Looking for the best payroll software for accountants? Fortunately, there are some incredible options on the market in 2023. We’ve created this breakdown so that you don’t have to do hours of research searching for a payroll platform that best suits your needs. We break down pricing, free trial options, pros and cons, and more for 8 of the best options in 2023.  

Whether you’re an accountant for a small, medium, or large business, payroll is often a key aspect of your workload. Gone are the days of laboring over a paper ledger. Now, HR software can expedite managing the process and make your job a whole lot easier.

What software is used for payroll?

Today, there are myriad different payroll software options on the market including Justworks, OnPay, and Gusto —it can be a confusing space to navigate. Though they all do similar things, they can differ widely in terms of features, pricing, and functionality.

Doing your research before settling on a product is essential, as certain options may be better for different use cases. For example, specific tools in this list are more suited for small teams and others will make life easier for accountants dealing with larger companies with many employees.

These tools offer a secure digital environment to automate processes, set reminders, and manage a vast amount of payroll data over time. Ultimately, payroll software is an invaluable tool in the arsenal of any CPA or accountant.

The Top 8 Best Payroll Software For Accounts Are:

  1. OnPay
  2. Justworks
  3. Patriot Payroll
  4. Gusto
  5. Square Payroll
  6. Rippling
  7. Factorial HR
  8. BambooHR

Quick comparison of payroll software for accountants

Software Intro Price Trial Differentiator
On Pay $36 30 days Best all round
Justworks $59 30 - 90 days Best PEO service
Patriot Payroll $17 14 days Very affordable given the extensive feature set
BambooHR On quotation 7 days Tools for hiring & onboarding
Gusto $40 30 days Excellent employee benefits
Factorial HR $4 14 Days Incredible value for money
Square Payroll $35 30 Days Very easy to learn
Rippling $8 none Best choice for large businesses

Toksta's Evaluation Criteria

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  • Range of features +
  • Value for money +
  • Integrations +
  • Free trial length +
  • Price scalability +
  • UX / ease of use +
  • User reviews +
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What payroll software do most accountants use?

According to G2, the tool with the most reviews is ADP Workforce Now with over 3100 reviews and a score of 4.1 out of 5. However, this doesn’t make it perfect for everyone - certain platforms from the 10 options in this list will be better for particular use cases. Make sure you carefully examine the pros and cons of each to discover the platform that is right for your needs.

1. OnPay

Founded: 2011
HQ: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Key info Price: From $25 per user/mo
Free Trial: 30 days
Support: Email ticketing and phone
Best for Accountants working with small businesses who require a comprehensive service
Pros + Create payrolls on multiple schedules
+ Allows integration with a range of accounting and time-tracking software
+ Simple and easy to use
Cons - May not be the best software for companies outside of the US
- No mobile app

Topping our list is OnPay, a cloud-based payroll service known for its flexibility, speed, and simplicity. Allowing you to produce detailed employee records as well as run unlimited payrolls every month, it’s a great choice for accountants working with both small and large businesses.

OnPay is perfect for those who want to streamline their workload and spend less time on back-office tasks. Its award-winning HR and payroll save business owners over 15 hours a month, giving them time to focus on what's important. According to one satisfied customer:

"(OnPay) is a strong contender for Accounting professionals."

With OnPay, you can run multiple payroll schedules as frequently as you need to, and it will file your company's payroll taxes while withholding state and federal taxes. Accountants looking to cut down on costs will also be happy, as there's no extra charge for filing payroll taxes in multiple states.

Last year, OnPay introduced a useful new feature: custom forms. These support multiple types of data fields, such as dates, drop-down lists, and text boxes. When used with employee records these enable accountants to manage assets, tracking items like tools or equipment.

One of the great aspects of OnPay is its integrations. Not only can you integrate the software with accounting services such as Xero and QuickBooks, but you can also integrate it with time-tracking software.

Getting started with Onpay is surprisingly easy, and accountants will be able to breeze through the setup process on their own. But if you do need help, an Onpay representative is on hand when you need them. You can contact them via phone, email, or live chat from 9 AM to 8 PM (EST), Monday to Friday.

Unlike other options on this list, OnPay only has one price plan, so while this delivers a lot of value for money, it may not be best for accountants in need of a more comprehensive service.  

OnPay scores 4.4 out of 5, read real user reviews in full over on the OnPay Trustpilot page

Discover the benefits and disadvantages of OnPay. Learn the software price, see the description, and read the most helpful reviews for UK business users.

What is a PEO?

PEO stands for Professional Employer Organisation. Normally, businesses have to outsource HR, payroll, workers’ comp, and benefits administration. A PEO offers comprehensive outsourcing that provides these services to small to medium-sized businesses. Depending on subscription options, most payroll software offers some form of PEO as part of their service.

2. Justworks

Founded: 2012
HQ: New York, USA

Key info Price: $59 per employee (up to 50 employees)
Trial Period: 30-90 days,
Support: 24/7 (phone + email)
Best for Accountants who need an advanced PEO provider
Pros + Easy to use UX
+ Helpful staff
+ Modern and clean feel
Cons - Expensive
- Can be slow to develop new features

Justworks have built a stellar reputation for its huge range of resources, functionality, and features. From payroll to HR to compliance, they’ll manage your benefits, deductions, and tax withholdings. What’s more, at no extra cost, accountants can make vendor, off-cycle, and contractor payments when they need to.

One of the first things you might notice about Justworks is its high price tag. They're not just a standalone payroll provider but a comprehensive PEO. Justworks offer many more services than its competitors, including access to ancillary benefits group health insurance plans, as well as HR and employment-related compliance support.

What also sets Justworks apart is its sleek, ergonomic UX (user experience). Their many positive reviews reference this aspect as a surprisingly helpful benefit. Additionally, Justworks offers helpful, 24/7 online support and you’ll always be able to talk to a human.

As of today, Justworks has an average rating of 4.6/5 on G2. This is based on 164 reviews of which 78% are from companies with up to 50 employees. This is a good indication that they’re a great option for companies of this size. Though reviews are good for larger companies, they don’t quite hit the heights of some other options on this list.  

Given their easy-to-use payroll software and exhaustive PEO service, Justworks is an excellent choice for accountants in need of effective outsourcing for small to medium-sized teams.

Justworks scores 4.6 out of 5, read real user reviews in full over on the Justworks Trustpilot page

Discover the benefits and disadvantages of Justworks. Learn the software price, see the description, and read the most helpful reviews for UK business users.

3. Patriot Payroll

Founded: 2016
HQ: Ohio, USA

Key info Price: From $25 per user/mo
Free trial: 30 days
Support: Email ticketing and phone
Best for Accountants on a budget
Pros + Great value for money
+ Simplified setup
+ Fast and intuitive workflow
Cons - Navigation could be improved
- Unsuitable for large businesses

Patriot started providing Payroll and Accounting software way back in 2002, making it the oldest company on this list. So it’s safe to say these guys know a thing or two about payroll software!

The first thing that stands out about Patriot is its competitive pricing. Considering what it offers, the software offers a great bang for your buck. Its onboarding is incredibly user-friendly and its quick and intuitive workflow requires relatively little effort on the part of the accountant.

For example, the feature to create a W-2 form is rendered simple and fast, and one customer even reported,

The best thing about Patriot is that I do not have to think about payroll, as I know they are taking care of everything”.

Reports can be easily customized, and it’s very straightforward to add and edit employee data.  All things considered. We believe Patriot Payroll is the best choice for accountants on a budget. That being said, some customers have complained that its navigation could be improved, and accountants working with larger businesses may prefer a more comprehensive system.

Patriot scores 4.8 out of 5, read real user reviews in full over on the Patriot Trustpilot page

Patriot Payroll
Discover the benefits and disadvantages of Patriot Payroll. Learn the software price, see the description, and read the most helpful reviews for UK business users.

4. Gusto

Founded: 2011
HQ: San Francisco, USA

Key info Price: From $25 per user/mo
Free Trial: 30 days
Support: Email ticketing and phone
Best for Accountants working with very small teams
Pros + User-friendly
+ impressive flexibility
+ Different price plans depending on your needs
+ Mobile access
Cons - Core plan doesn't include time-tracking features
- Users have complained of poor customer service

Though a relatively young company, Gusto has established itself as one of the big players in payroll software. With its intuitive set of tools and excellent user experience, it’s no surprise they’ve become an industry leader.

What separates Gusto from many of its competitors is its ease of use. While most payroll software helps you during the setup process, Gusto makes this as easy and uncomplicated as possible. For example, providing state tax details can often be difficult and time-consuming, but Gusto will steer you through the tax registration process and actually complete it itself.

Offering unlimited pay runs, different pay schedules, or help in choosing a plan for workers’ compensation, Gusto’s flexibility is also a great selling point. Its support of online signatures also helps to expedite your work. Additionally, unlike many of its competitors, it also has comprehensive mobile access.

Given its exceptional UX, flexibility, mobile access, customizable reports, and easy onboarding for new employees and contractors, Gusto is a good option for accountants working with smaller-sized teams. However, unfortunately, Gusto's core plan lacks time-tracking features, and it’s worth mentioning that some users have complained about its poor customer service. While Gusto isn't the best choice for larger businesses, it remains popular for those working with smaller teams.

Gusto scores 3.5 out of 5, read real user reviews in full over on the Gusto Trustpilot page

Discover the benefits and disadvantages of Gusto. Learn the software price, see the description, and read the most helpful reviews for UK business users.

What software do accountants need to know?

As accountancy covers a wider range of duties, including G/L and A/P, tax resolution, document management, 1099 preparation, and more. Accountants need to become familiar with a wide variety of software.

Today, the market is replete with software for every aspect of accounting, so it’s important to do your due diligence before deciding which one to go with. There are tools for general accounting tasks, tax preparation, grant applications, payroll, and more. Popular accountancy tools include Xero, Quickbooks, Sage, and Freeagent.

5. Square Payroll

Founded: 2009
HQ: San Francisco, USA

Key info Price: From $25 per user/mo
Free plan: 30 days
Support: Email ticketing and phone
Best for Accountants in need of simplified easy-to-use payroll software
Pros + Fully-integrated software
+ Simple, User-friendly design
+ Mobile access
Cons - Mobile app suffers from some limitations
- No option to set up a one-time subtraction from an employee’s paycheck

When it comes to fluidity and simplification, few do it better than Square Payroll. It provides an all-in-one payroll software that fully automates your tax filings and employee benefits. Time-tracking, appointments, invoices, and of course, payment processing—Square Payroll’s fully integrated software can help take the load off an accountant’s day.

Customers have praised Square Payroll’s ease of use, which extends to their mobile app interface. Setting up a 401(k) or health insurance is rendered straightforward, and you can use your Square checking account to instantly pay employees.

There’s certainly a lot to recommend about Square’s payroll software, but it goes one step further. Showing a commitment to small businesses, their Employer Launchpad feature offers a variety of helpful guides and tools to help you grow.

Despite all these great points, criticisms have been leveled at the limitations of the mobile app. Also, there isn’t an option to set up a one-time subtraction from an employee’s paycheck, as Square only allows for repeated subtractions.

Square Payroll scores 4.4 out of 5, read real user reviews in full over on the Square Payroll Trustpilot page

Square Payroll
Discover the benefits and disadvantages of Square Payroll. Learn the software price, see the description, and read the most helpful reviews for UK business users.

6. Rippling

Founded: 2016
HQ: San Francisco, USA

Key info Price: From $25 per user/mo
Free Trial: 30 days
Support: Email ticketing and phone
Best for Accountants working with large businesses
Pros + Huge range of customizable reports
+ Comprehensive employee profiles
+ Great setup tools
Cons - Complexity unsuited to accountants working with small businesses
- Those requiring only payroll services may be better served by another option
- Mobile app may be limited in some areas

Don’t be fooled by Rippling being one of the youngest companies on this list. There’s a good reason they’ve been rated the best IT and HR software on G2. In a relatively short time, Rippling has become one of the go-to employee management systems for large businesses.

Interestingly, far from an arbitrary choice, the name “Rippling” has a specific meaning. It refers to an aspect of the platform's functionality: once data is entered it will “ripple” throughout the whole system and be available whenever needed. While other payroll software does a similar thing, Rippling allows you to load up your system with individual apps, allowing for more information to be widely accessible.

When it comes to its payroll software, Rippling is especially flexible. Accountants can run unlimited payrolls, and create multiple as well as separate pay schedules (contractors, hourly, salaried, etc.).

However, it should be noted that when it comes to multiple payroll entities, you will have to process them as individual groups. While accountants with larger companies may prefer this separation of payroll entities, this may add an extra step for those working with smaller businesses.

All in all, for accountants working with larger businesses, Rippling is certainly worth checking out. Its slew of advanced features, impressive flexibility, customizability, and multi-module service is well-suited to companies with upwards of 50 employees.

It’s worth mentioning that accountants working with smaller teams have the more affordable option of signing up for the payroll app, however, they may be better served by some of the other options on this list.

Rippling scores 4.9 out of 5, read real user reviews in full over on the Rippling Trustpilot page

Discover the benefits and disadvantages of Rippling. Learn the software price, see the description, and read the most helpful reviews for UK business users.

7. Factorial HR

Founded: 2016
HQ: Barcelona, Spain

Key info Price: From $25 per user/mo
Free plan: No, Trial: 30 days
Support: Email ticketing and phone
Best for Accountants working with small to medium businesses
Pros + Flexible when managing employee particularities
+ Easy-to-use interface
+ Good customizability
Cons - Limited functionality in some areas
- Can't add multiple steps or sequences to workflows
- Payroll service may not be comprehensive enough for some

If you’re an accountant working with a small to medium-sized business and need to save time, Factorial may be the payroll software for you. Utilizing one centralized system that helps you manage time, employees, and documents, Factorial allows you to consolidate your tasks while effectively reducing costs.

Among Factorial's many great features is the ability to create work groups with custom work schedule options, and use the Events and Posts feature to target specific work groups. Moreover, accountants can also generate reports with differing data as well as an organization chart in real time.

Features such as this allow for more macro-control of a company’s organization. Customers have praised Factorial’s customizability, along with managing employees' particularities, which is rendered quick and easy.

However, there is limited functionality in some areas, for example, not being able to add multiple sequences in workflows. The payroll service has also been accused of being underdeveloped by some, so it may not be an optimal choice for accountants mainly using this aspect of the software.

Factorial currently has no reviews on Trustpilot, read user reviews in full on the Factorial Capterra page

Discover the benefits and disadvantages of Factorial. Learn the software price, see the description, and read the most helpful reviews for UK business users.

8. BambooHR

Founded: 2008
HQ: Utah, USA

Key info Price: From $25 per user/mo
Free plan: No, Trial: 30 days
Support: Email ticketing and phone
Best for Accountants who require a comprehensive service for small to medium-sized businesses
Pros + Fluid automation
+ Elegant, user-friendly interface
+ Holistic approach to HR and payroll
Cons - Benefits administration suffers from limitations
- More expensive than other options on this list

In the competitive world of human resource management software, few can hold a candle to BambooHR.  Its list of impressive clients like FreshBooks, Squarespace, Fab, and more, speaks to the quality of its service.

If there’s one thing we’d pinpoint, it's BambooHR’s brilliant automation that makes it stand out from the competition. The applicant tracking system (ATS) allows for the seamless hiring and onboarding of employees. The ability to upload documents, extensive customizability and user-friendly interface makes for a flexible, hassle-free user experience.

Designed specifically for US employees, BambooHR accelerates and simplifies the way accountants manage payroll. Using a single trusted source of data, its three-step process will help to make your life easier. What’s more, its integrated time-tracking software lets employees access the BambooHR home screen from their phones, track the time they’ve spent on tasks, and edit their hours.

And for those accountants worried about small errors, you’re in luck. With BambooHR you can skip the double entry, as information like hours, wages, benefits, account numbers, and withholdings flows automatically into payroll.  BambooHR will also take care of local, state, and federal taxes for your U.S.-based employees, so you can keep up to speed with all those pesky tax requirements!

Because BambooHR has placed on providing an elegant, comprehensive system, there may have sacrificed a degree of customizability. Several customers have pointed out issues in this regard; for example, being unable to adjust time off from the previous year, or carrying out a 360 Degree Feedback evaluation.

Despite these minor gripes, we believe BambooHR has exceptional payroll software and provides one of the most in-depth HR management systems for small to medium-sized businesses.

BambooHR scores 2.3 out of 5, read real user reviews in full over on the BambooHR Trustpilot page

Discover the benefits and disadvantages of BambooHR. Learn the software price, see the description, and read the most helpful reviews for UK business users.

Finding the right payroll software for your accounting needs

With so many platforms to choose from, figuring out the right payroll software for you can be confusing, time-consuming, and (in worst-case scenarios) expensive. Considering payroll is such a vital aspect of accountancy, it's essential you pick the software that suits your needs, along with those of your business.

We’ve tried to do some of the hard work for you to give you an insight into the best of the best, but this doesn’t mean you should make a rash decision based on this article alone. Corroborate it with reviews from trusted sources, explore further in a free trial, and ensure the payroll software you eventually opt for does everything you need it to do.

Our Pick - OnPay

A combination of great pricing, extensive features, ease of use, and reliability combined with extensive integration capabilities make OnPay Toksta's top payroll software for accountants in 2023.

Meet the author - Benjamin Carter

Ben is a digital marketer and content writer based in Brighton. He got his degree in English Literature from Sussex University and has written content and copy for multiple clients across a variety of sectors.

After decades of refining his writing ability, he's developed an acute understanding of what makes a great piece of content. Recently, he’s begun focusing more on SaaS, namely, enabling businesses to choose software suited to their specific needs. As co-founder and content manager of Toksta, Ben ensures all written content meets our typically high standards