Online Payroll Services

With the rise of remote work, online payroll services are almost universally the best practice for growing businesses. The payroll software industry is a robust and competitive landscape

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“When it comes to outsourcing your payroll, you would be in great hands with Milestone. They are experts who understand the nuances of payroll processing and deliver a comprehensive solution and a great employee experience. Working with them made my life easier.”

Jim White Controller – ClusterTruck

“Payroll is something you have to get right, the first time. We hired Milestone because they are payroll experts and because a good employee experience is important to us.”

Kimberley Best Talent Operations Specialist – Lessonly

“We appreciate our partnership with Milestone. When it comes to payroll, experience matters, and Milestone consistently delivers great service.”

Susie Howard Chief of Staff – Purdue Polytechnic High School

How we can help

Payroll Administration

Is payroll taking up to much of your time? 

We are payroll experts. We have a depth of experience processing and optimizing payroll for companies of all sizes. Let us help you with the day-to-day complexities of your payroll administration. 

State & Local Registrations

Do you understand the complexities of hiring employees in multiple states?

We can guide you through the maze of federal, state, and local requirements. Be confident you are ready to pay and onboard employees in any location around the Country. 

System Selection & Implementation

Are you thinking about implementing a new payroll software? 

Milestone can help you select the right system for your business. We can help implement and onboard your new payroll software, and even run the day-to-day execution. 

We’ll own the payroll function, so you don’t have to.

Customized pricing based on the level of service, number of employees and the pay cycle frequency.

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Online Payroll Services

With the rise of remote work, online payroll services are almost universally the best practice for growing businesses. The payroll software industry is a robust and competitive landscape. The most basic subscriptions and software allow businesses to simply organize and run payroll. However, software companies have added on more and more features to help with taxes, direct deposits, commission pay, bonuses, benefits, and additional HR support all in one system. This post will help business owners navigate the different options for their small business. 

“What is the best online payroll service for a small business?” is not one size fits all question. Each software has slightly different pricing and feature options that can make it more or less worth it, depending on the unique needs of your business. However, let’s look at a few options that are at least worthy of a demo, depending on the needs of your company. 

Rippling-Overall Best Online Payroll Service

Rippling’s platform is quality, robust, and easy to use. This combination is the reason it’s our top option. Rippling’s employee experience is top-notch. It’s clear and easy to navigate for employees. Employees can easily update their tax information, see their pay stubs and withholdings, and navigate to any other features pertaining to their company. 

Rippling easily handles benefits administration and has a robust system for API integrations. Rippling’s reviews on third party sites by customers are consistently higher than other software companies. Rippling is also great for companies needing a strong mobile option. Rippling is one of the more expensive payroll software companies, which can drive away small businesses who are looking to spend the least amount possible. However, they do offer a free trial. 

Gusto- Best For Small Businesses On a Budget

Gusto combines robust, feature-rich software with an affordable price. Their single-state pricing of $40/month plus $6/month per employee is one of the most competitive rates. However, their base pricing nearly doubles for businesses that have employees in multiple states. Gusto’s software is easy to use and administer. It has a mobile option and can fit contracting businesses. This software is a great fit for businesses with under 50 employees because of its ability to scale. Gusto also offers a free trial of their service. 

ADP- Best For Employee Training and Support

ADP is the largest payroll company. ADP has nearly 1 million clients who use some or all of their full suite of HR services. ADP’s main con is that it has a more difficult employee experience interface. There are some parts of the software that aren’t easily navigable or can be confusing to set-up correctly. However, their support team offers 24/7 help. They offer all types of training from online to in-person to videos. ADP is extremely scalable. This software is great for mid-sized businesses that have the potential of scaling into large enterprise businesses. 

Who Is The Largest Payroll Provider? 

The largest payroll companies in the world are ADP and Paychex. Both services provide more than just payroll. ADP is the biggest payroll company, and it offers complete HR support. ADP claims to have over 900,000 clients. Paychex claims to have over 730,000 clients. Paychex also offers HR and insurance support. 

How Many Payroll Companies Are There?

The payroll software industry is a large and competitive industry. To give an idea, G2 has reviews for over 350 payroll software companies and Capterra has reviews for over 600. The majority of the market is dominated by about 5 businesses with 15-20 other growing contenders. 

Here is the top 25 list of payroll systems:

  • ADP*
  • Multiplier
  • Quickbooks Payroll
  • Dayforce
  • Eddy
  • Gusto*
  • Homebase
  • Hubstaff
  • Isolved
  • Justworks
  • Namely
  • Netchex
  • Onpay
  • Patriot Payroll
  • Paychex*
  • Paycor*
  • Paycom
  • Paylocity*
  • Proliant
  • Rippling
  • Square
  • UKG
  • Workday
  • Wrapbook
  • Zenefit

* One of the top 5 companies in market share

Which Payroll Company Has The Best Reviews

Rippling’s payroll software consistently has the best reviews on 3rd party review websites. On G2, Rippling has 1490 reviews, with 1402 of them giving the software 5 stars. Similar results appear on Capterra and Software Advice. With over 1800 reviews, both platforms have Rippling averaging 4.9/5. Rippling is consistently satisfying customers who purchase it. 

What Is the Cheapest Online Payroll Service for Small Businesses?

The cheapest payroll among top competitors is either Gusto or Patriot Payroll, depending on your business. Gusto recently changed their pricing model, which makes it more expensive for companies with employees in multiple states. Patriot Payroll is not as strong of a software, but it is a solid choice that allows businesses to grow with it. The cost of Gusto for a company with employees in one state is $40/month plus $6/month per employee. This is a really affordable rate for small businesses. The features and additional service add-ons make this a great choice for almost any small business. 

Patriot’s full-service payroll is $37/month plus $4/month per employee. This is one of the best rates on the market. They also have an option that doesn’t include tax filing and deposits starting at $17/month. Patriot is a strong platform that isn’t as feature rich, but it is fully functional for small businesses. 

Free Payroll Software

There are a few free payroll systems for businesses to use. These systems are typically extremely limited and less secure than paid systems. Payroll4Free is the best free payroll system. It allows companies to run payroll for up to 25 employees for free. The company generates revenue through ads on the interface. Payroll4Free does integrate with QBO, has direct deposit, and has options for PTO. However, this platform is only available on Windows. 

Payroll For One Employee

Payroll for one employee is still necessary in some cases. Payroll taxes still apply for sole proprietors to be compliant. Payroll software may not be necessary, but it can be helpful for correctly registering and filing taxes. Implementing software for one employee will also help make your payroll practices scalable as your business grows. 

How Does Online Payroll Work?

Online payroll begins with choosing a system provider. This decision greatly impacts the next steps of doing your payroll. In general, a system provider will require a data upload. This will be the process of informing your online provider of the locations, salaries or contracts, deductions, etc. for your employees. After finishing this data upload, all employees will be in the system and on track to get their paychecks on time.

How Do I Choose a New Online Payroll Provider?

To choose a new online payroll provider, your company should follow these 3 steps:

  1. Outline your needs and wants. These should be informed by the pros and cons of your current payroll provider. This should also include an ideal budget that is backed by research. 
  2. Research on third-party websites. Many third party reviews now have the ability to compare features. These features should be directly compared to your wants and needs list. Take time to read both good and bad reviews for your options. Also, make sure to look into what type of support your options offer. Use this information to narrow down your choices to your top 3-5 options.
  3. Demo 3-5 platforms and make a decision. Demoing is a great way to have stakeholders get a feel for different platforms and ask important questions. After the demos, stakeholders should be able to come together and make a decision.

How Milestone Can Help

The team at Milestone knows the payroll software landscape well. We’ve helped hundreds of small businesses establish their back office services, giving us insight into many different payroll softwares. A payroll software still needs a professional to manage the system processing and data. Our experts are a trustworthy resource to help you pick the perfect system and then take the burden of payroll processing off your plate. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you.  

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