- OnPay offers one service plan that can handle all of your payroll processing and payroll tax requirements.
- OnPay costs $36 per month, plus $4 per employee per month.
- You can pay employees via direct deposit, paper check and prepaid debit card.
- This review is for small business owners who are considering using OnPay for their payroll processing.
After conducting extensive research and analysis, we selected OnPay as our 2021 pick for the best online payroll service for very small businesses. OnPay is an ideal solution for smaller businesses because of its simple cost structure, easy-to-use interface and ability to handle all payroll and payroll tax responsibilities. Further, OnPay offers a tax guarantee that all of its work will be done on time and correctly. OnPay's customer service was among the best we encountered during our research of online payroll services. Customer service is an especially important consideration for very small business owners, who often handle payroll on their own and thus may need some questions answered.
To read more about our methodology for selecting our best picks and to see a comprehensive list of online payroll services, visit our best picks page.
Editor's note: Looking for information on payroll systems? Use the questionnaire below, and OnPay will contact you to provide you with the information you need:
OnPay has one service plan for all users. The company charges a monthly base fee of $36 per month, plus $4 per employee per month. Unlike other payroll services, which usually have tiered pricing options that include different features, OnPay's monthly fees include all of the features the company offers.
The only other fee you may incur is for year-end tax forms. OnPay charges $5, plus shipping, per employee to print and mail year-end tax forms to your business, or $6, plus shipping, per employee to mail forms directly to each employee. However, you can print W-2s on your own for no additional cost.
There are no long-term contracts with OnPay. You pay month to month and can cancel at any time for no charge. There are no annual fees or extra fees for withholding, remitting or filing payroll taxes. All new customers receive the first month of service for free. You do not need to provide credit card information to start using OnPay. However, to progress in the free trial and actually use the software, you have to connect your bank account.
We like that OnPay is transparent about its pricing. The company's website clearly outlines all of the costs, and it includes a price calculator that determines your exact monthly fee based on how many employees you have. Some payroll services we considered require you to call for a price quote, while others give only a price estimate and won't provide specific pricing until you commit to their service.
Key takeaway: OnPay has a simple monthly cost structure: a $36 base fee, plus $4 per employee. For this price, you get access to everything OnPay offers.
OnPay can handle all of your company's payroll and payroll tax needs. The service allows an unlimited number of payroll runs each month for W-2 employees and 1099 contract workers. The option to run payroll at any time allows you to create multiple pay schedules for different types of employees. For example, contractors can be paid weekly and salaried employees every other week.
With OnPay, employees can be paid by check, prepaid debit card or direct deposit. For direct deposit, employees are paid two days after each payroll run. You can also print checks for employees using any standard printer. (You don't need to download any special software to print checks).
OnPay handles your payroll tax responsibilities. The service calculates your payroll taxes each month, processes the required payments, and pays local, state and federal tax agencies for you. In addition, the company prepares and files quarterly and annual payroll returns. At the end of the year, OnPay generates W-2 and 1099 forms.
The company guarantees its tax services. If OnPay makes an error on your taxes, such as paying the wrong amount or not paying on time, it will correct the problems and pay any fines or interest you incur.
OnPay integrates with several accounting applications, including QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online and Xero, as well as a number of other programs, such as TSheets, Deputy, When I Work, Humanity, ThinkHR and PosterElite.
Another benefit of OnPay is that it manages employees' paid time off (PTO) accruals and usage. Time can be accrued per pay period, annually or hourly. PTO can also accrue at a certain time, such as the beginning of the year or on the employee's anniversary date. Accrued and remaining hours are visible to employees on their paystubs and online.
Very small businesses will also appreciate some of the HR resources included in OnPay's services, such as onboarding tools, new-hire reporting, in-app offer letters and access to an HR resource center.
OnPay offers several additional services, including the administration of employee insurance benefits, workers' compensation plans and 401(k) retirement plans.
Tip: OnPay provides unlimited payroll processing, handles all payroll tax responsibilities and integrates with many popular accounting and time-and-attendance programs. It also includes PTO management and access to some HR tools.
Ease of Use
OnPay is a cloud-based payroll service that doesn't require any software to be installed or maintained and is accessible online from anywhere.
To run payroll, you just add the hours each employee worked and double-check that the proper deductions are withheld. You also have the option to add any employee bonuses or commissions. OnPay allows one-time changes to pay rates and deduction amounts.
The system instantly calculates the pay run and displays the totals for review. If everything is correct, the payroll will run. You can then print checks on your own or have the money deposited directly into your employees' bank accounts or prepaid debit cards.
Adding employees to the system is also a simple process. You start by filling in basic details about the employee, including their name, address, birth date and start date. Then, you add information about their pay rate, such as how often they are paid, whether they are hourly or salaried employees, how much they are paid, and federal and state withholdings. Once that information is entered, the staff member is automatically saved into the employee roster and is eligible to start getting paid.
Alternatively, employees can onboard themselves by logging in to the system and entering the details on their own.
If you're transferring data from your old payroll service, OnPay can take care of some of this work for you. You give OnPay your current payroll information, and a staff member will set up your new account and have it ready to use within three business days.
To ensure you remember to run payroll on time, you can set up email reminders up to 10 days before your payday. OnPay emails employees once payroll has been completed so they know to look for their paychecks or to check their bank accounts for the direct deposit.
We like that the system offers five types of user access levels for those with different roles throughout the company:
- Owner: This is the owner of the account, who has full access to the system.
- Approvers: They have full access to the account but can't delete other users.
- Controllers: They have access similar to approvers' but can't approve a payroll run.
- Managers: They have access similar to controllers' but can only view and edit employees they've been assigned.
- Employees: They can access paystubs, year-end tax forms and other information for their account. These are lifetime accounts, meaning employees have access even after leaving your company.
OnPay offers a mobile-friendly website with touchscreen compatibility. It can be used to access payroll history; view and edit employee information; enter hours; and calculate, review and submit payroll runs. Employees can see their paystubs and year-end tax forms from this portal.
Payroll software for bookkeepers and accountants
OnPay offers useful features and tools for multiuser accounts, such as those that might be employed by an accountant and bookkeeping team. The OnPay dashboard for these accounts includes a centralized overview of an accountant's clients. OnPay can be configured to allow both an accountant and their client to run payroll at any time, giving them the flexibility to adjust the workflow as needed. There is no limit on the number of admins that can be added to these types of accounts, which also combine all HR, benefits administration and 401(k) plans.
Did you know? OnPay lets you add employees and run payroll in a few simple steps. You can also assign various permissions, giving those with different roles in the business access to different parts of the software.
OnPay offers customer support by phone Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET. In addition, the OnPay website has a Knowledge Center section that includes a variety of training guides.
We were very impressed with the support we received from OnPay when we called the company, posing as a business owner interested in payroll.
During our initial call, we were greeted by a company executive instead of a typical customer service representative. Despite hearing that we were only looking for information for a potential new business, the executive took time to answer our questions instead of passing us off to someone else.
Throughout our nearly 30-minute call, the executive answered each of our questions clearly and comprehensively. He also took the time to explain how the company was founded and why he felt it stood out from other services. While other companies we spoke with tried to convince us that their service was the best, OnPay did so in a way that focused on its offerings rather than bashing its competitors.
During subsequent calls, we received the same high level of service, even though we were speaking to support representatives and not company executives. During our follow-up calls, the representatives were friendly and helpful. They answered all of our questions thoroughly, and by the end of our conversations, we had a clear understanding of how the system worked.
Though OnPay is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, it does have an A rating.
Key takeaway: Customer support is available weekdays between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET. We were impressed with the clear, comprehensive and helpful service from the customer service representatives.
One potential downside of OnPay is that it doesn't have its own mobile app. It does have a mobile-friendly website, but some organizations prefer to access their payroll system through an app.
Another minor negative is that there is a charge to have the year-end forms mailed to you or your employees. However, you can always print and distribute them yourself for free.
Tip: Although the software is mobile-friendly, there is no dedicated mobile app. In addition, there may be a small fee for year-end tax forms.
Ready to choose a payroll service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage: