What's The Best Payroll Service?

Are you wondering what is the best payroll service? If yes, here's what you should know before outsourcing your business payroll to a top company.

There are at least seventy active online payroll software companies at a given time. Most of these companies differ in pay and services, so it’s important that you find the best one to meet the needs of your business. Below are the top five payroll services along with a few common questions to help you find the best payroll service for your company.

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1. Outsourced PayrollTop Payroll Companies

When looking for a payroll client it may seem overwhelming. There are a lot of programs and companies to choose from and sometimes they begin to look the same.

That's why we found the top five companies to help narrow your search.

The top five online payroll companies in the business are Intuit Quickbooks, Gusto, Onpay, ADP, and Paycore.

These are the top payroll companies for a reason. These five offer the best payroll services and the best interfaces to deal with payroll.

Even though they differ, each of these companies has the same goal – to help you manage your payroll so you can have time to give attention to other things in your business.

Quickbooks, Gusto, Onpay, ADP, and Paycore are the cream of the crop and some of the most popular programs out there, but each one is not the same. Each program manages your books in different ways using different software.

ADP Logo

ADP is the most used payroll client in the United States. This means employees are more likely to have used the program before, making them familiar with the interface. ADP also tracks attendance and offers various ways to pay employees such as direct deposit, checks, and gift cards.


Gusto Logo

Gusto is known for its cost-friendly plans. Most of their packages can be bought for a substantially lower price when compared to competitors. With any package, it also offers an unlimited number of payroll runs as well as W-2s for no additional cost.

Onpay Logo

Onpay is popular among employers of business ranging from small to large. They even have an option for growing companies so they can adapt to your needs as your company flourishes. Onpay tracks paid time off so you don’t have to and has a very user-friendly interface. Their customer service gets great reviews because they go above and beyond.

Intuit Quickbooks
Intuit Quickbooks Logo

Intuit Quickbooks has a reputation for being completely automated and guaranteeing accuracy. Quickbooks is one of the most popular programs among business because it is reliable and gets the job done efficiently.

Paycore Logo

Paycore has a cloud-based software integrated into its program.

This is nice because you can access it from your phone or tablet. They support onboarding, taxes, attendance, recruiting and much more. This makes it easy to hire and pay employees because it can all be done in one place.

2. What Types of Services do Payroll Companies Usually Offer?

payroll-servicesPayroll programs help to organize each employee's earnings efficiently and easily. They also provide payroll solutions, making the process a breeze and taking some weight off your shoulders.

Paying employees can be done through payroll applications via direct deposit or by printing checks. Some companies even offer other ways to pay that include gift cards. This would be efficient for compensating volunteers or creating prizes.

A select few payroll companies even offer time card tracking in the price of your subscription. This makes adding employees hours into the books seamless since it will automatically transfer from where they clock in and out.

Some programs help to track overtime and crunch the numbers so you don’t have to. With tracking over time it will also look at the hours each employee is working, even the irregular ones. This helps you to ensure employees are working their required time and to pay them accordingly.

Payroll programs help to make tax season easier by generating W-2s for each employee. They will even help with tax deductions from paychecks to make the process easier.

They are here to make your books accurate without the headaches of doing it yourself.

3. How Much Do Payroll Services Cost?

You can find services for free and some for a few dollars a month.

Then there are the companies that charge anywhere from 40-100 dollars a month depending on the package you select.

Some companies will even charge you per employee.

And this isn’t even including the hidden fees that come with processing paychecks or tax forms. Even the best payroll companies may have a hidden fee on each employee somewhere along the line.

This is a broad question that can only be answered by looking at a specific company and knowing what services you need. Each service offers a package and will outline the additional costs.

Before deciding on a payroll service, do some research. See what packages they offer and compare them to what you need to be performed. Don’t forget to look out for hidden fees and to factor them into your decision.

Know what you're looking for and find a company that will meet your needs for the best price.

After a little research and comparing companies, you will find the best payroll company for your business.

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4. Do Payroll Companies Complete W-2s for you?

The short answer to this is yes, but you might have to pay extra for it.

Keep in mind that it depends on what you are paying for. Most companies will charge you a fee per employee to generate a W-2. Then there are others that offer W-2s within the price of their annual fee.

Know how big your company is, or projected to be, by tax season. This will help you find the best plan, for the best price.

5. How Much Does ADP Cost?

ADP LogoFirst, we must look at how big your business is. Let’s say your company has 100 or more employees. ADP will cost you $3,079.10 a year.

If you have less than 100 people working for you this price will be slightly cheaper.

This price may seem high, but remember they are one of the leading payroll outsourcing companies.

To issue W-2s and 1099s there will be an extra fee per employee. All in all, you could be paying close to $4,000 a year for ADP depending on the size of your business.

They offer HR benefits for no extra cost through their company. This is nice considering quite a few payroll services offer HR benefits through third parties.

ADP also offers a time clock that links with their payroll, making it easier to track and pay employees.

ADP offer a w month free trial and has plans 1 to 1000+ employees (we use them!).

6. How Much Does Paychex Cost?

Paychex LogoPaychex is one of the top ten payroll companies in the business and one of the most popular.

Their subscription is a bit steeper than ADP but offers support for a growing business. A year with this company will cost you $3,364.50.

W-2s and 1099s cost extra per employee. Employee HR benefits are included in this price, but a third party will deal with this part of your books.

PAYCHEX has plans for 1-9 employees, 10-49, and 50-1,000+.

From do-it-inhouse payroll to human capital management, this is a good solution for most businesses. 

PAYCHEX Solutions Include:

  • Payroll
  • Workers Compensation
  • Property Insurance
  • Employee benefits
  • HR Service
  • Time and Attendance

7. How Much Does Gusto Cost?

Gusto LogoGusto is cheaper than the two services outlined above.

A year with this payroll company will be around $1,188 for businesses with under 100 employees. If you have over 100 expect to pay a bit more for their services.

Unlike ADP and Paychex, Gusto does not charge extra for W-2s and 1099s. Issuing these forms is included within your subscription fee and the program will fill them automatically.

Gusto Solutions Include:

  • Payroll
  • Medical, Dental, Vision
  • HR Solutions
  • Time Tracking & PTO
  • Compliance Help

8. What Are the Downsides to Payroll Outsourcing?

We talked about the best in the business and what most payroll services generally include. Now let’s talk about the downsides to payroll outsourcing.

When entrusting your payroll to another company you are giving third parties access to your employee's personal information. This includes their addresses, phone numbers, and social security number.

Business Payroll Services

If a data breach were to happen then your employee’s information could become compromised. This would be a heavyweight to bare, but you are putting trust in your payroll outsourcing to maintain data, not leak it.

You are also giving up some level of control when working with a payroll company. Yes, you can provide direction and tweak programs to fit your needs and organization skills, but you are not crunching the numbers personally.

Since you aren’t in total control of payroll it isn’t a bad idea to double-check what the payroll company generates. This will help to ensure no errors happened at the end of outsourcing and that everything is accurate.

Lastly, you will be sacrificing some level of communication. Communication won’t be as easy as talking with an employee who is just a few desks away. If there is an issue with the program or something doesn’t seem right you will have to call customer service.

Some payroll companies have great customer service and are known for treating their clients with care. This is reassuring but not having someone physically there to walk you through the issue can be an issue within itself.

Now you have some knowledge to help find the best payroll service for your business.  For more information or any questions please contact us on our website. Good luck comparing and hunting!

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