What Is the Best Payroll Software for Small Business Owners?

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October 27, 2021

To determine the best payroll software for small business owners, we have to understand the needs of these small business owners and consider how running payroll for a small business might be different from running it for a large company.

Aside from the obvious, small businesses can be unique when it comes to running payroll because typically, one person may be operating the entire people management side of things, which can be a lot to handle. So, that is why it is crucial to consider a payroll system that might fit the mold best for a small business.

Now, let’s dive into how to find the best payroll system for small business owners and why.

What is small business payroll software?

Small business payroll software is essentially the same system as other payroll processing companies. However, with small business payroll software, the primary difference is that it bears in mind that it is typically one person running the entire payroll system for the business. 

Rather than having entire departments filled with multiple people who can manage payroll daily, small businesses just can’t afford to spend that amount of time on such a menial task.

That’s why we recommend that business owners search for an integrated payroll solution that allows them to automate the work to spend more time getting back to running their business. For example, they should choose a payroll solution that offers automation such as tax deductions and remittances, overtime pay calculations, and stat pay calculations.  

How is small business payroll software different? 

Since small businesses typically have one person running their payroll, the software they use to manage it should reflect that. Generally speaking, most small business payroll software systems should be simple and relatively easy to learn. That way, business owners are not burdened by spending extensive time learning a new system.

The idea is for small business owners to spend less time on payroll and more time on more critical business functions. If they are spending countless hours learning a payroll processing system, it tends to be counterproductive. Typically, larger corporation payroll software is very complex and takes extensive training to understand thoroughly.

In addition to being designed specifically for small businesses, the best small business payroll software for business owners helps to offer the functionality of having fewer seats or employees on it. This means more accessibility to the resources you need when you are running your payroll.

Benefits of small business payroll software.

Every business owner has one thing in common, the headache of processing payroll. Payroll demands several different basic yet tedious tasks, including multiple pay rates and positions, statutory holiday calculations, and manual data transfers.

Business owners can gain peace of mind that their employee payroll is being processed accurately with the help of Innovative payroll software. Here are just a few of the many benefits of small business payroll software.

Get Organized

Small business payroll software provides payroll automation that will streamline all payroll processing. Everything payroll-related, for staff or management, can be easily accessible online and found in one place when using an integrated and automated system. You can also centralize legal and government documents so that you can keep them securely.

Reduce Time Theft

One of the biggest unintentional costs of your business is time theft, along with buddy punching. 43% of hourly workers exaggerate their time worked during a shift, according to The American Payroll Association.

A few examples of time theft include arriving late and clocking in on time, punching out late, and buddy punching. You may not believe it, but time theft can add up to thousands of dollars annually if you aren't using an integrated system.

Save Time

Investing in payroll software allows you to run payroll automation rules, which reduces the amount of time and money you spend on administrative tasks. Minimizing your time spent on menial tasks will ultimately increase the productivity of your business.‍

Cut Down on Payroll Errors

It’s natural for humans to make errors. We are, after all, human. It’s inevitable to make errors when manually calculating hours to payroll. You can almost always trace these mistakes back to manual transfers of employee hours from your schedule or POS system, or via pen and paper.

Not only do payroll errors negatively impact your employee morale, but they will also cost you thousands of dollars over time. The company may be susceptible to overpaying employees for payroll errors costing your company even more than the error itself.

payroll software 1

What should you look for in the best payroll software for small business owners?

Because you are a small business, you should find a payroll solution that is integrated, automated, easy, has good support, and is flexible. The main reason for taking the time to find a payroll processing that is so specified is to save time and money operating your small business.


The best payroll software for small business owners should integrate with other people management software systems, such as:

  • HR
  • Time tracking
  • Scheduling

Proper integration allows you to run your business in a matter of clicks instead of transferring data between systems manually.

If you operate a small business with a POS system, you should also look for payroll software that integrates with your POS system. This specific integration will help you to be able to run reports, such as labor versus sales reports, to ensure every penny of your small business is spent well. 


The best payroll system for small business owners will have complete automation in a perfect world, allowing them the most hands-off approach to managing payroll as possible. Thankfully, this does not just have to be a fantasy of small business owners.

Instead, seek out a payroll software system that automates as many processes that you can think of, including items such as time tracking, punch adjustments, and payroll calculations. 

If you’re handling the payroll as the business owner, you can only imagine how much time this will save you. Otherwise, if you have someone running it for you now you may not need to with the proper software. 

Ultimately, you have the potential to save thousands of dollars with the best payroll system for small business owners. While there are several different cost savings opportunities with effective payroll software, some of the primary include:

  • More time focusing on growing the business
  • Long term savings
  • Staying compliant and up to date with tax codes
  • No more human errors


If you are a small business owner, you don’t have a ton of time, so you need a simple and easy solution. Larger payroll companies have too many bells and whistles and can also have old interfaces. 

Instead, consider using a payroll solution that gives you everything you need, without the extra things you don’t. 

Has Good Support 

Good support is vital for small business owners because they have to do things on their own.  Using a payroll software solution that offers the opportunity to have help on the other end of the phone or line is helpful for small business owners who may not have any previous payroll experience. 

Is Flexible 

Your business is ever-changing and growing, so it’s essential also to have a software solution that is as flexible as you are. Make sure that the best payroll system for small business owners that you select has the option of allowing you to scale up or scale down, depending on how your operations are going at that time.  

payroll software 2

What should the best payroll system for small business owners include?

The best payroll system for small business owners should include a multitude of different facets, including:

Automated Payroll Calculations 

One of the primary benefits your payroll software should provide you as a small business owner should be automated payroll calculations. Through these services, you can eliminate the process of manual calculations and automate various elements of payroll, including:

  • Employee hourly pay
  • Stat holiday pay
  • Premium pay (like overtime
  • Applicable federal, state, or provincial taxes

With the help of payroll software, you can rely on these systems to complete all tax filings, new hire reporting, and employee pay.

Employee Access to T4’s (and the US Equivalent)

Your payroll software system provider should include a team that includes experts in every jurisdiction in which they operate. Running payroll in Canada is something unique in it itself for small business owners.

Based on where you are located, your payroll software company should handle all the necessary documentation like:

  • T4
  • ROE
  • W-2
  • W-4
  • 1099
  • I-9

Automated Tax Calculations and Remittances 

Ensure that the payroll company running your software operates in your state, which allows them to handle things like automated tax calculations and payroll remittances. 

The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) mandates that payroll deductions made on your employee’s income must be remitted to them. Not only can it be challenging to calculate these deductions on your own, but also knowing which agency to send it to can be a whole different beast.

Real-Time Payroll Reporting

Real-time payroll reportings offer business owners a customized payroll solution and are built to function as an all-in-one streamlined solution. For more accurate reporting, rely on a payroll software system with reports and accounting journal entries organized by your preference and split up automatically.

Flexible Wage Tracking

Your payroll software should be doing all the pre-payroll prep for you. By relying on your software, you remove the inaccuracy of multiple systems. Additionally, data transfers allow you to easily track, streamline, and pay employees with numerous positions and rates.

Make it easy to monitor minimum daily calculations, split shift premiums, and minimum tip top-offs with features like flexible wage tracking.

Quick Online Access

Streamline employee paperwork with online access to pay stubs, tax forms, and more. Skip the frustrating process of tracking down your employees by giving them the luxury of receiving pay stubs and their payroll information online. 

Payroll software explicitly designed for small businesses will allow you to process payroll with the click of a button from the comfort of your office or the beach. 

Ability to Stay Compliant

There are plenty of laws surrounding payroll processing that are ever-changing. Keep this in mind when choosing a payroll software system and ensure the one that you choose helps you stay up to date on labor laws and compliance.

Ability to Manage Multiple Locations

The best payroll software for small business owners should also allow you to manage multiple locations from one innovative system. Even if you don’t need it just yet, your payroll software should allow you the freedom to grow your business.

What else should you consider when finding the best payroll system for your small business?

Aside from considering everything mentioned above, there are a few other things that small business owners might want to consider when choosing the best payroll software for their small business. The best payroll system for small business owners should also be: 

  • Affordable 
  • Easy to set up 
  • Integrates with the software you are using 
  • Operates in your region 

In conclusion.

You should have a better idea of what the best payroll software for business owners is based on our essential criteria. It’s important to remember that payroll processing for small businesses is unique from larger-scale companies and, as such, requires a specific type of software to meet its individual needs.

When choosing the best payroll system for small business owners, we have to understand that it is usually one person managing the entire system and must find software that ultimately will save the business both time and money in the long run.

Push Operations payroll solutions help small business owners save incredible amounts of time, money, and frustration. But, don’t just take our word for it. Check out testimonials from clients of ours, like Merilyn who saved $91,200 a year with Push.

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October 2021


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