Knit vs. Heart Payroll: An Overview

Payroll Comparison


No matter the size, every company must weigh different aspects of technology they bring into their companies. There’s no perfect payroll system that will be the exact fit for your company’s unique needs. For this reason, it’s vital that you, as a business owner, must be diligent when choosing the software that you bring to your company and your team. 

From the outset, the differences in the payroll service provider are evident. HeartPayroll specializes in nanny and caregiver payroll services, while Knit is geared towards companies and industries of all shapes and sizes. HeartPayroll claims to handle “literally everything to do with your household’s payroll and taxes” as part of their services, and provides additional analog payroll services to individual users employing household staff. Their service requires you email or call in and manage your payroll needs over the phone with their on-site customer service team.  

Knit, on the other hand, is one hundred percent online software that can be used for multi-employee households along with small to mid-sized businesses.  

Despite operations not being online, HeartPayroll has a strong reputation of servicing both US and Canadian households and managing Canadian and US payrolls. If you are specifically looking for software that is done offline and requires you to call in or email, then HeartPayroll may be the perfect fit for you and your needs. 

Knit Payroll helps you stay 100% CRA compliant and manages everything from direct deposits to automatic payroll calculations and unlimited pay runs — all for one affordable price. If you have one or more employees and are looking for an easy way to manage your account-related needs for one low price, Knit is an excellent fit for you! 

Knit Payroll incorporates a seamless and secure system that gives business owners secure access to their data from anywhere, at any time, on any device. All you need is the Internet. Knit payroll’s online systems make the process smoother, giving you the flexibility to manage everything online at your convenience. 

Both Knit and HeartPayroll are built for small to midsize businesses in Canada and internationally. The key  difference is that Knit specifically combines HR, payroll, and benefits into one simple, secure online platform. HeartPayroll is uniquely positioned to manage accounting for those looking to support caregivers, nannies, and household staff. The simplicity of Knit’s online platform helps employers save time and money on back-office administration. Knit’s software is accessible, and easy-to-use at any skill level, and helps support a company’s accountants and bookkeepers running payroll for their small business clients. ‍

Payroll Features

Both Knit and HeartPayroll provide an excellent option for all your payroll and tax needs. While HeartPayroll is an offline service, you still receive high-quality professional payroll services. 

Both the Knit platform and the HeartPayroll team can execute essential payroll functions, including direct deposit and automatically calculating, deducting and remitting payroll taxes (from EI to CPP) to the CRA. Staying compliant can be one of the most challenging parts of running a business and, subsequently, a payroll. Indeed, both companies are fully compliant and can save you time navigating the CRA. 

Since HeartPayroll doesn’t have a software platform, the breadth of its payroll offerings aren’t as  robust. HeartPayroll’s offerings for processing payroll are limited to phone calls and emails, so expect that it can take additional time to manage your administrative backend. 

Some complex payroll needs that you may require may not be accessible via HeartPayroll, as it is very focused on nanny and caregiver payroll and tax management. Knit payroll, on the other hand, provides companies of all sizes with a more robust online payroll platform that can be adapted to your needs. 

With five or more people on a team, this is an excellent option as you can directly manage all payroll in one, easy interface. Even for the most digitally-unsavvy, Knit is simple to navigate, and you can be assured that the platform is secure. When you have Knit Payroll on your side, you never have to worry about issuing pay stubs, storing T4s, ROEs, or employee reports. With Knit’s intuitive system, each employee gets a personal online payroll portal to access their information securely.

Canadian and US Payroll and Tax Support

HeartPayroll employs experts in Canadian and US law, helping any household or individuals who employ people from the US in Canada or vice versa. Their offerings boast the ability to manage the US tax system’s expectations, and they even provide audit support in the case of an IRS audit. Operating between two countries such as this has its benefits, as many individuals may not be particularly adept at either country’s tax laws and expectations. 

Knit’s software also provides the same support for companies looking to manage their Canadian workforce. The difference lies in the ease of payroll management, with everything available at your fingertips vs. communicating via offline methods.

Knit provides companies with one unified payroll solution, no matter where the company or its employees are located. Everything is easily managed and processed online in a straightforward platform. 

HR & Benefits

While some companies are merely looking for a straightforward payroll solution, others seek an all-in-one solution that provides the trifecta: payroll, HR and benefits. Luckily, Knit blends all three into one easy-to-use platform. In contrast, HeartPayroll strictly offers caregiver and nanny payroll and tax services without considering HR and benefit support. Depending on an individual’s needs, this may be sufficient.  

Knit’s platform easily integrates HR and benefit options into your overall administrative backend. Features are included in the platform’s monthly fee. This option is both secure and affordable for smaller companies that are seeking integrated HR for their team and allows their staff, no matter the size. This self-serve option takes the burden off the administrator.

Integrated HR means that all payroll and HR information is brought together across the one secure platform for easy management. It will give you a great view of all your backend processes instead of forcing you to piecemeal across several services. Some of Knit’s key HR features include e-signature document options, an employee database, employee onboarding, employee performance reviews, and vacation tracking.

Customer Service

Good customer service is necessary for any product or offering, but it is particularly vital for time-sensitive processes such as payroll. Every company runs into issues now and again and having a healthy customer service option that you can count on can aid in a quick resolution. Avoiding unnecessary disruptions to payroll can mean all the difference when running a company. Having strong support to lean on can help you navigate the worst situations, including compliance mishaps and CRA-related concerns. 

Both Knit and HeartPayroll understand the importance of addressing payroll concerns as soon as possible. HeartPayroll supports companies with vital customer service and professionalism. Their entire business is built on phone, email and offline communications vs. in-software support that Knit provides. Knit employs a customer support team of trained payroll specialists available at any time to help you navigate the intricacies of payroll. No matter the issue, this team is equipped to handle anything that could happen when dealing with payroll, HR and benefits -- all on demand. 


HeartPayroll offers two primary services, US and Canadian payroll support, with two different price points. For the Canadian pricing, expect to pay a set monthly fee of $46.99. This price includes everything you will need to manage any nanny and caregiver service in your household, as well as understanding source deductions, calculation of taxable benefits for room and board, and the designation of a specific payroll expert account manager.

HeartPayroll’s US pricing comes in at $79,99 a month and includes everything the Canadian pricing does. The added cost is obviously for helping navigate the IRS system. The only difference between the US and Canadian pricing seems to be the additional calculation of room and board offered in the Canadian package. This could be because different deductions are expected in the US system or simply not a service that HeartPayroll provides to its customers. 

In contrast, Knit makes its pricing publicly available online. Knit’s payroll and a lite version of its HR benefits platform are available for $39/month + $4/employee. This is lower than HeartPayroll’s cost, and does not require you to have to interface with anyone unless you ultimately need to, such as customer support. This lower cost includes more options than HeartPayroll’s main packages do, and if you need more, Knit has other options for you to explore, depending on your needs.

If you’re looking for both payroll and the entire HR suite, the cost is $39/month + $6/employee. With this fee, you can get your administrative backend up and running in days and not have to spend too much time managing everything following the initial set-up. Once you’re set-up, Knit calculates payroll in a click and remits taxes to the CRA based on your schedule. ‍

The Bottom Line

Both Knit and HeartPayroll are designed to handle the payroll of small to medium-sized businesses or teams. The difference ultimately comes down to your specific needs and the offerings of each company. Knit has a complete online solution and is useful for any company, any size, including 1-2 person teams, where HeartPayroll solely provides nanny and caregiver payroll services in an offline function. 

Knit’s software is the perfect integration of payroll, HR, and benefits for one low monthly cost. Tailored for companies of any size, Knit can give you everything you need in one singular platform. HeartPayroll’s pricing depends on specific company needs, and choosing this provider means that you are solely looking for nanny and caregiver payroll needs and nothing beyond that.

To find out how Knit compares to other payroll providers, read our full Guide to the Best Payroll Software in Canada.

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