Best Payroll Apps for Small Businesses 2020

Best Payroll Apps for Small Businesses 2020:-Want ease with managing payroll from iOS or Android mobile device? What you need are the payroll apps which can be downloaded for free. With these best payroll apps for small businesses in 2020, you can perform tasks like running payroll, managing benefits, and electronically filing payroll taxes.Best Payroll Apps for Small Businesses

How to Evaluate the Best Payroll Apps for Small Businesses 2020

Since you want a payroll app that would be easy for your employers to manage your payroll software on the go when out of the office, it is essential when evaluating the apps to take into consideration the service cost, ease of use, as well as the depth of payroll processing features.

Now some apps even though costing less money to use, may not allow you to run payroll from your mobile device. While others on the other hand would require that you spend more money but have the 24-hour that support your business wants.

Thus, the following should be considered when evaluating the best payroll apps.


The coat of the payroll service, including setup, monthly, as well as other costs should be taken into consideration. Now you would have to consider if the app is free, or is it one that would require you to spend much.


The ease of use is another factor to consider during evaluation. This is because there are some apps demos that can be used to test how intuitive the app is before committing to the service. Note that, the support level varies. While some are available 24/7, others are open Monday through Friday. Phone, email, as well as live chat, are also possible to contact methods.

Standard features

Choose an app that it’s features that are focused on automation and compliance. This is because, with it, you can set some to run payroll and pay taxes automatically.

Advanced Features

These are more sophisticated features, like time tracking and integrations, employee and employer portals, as well as payroll advisors you can speak with offered by some app.


Some of the best payroll apps benefits include,

  • Insurance, 401 (K), paid time off (PTO),
  • Beyond work hours, overtime, and sick time are also vital payroll components to manage.

Here are some of the best payroll apps for small businesses that we consider awesome for your business needs:

QuickBooks Payroll

The QuickBooks payroll app is the best app for QuickBooks online users, who are in need of unlimited payroll runs and want the assurance that their taxes will be properly handled accurately. It is free to use an app that integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks online for as low as $59 per month. Now, users can use the QuickBooks payroll without software for just $39 per month.

QuickBooks Pricing Features

The QuickBooks payroll app is free to use, but you are to subscribe to one of QuickBooks Online’s payroll services. The plans come in two categories: self-service starting at $39 per month and full service starting at $84 per month. With both of these plans, you can run payroll.

The basic difference between the QuickBooks’ Online Payroll plans is the self-service option which is more of a do-it-yourself plan, while the full-service plan, handles payroll for you. If on the other hand, you wish to combine either with a QuickBooks Online accounting package, then the cost will definitely increase.

With QuickBooks Essential, you have a Simple Start solution which just offers introductory services to aid you in tracking income and expenses as well as run basic reports. While QuickBooks Plus allows you to prepare and print 1099s, track inventory, and create purchase orders.

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QuickBooks Payroll’s Automation

With QuickBooks, how much work you or your bookkeeper have to do is largely based on which payroll plan you decide to use. If you have your own bookkeeper, you can decide to run payroll via the app. Since automatic federal and state payroll tax calculations are a standard feature, your bookkeeper can manually e-file your taxes via the app.

If you would rather prefer not to have direct involvement in managing payroll and payroll taxes, then you can subscribe to the Full-service plan, and have a QuickBooks professional file them. QuickBooks payroll guarantees penalty-free filing if you have one of its professionals handle your taxes.

Paychecks in QuickBooks Payroll

Here, you can pay your employees by direct deposit or check for free. QuickBooks payroll software offers you what you need to print paychecks on your own, allowing you have more control of your cost.

In case you subscribe to the Full-Service Payroll, same-day direct deposits are free as long as you are paying full-time employees. If not, employees and contractors will have to wait a minimum of two days after you process payroll to get funds. Here, you are only required to give two days for standard processing time.

QuickBooks Payroll’s Integration

For those who are looking for a time and attendance system, QuickBooks offers seamless integration with OnTheClock Time Clock which users can download for free if they have two users or less. Those who are already using one of the other popular time tracking systems, like TSheets, can have it integrated with QuickBooks also.

Downsides of QuickBooks Payroll

  • It’s pricing structure and products are not always a straightforward one.
  • QuickBooks product and package names might be a little bit confusing.
  • If you happen to call and ask about Intuit Online Payroll, you may get old information about the software and app, and in case you do not specify that you are referring to the cloud-based payroll system, the representative may likely think that you are asking about QuickBooks Desktop.

Customers Reviews

  • Users love its affordability.
  • Many users have said that it is easy for non-technical people to use.
  • Users also love the fact that they have on-the-go access to payroll.


The Gusto payroll app is the best payroll app for paying local taxes. It offers a wide range of functionality, which includes payrolls and benefits at an affordable rate. With Gusto, you can run payroll from your mobile device using the mobile-responsive website. This app also handles taxes at the local level, to help you maintain compliance.

Gusto Pricing & Features

The Gusto payroll app is an affordable app for small business owners. It’s monthly costs normally start at $45 per month for one employee, but because of the COVID – 19 pandemic, Gusto is now offering its Core plan starting at $25 monthly for one employee.

Gusto Benefits

  • Gusto offers a cost-effective way for you to offer and provide insurance, retirement plans, and worker’s comp.
  • It also offers access to 529 College Savings Plans for employees who want to start saving for their kid’s education early enough.
  • Setup for the college savings plan is free, although the monthly cost is an extra $6 per employee, per month.
  • Enrolling in the 401 (K) retirement plan, means you have to pay a $500 setup fee. You will also pay a $6 monthly fee per employee ($18 per month minimum).

Gusto’s Automation

Gusto automates the calculation and deduction of taxes, and also automatically files and pays local, state as well as federal payroll taxes.

Gusto’s Integration

Gusto integrates with numerous accounting software products. It also syncs with popular time tracking systems like TSheets and When I Work.

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Gusto’s Onboarding

With Gusto, you can check references, conduct background checks, file a new hire report in your state, etc. on your mobile app when you hire a new employee. Its onboarding process is paperless and automatic.

Downsides of Gusto

  • Gusto benefits are only available in 23 states and Washington, D.C., thus if your business operates outside of these states, you are not able to take advantage of Gusto’s benefits.
  • Gusto does not have a downloadable mobile app.

Customers Reviews

  • Online users according to the Gusto reviews online, generally prefer it for its compliance guarantee at a low cost.
  • Users comment on its ease of use and user-friendly interface.

Square Payroll

The Square payroll app is an ideal app for small businesses. This is because it offers a full range of payroll features at the lowest price. It has a simple setup, and users can run an unlimited number of payrolls each month for no additional fee.

Square Payroll Pricing

Depending on who you are paying, the pricing for Square is relatively inexpensive. The monthly insurance premiums will vary according to the plans employees choose, and your worker’s comp costs will also vary by the employee.

Square Payroll Features

The Square payroll app enables you to process payroll and review your filed payroll tax forms from anywhere, and can also offer employee benefits via one of Square’s company partners. Employees can sign up for their own Square Online accounts as well as set up direct deposit and benefits. The Square app instantly syncs deductions and contributions each pay cycle, in order for users not to manage the process.

Square Payroll’s Benefits

  • Choosing the Square payroll app means you can offer health, dental, and vision insurance plans via SimplyInsured.
  • Users can also add retirement benefits for a one-time setup fee and a monthly charge per employee.
  • This app helps you save on payroll taxes by offering a pre-tax spending setup which removes employee commuter, dependent care, and health care expenses from employee taxable income. Users can realize savings immediately because they are automatically applied to your next payroll.

Square Payroll’s Automation

For automation, the Square app is top-notch, boasting of a system that is designed in a way that allows users to accomplish more, by doing less. After running payroll, which can be set to automatically process each pay cycle, payroll taxes are automatically deducted.

Your job also gets easier with the employee setup process. All you have to do is spend a couple of minutes in entering employee’s information, including email address into the app, and Square will take it from there.

Your employees will get an email with details on how to set up their Square Online accounts, thereafter, they will key in everything needed to automate payroll payment processing, deduction and contribution withholding, and preparation of year-end reports.

Square Payroll’s Integration

Square Payroll integrates seamlessly, by allowing you to easily import employee work hours by having employees clock in and out of your Square POS app at no cost, (alternatively the Square Team app if you are not using the POS app).

This will do away with the time spent on manual time card entry and overtime calculations. This app also offers free time and attendance features but integrates with the time-tracking app.

By choosing QuickBooks Online as your accounting software, you can even save more time. This is because Square Payroll integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks Online, and allows you to sync your payroll data by simply clicking “Send to QuickBooks Online”.

Downsides of Square Payroll App

  • Square Payroll app may not have as many onboarding features as you may need.
  • This app also lacks phone support for companies that are not existing customers.
  • Its phone support needs a customer code to process your call; an automated system will refer you to the website, or you can access online videos, articles, as well as email support for additional help.
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Customers Reviews

  • Users love the affordability of the app
  • Ease of use
  • Friendly interface, as well as its automated features like payroll tax filing.


If you are looking for the best payroll app for managing employees, then Zenefits is one of such apps. This app is a mobile extension of the Zenefits HRIS platform which is specialized, and more expensive than the previous apps mentioned above. It is an ideal app if you are considering expanding to 50 employees.

Zenefits’ Pricing & Features

Zenefits offers HRIS features in both its basic and advanced plans, with payroll included as an add-on. From the app, you can manage your documents, reporting, and onboarding process using both, even though the advanced plan offers you more compliance and time tracking features.

You will be charged as little as $45 per month for the Standard plan, or $49 per month for the Advanced plan if you happen to have one employee and opt for an annual contract rather than monthly.

Zenefits’ Onboarding

With Zenefits, employees can self-onboard online. But note that with this app, the onboarding process is much more detailed. All new hire data automatically syncs with the Zenefits platform and reflects within the app, to enable you to customize and view offer letters, handbooks, as well as performance reviews.

Zenefits Time Tracking

With Zenefit’s time and attendance app, time tracking is available as an add-on. It uses geolocation in registering employee locations at the time of clock-in to forestall buddy punching or off-site clock-ins. It also integrates well with all of Zenefits’ other apps, pushing hours worked straight to the payroll app. PTO hours, and employment status are shared back to the Time and Attendance app.

Zenefits’ HR Library

Zenefits, features a knowledge base, the HR library, where you can search for answers to a variety of questions, like federal and state law, hiring, leave, etc. Responses are instant and specific to the state you have interest in.

Downsides of Zenefits Payroll App

The Zenefits app lacks the capability to run the full payroll cycle. You can view as well as approve employee time cards, but can’t finalize payroll within the app. Finalizing and initiating the payment process will require you to use the browser.

customer reviews

  • Most users love its comprehensive HR solution which they can access in one app.
  • Users love that all of the processes are streamlined, and the easy usage of the system.
  • Users agree that Zenefits has made HR management much easier and less expensive


The importance of using mobile apps in managing payroll out of the office cannot be overemphasized as it is very vital for many businesses. With good payroll apps, employers can easily, accurately pay employees on time, and also avoid tax-filing penalties.

About Chris Git

I am an SEO person with over five years of experience. I am mostly into product lunch and review. I feed on tech, Dring Tech, and Dream tech. My hobby is knowing how everything works. You are welcome to my world of content development and product review at I am also a financial analyst with an organization. It has been my sincere interest to help people solve their issues on credit cards. There are lots of questions in the mind of many credit card users. These range from which credit card is best? How many credit cards should I have?

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