The Top 10 Payroll Outsourcing Companies for 2018

Managed payroll services can save your company time and money, and by outsourcing payroll services to experts, you can also avoid legal hassles. There are several different types of payroll providers you can consider. The first two types, payroll service providers and reporting agents (PSPs and RAs respectively) provide specific services. A PSP can prepare your tax returns for you, but allows you to sign and file them. An RA does everything a PSP does, but also signs and returns the tax returns for you.

If you are interested in more comprehensive payroll services, consider using a professional employer organization, or PEO. A PEO is a full-service payroll management company which can also take care of your other human resources needs. PEOs take care of tax returns from start to finish and may also take on other managerial responsibilities as co-employer.

Most modern payroll outsourcing companies allow you to simply outsource the technological end of your payroll needs and otherwise keep your HR employees in-house. There are a lot of great online services now which allow you to input your own information and do your own calculations, but with advanced software which gives you a higher degree of control and which streamlines complicated payroll processes. These services are similar to traditional PSPs, RAs, and PEOs, except that the “outsourcing” is given to a software program and not a human being. This is increasingly the direction which payroll services are moving in, as you will see when you review our top 10 companies below.

Tips for Choosing a Payroll Outsourcing Service

Whether you’re looking for small business payroll services or you are a larger company looking for a payroll management solution, there are a number of factors you should take under consideration when you are selecting a company to assist with your business.

    • Decide first how much control you want to retain over your payroll and other aspects of business pertaining to your employees. Do you want a company that can function as co-employer, or would you prefer to maintain full control over all operations? Do you need services provided by actual human beings, or will a software solution streamline your operations enough to serve as a solution? The best solution is the one which will work for your company.
    • Create a list of your needs. Do you just need a company to handle tax and salary calculations and reports, or do you also need the company to be able to work out benefits plans and take care of recruiting and other responsibilities? What about special features? Some payroll service providers will also offer 401k plan management and more.
    • Compare prices, but also check for hidden fees and other unexpected charges you might incur. Does the service charge a flat monthly rate, or is it per employee per year? Will you be charged automatically when a new employee joins your staff? Are there any “processing” fees to be charged weekly?
    • Can the payroll service you are considering integrate with your existing HR software? Will it be a simple matter to view your company’s own payroll history, or will it be hard to access information?
    • Reputation and customer service. These are both areas of trust. If a company has a history of excellent reviews and referrals from its clients, that is usually a good indication they are good to work with. You should get in touch with the customer service team to ask any questions you have. This not only helps you clarify, but also tells you whether their employees are knowledgeable and helpful—and what kind of experience your employees can expect if they have a question for the new payroll managers.

Here are the Top 10 Payroll Outsourcing Companies

1. Intuit. Originally known as PayCycle, this service was purchased by Intuit. You probably are familiar with Intuit’s tax preparation software and services; Intuit is among the best-known companies in this realm and has a stellar reputation. Intuit’s online services are software based, but they offer a full suite of applications including software that helps you with your recruiting needs. You can select a plan where Intuit prepares and sends your taxes for you or simply prepares them, and you send them. Low monthly rates make this service accessible and convenient for many large and small businesses.

2. Paychex. This is another very popular option for small- and mid-sized businesses who are looking for a bundle of comprehensive payroll services for an affordable price. Automatic payroll entry and the option to review before you submit adds flexibility to their plans.

3. OnPay. OnPay is a service used by many small- to mid-sized businesses to reduce paperwork and save time and money processing payrolls. Like Intuit and Paychex, this is an online software-based solution with low monthly rates, starting at just $39.95 per month.

4. SurePayroll. This small business payroll solution has been acquired by Paychex, and you can expect the same top-notch customer service from SurePayroll as you can from Paychex. Monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly payment plans add flexibility to budgeting and scheduling.

5. ProPayroll. This company has affordable rates and places a high emphasis on customer service. You take care of your own payroll needs with the online software, but an agent is always standing by ready to assist you when you have a question or need assistance.

6. MyPayrollHR. If you’re looking for a company that provides a simple flat rate and no hidden fees, MyPayrollHR is a reliable solution. The price you see quoted for their services really is the price you’ll get. For small businesses trying to save money, this can be vital.

7. ADP. Like Intuit, most people have heard of ADP, which means that you already know the strength of this brand and why so many businesses rely on them to provide trustworthy, powerful HR tools and payroll solutions. The starting price is a bit higher, however, owing to the strong reputation of the brand and the significant influx of business they attract.

8. PayUSA. This is a fully scalable online payroll outsourcing solution which allows you to support an organization with as many as 1,000 employees, and also gives you options for handling hourly and contract wages (not just salaried wages).

9. Coastal Human Resources Group. This service is offered by a small business in Alabama and is available to customers in the southeastern part of the U.S. They are well known for providing excellent cost tracking and reporting services.

10. Bank of America. This is the payroll management service offered by Bank of America to its members around the country. It’s a good way to save costs if your company already banks with Bank of America. Unfortunately the service is not available to companies that conduct their banking elsewhere.

Payroll management outsourcing used to be a lot more expensive, but prices have dropped in recent years thanks to the advent of payroll management software. This makes payroll outsourcing an advantage because it is much more affordable to small businesses. There are still traditional payroll outsourcing companies out there as well, but computers are swiftly taking over calculating and reporting duties. This saves money on overhead, savings which payroll outsourcing companies can then pass along to you—and customer service is still there standing by when you do need a human being to assist you.

How to Pick the Correct Payroll Company

One of the biggest expenses that a business has is paying its employees’ salaries. This makes having a payroll service, that can track these costs properly, very important. Many small companies struggle with in-house payroll management, which can be both time consuming and costly. A good choice that small businesses have nowadays is to hire a professional payroll company that will handle calculating the salaries, cutting checks, and taking care of employee taxes and forms.

Benefits of a Good Payroll Company

A professional payroll company will save you and your business time and money. In order to handle payroll internally, you would need to invest in hardware, software and training. Add to this a few employees that could otherwise concentrate on other business aspects, such as customer service or bringing in new customers, and you will realize that hiring a payroll company is a much better option. By doing that, you can free up time and resources and concentrate on more important parts of your business.

Another way that a good payroll company will benefit your business is through eliminating payroll errors that can get very costly. The IRS penalizes around 40 percent of every business in the U.S. for these errors. A payroll company will make sure that both the checks for the IRS and your employees are error free and sent on time. Reputable payroll companies even offer to pay the penalties in case there are errors in the paperwork.

What to Look at When Considering a Payroll Company

The company that handles your payroll will have a big impact on your business. Selecting a professional and trustworthy payroll company is very important, because they will have access to your financial information, your employees’ financial information, and your staff’s social security numbers. A few things that you should carefully look at before hiring a payroll company are:

  • Reputation – Hiring based on recommendations from people or companies that you trust is always a good idea. Always make sure you inquire about the quality of their customer service and if they guarantee their work by paying penalties for late and erroneous filings. Finding out how many times they had to pay penalties in the last year is also a good way of determining the quality of their work. Also, a good source for payroll service provider recommendations are certified accountants and lawyers. Once you narrow down your search to a few companies, ask them if they can provide a few references from other clients, preferably from companies that operate in domains similar to yours. If you are unable to get any recommendations, you can always check with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the payroll company that you consider hiring has any outstanding complaints.
  • Price – Once you have decided that hiring a company to handle your payroll is cheaper than managing your payroll in-house, it’s time to carefully look at what fees the company will charge you for their services. Many payroll companies charge a flat fee and an additional fee based on the frequency with which you choose to pay your employees. Check your bill very carefully for any fees that were undisclosed by the payroll company. Also, make sure you ask if any of the fees that you were originally quoted are subject to change in the future.
  • Services – A reputable payroll outsourcing company should have a large service selection, such as direct deposit, customized reports, or the administration of employee benefits and retirement plans. Some payroll companies can even develop customized software based on your needs. Before choosing any service, make sure that you actually need it, and always make sure that the services that you require are not bundled up in a package with a bunch of other services that you won’t need but will be charged for.
  • Responsibility – You wouldn’t want to find yourself in the position of wasting valuable time because the payroll company that you hired isn’t doing its job properly. Dealing with a company that doesn’t offer top customer service can be very frustrating, time consuming, and can even cost you money. While mistakes can happen even if you choose the best payroll company available, the important thing is how they handle the error and if they take full responsibility for it. Before signing a contract, make sure you find out how long it takes them to resolve errors, reissue checks, and if they will take care of any penalties that might result from their negligence.


Spend some time analyzing payrolls from previous years before hiring a payroll company. The most important thing is to save time and money so, before you start searching for a payroll company, make sure that you can benefit from hiring one. If you have reached the conclusion that employing a professional is the best choice for your business, then carefully research all candidates before settling on one.

The Advantages of Outsourcing Payroll Services

Writing checks, keeping accurate records, calculating and paying payroll taxes, and communicating with your employees can be very demanding and costly, especially if you are a small business owner. Outsourcing your payroll services can reduce cost, save time, and make sure that your taxes are correctly calculated. Managing a company’s payroll is considered a big hassle even by the most experienced professionals. Outsourcing payroll is a great alternative to in-house processing and can even help you save money in the long run.

Truth be told, for very small businesses it is actually recommended that they process the payroll themselves. But, if you are a small business owner, you should take into consideration the time needed and the cost associated with in-house payroll management. Without good knowledge of the process and without access to specialized payroll software, it is very easy to make costly mistakes. For example, employees, as well as tax agencies, have to be paid on time and in full, or your business will have to pay penalties.

When to Outsource Payroll Services

Processing your company’s payroll in-house requires at least the purchase of a computer, the payroll software and the training required in order to use it. Keeping up to date on changes in personnel, salaries, or tax requirements can prove to be a real hassle, so the person or team that handles your payroll must be highly trained and professional.

If your payroll expenses are fairly stable, in-house payroll management can be done without a lot of effort. But if your payroll changes on each pay period, or if you have a lot of employees that don’t work a set amount of hours each week, then outsourcing your payroll services might be the better choice.

Benefits of Outsourcing

Payroll companies normally handle calculating each employee’s salary and taxes, printing and delivering paychecks, and supplying management reports. Additional services that a payroll company may offer are: automatic check signatures, direct deposit of checks, or issuing W-2 forms. Hiring a payroll management company can have many benefits that will make running your business a lot easier. Here are the most important:

  • Save timeHiring a professional payroll company will free up time and employees, allowing the more important areas of your organization to benefit. Processing payroll, writing and delivering checks, calculating and paying employment taxes, preparing and delivering tax forms, and handling payroll inquiries are all very important parts of running a business, but your employees’ time can be spent more effectively by improving customer service, finding more business, or releasing a new product line.
  • Reduce costs – You must not underestimate the cost of in-house payroll processing. The time and resources spent on internal payroll management must be taken into consideration when you consider hiring a payroll company. In most cases, business owners find that, by employing a professional payroll service company, they will save money that can be used to improve other sides of their business.
  • Avoid IRS penalties – The IRS estimates that over 40 percent of small businesses in the United States pay penalties of over $800 per year. These penalties are the result of late or incorrect filing and payments. Besides being a hassle, calculating and filing payroll taxes can attract fairly large penalties if done incorrectly. Most payroll companies offer the guarantee that you won’t have to pay any penalties if you use their services. Plus, by using a payroll service, you are also guaranteed that the tax paperwork is completed and filed on time.

In Conclusion

Whether your business needs to outsource payroll services or not depends on many individual factors, and you should carefully analyze all the data before deciding to hire a professional or do your own in-house payroll management. Always exercise caution before hiring a payroll company. They will be handling a very important part of your business, so a high level of professionalism and customer service is very important. Finding and hiring a good payroll services provider will save you and your employees a lot of time and even money, allowing you to concentrate on more important parts of your business.