Best Payroll Software For Small Businesses in 2022

Payroll software automates every step in the payroll process for small to large businesses. It helps you manage payment for your employees by making it easy to set up direct deposits, withhold payroll taxes, and keep accurate records so you don’t get fined.

All of these processes can be time-consuming when done manually, and it’s easy to make a mistake. In 2020, the IRS assessed more than $4.9 billion in penalties for issues such as failure to pay and bad checks.1

To help you choose the right payroll software for your business, we considered 5 different payroll solutions. We looked at cost, ease of use, important integrations, convenience, reporting features, and support.

Paychex Flex

Paychex Flex offers more than 160 reports for you to get a clear look at wages, taxes, turnover, and more. Paychex is our best reporting option because it checks almost all the boxes for what you’d want in payroll software when it comes to reports and data. It also automatically files your payroll taxes, ensures compliance, and includes integrations with important programs you also use, such as accounting and benefits apps.


  • 24/7 support
  • Easy to use
  • HR add-on options
  • Robust reporting feature


  • Hidden fees for setup & EOY tax docs
  • Mixed reviews from users regarding support


If you’re already using QuickBooks for accounting, then QuickBooks Payroll is our easiest to set up option, as everything will be automated, and it’s going to be an intuitive program for any QuickBooks user. You’re unlikely to need to contact support for help because the tutorial and knowledgebase are so thorough. Even if that’s not working for you, a quick search online will send you to a multitude of walkthroughs.


  • Easy setup and intuitive interface
  • Seamless integration with QuickBooks accounting software
  • Fast direct deposit options


  • Not a good value for the cost
  • Time track on the go feature not available in lowest-tier plan


Workful is one of the newer online payroll services available, and it’s already making a name for itself with its top-notch customer support, which is why it’s our best customer service option. The geolocation time-clock tracking is easy enough to set up and ensures employees clock in and out from wherever you’ve set as appropriate. Also, employees can submit expenses through the app, so they can get reimbursed with the next payroll run.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Includes employee expense tracking
  • Offers geolocation time-clock tracking
  • Includes document storage


  • Limited reporting features
  • Setup seems clunky


OnPay offers an easy-to-use, affordable online payroll solution that’s ideal for small businesses. There are no hidden fees, which is important for a small business on a budget. The full-service payroll automates calculations and files your federal, state, and local payroll taxes. You’ll still have to run and approve payroll each time.


  • No hidden fees
  • Easy to use
  • Good value for the cost


  • No same-day or next-day direct deposit
  • No automatic payroll submission


One of the most well-known names in payroll and HR is ADP. The brand recognition and years of experience make it ideal for large companies or businesses that plan on growing pretty fast. The lowest-priced plan includes full-service payroll, direct deposit, reporting, and a self-service employee portal. More complete features and HR services come with higher-priced plans.


  • Scalable with several plan options
  • Robust reporting, including customization
  • Lots of HR add-ons


  • Pricing isn’t transparent.
  • Possibly too many features for small businesses
  • Several fees, including for setup

There are 15 different payroll services that we explored, out of which we have filtered out the top five from them. We explored 15 different payroll services before choosing the top eight listed here. One of the most important things to consider for any business is cost, which is why that was heavily considered for each option. We made our decisions due to features like direct deposit and reporting. We also sought options with support to help business owners address questions they have with setting up and running payroll.

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