5 Payroll Apps for Every Small Business

Staying on top of payroll is one of the most important tasks for small businesses, but it can be challenging and time-consuming. As a business owner, you want to ensure that your employees are paid correctly and on time, every time, but keeping up can be tricky, especially with all the legal requirements. 

Fortunately, the rapid advance of technology for small businesses has resulted in amazing tools that enable accurate and efficient payroll processes without all the hassle. Apps specifically designed for managing employee paychecks and taxes have changed the game, and in this blog post, we’ll explore five great payroll applications that offer a variety of services and price points, one of which could be just right for your individual situation.


The first step in choosing the right payroll app for your small business is determining which features you need. Different software solutions offer varying levels of complexity and capabilities, so it’s important to find one that meets all your specific requirements. Some popular features to look out for include employee self-service portals, paycheck stub customization, automatic tax filing, direct deposit options and real-time data access. Real-time data access is especially beneficial if you have multiple locations or need to track time off or vacation days for employees. 

At the same time, it’s essential that you select a solution that is not too complex for your level of knowledge and experience; otherwise, you may experience frustration when trying to manage payroll through the app. It’s important to conduct thorough research before selecting a provider as well. Read reviews from other customers and make sure the company offers exceptional customer service if you ever have a question or issue with their product.


Intuit offers a good payroll software option, especially if you already use QuickBooks for other aspects of your business. If you are looking for the convenience of working within one software solution rather than creating your own “composite application” from different apps, adding Intuit Payroll to your QuickBooks package can be a good solution. It has a user-friendly interface and offers same-day or next-day deposit. You may, however, find yourself paying extra fees for extra services if you need them, so it’s best to know exactly what services you need when comparing this app to other options


We have previously written that we consider Gusto to be a best-of-breed app [link blog post]. Even if you are new to payroll, the implementation process guides you through steps to ensure you get it right. Employees can have direct access to their records. The pricing is clear and all-inclusive. It supports local tax filings, which is still fairly uncommon among payroll apps. And the support is excellent, although not available 24 hours a day. You can also upgrade or downgrade at any time. 


Just as many businesses already use QuickBooks, many businesses already use Square for their sales and payments processing, and their payroll app is a quality product that is a great choice if you want to minimize the number of software providers you are using and ensure smooth integration. It can be used for employees and contractors, with two pricing tiers available, and it can support multi state payments. It also supports benefit tracking and processing, helping with your HR needs if necessary. Payments can be slower than other providers, however, with money available to workers up to five days after processing.


Rippling’s payroll app is a great choice if you know exactly what you need from your payroll app. It has a pay-per-service model, meaning that you can minimize your costs by choosing only what you need. It offers international payments, which is somewhat rare, plus the interface is very user-friendly, customer support is excellent, and it offers hundreds of integration possibilities with other apps. You can do one-click payroll processing, which is great, but you can’t automate payroll like other apps like Gusto. Pricing is quote-based and has a minimum contract length, so you’ll really want to put some effort into defining your specific needs, but if you want to minimize costs while maximizing return, Rippling could be the choice for you.


For those who really just want a basic and inexpensive app to run a fairly small payroll, SurePayroll by Paychex is a potential option. At the time of this writing, the “starting” monthly fee is only $19.99 plus $4 per payee, which is indeed cheap compared to the minimum cost of most other payroll apps. You’ll still need to get a quote for your specific situation though, and your final price could be higher. But if you only need the basics, SurePayroll does offer some nice value for a payroll app you can run on your phone, plus it offers customer service outside of normal business hours if you have any questions.


Advances in small business technology have made cumbersome payroll processes a thing of the past. There are now a wide variety of payroll apps on the market, each offering different levels of service, capabilities, and pricing. If you haven’t yet moved your payroll processing to an app-based system, what are you waiting for?