The best payroll outsourcing companies in 2024

Running payroll yourself can be both time-consuming and error-prone. Choosing a payroll outsourcing service can not only save time and money, it can provide invaluable peace of mind that your payroll, taxes, and compliance are done right. But with so many payroll outsourcing companies on the market, how can you choose the best one?

Luckily, we’ve put together a handy guide comparing all the best payroll outsourcing solutions to help you make the right choice for your growing business.

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1. Gusto – Best all-in-one solution for payroll & HR

Overview

Gusto tops our list of best payroll outsourcing companies with a wealth of easy-to-use, people-first features and fully integrated and automated functionality. Though Gusto does not run your payroll for you, as some full-service payroll outsourcing companies on this list, they make it easy to get payroll done right while keeping you compliant with complex regulations. Payroll is out the door in just a few clicks, and their intuitive interface simplifies even the most complex tasks—whether you’re an HR professional or it’s your first time running payroll. Having a single system to manage payroll, taxes, time tracking, and compliance—as well as hiring, onboarding, performance, and benefits—reduces your admin burden and streamlines your tech stack.


Compared with other players in the space, Gusto offers a more robust set of tools at a more attractive price point than behemoths like Paychex and ADP. Their customer service is some of the highest rated in the industry, and their pricing is transparent, which is becoming a rarity.


Gusto also won the top spot for payroll software for small business in 2023 in independent analysis by NerdWallet, U.S. News and World Report, Business.org, and Fit Small Business, just to name a few.

POWERFUL PAYROLL

Every time you run payroll, all federal, state, and local taxes are automatically calculated, filed, and paid along with benefits deductions, workers’ comp, and PTO. Payroll on Autopilot means regular, salaried employees get paid without lifting a finger. Gusto handles all your 1099s and W-2s, and they’ll keep you compliant with meal times, breaks, and minimum wage. They offer same-day and next-day direct deposit, multiple pay rates and schedules, multi-state filing, unlimited payroll runs each month, and new-hire reporting in all 50 states.  

BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 

Managing benefits can be cost-prohibitive for many small businesses. But Gusto offers custom no-cost, low-cost, and premium benefits options to help build a package that fits your budget. Benefits administration is included at no extra cost, which sets them apart from many competitors. Employees can self-enroll, saving time and simplifying the enrollment process, and Gusto offers more than 9,000 different plans from 30+ carriers. The only downside to Gusto is that benefits administration is only available in 38 states and Washington, DC, so if you’re looking to offer benefits in one of those states, you’ll need to find another provider.

EMPLOYEE SELF-SERVICE

Employee self-service makes it easy to upload documents, e-sign contracts, and gives employees lifetime access to paystubs, W-2s, and more. Employees can view their paychecks, manage PTO, clock in and out, and access financial management tools right from the app. 

HR & COMPLIANCE SUPPORT

For companies looking for additional support in outsourced payroll, HR, and compliance, dedicated support & HR resources come included with the Premium plan or as an add-on to their Plus plan. You’ll get access to unlimited, live advice from SHRM- and HRCI-certified experts with years of HR experience. 

DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL

Gusto offers new-hire filing and compliance in all 50 states, and both FUTA and SUI payments are calculated and paid automatically. They also expanded international contractor support to 120+ countries, and their Employer of Record (EOR) service, powered by Remote, is now live in both Canada and India with plenty more countries to follow.

Key Features

  • Seamlessly integrated payroll, HR, time tracking, and benefits
  • Payroll, taxes, and compliance in all 50 states
  • Next-day / 2-day direct deposit
  • Multiple pay rates and schedules
  • Unlimited payroll runs 
  • Pay by direct deposit, check, or prepaid debit card
  • Integrated time tracking tools
  • Payroll on AutoPilot fully automates payroll for salaried employees
  • Support for international contractors in 120+ countries; global payroll currently being expanded
  • Employee-self service with lifetime access
  • Benefits administration included in all plans at no additional cost
  • AI-powered payroll and workforce reporting
  • Hundreds of software integrations at no extra cost  

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Intuitive, easy to use interfaceMulti-state payroll only available on Plus and Premium plans
Taxes and compliance are fully automated and don’t cost extraMobile app lacks full payroll functionality
All-in-one solution for payroll, time, benefits, and HRTime-tracking only included in Plus and Premium plans
Unlimited pay rates, schedules, and payroll runs at no extra costBenefits only available in 38 states + Washington, DC. 
Transparent pricing, no hidden fees
Fully integrated time tracking
Excellent customer support
Hundreds of software integrations included with all plans

Pricing

Gusto offers three pricing plans, with the Simple plan starting at $40 per month plus $6 per person per month. The Simple plan includes Payroll on AutoPilot along with multiple pay rates and schedules and unlimited payroll runs. It also comes loaded with basic support for hiring and onboarding, PTO, and benefits administration.

Plus plans start at $80 per month plus $12 per person per month and include time-tracking, complex PTO, multi-state payroll, and next-day direct deposit along with the full suite of advanced hiring, onboarding, and team management tools. 

You can also pay contractors for just $6 per month per contractor, and you’ll only be charged in the months you pay them. 

Premium plans are priced exclusively, and include everything Gusto has to offer with no hidden monthly fees. For more info on Premium pricing, contact their sales team today

Free Trial? Yes, Gusto is free until you run your first payroll.

Free Version: No.

Transform your HR processes with Gusto, a platform that’s already the choice of over 300,000 businesses.

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2. Justworks – Best affordable PEO for outsourcing payroll services

Overview

Justworks is one of the most affordable PEO options on the market, and their PEO comes with support for payroll, tax filings, onboarding, PTO management, and compliance along with low-cost benefit options like life and disability insurance, health & wellness, commuter benefits, in addition to financial perks. They also offer traditional benefits like medical, dental, and vision, but these are only included with their higher-tier plan.  

Justworks’ payroll tool isn’t the most powerful on the market, but if you’re fully outsourcing payroll as part of their PEO, you won’t have to worry about running the software yourself. Justworks’ software is highly rated as easy to use, and their customer service responds quickly and is available 24/7. They also recently released a mobile app to allow your employees to easily access the data they need.    

Justworks keeps their pricing competitive compared to other PEOs, but they achieve this by paring down some of their offerings. Their HR suite includes e-signing, org charts, employee handbooks, new hire compliance, onboarding, and PTO policy management, but doesn’t provide hiring tools. They do offer an integration with Greenhouse’s applicant tracking system, but you’ll have to pay extra. If you want time tracking, you’ll have to pay for Justworks Hours at an additional $8 per user per month. 

For smaller businesses looking to outsource payroll and basic HR, Justworks is an affordable option that can grow as you grow your business. For medium-sized businesses looking for a more robust suite of hiring, reporting, and workforce management tools (with more money to spend), check out Rippling’s PEO instead.

Key Features

  • Full service PEO
  • Unique, low-cost options for commuter, health & wellness, and financial benefits
  • New-hire compliance in all 50 states
  • Employee self-service & mobile app
  • E-signing and secure document storage
  • Flexible admin permissions
  • Highly rated customer service  
  • International contractor support (rolling out EOR services soon)

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Transparent pricingTime-tracking app costs extra
Affordable for smaller businesses with the option to growOffering traditional benefits nearly doubles the monthly base price
Highly rated, user-friendly interfaceFewer HR tools than some other PEOs
24/7 customer service on phone, email, chat, Slack, or SMS
Unique, low-cost benefits available

Pricing

Justworks has two pricing tiers: Basic and Plus. The Basic plan costs $59 per employee per month up to your 50th employee, where it drops down to $49 per employee per month. This includes everything Justworks offers save for traditional benefits and their time tracking app. The Plus plan jumps up to $99 per employee per month ($89 from your 50th employee onwards) and includes traditional benefits like medical, dental, vision, COBRA, and access to HSAs and FSAs.   

They also offer a payroll-only plan that includes time tracking at $50 per month + $8 per employee per month, but there are more robust payroll tools on the market at this price point.  

Free Trial? Yes, 14 days.

Free Plan: Yes.

Learn more about Justworks

Compare Justworks vs Gusto

3. QuickBooks – Best payroll outsourcing for bookkeepers

Overview

With more than 72% market share in the bookkeeping and accounting space, there’s a good chance you use QuickBooks for your accounting, which can make it seem like an easy choice for payroll. QuickBooks payroll is a respectable tool with most of the functionality you need. 

Their platform is intuitive and easy to use, and for small businesses who are just trying to manage the books and get the team paid, it can be a dream to have everything all in one place. Benefits are included in every plan, and next-day direct deposit comes loaded on their most basic plan, which is a step above the industry. They also offer expert setup on all of their payroll plans, making sure everything looks good before you run your first payroll. 

What really sets them apart is their error-free guarantee. If a user provides accurate information on time and something still goes wrong, QuickBooks will pay the payroll tax penalties. While plenty of payroll outsourcing companies include these guarantees, it’s rare to find one in DIY payroll software.

If you’re not already using QuickBooks for accounting, however, you should probably look elsewhere. Their payroll software doesn’t integrate with any other accounting tools, and while federal and state taxes are included with all plans, local taxes are only built into higher tiers. 

If you need any more complex functionality like multi-state payroll or off-cycle payroll runs, then there are plenty of more powerful competitors in the space that don’t cost an arm and a leg. And luckily, just about every payroll provider on the market already integrates with QuickBooks’ accounting software.

Key Features

  • The gold standard for small business accounting software
  • Payroll accuracy guarantee
  • Next-day and same-day direct deposit 
  • Automated federal and state taxes (local taxes included with higher-tier plans)
  • New hire compliance and payroll in all 50 states
  • Automated payroll for salaried employees
  • Employee self-service 
  • Health benefits and 401(k)s available with all plans
  • Time tracking with Premium and Elite plans

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Ability to bundle payroll and accountingSlightly overpriced for what you get
Taxes include year-end filing and tax penalty guarantee Local taxes only included with Premium and Elite plans
User-friendly interfaceMulti-state payroll only available on Elite plan
24/7 chat support with extended hours phone support Monday to Friday and limited support on SaturdaysTime tracking only available on Premium and Elite plans
Benefits administration available with all pricing tiers No integrations with other bookkeeping software

Pricing

QuickBooks offers a payroll-only option starting at $45 per month plus $6 per employee per month. It comes with only the most basic payroll and tax-filing functionality, though it does include next-day direct deposit, which is a premium feature with most other providers. It also includes access to workers’ comp, healthcare, and retirement benefits for your team. 

For $80 a month plus $8 per employee per month, the Payroll Premium plan includes same-day direct deposit, time tracking tools, and the HR support center. 

And finally, their Payroll Elite at $125 per month plus $10 per employee per month plan adds more advanced time tracking, $25,000 in tax penalty protection, and a dedicated HR advisor. 

Payroll and Bookkeeping bundles start at $75 per month plus $6 per employee per month and range up to $170 per month plus $8 per employee per month. This is difficult to understand as their basic accounting package starts at $15 a month. But for businesses already utilizing Quickbooks’ more powerful accounting packages, the higher-tier bundles start to look attractive.

Free Trial? Get either 50% off the monthly base price for three months or a 30-day free trial.

Free Plan: No.

Learn more about QuickBooks

Compare QuickBooks vs Gusto

4. ADP Total Source – Best PEO for quickly scaling businesses

Overview

ADP Total Source is one of the leading PEOs in the market. They help small and medium-sized businesses with Core HR operations, along with payroll, benefits, and compliance. You’ll be assigned a dedicated payroll specialist to handle regular payroll, including garnishments and deductions, but you’ll need to pay extra for off-cycle payroll such as bonuses. You’ll also be assigned a dedicated risk and safety consultant to help you identify potential issues and stay on top of workplace compliance.

One of the main benefits of using a PEO for payroll outsourcing is the access to Fortune 500 benefits. With more than 700,000 employees enrolled in their PEO service, they’re able to leverage access to benefits plans that would otherwise be out of reach for smaller businesses. Once you choose a set of plans to offer your team, ADP handles the rest.

ADP Total Source also comes loaded with a wealth of functionality that many smaller standalone HR and payroll outsourcing providers lack, including a robust, built-in LMS, advanced analytics & benchmarking, integrated time and attendance, and limited recruiting. For an extra fee, you can access their “talent package” that includes full-service recruiting, performance management, compensation management and more; their “StandOut” employee engagement tool, as well as time tracking, unique benefits such as wellness and student loan support, and custom integrations. 

While ADP remains an industry leader for payroll and HR for good reason, their services come at a cost. But for companies whose growth is outpacing their internal HR team’s capabilities, ADP Total Source is a comprehensive solution that allows you to focus on growing your business without the growing pains that come with it. 

Key Features

  • Dedicated payroll specialist
  • Dedicated risk and safety consultant
  • Integrated time & attendance tools
  • Built-in learning management system
  • Advanced analytics dashboard with benchmarking
  • Onboarding and limited recruiting features included
  • Add-ons for time tracking, talent management, employee engagement, Global PEO, and unique benefits options

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Dedicated payroll specialist and risk and safety consultantPricing is not transparent
Comprehensive LMS includedSoftware not rated as easy to use
Industry-leading complianceSome integrations cost extra
Hundreds of pre-built reportsTime tracking and recruiting costs extra

Pricing

Like all of ADP’s products, they do not offer transparent pricing for their PEO, and you’ll need to reach out for a custom quote. 

Free Trial? No.

Free Plan: No.

Learn more about ADP Total Source

5. OnPay – Best value payroll outsourcing provider

Overview

OnPay is consistently rated as one of the best value payroll solutions on the market. If you’re looking for basic payroll outsourcing services that don’t cost an arm and a leg, they offer a simple, straightforward set of tools at one low price. There are no tiers or extras to figure out. Their single package comes with payroll, taxes, compliance, basic HR, and benefits administration in all 50 states. They support multi-state payroll as well as multiple pay rates and schedules. They handle federal, state, and local taxes, but if you want them to print and mail W-2s and 1099s, you’ll have to pay a little extra. With OnPay, what you see is what you get.  

In addition to their simple yet solid payroll platform, they offer a basic suite of HR tools including PTO tracking, onboarding, an employee self-service portal, org charts, checklists, compliance alerts, a native communication tool, and benefits administration in all 50 states. 

OnPay is a great choice for small businesses that need payroll with a few HR extras and aren’t planning on growing in the near future. But if you’re looking for more advanced features like time tracking or workforce costing reports—or you want a full-service payroll outsourcing OnPay probably isn’t robust enough for your needs.

Key Features

  • Automated federal, state, and local taxes
  • New hire compliance and payroll in all 50 states
  • Multiple pay rates and schedules
  • Pay by direct deposit, paper check, or prepaid debit card
  • 2-day or 4-day direct deposit
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Employee self-service with lifetime access
  • Basic HR functionality including onboarding workflows and document storage

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
A single price includes (almost) everything they offerNo room to grow as your business grows
Great for basic payroll needsOnly 11 software integrations supported
No benefits administration feesCharge extra to print and mail W-2s and 1099s
No email or chat support
Time tracking only through integration

Pricing

OnPay has a single pricing structure with no hidden fees: $40 per month plus $6 per employee per month. All of their payroll, HR, and benefits functionality is included, and you only pay each month for the employees you paid. OnPay will create 1099s and W-2s that you can download and send out, but if you want them to physically print and mail them, that will cost extra. 

Free Trial? Yes. Free payroll for one month. 

Free Plan: No. 

Learn more about OnPay

Compare OnPay vs Gusto

6. TriNet PEO – Best HR payroll outsourcing for industry-specific compliance

Overview

TriNet used to operate solely as a PEO, before they merged with Zenefits. They recently dropped the Zenefits name altogether, offering TriNet HR as their standalone HR & payroll platform, and TriNet PEO as their professional employer organization. 

If you’re looking to outsource payroll and HR completely, TriNet PEO is a solid contender for small- and medium-sized businesses. They offer fully integrated payroll, time tracking, benefits, and HR along with performance tracking, recruitment (through JazzHR), and leadership training. 

TriNet PEO differentiates themselves with their industry-specific solutions, providing payroll and HR expertise for a handful of compliance-heavy industries including non-profits, education, financial services, and manufacturing. 

Though TriNet doesn’t list their pricing, their PEO is far more expensive than their affordable standalone solution for smaller businesses. However, if your business needs recruitment and performance management tools in addition to payroll and basic HR, TriNet’s PEO gives you the option to streamline your tech stack rather than relying on integrations with multiple third-party platforms. 

If cost is your #1 concern in outsourced payroll, Justworks is a much more affordable PEO with fewer features, whereas TriNet PEO offers a wider selection of tools with a price tag to match.

Key Features

  • Time tracking, PTO, and scheduling tools 
  • Paperless employee self-onboarding
  • Payroll add-on available with automated tax filings
  • Recruitment & performance management tools
  • Integrated time tracking
  • Robust, native communication tools
  • Mobile app for time tracking, communication, PTO requests, and more
  • Employee happiness surveys and retention tools

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Performance management, time tracking, and recruitment includedPayroll is not highly rated 
Robust reporting options4–5 day direct deposit times
Solid employee portalLimited integrations
Industry-specific compliancePricing is not transparent
Can be difficult to reach customer service

Pricing

Unlike their HR package, TriNet’s PEO does not offer transparent pricing, and you’ll need to reach out for a custom quote. Their fees are charged on a PEPM (per-employee-per-month) basis, so once you get your quote, there shouldn’t be any surprises in the future.

Free Trial? No.

Free Plan: No.

Learn more about TriNet PEO

7. Remote – Best for global payroll & compliance

Overview

If you’re looking for outsourced payroll solutions because your company is expanding internationally, Remote makes it easy to hire, pay, and manage your team in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Their impressive international people platform includes global payroll, contractors, time tracking, hiring, self-service onboarding, compliance, and benefits. They don’t contract with outside entities, which means better, faster support.   

Remote also simplifies international hiring by providing invaluable insight into local markets, keeping you competitive with local employers. As an employer of record (EOR), they ensure compliant contracts in line with local labor laws, and they also offer a ‘contractor misclassification risk tool’ to make sure you’re not hiring contractors that should be considered employees. This can save your business from facing devastating penalties down the line.

Remote’s time and attendance tools allow you to track hours worked for both employees and contractors—which is a rarity for global payroll providers—and easily manage different holidays schedules and PTO. Their user-friendly platform makes it easy to see your entire global payroll in a glance, no matter how many countries your employees and freelancers call home. 

One downside is that Remote’s pricing can start to add up, especially for EOR services, and at some point it makes more financial sense to open your own entity. But for small businesses and startups especially, using Remote for global payroll and contractors is a no brainer.

Key Features

  • Contractor payments in 200+ countries and territories
  • Global payroll and EOR in 80+ countries
  • Fully integrated payroll, benefits, and HR
  • Time-tracking, PTO, and expense management for both employees and contractors
  • Seamless onboarding and employee self-service portal
  • 100+ currencies supported with no conversion fees
  • Localized compliance, contracts, and benefits administration including stock options
  • Contractor misclassification risk assessment included
  • One-click or autopay contractor invoices

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Integration for domestic and international employees, contractors, full-time and part-timeCustomer support via email only
Easy onboarding processNo support for common international payment methods like Payoneer and PayPal
Owned entities are not outsourced to third-party vendorsNo workforce or project cost reporting
Great, user-friendly interface
Country-specific compliance and benefits
No extra charge for benefits administration

Pricing

Remote prices their services based on which kind of global hiring you need. For their EOR service, it costs $599 per employee per month (on an annual plan), which is in line with industry standards. To go month-to-month it increases to $699. Their international contractor payments are reasonable at $29 per month, but if you only have international contractors and not full-time employees (or if you are operating 100% within the US), there are more affordable solutions out there. 

For global payroll in countries where you operate your own entity, they charge $50 per employee per month.

Free Trial? You can set up an account and explore features including hiring and onboarding at no cost for 30 days. You’ll only be charged when you pay global workers.

Free Plan: No.

Learn more about Remote

FAQs

Prices start at $46/month

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