Top 10 Small Business Payroll Software Packages 2014

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In this article, we share our picks for the top 10 small business payroll software packages of 2014.

All businesses with employees must manage payroll. Many small businesses process payroll by hand, or using basic software, but when the business starts growing beyond just a few employees, this because very time consuming.

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There are many solutions out there, some are viable for everything from a small 50 person business to large corporations that employ thousands of people, and some are a perfect fit for businesses under 50 employees that don’t have complex systems that need to be managed. Choosing the right solution for your company can be difficult. There are many options and every company will tell you that they best meet your needs. Do you need a bare bones system or a fully featured HR management suite? Do you want something that integrates with your current software or a new program or system to replace what you have currently? There are many options and this list consists of a diverse array of tools designed to meet the needs of various types of small businesses. Take a look and find which program best meets your needs.

1. QuickBooks: Enhanced Payroll for Accountants

Pros: Many small business owners, accountants for small businesses, and the companies they work for already use QuickBooks. This application is ideal for businesses already using QuickBooks as the integration is streamlined. Enhances payroll functionality. Users can process both live and after the fact payroll.

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Cons: Must be using the QuickBooks suite, not compatible with other systems.

2. Ascentis Payroll

Pros: Ascentis Payroll is a web based HR management tool designed to provide maximum flexibility without sacrificing control or accuracy. The software is designed to meet the unique needs of small businesses. Ascentis can reduce payroll processing time by up to 30%. The software pairs well with Ascentis HR, a broader management tool that offers in depth reporting and numbers breakdowns. The web servers are encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption, and intrusion detection systems and firewalls help protect your company against attacks. The service features full audit logs, informing you when, where, and by whom changes were made.

Cons: In order to fully take advantage of Ascentis’ high quality software you have to buy their multiple services.

Price: Contact Ascentis for pricing information. Price is dependent on the size of your business and the number of services you purchase.

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3. Kronos Workforce Central

Pros: Payroll, time and attendance, absence management, scheduling and more are some of the features of Kronos. Software suite consists of fully integrated applications each designed to meet a specific need within small to mid-sized businesses. The company offers education and training opportunities that are designed to allow employees to take full advantage of the software package’s power. Provides resources to help your business adapt to new regulations and laws like the Affordable Care Act.

Cons: The price of Kronos’ service can be on the expensive side of the market. May require specialized equipment.

Price: This depends on your company’s needs. Pricing is based on the number of employees and the number of managers and can range between $5,000.00 and $1,000,000.00.

4. UltiPro Software

Pros: Comprehensive recording of employee life-cycle from recruitment through retirement and everything in between. The software can be scaled to meet the needs of individual businesses. With over 2,300 customers including Adobe Inc. and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, UltiPro has established itself as one of the leading payroll and HR management programs in the world.

Cons: UltiPro isn’t always the right choice for a small business. The extensive features it offers and the depth and complexity of the program mean that while it may be perfect for HR managers, it can overwhelm middle management and cause efficiency issues.

Price: Because the solutions are tailored to the needs of your specific business, you must contact the company with your business’ details for a price quote.

5. NuViewHR

Pros: Comprehensive payroll, time sheet tracking and benefits management, allows you to streamline your small business’ HR functions. Adjust pay rates on the fly by individual, department, or company wide. Option to fully purchase and install the system, or avail your company of the subscription model, whichever best meets your needs. Easily imports from and exports to your existing business tools allowing for an easy transition.

Cons: Doesn’t deliver as strong cloud based solutions as many competitors. Mobile functionality is poor.

Price: The price varies based on the individual needs of the company or business in question.

6. Sage HRMS

Pros: Intuitive and simple user interface that should provide an easy transition for anybody familiar with Microsoft Outlook. Features include Payroll Management, Workforce Management, Learning Management and Talent Management tools.

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Cons: Lack of strong social media tools and applications. Some features normally included in core packages of human resource management systems are lacking in the core package and available only as add on modules.

7. CenterPoint Payroll

Pros: If your small business is just seeking an automated payroll solution, CenterPoint is a strong option. Features include direct deposit, paychecks printing, online access to payroll, and 401k and Health Benefits features. This is a strong automation option for small businesses tired of doing everything manually. The program is designed to maximize efficiency and minimize time spent on payroll while not providing unnecessary excess features not needed by most small businesses.

Cons: Some small businesses in need of more features may need third party programs or add on modules. Not intended for high volume payrolls.

Price: One time fee structure, contact company for quote.

8. Paramount Software-Crest Payroll

Pros: Fully web based, wholesale payroll options, pricing is all inclusive with no add on charges, supports multi-state employees. Specifically designed for firms both large and small in need of an automated payroll system.While the program is user friendly, it is also comprehensive, two very rare qualities among complex business software programs. All services are included in the price, no paying extra for add ons.

Cons: None so long as this particular program fulfills all your needs.

Price: Pricing depends on the size of your firm.

9. Patriot PAY

Pros: One of the cheapest payroll applications on the market for small businesses. Files all federal and state taxes, guaranteed accuracy, free routine tech support. Optional add ons to expand functionality and enable you to customize the program to your needs. 401k and health benefits functions, direct deposit, paycheck printing, report printing, and online access to payroll.

Cons: Only supports up to fifty employees. Tax Filing, Time and Attendance, Employee Portal, and Human Resources functions are all add ons and all increase the monthly cost.

Price: Starts at $10.00 per month for one employee, caps at $32.63 per month for fifty employees for the basic package. Add on pricing also depends on the number of employees.

10. Payroll Mate

Pros: By far the cheapest program available for small businesses. Yearly fee instead of monthly. Exports into QuickBooks. Automatically calculates federal and state payroll tax, supports multiple pay frequencies, automatically calculates both Social Security and Medicare tax rates. Free trial lets you test the program and see if it is a great fit.

Cons: No built in employee time tracking. Great choice for small companies, may not meet the needs of larger small businesses.

Price: $99.00 per year.

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