Ultimate Software delivers cloud-based HCM solutions that help businesses simplify payroll computations, accelerate talent acquisition, manage time and attendance, and support proactive, strategic talent management on a global level.
Best Payroll Software
- Best Payroll Software include: UltiPro, Gusto, TriNet, Workday HCM, Priority AccountEdge, Ceridian Dayforce HCM, QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, APS, Kronos Workforce Ready, RUN Powered by ADP®, Intuit Payroll, QuickBooks Desktop Premier, and Sage HRMS.
- A complete list of Payroll Software is available here.
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Payroll Software Overview
What is Payroll Software?
Payroll software can be offered as 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.
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 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
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
Payroll Software for Small Businesses vs. Enterprises
Payroll point solutions may be more appropriate for smaller businesses, while HR management software and HCM suites are usually geared towards large businesses and enterprises. HR and HCM packages typically include other functions, for example, maintaining employee records, managing employee leave, and keeping track of company provided employee assets.
Smaller businesses often don’t need all the additional features that come with HR, HCM, or ERP software suites. These enterprise level software packages can also be more expensive than payroll point solutions. Some examples of payroll point solutions that are targeted for small businesses are Intuit Payroll, Gusto’s Payroll platform, and Paychex Flex.
Accounting Software vs. Payroll 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.
In-House vs. Outsourced Payroll
Traditionally, outsourcing payroll services was the dominant model as companies saw this as a way to avoid hiring payroll administrators. Outsourcing is still common, but many companies still 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 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.
Listings (1-25 of 94)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ascentis HR uses web-based management programs to help automate complex HR processes. It's fully integrated with Ascentis’ other services including customizable payroll, time and attendance and recruiting modules.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kronos Workforce Ready provides core and strategic HR services from a cloud-based platform. The platform provides real-time updates and streamlines HR databases via a uniform interface and a singular record for each employee across all portals.
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.
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.
ADP SmartCompliance is a tax and regulatory compliance platform for midsize or larger companies using an ERP or non-ADP platform for HR and HRMS services.
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.
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is a widely-used accounting package designed for smaller organizations. It is the top of the QuickBooks line. Pricing starts at $3,000 for five users, and goes up depending on the number of additional users. They also offer an Advanced Inventory module for $999 / year.
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.
Namely offers a cloud-based HR platform for integrated core and specialized HR services, including time and employee performance management and onboarding processes.
ADP Vantage HCM is a platform combining HR, payroll, benefits, talent management and time & attendance. ADP promotes dedicated HR representatives to work with businesses.
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.
Gusto offers payroll, benefits and compliance capabilities. Gusto is scaled for small to mid-sized businesses, and emphasizes an easy to use interface.
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.
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.
Vista® is a human resource, benefits, payroll, recruiting, and self-service software. Functional elements include recruitment, staffing, position and training management, compliance, and performance and compensation.
Quickbooks Desktop for Mac is an accounting software designed for Mac users. It is designed to integrate with Apple iCloud. It provides core accounting features in line with the rest of the Quickbooks Desktop product line.