Best payroll services for small business / 2024

Whether you’re a major corporation seeking comprehensive services, a small business in need of straightforward payroll solutions, or an individual looking to manage personal finances, there are diverse options available for everyone preparing for 2024. The key is knowing where to find the right services to streamline your financial processes.

Our Top 10 Best Payroll Services & Companies in 2024:

  1. Gusto – Best payroll service overall
  2. ADP – Best for powerful payroll services mid-enterprise biz
  3. Paychex – Best for SMBs looking for more than just payroll
  4. Quickbooks Payroll – Best for comprehensive general ledger-linked payroll
  5. Deluxe – Best for SMBs, startups, enterprise corporations, restaurants, retail, healthcare, contractors
  6. Paycor – Best for businesses seeking scalability
  7. OnPay – Best for small businesses and independent accountants
  8. Rippling – Best for automatic filling of tax benefits and payroll processing
  9. Zenefits – Best for employee benefits
  10. Square – Best for hourly employees, retailers, SMBs


Gusto stands out as a top-tier payroll service tailored for small businesses, making it an excellent option not only for freelancers and contractors but also for the diverse needs of today’s workforce. Providing automatic tax filing, a list of HR benefits, including health, dental, vision, college funds, 401k, and the ability to run unlimited payrolls, Gusto is a cost-effective way for businesses to streamline their monthly accounts.

IGusto integrates with a lot of other applications, including accounting programs like QuickBooks Online, Xero, and FreshBooks. You can also sync your time tracking apps (like Time Tracker or Homebase) and expense management tools like Expensify to have an all-inclusive database for your accounts.

  • Best for – SMBs, independent contractors, freelancers
  • Starting price – From $6
  • Benefits & HR – Medical, dental, vision, 401k, commuter, 529


+ Loads of useful integrations

+ Fully automates payroll and taxes

+ Good for contractors and freelancers too


– No 24/7 customer support

– Not all HR benefits available in all states


ADP is one of the oldest payroll services online or off, which should tell you something about how much experience these fellows have under their belt. Offering a full range of HR benefits and services, payroll services, and time and attendance management, ADP is a professional payroll service for businesses looking for more than your basic software. ADP provides an extensive and diverse spectrum of features and services, encompassing a wide array of offerings such as HR guidance, robust resource allocation, and the expertise of dedicated service managers.

ADP will automatically calculate tax liability, withhold and pay taxes on your behalf, and handle all reporting and issuances, including W-2s and 1099s. What’s more, ADP doesn’t just stop at your local boarders. This payroll service handles issues in more than 140 countries around the globe.

  • Best for – Powerful payroll services mid-enterprise biz
  • Starting price – From $39
  • Benefits & HR – 401k, SIRA, SEP IRA, health, workers’ comp


+ Professional, top-rated features and service

+ Oldest payroll services online

+ Full service, all-inclusive benefits & payroll


– Not as cheap as some competitors

– No pricing plans for really small businesses



Paychex is a cloud-based payroll services provider, offers tailored plans catering to businesses of all sizes, with a specific emphasis on its suitability for smaller businesses with up to 50 employees. Paychex Flex, the SMB-focused plan, lets you update the database via desktop or mobile dashboard, set automated rules, and run payroll quickly and efficiently. In fact, with self-service, Paychex lets your employees take the bulk of the data input off your shoulders entirely.

In addition to running payroll, Paychex will calculate, pay, and file all of your taxes from local to federal. Pay your employees with direct deposit, paper check, or pay cards – whatever works best for you. Paychex plans also include features like onboarding, HR analytics, and an events calendar for seamless calculations.

  • Best for – SMBs looking for more than just payroll
  • Starting price – Quote-based
  • Benefits & HR – Health, retirement, onboarding, management


+ User-friendly software anyone can run

+ Great choice for small businesses

+ Affordable without missing out on features


– Lots of reports options can be confusing

– New version launch takes getting used to


QuickBooks by Intuit is another well-known name that has recently stumbled into the payroll industry. A reputable accounting software, QuickBooks now offers payroll services that sync seamlessly with all of your accounting programs for a 360-degree inclusive service.

One of QuickBooks’ notable strengths lies in its tax filing services, positioning it as one of the premier payroll service providers for effective year-round tax management. QuickBooks automatically files all of your taxes, deals with deductions, lets you create custom tax categories, and tracks things like sales tax if you have an Ecommerce shop. It’s a very tidy way of staying on top of one of the major aspects of your business.

  • Best for – Comprehensive general ledger-linked payroll
  • Starting price – From $22.50
  • Benefits & HR – Health benefits


+ Smooth onboarding support

+ Extensive tax-filing features

+ Fully integrates with your accounting software


– Not as customizable as competitors

– Not as many features included in basic plans


There’s a reason Deluxe has been around for more than a century and has close to 5 million businesses trusting their payroll to this brand. It’s because Deluxe provides some of the most comprehensive HR and payroll services in the industry and includes the important features like tax filing, digital onboarding, employee self-service, and workers’ comp administration.

Deluxe offers versatile payment choices such as direct deposit, pay cards, or traditional paper checks, all of which can be configured for a consistent pay cycle to streamline automated payroll processing. Employees will find it beneficial to access personalized payroll reports encompassing deductions, expenditures, and even details on paid time off. Additionally, Deluxe takes care of HR benefits by offering online enrollment and tailored HR document management.

  • Best for – SMBs, startups, enterprise corporations, restaurants, retail, healthcare, contractors
  • Starting price – From $39 per month
  • Benefits & HR – Works with all third-party benefits, including 401K, workers’ comp


+ Full service HR & payroll + tax filing

+ Features like digital hiring and onboarding

+ Workflow automation


– Confusing pricing plans

– No free trial


Paycor is not as well-known as the really big names like ADP and Gusto, but it’s managed to generate quite a following nevertheless. This is due to the fact that Paycor is a no-nonsense, feature-rich payroll and human resource management service that delivers on its promises. Paycor comes complete with features like direct deposit, convenient mobile app, optimized payroll processing, and customizable widgets, so you can do just about anything you want within the software.

Another aspect that businesses find appealing about Paycor is that it incorporates many of the advanced features typically offered by high-cost payroll service providers but at a considerably more affordable price.

  • Best for – Businesses seeking scalability
  • Starting price – From $49
  • Benefits & HR – 401k, child support, health


+ Competitive pricing with room to scale

+ Huge knowledgebase of human resources

+ Strong reporting and analytics tools


– No pricing info published online

– Employee review process is clunky


From its clean, easy-to-use interface to its single pricing structure, Onpay offers an accessible yet customizable payroll platform for small and growing businesses. Onpay may not be the largest contender in the payroll market, but it boasts unexpected depth and functionalities that empower businesses to streamline their payroll processes with minimal effort.

For the payroll service itself, Onpay covers all the bases that a small business would need: the platform helps you easily do payroll for W2 employees and 1099 contractors, with automated tax filings and payments, and handles HR benefits, workers comp, and insurance for 50 states. Onpay also has an impressive slate of integration capabilities, allowing you to integrate time-tracking and accounting software that seamlessly syncs with the platform. In addition to all of that, the customer support team is responsive and adept at answering questions in a timely manner.

  • Best for – Small businesses and independent accountants
  • Starting price – From $36 per month + $4 per person
  • Benefits & HR – 401(k), worker’s comp, health insurance


+ Extremely accessible and user-friendly

+ Integrations with Quickbooks, time-tracking software, and more

+ Automated tax filing


– Not ideal for larger businesses

– Limited to US-based businesses


Rippling’s Payroll tool is a useful addition to its employee benefits management module, which it integrates with fully. Although the tool only supports payments by check and direct bank deposit, it is capable of supporting quick, one-click 90 second payroll for companies with 1 employee or more than 1,000. Rippling can put together custom quotes for prospects depending on the modules and seats required.

  • Best for – Automatic filling of tax benefits and payroll processing
  • Starting price – $8 per user per month
  • Benefits & HR – Yes. Benefits tracking through sync with HR management


+ Integrates with HRM component

+ 90 second one-click payroll

+ Automatic tax filing


– Check and bank support only

– Separate subscription to HRM


Zenefits is an easy to use payroll service that provides self-service as its default for an easier and faster user experience. And while its payroll services are great, Zenefits really shines in the employee benefits department. You can get everything from employee medical, dental, and vision to life and disability insurance, 401k retirement funds, FSA and HSA accounts, commuter benefits, and more.

That’s not to say Zenefits doesn’t have a solid payroll services online, because it does. The payroll end is reliable and straightforward. Zenefits includes features like unlimited pay runs, garnishments, tips reporting, and contractor payments. You’ll also be able to get dynamic mobile paystubs via a user-friendly app.

  • Best for – Employee benefits
  • Starting price – From $8
  • Benefits & HR – 401k, supplemental, FSHA HSA, commuter


+ Extensive employee benefits

+ Easy to use self-service dash

+ Powerful business intelligence reporting


– Can’t do everything from the mobile app

– Bit of a learning curve


Square is one of the best payroll services for small businesses on the market, particularly if you are already using Square for your point of sale needs. One of the least expensive options, Square handles all your payroll, comes with the usual benefits like health insurance and 401k, and has plenty of integrations to work with.

Square fully automates your payroll, and you can run unlimited payrolls throughout the month. You can track employee hours, import time cards and tips, and set and forget tax filing. And what’s more, Square is available throughout the United States. So, no matter where you’re located, you can access these payroll services online.

  • Best for – Hourly employees, retailers, SMBs
  • Starting price – From $29
  • Benefits & HR – Health, 401k, workers comp, pre-tax


+ Fast and easy software to use

+ Run payroll multiple times per month

+ Affordable and feature-rich


– Affordable and feature-rich

– Doesn’t support all payment options

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