1. Business Ideas
  2. Business Plans
  3. Startup Basics
  4. Startup Funding
  5. Franchising
  6. Success Stories
  7. Entrepreneurs
  1. Sales & Marketing
  2. Finances
  3. Your Team
  4. Technology
  5. Social Media
  6. Security
  1. Get the Job
  2. Get Ahead
  3. Office Life
  4. Work-Life Balance
  5. Home Office
  1. Leadership
  2. Women in Business
  3. Managing
  4. Strategy
  5. Personal Growth
  1. HR Solutions
  2. Financial Solutions
  3. Marketing Solutions
  4. Security Solutions
  5. Retail Solutions
  6. SMB Solutions
Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.
Find a Solution HR Solutions

SurePayroll: Best Household Online Payroll Service

After conducting extensive research and analysis of online payroll services, we recommend SurePayroll as the best online payroll service for paying household employees.

SurePayroll offers unlimited payroll runs and full tax services, all for one monthly fee. Here's a breakdown of why it's our best pick.

What makes SurePayroll so attractive is its ease of use. When you log in to the system, you are directed to your account center home page, where you can see your payroll status and any important reminders, such as your upcoming payroll processing dates and any bank holidays.

To add a nanny, caregiver or other household employee into the system, you first click on the Employee link at the top of the page. From there, you select Add Employee and enter the worker's personal information, such as name, birthday, Social Security number and emergency contact details. You can then enter the employee's bank account number (if the worker will be getting direct deposit); how much the person is getting paid, either by the hour or the week; and the tax-withholding details. Once all of that information is saved into the system, you can start running payroll.

To run payroll, click on the Payroll tab at the top of the home page, select the employee you want to pay and add in the hours he or she worked. Because you have already established the employee's pay rate in the setup process, all of the calculations are done for you. If the employee is salaried, you only need to enter the weekly or monthly amount owed.

To pay employees, you simply add in the number of hours they worked and their gross pay amount. The system then totals all of the calculations up for you and allows you to preview you the payroll before you approve it.

Editor’s Note: Looking for a payroll service for your business? If you’re looking for information to help you choose the one that’s right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

buyerzone widget

Next, review all of the details, and make sure everything is accurate by clicking on the Preview Payroll link. On the preview page, you are shown a breakdown of the employee's gross pay and how much is being taken out of each check for employee and employer taxes.

If everything looks accurate, the final step is to click on the Submit for Approval link at the bottom of the page to run your payroll. At that point, you are provided details on when the money will be transferred for direct deposit or when you can print the checks out on your own.

A nice feature of the system is that your household employee also has access to the account to review pay stubs and pay history. To learn more about how to use the system, you can watch videos on the SurePayroll website and on YouTube.

Credit: The SurePayroll dashboard gives a complete overview of your payroll. It includes the date your next payroll needs to be approved by and data on total payroll expenses for the current quarter.

We also found it appealing that the company provides payroll services for small businesses. Rather than simply focusing its offerings on household services, this company is also responsible for maintaining a platform that is sophisticated enough for a small business to use. Even though you may only be running a household payroll each week, the system is the same as what's provided to small businesses.

Out of all of the household payroll services we examined, SurePayroll was one of the cheapest. There is a flat monthly fee of $39.99 for up to two household employees. If, at some point, you add more than two workers, there is an additional $2 charge per person, per month. Most of the other services we looked into didn't offer the ability to use the service for two workers for the same monthly charge. Many of the services charged between $20 and $75 for each additional household employee.

Included in your monthly cost are full tax services, unlimited payroll runs and direct deposit. Some of the other services we researched charged extra for direct deposit and multiple payroll runs.

We like that SurePayroll has a monthly fee, rather than the quarterly fee that many of the other household payroll providers charged. Because there is no long-term contract, you have the option to cancel your service at any time and not pay for months you might not be using.

The only added cost is $44.25 for year-end tax forms. Most of the other services we looked into not only charged more for the year-end tax service, but also charged an initial setup fee of at least $100.

SurePayroll offers all of the features, tools and services a household employer needs from a payroll provider. Importantly, the company handles all of the payroll tax responsibilities. This includes calculating and deducting Social Security, Medicare, and federal and state unemployment taxes, along with filling out and filing federal, state and local tax forms and payments. In addition, SurePayroll files a quarterly 1040-ES on your behalf, and provides you with a signature-ready Schedule H that you attach to your annual 1040 filing. These services are completed automatically, without requiring any extra input from you.

SurePayroll guarantees that your taxes will be filed and paid correctly and on time. Should an error be made, the company will pay any of the fines or interest fees that you incur. Not all of the services we reviewed offered this type of guarantee.

You can also run as many payrolls as you want each month and pay household employees via a written check or direct deposit. Not all of the services we analyzed offered direct deposit for household workers.

Another valuable option is that you can run your payroll from anywhere via SurePayroll's mobile app, which is available for both Android and Apple devices. With the mobile app, you can enter earnings, deductions, hours worked and benefits, such as vacation and personal time. Most of the other payroll services we examined did not offer a mobile app.

SurePayroll also can integrate with a number of popular accounting software products, including QuickBooks, AccountEdge, Xero, Intacct, Sage 50 and Less Accounting.

We were very pleased with the level of customer support we received from SurePayroll. To gauge the type of service a new customer can expect, we called and emailed the company, posing as a household employer interested in the company's service.

We originally called last year when conducting our reviews for 2015. During those initial inquiries, customer service agents answered our calls right away, gave us detailed and thorough answers to our questions, and never pressured us into signing up for the service. Many of the other payroll providers we called had us wait on hold; gave us short, one-word answers to our questions; and spent most of the call trying to get us to commit to their service.

At that time, SurePayroll was the only payroll provider we contacted that offered to let us test-drive the system. The customer service agent gave us temporary login credentials that allowed us to see exactly what it was like to use the platform. This allowed us to get a feel for what it would be like to set up the system, enter in new employees and run payroll every week.

To ensure that SurePayroll was still providing this same level of support this year, we again called, posing as a household employer in need of payroll services. The support we received was just as good this time around. Once again, we weren't forced to wait on hold for a customer service representative, we got clear and detailed answers to our questions, and we weren't given a hard sell on signing up for the service immediately. In addition to answering our questions, this year, the service representative followed up with an email that outlined the services provided and how payroll services in general benefit household employers.

Another aspect of SurePayroll's support we found appealing is that customers receive the same high level of service, regardless of whether they call to inquire about payroll for household employers or small businesses. When conducting our initial investigation of SurePayroll, we called on separate occasions to inquire about each service. During both of those calls, we received the same level of support. To us, that is a sign that SurePayroll values each of its clients equally, regardless of the size of its payroll.

SurePayroll provides customer support six days a week. Customer service is available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Central Time and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Central Time. We like that the help lines are open later in the evenings and on Saturdays, which is something many of the other services didn't offer.

One potential downside of the SurePayroll service is that it isn't offered in different packages like some of the other nanny-specific payroll services we reviewed. Some of SurePayroll's competitors offered cheaper plans for lower levels of service. For example, they gave you the option to pay less if you only wanted the service to calculate your tax withholdings and prepare your tax documents. If you would rather pay your employee and send in your tax documents on your own, you don't have that option with SurePayroll.

We chose SurePayroll from a pool of the dozens of payroll services we considered. To read our full methodology and for a more comprehensive list of payroll services, visit our best picks page here.

Ready to choose a payroll service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor’s Note: Looking for a payroll service for your business? If you’re looking for information to help you choose the one that’s right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

buyerzone widget
Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.