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Best Payroll Software – Payroll Management for HR Managers (2023)

8 min read

Payroll software plays a crucial role in streamlining payroll processes and ensuring accurate and efficient payroll management. A payroll manager to suit all of your needs can be hard to find, but in this blog post, we’ll explore the best payroll software to use in 2023.

Managing payroll is a critical aspect of running a business, and choosing the right payroll software can make a huge difference in streamlining your payroll processes. Payroll in the USA can bring a lot of challenges for small businesses and large companies alike. From automated calculations to tax filings and reporting, modern payroll software solutions offer a range of features to simplify payroll management and ensure accuracy. With the right software, even payroll can be made simple.

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In this blog post we will look at the top 10 US payroll software solutions for your business listing a few pros and cons collected from reviews across the web. We will also look at the best payroll software for your restaurant and the best payroll software solution for SMBs, if that’s what you’re looking for. Finally, we’ll go through a list of questions to consider before choosing your payroll software.

Discover how tech can save you time, enhance efficiency, and provide peace of mind in handling one of the most important aspects of your business operations.

Best Payroll Software (2023)

Now that you know what to look for, here is a list of the top solutions to choose from:

intuit quickbooks software logo

1. QuickBooks Payroll Software:

Seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks accounting software, automating payroll calculations, tax deductions, direct deposits, and offering comprehensive reporting features.

Watch this video to gain a better understanding of how QuickBooks Payroll works:

After setting up, you can sync the software with accounting and pay your team.

QuickBooks Online Payroll works for small to midsize businesses—from accountants and financial experts to nonprofits, construction companies, and restaurants.

QuickBooks Payroll developed by Intuit offers several plans to choose from based on your needs with many included features.

intuit quickbooks software dashboard

Set up payroll with QuickBooks to run automatically and free up your time to focus on other things. Approve timesheets and create invoices on the go. Callback support, expert assistance and HR advice mean you will not be alone on your journey to switching to automating these processes.

✅ Small to medium-sized businesses

✅ Those who want to pair QuickBooks accounting software with payroll

✅ Anyone who wants federal and state taxes filed automatically

❌ Business owners with small budgets for basic payroll

❌ A bit of a learning curve

❌ Those who want numerous integration options for payroll outside of Intuit products

gusto software logo

2. Gusto:

Simplifies payroll processing with automated calculations, tax filings, direct deposits, user-friendly interfaces, and self-service access to pay stubs and tax forms.

Gusto software dashboard

Gusto is another great software that allows you to pay your employees automatically. After deciding what day to pay your team, you can set up automatic payroll. It works for salaried and hourly employees with fixed hours as well.

✅ Businesses that want payroll options that scale as they grow

✅ Those who want time tracking options bundled in with full-service payroll

✅ Employers who want multiple direct deposit options

❌ Businesses that prefer multi-state payroll as a standard option

❌ Those who want withholding options included in a contractor-only service plan

❌ Large companies with more than 1000 employees

adp logo

3. ADP Workforce Now:

Provides end-to-end payroll management with automated calculations, tax filing, direct deposit options, customizable reporting features, and compliance with payroll regulations.

adp workforce now software interface

ADP makes it possible to accurately process payroll and allow employees to gain access to their information anytime, anywhere through self-service features. Compliance, payroll and tax filing is easy with ADP, especially if you want to scale it as your business grows.

✅ Well-known

✅ Scalability

✅ Ideal for big companies

❌ Set-up fee

❌ Confusing log-in issues

❌ Customer service

ADP Workforce Now is mainly used by HR managers and payroll administrators within mid-size businesses that need to connect multiple HR systems into one platform.

paychex software logo

4. Paychex:

Offers flexible payroll solutions, including direct deposit, mobile access for employees, detailed reporting capabilities, and simplified payroll processing, tax calculations, and regulatory compliance.


✅ Small businesses that want HR features included in their payroll plan

✅ Those wanting 24/7 support by telephone, chat, and online form

✅ Those that want a wide range of integration options with accounting and other business software

❌ Businesses with only a few employees looking for a basic, inexpensive solution

❌ Those seeking transparent pricing for higher-tier plans

❌ Free trial period

Paychex is most often used by small companies with 50-200 employees. However, Paychex offers several different packages for organizations different needs.

onpay logo

5. OnPay:

Focuses on user-friendliness for small businesses, providing automated calculations, tax filings, direct deposits, simplicity, affordability, and customizable reporting options.

onpay software interface

✅ Small and midsized companies

✅ Companies that only need full-service payroll and a few additional HR features

✅ Anyone who prefers to not have to upgrade plans to access features

❌ Companies seeking greater integration options

❌ Companies that want to bundle accounting and timekeeping features

❌ Businesses that plan to scale significantly

OnPay is a cloud-based payroll solution that helps small businesses automate tax filing and payment workflows. Key features include automated payroll taxations and scheduled pay runs.

sage payroll program logo

6. Sage Payroll:

Streamlines payroll calculations, tax filings, and reporting, offering scalable solutions suitable for businesses of all sizes, flexibility, and compliance with industry regulations.

sage payroll software dashboard

✅ Inexpensive.

✅ Lets you define user access permissions.

✅ Exceptionally detailed customer and employee records.

❌ Outdated, unfriendly interface.

❌ Complex, confusing payroll process.

❌ No mobile apps.

Sage Payroll is an easy to use, scalable payroll software that can fit almost any business payroll requirement. You simply purchase the number of users, companies and employee count you require.

zoho payroll software logo

7. Zoho Payroll:

Simplifies payroll processing, tax calculations, and statutory compliance for small and mid-sized businesses, featuring a user-friendly interface, customizable workflows, and seamless integration with other Zoho software products.

zoho payroll program dashboard

✅ Free month

✅ Cloud-based

✅ Small learning curve

❌ Lack of customization

❌ Customer support

❌ Slow loading times

Zoho payroll software is used by businesses or entrepreneurs to pay wages and salaries to their workers and also update income and expenses of all transactions.

xero payroll software logo

8. Xero Payroll:

Integrates with Xero accounting software, providing automated payroll calculations, tax filings, direct deposits, scalability, and real-time visibility into payroll data.

xero payroll software dashboard

✅ Customer support

✅ AI use

✅ Advanced analytics

✅ Processes billable employee expense claims

❌ User interface

❌ No inventory assemblies

❌ Time entries must be tied to projects

Xero is an online accounting system designed to simplify business tasks such as paying bills, managing expense claims, creating invoices, and more. It is primarily used by small business owners, accountants, and bookkeepers.

patriot software logo

9. Patriot Software:

Offers comprehensive payroll solutions for small businesses, simplifying payroll calculations, tax filings, employee management, ensuring accuracy, compliance, and a user-friendly interface.

Patriot software dashboard

✅ Exceptional setup process and guidance for new users

✅ Intuitive, attractive user interface

✅ Improved payroll flexibility

❌ Time & Attendance, HR incur extra fees

❌ Limited features for reports

Patriot Payroll can be used by any industry or business size. The software helps to streamline the different processes associated with managing payroll payments and tax submissions. The solution offers tools to maintain payroll records, print checks, establish direct deposits into bank accounts, generate payroll reports, and submit state and federal taxes.

paycor software logo

10. Paycor:

Focuses on payroll processing, tax management, and reporting capabilities, offering automated calculations, tax filing, direct deposit, and detailed reporting for businesses of all sizes.

paycor dashboard

✅ Multiple paid plans available

✅ Unlimited payroll runs

✅ Self-serve employee portal

❌ Lacks transparent pricing

❌ Lots of added fees

❌ Setup fees for most plans

Paycor’s payroll management system automates time-consuming payroll tasks, such as calculating wages, tax deductions, and filing payroll taxes. This saves time, ensuring accurate and timely pay for employees with a lower margin of error.

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Which payroll software is best for your business?

QuickBooks Payroll, Gusto, ADP Workforce Now, Paychex, OnPay, Sage, Zoho, Xero, Patriot Software, and Paycor provide a range of payroll features and benefits. Choosing the best isn’t easy, but hopefully this article will provide you with some options that will satisfy your needs. Most importantly, choose software that is easy to use, fits your budget, and suits your needs as your business continues to grow. 

Best Payroll Software for Restaurants

There are several payroll software options available for restaurants, and the best one will depend on your specific needs and requirements. Here are a few popular payroll software options that are commonly used by restaurants:

QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks offers a dedicated payroll solution that caters to the unique needs of restaurants. It handles payroll calculations, tax deductions, and compliance requirements.

Toast Payroll

Toast is a popular all-in-one restaurant management platform that includes a payroll. It streamlines payroll processing, handles tips and commissions, and offers features specific to the restaurant industry.

ADP Workforce Now

ADP is a reputable payroll software provider that offers Workforce Now, a comprehensive solution suitable for restaurants. It includes payroll processing, time and attendance tracking, tax compliance, and reporting features. ADP Workforce Now can be customized to meet the specific needs of the restaurant industry.

How to Choose the Best Payroll Software for a Restaurant, Cafe or Bar

When selecting the best payroll software for your restaurant, consider factors such as the size of your business, specific payroll requirements (e.g., handling tips, commissions, and multiple pay rates), integration capabilities, pricing, customer support, and user-friendliness. Evaluate multiple options, request demos or trials, and consider feedback from other restaurant owners to determine the software that aligns best with your restaurant’s needs.

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Best Payroll Software for SMB

When it comes to choosing the best payroll software for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), there are several reliable options available. Here are a few popular payroll software solutions that are well-suited for SMBs:

Gusto Payroll

Gusto is known for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive payroll features. It offers automated payroll processing, tax calculations, direct deposits, and employee self-service functionalities. Gusto also provides benefits administration and integrates with other business tools.

QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll is a widely recognized payroll software that caters to SMBs. It offers flexible payroll processing, automatic tax calculations, direct deposit options, and integration with QuickBooks accounting software. QuickBooks Payroll provides additional features like time tracking and benefits management.

Paychex Flex

Paychex Flex is a comprehensive payroll and HR software suitable for SMBs. It offers payroll processing, tax services, time and attendance tracking, employee self-service, and reporting features. Paychex Flex also provides additional HR tools for benefits administration and applicant tracking.

How to Choose the Best Payroll Software for SMB

When selecting the best payroll software for your SMB, consider factors such as your specific payroll requirements, budget, ease of use, integration capabilities, customer support, and scalability. It’s recommended to evaluate multiple options, request demos or trials, and consider feedback from other SMB owners or industry professionals to find the software that best fits your needs.

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Questions to consider when choosing payroll software solutions:

1. What are my specific payroll management needs?

Determine the payroll features and functions you require, such as automated calculations, tax filing capabilities, direct deposit options, reporting functions, and more.

2. Is the payroll manager software user-friendly?

Assess the software’s user interface and navigation to ensure it is intuitive and easy to use for you and your team. Consider the learning curve and ease of adoption.

3. Does it integrate with other systems?

Check if the software seamlessly integrates with your existing systems, such as accounting software, time-tracking tools, or HR management software. Integration can streamline data transfer and eliminate manual entry.

4. What level of customer support is provided? 

Evaluate the availability and responsiveness of customer support. Determine the support channels (phone, email, chat) and the level of expertise offered to address your queries or concerns.

5. What security measures are in place? 

Ensure the software provides robust security measures to protect sensitive payroll data. Look for features like data encryption, secure servers, user access controls, and compliance with data protection regulations.

6. What is the pricing structure of the payroll software? 

Understand the pricing model of the software, whether it’s a monthly subscription, a flat fee, or based on the number of employees. Consider the overall cost and ensure it fits within your budget.

7. Is the payroll software scalable? 

Consider your future business growth and evaluate if the software can accommodate an expanding workforce and increased payroll complexity without significant disruptions or additional costs.

8. Does it offer compliance with payroll regulations? 

Ensure the software stays up-to-date with relevant payroll laws and regulations. Check if it supports tax calculations, filing requirements, and compliance reporting for your specific region or country.

9. What reporting capabilities are available? 

Assess the software’s reporting features, including the ability to generate payroll reports, tax reports, year-end forms (W-2, 1099), and customizable report options that align with your reporting needs.

10. Are there any additional features or services? 

Consider if the software offers any value-added features or services, such as employee self-service portals, mobile apps, employee onboarding, or benefits management, that can enhance your payroll operations.

By considering these questions and evaluating how well each software aligns with your specific requirements, you can make an informed decision and choose the right solution that meets your business needs and supports efficient payroll management.

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Choose the Right Payroll Software

Evaluate your business needs, consider factors like automation, tax compliance, user-friendliness, and reporting capabilities, and explore these industry-leading options to simplify your payroll processes, enhance accuracy, and save time and effort.

If you are in search of a solution to automating your HR processes that can be linked with your payroll software, Factorial now offers an integration with QuickBooks. Sign up here for a free demo of Factorial to streamline your HR management workflow!

Did you like this article? Benjamin McBrayer has been a Content Writer for 5 years. He specializes in HR strategy and workplace trends. Check out Factorial's blog for more of his posts on time management in the office, productivity, and HR news.

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