What Are Some of the Top Payroll Companies?

ADP, Paylocity, Paycom, Rippling, Gusto, Patriot, Workday, and UKG are just some of the many payroll companies with a significant number of customers. The payroll software space is a growing 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.”

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Susie Howard Chief of Staff – Purdue Polytechnic High School

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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

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What Are Some of the Top Payroll Companies?

ADP, Paylocity, Paycom, Rippling, Gusto, Patriot, Workday, and UKG are just some of the many payroll companies with a significant number of customers. The payroll software space is a growing landscape. With over 32 million small businesses in the US alone, payroll systems are in high demand to execute on-time and compliant payroll. Along with the software companies, outsourced payroll services are becoming more popular to help businesses operate their payroll processes with expertise. 

What Are The Top Payroll Companies?

“Top” could have many different meanings when it comes to payroll companies. When deciding what payroll system to use for your team, the following questions can help you narrow down the best option for your company. 

What Payroll Company Is Best?

The best payroll company across the board is Rippling. Rippling is consistently rated the best quality platform on third party review websites. The reason Rippling is our choice for the best platform is its usability and integrations. Rippling is easy to use for both administrators and employees. The employee interface is the best on the market, as the software is navigation friendly. 

Rippling is also able to expand to many different business functions. It can be your financial, HR, and IT software as well. Additionally, Rippling has robust integrations and very good employee documentation. Rippling’s great features are on the upper end of the price range, with each user costing $8 per month. Rippling also has great customer service to help troubleshoot any issues and optimize your use of the software. 

Who Is The Largest Payroll Company?

The largest payroll company in the world is ADP. ADP is the most well-known payroll system, as it has over one million clients across different services offerings. ADP’s biggest competitors include Gusto, Paylocity, Rippling, and Paycom. 

Which Payroll Company Is the Cheapest?

There are a few free payroll services including Payroll4Free and TimeTrex. These companies have limited features. They are not built to scale. Of the major players, Gusto is a very cheap option for small businesses. Gusto is best for businesses that have employees in a single state. Patriot payroll is an even cheaper option with less robust add-ons. Patriot payroll is great for companies that have a spread out workforce and just need a very basic payroll system. 

Who Is The Best Outsourced Payroll Provider?

Outsourcing payroll is a strategy to offload the processing and operations of payroll. This includes making sure payroll is on-time, managing compensation changes, and managing platform automation. 

The best outsourcing payroll provider is one that matches your company’s needs. Organizations like Milestone assign a dedicated staff member to each client to answer payroll questions. This person is unchanging and integrates into a company’s team. Other payroll companies have more of a rotating team. It’s also common to outsource to a freelancer and pay them on an hourly basis. 

Best practice is to research and get referrals to figure out which company offers services best suited to your business. Ultimately, the best outsourced payroll company is the one that communicates well and completes your payroll in an accurate and timely manner. 

How Much Do Payroll Services Cost for Small Businesses? 

This breakdown will show you how much payroll services cost internally vs when they are outsourced. This breakdown assumes a payroll platform of Gusto, a bi-weekly payroll, and an employee headcount of 10. 

Internal Payroll


Time to process payroll: 5 hours per pay period 

Small business executive hourly cost: minimum $150/hr


Software: $40 base price + $6 per employee = $100/month

Monthly Time Cost: 10 hours x $150 = $1500/month

Total: $1600/month

Outsourced Payroll 


Time to communicate with payroll specialist: 1 hour

Small business executive hourly cost: minimum $150/hr


Software: $40 base price + $6 per employee = $100/month

Monthly Time Cost: 1 hours x $150 = $150/month

Average PEPM rate: $20 x 10 employees = $200/month

Total: $450/month

The cost difference between outsourcing payroll and doing it yourself is significant if you value the time of the person running payroll. With these numbers in mind, outsourcing payroll generally makes sense for most companies who are past the very first stage of growth. 

What Is the Average Cost of Payroll Services?

Payroll systems typically cost a base fee of between $40-$60/month and $6-9 per employee per month. Systems such as Patriot payroll are even cheaper than the low-end of this average. Gusto is $40 per month and $6 per employee per month. Rippling starts at $8 per user per month. 

Outsourced payroll services are also typically on the PEPM model for pricing as well. The range for these companies is between $15-$25 per employee per month, with most falling into the $15-$20 range. 

Hourly payroll professionals or payroll companies have an average rate of $25/hour for a payroll specialist. The average hourly rate for a payroll manager is $54/hour. Hourly workers can be cheaper. The disadvantage is the lack of a team to tackle challenges.

How Milestone Can Help With Your Payroll Service Needs

Milestone provides fractional back office services for both large and small businesses. We are experts at payroll, HR, and accounting, so you don’t have to be. Our mission is to make a difference for entrepreneurs who are making a difference in the world every day.

We help small businesses by having a dedicated team member take over the payroll processing. We bring our expertise and advice to your payroll to make sure it is optimized, on-time, and compliant. Nothing is worse for employees than receiving a late payment or an incorrect amount. We take those worries off your plate, so that you can focus on more important parts of running your company. Reach out today to see how we can help tackle your payroll challenges. 

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