Best Payroll Software for Your Small Business- Pay Up or Shut Up

By Nicholas Barone
Published: 06/12/2021
software backgroundBest Payroll Software for Your Small Business- Pay Up or Shut Up

As a small business, most aspects of running a business usually fall on one person. This can be especially tricky with something as technical as HR, and in particular payroll. Even though you might not have many employees in your business, following all the laws and regulations when it comes to payroll can be tricky for anybody. So why not alleviate some of the burden by automating with payroll software? Keep reading to see our top picks for your small business.

Payroll- Why Automate?

When you work in or own a small business, you wear many faces, so sometimes knowing all the specifics about a subject in particular is unrealistic. The same goes for payroll, depending on where you live, there are different regulations and rules you need to follow. Big businesses and corporations can do this all in house because they have the resources to hire big HR departments, which obviously isn’t the case for small businesses. One way to compensate for this is to automate payroll with a software program. In the long run it will save you and your small business a lot of time and money.

Why We Chose These Programs?

The software programs that you’ll read about were chosen because we believe they’re the best at what they do. We decided that due to a combination of factors, including: features, integrations and value. Take a look at the best programs for a small business like yours!

Software

Features

Price

Xero Payroll

-Flexible pay calendars

-Leave Management 

-Built-in timesheets

-Detailed payroll reports

-Reimbursement of expenses 

-Encrypted e-payments 

-Automated payroll and pension

Starting from £12/month for Starter plan 

-Standard- £26/month 

-Premium-£33/month 

PayFit

-Pay slips

-Social contributions 

-Employee leave and absence 

-Expense reports

-Automatic payroll

-Employee portal 

Quote on demand

Sage Payroll

-Direct deposit 

-Automatic tax filing 

-Leave and absence tracking 

-Nominative social declaration 

-Wages plan 

Pricing depends on number of employees

FreeAgent

-Payroll and accounting integration 

-Easily generate payslips and P60s 

-Submit real time information to HMRC 

-Support for student loans, maternity and paternity leave pay

-Support for the Employment Allowance 

From £14.95/month for six months then £29.00/month 


Free for account holders at NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank NI 

Clear Books

-Automatically calculate employee pay 

-Create payslips, P45s and P60s

-Report directly to HMRC 

-Easily manage employee leave 

-Schedule payslips

-Manage auto-enrolment and pension payments 

2 Employees: £5.40/month

3+ Employees: £2.70/month each employee

BrightPay 

-Automatic payments

-Additions and deductions 

-Process payroll

-Digital and printable payslips 

-Real time information (RTI)

-Employee calendar

-Annual leave 

-Automatic reports 

Up to 10 employees: £99/year

Up to 25 employees: £149/year

Unlimited employees: £199/year

IRIS Payroll

-Industry-specific compliance 

-Manage employee records

-Easily manage employee schemes and benefits

-Paperless payslips 

Industry specific pricing 

Zalaris HR & Payroll 

-Self-service apps 

-Time and absence management 

-Payroll calculation with automatic management of retroactive active 

-Payslip preparation 

-Social and administration declarations 

-Data analysis 

-Wages payment 

Quote on demand 

ADP 

-Automated online payroll

-Payroll taxes  

-HR and time tracking integrations

-Self-service app for employees

Quote on demand 

*Prices as of December 2021

Xero Payroll

Xero Payroll

Xero Payroll is an easy-to-use payroll software program that lets you manage everything from one platform. It even updates your accounts constantly and creates HMRC submissions to improve your overall HR process.

Features

Some of the features that make Xero Payroll so easy-to-use are:

  • Flexible pay calendars
  • Leave management
  • Built-in timesheets
  • Detailed payroll reports
  • Reimbursement of expenses
  • Automatic payroll and pension
  • Direct payment
  • Employee self-service
  • Keep track of employee leave
  • In-depth payroll reports

What We Like

Xero is a well-known and trusted accounting software that also offers a payroll solution that’s perfect for small businesses. Xero is among the industry leaders in accounting and payroll software, and is trusted by thousands of businesses, large and small. If it’s good for them then it’s good for you too.

Xero Payroll

Payroll management and online accounting
Learn more about Xero Payroll

PayFit

PayFit

Payfit is a cloud-based payroll management system that allows human resources managers and employees to automate, boosting their productivity. Payfit digitalizes and simplifies essential processes like time and attendance management. It saves businesses, in particular small businesses, countless hours of precious time and amounts of money.

Features

Some of the innovative features that PayFit has are:

  • Automatic payment
  • Accounting entries generation
  • Batch payslip production
  • Employee portal
  • Social contributions
  • Employee leave and absence

To name a few…

What We Like

PayFit is a renowned cloud-based payroll management software that makes payroll a breeze. Gone are the days of hiring a specific person, or group of people, to focus on the nitty-gritty details of tax regulations, and all the specifics of employee pay. All you need to do to pay employees and to file the associated taxes is all in just a few clicks.

PayFit

Paying your employees has never been easier
Learn more about PayFit

Sage Payroll 

Sage Payroll

Sage Payroll is a simple, affordable and online payroll service that manages payroll your way, and within your budget. Payroll has never been easier or quicker with Sage Payroll.

Features

Some of the features that make payroll so easy are:

  • Leave and absence tracking
  • Nominative social declaration
  • Direct deposit
  • Automatic tax filing
  • Wages plan
  • Payslips, P60s and reporting
  • Control company finances with accounting software integration

What We Like

Sage Payroll allows you and your small business to manage your payroll with security, accuracy and compliance you can trust. Sage is a fully integrated system that covers all of your payroll needs in a fraction of the time and cost it would take for you to do it yourself.

Sage Payroll

Online Payroll Software
Learn more about Sage Payroll

FreeAgent

FreeAgent

FreeAgent is an accounting software program that has an integrated payroll feature that takes care of all of your payroll needs. Trusted by over 60,000 companies, FreeAgent is an all around great option for small businesses looking to take care of payroll.

Features

One of the reasons FreeAgent is trusted by so many is because of its features, which include:

  • Payroll and accounting integration
  • Easily generate payslips and P60s
  • Submit real time information to HMRC
  • Support for student loans, maternity and paternity leave pay
  • Support for the Employment Allowance

What We Like

We really like FreeAgent first of all because it’s designed specifically for British businesses, and secondly, it’s payroll feature is embedded into its accounting system.

FreeAgent

Accounting software simplified
Learn more about FreeAgent

Clear Books 

ClearBooks

Specifically designed for UK small businesses, Clear Books lets small businesses focus on other, more important, tasks. Like many of the other software programmes Clear Books automates all the technical and important parts of payroll that your business can’t afford to mess up, like:

Features

  • Automate employee pay
  • Create payslips, P45s and P60s
  • Report directly to HMRC
  • Easily manage employee leave
  • Schedule employee leave
  • Schedule payslips
  • Manage auto-enrolment and pension payments

What We Like

Clear Books’ payroll management service is a part of the wide array of features in the overarching accounting software that they offer. We also really appreciate that, unlike many other programmes, this is designed specifically for UK small businesses.

Clear Books

Simple Invoicing Software
Learn more about Clear Books

BrightPay 

BrightPay

BrightPay, although at first glance, seems a bit too simple, packs a big punch with all of its included features and integrations.

Features

Some of the strong features BrightPay has include:

  • Integrations like Xero, Sage One, Quickbooks, Twinfield, etc.
  • The ability to run multiple payment schedules simultaneously
  • Attendance tracking
  • Leave management
  • Payroll management
  • Tax management
  • Workflow management
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Employee self-service management
  • Digital and printable payslips

What We Like

We like BrightPay because it’s an incredibly easy-to-use platform that has a wide array of features that help your business put payroll aside.

BrightPay

A User-Friendly Payroll Software
Learn more about BrightPay

Iris Payroll 

Iris Payroll

Iris Payroll is the ideal solution for small businesses looking for a trusted solution to manage their payroll. With Iris, you can manage even more than just payroll, it integrates management of mobility, employee savings, interviews and employee training

Features

  • Industry-specific compliance
  • Time and absence management
  • Manage employee records
  • Easily manage employee schemes and benefits
  • Paperless payslips
  • Real-time and 24/7 payment
  • Avoid costly payment errors
  • Real-time business insight and data

What We Like

Iris Payroll is a smart tool for small businesses looking to outsource their payroll. As we said before, sometimes it just doesn’t make any sense for a small business to hire an extra employee to handle just payroll, that’s why there’s Iris Payroll.

IRIS Payroll

Free payroll software for your company
Learn more about IRIS Payroll

Zalaris HR & Payroll

Zalaris

Zalaris HR & Payroll is a complete HR cloud system that outsources payroll processes. This international solution allows you to pay your employees and avoid any errors. Zalaris also offers expert advice, if you’re still not sure.

Features

  • HR Process administration
  • HR portal
  • Self-service apps for mobile devices
  • Time and absence management
  • Management of travel expenses
  • Payroll calculation with automatic management of retroactive data
  • Payslip preparation
  • Social and administrative declarations
  • Direct reporting to HMRC
  • Data analysis

What We Like

Zalaris is a global payroll tool trusted by thousands of companies around the world. Zalaris is perfect for small businesses because they know all the specificities of all the markets in which they operate, including the UK.

Zalaris HR & Payroll

Payroll outsourcing and Cloud HR solution
Learn more about Zalaris HR & Payroll

ADP

ADP

Get your payroll and tax filing done faster and easier with ADP, the software program that’s backed up by payroll experts at the tip of your fingers. In addition, ADP is a full fledged HR management system so it has every possible relevant integration for payroll. Some of the features that make ADP so unique are:

Features

  • Automated online payroll
  • Payroll taxes
  • HR and time tracking integrations
  • Self-service app for employees

What We Like

ADP is a global payroll and HR solution that also works very well for small businesses. Having other solutions in HR allows them to effectively cover all the bases of payroll, so you don’t have to worry about them.

ADP

Simple and Secure Payroll Management
Learn more about ADP

Payroll Software- One Less Thing to Do

As we said before, payroll sometimes can be a pain in the neck. Having to know all the up to date regulations, exemptions, etc. sometimes just isn’t possible for small businesses. You need something that will be quick and easy, and will let you focus on things that actually matter to your business. The software programs on this list do all that and more.

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Software backgroundTop 11 best payroll software you shouldn’t miss
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Top 11 best payroll software you shouldn’t miss
Payroll software is an IT tool that allows a complete payslip to be drawn up, as well as the mandatory declarations. Discover the top 11 best payroll software for your business in this article.