2 Jun, 2021

8 Best Payroll Services Companies In 2021

8 Best Payroll Services Companies in 2021
Written by: - Phil Baker

Payroll is undeniably the most complicated component of a business. It is the biggest expense for any business and the process of managing payroll monthly or yearly can be a stressful and time-taking task. No matter how efficiently small businesses can perform this task, possible errors may occur and make the employees unsatisfied. That is why many small businesses are looking for the top payroll services to manage their payroll work.

The overall payroll process takes a lot of time which is the reason small businesses usually hire a payroll officer or get the services of a third-party company to ease out their burden for payroll service management.

However, there is a long list of payroll services to pick the best one that suits your business needs. We have sorted the best 8 payroll service companies that offer online payroll solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

List of the 8 Best Payroll Services

Here is a list of the 8 best payroll service companies that offer online payroll solutions to small or medium-sized businesses.

  • Paychex

  • Intuit Quickbooks

  • Paystubcreator

  • Gusto

  • OnPay

  • ADP

  • Zenefits 

  • Square

The details including features, service charges, advantages, and disadvantages of all the above payroll service companies are explained below.

#1. Paychex

Paychex is one of the biggest and oldest payroll services providers. This company is popular for its flexible payroll processing services including a bundle of other services. Businesses can select any payroll schedule they need and pay all kinds of workers such as part-time employees, freelancers, and contractors.

With Paychex payroll services, businesses can pay employees according to their way and automate tax payments. It also ensures faster and authentic payroll processing. Calculating, filing, and submitting payroll taxes has never been this easy but Paychex does it all. This payroll service provider also makes HR and benefits with payroll integration simpler and less time-consuming.

Important Features:

  • Flexible payroll processing online from desktop and mobile 

  • Automatic payroll tax administration

  • The ability to pay different types of workers that are either salaried, contract or hourly. 

  • Free mobile app for business and employees

  • Time tracking included

  • 24/7 customer service and technical support

#2. Gusto

Gusto is another best payroll services company which is famous for its simple design. Its software has been developed to be a cloud-based solution and offers a smooth user experience.

From calculating your taxes to filing, paying federal and local taxes to the concerned government, Gusto does everything for your business. It offers payroll-only solutions as well as complete HR plans. Businesses do not a long-term contract if they choose Gusto payroll services.

Important Features:

  • Full-service payroll

  • Medical, dental, vision

  • Certified HR experts

  • Time Tracking

  • Compliance help

  • Employee finance tools

#3. PayStubCreator

PayStubCreator is an online check stub maker designed by expert accountants, offering accurate calculations and fast delivery. It is a great tool to make professional paystubs and helps small business owners to give income proof or a paystub to workers. The professional accountants at PayStubCreator verify the calculations while making payroll forms and processing is also super quick.

With their easy online paystub generator, you can just fill, submit and download payroll forms without needing software. The PayStubCreator works simply by filling in the required information about the employee, employer, salary, and pay period. The calculations will be done immediately, to have your paycheck stub ready to download and print.

PayStubCreator helps you keep a record of your income. The generated stub is automatically e-mailed once the preview phase is over. Their calculations are error-free, and the whole process is quick and seamless. Consider visiting their blog to learn about taxation and proof of income updates.

#4. Intuit Quickbooks

Intuit Quickbooks payroll service offers complete accounting services to small businesses. It offers the best hassle-free tax solutions and small business owners easily get used to its faster and efficient online payroll services. Small or medium enterprises which are utilizing the Quickbooks accounting solutions are keen to pick its payroll software system. 

The process to include Quickbooks Payroll to your already Quickbooks accounting is smooth resulting in a one-stop solution for payroll, accounting, and HR plans for small businesses and business owners. Quickbooks also allows businesses to put Auto Payroll once the setup begins to lessen time consumption by doing payroll weekly.

Quickbooks offers various service plans for online payroll services. The Core payroll plan is available for $45/month including $4/employee, auto payroll, health benefits, workers’ compensation management, and direct deposit the next day.

Important Features:

  • Bill Management

  • Live Bookkeeping

  • Time Tracking

  • Tax Deductions

  • 30-day Trial Offer

  • Workers benefits

#5. OnPay

OnPay is another payroll services provider designed to be a cloud-based service. With OnPay, the process of paying employees and contractors is seamless whereas it offers automation of your payroll taxes and filing.

Small businesses love Onpay payroll solutions due to flexibility and full payroll cloud-based service. Its mobile-friendly user interface is the best for small businesses and the company offers complete support to do payroll management efficiently.

OnPay payroll services are available for $36 plus $4 per employee which is a low pricing plan for its payroll and HR services.

Important Features:

  • Bookkeeping integration 

  • Health Insurance and Retirement Plans

  • Automate payroll taxes and filing

  • Direct sync to payroll

  • 30-day trial

  • Expert Support

  • Mobile & Web-friendly User Interface

#6. ADP

ADP Payroll is one of the leading payroll service companies. It offers fast, easy, and accurate payroll and HCM solutions. The payroll system of ADP is designed as a one-stop solution from human resources to time tracking, recruiting to retirement, and faster payroll integration.

ADP’s payroll services offer the best accommodation to businesses no matter how big or small they are. Once the businesses get their HR processing integrated and automated with ADP, they become more empowered and efficient.

Their payroll plans are designed for scalability which makes them a great option for small businesses. ADP’s payroll plan has Small Business Payroll which is best for startups and small businesses with lesser employees (1-49). The Midsized to Enterprise Payroll is for businesses with 50-1000+ employees.

Important Features:

  • Workers’ Compensation

  • Automatic payroll taxes filing

  • 3-month trial 

  • Time tracking

  • Unlimited processing

  • Mobile/Web-friendly User Interface

#7. Zenefits 

Zenefits is also an easy-to-use payroll service provider which helps businesses in running payroll. It is a complete HR service company that offers online payroll services as a single module. With Zenefits, the bonus-making process is easy when you run payroll. Its payroll system is based on the data gathered in different modules of the HR system to enhance the payroll process and tax management.

Zenefits Payroll offers three pricing plans:

  • Essentials: It is a low-price plan offering the solid benefits of online payroll. The pricing plan starts at $10/employee monthly. This plan has Core HR, Time and Scheduling, third-party integrations, and mobile app access.

  • Growth: This plan starts at $18/employee monthly and offers compensation and performance management tools. Zenefits’ Growth plan is ideal for businesses that anticipate scalability in the long run.

  • Zen: This plan starts at $27/ employee monthly and offers a well-being module, employee engagement surveys, and a "people hub," which enables workers and managers to be a part of a kind of social media collaborative digital space.

#8. Square

Square Payroll offers a full-service payroll, automated tax filings, and employee benefits and it is included in the Square e-commerce ecosystem. With Square Payroll you can easily calculate and run payroll processing within a few minutes. It offers seamless payroll taxes, easy team management, and no long-term commitments. You can cancel your plan at any time.

Square Payroll is a stand-alone service that doesn’t require payment processing and offers direct deposit. They have designed simple tools for small businesses to take payments and run payroll.

Square Payroll plan starts at $29 per month plus $5 per employee which is reasonable for small businesses.

Important Features:

  • Integration with Square POS, Team Management, etc

  • Automatic filing of all payroll taxes

  • No hidden fees

  • Workers’ cop insurance

  • Payroll for workers and contractors

  • Unlimited processing

  • Mobile/Web-friendly User Interface

Square Payroll also comes up with an e-commerce solution, this makes them an ideal payroll service company for any business that solely depends on e-commerce or online shop. Its setup is also quick and seamless. You just have to add your business and employees’ details and start running your payroll. Besides, employees can input their information once you invite them. Their mobile application is also perfect to run payroll remotely.

Why Online Payroll Services are Important for Small Businesses?

Online payroll services offer small businesses a lot of benefits and ease of use, resulting in financial stability. Not all small businesses have an HR team hence they depend mostly on payroll service companies to ensure accurate and error-free payroll for their employees monthly. This way employees receive the money they deserve and payroll tax processing is done easier. Small businesses do not have to worry about filing payroll taxes as most payroll service providers ensure authentic payroll management services.

Professional payroll service providers not only make payroll tasks easier for businesses but also take care of payroll tax requirements, manage employees, their hiring, and provide workers’ compensation benefits. Detailed payroll services also include HR management, time and attendance solutions, and other programs.

Small or medium-sized businesses must consider certain factors while choosing an online payroll service. The payroll service company must be capable to manage payroll tax-related tasks. The payroll solution must also handle the deductions and provide self-service access to employees.

Besides, the user interface should be simple and friendly. It should enable businesses to run payroll within minutes.

How to Find the Best Online Payroll Services

Many different factors are involved when you are planning to choose an online payroll service.

Management & Employee Self-Service

An online payroll service that offers flexibility to your employees makes their lives as well your easier. The best payroll service company offers professional software that enables employees to change their details and manage their tax-related tasks.

Small businesses can choose payroll service providers that provide self-service for employees. This way you can just invite employees to edit their personal information. The W-2 and 1099 employees can use this function to check tax documents rather than giving them a print version.

Multi-State Tax Filings 

This is an important element for many businesses particularly due to the growing demand for remote working. Businesses need a payroll service company that can manage their employees’ payroll even remotely. 

If your contractors or employees live in other states besides the one your company is based in, you’re going to need to register with your employee’s state tax agency & adhere to that state’s tax laws.

Specialized Payroll Solutions

Payroll can be either complicated or easy depending on the business it caters to. OnPay is an ideal choice for most small businesses. But they also provide complex payroll services for dentists, restaurants, or tax-free businesses like NPOs and churches.

All-in-One Benefits 

Payroll service companies having a built-in system for managing employee benefits like Workers’ comp insurance, Health and retirement insurance, 401k plans, and HSAs are the best option for small businesses that offer such facilities to their employees.


All businesses need professional payroll management but each online payroll service is different. The best online payroll service companies differ with each business type. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the best recommendations for payroll service companies:

  1. Paychex — Ideal for complicated payroll runs

  2. QuickBooks Payroll — Ideal for a hassle-free tax season

  3. PayStubCreator – Create Pay Stubs within 2 minutes for cheap

  4. Gusto — Ideal to build an incredible workplace

  5. OnPay — Ideal for remote workforces

  6. ADP Payroll — Ideal for businesses making a hiring push

  7. Zenefits

  8. Square Payroll — The best for retailers and restaurants

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