Best Outsourced payroll services

11 Best Outsourced Payroll Services Companies for 2024

Looking to outsource your payroll? Here are 11 great companies for outsourced payroll services, including Near, ADP, and Gusto.

11 Best Outsourced Payroll Services Companies for 2024

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There’s nothing more important to an organization and its employees than an accurate, on-time payroll. It builds trust with your team, maintains compliance with tax regulations, and ensures everyone can focus on their work rather than worrying about getting paid. 

Many organizations outsource payroll services to ensure efficiency and compliance with all relevant laws and tax obligations.

There are dozens (if not hundreds) of providers claiming reliability, affordability, and excellent service. However, identifying the ones that truly deliver on those promises can be challenging. 

What Is Payroll Outsourcing?

Outsourcing payroll services means hiring an external company to handle all aspects of payroll administration, which includes:

  • Calculating employee pay
  • Withholding employee deductions (for example, Social Security and federal taxes)
  • Ensuring that employees are paid on time

This allows businesses to focus on core activities without the administrative burden of payroll compliance and management. It can be a standalone solution for companies looking solely to streamline their payroll processes or as part of a broader suite of outsourced accounting services

5 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your Payroll Services

Most businesses start off administering their own payroll, but as they grow, the reasons to start outsourcing become more compelling. Here are five reasons why you should outsource your payroll services:

Save time

Managing payroll in-house requires a significant time investment and attention to detail. It includes tasks such as:

  • Maintaining employee records
  • Calculating payment amounts
  • Handling deductions and contributions
  • Ensuring payroll tax compliance
  • Preparing necessary reports (including annual payroll tax reporting)

By outsourcing payroll, you free up internal resources that can be used for more strategic tasks within your business, like improving operations, customer service, or expansion efforts.

Reduce cost

For many small and medium-sized businesses, the costs associated with maintaining an in-house payroll team—including salaries, software subscriptions, and training—can be high. 

Outsourcing payroll can often be more cost-effective, particularly when considering the potential financial impact of payroll errors and the opportunity cost of using limited internal resources for payroll tasks instead of core business functions.

Access payroll expertise

Payroll service providers are staffed by professionals specializing in payroll processing. They understand the complexities involved, including legislation, tax rates, regulatory changes, and the latest payroll technology.

Their expertise can be particularly beneficial for businesses that operate in multiple jurisdictions, countries, or regions with varying tax laws and reporting requirements.

Reduce payroll mistakes

Payroll mistakes can be costly in terms of both finances and employee satisfaction. A study from Ernst & Young found that a single error costs an average of $291 to remedy—and companies have an average accuracy rate of just 80.15%. 

Errors can result in overpayments, underpayments, or incorrect tax filings, which could lead to penalties or upset employees. Payroll service providers are less likely to make these errors because they have robust checks and balances in place and update their systems regularly to comply with changing regulations.

Increase compliance

Keeping up with payroll-related laws and regulations can be challenging, especially as they change frequently and vary by location. Outsourced providers stay current with anything affecting payroll and help ensure businesses comply with relevant tax and employment legislation, reducing the risk of costly legal issues or fines.

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Should You Outsource to a Payroll Company or a Contractor?

The decision to outsource to a payroll company or an independent contractor depends on several factors, including the size of your business, the complexity of your payroll needs, and your budget. 

Outsourcing to a payroll company

Typically, this is a more structured form of outsourcing, where you work with a professional payroll service provider. These companies offer comprehensive services and have a team of experts to handle various payroll functions.

Pros:

  • Scalability: They can efficiently handle the increase in workload as your company grows.
  • Full-service options: Many payroll companies offer various services, including tax filing, benefits administration, HR services, and more.
  • Technology: They often use advanced software for payroll processing, providing portals for employers and employees.

Cons:

  • Cost: While it can be cost-effective for many businesses, smaller organizations might find full-service options expensive.
  • Less personalized service: With a larger client base, the service might be less personalized than with an individual contractor.

Outsourcing to an independent payroll contractor

Outsourcing to a payroll professional who operates as an independent contractor can be a great option. It will often feel like they are an extension of your in-house team rather than working with a third party. 

Pros:

  • Personalized service: They may offer more personalized and flexible services tailored to your specific needs.
  • Cost: Working with an independent contractor might be more cost-effective for small businesses with straightforward payroll needs.
  • Direct communication: Direct access to the person handling your payroll can result in swift responses and resolution of issues.

Cons:

  • Capacity: An independent contractor may not have the capacity to scale services quickly as your business grows.
  • Resources: They might not have access to the same level of technology and software as larger companies, which could affect efficiency and security.

11 Top Payroll Outsourcing Companies

In no particular order, here are 11 top payroll outsourcing companies known for their expertise and reliability in managing payroll processes for businesses or helping companies source payroll professionals.

Each company brings a unique set of key features, strengths, and specializations, making them suitable for different types and sizes of businesses. 

Near logo

Near

Near is not a payroll outsourcing company; instead, we help companies connect with, hire, and onboard Latin American (LatAm) professionals. Our nearshoring model can be used to hire junior, mid-level, and senior payroll specialists or even a manager/director of payroll who can oversee the entire process.

Nearshoring allows you to take advantage of similar time zones and lower overheads while hiring a professional who works directly with your in-house team for seamless collaboration. 

ADP Logo

ADP

ADP is a powerhouse in the payroll and human capital management (HCM) industry, catering to a range of businesses from small to large. They are known for their robust services, including payroll processing, tax compliance, benefits administration, and integrating HR solutions.

With operations in more than 140 countries, ADP offers global reach that can be extremely valuable for companies with international employees or those looking to expand overseas. 

Intuit quickbooks twitter banner

Intuit QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a platform widely recognized for its robust accounting capabilities. Its Payroll add-on is a solution that seamlessly integrates with the accounting software, making it a convenient option if you already use QuickBooks for your financial management.

The platform offers several payroll plans, providing features such as automatic payroll runs, tax calculations, forms, and payment handling, as well as a user-friendly interface. 

Gusto logo

Gusto

Gusto, formerly known as ZenPayroll, is a modern cloud-based, full-service payroll, benefits, and human resource management software designed for small to medium-sized businesses. 

The platform is known for its intuitive design, ease of use, and excellent customer support. Gusto takes care of direct deposits, tax filings, and a host of HR tools and resources that can simplify employee benefits management, onboarding, and compliance. 

Paychex logo

Paychex

Paychex is another prominent provider that offers a wide range of payroll outsourcing services, including:

  • Online payroll services
  • Mobile payroll apps
  • Dedicated support from payroll specialists
  • Payroll reports

Paychex extends beyond payroll to offer 401(k) plan administration, insurance, time, and attendance solutions, making them a comprehensive choice for businesses looking to centralize their employee services.

Square logo

Square

Square Payroll is part of Square's robust suite of business tools, known for their accessibility and ease of use for small businesses. The payroll service is no exception, offering a full suite of features, including online payroll management, automatic tax filing, and benefits administration.

One standout is how it integrates with other Square services. If your business uses Point of Sale, for example, employee hours can be automatically imported into the payroll system, reducing administrative hassle.

Ceridian logo

Ceridian

Ceridian offers HCM payroll solutions for businesses of all sizes, with their Dayforce platform being well-suited for medium to large businesses looking for integrated payroll, benefits, HR, workforce management, and talent management. 

Ceridian’s global payroll services allow companies to manage employees in multiple countries from a single system, making it an attractive option for multinational businesses.

trinet logo

TriNet

TriNet is a comprehensive cloud-based HR solution that provides full-service HR outsourcing for small and medium-sized businesses. Their services span beyond just payroll to include health benefits, risk mitigation, compliance, and a suite of HCM services. 

TriNet is particularly known for its industry-tailored solutions, catering to sectors such as technology, non-profit, and financial services.

Paylocity logo

Paylocity

Paylocity is a provider of cloud-based payroll and HCM software solutions for medium-sized organizations. Their platform is known for incorporating modern workforce management into a robust suite of HR services.

Their approach aims to enhance the employee experience through advanced mobile applications and tools that promote modern workplace practices such as social collaboration, peer recognition, and integrated employee lifecycle management.

SurePayroll logo

SurePayroll

SurePayroll, a Paychex company, caters mainly to small business owners. They offer online payroll services that include an easy-to-use platform, automatic tax filings, and the ability to manage payroll from your mobile device. 

SurePayroll prides itself on providing a simplified payroll process, which is especially helpful for owners without extensive accounting or payroll backgrounds.

Zenefits Logo

Zenefits

Zenefits, part of the TriNet ecosystem, offers a single, integrated platform that allows payroll to synchronize automatically with HR, benefits, time tracking, and PTO, which can save administrative time and reduce errors. This level of integration can provide businesses with a holistic view of their human resources operations.

Best Practices for Outsourcing Your Payroll

Outsourcing your payroll is an important decision that can benefit your business if done correctly. Following best practices when outsourcing your payroll is critical to ensure a smooth transition and ongoing success. 

Here are two key recommendations:

Stay up to date with regulations

Even when you have outsourced your payroll, awareness of the latest industry regulations is crucial. Your business remains responsible for compliance, so selecting a provider with a strong record is paramount. 

Be proactive by having regular check-ins to discuss any legislative changes, especially those specific to your industry. Periodic reviews of local, state, and federal requirements are also key in maintaining compliance. 

Encourage proactive communication about any regulatory changes and make sure they update their processes accordingly to avoid penalties or legal issues.

Take your time selecting the best outsourcing provider

Rushing into a decision about your payroll outsourcing partner can lead to issues down the road. Take the necessary time to research prospective payroll services thoroughly.

Dig into things like:

  • Their reputation
  • Customer feedback
  • Ability to meet the specific needs of your company
  • Scalability for the future

Request detailed proposals, consider the full range of their services and support, and weigh the costs against the benefits. If feasible, use demos or trials to better understand how their services work in practice, and ask for references from their clients who are in the same industry or of a similar size to your own operation. 

Ensuring that the payroll outsourcing provider offers robust and accessible customer support should also give you additional confidence in your choice and will help mitigate any issues should they arise.

Final Thoughts

Opting to outsource payroll can be a strategic move to streamline operations and ensure accuracy in employee compensation. By entrusting payroll to specialists, you can mitigate tax and labor law compliance risks while freeing up internal resources to focus on core business activities.

If you’re considering expanding your financial and accounting team beyond payroll, Near can assist you in sourcing the expertise you need. Whether you’re looking for dedicated professionals in bookkeeping, financial analysis, or more specialized roles, hiring through Near gives you access to a diverse talent pool.

Often, by hiring from regions like LatAm, you can also realize significant cost savings without compromising on quality or skill level. For example, the annual salary for a US-based benefits and payroll coordinator averages $94,200. In contrast, the same role based in LatAm averages just $18,000.

Visit our comprehensive salary guide to see how hiring with Near can be a strategic decision for your business’s growth and efficiency.

FAQs

How much does it cost to outsource payroll?

The cost of payroll outsourcing varies, with basic services starting at a few dollars a month (per employee) and pricing increasing based on the number of employees, payroll frequency and complexity, and the range of services required.

Is it possible to outsource payroll partway through a tax year?

Yes, businesses can switch to an outsourced payroll provider at any point during the tax year. However, ensuring a smooth transition of data and compliance information is important.

What are the pros and cons of outsourcing payroll?

Some of the pros of outsourcing payroll include saving time, reducing errors, improving compliance, and accessing expertise. Meanwhile, outsourcing means giving up some direct control and trusting a third-party provider with sensitive information. 

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