10 Best Payroll Solutions and Software for Your Small Business

How can you keep on top of ever-changing HMRC regulations while paying everyone the right amount, on time, and juggling your day-to-day work too?

Well, we’ll tell you what you can do: payroll outsourcing. That’s what.

To help you choose your best fit, we’ve reviewed 10 top payroll providers.

Here is a list of the 10 best payroll companies for small businesses:

  1. Moorepay Compliance Ltd
  2. ADP UK
  3. Advanced Payroll
  4. Topsource Global Solutions Limited
  5. Iris Software Limited
  6. MHR
  7. Sage
  8. Payescape
  9. Just Payroll Services
  10. Able Payroll Bureau
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Moorepay

ADP Payroll

Advanced Payroll

Iris

MHR

Sage Payroll

Payescape

Just Payroll Services

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Bespoke

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Bespoke

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Bespoke

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Bespoke

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Bespoke

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£7 – £29/month

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 Starting from £15.25 –  £53

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Bespoke

Key Features

UK-based payroll specialists

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Hiring tools

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Super speed processing

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HMRC integration

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HR solutions

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24/7 support

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Fully-integrated

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Expert advice

Moorepay Compliance Ltd

Moorepay offers an easy-to-use platform with integrated payroll and HR solutions. It gives you access to UK-based payroll specialists who are available to help you with any queries, making it easier for you to get started and avoid major problems when it comes to paying your contractors.

Moorepay’s onboarding process is simple, which is great if you’re not super tech-savvy, or you want to avoid a steep learning curve. Switching from your old provider or in-house payroll is made easy with Moorepay, which guarantees a simple move. However, some users have reported that the platform itself isn’t very user-friendly, making it a little challenging for those who want straightforward software.

That said, you can be confident the data you hold about your employees and contractors is kept secure, as Moorepay has UK-based data centres as well as two-factor authentication.

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Moorepay's Pricing:

Bespoke pricing.

ADP UK

ADP Payroll has been in the payroll business for a long time, and this expertise has brought about great payroll and hiring solutions. You can integrate third-party solutions such as Cornerstone, ClockShark, and Wave to create one seamless platform to manage various aspects of your business.

ADP’s hiring solutions make it easier for you to find and hire new employees. You can run background checks, schedule interviews and send out contracts.

ADP allows you to scale as and when you need to, which means you don’t need to pay for solutions and features you don’t use. As your business grows, so does the platform. ADP’s pricing is also flexible, so you won’t find yourself stuck in an unsuitable contract.

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ADP's Pricing:

Bespoke pricing.

Advanced Payroll

Advanced Payroll gives you the tools you need to deal with your payroll accurately and efficiently. One of its selling points is its super speed processing, with the ability to deliver gross-to-net calculations for 10,000 employees in less than 20 seconds.

You can tailor the software to your businesses specific needs, anything from complex salaries, bonuses or multiple sites. Advanced Payroll offers both cloud and on-premise storage.

This software can be integrated with HR, attendance and finance solutions, providing you with one comprehensive platform.

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Advanced Payroll's pricing:

Bespoke pricing.

Topsource Global Solutions Limited

Topsource offers a fully managed payroll service, and deals with every aspect of payroll from registering with HMRC to end-of-year processing. You can access a wide range of reporting, making it easier for you to view important data.

You can use chartered accountants, who are ready to give you advice where you need it. For small businesses, this level of assistance is invaluable.

Request a quote

Topsource's pricing:

Bespoke pricing.

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Iris Software Limited

Iris is a HMRC-recognised payroll software, which makes submitting the necessary forms online that much more seamless. Iris offers in-depth reporting so you can stay on top of your payroll at all times. One of the difficulties of using a payroll solution can be the lack of control you have over it, but with detailed reporting, you can be confident everything is going as planned.

This reporting includes comprehensive reports on employee data, so you can ensure your employees are being managed in the best way possible. Iris ensures your business complies with legislation around Automatic Enrolment, making sure you stay compliant. The platform also deals with all deductions, such as NI and statutory tax.

The software is easy to use, although some users have reported that Iris’ customer service is not great, making it difficult to get issues resolved quickly and efficiently.

Request a quote

Iris' pricing:

Bespoke pricing.

MHR

Undoubtedly one of the best payroll companies about, MHR offers a full complement of payroll services for small businesses in the UK, as well as HR and talent management solutions. There are fully-managed and part-managed payroll service packages to choose from, but the jewel in the company’s crown is iTrent — its award-winning HR and payroll solution.

iTrent is an adaptable service that can be tailored to your business. It empowers accounting departments with the ability to process payroll easily and efficiently. Managers can set objectives for specific employees and monitor their progress, and it allows employees to manage their day-to-day workload. The platform is fully cloud based, meaning data is stored securely and can be accessed at any time, from anywhere in the world.

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MHR's pricing:

Bespoke pricing.

Sage

Sage's payroll software is cloud based, and automates payroll processes such as tax calculations. Sage offers auto-enrolment, so you can ensure that your business is staying compliant with relevant legislation.

Sage's automated functionalities are easy to set up, and the platform is both reliable and intuitive – making it a great choice for small businesses.

You also get expert support, 24/7, 365 days a year making it that much easier to avoid any payroll disasters.

Sage Payroll's pricing:

  • Sage Business Cloud: £7 + VAT/month. Currently free for three months.
  • Sage 5cloud: from £29 + VAT/month.

Payescape

Payescape offers payroll, HR, and time management solutions all on one platform, giving you a streamlined and efficient way to manage your business. You can approve and monitor holidays, record working hours, and calculate wages with this provider.

When paying contractors, it’s important to ensure you’re tracking working hours correctly. Payescape’s time management solutions, which are built into the platform, make it easy for you to prevent under or over paying an employee. They also mean you can manage compliance risks and projects more effectively.

Payescape offers a flexible monthly contract, and this lack of a long-term commitment makes it suitable for small businesses that are finding their feet and don’t want to be tied to a contract.

Payescape’s pricing:

Weekly Monthly 
£14 base price + £1.25 per person£50 base price + £3 per person

Perfect Payrolls

Perfect Payrolls is a dedicated payroll service provider based in the UK offering a small-scale, personalised service. It doesn't offer a part-managed option, just fully managed payroll outsourcing charged at a single fixed fee by standing order. That means no fuss, and no nasty surprises from soaring costs. Better still, there’s no setup fee. Instead, the company asks that you stay with them for a minimum of three months so that they can recoup their initial outlays, but after that you’re free to leave whenever, no questions asked.

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Perfect Payroll’s service is flexible and fully scalable. If at the end of the quarter you have more employees on payroll than at the start, you’ll pay a little more. If you have less you’ll pay a little less. It’s simple, really. Plus there’s free HR support via business partners CCH. Perfect Payroll customers are allowed up to six free calls to a specialist adviser, who will help you navigate the murky world of HR regulations and employment law.

Just Payroll Services

Just Payroll Services provides fully managed payroll solutions, including accountancy services, so you can keep all your admin in one place. With Just Payroll, you have access to a team of payroll experts who can help you avoid penalties and manage any questions you have.

These payroll experts ensure you’re up to date with any new relevant legislation, provide committed support, and ensure your payroll is processed correctly. Whatever the size of your business, Just Payroll Services offers a simple and bespoke solution.

This service creates payslips, keeps records, and submits relevant forms to HMRC. You can be confident your business is staying compliant and paying your contractors correctly with this tailored service.

Just Payroll Services' pricing:

Bespoke pricing.

Able Payroll Bureau

Able Payroll Bureau was the first cloud-based payroll services provider to gain full HMRC RTI PAYE accreditation. It combines auto enrolment and payroll into one monthly process, with one fee. Its internet-based packages provide you with the necessary tools to complete payroll, and at the end of the tax year Able Payroll will help you file all the necessary papers.

Request a quote

Able Payroll's pricing:

From £120.

What's the best payroll software for small businesses?

The best payroll software for small businesses are the following providers:

  • Moorepay
  • ADP UK
  • Advanced Payroll
  • Iris Software
  • MHR
  • Sage

What's the Best Payroll Service for Small Businesses?

If you want to outsource your payroll, we've listed the best payroll services below. Some providers offer both software and services, so you can choose the best option for your business.

  • ADP UK
  • MHR
  • Payescape
  • Just Payroll Services

How much does payroll outsourcing cost for a small business?

Prices vary a lot but as a general guide, a business with 10 employees can expect to pay:

  • £70-£80 a month for a fully managed service with hosted software
  • £40-£60 for simple outsourcing

Generally, the fewer employees, the higher your per person payroll costs will be.

How to choose between payroll service providers

At this point you will have a clear idea of the type of outsourcing service you require – and you may even have a provider in mind. The next thing to consider is cost.

Payroll is a competitive industry, and prices vary a lot. So to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your business it’s important you compare quotes from multiple providers. That’s where Expert Market can help.

Simply click on the button below to fill in our webform and we’ll send you same-day quotes from up to six of the UK’s leading payroll service providers. The whole process takes less than a minute. It’s completely free and there’s no obligation to go with any of the companies we match you with.

So sit back and let us take the hassle out of finding the best payroll solution for your small business, because you’ve got better things to do with your time.

Have you used payroll software before?

What should payroll services offer?

Payroll solutions involve you outsourcing some or all of your payroll administration work to a specialist third-party company.

Choose between:

Fully-managed payroll service — it does what it says on the tin. Full service payroll companies take full control of all aspects of payroll — from paying employees, to issuing payslips, generating reports and filing papers with HMRC. You can rest easy knowing your business is fully compliant with regulations.

Part-managed payroll service – a service provided by a ‘payroll bureau’ and a helping hand for businesses that want to retain some control of the process. Imagine you’re happy to continue paying your staff, but you’d like a bit of help when it comes to filing documents at the end of the tax year. A payroll bureau offers you that kind of flexibility – and at a bargain price compared to a fully managed option.

Hosted payroll software – a secure and efficient way of storing and updating data. Even if you have an experienced bookkeeper working for you in-house, your business could benefit from cloud-based payroll software. Set up alerts for missing or required data or easily distribute payslips via email. You can track expenses claims and benefits safe in the knowledge that everything is backed up on secure servers.

What should payroll software offer?

Payroll software can be as simple or as comprehensive as you like. At a basic level, payroll software provides you with the tools to run payroll automatically. This means less manual errors and monthly stresses. Running payroll accurately and on time is key to running your business smoothly.

Some payroll software also offer automations, employee portals and HR tools.

If you have contractors or freelancers that you want to pay differently, such as weekly or on an ad-hoc basis, look for software that will allow you to do this.

Payroll outsourcing: what are the benefits?

Five reasons why outsourcing your payroll makes total sense for small business owners:

  1. It will save you money. Despite the fees, outsourcing payroll is actually a more cost effective option for small businesses than hiring trained staff to do the work in-house.
  2. It will save you time. Pension, tax, BACS, payslips, National Insurance, RTI, reporting, holiday, benefits — just a few of the things you’ll need to take care of if you choose to handle payroll yourself. Oh, and don’t forget everything else you’re supposed to be doing.
  3. It will save your neck. Filing payroll documents late or with inaccurate information can incur a hefty penalty fine. Don’t give HMRC another reason to come after you.
  4. It reduces error. An underpaid worker is an unhappy worker. Payroll service providers get things right, first time.
  5. It’s watertight. Because you don’t have time to scrutinise the figures each month. Sophisticated software can alert you to time and rates abuse and other shady dealings.
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Verdict

Our top payroll pick for small businesses is Moorepay. We love its easy-to-use platform, and the fact that you can access integrated HR and platform tools.

If you're still on the hunt for a payroll platform, you can use our free comparison tool to find providers suited to your business. You just need to give us a few brief details and we'll match you up with trusted suppliers.


FAQs

What's the difference between payroll services and software?
Payroll software is a software that helps you run payroll. This can include automations, tools, and forms to assist you.

Payroll services involve outsourcing your payroll to a third-party provider, which will run payroll for you. This can be fully or partially managed, so you can decide how much of your payroll you want to keep in-house.

Zara is a law grad with a penchant for wordsmithing. As Expert Market’s CRM and payroll expert, she relishes researching and writing expert content.