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The top 5 payroll software applications of 2021

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Last editedApr 20232 min read

There are a few key pieces of software that any business needs to consider if it wants to be run efficiently, and payroll software sits at the top of that list. Payroll software is not only used to calculate who is owed what and when, but it also keeps track of everything from employee benefits and deductions to taxes. It’s the central point from which all of your outgoing employee finances are managed, and it looks very different today than it did 10 years ago. 

Today, everything is based in the cloud, making it easy for employees and payroll clerks alike to access payslips from the office, their home computer, or even their smartphone. It also keeps a reliable digital backup of all data, which is invaluable for any business. So setting up a digital payroll solution should not be a choice, but a necessity.

But aside from these basics, what sets the various payroll software packages apart and which should your business be using in 2021? Here are the five we think are most worthy of your time and money.

1. Xero

Xero is a payroll platform that is both jack and master of all trades. Not only does it support unlimited users for all plans (a feature almost unheard of in the world of accounting), but you can set multiple permission levels for each user too. That’s what makes it so flexible and powerful for businesses of all sizes. The software itself is also very fully featured with various reports and integrations a part of this very attractive package.

2. Gusto

Currently the choice of over a million users across the world, Gusto is one of the most easy to use software solutions on the market. With an attractive front end and integration with many major existing applications, including Quickbooks, it’s a fully featured payroll package that also manages compliance, taxes, and benefits. The flexible payment plan also allows businesses to pay a fee per employee, so smaller businesses pay less than more substantial rivals.

3. Quickbooks

As far as name recognition is concerned, QuickBooks is perhaps the most popular digital payroll solution on the market and with good reason. QuickBooks has been developed with a “mobile first” mindset, which means it works flawlessly across all mobile devices. It’s a very clean and user-friendly system that can generate and send payslips directly to employees and is even able to automatically calculate sick and maternity leave. There are various payment plans available too, so whatever your budget there’s a suitable solution.

4. TimeTrex

If you run a small business with fewer than 50 employees, but still require a smart platform from which to organize payroll, TimeTrex is a solid option. Featuring some very flexible time-tracking options and the ability to condense attendance and payroll into one solution, it also includes a payroll tax calculator and generates electronic pay stubs. Best of all it’s completely free.

5. Sage

For SMEs, all software solutions must be agile enough to scale alongside the company, and flexibility is built into the DNA of the Sage payroll platform. Engineered for smaller teams that might not have a dedicated payroll department, Sage is an HR-focused solution that boils the process down to a simple and elegant four-step run. You enter the hourly or annual pay and the software takes care of the rest.

We can help

In 2021, outsourcing payroll is an unnecessary expense as long as you have the right software. The right payroll software should be affordable, appropriate for the size of your team and easy to implement with minimal disruption and maximum efficiency.  If you’re interested in learning more about the best payroll software for you and your business then get in touch with our financial experts at GoCardless. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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