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Best Payroll Software For Small Businesses in 2020

Finding the best Payroll Software for your business is now faster and easier! Compare prices, reviews, features, and get free consultation to find the perfect software.

Table of Contents

What Is Payroll Software?

Human resource forms the foundation of any successful business, and their payments need to be managed in an efficient manner. Payroll management software is a comprehensive solution that can automate all your processes, deductions, and taxation requirements through the click of a button. So basically, this state-of-the-art technology aims to simplify and computerize the process of paying a company and employee base.

A payroll outsourcing designed for small businesses can surely help you accrue a host of benefits for your organization. It completely manages the taxes, essential deductions on benefits, bonuses and exemptions thereby completely automating processes that were done manually before.

This leads to a tremendous increase in productivity levels and is also a cost-effective solution for organizations to handle their payroll activities. It is essential to invest in the best tax software for your small business it will surely bring about a monumental change in the bottom line results!

How Payroll Software Works?

Modern Cloud Payroll software are central platforms that handle the payment of employee salaries, calculates time spent on activities and regulates taxes in a speedy and accurate manner.

Payroll solutions help organizations enhance productivity, reduce administrative paperwork, and decrease the rate of human error in manual tasks. Payroll management systems even work as great morale boosters for employees, as they get their paychecks regularly, with no errors or any mismanagement.

While the software may seem complicated in nature, they simplify crucial human resource operations and increase the overall output. Here are some ways that it can work for your organization:

  • Advanced Business Features: Most current payroll software for small business have innovative business features such as tax regulation, accounting, salary calculation and timekeeping, thus making functional tasks simple for human resource managers. It saves time spent on routine activities

  • Tax Regulation: Managing the tax calculation in a compliant and correct manner is a challenging aspect for any organization. Online Payroll software is fully equipped to manage the intricacies of tax management and makes sure that an organization complies to the latest government regulations and policies regarding taxation. Payroll solutions are a useful asset that can help in comprehensive tax management in any organization, reducing the workload of the human resource department.

  • Employee Timekeeping: One reason that online payroll system will prove to be beneficial for your organization is that it has the ability to keep track of your employees work hours, and maintains an updated record of how they are spending their time in the organization. It also pumps up employee accountability and leads to a substantial rise in productivity as strategic goals can be achieved at a faster pace.

  • Recording and Reporting: Payroll solutions are an ideal platform for companies to record employee information in a structured and orderly manner. The complete payment calculations are performed automatically, deducting the required amount for gratuity, retirement benefits and taxes, thereby making sure that your organization stays tax compliant and avoids any hefty fines or punishments.

A dynamic payroll software program will surely eliminate any problems or roadblocks in the path of effective employee management, and it will also lay the groundwork for achieving strategic functional goals of the organization. There are a number of sophisticated online payroll systems software available in the market, it is necessary to evaluate individual organizational requirements, narrow down the choices and pick the best payment system – it is bound to have a dramatically positive impact on the long-term profitability.

Manual Payroll Vs Computerized Payroll Systems

1. Time Consumed

Running Payroll on software can take minutes while doing it manually can consume hours. When you are doing payroll manually, you have to do all the calculations manually. You have to add employee hours, determine time pay, overtime pay, take into consideration all the compensation, taxes, deduct other benefits, contribution etc. This is not it, you also have to calculate each employee's paycheck individually. Doing it manually might consume a lot of your time. Also, you must be aware of all the taxes and labor laws and learning all this might take a while.

On the other hand, payroll program will assist you in processing the payroll in the simplest way possible. All you need to do is input employees information when he is hired and the software will automatically calculate taxes and other deductions. Some Programs will also process Form-16 forms for every employee during the end of the year which can be a real time-saver.

2. Errors

Manual Payroll is the most error-prone method. There is more room for mistakes here. When you are calculating it manually it is very likely that you might forget to subtract a deduction or add in employee hours.

Watch out for any incorrect calculations, as it is possible that you might add, subtract or multiply wrong numbers. This can lead to incorrect calculation and wrong amount paid to your employees. If this happens your employees have a complete right to sue you. You not only have to pay back the wages but also hefty legal fees for a small mistake.

The Best Payroll Software will save you from all these hassles by preventing mathematical errors. The online payroll system software is robust enough to calculate the gross wages of each employee and subtract taxes and other deductions. The software will inform you how much you should pay for the employment tax. You no longer have to worry about incorrect calculations and financial consequences.

3. Attendance Management

Majority of payroll solutions are integrated with attendance machines. Hence the calculation part of attendance management is taken care by this automated processes, eliminating mistakes and transparency across organizations.

Manual Payroll means doing everything by hand, while a online payroll software means you can store the years of data in one centralized location thus keeping a track of everything.

While using a manual payroll you have to keep track of employee’s time by hand, but with a software application, you can automatically transfer the punch or swipe by integrating the software and the biometric attendance system. Not only this, but it will also separate regular work hours from overtime and will calculate different remunerations according to the parameters set.

What Are the Benefits of Payroll Software?

A payroll system has a number of useful benefits for any organization. Let's check out some of its major business advantages:

  • 100% Accuracy About Employee Pay Checks: Using payroll solutions means that administrators don't need to worry about mistakes in employee paychecks it has a very high accuracy rate and hence, there are seldom any errors.

  • Time-Saving: Calculating taxes and other deductions can be a lengthy task a time management software will surely help you save a lot of time by automating those calculations. So, your administrators can use the saved time on other critical business activities, thus enhancing efficiency levels.

  • Cost-effective: Using a payment system is a cost-effective solution for any company as you do not need to outsource the best payroll system for a small business function to an external agency. Any business can save a huge amount of expense by having in-house payment systems; all they need to do is pay a monthly or yearly subscription fees for their cloud-based payroll solution.

  • No worries about security: While using an external agency, there is always the worry about data theft and loss of information by a third-party service provider. By implementing payroll applications, any business can be rest assured that its sensitive information will not be lost and compromised as it remains within the organization itself.

  • No risk of Non-Compliance with Taxes/IRS: It is very challenging for companies to keep up-to-date with their tax-codes and IRs changes, as they keep changing frequently throughout the year. Payroll solutions automatically get current tax updates, thereby reducing hassle and load for your staff.

  • Employee Calendars: These calendars are an easy approach to manage different aspects of employee status like check on sick leaves, absence and overtime. Time management software with online payroll management software helps employees to make plans and decisions on a particular day. At a single glance, all kinds of information on the employee can be obtained like how long they have taken leave, whether to allow more leave or how much leave is entitled to them

  • Payslips: This salary slip software helps you to generate pay slips so that your employees and company can keep the payment records.

  • Negligible Errors/Mistakes: Errors/mistakes are minimized due to computing and automation benefits.

  • Customer Services: With the saving of time and money your employees can focus on the customers better thereby improving your business standards

  • Cloud Computing: Top online payroll software for small business would probably provide substantial cloud storage. This would allow the user to keep all the data on cloud storage. Which would make the process of storing data hassle-free and more secure.

  • Notifications and Updates: The salary software keeps reminding you of important notifications like tax payments and salary due dates. There are reminders too which keep you in the loop about the different tasks to be done

These benefits can surely increase the bottom-line profit of any organization, hence it is a smart business move to invest in best payroll software for small business.

Payroll Software for Accountants: Accounting Function Benefits

One function that highly benefits from utilizing automated payroll is accounting, and here are some ways in which it improves traditional accounting processes:

  • Online Payroll software for accountants streamline accounting processes by calculating bonus, expenses, holiday pay, and monetary benefits with minimum effort.
  • Extremely helpful in billing management as it can calculate the man hours spent on a particular project, thus billing clients accurately according to the exact time spent by company employees.
  • Payroll solutions complete automate manual tasks such as year-end reporting, and store huge amounts of complex data in a centralized repository, where it can be safely accessed whenever required.
  • Makes salary payments speedier, more agile, and flexible as it can generate accurate pay slips for the entire workforce through the click of a button.
  • Tax calculations, which are lengthy and time-consuming can be handled easily by payroll application platforms, keeping organizations assured of tax compliance procedures.
  • Automated Payroll system can assist managers in the preparation of advanced and sophisticated reports on time worked, attendance, accounts, and taxation. It facilitates in-depth analysis, thereby improving the quality of managerial decision-making.
  • Most modern system packages can accurately predict forecasts, and this feature can aid the accounting and payroll software department to prepare budgets and finance their needs accordingly.
  • HR Payroll software for accountants can also save organizations from massive overheads, as managing the payment function in-house through a computerized tool is far most economical than outsourcing the payroll process to an external agency.

How Does Payroll Solution Help to Simplify Tax?

New business owners, entrepreneurs and human resource managers often find keeping track of taxation laws tiring, and lack the knowledge to take correct and timely tax decisions for the organization.

Employee Payroll software can manage the entire tax processing of an organization. It is a very advantageous platform as it handles the tax filing procedure for all employees in an automated manner, thereby increasing the speed and efficacy of the process.

Most modern payroll solutions contain diverse tax reporting tools that facilitate easy and timely compliance of tax legislations. Payroll apps for small business are well equipped to update itself, and all the changing dynamic taxation rules, policies and laws are adhered to strictly, thereby preventing any kind of penalties.

Any employer not following income tax laws and maintaining employee records can be held accountable for legal consequences, so an updated payroll program for small business is definitely an ideal choice to streamline tax payments in any organization.

Payroll solutions ensures that a structured system is followed for tax payment and filing of returns – it manages the real-time records of all employees, facilitates tax deducted at source, and completes all tax processes before deadlines.

A consistent and well-administered software can prove to lower tax bills and keep employees secure from paying hefty fines for not adhering to current tax policies. Payroll apps are indeed comprehensive and well-structured tools that can help human resource managers handle and overcome taxation hurdles in an efficient, cost-effective and speedy manner.

How to Choose the Right Payroll Software for Your Business?

Enterprise payroll software for small business can completely transform the way your business organization function it is a roadmap for automated payroll processes and brings about a high level of work efficiency by reducing administrative procedures to a large extent.

When deciding to invest in a new payroll solution, it crucial to carefully weigh your organization's needs and budget when selecting a vendor. You need to look at the complete package holistically and check whether it will fulfill all your obligations.


  • Does the service provider have the specific features that you are looking for?
  • Does the payroll services provide good support features?
  • Can you customize the payroll solutions according to your specific business requirements?

These are some vital questions that you may have to answer before picking out the best payroll software for small business. Let's study these factors in detail.

1. Cost

Businesses are looking for solutions that are affordable, the cost is the foremost priority when deciding on a automated payroll system software. Check for hidden fees that might be overlooked during the initial service cost comparison. Make sure to read the brochure and fully understand what features should be included and what not in the final price.

Ask even the silliest question that comes to your mind so that you aren't surprised when you receive the bill. Make sure what is included in the payroll and what not. If you have a plan to hire more employees in the future, ask about the approximate cost per additional worker.

2. Features

Here are some of the features that should be considered while choosing a automated payroll system.

  • Payment Type: So how you want to pay your employees? Direct deposits, paychecks or payroll cards? You obviously want your payroll system software to support how you pay your employees.

  • Pay Period: When you want to pay your employees? Every week, bi-weekly, or at the end of every month? Choose a Software that lets you pay your employee whenever you want.

  • Supplement wages: If you pay your employees bonuses, commissions or tips you need a service provider that can support supplement wages

  • Time and attendance: Time and Attendance helps you track the number of hours your employees work. You can have your employees enter the hours online, or you can enter them yourself.

3. Support

A HR payroll software offers strong support and makes you feel more comfortable while running your own payroll. Some companies help you set up your own automated payroll system. If support is the priority than compare the level of support when choosing the software.

4. Free trial

Some provider offers you a free trial so that you can know the ins and outs of the software. A free trial will help you know exactly what you are purchasing. Therefore check the HR payroll software you are considering offers you a free trial. It helps you to have a hands-on approach and temporarily runs your payroll at no additional cost.

5. Contract

Don't get strap into a year-long contract. And if you have to make sure that the software you are considering meets all your needs. You might have to pay a fee to drop out early. Contracts are made so that you get stuck to the software and if you want to exit you need to pay a drop out fee.

It's a better option to go with payroll apps without any contracts so that you can get out any time without any fees. There are pros and cons of every option, better consider your business needs before making the final call. If you go through this checklist in a comprehensive manner you will definitely be able to invest in the most suitable provider for your small business.

Why Small Business Needs Payroll Software?

Small Businesses are everywhere and the competition is higher than ever due to start-ups emerging with every coming day. One way to retain your position in the market is to hire and retain the most talented employees. And to do that you need to pay attention to every small detail that keeps your employees satisfied.

Investing in a payroll systems for small business can help you achieve this motto to some extent. The way SMEs are handling human resources is not very productive. There is hardly any attention given to human error and its effect on employees and on the entire organization as a whole.

This is the main reason why Small Businesses need a Comprehensive HR and payroll software. Also, the software comes with a lot of benefits that will ensure efficiency, timeliness, accuracy, precision, and cost-effectiveness. Its an automated as well it gets seamlessly integrated with attendance and time management, allowing HR team to focus on core business values and not always remain stuck to administrative work.

1. No technical Expertise needed

Small businesses are reluctant to use cloud payroll software because they are living with a misunderstanding that it takes a high level of skills and expertise to use the software effectively. However this is not true, in fact, there are plenty of modern payroll management applications which are easy to use and simple to learn. User manuals, supporting tutorials are often provided to help the user with all the important task.

2. Saves a lot of time

According to the SCORE, small business spends between one to five hours every month calculating payroll. This number doesn't even include the other 41 hours spent on year-end tax preparations. This is where a payroll app for small business can save a lot of your time which you can spend on other things.

3. Customizable enough to fit small business needs

The compensation structures for various roles, benefits, bonuses all of these tasks can be customized and can be tailored to suit the unique needs of your organization.

Payroll Software Trends to Watch

Over the last couple of years, we have seen a dramatic change in the best payroll software small business trends in the marketplace. There is a vast increase in the offerings, and they are being specifically customized for the organizational requirement. There has also been a substantial increase in the smaller players in the space, with many offering sophisticated standalone products, while others try to integrate payroll tools into the organizations existing accounting software.

The emergence of advanced cloud technology is also a major trend in cloud payroll software that has influenced the ways of business execution. In the current scenario, most companies are moving towards cloud-based applications thus enjoying the cost-efficiency, total convenience and flexibility of cloud-based solutions.

Another huge trend to look out for is the accessibility of information from smart devices. Best Payroll system for small business should be able to let employees keep a track of real-time data, and they should have remote access to their individual emails.

So make sure to look out for these interesting trends while choosing the best payroll software for small business get it customized for a right fit, thereby creating a win-win situation for all parties involved!

What Are the Common Problems With Payroll Management?

There are a number of challenging situations that are faced by organizations while implementing the right best payroll system for small business. Let's understand some of the primary challenges that companies need to overcome for payroll solutions:

  • Getting Support From Top Executives: It is often difficult to obtain a buy-in from the top-level hierarchy of the organization as they may prefer to outsource the entire function. Hence, top executives need to be convinced about the benefits of best payroll software for small business so that they can take the decision to invest in payroll tools.

  • Getting Buy-In from the IT Department: Another huge challenge to successfully implementing a payroll system is getting the support of your organization's IT department. They may have concerns about the security of data and software hosting. The IT department of the organization should have enough resources to successfully integrate payroll app for small business, and ensuring this may prove to be difficult for companies.

  • Getting the Perfect Fit: Smaller businesses may have a problem getting the best payroll system for small business that caters to their daily operational requirements, as most of the solutions are targeted towards the big firms. Some important features such as attendance management software or benefits management may be add-ons or optional, thereby creating functional difficulties.

  • No Integration with Existing Systems : It is absolutely essential that top payroll software should be integrated with the organizations other Human Resource Management Software and existing systems so that data is stored securely in one place. However, all vendors do not offer integration; hence this can prove to be a major challenge.

Surmounting these challenges can prove to be quite a task; however, once you get past them, your organization will definitely attain a number of business results that will fast track it onto the path of success.

How Payroll System help to Grow Business?

There is no room for trial and error while investing in payroll tools. These vital strategies will help you in selecting the right payroll system and making sure your business is well- prepared for any unexpected changes it may encounter.

  • Select A Payroll Solution That Allows Company Growth: One major strategy that will help your overall organization prosper with the implementation of a payroll system software is to invest in a application that allows for future business growth. Make sure the software you choose will adapt to future payroll tools needs, rather than just meet current requirements.

  • Integrate Your Software with Other Functions: Integration of all business systems is an important strategy that will definitely take your organization places. Integrated payroll management software can help to unify diverse functions of your business; hence it makes more sense to invest in it rather than a standalone accounting software.

  • Designate a Payroll System Specialist: It's important to have someone on your team who is familiar with the intricacies of the best payroll software for small business. Whether hired internally or externally, a specialist will definitely manage the entire software efficiently and enhance the accuracy of the system.

These strategies are sure shot ways of improving your business through the best payroll system for small business so make sure to choose the right strategy before making the big choice!

List of Payroll Software Dependent Industries

Payroll tool is now widespread and utilized by a number of key industries to enhance their bottom line. Some major players are as mentioned:

Each industry has a mix of unique characteristics, needs, constraints, and requirements for a payroll solution platform it is important to find and implement the best possible system for your industry to witness a transformation of your business processes in the positive direction!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Business software that is designed to help manage employee information and other HR-related tasks is considered as HR and payroll software. It assists in automating tasks, calculating accurate payroll, attendance tracking, and more.
  • Payroll software prices usually depend on the number of employees and the level of features.
  • Some of the best free payroll software for small business :
    1. Gusto
    2. OnPay
    3. Wave
    4. Xero
    5. SurePayroll, etc.

Rinkesh AnandaniBy Rinkesh Anandani | Last Updated: October 19, 2020

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