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Best Payroll Services for 2018

Chad Brooks
August 15, 2018

To simplify the complicated task of running and tracking payroll, many companies turn to an online payroll service for help. We researched dozens of providers to find the best ones for businesses in 2018. Our top recommendations are below, but if you want to take a step back and learn more about online payroll services, visit our guide to choosing a payroll service.

Our Best Picks

To help you find the right Payroll Services, we researched and analyzed dozens of options. Here is a roundup of our 2018 best picks for Payroll Services and an explanation of how we chose them.

Best for Small Businesses Overall

Base Fee: $20-$99 per month
Intuit
Base Fee: $20-$99 per month
Read Review

Best for Sole Proprietors or S. Corps.

Base Fee: $39 to $149 per month
Gusto
Base Fee: $39 to $149 per month
Read Review

Best for Very Small Businesses

Base Fee: $36 per month
OnPay
Base Fee: $36 per month
Read Review

Best for Household Employers

Base Fee: $39.99 per month
SurePayroll
Base Fee: $39.99 per month
Read Review

 

Editor's Note: Looking for information on payroll systems? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you with the information you need: 

Best for Small Businesses Overall

Intuit

Best for Small Businesses Overall

Summary

Intuit Payroll provides small businesses with scalable payroll services that easily integrate with QuickBooks. The service handles the collecting and reporting of all payroll-related taxes and offers a variety of helpful tools. It is available in several plans with varying services and price points.
Read our full review of Intuit
Best for Sole Proprietors or S. Corps.

Gusto Payroll Software

Best for Sole Proprietors or S. Corps.

Summary

Gusto handles all payroll and payroll tax responsibilities for both W-2 employees and outside freelancers and contractors. The cloud-based system is easy to use and offers a variety of valuable features, including direct deposit, an autopilot tool, new-hire reports and detailed payroll reports. The company also provides helpful customer service and a slew of human resources services.
Read our full review of Gusto Payroll Software
Best for Very Small Businesses

OnPay

Best for Very Small Businesses

Summary

OnPay's online payroll services allow small businesses to run an unlimited number of payrolls each month, and pay employees by direct deposit or checks. The online system is user-friendly and manages paid time off. OnPay customer service reps are available to help you every step of the way.
Read our full review of OnPay
Best for Household Employers

SurePayroll

Best for Household Employers

Summary

SurePayroll is ideal for all types of household employees, including nannies, senior caregivers, yard workers, drivers and cooks. It handles all of your payroll and tax responsibilities, and guarantees that it will be done right. Your base monthly fee includes unlimited payroll runs, and SurePayroll charges a small additional fee for each additional household worker.
Read our full review of SurePayroll

Our Methodology

To help you find the right Payroll Services, we researched and analyzed dozens of options. Here is a roundup of our 2018 best picks for Payroll Services and an explanation of how we chose them.

Locating the Best Services

To determine the best payroll services for businesses, we started with a pool that included each service on the comprehensive list below. After some preliminary research of other best-picks lists, we interviewed small business owners to discover new ones to add to our list.

Choosing the Best Services

We settled on 21 payroll services to consider as best picks for our business categories: ADP, AmCheck, APS, BenefitMall, Big Fish Payroll Services, Fuse Workforce Management, GetPayroll, Gusto, Intuit, IOIPay, MyPayrollHR, OnPay, Patriot Software, PayUSA, Paychex, Paycor, Paylocity, Payroll On A Budget, Sage, SurePayroll and Wagepoint. (See the full list of payroll services and their websites below.)

Researching Each Service

Next, we watched tutorials and how-to videos, read user comments, reviewed Better Business Bureau ratings and complaints, and tested out services when demos were available. After narrowing down the list to 10 contenders, we contacted each company posing as business owners.

Analyzing Each Service

Cost Tax services Ease of use Customer service Integration options Incentives (free trials, free months, etc.) Tax guarantees Mobile accessibility Payroll reports Employee self-service Extra services (employee retirement plans, workers' compensation, etc.) Better Business Bureau ratings and complaints

Best Household Employers

We followed a similar methodology to determine the best payroll services for household employers. In addition to SurePayroll and Intuit, which have plans tailored specifically to household employers, we considered five companies that specialize in payroll services for household employees: NannyChex, HomeWork Solutions, Savvy Nanny Payroll Services, GTM Payroll Services and HomePay by Breedlove. 

Full List
Best Picks

Full List of Payroll Services

Here is a full list of Payroll Services providers and a summary of what each company claims to offer. This alphabetical list also includes our best picks, which are marked with badges.

Sage

Sage provides payroll services in several service plans that serve both small and larger companies. There are specific service plans designed for businesses with fewer than 10 employees as well as plans for larger organizations.

PayUSA

PayUSA offers fast payroll management, tax services and HR tools to businesses in 17 states.

MyPayrollHR

MyPayrollHR has a lot to offer you and your employees. Not only can you process payroll online, you can also manage your employee records and access MyPayrollHR's human resources center.

ADP

ADP offers payroll services for businesses of all sizes. While the size of your business will determine the platform you use, each offers the same core payroll services, including the ability to run payroll online, over the phone or via mobile app.

Paychex - Online Payroll Services

Paychex is an especially good payroll service for large businesses. It can serve businesses with up to 1,000 employees, handles all payroll and payroll tax responsibilities, is available in multiple plans, and integrates with a number of other services.

Intuit

Intuit offers a range of service plans, allows unlimited payroll runs each month, and is easily managed through an online portal that makes processing payroll a simple task.

OnPay

OnPay provides exceptional customer support to help you navigate its online payroll service.

APS

APS is a cloud-based online payroll service you can customize to fit your business's requirements.

BenefitMall

BenefitMall's PayFocus is an online payroll service for businesses of all sizes. The service processes payroll and takes care of all of your payroll tax obligations.

IOIPay

IOIPay offers everything businesses need from an online payroll service, including complete payroll processing, full handling of all payroll tax requirements and employee self-service.

SurePayroll

SurePayroll is designed for small businesses with less than 10 employees. It handles all payroll processing and payroll tax obligations. The system features an easy-to-use interface that can be accessed online from anywhere.

Gusto Payroll Software

Gusto Payroll software is a cloud-based, full-service payroll platform that is easy to use, includes a wealth of valuable features and provides excellent customer support.

YourSource Management Group

Founded in 1999, YourSource Management Group provides HR Management, Human Resources Outsourcing, ASO, and payroll services. Our proven solutions reduce the cost of employment and provide value added support for you and your employees. Our online payroll & HR technology maximize efficiency for clients & employees to access their information.

Fuse Workforce Management

Fuse Workforce Management is a payroll service that bundles HR and time and attendance modules with it.

PrimePay

PrimePay is a cloud-based online payroll service that handles all of your payroll processing and payroll tax needs.

HighFlyer HR

HighFlyer's HR includes features such as real-time payroll preview, automated tax filing and no-fee direct deposit. These features, as well as a simplistic interface, give the solution value to consumers.

Emplloy

Emplloy gives businesses full control over payroll services. Features include unlimited payroll runs, digital paystubs and more. The company tries to provide a flexible solution that best fits the needs of each individual client.

 

Editor's Note: Looking for information on payroll systems? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you with the information you need: 

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad 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. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.