to $80/month plus $9 to $12/month per person

Premium:

  • Scalable payroll and benefits
  • Health insurance broker integration
  • R&D tax credit discount
  • Waived fees and exclusive pricing
  • Performance reviews
  • Exclusive pricing obtained from the sales team

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#2 QuickBooks Payroll

It is an accounting software package, specially designed for small and medium businesses. It offers on-premises and cloud-based versions for payroll functions and business payments.  

Pros

  • Good accounting reports
  • Affordable price
  • Access from multiple devices
  • Direct Deposit for Employees and 1099 Contractors
  • Compliant with State and Federal forms

Cons:

  • Lack of industry and business-specific features
  • Additional filing fees for employees in other states
  • Time tracking is not standard
  • 24/7 support only for the Elite plan
  • Performance issues for over 800 employees

Pricing:

  • Core: $22.50/month for the first three months, then $45/month plus $5 per employee per month
  • Premium: $37.50/month for the first three months, then $75/month plus $5 per employee per month
  • Elite: $62.50/month for the first three months, then $125/month plus $10 per employee per month

There is a 30-day free trial or a 50% discount on base fees for three months of service.

#3 Paychex

Claiming to be scalable, it is best designed for entrepreneurs and employers needing dedicated payroll support. It helps manage cash flow and makes payroll efficient. It offers solutions to businesses with less than 20 employees.

Pros:

  • Accessed from a desktop or mobile
  • Mobile app for employers and employees
  • Employee self-service
  • Garnishment payment services
  • General ledger report

Cons:

  • Lack of pricing transparency at higher tiers
  • Mobile app not available with lower package tiers

Pricing:

Paychex Flex® Essentials for businesses with 1-19 employees

  • Online payroll and tax filing
  • Chat and phone support, 24/7
  • $39/month + $5 per employee

Paychex Flex® Select for 20-49 employees

  • One-on-one guidance to match your needs to our solutions
  • Online payroll and tax filing
  • Online employee training and development
  • Chat and phone support, 24/7
  • Quote on request

Paychex Flex® Pro for 50 – 1000+ employees

  • Full-service setup, payroll, and tax filing
  • Assistance of an expert payroll specialist
  • Valuable HR tools and a personal consultation
  • Chat and phone support, 24/7
  • Quote on request

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#4 TriNet Zenefits (formerly Zenefits)

It is best for small to mid-sized businesses in highly regulated industries and offers a cloud-based HR platform. 

Pros:

  • Paid Time Office tracking 
  • Performance reviews
  • Direct Deposits
  • Contractor Payments
  • General Ledger Reporting
  • Dynamic Mobile pay stubs (mobile, deductions breakdown)
  • Lifetime accounts

Cons:

  • Minimum five employee requirement for all plans
  • Lacks learning management tools
  • Lacks task management features
  • Payroll, advisory services, and recruitment features are only available as add-ons

Pricing:

  • Free trial for 14 days
  • The Essentials plan is charged $8/month per employee
  • The Growth plan is charged $16/month per employee
  • The Zen plan is charged $21/month per employee
  • Advisory services are charged $8/month per employee
  • Users using their broker instead of service brokers are charged $5/month per employee 

#5 ADP Workforce Now

It offers scalable web-based payroll plans with a single database for all data, including HR, benefits, and time tracking. It also has automated reporting of new hires to state agencies and offers a smooth onboarding and implementation process

Pros:

  • Federal, state, and local taxes are electronically deducted
  • Built-in error detection, alerts, and calculations
  • Online reporting and analytics
  • Expert regulatory and compliance support in every state and abroad
  • Automatically reconcile multiple rates of pay

Cons:

  • Expensive implementation
  • Complex setup
  • Pricing is not transparent

Pricing:

  • The Essential, Enhanced, Complete, HR Pro plans for 1-49 employees
  • Payroll Essentials, HR Plus, Hiring Advantage, and Performance Plus for 50+ employees
  • the Basic cost of a license may be around $62 per month
  • Quote available on request

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#6 OnPay

It is designed to handle payroll for any small business (and their accountants). The software is scalable from 1 to 500+ employees. It specializes in dental practices and law firms.

Pros:

  • Calculates federal, state, and local taxes
  • Good integration with other systems
  • Automated tax filing
  • Custom report generation
  • Employee self-service
  • Transparent pricing

Cons:

  • Lacks an automated payroll submission option
  • No quick direct deposit option
  • Mobile version can be better

Pricing:

  • The first month and setup fee are charged at $40 + $6/person
  • The site has a monthly fee calculator that shows you the price for the number of employees you input

#7 SurePayroll

Best for small businesses that need a low-cost do-it-yourself (DIY) payroll service (although it also offers a full-service package)

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and learn
  • Automatic payroll
  • Accurate tax liability calculation
  • Access the app from a mobile, tablet, or desktop
  • Customizable report generation

Cons:

  • Pricing estimates are hard to get
  • Support is not available 24/7

Pricing:

  • Offers a free two-month trial
  • The No Tax Filing plan costs $19.99 per month, plus $4 per month per employee
  • The Full-Service plan costs $29.99 per month, plus $5 per employee per month

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Wrap Up

Since salary disbursement is an extremely significant and sensitive aspect, the software must have high accuracy and ease of use to make your payroll process efficient. However, there is more to payroll than salary pay-out. 

Keeping track of employee data, tax deductions on their salary and other benefits like insurance and bonuses are a part of payroll management. Report generation is also a big aspect of payroll – audit, tax, and compliance reports are just to name a few.

To sum it up, don’t let money be the cause of your worries, invest in good payroll software!      

FAQs on HR & Payroll Software 

Is it better to get payroll software or HR software?

Most HR software has payroll as a part of it. However, it is best to have payroll integrated with HR software for maximum efficiency. 

What is statutory compliance in payroll?

Statutory Compliance means an organization must comply with the relevant laws of processing employees’ payroll and social security benefits. Depending on the region of the business, the software should have some common acts incorporated.

For instance, In India, some common laws/acts are The Minimum Wages Act, Employees Provident Fund, Payment of Gratuity Act, and Tax Deduction at Source (TDS).

This may not be the case with US regional office and the payroll software should have US rules incorporated within the software

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