Small businesses must often work with lesser pools of resources than their larger counterparts, especially due to smaller working budgets and teams. Fortunately, the right technology makes it much easier for small business owners to manage their companies at a fraction of the cost of big corporations. In many cases, the “right” technology is still within budget and scope for small businesses.

SEE: Payroll processing checklist (TechRepublic Premium)

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Best payroll software for small businesses

The software you choose for your small business can significantly impact its operations and financial health. As such, the best payroll software for your small business should be simple, cost-effective and scalable, so it can grow with your business. These are some of the best payroll solutions that meet these requirements for small businesses.

Intuit QuickBooks: Best for quick direct deposit

Quickbooks logo.
Image: Intuit

QuickBooks Payroll is a cloud-based payroll solution from Intuit that is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses manage their employee pay and tax obligations. It provides small businesses with a cost-effective way to manage payroll.

The QuickBooks dashboard can help you visualize your data and key metrics.
Image: Intuit. The QuickBooks dashboard can help you visualize your data and key metrics.

With an intuitive user interface that’s easy to navigate, it integrates seamlessly with other QuickBooks products to get the complete picture of your business’s finances. Although QuickBooks Payroll can be used as a stand-alone product without using any of Intuit’s other accounting programs, there are additional benefits for users who combine QuickBooks Online Accounting with QuickBooks Payroll.


  • Auto-run payroll for all eligible employees
  • Garnishments and deductions management
  • Easy-to-create and download documentation, including payroll history, bank transactions, contractor payments, paid time off and tax reports
  • Health benefits and 401(k) plans available


  • Fast payment deposit
  • Tax penalty ​​protection of up to $25,000
  • Automated tax payments and filing
  • Full-service payroll available with all plans


  • No time tracking feature in the core plan
  • Can be expensive for companies with high employee headcount


Intuit QuickBooks offers three main pricing plans:

  • Core : $37.50 per month, plus $5 per employee per month
  • Premium : $50 per month, plus $5 per employee per month
  • Elite : $80 per month, plus $8 per employee per month

Additionally, QuickBooks has an ongoing promotion offer of 50% off the base price for the first three months.