Whether you have a handful of employees or hundreds, every company needs a payroll provider that can make sure each person is paid the correct amount at the correct time. While this sounds fairly straightforward, payroll is a lot more complicated in practice. As a result, many businesses struggle to find the best payroll provider for their needs.
To make the process of choosing a new payroll provider a little easier, we’ve conducted a head-to-head comparison of Deluxe Payroll (formerly Payweb), and Knit Payroll. To find out how they compare, we’ll look at Knit vs Deluxe Payroll on the basis of software, payroll features, HR and benefits, customer service, and cost.
Looking for more options? Download our free 2020 Guide to the Best Payroll Software Solutions in Canada.
Note: You might have noticed we’re writing about the difference between our service and someone else’s. We’ve done our best to give them a fair shake because we want you to make an informed decision. That said, we think we offer the best payroll service in Canada. Want to give Knit a try? Find out how to get started here.
Knit vs Deluxe Payroll: An Overview
|Cost||Starting at $39 + $4/employee per month||Pricing varies|
|Option to Pay by Non-Direct Deposit||✔||✔|
|Payday Emails to Employees||✔||✔|
|Pay Run Preview||✔||✔|
|Accessible on Any Web Browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer)||✔||✔|
|The Provider Files ROEs and T4s||✔||✔|
|Stat Holiday Pay Calculations (Automated)
|Multiple Bank Accounts||✘||✔ (up to 3)|
|Can Pay Contractors||✔ (T5018s yes, T4As no)||✔|
|Concierge Payroll Option||✔||✘|
|Self-Serve Employee Portal||✔||✔|
|The Provider Automatically Remits to CRA||✔||✔|
|HR Modules||✔||✔ (add-on)|
|Performance Modules||✔||✔ (add-on)|
|Benefits Management||✔||✔ (add-on)|
|Time-Tracking||✔ (TSheets)||✔ (add-on)|
When choosing a new payroll provider, you probably don’t give much thought to the software itself. However, there are some key software considerations to take into account before you even begin looking at specific payroll features.
One of the first things to consider when choosing a payroll software is whether you need a cloud-based or a desktop-based solution. Both Knit and Deluxe Payroll are cloud-based software programs. This means that instead of storing payroll information on a single computer, all your information is stored over the Internet—much like online banking. Though some businesses prefer desktop programs, cloud-based software is often the best choice for small business owners because it means that your data can be accessed from virtually anywhere, at any time. In other words, you can run payroll from your office, your home, or anywhere you have an Internet connection.
Depending on your business, security may be another top payroll software concern. Both Knit and Deluxe Payroll offer the protection of state-of-the-art security, data encryption, and regular backups. This means that your data is as safe with Knit or Deluxe Payroll as it is with any Canadian bank. Knit also boasts the added bonus of hosting its data in Canada, so your information never leaves the country—something that is important to certain business owners.
Once you have all your software bases covered, it's time to consider how a platform actually handles payroll and whether it can meet your specific business needs. Both Knit and Deluxe Payroll are equipped to run payroll, automatically calculate payroll taxes, and then file and remit those taxes to the CRA on your behalf. In other words, each platform has your basic payroll needs covered. However, the platforms differ when it comes to payroll features for specific types of users.
Deluxe Payroll has been around since 1967, making it one of Canada’s longest-serving payroll providers. As a result, the company has developed a robust software with some unique payroll features. One advantage to Deluxe Payroll is the comprehensive reports available to users. Deluxe Payroll offers more than 50 different payroll reports, including some non-standard reports such as a Worker Compensation Board report, Employee Profile Changes, and Vacation Accrual Report. All of these reports are provided in PDF format and are fully downloadable into Microsoft Excel. Beyond its extensive reports, Deluxe Payroll also offers key payroll features such as automated stat holiday pay calculations, multiple deposit accounts for employees (up to three), and payday e-stubs for employees. Additionally, Deluxe Payroll also boasts special features for franchisees and franchise owners.
In contrast, Knit offers some unique payroll features of its own—many of which are designed specifically to meet the needs of accountants and bookkeepers who run payroll for their clients. Unlike Deluxe Payroll, Knit offers a dedicated accountant dashboard so that accountants and bookkeepers can coordinate and manage the payroll for all of their clients. Knit also offers employee self-onboarding and self-serve employee portals, which allow employees to manage their own data, saving accountants and bookkeepers from time-consuming data entry. For small business owners, Knit also offers handy payroll features such as unlimited pay groups and cycles, unlimited income types, multiple pay rates, and auto-run for all salaried payroll. Knit even offers a hands-off concierge service for companies that would like their payroll and HR to be fully managed by Knit.
HR & Benefits
Of course, modern businesses often have needs that extend beyond payroll. Luckily, both Knit and Deluxe Payroll offer additional service such as HR, benefits, and time-tracking, all of which integrate directly with payroll.
In terms of additional services, Deluxe Payroll offers HR, benefits, time and attendance, and employee assistance. Of all of these additional services, Deluxe Payroll’s time and attendance features is an obvious standout. Unlike other companies, Deluxe Payroll boasts a drag-and-drop calendar feature that makes it easy for employee to change their schedule from week to week. Deluxe Payroll also has an AI auto-scheduling system that optimizes for cost and optimal coverage, which is particularly useful for industries such as retail, food service, and construction. Of course, it’s important to note that, beyond payroll, all of Deluxe Payroll’s services are optional add-ons. This means that pricing can vary wildly depending on which services a company chooses to add.
In contrast to Deluxe Payroll’s a la carte service structure, Knit integrates HR into its payroll offerings. This means that even Knit’s most basic payroll plan includes access to HR features such as the employee database, e-signature documents, employee performance reviews, employee on-boarding, a document repository, and vacation tracking. This also means that all of a company’s employee information is integrated with Knit’s payroll platform to allow for easy employee management and to remove the burden of double data entry. Moreover, Knit offers additional add-on services for companies that need them, including benefits management and time tracking through TSheets.
Customer service is often an afterthought until you really need it. Therefore, it’s important to think about customer support before choosing a new payroll provider, rather than waiting until a crisis pops up.
Both Knit and Deluxe Payroll offer unlimited support at no additional cost. Both companies also employ trained payroll specialists who are up to date on the latest payroll rules and legislation to help you with any issues that may arise. In terms of reaching support, Knit and Deluxe Payroll have dedicated phone and email lines, so that users can choose their preferred means of communication.
To handle common support questions, Knit also boasts a comprehensive library of support documents and video tutorials that address everything from adding employees, to expediting payroll.
The final, and sometimes the most important, consideration when choosing a payroll software is cost.
Like many of the other large payroll providers, Deluxe Payroll does not make its pricing publicly available. Its pricing is based on payroll processing, reporting integration, and the number of employees at a company, therefore the cost of running payroll varies and must be determined by speaking to a sales representative. For some smaller companies, it may not be worth the time and energy of going through the sales process just to receive a quote.
In contrast, Knit makes its pricing publicly available on its website. For complete payroll and most of its HR tools, Knit charges $39, plus $4 per employee per month. For payroll and the full HR suite, Knit charges $39, plus $6 per employee per month. This pricing is all-inclusive, which means that Knit charges no additional fees for off-cycle pay runs, direct deposit, or dedicated support. The inclusion of HR software can be a major bonus for small businesses without a dedicated HR professional. It’s also important to note that Knit offers a discounted price to bookkeepers and accountants, with further pricing reductions for referrals.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, both Knit and Deluxe Payroll are equipped to handle the payroll needs of most small and medium-sized businesses. Both also offer additional features such as HR, benefits, and time tracking, which may be useful to business owners.
However, Deluxe Payroll is most popular among industries such as construction, retail, restaurants, and healthcare. This is largely because of Deluxe Payroll’s robust time and attendance feature, which includes AI-powered scheduling and facial recognition. Deluxe Payroll is also popular among franchisees and franchise owners due to special franchisee-specific pricing package.
On the other hand, Knit is most popular among small to medium-sized businesses and accountants and bookkeepers who run payroll for small businesses. This is largely because of Knit’s dedicated accountant dashboard and its self-serve employee portal, which gives administrators more flexibility and control over payroll.
To find out how Knit stacks up against other payroll providers, read our full Guide to the Best Payroll Software in Canada.
By Katherine Pendrill on Sep. 3, 2019