Alternatives to Free Solutions
If you decide that free platforms aren’t meeting your needs, it’s time to look at paid options. Full-service HR management software offers both payroll and a range of administrative functionality. Here’s a list of a few solutions that could work for an organization looking for something more all-inclusive.
Best Paid Payroll Software
This full HCM suite covers financial issues essential to HR tasks, management, talent acquisition, time and labor and other functions for small to medium-sized businesses. Paycom’s tax capabilities help with calculating and preparing annual tax documents, filing payroll tax and integrating pay data to help manage compensation.
One possible paid payroll solution.
Paylocity is cloud-based, good for all-sized companies and comes with a user-friendly mobile app. It facilitates payroll processing, vacation and time-off requests, taxes and provides real-time use. HR professionals can also create templates for info on demographics, deductions, earnings and direct deposit.
ADP Workforce Now
Another HCM solution, ADP Workforce Now offers compensation, HR capabilities, benefits and talent management. Users can export reports into Excel. Through the integrated general ledger system, everyone can access financial journal entries easily. If you just want payroll capabilities Run Powered by ADP is another solution.
A full-service HR platform, UltiPro offers core HR assistance, benefits administration, onboarding, payroll processing and more. It also uses AI so HR workers get insights that help drive worker engagement.
A solution designed for small- and medium-sized businesses, Gusto automates and calculates tax filing for local, state and federal taxes. It can use e-signatures to speed up processes and integrate with time tracking, accounting, banking partners and POSs.
Check out our full breakdown of the best full-service payroll systems and how they match up.
Software with Free Trials or Benefits
If a specific focus on your payroll is the right move for your company, here’s a quick rundown of a few other solutions. Some of them have free benefits, allowing you to use them in some capacity. Others offer free trials. By submitting to a trial for a few weeks or a month, it allows you to get more experience with how well something works, how it integrates with systems and lets you scout out other problems before it’s too late.
It offers compensation management, accounting, ACA reporting, filing for 1099s, checks and envelopes. The platform has four different assets, each ranging in price. A free trial is available.
This limited solution files certain forms and taxes online such as 1099-MISC, 940, 941, W-2 and more. It files PIN applications for 941, 940 and 944 forms free. For other filings, the price is calculated per individual form.
Software for small businesses, accounts, HR and nanny finances. It offers multiple pay rates, unlimited payroll, direct deposit, deductions, benefits and new hire functions. It comes with a free, one month trial and a free financial calculator.
This platform handles bank and credit card payments, taxes, payment for independent contractors, invoicing and more. Certain accounting, receipt scanning and invoicing features are free. It has a 30-day free trial.
This full-service HR solution has a number of payroll capabilities such as payroll processing, direct deposit, check printing and others. It has a full range of HR functions. It’s free for companies with five or fewer users.
Screenshot from WebHR.
Zenefits helps with HR, payroll, PTO, onboarding, benefits, org charting, integrations and time and attendance functions. It comes with a 14-day free trial. After that, pricing is per employee.
Other Affordable Solutions and Resources
If you’re looking to calculate a few specific formulas and don’t need or have money for a full payroll system, it’s a quick and easy solution. Paid software often offers calculators for free. They can calculate state or federal tax rates, per diem or other shortcuts.
Free Payroll Calculators
Free Payroll Newsletters and Websites
It’s important to keep up with the latest industry news to avoid running into compliance or law changes. Proactive companies want their workers to be well-educated and able to be proactive with their solutions. Here are a few newsletters, websites and wires a payroll professional needs to succeed.
- IRS Newswire: Two to three press releases per week covering changes in laws, filing season updates, tax admin and more.
- E-news for Small Business: Free information covering tips for tax compliance, reminders of upcoming filing dates and IRS news releases.
- E-news for Payroll Professionals: It covers special announcements, recent legislative changes, new employment procedures and more for financial employees.
- IRS Guide Wire: Covers guidance straight from the IRS on revenue procedures, revenue rulings, announcements and notices from the IRS.
- American Payroll Association: It provides resources for both members and nonmembers including educational materials, compliance info, news and conferences.
- EEOC Homepage: News, information and resources from the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.
- Social Security Website: Provides news and information on changes to social security.
- U.S. Department of Labor: Contains labor news, information and other assets from the labor department.
Compare Top Payroll Software Leaders
The Final Word
For large enterprises, free payroll software is rarely a good option. They often lack the necessary requirements, customizations, complexity and capabilities to handle big business operations. In that case, a paid payroll software service or even a full-service HR software solution may be the right choice.
However, for small organizations operating on a shoestring budget, free payroll may be the way to go. Payroll4Free offers basic compensation and tax administration, can export data to other companies and has encrypted data. However, it only runs on Windows OS. HR.my has many payroll administration features, is crowdfunded and adds new features upon user request. However, it’s mobile capabilities are limited and it has no mobile app.
TimeTrex Community Edition offers attendance, recruiting and scheduling in addition to compensation management but can’t import data from punches that come from a MySQL database. Lastly, Excel Payroll is made from four excel files linked together. For companies that already own Excel, it’s an affordable solution, but it doesn’t file taxes and takes a lot of time.
Before selecting anything, the most important step is figuring out the core functionality you need for your company and what is your highest priority. Going through a list of requirements and crafting an implementation plan is a must.
Free payroll solutions could be the perfect answer, but don’t cut corners. Keep your eyes on the priorities so you and your employees can get paid and thrive.
What Do You Think?
Have you used any of the free platforms we listed? What was your experience? Do you like or dislike these solutions? Are there any great platforms we missed? Leave us your comments below!