The perks of outsourcing payroll are obvious: increased accuracy, fraud check, timely service, up to date technology, tax submissions and more. For small businesses, outsourcing payroll can reduce stress and increase employees job satisfaction.

The challenge, however, is finding the right payroll provider. With dozens of companies providing these services and each of them claiming to be the best, making a choice can be difficult.

Here are the 4 key features to look for in a payroll provider and some of the best providers, in my opinion.

What Makes a Great Payroll Company?

Dedicated customer support

You want a payroll company that is available whenever you need them. Ideally, go for one that provides 24/7 customer support in the method you like it whether that is email, chat, or phone.

Up-to-date technology

This is another big one. The best payroll providers are those that remain up to date with technology and tax laws. Whether its deposit methods or mobile compatibility, the provider should be able to support all the latest technologies and changes.

Guaranteed data safety

A payroll provider typically has access to most of your employees personal and financial data. Can you trust them with this information? It’s crucial to find a company that has sufficient measures to prevent any security breaches.

Takes responsibility for inaccurate tax filings

Errors in tax filings cost small businesses millions of dollars in fines each year. While every provider will promise accuracy, it’s safer to find a company that’s willing to take responsibility for any mistakes that happen down the line.

Top 4 Payroll Providers for 2018

Here are 4 leading payroll service providers in 2018 based on the features we’ve mentioned:

Intuit Full Service Payroll

Intuit sets up payroll, runs it, and files your payroll taxes on your behalf. You even get year-end tax documents! And, it integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks. It’s $25 a month plus $4 per employee for the basic package and $60 per month plus $4 per employee for the full package. It’s, without a doubt, the most affordable Full-Service payroll service around.


If you’re looking for group benefits, then GUSTO is the payroll provider for you. You’ll get quick payroll runs, employee self-service, benefits offerings for health insurance, retirement savings offerings managed online, and a pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation program. Pricing starts at $39 per month plus $6 per month per employee.

PayCore Perform

PayCore Perform is an excellent choice for adding HR tools and modules as the business grows.  The modules are easy to use and work together seamlessly. You also benefit from employee self-service, electronic document storage, customization based on industry, online reports and graphs, and the ability to add human capital management tools such as tracking and learning management. Pricing starts from $11.15 for 1 employee and goes up to $355 for 300 employees. The annual cost of Paycor starts from $289.90 for 1 employee and goes up from there.

TriNet PEO

For SMBs looking for hands-off payroll services, exemplary employee onboarding experiences, group rates on benefits, and self-service, all in one place, look at TriNet PEO. TriNet offers business practice liability insurance, COBRA processing for terminated employees, unemployment insurance, time off tracking, and expense reimbursement among many other benefits. Prices are based on size and location but you can expect to pay $125 to $155 per month per employee.

There are several other great options including ADP, Insperity, Execupay, AmCheck, Ceridian, and CoAdvantage. But, these 4 providers offer powerful systems and quality services.

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