August 15, 2019

The Top Payroll Software For Enterprise And SMB

Written by
Why is TechnologyAdvice Free?

Quick summary

  • Payroll software can be ugly, clunky, and difficult to use.
  • Good payroll software is out there, and we’re here to help you find it.

“I never remember how to access pay stubs through the portal. It’s too complicated.”

“Onboarding new employees takes forever.”

“I have to get to work at least fifteen minutes early because clocking in can be so glitchy.”

If you’re a payroll manager or HR professional, these complaints may seem to follow you wherever you go. No matter how good other applications are in a company’s tech stack, payroll software usually seems to be the biggest pain to work with. Thankfully, there are some truly exceptional payroll solutions out there, and we’re here to help you find them.

Also Read:  Is Doing Payroll By Hand Cheaper Than Using Software?

Read on for some of the top payroll software systems for enterprise, medium, and small business, or complete the form on our payroll software page. Our Technology Advisors will talk through your specific needs to provide you with a free, no-hassle shortlist of payroll software recommendations. Getting started is easy and takes less than five minutes.

Payroll software for enterprises

Enterprises have multiple and complex needs when it comes to a payroll system, and this can sometimes lead management to choose the solution that promises everything but fails to deliver. Legacy systems can also be a problem at enterprises, as switching lots of people over to a new system is a tough sell, especially if they’ve been using an older system for years.

With these unique challenges in mind, here are the top payroll systems for enterprises.

Oracle HCM Cloud

Screenshot of the main dashboard in Oracle HCM Cloud.

TechnologyAdvice rating: 4.5/5

Pros: Clean and intuitive user interface (UI), runs quickly, supports wide variety of payroll functions, highly-rated mobile app

Cons: Only supports payroll in select countries

Overall: Oracle HCM Cloud offers a suite of human resources applications, including payroll. Users appreciate this system for its user experience (UX), wide range of capabilities, and quick performance. Oracle HCM Cloud walks users through the payroll process step-by-step, offering significant freedom for customization and warning payroll managers about problems that may prevent payroll from running properly.

View product page


TechnologyAdvice rating: 4.5/5

Pros: Intuitive and easy to use, fast and high quality reporting, excellent mobile app

Cons: User experience can be inconsistent in some parts of the system

Overall: As a comprehensive human capital management (HCM) software, Workday is a direct competitor to Oracle HCM Cloud. Workday consistently ranks as a top HCM software for its performance across multiple functions, and this holds true for payroll as well. The payroll feature in Workday allows users to be in complete control throughout the entire process, and a self-service employee portal makes it easy for stakeholders to view and update personal information without having to go through the payroll or HR department.

View product page

Kronos Workforce Ready HCM

Screenshot of Kronos Workforce Ready HCM.

TechnologyAdvice rating: 4/5

Pros: Top-notch customer support, simple and easy to use user interface (UI), fully integrated with HR functions

Cons: Occasional system outages, unable to filter custom fields in reports, poorly-rated mobile app

Overall: Kronos Workforce Ready HCM increases collaboration and communication between HR and payroll by seamlessly integrating processes. While the software itself is easy to use and works well, users also enjoy the responsive customer support for help with solutions not found in the community and learning resources. Reporting leaves something to be desired, and the mobile application currently has overwhelmingly negative reviews.

View product page

Payroll software for SMBs

While small and medium sized companies don’t need as many features in a payroll system as enterprises do, they still need a scalable solution that offers solid reporting. Payroll managers at these businesses may not need to calculate dividend payments or process payments in multiple currencies, but they still need to properly handle deductions, health benefits, and filing.


TechnologyAdvice rating: 4/5

Pros: Fast and easy-to-use payroll that covers the essentials, alerts for upcoming payruns, good mobile app

Cons: No ability to customize reporting, guides and tutorials don’t cover much detail

Overall: Zenefits routinely ranks among the best HCM solutions for small to medium sized businesses due to its standout user experience (UX) and ease of use. The software offers all the basic HCM features an SMB needs without being too slim in its offerings. This allows businesses to grow with Zenefits and offers a better return on investment.

View product page


Gif recording of payroll in Gusto.

TechnologyAdvice rating: 4.5/5

Pros: Easy to use, simple user interface (UI), excellent customer support

Cons: Limited options for companies that run irregular pay cycles

Overall: For small businesses in need of a payroll solution, Gusto is one of the best options on the market. Gusto is easy to use, and it offers personalized, responsive support. While it may not be right for companies in need of comprehensive HR features, Gusto makes it fast and easy for small businesses to pay employees.

Patriot Payroll

Patriot Payroll software reviews

TechnologyAdvice rating: 5/5

Pros: Offers an easy, three-step process for running payroll, lets users print employee paychecks and pay by direct deposit

Cons: Does not file new hire reports, no sick pay accrual

Overall: Patriot Payroll offers an easy-to-use and cost-effective payroll solution for small to medium sized businesses. While the system doesn’t offer as many features as some of its competitors, it performs well on the features it does offer. Simplicity lies at the core of Patriot’s approach, and managers appreciate being able to print employee paychecks in addition to paying employees through direct deposit.

View product page

Navigating the payroll software market can be confusing. We can clear it up.

When working in a highly-regulated field like payroll and HR, you want nothing but the best software for your business. Take the stress out of finding the best payroll solution for your business by contacting our Technology Advisors for a free, no-hassle consultation.

We’ll walk through your specific needs and send you a shortlist of our top five recommendations for payroll software so you don’t have to spend hours and hours on product research. Complete the form on our payroll software page to get started.  

Also Read:  How Payroll Software Improves Your Business Operations

Top Human Resources Software Recommendations

1 Rippling

Visit website

Rippling is the first way for businesses to manage all of their HR, IT, and Finance — payroll, benefits, computers, apps, corporate cards, expenses, and more — in one unified workforce platform. By connecting every business system to one source of truth for employee data, businesses can automate all of the manual work they normally need to do to make employee changes.

Learn more about Rippling

2 Paycor

Visit website

Paycor’s HR software modernizes every aspect of people management, which saves leaders time and gives them the powerful analytics they need to build winning teams. Paycor provides a full suite of HCM solutions with a single source of truth for employee data, so users never have to switch platforms, log-in to multiple systems, re-key data or open multiple spreadsheets. Everyday processes become simplified, allowing organizations to focus on their most important work.

Learn more about Paycor

3 GoCo

Visit website

GoCo is modern HR, benefits, and payroll, built for flexibility and ease-of-use in mind. Manage records, performance, time off, onboarding, benefits, and more all in one place. GoCo is a secure, compliant hub for sending, digitally signing, and organizing your sensitive HR documents and data. Unlike other HRIS platforms, GoCo is built to be flexible enough to support existing processes, policies, and providers, so you don't have to change the way you work just to adopt a modern HR system.

Learn more about GoCo

Need a Little Help?

Talk with a software expert for free. Get a list of software that’s great for you in less than 15 minutes.