Top 5 Payroll Software Programs for Small Businesses

Payroll is an accounting function that’s obviously necessary for any business other than sole traders but one that can take up a lot of time for a small business owner. If the business owner or its manager has to spend time hunched over a keyboard working out payroll taxes and overtime using an Excel spread sheet on a computer screen, then it might be time to get a payroll software programme, or alternatively outsource to a company like Gilmour Co.

Each firm’s requirements are different so your business may need something customised to its needs. If you’re away from the office a lot, you might want mobile access to the payroll. Most firms will want something that’s easy to use and reliable, but the most important consideration for a small business has to be the cost.

SME Business
Image credit


If your business employs 10 people or less then this could be the payroll system you’re looking for. It’s a simple system that integrates with HMRC so you can submit all year-end and in year forms directly to them. It calculates PAYE and NI automatically and can produce summary reports and send payslips electronically. It backs up data and has a quick access for restoring data, but the best part is that it’s free of charge.


This is another free software package for payroll but this one allows up to 5,000 employees. As the system is sponsored by adverts, there’s no charge for using it, and it’s full compliant with HMRC’s requirements so it will enable you to complete your payroll professionally and quickly.


As with Payroo and Iris, 12pay is another free online system that performs all the payroll calculations you’ll need. It’s also integrated with HMRC as the others are, but this one’s only suitable for firms with 9 or less employees.


This is a payroll software package that’s designed for small to medium sized businesses. It takes care of every aspect of the payroll process, from entering your worker’s details to producing payslips for them. It sends RTI submissions and there’s no charge as long as you only have 3 or fewer employees.


This is the payroll package that most business owners without much accounting experience will probably have heard of. Sage 50 Payroll is a payroll software that’s easy to use as it allows you to run your payroll system automatically. It’s HMRC recognised and it will keep your firm up dated with the latest legislation including pension auto enrolment. Unlike the others there is a monthly charge for using the software which varies depending on the amount of employees on your books. It’s available for firms with between 1 and 50 employees and works with Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Final word
Whether this is software package that you pay for or one that you use for free, a payroll package is a necessary part of running any businesses as it’s a timesaver and a way of making sure your firm is meeting all the legal requirements set out by HMRC.

About Author

Leslie writes for and various other accounting websites.

Juan is a Design & Tech Blogger with strong interest in digital art, human computer interaction, enterprise system and system automation.

Category Tips // Tags ,