Online Payroll
Published April 25th, 2016 by

Make It Rain With Payroll Processing Services Software

Your business is roaring. You are hiring like crazy and everything is going really well. There is just one problem. Your payroll systems are prehistoric. Like really, really ancient. You are using paper, in fact. You’re using dead trees to keep track of your employees’ payroll.  While this may have been Opayroll softwareK 50 years ago, it no longer suffices. What’s an overwhelmed business owner to do?

We get it. Running a business leaves little time for improving your systems. Or so you think. The reality is that your ancient systems cost you time and stress. Upgrading to something more modern will help alleviate all that stress, and save you time in the process.  If you’re afraid that figuring out which software to use would take time out of your busy schedule, relax. We’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled the top 5 payroll processing services software packages, based on our very own Crowd Reviews.

Without further ado, let’s dive deep into the top 4 payroll software packages.

APS Payroll Software

APS offers a low price full featured suite of payroll software tools. Best of all, it integrates with their HR solutions to streamline your HR and payroll operations. This means it can integrate with the timecard functionality, so you can track hours and pay your workforce what they are owed. It features efficient payroll management, guaranteed tax compliance (this is a huge bonus in the era of convoluted ACA regulations), employee self service, and robust payroll reporting functionality.

For managers, it includes functions to approve time off request, time card review, missed punch correction, time-sensitive alerts and a full reporting system of employee information including company issued assets and events.

For employees, it offers the ability to view pay stubs and year to date compensation. This is great for an employee’s record keeping. They also offer online access to the employees W-2 and other tax information, as well as the capability to review other company documents. Clocking in and out is a breeze, as is viewing time cards. And of course, the employee can edit their tax status and mailing address to reflect any major life changes.

To handle payroll they offer the capability of distributing funds to a combinations of checks, direct deposit, and pay cards. The pay cards are for employees who lack a bank account and come in the form of a Visa branded card that is equivalent to a bank issued debit card. The direct deposit option gives you the chance to go 100% paper free in your payroll department. In the event an employee wants a paper check that can be accommodated as well with their integrated remote check printing functionality.

If you have employees paid by the hour, then you’ll be happy to know that APS accommodates overtime. For commission based positions, they also have you covered. If you have any employee perks, such as retirement or cafeteria plans they can also include that information.

All in all, it is a really robust piece of software. The capability to integrate into their other software means that you can use one vendor for many solutions. Nifty!

Zen Payroll

Next in our list is Zen Payroll. Again, you can get a low priced suite of software that is full featured and user friendly. I’m starting to see a trend here. Zen also integrates with a variety of other software packages, such as Boomr, Deputy, Wagebase, Nimble Schedule, and others. This makes it handy to keep track of everything you need. It also includes mobile & web access, as is common with other SaaS products.

Employee features include automatic new hire reporting to the government so you have less paperwork to fill out. You can also do employee self-onboarding so you don’t have to track down the individual and pester them with a game of twenty questions. For those employees that want paystubs, Zen Payroll can accommodate them through an email of an easy to read and detailed paystub.

For your business, Zen Payroll automates many tasks such as one of our favorites (not) tax filing. Zen lets you electronically file state and federal payroll tax documents, including the W-2. It also performs automatic tax calculations at the state and federal level, and then electronically pays them to the government on behalf of your business. If you have an army of contractors, Zen Payroll processes 1099 forms at no extra cost and file them with the rest of your tax documents.

Other features of note include the capability to cancel payroll in the event of a mistake, flexible payment schedules to allow for weekly, bi weekly, or monthly payments. No software would be complete without a wealth of reporting features, and Zen Payroll is no exception. You can generate detailed cost reports, payroll journals and bank transaction statements. If you need to handle a reimbursement or extra bonus, then you can even do that out of cycle (meaning not on a given pay period pay date).

Rise Payroll

Rise originally launched under the name Paysavvy.

A little bit on the light side with respect to the features elaborated upon on their website, Rise (Paysavvy) occupies the 3rd spot on our rankings.

Their website boasts an intuitive interface so that you don’t have to waste time trying to learn your way around the software. Of course, this refers to web access to their software as a service package.

They also boast powerful reporting, which claims to help you understand your business. So I guess you’re not supposed to already understand your business when you use this software. They include template reports, and a custom report builder that can export to Excel, CSV, or PDF.

Rise also allows you to email paystubs to employees, so you can keep them up to date on their deductions and pay rate. Pay stubs are sent through encrypted PDF files to enhance security.

They also boast cross browser support and a web based interface. Rise is also available on mobile devices, which is a nice feature for businesses that have a geographically disperse workforce, or employees that work from home.

Pricing information isn’t available on their website, and frankly the information is a little bit lacking. With respect to the impression left on the user, Rise is lagging behind the first two entries in our article.

Workday Payroll / Paylocity

Technically number 5 on the list, but I am rolling 4 and 5 together given that they are the same company – I think?

This is another full featured payroll software, comparable to the first couple entries on our list. Features include:

New hire template: this standardizes the on boarding process so you can get the same information each and every time you hire someone. You can get demographic information, earnings, deductions, direct deposit information, and a host of other customizable pieces of information.

Custom checklists for each or any of the critical tasks associated with payroll. I’m actually a big fan of this feature, as it makes tasks simple and standardizes them. If you’ve done the same task many, many times it become easy to go on autopilot and then forget a step. Inclusion of checklists into the softwpayroll processing softwareare makes this less likely, and can greatly reduce human error.

Paylocity also includes a feature to preprocess your register. This means that prior to issuing payroll you can preview the stub to make sure all the information is accurate. You can quickly edit anything that needs correction. This is a handy feature for error reduction.

In addition, Paylocity gives you heavy duty data integration. You can integrate 401k information, retirement plans and benefit files right into the software. This makes Paylocity a one stop shop for your payroll needs, which is a really handy feature for large organizations that offer lots of benefits to their employees.

They also offer an array of tax services, similar to the top two entries. They are a registered reporting agent with the IRS in all 50 states and U.S. territories. This helps you sleep easy come tax time, which is usually stressful for both the employee and the employer alike.

Oh, and they also offer ACA compliance solutions to reduce the administrative burden of dealing with this complex regulatory framework.

All in all, this is a full featured piece of software. It also includes mobile functionality, as one might expect. It’s a cut above the Rise payroll software, at least judging by the website. If you’re in the market for some great payroll software, be sure to check out Paylocity.


As you can see, there are quite a few solid payroll processing services available on the market. We know that payroll tracking and processing can be burdensome, so we have included some of the top rankings from our very own Crowd Reviews. Really, any of these would be a good fit for your company, in so far as the functionality is concerned.

The determining factors will be usability and price. Make sure to request a demo of the software so you can see it in action. You want to be sure it’s going to be easy for your organization to use, so that you can leverage the full productivity rewards from your new software. Pricing is certainly going to be important, but you don’t want to go too cheap. If it comes down to two packages, you would be well advised to choose based on interface before price. You can always make up a few extra bucks a month in your budget, but the strain on your workforce from frustrating software is going to creapayroll processing services softwarete a running deficit that you will be hard pressed to close.

Another factor to consider is integration with your existing systems. If you have other software that you are using for HR, then make sure the payroll software you are considering can play nicely. If you don’t yet have an HR solution, then APS software may be a good fit as they offer both so compatibility isn’t an issue.  Also, only having to deal with one vendor makes life simple. It’s just something to consider when you’re making your choice.

We hope this information has been helpful. By now hopefully you have enough information to navigate the waters of payroll processing software, so that you can make the best choice for your organization.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you in the next article.

Our rankings are completely independent, transparent, and community driven; they are based on user reviews and client sentiment. These online payroll companies had to earn their way up and didn't just pay their way up.

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