How to Choose the Best Payroll Service for Small Business

Outsourcing payroll seems to be a trend for small businesses because of the cost savings and increased efficiency a payroll service provider can bring. If someone else is managing the tedious task of running payroll, you and your employees can focus on business growth. But, what kind of payroll service do you need as a small business?

Choosing the best payroll service for small business is not always an easy task. Some payroll providers can accommodate large companies with hundreds of thousands of accounts, while others are focused more on small businesses and limit the number of accounts they work with. Once you have narrowed down your list to just payroll services for small businesses, a new set of variables comes into play.

If you are looking for the best payroll service for small business, consider the following factors.


The obvious first factor to consider is price. If you have a small business, you need to be as smart about your money as possible, and that means looking for the best value – not necessarily just the lowest price.

Make sure you understand what you will be responsible for and what exactly you are paying the payroll service to take care of. Be careful not to buy more than you need and look at all package options to make sure you get only the services you will actually use. At the same time, don’t shortchange yourself and buy the lowest package just because it’s the least expensive, as that may result in you spending extra, valuable time picking up the slack.


As a small business, you don’t have much room for error or costly mistakes. Pick a payroll service that has a solid reputation, is bonded and insured, and is well-versed in all applicable tax regulations. Ask around for referrals so you can guarantee you get the best payroll service for small businesses.

Services Offered

Small businesses may not need integration with a 401(k) or may only require the need for payroll services for a minimum number of employees. Before you can consider a payroll service package, you need to determine what services you actually need. Payroll services for small businesses often include:

  • Ability to manage payroll, HR and benefits programs from one place
  • Quick reporting to offer easy visibility at any time
  • Payroll preparation and automatic issuance of checks or direct deposit
  • Calculation and management of payroll taxes and deposits
  • Customized compliance and accounting reports
  • Simple tracking of vacation and sick time for employees


When you are a small business, having access to help when you need it is critical. Try to find a payroll service for small business that offers a dedicated account specialist, always-accessible online resources, and access to a support line.

You also want easy access to your system. Look for a payroll service provider with a simple dashboard, complete integration with other programs you already use, and access to any reports you need on a regular basis.