5 Quick and Easy Payroll Programs for Small Business

Using an efficient payroll program ensures that your employees get paid on time and minimizes the risk of error. You'll want to choose a program that offers the features you need and the reliable service you deserve. We've rounded up the top five quick and easy payroll programs for small business. Take a load off so that you can focus on what matters most, running your business.


One of the most acclaimed payroll programs for small business, Gusto can manage health insurance, 401(k) Plans, and many other employee benefits. The software also lets employees self-onboard, saving you time and money during the hiring process. Automatic tax filing and free direct deposit come standard. Gusto also integrates seamlessly with accounting programs including Xero, QuickBooks, and FreshBooks, minimizing the time spent making it fit into your existing workflow. Pricing for Gusto starts at $39/month plus $6/month for each additional employee.

Intuit QuickBooks Payroll

Inuit QuickBooks Payroll is ideal for businesses with a large employee base. Its comprehensive features and full-service guided setup can save you time and headaches. All you do is submit the number of paid hours, and Intuit takes care of direct deposits and tax reporting. You can also set up the standard employee benefits, including health, 401(k) and retirement plans. If you already use QuickBooks, Intuit may be a smart choice. However, if you only have a handful of employees, Intuit's cost may be a turnoff. Intuit's full-service monthly plans start at $99 and increase by $2 for each employee with a less expensive plan that doesn’t include the tax reporting service.


A relatively new contender among payroll programs for small business, OnPay covers all of the basic payroll functions including taxes, and gives the option to pay your employees via check or direct deposit (for an additional monthly charge). While Intuit caters more to larger businesses, OnPay is designed with smaller organizations in mind. In exchange for a more manageable price, OnPay lacks some of the more advanced features such as retirement contributions. OnPay costs $39.95/month, which covers ten employees. Each additional employee brings the price up by another $1/month, and the direct deposit feature costs another $8/month.

Patriot Payroll

One of the highest rated payroll programs for small business, Patriot, offers two levels of service: The basic service includes direct deposit, W-2s, and an easy-to-use employee portal that lets your team stay on top of their details. The full-service includes all of the basic features plus automatic tax preparation and filing, W-3s, free setup and phone support.
Patriot's basic plan starts at $10/month plus $2/month for each additional employee, while the full-service plan starts at $25/month plus $4/month for each additional employee. However, the additional cost per employee decreases past a certain threshold.

Paychex Flex

Created by one of the most prominent payroll companies in the US, Paychex Flex stands out as one of the most adaptable payroll programs for small business. Payment options include direct deposit, check, and even debit. Retirement plans, tax filing, and wage garnishing are a sample of Paychex Flex's many useful features. In essence, you'll have all the tools you need to manage complex operations, for example, if your organization operates in multiple states.
For pricing details, you'll have to contact Paychex yourself.

Efficiency plays a key role in ensuring that your business runs at top performance. So, when it comes to implementing systems, especially regarding human resource management, understanding your options is key in deciding which payroll program best meets the needs of your small business.

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