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What is the best free payroll software for small business?

The best free payroll software for small business is SumoPayroll, primarily because it offers a free payroll plan. However, the features and functionalities that the tool offers are not limited to payroll; it can also take care of other HR processes. This is alongside its custom payroll models and consolidated employee information.

The IBM Systems Journal revealed that free software and proprietary systems are roughly equivalent in terms of security and reliability. This means choosing a free application over a paid one doesn’t necessarily equate to compromising quality.

This is as true for payroll as it is for other solutions. Payroll, one of the core processes of every business, is particularly expensive. Hence, a free payroll processor can be a huge weight off one’s shoulder when you’re just a startup. At this crucial time, you need to rely on more affordable options so that you can focus on earning a profit to help your business grow. This is where free payroll software, like the ones below, come in.

Free Payroll Software for Small Business in 2020

Are you still relying on spreadsheets when running payroll? Spreadsheets are prone to errors, especially when it comes to data entry. And because manual data entry will always entail mistakes, the practice often leads to employee complaints and, worse, discontent. In fact, nearly 90% of all spreadsheet documents have errors in them.

Payroll errors have a significant financial impact on your business, not to mention errors in tax deductions, which can get you in trouble. Fortunately, you have payroll software on your side. And what’s even better is that these solutions don’t need to be expensive. Some offer free plans with full features. This makes them especially attractive to startups and small businesses whose budgets are still relatively tight, even though large firms lead the way in cloud-based accounting software adoption, as you can see below.

Firms that use cloud-based accounting software

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Source: Accounting Today (2018)

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When looking at payroll processing software, it’s prudent to future-proof your investment by choosing a cloud-based one. This is when you take into account the fact that businesses with cloud-based accounting solutions have five times more customers than those without. This is why in today’s post, we’ve compiled the top 10 free payroll software for small businesses that you can access anytime, anywhere, on the cloud.

10 Free Payroll Solutions for Small Businesses

1. SumoPayroll

SumoPayroll is a cloud-based payroll and HR management solution. It’s meant to streamline and simplify payroll calculations in as few clicks as possible, with support for attendance and employee information management, performance evaluations, and other accounting tasks related to HR.

The software supports standard payroll models based on prevailing rates and internal policies, but you can also create your own custom payroll model with your company’s specific requirements in mind. Apart from these, employees can access a self-service portal to file administrative requests, where managers can view, approve, and modify them as needed — all online, without launching any other application.

SumoPayroll is a friendly payroll solution for startups. You can enjoy a completely free plan for companies with up to 10 employees. This plan has all the features of the software and has no limitation or expiry.

Key Features of SumoPayroll

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2. Capshare

Capshare, while not exactly a payroll software in the conventional sense of the word, allows shareholders to manage and analyze earnings from equity and stocks. This is particularly useful for startups as they can hire key employees using equity compensation. Capshare gives such employees and managers a way to consolidate all data regarding their equity and view them in one simple platform.

Properly classified as a cap table management software, Capshare allows users to see data they need about the health of their stocks. Managers can set specific permissions and access tiers to employees. Capshare also lets companies issue stock, accelerate computations, let shareholders interact with one another, and comply with any and all IRS equity regulations.

Capshare has a completely free plan. This is especially attractive for startups, as the software offers basic features free for up to 20 shareholders.

Key Features of Capshare

3. Microkeeper

Microkeeper is a payroll software with an integrated time tracking capability that can fit the requirements of any industry. This software is designed specifically to suit Australian markets, although it’s also built to accommodate the policies of other countries and regions.

As an all-in-one payroll solution that combines accounting capabilities with time tracking software, employees can clock in and out easily and let the software calculate their billable hours and work. Administrators, meanwhile, can view their workforce’s performance and approve leaves and other requests. It simplifies timesheets and payroll procedures by automatically generating pay statement based on work hours rendered, breaks, allowances, overtimes, absences, and leaves.

Microkeeper has a completely free plan for one user. It contains most features of the Standard plan and features unlimited use.

Key Features of Microkeeper

4. NolaPro

NolaPro is an ultra-customizable payroll platform that can simplify your payout procedures right on the cloud. NolaPro is so designed that it grows with the needs of the company that deploys it. While being totally secure, it’s also transparent to all its users, whether you’re an employee or a manager. Support logitech com software unifying mac.

The main advantage of NolaPro is that almost everything about it can be personalized. With over a hundred add-ons, plus tons of integrations, you can run this software the way you run your business. And it doesn’t stop there. If you need more functions or control that only makes sense for your business and that the software doesn’t support, you can ask the vendor to customize your copy for you. Not enough? How about tinkering with their source code so you’ll have a scalable, personalized payroll software that’s designed exclusively for you?

NolaPro has a free starter plan called Desktop, which is free for one user. It contains all the payroll features a starting business needs, even support for multiple languages.

Key Features of NolaPro

5. PaymentEvolution

There is a reason PaymentEvolution is Canada’s largest payroll service. A simple but full-featured payroll system designed for startups, small businesses, accountants, and bookkeepers, it leverages the power and mobility of the cloud so it can be used anywhere and anytime.

PaymentEvolution simplifies payroll by integrating its features with other employee HR functionalities like records of employment and year-end tax slips. Plus, it supports all the modern requirements of a payroll software, including deductions like taxes, CPP, and EI, but you can also create custom rulesets for other deductions. Also, it’s updated all the time with the latest tax tables and automatically patches with no human intervention. And with a 5-minute set-up, what’s not to love?

PaymentEvolution’s Green plan is free for up to 5 employees and 1 user and can remember all transactions inside 3 years. It integrates with only one third-party app, though, so if you’re using other solutions, you may contact the vendor for the plan that suits your needs.

Key Features of PaymentEvolution

6. Payroll4Free

Payroll4Free is a free online software solution that provides a full range of payroll services for small businesses. Offering the necessary tools to process checks for 25 people or less, it has a complete suite of features that you can enhance with different integrations.

Among the features, their subscription plan offers are payroll and tax calculations, vacation time tracking, detailed reporting, and direct deposits. It also has an employee portal, so your staff members can stay updated on their payroll information.

Key Features of Payroll4Free

7. is a free yet robust payroll software known for its ability to both import and export payroll information anytime, anywhere. It is essentially an online HR software that allows for an unlimited number of users while getting employees involved in HR matters. Key features include attendance management, leave management, and a time clock.

As a payroll software, provides you with everything you need in such a platform, from automatic data entry to the creation of payslips. Payroll runs can be done on a monthly, weekly, semi-monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly basis.

Key Features of

8. Iris Rise Lite

Rise Lite is a free payroll software created for small businesses in Canada with under 20 employees. Providing robust payroll automation and online reporting tools, you can pay employees faster, reduce errors in salary computations, and make tax computation a whole lot easier. It can even save you time by streamlining your T4, CRA remittance, and ROE filing.

Key Features of Iris Rise Lite

9. Employment Hero

Employment Hero is an HR software with a flexible, easy-to-use, and compliant payroll system. It offers a free plan inclusive of essential payroll processing tools such as employee file management, independent contractor tracking, and paperless onboarding. Known for its highly configurable, user-friendly interface, it also serves as a repository for employment contracts, HR documents, and VEVO checks. Additionally, this freemium product allows access to its mobile app and knowledge base for your convenience.

Key Features of Employment Hero

10. Wave

Serving over 3 million users and still growing, Wave deserves a slot in our list of free payroll software for small businesses. It is a free integrated business software that offers accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning capabilities. Ideal for small businesses, independent entrepreneurs, and freelancers, this platform also has a complete payroll system that can compute and keep track of employee vacations, bonuses, and benefits.

Whether a company follows a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or semi-monthly payroll scheme, Wave can support it. With an easy-to-use dashboard and available customer support, this software can help users manage payroll information and access banking details quickly and securely.

Wave is completely free. It has an additional payroll module, and while paid, it is a value-added feature for software with a lot of free features other solutions would have charged for.

Key Features of Wave

Payroll Software: Where to Now?

Payroll solutions are indeed a staple for most organizations. They have remarkably improved the way businesses process payment, ensuring that all employee salaries and taxes are paid accurately and on time. A crucial factor when it comes to choosing payroll software, however, is the price of such solutions.

That said, your company’s budget should not hinder you from implementing different software solutions that optimize your payroll processes. With the vast selection of free programs, you are sure to find one that best suits your company’s needs. At this time, SumoPayroll is the obvious choice, with all the benefits that it offers apart from payroll processing. You can easily sign up for a free trial and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.

Have a budget already for payroll software? Be sure to also check out our list of the top 20 payroll software solutions of 2020.

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Express Accounts is professional business accounting software, perfect for small businesses needing to document and report on incoming and outgoing cash flow including sales, receipts, payments and purchases.

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Free Accounting Software. A free version of this bookkeeping software is available for use by small businesses with less than five employees. The free version does not expire, but does not support some features designed for larger organizations. You can download the free accounting software version here.

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