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Making sure you pay your employees in full and on time is a non-negotiable ingredient to a high-functioning team, which makes choosing a payroll software for your small business a weighty decision.
Whether you’re looking for a barebones, free payroll software, or you’re willing to pay for full-service payroll software, there are some pretty stellar options out there for you. Here are the four best options on the market right now.
Let’s dive into the information you came here for. Here are the details on the four best payroll softwares for small businesses like yours:
Our pick for the best payroll that offers up the fullest package—for the most reasonable price—is Gusto. Gusto is a payroll, benefits, and HR platform that is available to small businesses starting at just $45 a month.
No matter which of the three versions of Gusto you go for, you’ll get access to full-service payroll. The more you level up, though, the more features you’ll gain access to through this payroll software.
Plus, each of the three versions of Gusto payroll software offers a month’s free trial, so you can test them out to see if they’re the right fit. Don’t forget that you can also tack on extra benefits and insurance—like 401(k) retirement plans and health benefits, for instance—to whichever Gusto plan you end up choosing.
To give you an idea of what each of these options entails, let’s run through all three versions of Gusto payroll software:
Get Started With Gusto Payroll
To access the Core level of Gusto payroll software, you’ll have to pay a base cost of $39 per month, plus $6 per month for each of your employees that you add to your software. Through this version of Gusto, you’ll be able to access the following features:
The next level up is Gusto Complete, which will cost you a base $39 per month, plus another $12 per month for every employee you attach to your account. With this version of Gusto, you’ll gain access to all of the features that Gusto Core comes with, along with the following add-ons:
Finally, the top-tier version of Gusto payroll software is Gusto Concierge. To access this version of Gusto, you’ll have to pay a monthly base cost of $149, and $12 per person every month. Along with all of the perks that Gusto Complete offers, you’ll also get access to the following Gusto Concierge perks:
Another top payroll software option for small businesses is QuickBooks Payroll. If you’re already using QuickBooks accounting software to keep track of your business’s finances—as many business owners are—then this will be one of the easiest ways to automate your payroll. In fact, if you’re using QuickBooks Online, you’ll be able to turn on this payroll software with the click of a button in your accounting software.
Get Started With QuickBooks Payroll
There are three versions of QuickBooks Payroll software that you’ll be able to choose from, and each of them will let you take a test ride with a free 30-day trial:
The Self Service version of QuickBooks Payroll software will allow you to calculate paychecks, pay your employees, and calculate and file year-end forms. For your first three months with this payroll software, you will only have to pay a base cost of $13.50 per month, along with $4 per employee per month. After those first three months, your base cost will increase to $45 per month, but your employee cost will remain the same.
If you want to access more help from your payroll software than the Core version of QuickBooks Payroll can offer you, then consider leveling up to the Premium version.
With Premium QuickBooks Payroll, you’ll be able to access all the features that the Self Service version offers, along with the following list of additional features:
For these extra features that Premium QuickBooks Payroll offers, though, you’ll have to pay more—your first three months will come with a discounted base rate of $22.50 a month and subsequent months will come with a base rate of $75. Again, each employee you add to your payroll will cost you $8 per employee per month.
Finally there is QuickBooks Payroll Elite—the most comprehensive payroll product QuickBooks offers. With this package, you’ll get everything included in the Core and Premium packages, plus the following features:
For all of these additional perks, you’ll pay a starting rate of $37.50 for three months. After three months, your rate will increase to $125 per month, plus $10 for every employee you add.
Another option that’s made it onto our list of the best payroll software for small businesses is Patriot Software Payroll. Patriot Payroll software comes in two versions, both of which could serve small businesses wonderfully, depending on their needs and preferences. Plus, you can add on two bonus features to your Patriot Payroll software—time and attendance tracking and HR software—for small monthly fees.
Try Patriot Payroll For Free
Here are the two versions that Patriot Payroll software that small business owners can choose from:
The Basic version of Patriot Payroll software comes with a base cost of just $10 a month and an employee cost of $4 per month per employee you add to your payroll. For this price, you’ll be able to access the following payroll capabilities:
Your other Patriot option is their Full Service payroll software. With this option, you’ll have to pay a base cost of $30 per month, plus $4 per month per employee. For this extra $20 a month, you’ll gain access to all features of Basic Patriot Payroll, along with this list of additional features:
Finally, if you’re strictly on the hunt for a free payroll software, then your best option is Payroll4Free. If you have fewer than 25 employees in your payroll, then you can access all of the basic features that Payroll4Free offers for no money at all.
These basic features include the following capabilities:
Beyond those basic features, you can pay Payroll4Free to deposit and file your taxes directly from your payroll software for $12.50 a month. Plus, if you want to transfer direct deposit funds to your employee’s bank accounts—rather than your own—then you’ll have to pay them another $12.50 a month.
Other than those two optional services, Payroll4Free is a completely free option that won’t make you sacrifice too much for its being free.
Now that you’re familiar with the best payroll softwares for small businesses in 2020, it’s time to start deciding which of these four options will be the best fit for your payroll needs and preferences.
But with all of these options at your fingertips, how are you to decide on the best payroll software for your business?
Each option has its own pros and cons, but at the end of the day, you’ll need to think primarily about how much help you’ll need with your taxes and payroll setup, and balance that with how much you’re willing to pay every month for your payroll software.
Don’t forget to allow for the additional monthly cost that each of your payrolled employees—and future payrolled employees—will mean for your payroll software. As your small business grows, so will your payroll software expenses.