Average Payroll Cost Per Month

The Milestone Team November 2, 2022
Average payroll cost per month

In most cases, payroll services charge both a base monthly fee and a per-employee fee. Average monthly payroll services can cost anywhere from $30 to $200 for a base account. Typically, payroll processing is priced per employee monthly in addition to a base account fee. It is also common to charge a one-time setup fee. Additional costs will vary, depending on whether you use basic payroll services or a full-service payroll provider.

What is the Payroll Cost Formula

Payroll Cost Formula

The pricing for software-based payroll services varies from platform to platform, and outsourced payroll services can offer several need-based packages. A payroll service cost formula takes many factors into account and can vary greatly depending on what your business needs. The price formula can be affected by the following items:

Frequency: Are you planning on paying your employees weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, or monthly? 

Number of Employees: What is the number of active employees at your company?

Payment Method: Do you pay your employees in cash, by check, by direct deposit, by pay cards, or by mobile wallets?

Workforce Location: Where are your employees located? In one state or in multiple states?

Taxes: Do you have a system for filing your taxes as well as sending out forms and documents?

Employee Benefits: How are workers’ compensation and 401(k) and healthcare managed?

Payroll Services Cost Comparison

When deciding what payroll service is right for your business, the cost can be a major determining factor. As a business owner, you need a service that won’t break the bank, but will also meet your needs. Milestone has the experience to steer your business and your bank account in the right direction with a Payroll Services Cost Comparison. Here are a few popular options to consider.

Quickbooks Online

Quickbooks Online is subscription-based accounting software. First-time QuickBooks Online users typically receive a free trial or a discount during the first few months. Business owners can choose between four tiers of accounting software offered by the company:

Simple Start: Basic accounting tools on a single-user license for $30 per month.

Essentials: All Simple Start features for up to three users, plus bill management and time tracking for $55 per month.

Plus: All Essentials features for up to five users, plus project tracking and inventory tracking for $85 per month.

Advanced: All Plus features for up to 25 users, plus a dedicated account team, advanced business analytics, employee expenses, batch invoicing, workflow automation, and more for $200 per month.

QuickBooks Online is one of the most widely used cost-effective accounting software programs in the world, thanks to its global brand recognition. For accounting services, Milestone recommends Quickbooks Online, but we do not recommend its payroll feature. General accounting and HR software should reduce the amount of administrative work and be cost-effective, but as a payroll provider, it is not the industry standard. Milestone recommends Gusto or Rippling if you are looking for the best in class for your payroll processing needs. 


As a Human Resources tool, Gusto offers options besides great payroll solutions, such as onboarding and hiring, benefits administration, and management resources in one convenient location. Gusto is the perfect solution when you need a simple solution! Their automated payroll tools will simplify your payroll process. Payroll is as easy as clicking a button with Gusto. Gusto payroll cost calculator is split into three categories: Simple, Plus & Premium:

Simple: A streamlined set of automatic payroll features and benefits integrations priced at $40 per month + $6 per month per person.

Plus: Comprehensive payroll, benefits, and HR tools for employers building a great place to work priced at $80 per month + $12 per month per person.

Premium: Scalable payroll and benefits, expert HR, and dedicated support for the complex needs of growing teams priced individually per business. 


Rippling provides a comprehensive platform for managing payroll, benefits, HR, and IT. You can automate a lot of your busy work by bringing all of your employee information and systems together. Rippling integrates with more than 400 apps, making it the most technologically advanced and modern solution on the market today. You and your employees can easily set up and use this remote team collaboration software to manage inventory and devices. When Milestone works with business owners who have many remote employees, we have found Rippling to be the best option.

The core platform of Rippling’s payroll starts at $35 per month. This includes features like employee onboarding and offboarding, document management, workflow automation, policy and permission management, and access to more than 500 app integrations. It costs an additional $8 per employee per month for payroll services. Rippling pricing is created for each business individually based on the number of products and employees.

Let Milestone Simplify the Payroll Process

How do you decide which platform is best for your business? Let Milestone make the decisions for you, so you can focus on what you do best.  Find out more about the payroll services we offer by contacting Milestone today.

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