Top 10 Payroll Management Software

Payroll management software should make it easy to track employee hours and attendance and deliver accurate, on-time paychecks. The best providers offer self-service portals for your workers and automated features that improve your tax compliance.

Key takeaways

Here are some of the key things to know about payroll management software providers:

  • Employee self-service makes it easy to handle benefits
  • Integrations manage payroll and your business finances
  • Providers customize their services to your industry
  • Payroll software offers direct deposit
  • Payroll providers may also offer onboarding features for new hires

The following are some of today’s top payroll management software platforms:

  1. When I Work
  2. Rippling
  3. Patriot Payroll
  4. Intuit QuickBooks
  5. Square Payroll
  6. Gusto
  7. TriNet
  8. Namely
  9. Sage HR
  10. BambooHR

What is payroll management software?

Payroll management software is designed to automate and streamline the process of paying your workers. Software programs can perform a variety of payroll tasks, including:

  • Calculating salaries
  • Tracking employee hours
  • Generating paychecks
  • Deducting taxes and benefits
  • Creating payroll reports

The best payroll management software integrates into your other business systems for accurate, on-time compensation.

Payroll management software comparison table

Use the table below to compare the price and core features of today’s top providers.

ProviderPriceFeaturesCustomer SupportIntegrations 
When I Work• $2.50/user/month
• $5.00/user/month
• $8.00/user/month
• Time tracking
• Labor forecasting
• Shift scheduling
• Employee self-service 
• Email
• Chat
Y
Rippling• $8/user/month
• Customized plans 
• Payroll entry
• Direct deposit
• Self-service
• Phone
• Email
• Chat
Y
Patriot Payroll• Basic Payroll: $17/mo + $4/user/month
• Full-Service: $37/mo + $4/user/month
• Employee self-service
• Free direct deposit
• Automated tax payments
• Toll-free number
• Online chat
Y
Intuit QuickBooks• Simple Start: $30/month (one user)
• Essentials: $70/month (up to three users)
• Plus: $90/month (up to five users)
• Advanced: $200/month (up to 25 users)
• Payroll reporting and dashboards
• Manage employee payroll and taxes
• Robust budgeting/reporting features
• Online chat
• Phone support
• Paid support plans 
Y
Square Payroll• $6/employee/mo (for contractors)
• $35/mo + • $6/employee/month (for employees + contractors)
• Check/W2 delivery
• Employee self-service
• Automated tax payments
• Direct deposit
• Phone
• Email
Y
Gusto• Simple plan: $40/mo + $6/employee/mo
• Plus plan: $80/mo + $12/employee/mo
• Customizable Premium plans available
• Role/access management
• Employee self-service
• Direct deposit
• Tax calculation & filing
• Phone
• Email
• Chat
Y
TriNet• Pricing requires quote• Employee self-service
• Benefits management
• Check/W2 delivery
• Tax filing/payment
• Phone
• Email 
• Chat
Y
Namely• $9/employee/month
• Additional prices available 
• Direct deposit
• Employee self-service
• Time/attendance/PTO tracking
• Reporting features
• Phone
• Email
• Chat
• Pod-based support system 
Y
Sage HR• $5.50/employee/mo
• Additional features available 
Time/attendance/PTO management
Salary structures
Reporting tools
• Phone
• Email
• Chat
Y
BambooHR• $99/month for 12 employees
• $8.25/mo for each additional worker
• Customizable plans
• Organization and compliance management
• Employee self-service 
• Onboarding tools 
• E-forms and e-signature
• Phone
• Email
• Chat
Y

1. When I Work

Rating: G2 rating of 4.3/5 

Key features:

  • Time tracking
  • Labor forecasting
  • Shift scheduling
  • Employee self-service features

When I Work is a user-friendly system that offers employee scheduling, time tracking, team messaging, and payroll all on a single affordable platform. There is no importing or syncing of timesheets, because all of your employee attendance data is in the same place. That means you can run payroll in a single click. Employees can also use the app’s internal messaging system to coordinate with one another.

The whole system integrates with other accounting software (including QuickBooks and Gusto) to manage your team. Labor forecasting features empower managers to optimize their schedules for cost savings and to keep up with cyclical demand. Plus, because all of your time tracking and payroll data is in one place, you’ll be able to see your real-time labor costs any time you need them.

2. Rippling

Rating: G2 rating of 4.8/5 

Key features:

  • Payroll entry
  • Direct deposit
  • Self-service portal
  • Ideal for global businesses

Rippling is designed to run HR, IT, and finance through a centralized system. Rippling not only allows payroll entry and direct deposit but can also handle the onboarding process. Managers can rely on Rippling to manage schedules and the accrual of time off. Employees can self-manage through the cloud-based portal. Rippling also integrates with common programs like Slack and Microsoft 360.

Users can also take advantage of benefits management features such as enrollment planning, records management, and a dedicated benefits dashboard. Rippling also assists businesses with teams located around the world, making it one of the best payroll management software systems for international companies.

3. Patriot

Rating: G2 rating of 4.8/5

Key features:

  • Employee self-service
  • Free direct deposit
  • Check/W2 printing
  • Automated tax payments

Patriot is a software platform designed for companies of 500 workers or fewer. The exact features vary by pricing plan. The Basic Payroll plan lets you run payroll and file taxes. The Full Service plan allows Patriot to handle your tax filings. But both plans include free direct deposit, time-off accruals, third-party integrations, and more.

Managers have access to tools such as expense reimbursement and approvals. All of Patriot’s features can be accessed on the web as well as through the app. While Patriot is optimized for small to midsize businesses, its pricing model may also benefit growing companies looking to scale.

4. Intuit QuickBooks

Rating: G2 rating of 4.5/5

Key features:

  • Payroll reporting and dashboards
  • User role management
  • Manage employee payroll and taxes
  • Robust budgeting/reporting features

Intuit QuickBooks has long been a mainstay of small to midsize businesses. While the program is best known for its accounting applications, it also includes payroll features such as payroll, taxes, and reporting. This allows business owners to handle journal entries and reconciliations and prepare financial statements through one interface. Many third-party point-of-sale (POS) systems also integrate with QuickBooks.

Intuit’s software is already known for its flexibility and customization. The payroll software also grants the ability to manage users and their roles. And because the program has a suite of accounting features, it’s easy to manage payroll alongside the rest of your business finances.

5. Square

Rating: G2 rating of 4.2/5

Key features:

  • Check/W2 delivery
  • Employee self-service
  • Automated tax payments
  • Direct deposit

Square Payroll is the payroll management software platform offered by Square. The platform provides a series of robust payroll features, including automated tax payments and direct deposit. Employers can also use Square to manage benefits for qualifying employees. All of these features can be directly integrated into the Square payment platform for retailers and restaurant owners. 

Square’s platform offers traditional payroll solutions such as check printing and user access management. But API integrations also allow businesses to integrate Square into their company website or e-commerce platform. Employees can access payroll and benefits through the web or through the dedicated Square mobile app.

6. Gusto

Rating: G2 rating of 4.5/5

Key features:

  • User role/access management
  • Employee self-service
  • Direct deposit
  • Tax calculation and filing

Gusto centralizes common HR features under one convenient dashboard. It offers direct deposit along with tax calculation and filing, though users also have the option to print and deliver paychecks and Form W2. Employees can self-manage through the online portal—both online and through the dedicated Gusto mobile app.

The payroll management software platform also features time-off accrual. Managers can adjust user roles for added security. Flexible pricing plans are available along with a premium plan for growing companies. Unfortunately, there is no free trial, but Gusto’s transparent pricing makes it easy to find a plan that fits your needs and your budget.

7. TriNet

Rating: G2 rating of 4.0/5

Key features:

  • Employee self-service
  • Benefits management
  • Check/W2 delivery
  • Tax filing and payment

TriNet offers a typical suite of HR services, including benefits management, check/W2 delivery, and employee self-service. Employers can rely on TriNet for payroll entry and managing tax deductions. TriNet can also make automatic tax payments for added convenience. While the software can complete direct deposit, it also has options for check and/or W2 delivery.

The company is also a professional employer organization (PEO) that offers solutions that can be tailored to your unique industry. Additional features include risk mitigation, compliance, and real-time technology. TriNet boasts of scalability, though you’ll need to contact the company directly for a price quote.

8. Namely

Rating: G2 rating of 3.9/5

Key features:

  • Direct deposit
  • Time/attendance/PTO tracking
  • Reporting features
  • Pod-based customer support

Namely offers intuitive HR solutions for companies of varying sizes. Standard features include direct deposit, role management tools, and tools for managing scheduling and PTO. Employers will appreciate the ability to manage benefits for qualified employees. Namely can also maintain benefits records to mitigate risk. 

An employee self-service portal makes scheduling a breeze, and workers can access their benefits online. Onboarding tools also ease the transition of bringing in new hires, a must-have for growing companies. Namely also offers 24/7 customer service alongside industry-leading support to offer additional assistance. The company offers flexible pricing starting at $9/mo, though other plans require a direct quote.

9. Sage HR

Rating: G2 rating of 4.3/5

Key features:

  • Time/attendance/PTO management
  • Customizable features
  • Salary structures
  • Advanced reporting tools

Sage HR is an offshoot of Sage accounting software. Its core features allow employers to manage salary structures as well as employee schedules and PTO. Expense management features also empower business leaders to optimize their business finances. API integrations can help businesses integrate Sage into their company website and/or online sales platforms. 

The payroll management software also offers customizable features and advanced reporting options. Sage provides spreadsheets to help you cover payroll taxes, with different templates corresponding to your state. Additionally, the HR platform integrates with Sage 50cloud accounting software for maximum control and visibility. Sage offers flexible pricing plans as well as a free demo.

10. BambooHR

Rating: G2 rating of 4.5/5

Key features:

  • Organization and compliance management
  • Employee self-service portal
  • Onboarding tools and automated workflows
  • E-forms and e-signature

BambooHR stands out for offering onboarding tools with automated workflows that make it easy to integrate new hires and manage their records. Managers will receive notifications as the employee completes crucial phases of the onboarding process. Managers can also manage user roles through the user-friendly interface.

Employees can use the self-service portal to manage schedules and benefits. The platform also features e-forms and e-signatures, which can be beneficial for remote/hybrid teams. Bamboo offers flexible pricing, though the cost is designed for organizations with at least 12 employees. This might make it less attractive to small startups, though it is flexible enough for scaling companies.

Simplify your payroll management with When I Work

Payroll should be simple. Keep your payroll running smoothly—and your employees happy—by using payroll management software. Sign up for a free trial from When I Work, and transform the way you handle employee scheduling, time tracking, and payroll management.

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