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Best Payroll Services for Small Businesses: Four Full Service Payroll Service Options


Jeffrey Bumbales

Payroll Services for Small Businesses: Online & Full-Service Payroll Service Options

If you’re a small business owner with multiple employees, you’ve likely experienced the challenge of balancing your time between strategizing big-picture initiatives and managing internal operations. Small business owners often have to act not only as the chief executive of their business, but also the administrative lead while hiring new employees, filing taxes, and negotiating employee benefits. 

If you’re one of the many small business owners struggling to fulfill all of these roles, it may be a good idea to invest in a payroll service to simplify the tedious work of payroll management. A good payroll service can greatly streamline your human resource operations and even the most basic payroll providers offer payroll calculations and tax filing for your employees and business. Full-service providers can go as far as organizing employee benefits and HR services along with payroll, removing the need for a dedicated HR team in some cases. 

With a number of payroll services available to businesses of various sizes and with different HR needs, choosing the right solution for your company can be difficult. Below, we highlight some of the favorite payroll services used by businesses nationwide to help you identify the best fit for your business.

Intuit QuickBooks Payroll

Intuit’s Quickbooks Payroll offers several payroll management options for small businesses. The most basic packages handle payroll distribution and taxes, while more comprehensive plans offer employee health benefits, workers’ comp administration, and a personal HR representative assigned to your business. While more advanced options are more expensive, Intuit’s Quickbooks provides business with payroll services at a competitively low price, while also allowing owners to integrate their payroll and tax processes using Intuit’s complimentary accounting software. 

Best for: Low cost & integration with other Intuit programs


Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) has been a favorite provider of HR management software for several decades, and for good reason. ADP offers businesses a vast array of services that are somewhat unrivaled for online payroll providers. In addition to payroll processing and tax filing, ADP offers to conduct background checks during the onboarding process, integrate your existing systems into their software, and provide around-the-clock support through their mobile app. 

While ADP’s comprehensive services can come at a higher cost than other payroll providers, they are largely unparalleled in the industry, so they may be well worth the investment depending on your HR needs. Unlike other small business payroll services, ADP provides payroll assistance to operations of all sizes and can support your company’s growth from small business to the mid-sized enterprise without limiting the extent of their services. 

If you’re a small business owner looking to grow your business, or if you’re just looking for customer service help in addition to payroll assistance, ADP offers a number of payroll services that may be right for you. 

Best for: Ability to grow with your business and customer service


If you’re looking for straightforward payroll assistance, Gusto has gained a reputation for excellent user experience and customer service, and it may be the best payroll service for your business. Gusto provides automated deductions and filing for owners, allowing you to spend less time and attention on HR operations and spend more time improving your business’s performance. In addition to automating HR activities, Gusto provides full support throughout during onboarding, offers a variety of health plans for employees, and maintains direct access to HR experts at all times. 

If you hope to find a payroll system with a great user experience at a reasonable cost, one of Gusto’s payroll servicing options is a great place to start. 

Best for: User experience


Paychex is another payroll service that provides comprehensive payroll and HR assistance to small and medium-sized businesses. The provider is known for a well-rounded user experience for both employees and owners alike. 

Paychex provides a full suite of HR services through their mobile app and website aiming to allow owners more time spent on business operations, rather than HR concerns. Paychex’s platform provides federal and state tax filing, payroll calculations, and around-the-clock tech support while simultaneously giving owners instant access to any necessary information regarding these procedures. Paychex provides a flexible array of intuitive payroll services centered on providing you and your employees an optimal experience

Best for: Flexibility and customer service


For small business owners with a limited payroll that need assistance with the clerical work, OnPay provides a low-cost, low-effort solution. With a standard pricing model of $36/per month plus $4/per month/per employee, OnPay takes care of all of the payroll basics, including automated tax payments and employee self-service timesheets for your operation. OnPay also offers some HR benefits such as templates for offer letters and software designed to track and approve Paid Time Off requests. 

Due to its simple pricing and fairly standard package, OnPay is the best payroll service for small business owners with fewer HR assistance needs. 

Best for: Simple pricing


Author Bio:

Jeffrey Bumbales
Director, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships