5 Best Payroll Services for Small Businesses

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If you are a business owner or you are running a business, then you probably understand that doing the payroll is quite a difficult and a time-consuming process. Today, to make this complex task easier, several small- and medium-sized businesses are making use of the services of a payroll processing company. Finding a good payroll service for your business is not a very difficult task, because the tasks performed by the payroll companies are quite simple.

The main job that a payroll service does is that it processes the payroll for your business i.e. it allocates salaries and transfers the money into individual employee accounts or prepares physical checks. The payroll service also prepares tax statements periodically and also the tax payments. It also generates your year-ending tax filings, such as the 1099 and WS2.

Payroll functions for a small business should be quite easy if your business is simple and uncomplicated. However, even if your business is really small and you are the sole employee, there are still several factors that complicate the business, which you must consider while deciding on the best payroll service. Making any sort of mistake with regards to paying employees, benefit providers, courts, taxing authorities, etc. can turn out to be costly and can impact your business negatively.


However, before you get started, you should look for some important features to ascertain what the best payroll services can do for their customers, such as:

  • The payroll service must handle the basic payroll services for your business such as paying employees by either depositing the salaries to their accounts or by printing out physical checks, preparing tax reports, both quarterly and year end, filing them and also making the necessary tax payments.
  • The payroll service should offer transparent pricing. To start off, look for a payroll service that offers a fixed base price and then adds a fixed extra fee on the basis of the number of employees. Usually, the fixed base cost includes payroll processing, preparing tax filings and paying the payroll taxes. Any additional services are usually charged extra.
  • The payroll service must also help you with your taxes and tax filings apart from payroll processing and you must look for an assurance that you will not be responsible for any mistakes made by the payroll service such as not making your tax payment or missing the deadline for tax filing.
  • Most often, payroll services require you to complete the data entry on your own and the provider will take care of all the operations at their end. Look for a system which offers simple and intuitive data entry. If the data entry system is complicated, it will take much longer for you to complete your payroll.
  • Your business may have some specific features that the payroll service should accommodate such as specific job costing, paying of tips, etc. Ensure that the service you choose is sufficiently flexible to accommodate the specific needs of your business.


So, in short, no matter what the size of your business is, selecting the right payroll service is extremely crucial. And, with so many payroll service companies out there, finding one that has the functionality for the specific needs of your business. In this article, we have evaluated the top payroll services.

Inuit Payroll

Inuit Payroll is a great and convenient payroll service for small businesses which allows you to completely customize and control the payroll calculation and management for your business. It can integrate seamlessly with the QuickBooks accounting software if you already are using this for your business.


Features of Inuit Payroll

Inuit Payroll sets up the payroll and runs it for you. They also file the payroll taxes and include the year-end tax documents. Some of the features of Inuit Payroll are:

  • Calculate employee payroll on the go.
  • 24-hour, free direct deposit.
  • Automatic tax calculations and reminders
  • Instantaneous paychecks for W2 employees.
  • Payroll tax forms — State and federal tax forms are filled automatically and ready for e-filing.
  • Can work with or without QuickBooks.
  • Pay and file the state and federal taxes electronically including the W2s at the end of the year.
  • Print and file the tax documents of employees.
  • Inuit offers additional features such as time tracking, “pay as you go” worker’s compensation, labor law posters, etc. at an extra cost.


Inuit Payroll Pricing

Inuit Payroll has 3 pricing plans:


Self Service Payroll

  • Cost: $17.50 per month
  • Cost Per Employee Per Month: $4
  • Includes:
    • 24-hour direct deposit
    • Employee paycheck calculation
    • Calculation and filing year-end forms
    • Unlimited and fast payroll runs


Full-Service Payroll

  • Cost: $40 per month
  • Cost Per Employee Per Month: $4
  • Includes:
    • 24-hour direct deposit
    • Employee paycheck calculation
    • Calculation and filing year-end forms
    • Unlimited and fast payroll runs
    • Payroll taxes
    • Direct deposits (same day)
    • W2s filed and sent (free)
    • Assisted setup of payroll
    • US-based expert help
    • No-penalty guarantee


Payroll Track and Pay with QuickBooks Plus

  • Cost: $70 per month
  • Cost Per Employee Per Month: $10
  • 24-hour direct deposit
  • Employee paycheck calculation
  • Calculation and filing year-end forms
  • Unlimited and fast payroll runs
  • Payroll taxes
  • Direct deposits (same day)
  • W2s filed and sent (free)
  • Assisted setup of payroll
  • US-based expert help
  • No-penalty guarantee
  • Time Tracking:
    • Automated employee time tracking
    • Real-time GPS tracking
    • Track time anywhere
  • Accounting:
    • Track income & expenses
    • Maximize tax deductions
    • Capture & organize receipts


Customer Support

Inuit Payroll offers US-based customer support that is available by email and phone from Monday to Friday 9 am – 9 pm EST and on Saturday from 9 am – 6 pm EST. The payroll support center also offers user guides and online tutorials.



Although Gusto is a software and not a payroll service, we have included it in our review of the best payroll services for small businesses as it is an extremely robust solution and is also low in cost. Gusto offers excellent benefits and features for a great price. Gusto is a good universal payroll option that includes everything a small business requires right from documents for new hires, employee self-service to health insurance.


Features of Gusto

  • The payroll can be set up for automatic runs or you can have quick payroll runs (less than 10 minutes).
  • All your federal, state and local taxes are automatically computed, filed and paid.
  • All your W2s and 1099s are issued and filed and also sent to employees and contractors.
  • Automatically reports all the new employees to the government.
  • Child support garnishments.
  • Adjusts the wages according to the minimum wage requirement.
  • Offers advanced payroll features such as payroll reports, accounting integration, time tracking integrations, expense integration, etc.
  • Employee management such as direct deposits, digital paystubs, lifetime accounts, vacation and sick policies, etc.


Gusto Pricing

Gusto offers 3 pricing plans:


  • Cost: $39 per month (base)
  • Cost Per Person Per Month: $6
  • Full-Service Payroll
  • Workers’ Compensation Administration
  • Employee Self-Service and Profiles
  • Health Benefits Administration
  • Paid-Time-Off policies
  • Support



  • Cost: $39 per month (base)
  • Cost Per Person Per Month: $12
  • Full-Service Payroll
  • Employee Self-Service and Profiles
  • Workers’ Comp Administration
  • Health Benefits Administration
  • Support
  • Employee Offers and Onboarding
  • Admin Permissions
  • Simple Time Tracking
  • Time-Off Requests and PTO Policies
  • Employee Directory and Surveys


  • Cost: $149 per month (base)
  • Cost Per Person Per Month: $12
  • Full-Service Payroll
  • Workers’ Comp Administration
  • Employee Self-Service and Profiles
  • Health Benefits Administration
  • Dedicated Support
  • Admin Permissions
  • Simple Time Tracking
  • Employee Offers and Onboarding
  • Time-Off Requests and PTO Policies
  • Employee Directory and Surveys
  • Certified HR Pros
  • HR Resource Center


Customer Support

You can get in touch with Gusto’s customer support either by email or phone between 8 am and 5 pm PST. The Core Plan includes HR support; however, if you want dedicated support, then you have to upgrade to the Concierge Plan.


ADP Run Payroll

ADP provides payroll services to businesses of different sizes right from 1-49 employees to 500-1,000 employees and more. It also offers multiple service options and varied pricing plans. ADP’s payroll solution is available to businesses at a very affordable cost and you can pay only for the services you require. ADP Run is the payroll service catering to small businesses with 1-49 employees.


Features of ADP Run Payroll

  • Offers the flexibility to run your payroll conveniently from your desktop or even your mobile.
  • The taxes are automatically computed, deducted and paid.
  • Quarterly and annual reporting.
  • Assistance from expert payroll professionals 24×7.
  • Integrate payroll and time tracking.


ADP Payroll Pricing

ADP has 4 plans. However, ADP does not mention the pricing structure of the payroll packages and you must speak to a sales rep for the pricing details.

Essential Payroll

  • Payroll — PC and Mobile App
  • Payroll Delivery
  • Direct Deposit
  • Robust Reporting
  • New Hire Reporting
  • General Ledger Interface


Enhanced Payroll

Includes all features of the Essential Payroll Plan and also:

  • Check Signing and Stuffing: Secure Check
  • Prepaid Card
  • W2s & 1099s
  • Tax Filing
  • Poster Compliance
  • Compliance
  • SUI (State Unemployment Insurance)
  • Garnishment Payment Services
  • ADP Employee Access


Complete Payroll and HR Plus

Includes all features of the Enhanced Payroll Plan and also:

  • ZipRecruiter
  • Enhanced Employee Handbook Support
  • Employee Handbook Wizard
  • HR Helpdesk
  • HR Helpdesk Support
  • New Hire Onboarding
  • Background Checks
  • Newsletter and HR Tip of the Week
  • Federal & State Forms & Resources
  • HR Documents & Forms
  • HR Trainings & Toolkit
  • Job Description Wizard
  • HR Compliance Database & Alerts
  • HR Check-ups
  • Healthcare Compliance
  • Retirement
  • Insurance
  • HR Tracking
  • Document Vault
  • Notifications & Alerts


HR Pro Payroll and HR

Includes all features of Complete Payroll and HR Plus Plan and also:

  • Work-Life Employee Assistance Programs
  • Employee Discount Program
  • Trainings
  • Legal Assistance (from LegalShield)


ADP Customer Support

The ADP customer support is available 24×7.



Paychex Payroll offers payroll solutions to businesses of all sizes – small, medium and enterprise level. If your business has 1-49 employees, then Paychex Flex is worth considering. It is an excellent solution for payroll, taxes, 401 (K)s, business insurance and HR management. Paychex is a cloud-based and a mobile-friendly payroll solution.


Paychex Payroll Features

  • Payroll processing
  • Automatic computation, payment and filing of local, state and federal payroll taxes
  • Employee self-service (employees can complete their own new-hire onboarding, change personal information, view payroll data, fill tax forms, etc.)
  • Direct deposit, pay cards and paper checks
  • Payment to different kinds of workers – hourly, contract or salaried
  • Free mobile app
  • New-hire reporting to government agencies
  • Events calendar and HR analytics
  • Poster kit for labor compliance
  • Garnishments payments
  • Over 160 reports and custom analytics


Paychex Pricing

The Paychex Payroll Pricing is not available on their website and you must speak to their sales rep for more information.


Paychex Customer Support

The Paychex customer support is available 24×7 to assist you with any issues, queries and technical support.


Square Payroll

Whether you are a business owner or a consumer, you may have definitely heard of Square, whether you make use of a Square POS for business purposes or you have paid for something at a store using a Square POS. Square has payroll services too. And, Square Payroll also can be integrated with the Square POS to pay employees and contractors. Square Payroll is an all-in-one solution that works for every type of business.


Features of Square Payroll

  • Pay employees and contractors
  • Pay both salaried and hourly employees.
  • Give online accounts to employees.
  • Offer health benefits and other types of benefits.
  • Employee time tracking.
  • Importing tips and timecards.
  • Mobile app enables you to pay your employees from anywhere.
  • Run your payroll unlimited times in a month (no extra cost).
  • Payroll tax filings and withholdings.


Square Payroll Pricing

  • Monthly Subscription Cost: $29
  • Per Person Cost Per Month: $5


Square Payroll Pricing for Contactors Only

  • Per Contractor Cost Per Month: $5


Square Customer Support

You can access the Square customer support team which is US based via phone.


There are several options available when it comes to choosing the best payroll service for your small business. However, the decision of the payroll service that is right for your business really depends on the current requirements of your business and the plans for growth in the future. And, if at some time, you feel that you have made a mistake and have picked the wrong payroll service, then do not be afraid to switch your service provider to something you really want.

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