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Best payroll software for small businesses in 2023

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If the pay period still makes you feel on edge, then it’s about time you implement a new payroll system into your payroll management routine. 

Businesses should have a reliable method for running employee payrolls to avoid miscalculations concerning salaries, benefits, or taxes.

For that reason, let the reliable payroll software do the job for you!

We did thorough research and made a list of the best payroll software for small businesses. 

Also, this text will help you understand:

  • What payroll software is, and
  • The benefits of using payroll management software.

What is payroll software?

Payroll software is a technology-based tool that handles employee payments in a contemporary and timely manner. It’s a great solution for managing and automating the cycle of payroll processes all through. Reliable payroll software helps you:

  • Reduce unnecessary costs,
  • File taxes,
  • Pay employees accurately and easily, amongst others.

Benefits of using payroll software

Apart from managing all things payroll, here are some of the most notable advantages of using payroll software for your business

  • In-house payroll: when implementing a dedicated payroll software, you won’t need to hire an outsourcing company to carry out payments.
  • Business automation: it’s quite obvious that if you opt for digital software, all your payroll-related operations will be handled automatically. 
  • Fewer mistakes: alongside automating payroll processes come fewer errors concerning payroll data, tax submissions, etc.  
  • Cost reduction: after choosing suitable payroll software for your business, your costs basically come down to paying fixed monthly subscriptions (no more costly accountant fees).

How we picked the best payroll software for small businesses?

When creating our list of the best payroll software in 2023, we double checked that payroll software must:

  • Do things automatically and securely,
  • Have a user-friendly interface,
  • Keep up with tax law regulations,
  • Generate automatic reports, and
  • Have time tracking options — the data can later be used for timesheets, invoices, and PTO.

Now, here is the list of the best payroll software currently available on the market.

Overview of the best payroll software for small businesses in 2023

We narrowed down the choice to 8 payroll software that we believe are most efficient for running a small business. 

#1: RUN Powered by ADP — best for different size businesses

RUN by ADP can boast more than 1,000,000 clients. This app is suitable for small, midsized, or large businesses. 

It’s an all-in-one platform for managing employee payments and administrative tasks, together with making sure your business is tax compliant.

Having 24/7 customer service, RUN by ADP can surely provide you with reliable support for any query you may have. 

Still, bear in mind that RUN by ADP doesn’t offer a free plan, and you’ll need to contact their support to get more information on the pricing.

#2: Gusto — best for easy navigation

Great thing about Gusto is that it automatically calculates and syncs your employees’ hours (both salaried and hourly employees), PTO, and holidays with payroll.

What’s more, Gusto comes with the option to withhold taxes trouble-free.

Again, there is no free plan with this app either.  

#3: Rippling — best for IT management

Another all-in-one app that lets you automate any manual payroll processes. 

Rippling lets employers easily manage payments, benefits, expenses, and tax filing. What’s more, Rippling syncs HR, IT, and finance processes into one analytics system which allows you to generate reports of any type. 

Still, you won’t be able to see the pricing on their website so you will have to contact their sales team for that reason (no free plan either).

#4: Paycor — best for keeping your business tax compliant

Thanks to its user-friendly interface, Paycor gives your employees a detailed insight into their payroll information. What’s more, employees can easily:

  • Clock in/out,
  • Request time off, and
  • See their pay stubs and benefits. 

Paycor provides their users with Paycor Mobile — a so-called digital wallet where users can access earned wages, see their paycheck details, find W-2 forms, etc.

Yet, be ready to put a dent in your wallet because Paycor is perhaps the most expensive app on this list.

#5: Justworks — best for filing taxes 

What placed Justworks on this list is its ability to track employee work hours and sync timesheets to payroll. With Justworks, employers can breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to tax withholdings and benefit deductions. 

In addition, employers can see information related to upcoming payments and any necessary employee paycheck details. 

You can also subscribe to the Justworks Plus plan that gives you access to healthcare coverage, 401 (k) savings plan, and COBRA administration. Yet, Justworks is a bit pricey, and it doesn’t offer a free plan nor free trial.

#6: Paychex — best for customer support

Whether you’re self-employed or run a business of 20 to 1,000+ employees, Paychex is a great payroll solution. 

Paychex offers:

  • Accurate payroll processing,
  • Amazing customer support,
  • Payroll tax processing, etc.

No free plan offered for this app, but there is a free trial so you can try it to see if it fits your business needs. 

#7: Patriot Software — best affordable software 

Payroll, tax withholdings, HR, accounting — Patriot Software’s got you covered.

Patriot offers unlimited payrolls for your employees, whether that’s W-2 employees (formally employed workers reporting their income for tax deductions) or 1099 contractors (or independent contractors). 

You can run payroll in 3 simple steps with Patriot:

  1. Employees enter their work hours,
  2. Employers approve payroll, and
  3. Finally print paychecks, as simple as that!

As for the pricing, it’s on the cheaper side, but there’s no free plan within this app.

#8: Clockify — best for time tracking

Clockify is primarily a time tracking app but the best thing about it is that you can use logged work hours for a variety of purposes, such as:

  • Creating timesheets,
  • Exporting payroll reports,
  • Creating invoices, 
  • Tracking PTO,
  • Setting hourly rates (both billable and nonbillable hours), to name a few. 

Thanks to its array of features, Clockify is suitable for accountants, consultants, small and medium businesses. It’s a versatile software tailored to fit your needs (more than 1,000,000 registered users can confirm this).

One of the few software that offers both free trial and free plan, and definitely the most affordable one on the market. 

Hope we helped you in making a smart choice and choosing the right payroll software for your business. 

Further reading

This is just a summary of an article previously published on the Clockify blog. To learn more about the best payroll software and see detailed pricings, we recommend reading the full article: