What is the Best Payroll Software for a Small Business?

If you run a small business, you would know how critical managing payroll is for your small operation. Many startup entrepreneurs make the mistake of spending too much time on payroll-related tasks. Thanks to the advent of technology, payroll software has come to the rescue of many businesses struggling with their payroll. This makes choosing the best payroll software for small businessa vital decision that requires strong attention. This article will take you through, lock stock and barrel, of payroll software best suited to your business. 

What are the Types of Best Payroll Software for Small Business?

Classification of payroll software can be done in terms of multiple components. For example, we can categorize them based on deployment, the size of the company, and more. Apart from this, another type of classification is features that the software claims to have.

Integrated Payroll Management

As you may already know, payroll processes intersect with accounting and HR processes in some aspects. For this reason, on a lot of occasions, payroll software is sold as a part of HR or small business accounting software. In such cases, the software provider can charge you for payroll software separately or ask for a price for the overall system. In general, integrated payroll software handles tasks like calculating income taxes, processing payroll, and more. 

Dedicated Payroll Management

You will access a lot more features with dedicated payroll management. Tax planner, admin, and others can hugely benefit from this type of software. I can call it the best payroll software for small business that will support you comprehensively. In brief, using such a system will make your highly-serious tasks easy-peasy.

Essential Features of a Payroll Software

best payroll software for small business

As mentioned above, the characteristics of payroll software can be different depending on the tools/features. Yet, all systems must have some features which are essential for all payroll software. I will classify them below for your understanding.

Payroll Management

This aspect of the software is helpful with the calculation of employee wages. All you have to do is to set the payment plan. Once it is set, the system will automatically calculate employee wages monthly, weekly, or daily. You will also be able to get several different sides of your employees’ salaries consolidated through this feature. For instance, attendance, grades, and more aspects will be found in this consolidation. If you want, you can even configure the software for particular employees or contractors. In a nutshell, this is a feature that the best payroll service for small companies must maintain. 

Benefits Management

This part of the software will help you with the management of different employee perks, such as bonuses. In some systems, your employees can even select and submit their claims.

Leave Management

It is another essential feature of the best payroll software for small business. It allows employees to apply for leaves and check their leave balances. Also, managers can track, approve, or decline their employees’ leave requests.  

Tracking Time and Attendance

The best payroll software for small business will have a feature to track time. The feature will hugely give a hand to you in tracking employee leaves, absences, etc. Once the time for payment arrives, all these nuances are taken into account by the system. Some of the systems will even monitor transfer cases, too. 

Income Tax and Deductions

Tax deduction processes will be a no-brainer with this aspect of the payroll system. You can manage various kinds of taxes like income tax using a technology possessing this component. The calculations are implemented automatically, here. 

What to Check When Getting Your Payroll System?

You now have a good understanding of what goes in the best payroll software for small business. To be able to choose the right software for your company, you must be aware of some other areas that it is important to check before coming to a decision. 

Cloud Software vs. Onsite

Both cloud software and onsite have their own strong and weak sides. For example, it is a cakewalk to integrate cloud software. Reasonable price, flexible characteristic, prompt support are just some of the positives of cloud software. Unfortunately, cloud software is stored on third-party servers. It means you will have no control over it. 

On the contrary, the on-premise system will allow you to keep the whole enchilada under your own control. Unfortunately, it will be very costly to pay for the server, licensing, and more. But again, all these expenses will ensure you have a very high level of security. All in all, it is your call to decide which one would suit your business best.


You do not want to pay for software and see it become useless after a year or two. For this reason, you must get a tool that will support you even when your business grows larger. For example, the number of employees will increase in your company on time. And not all payroll software will keep supporting you in such cases. I recommend you to get cloud software if you are thinking of using the system in the long term. It will be more suitable for present circumstances.

Total Cost of Software

best payroll software for small business

If you thought you would make a one-time payment for the system, you are wrong. Training fees, server setup costs, among others, will eventually set-in when you start preparing your system. Make sure you check all expenses related to your payroll software. Keep in mind that some costs will appear due to advanced features which you will never use. So, pay attention to such details to be as cost-effective as possible.

Compliance With Regulations

The best payroll software for small company will ensure compliance is in place with various regulations. For instance, tax laws are one of the main characteristics to take into account. You will also notice this feature in different reports, wage-related deduction, and more. A top system will have the capability to upgrade itself automatically. It will mean that the processes in your payroll system will never be non-compliant.

Integration with Different Systems

The last point you should check when getting software is about integration. Bear in mind that you will need to integrate the software to get along with other systems like accounting. Regardless of the type of software, you want it to integrate without too many hitches(although you can expect some). Do not forget to check the compatibility of the service before you buy it. 


The best payroll software for small business can assist companies substantially on various fronts. Business owners should have an understanding of all software categories, and the features they offer. As you can see, without having the right awareness of what to check for when purchasing a payroll system can end in disaster. With all the points mentioned in this article, this will help you easily select the system that will satisfy all your payroll needs and some more. If you found the article useful, you should also check other articles on our page for more in-depth information. 


Contact Us for Free Consultation on your choice of Service company