13 Best Payroll Software Services in 2024

Without question, one of the most important functions of your business is paying staff; these people keep your operations running, customers happy, and revenue flowing. To do all this, you obviously need a fast and reliable payroll service provider.

Payroll services manage and assist in making payments to employees. They also help manage tax forms, compliance, and regulations. These days, payroll services are mostly online platforms with tools for automation and reporting.

Payroll Software Options:


Best overall payroll software, particularly for for shift-based businesses focused on preventing payroll errors with automated and precise time tracking.


Best for small businesses looking for ease of use.


Best for mid-sized companies operating across multiple states that want to use a tried and tested system.


Best for mid-market businesses looking to have staff run their own payroll.


Best for enterprise-level payroll and user self-service in healthcare.


Best for large organizations looking to replace their legacy ERP systems with modernized payroll + HR.


Best for high-quality customer support

Ceridian Dayforce

Best for continuous calculation and running audits mid-pay period.


Best for large businesses focused on data and efficiency


Best outsourced/virtual bookkeeping for small businesses.

Square Payroll

Best for Square POS users.


Best for global-scale tech start-ups.


Best simple payroll service at an affordable, all-inclusive price.

QuickBooks Payroll

Best for QuickBooks Accounting and QuickBooks Time users.

What Features Should Payroll Services Offer?

With a myriad of online payroll options to choose from, here are some of the key payroll features you should really look for in a payroll service provider:

  • Full-service payroll
  • Unlimited pay runs
  • Test pay runs
  • Intuitive UI
  • Automatic processing
  • Excellent support and customer service
  • Tax withholding
  • Same or next day direct deposit
  • Employee self-service
  • Synced with time & attendance
  • Payslip access

#1 – Workforce.com

Workforce.com     |     User Reviews

Best overall payroll software, particularly for shift-based businesses focused on preventing errors with precise time tracking.

Key Features

  • Full-service payroll
  • Digital timesheets
  • Employee self-service app
  • Tax withholding and wage garnishment
  • Unlimited pay runs
  • Direct deposit
  • Automatic timesheet approvals
  • Synced with attendance tracking, scheduling, and HR modules

Workforce.com is a cloud-based human capital management system (HCM) that specializes in scheduling, HR, and payroll for shift-based businesses. Where the system really shines is in its ability to produce highly precise timesheets. Workforce.com creates and approves timesheets on a daily basis, flagging errors as soon as they occur. This upstream proactivity reduces the amount of time spent fixing timesheets right before pay runs.

Who uses Workforce.com?

Shift-based, hourly businesses in retail, hospitality, food & beverage, and healthcare make up the majority of Workforce.com’s clientele. Typically, these businesses range in size from 15 to 2,000 staff.

What do you get?

Workforce.com offers full-service payroll, including W-2s, wage garnishments, deductions, reporting, direct deposit, employee self-service, digital timesheets, and unlimited pay runs. Workforce.com also offers HR features which include a full-time and attendance module, virtual time clocks, PTO, employee onboarding, HRIS analytics, and employee engagement.

Beyond payroll and HR, Workforce.com also has a robust employee scheduling system featuring an employee app, labor forecasting, shift swapping, shift bidding, auto-scheduling, and task management.

How much does Workforce.com cost?

Workforce.com tailors pricing based on business size and needs. Request a quote today to figure out what kind of plan will give you the best possible ROI..

#2 – Gusto

Gusto     |     User Reviews

Best for small businesses looking for ease of use.


  • Every plan includes full-service payroll
  • Health benefits and workers comp administration included in all plans
  • Accessibility, engagement, and user-friendliness on the end-user level
  • Simple Setup
  • Gusto Wallet app


  • Some important timekeeping and HR features require higher-level plans
  • Expensive per-employee cost
  • Does not scale well with growth

Gusto merges basic payroll and HR services in an easy-to-use platform based in the cloud. You should use Gusto if you are a small business owner looking to move away from manual payroll processing to cloud-based, user-friendly payroll with basic HR analytics.

Who uses Gusto?

Gusto is primarily designed for small to medium-sized businesses and is heavily used by software companies, accounting agencies, and financial service providers.

What do you get?

With all of Gusto’s plans, you’ll get full-service payroll including direct deposit and tax deductions, employee profiles and self-service, health insurance administration, employee benefits, and a full range of software integrations. Beyond payroll, Gusto also offers basic time tracking, hiring and onboarding, HR tools, and even Gusto Wallet for employees to directly access and spend their money.

How much does Gusto cost?

Gusto’s core plan starts at a rate of $39/month plus $6/month per user. Concierge, the most expensive option, goes for $149/month plus $12/month per user.

#3 – ADP

ADP     |     User Reviews

Best for mid-sized companies operating across multiple states that want to use a tried and tested system.


  • Wide range of features and products synced together, only requiring a single sign-on
  • Extensive integration capabilities for any external scheduling, time tracking, POS, or accounting software you use
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Detailed payroll and tax filing compliance according to city and state laws


  • Many hidden fees to add basic features like ACA reporting and POS integration
  • Non-customizable hierarchy levels some products limit how users are able to set up things like timesheet approvals
  • Due to ADP having multiple products to choose from, it does not scale to your business needs well. If you grow too much, you’ll have to reimplement a totally new ADP system
  • Overly complex feature suite with no way of knowing what you do and do not have access to
  • You cannot combine two separate EINS into one account
  • Cannot bulk import timesheets on a CSV with some of ADP’s smaller payroll systems, like RUN
  • Many UI and data discrepancies between separate ADP systems
  • No ability to track billable time based on projects

One of the oldest payroll software providers on the market, ADP is ideal for those looking for an extremely reliable solution that combines the basics like tax filing, benefits, and direct deposit with other functions like time tracking, talent management, and scheduling. However, it tends to be a costly option, charging additional fees for many features and its time clocks. ADP is also best suited for paying salaried staff or hourly employees with extremely straightforward schedules.

Who uses ADP?

ADP has products available for businesses of any size. There’s ADP RUN for businesses with under 50 staff, ADP Workforce Now for mid-sized companies, and ADP Vantage for enterprise companies. Workforce Now is the most popular, particularly in the retail and IT industries.

What do you get?

Businesses usually choose ADP to combine HR and payroll into a single system. It offers detailed HRIS analytics that are directly linked to payroll for more accurate BI reporting. You’ll get all your basic payroll and year-end tax filing functions with ADP Workforce Now. You'll need to pay extra to get enhanced HR features like compliance reporting, onboarding, talent acquisition, and performance management, or add-ons like timekeeping.

How much does ADP cost?

ADP has quote-based pricing, so you must contact their sales team to determine the cost.

#4 – Paycom

Paycom     |     User Reviews

Best for mid-market businesses looking to have staff run their own payroll.


  • Comprehensive tax and payroll management capabilities
  • Self-service portal and app for employees to run their own payroll
  • Generates perfectly mapped reports ready for accounting software import
  • User-friendly expense management


  • Minimal pricing transparency and flexibility
  • High learning curve to getting started
  • Does not scale well for enterprise-level companies
  • Can’t include U.S. and non-U.S. based employees in the same payroll system

Paycom is a full-service HCM solution that specializes in detailed payroll processing, reporting, and user-self service. The only thing that makes Paycom stand out from other providers is that it allows employees to approve and submit their own payroll via an app. This, of course, is an optional feature. But, for companies looking for extreme self-service features, Paycom could be the right choice.

Who uses Paycom?

Paycom offers a full range of payroll analytics and features that are mostly unnecessary for small businesses. Mid-sized businesses in FinTech, healthcare, and IT tend to choose Paycom for its ability to pair comprehensive and speedy payroll processing with essential human resources functions.

What do you get?

At its core, Paycom specializes in providing comprehensive payroll and HR services. Additionally, they offer talent management, time and attendance, and scheduling to round out an all-in-one mid-market solution.

How much does Paycom cost?

As their pricing is, unfortunately, quote-based, you won’t know how a basic plan will cost until you request a meeting.

#5 – UKG

UKG     |     User Reviews

Best for enterprise-level payroll and user self-service in healthcare.


  • Very dependable payroll and benefits capabilities
  • Easy to navigate app where employees can update direct deposit info, view pay stubs, submit PTO, and get their tax documents
  • Powerful reporting for HRIS managers
  • Can see extensive edit history for every timesheet


  • No way to automatically increase pay rates according to tenure
  • Very siloed between modules with complicated permission levels
  • Long and complex implementation process
  • Data security and reliability issues

UKG, or Ultimate Kronos Group, is the merger of the workforce management company Kronos and the HRIS software Ultimate. You should use UKG if you are a large healthcare organization with complex payroll and tax filing requirements and want to offload some of that work to staff via mobile self-service. However, know that UKG does not handle complicated scheduling and time-tracking requirements well, specializing more in paying and managing benefits for salaried staff. Because of this, it might be better for smaller, shift-based businesses to look into a different payroll system.

Who uses UKG?

Payroll products from UKG are designed with all business sizes in mind and are generally popular in the healthcare and financial services industries. HRIS managers, in particular, gravitate towards UKG for its comprehensive reporting; however, keep in mind that UKG products can be quite expensive and are typically used by larger companies with fleshed-out payroll departments that have the time and resources to navigate everything UKG throws at them.

What do you get?

You can choose two different suites: UKG Pro and UKG Ready. Pro is for medium to large businesses with robust payroll, tax filing, and benefits administration needs. On the other hand, Ready is for mid-sized businesses prioritizing self-service. With both products, you’ll receive streamlined and automated payroll, benefits administration, HRIS reporting, PTO management, tax calculation, time tracking, and scheduling.

How much does UKG cost?

UKG does not provide upfront pricing information on its site and is entirely quote-based. For more information about their features or to look into pricing, reach out to their sales department.

#6 – Workday

Workday     |     User Reviews

Best for large organizations looking to replace their legacy ERP systems with modernized payroll + HR.


  • Easy to use interface and mobile-first employee experience
  • Agile and continuous payroll processing and auditing
  • Real-time visibility into general ledger
  • Leading enterprise talent management and HRIS
  • Strong third party integrations with open API


  • Limited configuration to complex industry requirements
  • High costs and administrative upkeep, unsuitable for small to medium-sized businesses
  • Workforce management module is one of their weakest offerings

Workday is a cloud-native software vendor for primarily financial management, human capital management, student information systems, and payroll. You should use Workday if you are first looking for a comprehensive HCM platform that happens to feature basic payroll, not the other way around.

Who uses Workday?

While mostly used for talent management, human resources, and more recently accounting, some enterprise companies in IT, financial services, and computer software use Workday for payroll. However, due to its limited nature, most businesses only use Workday for HR while integrating it with products like Workforce.com for payroll and workforce management.

What do you get?

With Workday payroll, you get full-service payroll alongside very basic time and attendance. For further HR and financial features, you’ll need to also look into getting Workday HCM.

How much does Workday cost?

Workday is one of the most expensive options on the market and is billed on an annual subscription basis. The pricing is quote-based, so you will need to contact the sales team directly.

#7 – Paychex

Paychex     |     User Reviews

Best for high-quality customer support.


  • Friendly and responsive US-based customer support
  • Can run payroll from anywhere on your phone
  • Straightforward employee self-service for viewing benefits, pay stubs, and insurance documents
  • Single sign-on for payroll and HR


  • Difficult to set up and run reporting
  • Dated interface
  • Inability to handle large amounts of data for enterprise-sized clients
  • Poor time tracking

Paychex provides integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, employee benefits, and business insurance. Small businesses in need of attentive support, basic online payroll processing, and intuitive benefits administration should use this platform.

Who uses Paychex?

Paychex is mostly designed for small business payroll in the US. It is particularly popular in the construction and real estate industries.

What do you get?

In addition to payroll, Paychex offers integrated HR management as well as basic time tracking with on-premise time clocks.

They offer four packages: Paychex Flex Essentials, Select, Pro, and Enterprise. With Select, you get payroll, year-end tax filing, and minimum HR functionality, while with Pro and above you get a full range of HR, benefits, and payroll services. Time tracking packages are add-ons.

How much does Paychex cost?

Like many of its competitors, Paychex pricing is quote-based, meaning you will need to contact them directly to figure out what works best for your situation.

#8 – Ceridian Dayforce

Ceridian Dayforce     |     User Reviews

Best for continuous calculation and running audits mid-pay period.


  • Bundling payroll with HR and talent management in a single system
  • On-demand payment with Dayforce Wallet
  • Data is processed and committed continuously, limiting rework carried over into the next pay cycle


  • Difficult to set up custom reports, and expensive to have them built for you
  • Many hidden fees to get the support team to change and edit errors after implementation
  • Slow customer support
  • Long and complex implementation process

Ceridian Dayforce is an online HCM system that includes extensive payroll and tax management offerings. While claiming “all-in-one” status, Dayforce is mostly used for its continuously calculating payroll system as well as its top-of-the-line talent and performance management.

Who uses Dayforce?

Dayforce is popular in the retail and financial services industries, particularly among mid-market to enterprise-level businesses. Due to the complex and often overwhelming nature of the system as a whole, Dayforce is often seen as unnecessary for smaller businesses with simpler needs.

What else do you get?

In addition to full service payroll, tax form filing, and time tracking, Dayforce also has a full HCM suite consisting of HR analytics, benefits administration, leave management, customer experience, and more.

How much does Dayforce cost?

Like many of its alternatives, Dayforce pricing is quote-based, so you’ll need to contact sales directly.

#9 – Bookkeeper.com


Best outsourced/virtual bookkeeping for small businesses.


  • Eliminates the need for hiring internal payroll and accounting experts
  • High quality customer service with a personal bookkeeper
  • Reliable wage and hour law compliance
  • Interactive web page with a client and learning center


  • No visibility into real-time payroll data and reporting
  • Payroll is totally separate from time tracking and HR
  • High monthly service fee
  • No mobile app

Unlike the rest of the competitors listed, Bookkeeper.com is not a software vendor. Instead, it specializes in outsourcing all your payroll needs to teams of real-life payroll specialists. You simply provide them with all your employee data and they handle the rest. Bookkeeper.com’s payroll services cover things such as tax liabilities and forms, custom payroll reports, direct deposit, tax deposit, W-2s, and 1099s.

Who uses Bookkeeper.com?

Due to its limited visibility and minimal configuration, Bookkeeper.com is strictly meant for small businesses with extremely basic payroll needs. This hands-off approach for paying employees works best for businesses that wish to avoid the manual process of running payroll and need little to no insight into payroll and HR analytics.

What do you get?

In addition to payroll, Bookkeeper.com also offers tax filing, financial planning, accounting, and bill-paying services.

How much does Bookkeeper.com cost?

Bookkeeper.com’s cheapest service package starts at $399, billed monthly. Plus and Advanced offerings are also available, for $599 and $799, respectively. They also offer custom pricing. Go here to see more about their pricing.

#10 – Square Payroll

Square     |     User Reviews

Best for Square POS users.


  • Extremely efficient when paired with Square POS
  • Good for dealing with 1099 contractors
  • Flat-rate, all-inclusive pricing
  • Integrated tips and commission
  • User-friendly


  • Very limited HR analytics and reporting
  • Limited options for adding deductions
  • Lack of customization
  • Inability to scale for larger businesses

Hosted online by the POS system of the same name, Square Payroll is the most convenient option for small businesses already using Square. It’s essentially full-service payroll on all your Square devices, complete with fluid POS and time tracking integration. As long as you don’t need HR analytics, or have an alternative system for it, Square Payroll is a great option.

Who uses Square Payroll?

Just as with Square POS, Square Payroll is most popular among small businesses in food and beverage, hospitality, and retail. While offering little in the way of human resources administration, onboarding, or talent management, it keeps operations simple and pays employees fast.

What do you get?

Obviously, if you are considering Square Payroll you either already have or are looking to get Square POS. Beyond POS and payroll, Square also offers time tracking, tax filing, and instant payments.

How much does Square Payroll cost?

Square Payroll has a flat rate of $35/month plus a $5/month per person paid. Contractor pricing also exists at $5/month per person paid.

#11 – Rippling

Rippling     |     User Reviews

Best for global-scale tech start-ups.


  • Very user-friendly
  • Supports international payments
  • Extensive software integrations
  • Supports all brokers from both small and large group benefits


  • Can’t automatically run payroll every pay period
  • Forces you to submit payroll at least two days before it is paid - no last-minute pay runs
  • Limited access to the whole feature suite and updates without incurring hidden fees
  • Typically more expensive its alternatives, especially for small businesses
  • Poor handling of the 1099 contractor model

A modern take on the “one-stop-shop” software older companies like ADP and UKG claim to be, Rippling offers a competent payroll system among a host of other products including HR management, time tracking, and IT management. You should use Rippling if you are a mid-market IT business with multinational staff looking for a user-friendly, online payroll service.

Who uses Rippling Payroll?

Rippling is designed with tech start-ups and mid-market IT companies in mind. It is also used heavily in the financial services and advertising industries.

What else do you get?

Beyond payroll, Rippling offers many other software solutions which makes it attractive for tech companies. Its IT cloud features app and device management, while its HR cloud has benefits administration, time tracking, learning management, and talent management.

How much does Rippling Payroll cost?

Pricing for Rippling starts at $8/month per user. From there, all pricing is quote-based depending upon the features you select for your plan.

#12 – OnPay

OnPay     |     User Reviews

Best simple payroll service at an affordable, all-inclusive price.


  • Unlimited payroll
  • Transparent monthly pricing scale
  • High-quality customer service and implementation
  • Handles Form 943 filings for agricultural companies
  • Health insurance coverage in all 50 states


  • Direct deposit can take up to 4 days
  • No options for 1099 contractor payroll
  • Lack of integrations for point-of-sale, hiring, performance management, and compliance
  • The interface could be more intuitive

OnPay is a full-service online payroll, tax, and HR software that takes pride in its affordability and transparency. If you are a small business looking to affordably fulfill basic payroll and HR functions in a single system, you should consider using OnPay.

Who uses OnPay?

OnPay is used mostly by small businesses in the construction, law, and real estate industries. While its interface is by no means flashy or modern, it gets the job done, is reliable, cost effective, and all-inclusive.

What do you get?

Beyond payroll, OnPay includes human resources, leave management, and benefits administration in its pricing. Its benefits features and providers are especially comprehensive.

How much does Onpay cost?

OnPay offers everything for a monthly base fee of $36/month, plus an additional $4/month per user.

#13 – QuickBooks Payroll

Intuit     |     User Reviews

Best for QuickBooks Accounting and QuickBooks Time users.


  • Syncs with QuickBooks Accounting and Time; timesheets flow automatically from Time into Payroll, and access to cost data is readily available in the Accounting system
  • Same day direct deposit
  • Automated tax calculation and filing
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Can be set up to automatically run payroll every pay period


  • Limited integration capabilities. Unable to import timesheets from third-party time tracking software or from a spreadsheet, meaning manual entry is required if you don’t use Time
  • Native reporting lacks customization, often crashing when applying filters and restricting users to a single report at a time
  • Reports are often very confusing and hard to read, especially for non-QuickBooks users
  • Does not scale well to larger, more complex business needs. Limited ability to create multi-layer information for employees, and cannot consolidate two different QuickBooks Payroll accounts into one
  • Support is limited to none, with no ability to fulfill complicated, enterprise-level requests

For many businesses already using QuickBooks for accounting or time tracking, QuickBooks Payroll might be the perfect option, especially if you are job-costing. The system syncs perfectly with other QuickBooks products and can reliably handle payroll and tax filing requirements in every state.

However, keep in mind that QuickBooks is meant for small, project-based businesses. As such, it does not scale very well to the requirements of larger organizations, existing as a “one-size-fits-all” kind of system with limited options to configure.

For instance, running reports in QuickBooks can be a hassle, as the system lacks customization and digestibility. Moreover, reports cannot be saved, and they quite often crash the platform when pushed too far.

Who uses QuickBooks Payroll?

QuickBooks Payroll is popular with small, project-based SMEs in construction, trade, engineering finance, and IT.

What do you get?

Beyond payroll, the platform also offers time tracking, HR support, workers’ compensation, and retirement plans.

How much does QuickBooks Payroll cost?

QuickBooks has three distinct pricing tiers. Starting with Core at $45/month plus $4/employee per month, you’ll get full-service accounting, auto payroll, and next-day direct deposit. Premium costs $75/month plus $8/employee per month and gets you same-day direct deposit, time tracking, and workers’ compensation. Finally, Elite is $125/month plus $10/employee per month and gets you 24/7 support, tax penalty protection, and a personal HR advisor.

There is more to payroll than just payroll software

From timesheet variances to labor law compliance, there’s a lot involved in payroll that isn’t handled by payroll systems. With Workforce.com, you cover all of your bases with an all-in-one system for the entire employee lifecycle.

A few things to consider:

1. Don't overlook mobile onboarding

The new hire onboarding process is the first step in running accurate payroll. The problem is, it’s hard to get people to complete onboarding most times. Shift workers in particular often don’t have time to log into a shared desktop to fill out endless paperwork. It’s best practice to adopt a mobile onboarding system where new hires can fill out a checklist over their phones - this way, HR quickly gets access to details necessary for payroll like bank information, W2s, addresses, and more.

2. Sync your scheduling and time tracking

Nothing is worse than getting hours wrong on a timesheet, underpaying a worker, and having to retroactively pay an employee. Keep your scheduling and time tracking synced in one system with payroll so that you can easily see time variances on every timesheet. This way, whenever an employee clocks more or less time than what they were scheduled for, you’ll spot it immediately and can address it before running payroll.

3. Forecast your labor

Recent advances in AI and machine learning have made it easier than ever to figure out how many staff you’ll need on hand during any given shift. Forecasting tools like Workforce.com account for historical sales, economic trends, and weather when predicting your upcoming customer demand. By properly forecasting your labor needs, you’ll never over or understaff - meaning you’ll never be surprised come payroll.

4. Make leave management easy

Employees should have a single app where they can clock in, check their schedule, and request PTO. All of this information should then seamlessly flow to payroll. If vacation time is siloed in a different system from work hours, you increase your chance of error while processing pay.

5. Protect yourself with a compliance engine

If you live in a state like California with complex wage and hour laws, it is extremely important your timekeeping and payroll system is backed up by a robust compliance engine. A system like Workforce.com lets you set up custom labor rules according to your local regulations, flagging any potential issues with wage calculations, missed breaks, tip distributions, work hours, and more.

To find out more about how to get started with Workforce.com, book a call today.