How much does ADP pay employees

The Best Payroll Services (An In-Depth Review)

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What would you do if you had ten extra hours every day?

You'd probably spend more time in your company, wouldn't I? Maybe you would also use the time to create a new advertising campaign and generate more sales. Or you could take half a day off and spend more time with your family.

An entrepreneur spends an average of five hours per pay period on payroll. That's almost 21 working days a year.

But it doesn't have to be that way, because with a payroll service you can simplify and automate payroll processing to better manage your time.

Your employees don't have to forego anything or make any concessions.

However, choosing the right service can be the right challenge because of the abundance on offer.

To make your choice easier and to help you make a decision, I've analyzed six great systems and put together a list of the best payroll services for you.

Six of the best payroll services for 2021

  1. Gusto - The best service for small businesses
  2. OnPay - the most flexible offer
  3. Paychex - The best solution for large companies
  4. ADP - The combination of human resource management and payroll
  5. QuickBooks Payroll - For integration with QuickBooks
  6. Wave Payroll - The cheapest payroll service

How to find the best payroll service for your business

If you have already searched for a suitable solution on Google or have asked friends for advice, you know that there are hundreds of service providers who offer payroll accounting.

It's not an easy decision to make.

For this reason I have put together a list of important features that you should pay attention to when choosing.

The number of your employees

Most providers charge a monthly fee plus a small additional fee per employee, so the number of your employees plays an important role.

Some payroll services limit the number of employees that can be billed per plan, and other service providers do not charge any additional fee. Some programs may even have options that allow multiple employees to payroll at the same time.

You should also consider whether you are paying your own employees or contractors.

The process and fees for different billing models could vary depending on the provider.

The basic functions

A good payroll service must have certain basic functions so that you can pay your employees in a timely and appropriate manner. These basic functions include the following:

  • Automation for payroll
  • Personalized access for full-time and part-time employees
  • Mobile use for payroll on the go
  • Fast payment by bank transfer
  • Automatic tax calculations and withholding taxes
  • Different options for permanent employees and contractors

There are of course other great features that you should also consider. It always depends entirely on your requirements. Useful additional functions are, for example, features for personnel management, bonus calculation or garnishment of wages.

It is best to think in advance which basic and additional functions are necessary in order to be able to guarantee proper payroll accounting.


Tax calculation is a complicated and time consuming process, and if you make a mistake it will cost you dearly.

Many payroll services offer automatic tax calculation features, which can help simplify the process. These features range from automatic calculation to withholding income taxes, so it is imperative to find a provider that offers these basic tax functions.

If not, you have to calculate the taxes yourself or pay a tax advisor.

Functions for human resource management

If you offer your employees commission or bonus payments, you need a program that takes vacation, sick leave, employee compensation and insurance into account.

Programs that have personalized access for each employee make the process easier because employees can then easily submit their working hours and vacation requests themselves and always have an eye on their additional services.

The cheaper options of the payroll services on my list don't offer these features, so think about whether you need them beforehand and adjust your budget accordingly.

Monthly salary limits

If all of your employees receive a fixed monthly salary, the basic functions of most providers are sufficient. However, if you have salespeople, freelance workers, or contractors who need to be paid on a per-performance basis or receive payments on an irregular basis, you need to be careful.

There are providers who limit the number of payments per month, while others offer unlimited payments.

When making your selection, make sure that the provider has certain limits for salary payments.


In order to make the process as simple and smooth as possible, the program you have chosen must of course be linked to other programs that you are already using.

You need a payroll service that has the necessary interfaces for your accounting, employee planning and other important functions.

The different types of payroll services

Choosing the right payroll program depends on the size of your company and your specific needs.

Before we move on to the recommendations, I would like to take a quick look at the different offers and their features.

1. Hiring an employee for payroll

If the budget allows, hiring a new employee (be it as a permanent employee or service provider) is the ideal solution. An expert knows his way around and can fully devote himself to payroll accounting.

In this case, you still need the right software. Perhaps the new employee has already gained experience with a particular program, which of course would make the choice easier.

However, hiring a new employee is not an option for many small businesses.

In this case, you need to choose a program that makes payroll possible with a few quick clicks.

2. Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service (SaaS), also known as the SaaS model, is based on the principle that the software can be operated by an external service provider and used by you. The external service provider usually charges a monthly or annual fee for this. As long as you pay this fee, you can use the software.

Most SaaS programs are cloud-based, which means that you can access the Internet from anywhere using your browser.

But there are also programs that have to be installed. These programs can then be accessed via the desktop or a mobile app.

This form of payroll is the most convenient and therefore also the most widespread because your employees can access their account from anywhere. All you need is internet access.

All of the recommended service providers in this article are SaaS providers.

3. Solutions for large corporations

Many providers have special solutions for large companies and groups with industry-specific requirements. These solutions are specially tailored to the respective company and therefore have their price.

The software is either cloud-based or installed on the company's server. Depending on what is desired.

Most companies, however, get by with a simpler solution. If your company is very large or if your current solution is no longer sufficient, you should consider a personalized service for payroll.

No. 1 Gusto rating: The best service for small businesses

Gusto is the ideal solution for small businesses looking for a payroll service provider. The service is used by over 100,000 small businesses around the world, so you are in good company.

Gusto makes adding new employees, paying, tax calculation, and insurance a breeze. They refer to themselves as the "People Platform" and for good reason.

The great functions will make life easier for you (and your employees).

Payroll is quick and easy with just a few clicks and is not limited, so you can make unlimited payments. Do you have to pay multiple service providers at different times? No problem either.

Do your employees receive a fixed salary every month? Then you can use the automatic payment function and no longer have to lift a finger yourself.

You get access to numerous functions:

  • Automatic tax calculation
  • Integrated functions for time recording
  • Health insurance, private retirement plans, paid vacation, employee insurance, and more
  • Automatic compliance with various taxation models
  • Personalized access and dashboard for every employee
  • Direct payment the next day (included in certain plans)

Do you want to know what is the best? The service is affordable.

If you don't have permanent employees, you can use Gusto for as little as 6 USD per month per contractor. However, if you have full-time or part-time employees, you will have to pay a little more. Here is an overview of the plans offered:

  1. Basic - $ 19 per month + $ 6 per employee
  2. Core - $ 39 per month + $ 6 per employee
  3. Complete - $ 39 per month + $ 12 per employee
  4. Concierge - $ 149 per month + $ 12 per employee

Gusto is great for startups and small businesses. However, large companies that offer their employees additional benefits or have many permanent employees may find Gusto restrictive.

Try out Gusto today!

No. 2 - OnPay - Rating: The most flexible offer

If you are looking for a payroll service with a transparent pricing model and particularly high flexibility, OnPay is an excellent choice.

OnPay is versatile enough to meet the needs of small and fast growing businesses and thanks to the transparent pricing model you always know how much the service costs each month.

Since OnPay only offers a single plan, you always get access to all functions, no matter how many employees you have.

The software has the following functions:

  • Unlimited monthly payments
  • Options for permanent and freelance employees
  • Automatic calculation and retention of wage tax
  • Personalized access and dashboard for every employee
  • Intuitive mobile app for quick access on the go
  • Paid leave, electronic signature, organizational charts and personalized workflows
  • Integrated functions for employee, health and pension insurance
  • Payroll accounting in different states (USA)

You can get started right away. All you have to do is set up an account, add your employees and start paying. OnPay calculates the taxes and automatically withholds the wage tax, so you no longer have to worry about manual billing errors.

OnPay even offers industry-specific solutions for non-profit organizations, the hospitality industry and companies in agriculture and forestry.

OnPay costs 36 USD per month and an additional four dollars per employee. You can add new employees at any time, making this the ideal solution for companies that are growing. Small businesses can also use the service.

OnPay is also suitable for large companies with over a hundred employees, but there are better providers for these companies who offer special plans for groups on request. Thus, OnPay is better suited for small companies and fast-growing companies who want flexibility and a clear price structure above all.

You can try OnPay free for 30 days to find out if it's the right solution for your company.

# 3 - Paychex - Review: The Best Solution for Large Businesses

Paychex is particularly suitable for companies that have over 50 employees. While they also offer small business solutions, these have fewer features than other solutions on my list.

However, the plans on offer are ideal for large companies.

The bigger the company, the worse the impact small mistakes in the manual calculation of income tax can have. This can then lead to severe penalties from the tax office, even if it is an unintentional mistake.

Large companies therefore need a payroll service that can meet their needs. Paychex is much more than just a payroll program. It is a personnel information system (PIS for short) that helps you avoid unwanted mistakes.

The Enterprise plan has the following features:

  • Recruiting and integrating new employees
  • Performance and training overview
  • Powerful, real-time analytics reports
  • Personalized access for every employee
  • Features to automate payroll
  • Bank transfers, payment of wages by check and PayCards
  • Fixed salary, billing according to listed working hours and payments to contractors
  • Garnishment of wages
  • Paid vacation and employee benefits
  • Contract costs and distribution of work

All functions can be used by companies that have thousands of employees (or companies that only have 50 employees). Paychex is used by over 650,000 companies and has been in business for over 50 years.

So you are in good hands.

However, this service cannot be used without further ado, because every solution has to be tailored to the respective company. However, the service provider has a team of specialists who will help you with the selection and setup.

The best thing to do is to get in touch and let us advise you without obligation!

# 4 - ADP - Assessment: The combination of human resource management and payroll

ADP is the best solution if you are looking for a human resources and payroll program. It is ideal for small companies without a HR department, but also for large companies that want to simplify their work processes.

ADP has over 700,000 customers in over 140 countries. It is the preferred payroll service for companies of all sizes and from different industries.

They offer personalized solutions for small, medium-sized and large companies, so you are sure to find the right combination, be it for 5 or 1,000 employees.

The affordable plan has basic functions such as automatic tax calculation, personalized access for each employee, the mobile app, functions for managing paid vacation days and compliance with all legal requirements.

However, ADP offers much more than basic payroll and human resources functions. In addition, there are practical features for time recording, employee recruitment, personnel consulting, additional services for employees and the option to outsource the entire HR department.

You can even get unique benefits like personalized training, legal advice, background checks from employees, and help with scheduling job interviews.

ADP even offers industry-specific solutions, including for:

  • gastronomy
  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • manufacturing industry
  • retail trade
  • Nonprofit Organizations

Annotation: The price of ADP is not on the website, so it may not be suitable for very small businesses looking for a solution that is out of the box. If that applies to you, I would recommend Gusto instead.

The price is available on request. Get the best advice to find out if ADP is the right solution for you.

# 5 - QuickBooks Payroll - Review: For integration with QuickBooks

Quickbooks Online is accounting software, and if you already use that software, QuickBooks Payroll is the best payroll software for you.

Both programs can be easily linked, making tax and payroll accounting child's play.

QuickBooks can be used in all 50 states (USA) without any problems. If you work with freelance employees or teams at different locations, you can use this software with a clear conscience and don't have to worry about incorrect tax calculations.

Federal, state, and local taxes are automatically calculated and wage taxes are automatically withheld. After the first payroll, this process takes place automatically.

With QuickBooks you get full access to all payroll functions, regardless of which pricing model you choose.

The user interface is clear and even high payments are in your employees' bank account within 24 to 48 hours.

The Core plan is $ 45 per month plus an additional $ 4 per employee. For this you get the following functions:

  • Full payroll with no monthly limit
  • Automatic payment function
  • Features for health insurance
  • Garnishment of wages
  • Immediate payment by bank transfer
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat
  • Coverage of all 50 states (USA)

Even the cheapest plan has features for simplifying human resources and payroll.

If that's not enough, you can choose one of the following plans:

  1. Premium - $ 75 per month + $ 8 per employee / month
  2. Elite - $ 125 per month + $ 10 per employee / month

You get a 70% discount for the first three months so that you can try out QuickBooks Payroll.

Note: The plans do not have a payroll function for contractors and freelancers. You have to pay extra for this. If you are dependent on freelance employees, there are certainly better and cheaper solutions.

# 6 - Wave Payroll - Review: The Most Affordable Payroll Service

Wave Payroll is ideal for small budgets. Many features are free, including: invoicing, bookkeeping and document management.

The different apps can be easily integrated and thus offer small companies a cost-effective solution for bookkeeping and payroll accounting.

Wave is ready to use within minutes and payroll is done in a flash. The company even offers a guarantee of accuracy. You can pay a fixed salary or pay hourly wages. Taxes are also calculated automatically.

Wave automatically withholds income tax for some states in the United States, but this service costs more in those states.

Here is a brief overview of the features:

  • Automatic accounting (if you use wave accounting)
  • Manual pay slips and tax forms for your employees
  • Employee insurance management functions
  • Basic functions for payroll accounting
  • Automated tax forms at the end of the year
  • Tables for planning paid vacation days

Despite the low pricing, Wave has all the necessary basic functions, so you don't have to do without anything. Although this service is cheaper than that of all other providers, your company still gets everything it needs for payroll.

With the auto payroll withholding feature only available in some states, Wave costs $ 35 per month plus $ 6 per employee or contractor per month. This price isn't necessarily cheaper than other vendors on my list, but it's still suitable for small businesses looking for a simple solution.

Without this feature, it costs $ 20 per month, plus $ 6 per employee / contractor. This is the cheapest plan of all the recommended options.

In addition, Wave Payroll can be easily linked with the free accounting software Wave Accounting.

So if you don't have an accounting program yet, it might be the right solution for you.

You can try Wave Payroll free for 30 days to find out if it's the right program for you.


I would recommend either Gusto or OnPay to most companies.

Both programs are ideal for small and fast growing businesses. They are also easy to use and not too expensive.

Every company has different needs, so you should use the tips and advice I shared with you in this article to find the perfect payroll service for your company.

Which payroll service would you like to try?