Payroll Software

Payroll Software Overview

Payroll software is a point solution that focuses on calculating and processing employee pay, generating tax forms, and benefits administration. However, payroll capabilities can also be rolled into larger human resources (HR) management software, ERP software, or accounting and budgeting software.

Using a payroll software centralizes the myriad payroll processes onto one platform and provides a variety of tools to make payroll functions more efficient and accurate. Ideally, payroll software will prevent human errors when calculating and administering payroll, as well as allow employees to self-service some functions to reduce administrative overhead.

Top Rated Payroll Products

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2022

These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Category Videos

What is Payroll? Introduction to Payroll in 2022
06:44
CPA Tyler McBroom breaks down the essential components that go into keeping payroll, calculating payroll & processing payroll for your business.

Payroll Software TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Payroll Products

(1-25 of 142) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

ADP Workforce Now
Customer Verified
Top Rated
TRUE

ADP Workforce Now is a cloud-based HR platform for mid-sized businesses. It features customizable modules of various HR services that businesses can tailor to their specific needs, as well as regulatory monitoring and alerts to help businesses remain compliant.

Key Features

  • Direct deposit files (913)
    87%
    8.7
  • View and generate pay and benefit information (910)
    86%
    8.6
  • Pay calculation (922)
    86%
    8.6
UKG Pro
Customer Verified
Top Rated
TRUE

UKG delivers cloud-based HCM solutions including UKG Pro that help businesses simplify payroll computations, accelerate talent acquisition, manage time and attendance, and support proactive, strategic talent management on a global level.

Key Features

  • Update personal information (710)
    90%
    9.0
  • View and generate pay and benefit information (707)
    89%
    8.9
  • Employment history (695)
    84%
    8.4
TriNet
Customer Verified
Top Rated

TriNet provides small and medium size businesses (SMBs) with full-service HR and payroll solutions tailored by industry. TriNet also offers specialized services through client access to HR representatives for advice and notifications on impactful regulatory changes.

Key Features

  • Update personal information (578)
    90%
    9.0
  • Pay calculation (580)
    89%
    8.9
  • Benefit plan administration (588)
    81%
    8.1
Ceridian Dayforce
Customer Verified
Top Rated
TRUE

Ceridian Dayforce HCM is a cloud-based platform encompassing HR, payroll, benefits, and talent and workforce management. It provides companies with a scalable framework and real-time data, such as continual pay calculations, to enable efficient decision-making.

Key Features

  • Update personal information (488)
    80%
    8.0
  • Pre-built reports (485)
    65%
    6.5
  • Report builder (486)
    64%
    6.4
Rippling
Customer Verified
Top Rated

Rippling helps companies manage Payroll, Benefits, HR, and IT in one platform. It brings employee systems and data together, and helps automate busy work. The vendor states that, for example, that with onboarding, Rippling users can just click a button and in 90 seconds set up…

Key Features

  • Update personal information (316)
    97%
    9.7
  • Benefit plan administration (270)
    94%
    9.4
  • View and generate pay and benefit information (300)
    94%
    9.4
Paycom
Customer Verified

Paycom is a core HR management software solution. It includes features such as talent acquisition and management, time tracking, and payroll management. It offers some automation capacities, particularly regarding payroll.

Key Features

  • Update personal information (245)
    85%
    8.5
  • View and generate pay and benefit information (245)
    82%
    8.2
  • Direct deposit files (237)
    81%
    8.1
Paycor
Customer Verified

Paycor provides core HR functions scaled towards small and mid-sized businesses. Paycor offers an integrated benefits platform for interfacing directly with insurance carriers and an adaptable time management platform.

Key Features

  • Direct deposit files (204)
    84%
    8.4
  • Pay calculation (207)
    83%
    8.3
  • Update personal information (180)
    79%
    7.9
Oracle Cloud HCM

Oracle Cloud HCM combines various human resources operations, such as Core HR functions, talent management, and workforce management, within one platform. The Cloud program provides global scaling and prioritizes mobile accessibility and integration.

Key Features

  • Employment history (178)
    88%
    8.8
  • Employee demographic data (169)
    85%
    8.5
  • Job profiles and administration (171)
    83%
    8.3
Paychex Flex

Paychex Flex, of Paychex' Online Payroll Services, is a cloud-based human resource management and payroll platform. Paychex offers core and specialized services, and scales to meet the needs of small businesses, SMBs, and large enterprises.

Key Features

  • Direct deposit files (167)
    88%
    8.8
  • Pay calculation (170)
    87%
    8.7
  • Update personal information (150)
    85%
    8.5
RUN Powered by ADP®
Customer Verified
Top Rated

RUN powered by ADP is a benefits administration and payroll platform for small businesses with light additional HR features. It runs on a cloud-based platform with mobile accessibility.

Key Features

  • Direct deposit files (112)
    95%
    9.5
  • Pay calculation (117)
    83%
    8.3
  • Salary revision and increment management (83)
    79%
    7.9
UKG Ready
Customer Verified
Top Rated

UKG Ready™ is presented as a flexible and seamless HR solution that provides a connected people experience to easily manage the entire employee journey, from a single solution. Designed for flexibility and ease of use, UKG Ready combines HR, talent, payroll, and time to deliver a…

Key Features

  • Pay calculation (135)
    82%
    8.2
  • Report builder (136)
    77%
    7.7
  • Pre-built reports (136)
    75%
    7.5
Ascentis (discontinued)

Ascentis HR uses web-based management programs to help automate complex HR processes. Ascentis’ other services included customizable payroll, time and attendance and recruiting modules. Ascentis was acquired by UKG in March of 2022, and will be discontinued.

Key Features

  • Update personal information (151)
    87%
    8.7
  • Pre-built reports (142)
    72%
    7.2
  • Report builder (144)
    64%
    6.4
QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a SaaS version of the QuickBooks product. It contains all of the features found in the local version. Higher-priced plans include greater automation, payment management, inventory and time tracking, and analytics features.

Key Features

  • Accounts receivable (125)
    85%
    8.5
  • Bank reconciliation (131)
    84%
    8.4
  • Standard reports (122)
    84%
    8.4
Zenefits

Zenefits is a free, cloud-based core-HR platform. It primarily services small to mid-sized businesses and provides time management and benefits administration capabilities.

Key Features

  • Update personal information (129)
    70%
    7.0
  • View and generate pay and benefit information (123)
    64%
    6.4
  • Organization and location management (117)
    55%
    5.5
Gusto

Gusto offers payroll, benefits and compliance capabilities. Gusto is scaled for small to mid-sized businesses, and emphasizes an easy to use interface.

Key Features

  • Direct deposit files (116)
    80%
    8.0
  • Pay calculation (113)
    77%
    7.7
  • Salary revision and increment management (97)
    74%
    7.4
Namely
Customer Verified
Top Rated
TRUE

Namely offers a cloud-based HR platform for integrated core and specialized HR services, including time and employee performance management and onboarding processes.

Key Features

  • Update personal information (122)
    89%
    8.9
  • Employment history (120)
    76%
    7.6
  • Organizational charting (118)
    70%
    7.0
QuickBooks Desktop Pro

Quickbooks Desktop Pro is accounting software from Intuit, Inc. It includes core accounting features, plus analytics and exportable reports. It is offered in on-premise and SaaS forms.

Key Features

  • Bank reconciliation (109)
    88%
    8.8
  • Accounts receivable (109)
    86%
    8.6
  • Standard reports (108)
    86%
    8.6
isolved
Customer Verified
Top Rated

isolved is a SaaS-based, cloud-resident Human Capital Management (HCM) solution that provides Payroll, HR, Benefits Administration, Time & Attendance, Talent Management and Compliance. Employers have the ability to schedule an upcoming shift, view overtime levels, run a customized…

Key Features

  • Pay calculation (92)
    92%
    9.2
  • Direct deposit files (93)
    91%
    9.1
  • View and generate pay and benefit information (87)
    87%
    8.7
Workday Human Capital Management

Workday Human Capital Management is built as a cloud-based system with global consistency in user experience. Workday HCM is part of a broader system with other Workday products.

Key Features

  • Update personal information (77)
    89%
    8.9
  • Employment history (75)
    86%
    8.6
  • Job profiles and administration (77)
    83%
    8.3
BambooHR
Customer Verified
Top Rated

BambooHR is an on-line human resources solution that provides onboarding, payroll, and benefits management. It also offers automated time-off management and employee self-service.

Key Features

  • View job history (69)
    92%
    9.2
  • Update personal information (74)
    90%
    9.0
  • Employment history (68)
    90%
    9.0
Oracle PeopleSoft HCM

Oracle's PeopleSoft HCM is a complete, customizable suite including Global Core Human Capital Management, Workforce Management, Workforce Service Delivery, and Talent Management. PeopleSoft can be integrated to run on the Oracle Cloud.

Key Features

  • Update personal information (66)
    88%
    8.8
  • Job profiles and administration (65)
    86%
    8.6
  • Employee demographic data (65)
    78%
    7.8
ADP Vantage HCM

ADP Vantage HCM is a platform combining HR, payroll, benefits, talent management and time & attendance. ADP promotes dedicated HR representatives to work with businesses.

Key Features

  • Direct deposit files (60)
    89%
    8.9
  • View and generate pay and benefit information (63)
    81%
    8.1
  • Report builder (60)
    79%
    7.9
QuickBooks Desktop Premier

QuickBooks Desktop Premier is an installed version of QuickBooks for general business, contractors, manufacturing and warehouse accounting, as well as nonprofits, professional services, and retail.

Key Features

  • Bank reconciliation (56)
    100%
    10.0
  • Accounts receivable (58)
    84%
    8.4
  • Accounts payable (57)
    84%
    8.4
Paylocity

Paylocity provides 24/7 access to your online payroll and human resource data management. Paylocity offers highly customizable payroll functionality, as well as HR, benefits administration, and time and talent management programs.

Key Features

  • Direct deposit files (47)
    83%
    8.3
  • View and generate pay and benefit information (47)
    80%
    8.0
  • Pay calculation (50)
    76%
    7.6
APS Payroll

APS is a national workforce management and cloud-based HR solution provider. The platform includes core HR, payroll, time and attendance (including manager and employee self-service), compliance tools, and onboarding.

Key Features

  • View and generate pay and benefit information (32)
    93%
    9.3
  • Pay calculation (31)
    90%
    9.0
  • Report builder (32)
    77%
    7.7

Learn More About Payroll Software

What is Payroll Software?

Payroll software is a point solution that focuses on calculating and processing employee pay, generating tax forms, and benefits administration. However, payroll capabilities can also be rolled into larger human resources (HR) management software, ERP software, or accounting and budgeting software.

Using a payroll software centralizes the myriad payroll processes onto one platform and provides a variety of tools to make payroll functions more efficient and accurate. Ideally, payroll software will prevent human errors when calculating and administering payroll, as well as allow employees to self-service some functions to reduce administrative overhead.

Payroll Software Features & Capabilities

Most vendors offering payroll software include features such as:

  • Calculating employee pay
  • Automatically calculating deductions for withholdings (e.g. state and federal taxes, insurance and retirement contributions)
  • Direct deposit check processing
  • Printing checks for employees not enrolled in direct deposit
  • Generating tax forms
  • Integrating with external payroll vendors
  • Issuing off-cycle checks or on-demand payments
  • Maintaining payroll history for each employee
  • Administering benefit plans
  • Managing retirement plans
  • Payroll tracking and auditing
  • Modifying and revising employee salaries
  • Running payroll balance and calculation reports
  • Employee self-service

Payroll Software for Small Businesses vs. Enterprises

Smaller businesses often don’t need all the additional features, and heftier price tags, that come with HR, HCM, or ERP software suites. Some examples of payroll point solutions that are targeted for small businesses are Intuit Payroll, Gusto’s Payroll platform, and Paychex Flex.

In contrast, HR management software and HCM suites are usually geared towards large businesses and enterprises. HR and HCM packages typically include broader HR management functions, such as maintaining employee records, managing employee leave, and keeping track of company provided employee assets.

Payroll Software vs. Accounting Software

Similarly to HR management and HCM software, accounting software includes a wide array of functions including but extending beyond payroll capabilities. Accounting software is primarily a financial dashboard that records and updates a company’s financial transactions and information.

Some examples of accounting software that offer payroll capabilities include Wave, QuickBooks Online, and Priority AccountEdge.

In-House vs. Outsourced Payroll

Traditionally, outsourcing payroll services were the dominant model as companies saw this as a way to avoid hiring payroll administrators. Outsourcing is still common, but many companies now choose to conduct payroll in-house with either cloud-based or on-premise solutions.

However, modern payroll software is changing this bifurcated model and offering a third option - cloud-based semi-outsourced payroll software. This hybrid option allows the company to retain control over core payroll processes while outsourcing certain activities, such as calculating tax withholdings.

Payroll Software Deployment

Payroll programs have a few different deployment options, including more traditional on-premise solutions and cloud-based SaaS options. Currently, deployment trends are shifting from on-premise, or hosted, solutions to cloud-based applications that can be partially or fully outsourced.

Some vendors offering different deployment alternatives are:

Payroll Software Comparison

When comparing options to find the best payroll software for you, be sure to evaluate these factors:

  1. Scope of each solution: Payroll capabilities can be found across a range of product sizes. The middle of the road solution would include all the necessary functions for calculating, processing, and administering payroll. Larger solutions will include additional non-payroll functions, like HR management or accounting. On the other end, there are some tools for specific payroll functions, like tax compliance. Holistically evaluate your financial software needs to ensure you purchase a product that can meet as many of your current and future needs as possible.
  2. Customer support and service: According to TrustRadius reviews of payroll solutions, the quality and level of customer service that comes with the purchase is a significant strength, or weakness, of many payroll products. The quality of customer service is particularly important for navigating payroll’s changing regulatory landscapes and compliance requirements. Payroll vendors can help you adjust your processes and stay compliant, but not all products will be able to deliver this service.
  3. Mobile Accessibility: Any payroll software should allow employees to access it through their phones. Your employees should be able to access their pay stubs, pay history, and self service personal information like direct deposit info. Consider the range of capabilities available to employees and administrators through products’ mobile applications, and any additional costs that may entail.

Pricing Information

Payroll point solutions have monthly, subscription-based fees and are generally less expensive than HRM, HCM, or ERP software packages. Prices for point solutions start at $10/month for self-service or basic packages and increase up to $100/month. Most vendors also offer a free trial of their products.

Suite software packages may have subscription fees or a one time license and installment fee. Monthly fees can range from $10 - $50 per employee. One-time fees can range upwards of $20,000, and future maintenance and upgrade costs may apply as well.

Payroll Software Best Of Awards

The following Payroll Software offer award-winning customer relationships, feature sets, and value for price. Learn more about our Best Of Awards methodology here.

Best Payroll Software

Related Categories

Frequently Asked Questions

How does payroll software work?

Payroll software takes the calculated amount of pay that each employee has accrued over the pay period, makes predetermined deductions and withholdings, and administers the net pay to employees. Some software will also support additional payroll processes, like tax preparation.

What is a good payroll software for small business?

Many payroll software for small businesses bundles the function with other HR or accounting software. Small business-focused payroll providers include TriNet, QuickBooks, and RUN powered by ADP.

Can I do payroll myself?

While technically possible, it is highly inadvisable to conduct payroll without software assistance. The manual process of calculating gross pay, making deductions, transferring money to direct deposit, and writing checks, along with other processes are beyond the capabilities of virtually all businesses.

How much does payroll software cost?

Standalone payroll software starts around $5-$10 per employee, per month, and scale up for additional features or when packaged with broader HR or accounting functions.

What are the benefits of payroll software?

Payroll software helps your business compliant with regulations and reduces human errors and delays when processing and administering payroll.