What You Need to Know About Payroll Services

Handling payroll for your business on your own can be a time-consuming process prone to error, especially when it comes to tax regulations. Payroll services take the hassle out of paying your employees by integrating with the software you use for time tracking, HR services, and accounting. Information is transferred smoothly between platforms, creating an automated flow from which paychecks are generated or direct deposits are made. Instead of spending hours calculating wages and taxes, you simply input employee data and let the system do the rest.

Many businesses are choosing to automate payroll with online or cloud-based services to speed up the process, save time, and reduce the risk of making mistakes when filing taxes or calculating deductions. Automated payroll software eliminates the problem of human error by updating data for you, and it keeps a comprehensive record of all payroll information. Taxes, benefits, and other deductions are taken out of employees’ gross pay, and some services will also file payroll taxes and generate employee tax forms for you.

If you spend too much time on payroll, struggle to stay compliant with tax codes, or would feel more comfortable having someone else crunch the numbers and ensure your employees are paid accurately and on time, these payroll services can help.


With automated online processing and the ability to integrate with your current time tracking and HR software, ADP provides a solid framework for automating your payroll services. ADP’s software calculates taxes for each employee, and the company monitors changing payroll tax regulations to ensure you’re always in compliance.

ADP serves three categories of businesses:

  • Small – one to 49 employees
  • Medium – 50 to 999 employees
  • Large – 1,000 or more employees

Contact the company for a quote to determine how much of an investment is required to take advantage of the payroll services you need for your business. If you choose to sign up, employees can access their pay stubs and other payroll information through a self-service app.

Although expert support is available, ADP doesn’t provide a dedicated specialist for individual accounts. This may be part of the reason why many users have reported poor customer service experiences and performance problems with ADP’s software.


Many companies already rely on QuickBooks to handle accounting, and it’s possible to integrate existing services with their payroll system. Signing up for payroll allows you to generate unlimited paychecks, so you never get saddled with an extra fee if you need to run an extra pay cycle for any reason. Support is free, starting with someone helping you to get your account set up and remaining available for the duration of the time you use the software.

According to user reviews, the biggest drawbacks of using QuickBooks for payroll are:

  • Security issues
  • Customer service taking too long to solve problems

Pricing for QuickBooks payroll services depends on how you want to handle the process. Do-it-yourself payroll using their software is $25 per month for basic accounts and $39 per month for enhanced. You must sign up for an enhanced account if you want the convenience of filing and paying payroll taxes electronically. Full-service payroll, for which you only have to provide your employees’ hours, costs $99 per month. All services require an additional investment of $2 per employee per month.


Small businesses can benefit from the $36 flat rate plus $4 fee per employee per month offered by OnPay. The company provides your first month of services for free and doesn’t charge any cancellation fees or annual fees on top of the monthly investment. You’re free to perform pay runs at any time without limits. Services also include:

  • Automatic reporting of new hires
  • Automated payroll tax collection, filing, and payment
  • Online employee access
  • Integration with popular software platforms, including QuickBooks, Kabbage, and Xero

Employees can onboard themselves so that you don’t have to input information. However, since OnPay lacks a dedicated smartphone app, mobility is limited, and you don’t have the benefit of cloud-based access on the go. Reviews suggest the online interface can be difficult to use, meaning you have to decide if a less-than-perfect user experience is a fair trade for the reasonable pricing.


Gusto promises you’ll spend an average of only seven minutes running payroll if you choose to integrate their services with your time tracking, accounting, and HR software. Save more time by linking up workers’ comp and benefits information and taking advantage of the option to have payroll run on its own.

This full-service online payroll solution sends fun emails to employees when they get paid, including a visual breakdown of taxes and other deductions. Paperwork for new hires is filled in automatically and existing employees have self-service access so that you don’t have to take time to find and send pay stubs or tax information.

Choose one of three options to set up Gusto for your business:

  • Core – $39 per month plus $6 per employee
  • Complete – $39 per month plus $12 per employee
  • Concierge – $149 per month plus $12 per employee

Gusto’s pricing is higher than other payroll services, and despite offering certified HR professionals to Concierge customers, many users complain about issues with accuracy in tax filing and compliance.

Sure Payroll

If you need help staying on top of federal and state labor laws, Sure offers SureAdvisor, a service providing a comprehensive library of business forms and HR guides. Alerts and reminders keep you informed about changes in regulations. This is meant to ensure payroll runs smoothly without any legal issues, but users have had problems with taxes being properly filed through the platform.

The Sure website is difficult to navigate due to information being segmented between several pages, but the service can also be accessed via mobile apps for both employers and employees. Integration with accounting and time clocks saves you the hassle of transferring information between programs.

Sure boasts an A+ rating with the BBB, but customer service experiences leave users feeling less than satisfied with the company. Along with the potential problems with tax information, this drawback could leave you in a difficult situation if an error occurs in the system and isn’t resolved in a timely manner.

Switching from DIY payroll to a service means less work for you each week and consistency for your employees. Although services cost more than handling payroll yourself, the investment pays off in time saved and hassle avoided. Investigate the available payroll services, find the features you need, and see how automating this complex task can improve the efficiency of your business.