Which Payroll App Should Your Small Business Use?

business person writing check

By: Aries Payne

Payroll is an essential financial process in every company, but it can seem overwhelming if you are new to managing employees within a new business. Fortunately, there is an increasing amount of software designed to help streamline this critical function. Here are a few popular payroll apps and their key features that small businesses should consider:


Gusto is often recommended for companies that work with independent contractors in addition to a dedicated full- or part-time staff. It offers comprehensive features, including tax filing and payments, hiring and onboarding support, time tracking, performance management, reporting, and more. The application also allows integration with QuickBooks and Xero to streamline accounting tasks.


QuickBooks is a popular software that entrepreneurs and startups use to track expenses and income. It also assists with other bookkeeping tasks like generating invoices. However, it also has a payroll feature, which can be convenient for business owners who prefer to keep all their accounting tasks within one platform.

The application offers time tracking and a paycheck calculator, which allows you to automate payroll with just a few clicks. Payments are via direct deposit, and employees can access their paystubs and W-2s through a self-service portal. QuickBooks can also help calculate, file, and pay any payroll taxes you owe.


OnPay is another comprehensive app that offers payroll, benefits, and HR solutions. Besides standard payroll processing for W-2 and 1099 workers, the software also assists with tax filing and payments, generating tax documents, and time tracking. The platform also allows integration with QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop.

OnPay is designed to work for any small business, but it does offer other unique solutions for companies in the restaurant, agriculture, or nonprofit sectors.


If you need the basics or have only a couple of employees to manage, SurePayroll is a simple, affordable payroll solution. It has flexible plans that can be customized for solo entrepreneurs or larger teams. Some of its full-service features include tax filing, unlimited payroll runs, bonus fulfillment, new hiring reporting, direct deposit, and access to an HR advisor.


Wave is a cloud-based, all-in-one finance application for small businesses. Owners can use the software to perform standard bookkeeping and accounting, in addition to payroll tasks.

Its payroll function offers several features, including the ability to pay full- and part-time staff and independent contractors via direct deposit. As a Texas-based business, you can use the platform to pay and file payroll taxes. Additionally, the application can track employees’ time to help process payroll at the end of each pay period. There is also an employee-facing side to the app, where team members can access their pay stubs and tax forms and edit their contact and banking details directly.


ADP is an industry leader in payroll solutions, and it offers a small business plan for new enterprises with up to 49 employees. With the app, you can choose to process payroll manually or automatically, and like similar software, it can track time in addition to benefits.

ADP also assists with tax filing and paying, and it will automatically generate and send W-2s and 1099s to employees and independent contractors. It also stays current with the latest tax laws and regulations so your business can remain compliant with federal, state, or local requirements.

Find a Payroll Solution for Your Small Business

Managing payroll for a small, growing startup can be a time-consuming process. However, one of these popular applications could be just the solution you need to optimize your operations and free up valuable time.

For more guidance on payroll services, schedule an appointment with our HR specialist, Erica McGruder, or QuickBooks specialist, Jada Harris, who can help you navigate the complexities of arranging payroll services for your new business.

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