Effective payroll management is essential for small business operations. Payroll guarantees that the workers are getting paid on time by following all the tax laws.

In 2024, small businesses look for dependable payroll services that offer features that are necessary to support business operations. Such software simplifies the payroll process through which business owner can keep track of their expense.

There is a wide range of payroll services available to help small businesses in this digital era. The nine top payroll services for small businesses in 2024 with features catered to their requirements are listed below.

1. Gusto

Gusto is a full-service payroll and HR platform made for small startup companies in the United States.

It features tax filing, single-state tax information, time-tracking tools, and employee benefits administration. This software makes payroll processing easier for both contractors and employees. The Gusto Wallet app is another user-friendly employee self-service option provided by Gusto.

Key Features:

  • Transparent Pricing
  • Flexibility
  • Unlimited Payroll Runs
  • Domestic and International Contractor Payroll
  • Automated Tax Filing and Compliance Guidance
  • Employee Financial Wellness Tools


Gusto provides different plans for companies that hire W-2 workers permanently and a contractor-only plan for companies that use independent contractors.

  • Contractor Only Plan No base fee: $6/monthly per person
  • Core Plan: $39/ monthly + $6/ monthly per person
  • Complete Plan: $39/ monthly + $12/ monthly per person
  • Concierge Plan: $149/ monthly + $12/ monthly per person


  • Gusto is more affordable than similar software in the market.
  • It offers unlimited payroll runs and PTO tracking of every employee.
  • This software platform is available in all states in the US.


  • Gusto does not offer a free trial.
  • The per-person pricing can get costly at scale.
  • Gusto’s mobile app has limited functionality.

2. Rippling

Rippling is the best payroll management software that can provide you with a variety of HR tools and options.

Rippling has a tracking system (ATS), payroll software and now a PEO service option, which can assist you with all aspects of employee management.

Rippling provides numerous integrations with accounting, time tracking, attendance and other tools. One of the most appealing features is its integration. This payroll software allows you to streamline your payroll and pay your employees as quickly as possible.

Key Features:

  • All-in-one HR Solution
  • Easy to Set Up
  • Very customizable
  • ACA and COBRA Administration
  • Unique Features for Remote Teams


Rippling offers a quote-based pricing plan that helps the business owner to get a custom price.

  • Core: $35/monthly + $8/employee/monthly


  • It offers a decent price point for mid-sized and small businesses.
  • Companies can pay timely with this software for their employees anywhere on the globe.
  • It can be integrated with hundreds of apps for effectiveness.


  • The pricing is not transparent in the software.
  • As the additional features are attached, the price of the software increases.
  • The facility is limited to various customer support features.

3. Paychex Flex

Paychex offers HR and payroll services to companies of all sizes. Paychex Flex is a payroll solution made for small enterprises with under 50 workers. It is a good option for small businesses looking for a reliable payroll solution because it provides direct deposit, benefit management and tax filing services.

The platform provides an easy-to-use basic payroll processing platform for paying contractors and employees. To fulfill payroll and HR requirements it offers higher-tiered plans and integrates with other Paychex products. It can also be used with third-party accounting systems to automatically update your bookkeeping with payroll data.

Key Features:

  • Simple Payroll Processing
  • Service for Garnishment Payment
  • Adaptable Plans
  • Included in the Tax File
  • Voice Assistant and Accounting Software Integrations


The payroll services offered by Paychex are into three groups.

  • Paychex Flex Essentials: $39/month + $5/month per employee
  • Paychex Flex Select: Quote-based
  • Paychex Flex Pro: Quote-based


  • The interface is quite user-friendly.
  • HR add-ons are available.
  • The reporting feature is quite robust and useful.


  • Additional fees for payroll tax administration.
  • There are some hidden fees applied when the software is initially set up.
  • Additional fees for third-party software integration.

4. OnPay

OnPay is an excellent choice for small businesses. It provides unlimited payroll runs, mobile accessibility and direct deposit capabilities. 

It also provides employee onboarding features that make it an adaptable solution for businesses of all sizes. It has a simple setup, automated tax filings, and a user-friendly interface.

OnPay offers a single plan that gives you access to all the features available. It enables unlimited payroll runs, and payments to both W-2 and 1099 workers and allows employees to onboard themselves.

Key features:

  • Easy Employee Payroll
  • Garnishment Payment Services
  • Customizable plans
  • Tax Filing
  • Voice Assistant and Accounting Software Integrations


OnPay provides a simple pricing structure. There is only one choice and it costs $40 a month as a base fee. Additionally, each employee will cost an extra $6 a month. There are no pricey add-ons or hidden fees.

  • OnPay Pricing: $40/month + $6/employee/month


  • There are no hidden fees.
  • Users get unlimited monthly pay runs.
  • The software has a great user experience.


  • Limited integrations.
  • Does not offer fast direct deposit.
  • No mobile app.

5. Paycor

Paycor is an all-inclusive HR platform that helps businesses with everything from hiring to dismissal.

Employees can view pay stubs, documents, time-off requests and performance reviews all from their phones with the help of the Paycor mobile app and portal.

Paycor is a unified human capital management (HCM) solution that eliminates the need to switch platforms. It helps to access different systems and rekey data by keeping employee data in one location.

Additionally, the company can allow employees to manage and enroll in benefits through the self-service portal in addition to offering benefits administration.

Key Features:

  • Multiple Paid Plans
  • Unlimited Payroll Runs
  • Employee Self-Serve Portal
  • Paying on-demand
  • Custom Reporting
  • Compliance Support
  • HR Resources and Library


The pricing plans are:

  • Paycor Basic: $99/month + $5/ month per employee (no setup fee)
  • Paycor Essential: $149/ month + $6/ month per employee (setup fee waived)
  • Paycor Complete: $199/ month + $7/ month per employee (setup fee waived)
  • HCM: $199/ month + $12/ month per employee (setup fee waived)


  • The software offers plenty of options for training and support.
  • It can be deployed via desktop, mobile, and cloud platforms.
  • Offers recruiting and HR solutions in addition to payroll.


  • The HR tools are not included in the basic plan which means they should be purchased separately.
  • It is more expensive than other payroll software.
  • Paycor does not provide native time tracking.

6. ADP

ADP is a market leader with excellent comprehensive payroll and human resource features. It is an excellent platform for established and rapidly growing businesses.

Its main feature is tax compliance support. RUN by ADP automatically calculates, deposits and files all of your taxes. It also sends W-2 and 1099 forms to your employees each year.

It monitors payroll law changes by state and adjusts your withholdings and payments accordingly to keep you in compliance. And, if the IRS has any questions or sends you an inquiry, RUN by ADP will handle the communication on your behalf.

Key features:

  • Features for Automated Payroll and Tax Filing
  • Outstanding Options for Retirement and Health Plans
  • Broad Variety of Features
  • Supports Several Currencies and Nations


The payroll services offered by ADP are categorized into four pricing plans:

  1. HR Pro Payroll & HR
  2. Enhanced Payroll
  3. Complete Payroll & HR+
  4. Essential Payroll

Due to the quote-based pricing model that ADP uses, the exact cost of each of these plans is still unknown. To obtain a quote visit the ADP website and enter the details of your company.


  • There is 24/7 customer service availability.
  • The service is customizable for growing companies.
  • This software has mobile access to make the experience more unique.


  • It is difficult to access pricing without requesting a quote.
  • There are a lot of hidden and additional fees to use this service.
  • The interface may be overly complex for small businesses.

7. Intuit QuickBooks

Intuit QuickBooks Payroll is a cloud-based payroll service that can be used independently or in conjunction with QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks Payroll is a great option for companies that already use QuickBooks for their financial management because it adds to the accounting program.

The standalone payroll processing service includes enough features to handle payroll for 1 to 150 employees. It has all the payroll features such as automatic tax calculations and filing, unlimited payroll runs and reporting features. 

Key Features:

  • Unlimited Payroll Runs
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Accessible in every state in the union
  • Handle Garnishments
  • Robust Reporting


There are four pricing tiers available for the payroll software from Intuit QuickBooks. They do not charge extra for each person.

  • Simple Start: $12.50/month
  • Essentials: $25/month
  • Plus: $40/month
  • Advanced: $90/month


  • QuickBooks Online integration feature.
  • Same-day and next-business-day direct deposit options.
  • Extended customer service hours.


  • Extra tax filing fees for Premium and Core plans.
  • Limited HR features for numerous employees.
  • QuickBooks Online integrations are somewhat limited.

8. Square Payroll

Square Payroll is a great choice for companies that only need to pay their contractors. It works flawlessly with other Square products, including invoicing software and point-of-sale systems.

Square Payroll simplifies the payroll process for small businesses with features like employee self-onboarding and automatic payroll tax calculations. Because Square Payroll does not charge a fee for inactive months. It is an excellent choice for seasonal businesses that do not work every month of the year.

Key Features:

  • Full-Service Payroll
  • Automated Tax Filing
  • Operates in all 50 states
  • No Base Fee for Its Contractor-Only Plan
  • Free Migration from Former Software


Square has two pricing plans for its online payroll service. They are:

  • Pay Employees & Contractors: $35/month + $5/month per employee
  • Pay Contractors only: $5/month per employee


  • The platform has the feature of low pricing.
  • The software is easy to use with learning at a single time.
  • The tool integrates with other tools easily. 


  • Basic HR functionality only
  • Slow customer support
  • Basic payroll reports

9. Patriot

Patriot is an excellent choice for cost-conscious startups and small businesses because it offers one of the most reasonable pricing plans. It is also simple to use.

It is a software company that assists small businesses with payroll, accounting, human resource data management and time tracking.

Its payroll solution allows for unlimited payroll runs on a variety of pay schedules and rates, as well as multiple locations across the United States. Upgrading to the full-service plan grants you access to tax filing and payment at the federal, state, and local levels.

Key Features:

  • Unlimited Payroll Runs
  • Automated Tax Filing
  • Operates in all 50 states
  • No Base Fee for Its Contractor-Only Plan
  • Free Migration from Former Software


Patriot Payroll software has two pricing options: Basic Payroll and Full Service Payroll.

The Basic plan assists you with payroll but taxes are not included. Patriot will handle your taxes if you choose the Full Service plan.

  • Basic Payroll: $10/month + $4/month per employee
  • Full-Service Payroll: $30/month + $4/month per employee


  • Very user-friendly, especially for beginners
  • Offers excellent payroll flexibility
  • Employee portals are decent


  • Limited pay types
  • Add-on fees for some features
  • Payroll runs slower than competitors

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