The best QuickBooks alternatives in 2024

While QuickBooks is a popular payroll and accounting platform, you may be looking for a QuickBooks alternative that costs less, one that offers more robust functionality, has better customer service, or one that handles international payments.

No matter what your reasons for switching, we’ve put together a handy guide to compare the best alternatives to QuickBooks online payroll software, to help you make the right choice for your growing business.

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Woman sitting at a desk
Woman sitting at a desk

1. Gusto – Best all-in-one QuickBooks alternative for small business

Overview

Gusto tops our list for best alternative to QuickBooks for small business with a more robust list of features at a better price point. They offer many of the same perks as QuickBooks, like a user-friendly interface, automated tax filings, next-day direct deposit, unlimited payroll runs, and built-in employee benefits. But Gusto’s benefits options are far superior, and most plans include time tracking and project tracking, rather than making them paid add-ons like QuickBooks does. Gusto also offers hiring and onboarding tools with all of their plans. QuickBooks’ HR services are outsourced through a company called Mineral, and they’re only available on their Elite plan.

Gusto also offers international support, both for contractors and through their EOR, powered by Remote. QuickBooks doesn’t offer support for international contractors or employees. And they don’t offer a contractor-only plan. Gusto’s customer service is some of the highest rated in the industry, compared with QuickBooks’ notoriously slow and difficult-to-reach help desk.

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. 

Automatic Tax Filing & Compliance

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. Gusto handles all your 1099s and W-2s, and they’ll keep you compliant with meal times, breaks, and minimum wage. This can be a lifesaver for small businesses that struggle with complex payroll tax requirements. QuickBooks will also file and pay your taxes, but they only handle state and federal—you’ll have to file local taxes yourself, and you’ll have to pay extra if you want 1099s and W-2s filed for you.

Fully Integrated

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. While QuickBooks does have integrated payroll and benefits, they don’t offer full-service hiring, onboarding, and talent management. 

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. Gusto offers more than 9,000 different plans from 30+ carriers, while QuickBooks has just 200 plans from a single carrier. 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. QuickBooks also offers an employee portal for tax forms and time tracking, but it’s through a separate app, QuickBooks Workforce, and they don’t offer lifetime access once employees leave the company.   

Domestic and International Hiring

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 service, powered by Remote, is now live in both Canada and India with plenty more countries to follow. QuickBooks only offers new-hire reporting on their highest-tier plans, and they have no international support.

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, but it lacks support for multi-state payroll as well as time tracking and more complex PTO options. 

QuickBooks’ Payroll Core plan starts at $45 per month plus $6 per person per month, and comes loaded with less functionality than Gusto’s comparable base plan. To access time tracking and HR support, you’ll need to upgrade to Payroll Premium at $80 per month plus $8 per employee per month.

Gusto’s mid-range Plus plans are slightly more expensive than QuickBooks, at $80 per month plus $12 per person per month, but they include far more functionality. Both platforms include time tracking, multi-state payroll, and next-day direct deposit at this level, but Gusto also comes loaded with their full suite of advanced hiring, onboarding, reporting, and team management tools. Hiring, onboarding, and HR are only available through QuickBooks’ Elite plan, which jumps to $125 per month plus $10 per employee per month.

Gusto’s 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.

See how Gusto stacks up to QuickBooks to find the perfect fit for your payroll needs. Explore now.

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

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2. OnPay – Best value QuickBooks alternative for small business

Overview

OnPay is consistently rated as one of the best value payroll platforms on the market. They offer user-friendly software like QuickBooks, but with 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 tools, and benefits administration in all 50 states. They support multi-state payroll as well as multiple pay rates and schedules. With OnPay, what you see is what you get. 

OnPay is a great alternative to QuickBooks for companies 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, 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
Includes PTO managementCharge extra to print and mail W-2s and 1099s
No benefits administration feesNo international support
 No email or chat support

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. One month free.

Free Plan: No.

Learn more about OnPay

3. Remote – Best alternative to QuickBooks for global payroll

Overview

If your business is going global, it’s no surprise why you’re looking for an alternative to QuickBooks. After all, QuickBooks doesn’t support any international payments—not even for contractors. Luckily, Remote makes it easy to hire and pay your team in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe. Their impressive suite of international support includes global payroll, contractors, hiring, self-service onboarding, compliance, and benefits all in a wonderfully user-friendly platform. The best part is you can pay all of your team members around the world—whether contractor, full-time, or EOR—with a single payment. 

In 100+ countries where your business already has an established entity, they offer global payroll services. If you don’t have an entity, you can take advantage of their Employer of Record (EOR) service. They don’t contract with outside entities, which means better, faster support. For hiring international contractors, they provide compliant local contracts to make sure you’re staying within local labor laws as well as support for local taxes.

Their website also includes a guide to local laws, compliance, holiday and mandatory leave policies in every country they cover, which can be helpful as you’re thinking about expanding your talent pool to new countries.

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 180+ countries and global payroll and EOR in 80+ countries
  • Payment supported via wire transfer, ACH, SEPA, and card
  • 70+ 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
  • Seamless onboarding and employee self-service portal

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Integration for domestic and international employees, contractors, full-time and part-timeCustomer support via email only
Easy onboarding processNo transparent pricing for global payroll
Owned entities are not outsourced to third-party vendorsNo support for common international payment methods like Payoneer and PayPal
Great, user-friendly interface 
Country-specific compliance and benefits 

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 much more affordable solutions out there.

For global payroll in countries where you operate your own entity, you have to contact sales for pricing.

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

4. ADP Run – Best QuickBooks alternative for quickly growing businesses

Overview

ADP is the largest payroll provider in the world and offers multiple payroll solutions depending on the size of your business. Roll by ADP is an affordable solution aimed at startups and very small businesses, but comes with barebones payroll functionality, and we think there are better options out there for this market.

For small- and medium-sized businesses they offer ADP Run (fewer than 50 employees) and ADP Workforce Now (50–999 employees). ADP Run includes payroll, onboarding, and reporting features, while ADP Workforce Now also includes retention tools like employee engagement and development.

For businesses with fewer than 50 employees, ADP Run is a highly rated payroll platform. It has all the powerful payroll tools you’d expect from a major player including automated tax fillings, new-hire reporting, direct deposit, and multi-jurisdiction payroll support. But it’s not competitively priced, even for the most basic package. If you want any popular tools like time tracking or benefits administration, you’ll have to pay for an add-on. If you need to pay contractors, you’ll have to purchase a separate tool.

For businesses that are quickly scaling, however, ADP’s robust list of payroll, time tracking, and HR features, along with their a-la-carte pricing can make it an attractive candidate to grow as you grow. Especially if you’re planning on crossing that crucial “50 employee threshold” in the near future. It’s not the cheapest service on the block, but there’s no question they have the tool you need to run your business. And when you’re ready to move up from small biz to medium-sized, their Workforce Now platform is even more powerful.

Key Features

  • Fully integrated payroll, HR, time tracking, and benefits
  • Payroll, taxes, and compliance in all 50 states
  • Multiple pay rates and schedules
  • Pay by direct deposit, check, or prepaid debit card
  • Next-day direct deposit
  • Over 700 software integrations available
  • Job and workforce costing reports
  • Learning Management System available
  • Mobile app
  • Features siloed based on # of employees

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Tons of products and features for maximum scalabilitySoftware feels clunky and dated
Largest payroll provider in the worldSlow customer service
Robust HR options for businesses with 50999 employeesPricing is not transparent and difficult to piece together
 No out-of-the-box payroll solution
 State Unemployment Insurance not included in base package
 Requires an additional product to pay contractors

Pricing

ADP’s pricing tiers are confusing at best. For businesses with fewer than 50 employees, they offer 4 pricing tiers: Essential Payroll; Enhanced Payroll that includes wage garnishment, unemployment, background checks, and job postings; Complete Payroll and HR+ that adds on some HR tools like employee handbooks, proactive compliance alerts, a job description wizard, and access to the HR help desk; and HR Pro Payroll and HR, that includes an applicant tracking system (ATS), onboarding tools, and an LMS.

ADP no longer posts pricing for any of their packages, so you’ll need to contact sales in order to get a quote. According to Forbes, users reported pricing starts from $79 per month plus $4 per employee per month, but it’s unclear if that’s still accurate, or how much any of the add-ons like time tracking and benefits cost. No doubt the price per month can start adding up quickly. 

ADP might make sense for quickly growing companies who need a custom-built package that’s ready to scale, but for more agile startups and small businesses looking for an easy, out-of-the box solution, Gusto consistently takes the top spot. 

Free Trial? Yes, three months free on select products.

Free Plan: No.

Learn more about ADP Run

5. Justworks – Best PEO alternative to QuickBooks online

Overview

For some small business owners, using a full-service PEO makes more sense than handling payroll, hiring, and HR in-house. While the PEO may seem expensive, depending on the size of your business, it can often be cheaper than the cost of hiring an HR professional.

Justworks is one of the most affordable PEO options out there, and comes with support for payroll, tax filings, onboarding, PTO management, and compliance along with low-cost benefit options. They also offer traditional benefits like medical, dental, and vision, but these are only included with their higher-tier plan.

The PEO co-employment relationship means Justworks takes on some legal liability as an employer that you don’t have to bear, which isn’t the case for software similar to QuickBooks. In exchange, you hand over control of some things like the employee handbook and workplace policies.

Much like QuickBooks, Justworks’ PEO software is highly rated as easy to use, but unlike QuickBooks, 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.      

For smaller businesses looking to take complex HR and compliance tasks off their plate, Justworks is an affordable alternative to QuickBooks that can grow as you grow your business. They keep their prices low by paring down their HR options, but for many small businesses, they’ll have everything you need. For larger businesses with more complex needs and more money to spend, there are more robust PEOs out there.

Key Features

Key Features

  • Full service PEO with dedicated HR rep
  • New-hire compliance in all 50 states
  • International contractor support in 28+ countries included (rolling out EOR services soon)
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • 4-day direct deposit 
  • Paydays must follow set schedules (bi-weekly or bi-monthly)
  • Off-cycle payrolls included
  • Unemployment, HR, PTO, and expense management included
  • Benefits administration and time tracking
  • Self-service employee onboarding
  • Flexible admin permissions
  • Highly rated customer service
  • Mobile app

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Takes all payroll, HR, and compliance off your plateBenefits administration, time tracking, and international contractor payments cost 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 SMSPayroll tool isn’t quite as powerful as some dedicated payroll software
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.  

While the Basic plan is much more expensive than out-of-the-box payroll solutions, it’s one of the cheaper PEOs on the market, and may be a good option for businesses looking to offload most of their day-to-day HR. However, for startups and smaller businesses, there are more affordable and more agile payroll products on the market. 

Free Trial? Yes, 14 days.

Free Plan: Yes.

Learn more about Justworks PEO

6. Square Payroll – Best QuickBooks alternative for POS integration

Overview

Square Payroll is an obvious choice for restaurants and retail shops that are already using Square’s POS software. Employee hours and sales data seamlessly flow into the payroll system, eliminating the need for manual data entry. They also offer better functionality specific to tip-based businesses, making it easy to import, pool, and split tips if you need to.

Like QuickBooks, Square Payroll has a user-friendly interface, and does a lot of the heavy lifting for you—from processing and paying taxes to keeping you compliant with minimum wage and overtime law. They also provide basic reporting tools, providing insight into labor costs, employee performance, and other critical metrics. These insights empower decision-making, enabling businesses to optimize staffing levels and control expenses effectively, however they don’t offer any custom reporting. Another small downside to Square is their 4-day direct deposit time, compared with QuickBooks’ best-in-class next-day and same-day options.  

Square offers time tracking and scheduling capabilities, which make it a great option to streamline your tech stack. Time tracking tools cost extra, but they’re free for teams up to 5 people. If you’re a POS-based business, using Square for both POS and payroll is an easy choice.

Key Features

  • Full service multi-state payroll
  • Built-in time tracking and scheduling tools
  • Shift swapping and time-off requests
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Contractor-only option
  • Off-cycle payroll
  • Automated tax filings
  • Pool and split tips feature
  • Pay by check, direct deposit, or Square Cash App
  • Instant payments available
  • Employee self-service

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Intuitive, easy-to-use interfaceFewer HR offerings than other competitors
Seamless integration with Square POSLimited customer support
Free basic time trackingFour-day direct deposit processing time
Affordable, flat-rate pricingNo custom reporting options
Powerful time & scheduling tools available 

Pricing

Square’s payroll pricing is simple and straightforward. You’ll pay $35 a month plus $6 per employee per month. This includes all of the payroll features they offer along with time cards and automated tax filings. If you want to access their more robust time tracking and scheduling tools, you’ll need to sign up for “Square Shifts.” It’s free for up to 5 team members, and after that you’ll pay a per-person-per-month rate that starts at $4 and gets lower the more team members you have. 

Free trial? No.

Free plan? No.

Learn more about Square Payroll

7. SurePayroll – Best alternative to QuickBooks for household payroll

Overview

Household and nanny payroll is one type of payroll that is overlooked by many of the major small business payroll providers, including programs like QuickBooks and Gusto. SurePayroll is owned by Paychex, but the product is very different from Paychex Flex. While they’ve got all the basic functionality you need to pay nannies, cooks, cleaning staff, and more, they offer much more limited capabilities in terms of HR management. They do offer basic benefits administration along with 401(k)s and workers’ comp, but you’ll pay extra for benefits, and the monthly cost can add up if you want other advanced features like time tracking and local and multi-state tax filing. SurePayroll also charges extra to integrate with your favorite time tracking software, which is a rarity among payroll providers.

SurePayroll may have a more limited suite of tools, but for those looking to pay household employees, you don’t need a lot of the HR bells and whistles that come with the bigger players in the space. And most importantly, SurePayroll will handle deductions for Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and state taxes, they’ll file your 1040-ES, and they provide a signature-ready Schedule H to attach to your annual 1040 filing.

Ultimately, SurePayroll is a great choice for household payroll or for small business owners with very basic needs who aren’t looking to get HR and people tools bundled with their payroll. But as soon as you’re looking for hiring, onboarding, and benefits, a more robust platform like Gusto quickly becomes attractive from a cost perspective.  

Key Features

  • Federal, state, and local tax filing available
  • Automated deductions & Schedule H
  • Overtime, tips, and FICA calculations
  • Wage garnishments
  • New hire compliance and payroll in all 50 states
  • Multiple pay rates and schedules
  • Pay by direct deposit or paper check
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Online paystubs
  • New-hire reporting and pre-employment screening

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Very affordable base packageIntegrations cost extra
Night and weekend hours for customer serviceLocal and multi-state tax filings cost extra
Same-day and next-day direct deposit availableLacks transparent pricing

Pricing

SurePayroll’s pricing is no longer listed on their site, but they offer both self-service and full-service payroll options. If you’re comfortable filing your own taxes, the self-service payroll can save you a pretty penny each month, with user-reported pricing starting at just $19.99 per month plus $4 per employee per month. Upgrading to full service includes filing federal and state taxes, but you’ll still have to pay extra for local taxes or multi-state payroll. Full-service plans start at $29.99 per month plus $5 per month, which is still attractive pricing compared with most other providers on the list. 

As you start to add features like software integrations, time tracking, or local tax filing, the cost can add up quickly, so SurePayroll is best for those with basic payroll needs.

Free trial? Yes. Six months free for a limited time.

Free plan? No.

Learn more about SurePayroll

8. Payroll4free – Best free alternative to QuickBooks online payroll

Overview

Payroll4free is far from the best payroll provider on the block. Its features are bare bones, and they keep the service free by showing you ads inside the software. But for nonprofits, startups, and very small businesses where every dollar counts, having a completely free payroll option while you get up and running can be a lifesaver until you’re ready to upgrade. 

Payroll4free offers the basic payroll services you’d expect including paying employees and 1099 contractors as well as calculating taxes and generating tax forms at the end of the year. However, while their free plan will calculate taxes and generate forms for you, you’ll need to file and pay them yourself (or pay for their payroll tax service).

In addition to basic payroll, you can set up a variety of options to track and monitor employees’ PTO, sick leave, and vacation time. They also provide standard reporting including earnings, taxes, benefits, accrued time, and payroll journal reports. They offer an employee self-serve portal as well as payment by direct deposit or paper checks. For a free platform, this isn’t too shabby.

Unsurprisingly, Payroll4free doesn’t support hiring, onboarding, or benefits administration. But if you’ve got fewer than 10 employees with basic payroll needs, Payroll4free will get the job done while you work on growing your business.

Key Features

  • Free for businesses with fewer than 10 employees
  • Direct deposit and paper checks
  • Support for 1099 and W-2 employees
  • PTO and vacation tracking included
  • Employee self-service
  • No support for multiple pay rates and schedules

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Completely free for up to 10 employeesBare bones functionality
Vacation and PTO tracking includedOnly for Windows OS; no mobile site or app
Basic reporting includedLimited integrations
 Filing and paying taxes costs extra

Pricing

Payroll4free is totally free for up to 10 employees. This includes all of their services except for tax filing and payments. They no longer list pricing on their site, but their Payroll Tax Service previously cost $25/month or $250 a year. While this is still much cheaper than most payroll services, the adage “you get what you pay for” rings true here.

Free Plan: Yes.

Learn more about Payroll4free

FAQs

Prices start at $46/month

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