When it comes to choosing a payroll software, you’ve got a lot of options. The problem is, the more options out there, the more information you need to wade through. And since there’s no one-size-fits-all payroll solution, you need to know all the facts before you can choose the best payroll software solution for you and your company.
Your 2020 Guide to the Best Payroll Software in Canada
To help you narrow things down and choose the right payroll provider, we’ve created a handy guide to the best payroll software in Canada. The information in this guide summarizes user-submitted testimonials, online reviews, and product descriptions to provide you with a candid and comprehensive look at the different payroll options available. With all the facts at your fingertips, this guide will equip you with the information you need to choose the best payroll software solution for your needs.
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ADP Workforce Now
ADP is an enterprise software that offers human resources management solutions and payroll services for businesses of all sizes. The company has been in the payroll space for more than 70 years and has a long history of success. ADPs primary product is Workforce Now.
When it comes to ADP Workforce Now, the biggest benefit is that the software is an all-in-one payroll, HR, time, talent, and benefits platform. This means that companies can manage most back-office administration in one place. ADP Workforce Now also supports real-time updates across all systems, eliminating the need for additional data entry.
On the employee side of things, the self-service employee portal offers useful tools such as time-tracking, scheduling, PTO requests, and benefits management—all of which make for a great user experience. These features are also accessible through the Workforce Now mobile app. Employees particularly appreciate the self-serve employee portal as it allows them to access their payment information without the need to go through HR or their payroll administrator.
As ADP primarily serves enterprise companies, the opportunities for customization and add-on modules make it easy for large businesses to tailor the platform to their exact needs. This means that ADP can handle even the most complex payrolls for hundreds to thousands of employees at a time—something that smaller payroll providers are often unable to support.
One of the biggest drawbacks with ADP Workforce Now is the interface, which is frequently described as unintuitive and tricky to navigate without proper training. Some users have also suggested that the interface is outdated and slow when compared to other cloud platforms. This is primarily because of ADPs size and its inability to push updates as quickly and frequently as smaller payroll startups.
Other user reviews suggest that implementation is difficult and requires a lot of hand-holding. This also means that when knowledgeable administrators leave, the platform is difficult for others to use. However, this is to be expected with most enterprise software.
Who is this software best for?
When considering ADP Workforce Now, it's important to take costs and implementation time into account. ADP’s high implementation fees and add-on pricing structure can be a barrier for small businesses with limited budgets. Moreover, ADP’s fee structure is dependent on factors such as employee count, pay schedule, integration requirements, and more, which can raise the total cost of using the product.
The level of customer support needed is another factor to consider. Because ADP largely deals with enterprise companies, support is less personalized and less flexible. For smaller companies that need more frequent and responsive support, ADP may be a poor fit.
Though ADP offers a variety of plans for businesses of all sizes, the platform is primarily built for large enterprises. This means that for large businesses with hundreds to thousands of employees, ADPs integrations, customizations, and accessibility make it a frontrunner.
Like ADP, Ceridian is one of the largest payroll providers in the space. Ceridian’s primary product is an HCM platform called Dayforce, which combines HR, payroll, benefits, workforce management, and talent management into a single application.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of Dayforce is that it is a scalable platform with numerous opportunities for customization. Dayforce is specifically built with a single, flexible rules engine combined with real-time updates and calculations that help address complex regulatory requirements often faced by large businesses.
Another strength of Ceridian Dayforce is that payroll, HR, benefits, workforce management, and talent management are all housed in the same platform. For enterprise companies with hundreds to thousands of employees to keep track off, having everything stored in one place makes it easier for administrators to keep things organized. It also eliminates the need for any duplicate data entry.
Additionally, Ceridian Dayforce places a strong emphasis on employee self-service. This means that employees can easily log in and track their pay information at any time. They can also view the breakdown of their paycheque, access pay stubs, and print out tax forms from their own employee portal without the need to contact an administrator.
While Ceridian’s robust and comprehensive HCM system means that there are many different features available, this can make the platform difficult to navigate. Many users have lamented the overwhelming amount of features, which make it difficult to find specific information and often slow down the processing time. The sheer size and complexity of the platform also generally means that a company must have specific staff members dedicated to learning and using the system.
Many users have also been dissatisfied with the level of customer support offered by Ceridian. Because Ceridian is a large company, support is less personalized and users are rarely helped by the same customer support rep each time—a frequent complaint associated with enterprise software.
Who is this software best for?
Ceridian Dayforce is one of the most comprehensive HCM platforms on the market. As a result, it is best for enterprise companies that have a high demand for a software that can handle not just payroll, but also HR, benefits, and recruitment. However, for smaller companies with limited HR and recruitment needs, these features are often unnecessary and may not be worth the high monthly fees.
As mentioned above, Ceridian Dayforce is also built with scalability in mind. The platform is designed for growing companies with frequent changes in staff and payroll. However, for small companies that are not hiring employees regularly, the platform extensive, customizable features may actually make the user experience more cumbersome.
Deluxe Payroll (formerly Payweb)
Established in 1967, Deluxe Payroll (formerly known as Payweb) is one of Canada’s longest-serving payroll providers. Deluxe Payroll serves companies with 1 to 1,000 employees across Canada, including Quebec. Deluxe Payroll also offers an HRIS solution that can serve as a stand-alone system or integrate with the company’s Payroll and Time & Attendance solutions.
One of Deluxe Payroll’s major strengths is the number of reports available to users. Deluxe Payroll offers over 50 different payroll reports, such as the Payroll Register and Vacation Accrual Report. All of these reports are provided in PDF format as soon as payroll is processed and are fully downloadable into Microsoft Excel. Deluxe Payroll also offers some non-standard reports such as the General Ledger, Worker’s Compensation Board, and PIER (CPP and EI audit report).
Though it is not included with the payroll package, companies that are looking for a more extensive HR program can take advantage of Deluxe Payroll’s Employee Assistance Program solutions. These solutions go beyond basic HR software to include HR policy templates, on-demand consultations with HR professionals, telephone counseling for struggling employees, and more. Though most smaller companies will not need such extensive HR solutions, larger companies may appreciate the option to add on these services.
Finally, many employers appreciate Deluxe Payroll’s easy-to-use time and attendance feature. Deluxe boasts a drag-and-drop calendar feature that makes it easy for employers to change the schedule week to week. Deluxe also has an AI auto-scheduling system that optimizes for cost and optimal coverage. Though most 9-to-5 businesses won’t need this kind of detailed scheduling, the feature is useful for industries such as retail, restaurants, and construction.
As one of the oldest payroll platforms in Canada, the overall look and feel of Deluxe’s platform can sometimes seem a bit outdated. Though the platform is still described by users as intuitive, the user interface is not as sleek or as user-friendly as some of the newer payroll startups.
Like many of the other larger payroll providers, Deluxe’s pricing system varies based on the payroll processing, the reporting integration, and the number of employees. This means that the cost of running payroll can vary dramatically and can only be determined by speaking with a sales representative. Some smaller companies may not be willing to invest the time of going through the rigamarole of a sales pitch to determine the cost of running payroll.
While Deluxe’s size and long history as a payroll provider are a benefit in some ways, it also means that the company is not necessarily as agile as some of the smaller payroll sizes. Like other major providers such as ADP and Ceridian, the sheer size of Deluxe’s platform means updates take longer to roll out. For those who like to provide feedback and see platforms evolve with their business, Deluxe may not have the speed and flexibility to keep up.
Who is this software best for?
Though Deluxe Payroll services companies in a wide variety of industries, the software is most popular among contractors, healthcare workers, restaurants, and retailers. This is largely because of the software’s robust time and attendance feature, which boasts AI scheduling and even a time clock powered by facial recognition. Deluxe Payroll also offers a specific package for franchises.
However, because Deluxe focuses on these industries, companies with more straightforward payroll may find some of Deluxe’s features unnecessary. For instance, companies with largely salaried employees working the same hours each week may not get the full use out of Deluxe Payroll’s software and its additional services.
- TRUiC: 4 (out of 5)
Wondering how Deluxe Payroll compares to Knit? Read a breakdown of Knit vs Deluxe Payroll.
Knit is a united payroll, HR, and benefits software. The software is primarily used by small to medium-sized businesses, as well as accountants and bookkeepers who manage payroll for their clients.
Unlike many other startups in the space, Knit is a payroll-forward platform with a comprehensive list of features. Beyond basic features such as direct deposit, automated CRA remittances, and year-end reporting, Knit also offers some more complex payroll functionalities such as WSIB remittance reporting, off-cycle pay runs, auto-run for salaried employees, and T4 filings.
In recent years, Knit has expanded the HR branch of its platform to include several advanced HR modules. This includes time tracking, time-off requests and approvals, cloud-accessible documents, e-sign custom documents, performance reviews, benefits management, and more. For small business owners, these tools eliminate the need to purchase additional HR software or hire a dedicated HR professional.
However, one of Knit’s biggest advantages is the ability to run unlimited payroll without any extra fees. It is one of the only software providers that offers this option. For companies that run weekly payrolls or frequently find themselves running off-cycle payroll, Knit is one of the most affordable payroll options on the market.
One of the drawbacks to Knit is the lack of a mobile app. While the software is cloud-based and can be accessed anywhere with an Internet connection, many users note that they would like the ability to run payroll directly from their phone. Many employees would also appreciate a way to access the self-serve employee portal on mobile.
Though Knit is designed to handle the payroll of small and medium-sized businesses, it lacks some of the more complex payroll features that are required by larger companies. For instance, Knit does not offer garnishment administration or T4As for contract employees. Though most businesses will not need all of these features, it may be a deal-breaker for enterprise businesses or companies with very specific and complicated payrolls.
Who is this software best for?
Because of its highly robust payroll platform and integrated HR and benefits modules, Knit is equipped to handle the needs of both small and medium-sized businesses. With its unlimited payroll offering and a reasonable monthly fee, Knit is also a highly affordable option for smaller businesses.
The software is also popular among accountants and bookkeepers because it strikes a good balance between control and flexibility. Knit's accounting and bookkeeping partners are particularly fond of the employee portal and the employee self-onboarding feature, which helps to lighten their own workload.
However, larger, enterprise-sized clients will likely find Knit does not have the customization capabilities and the advanced reporting that they require to run payroll for hundreds of employees. Additionally, Knit’s HR and benefits modules may be too simplistic for the needs of larger companies with dedicated HR personnel.
- Capterra: 5 (out of 5)
Nethris is an all-in-one management solution for small and medium-sized businesses in Canada. The Montreal-based company not only offers payroll services, but also an HR module, time management, group insurance, and recruitment tools.
With more than 40 years of payroll processing under its belt, Nethris is a trusted payroll partner for many small and medium-sized businesses. This means the company is well equipped to handle both basic and more complex payrolls. Many users also appreciate some of Nethris’ more uncommon features, such as the payroll simulator for employee salary changes, and the ability to manage support payments, alimony (Quebec and Ontario), and wage garnishments.
Another major strength of Nethris is its ability to support Quebec payroll. As a Montreal-based business, Nethris is well-versed on Quebec payroll standards, which differ from those of other provinces. As a result, Nethris can take care of the CCQ, Commission des normes du travail, CSST, and Solidarity Fund remittances.
Finally, many small and medium-sized business owners appreciate the option to add on additional services such as HR, recruitment, and time-management. Having these services integrated with payroll helps to streamline operations and save administrators from transferring data between programs. Of course, the monthly cost does increase with each module added.
One of Nethris’ biggest weaknesses is its mobile app. Not only have many users described the app as difficult to use, but many also report frequent bugs, such as the inability to download paystub PDFs. Many users also note that whenever an update to the app is rolled out, it causes problems that lead to the app crashing or not allowing users to log in. While bugs are inevitable with any software, these problems seem to follow each update to the software.
Another sticking point for some users is Nethris’ pricing. Instead of charging a monthly base fee, Nethris’ pricing is per pay period based on the number of employees. This means that if you’re running more frequent payrolls, the costs can add up quickly. Moreover, companies must pay an additional cost to add features such as HR, time-management, recruitment, or even the self-service employee portal.
Who is this software best for?
With its comprehensive list of payroll features, Nethris is well equipped to handle the payroll needs of most small to medium-sized businesses. Nethris also has the ability to support some less common payroll features such as support payments, alimony, and garnishments.
Nethris is particularly good payroll option for Quebec-based companies, as the system is designed to handle the intricacies of Quebec payroll. Nethris also offers support in both English and French, which also makes it a good option for Francophone businesses.
Nethris is an affordable option for basic payroll. However, the company’s “per pay period” pricing structure can make it more costly for certain payrolls. Additionally, Nethris’ a la carte pricing structure can add up quickly when companies start adding additional features such as HR, time management, recruitment, employee self-serve portals, and more. As a result, Nethris’ full suite of services may be out of budget for some smaller companies.
Wondering how Nethris compares to Knit? Read a breakdown of Knit vs Nethris.
PaymentEvolution is a cloud-based payroll provider that bills itself as the most cost-effective solution for small to medium-sized businesses. The platform also includes benefits, but not HR features. As a result, PaymentEvolution is a popular, no-frills payroll solution for many accountants and small businesses with 50 employees or fewer.
One of PaymentEvolution’s greatest strengths is cost. In fact, PaymentEvolution even has a free plan for small businesses with up to five employees—though the payroll features are fairly limited. In terms of paid plans, PaymentEvolution's options for small businesses and accountants are highly affordable.
Accountants particularly like using PaymentEvolution as the setup is fairly straightforward and payroll can be run in just a few minutes. The platform also offers advanced functions like custom deductions and the ability to set up your own payroll rules. Many small businesses also appreciate the fact that Payment Evolution supports, wage garnishment, WSIB, and T4As for contract employees.
While the price is a major selling feature for very small businesses, PaymentEvolution is on the pricier side for businesses with more than 25 employees. For 26 employees and up, PaymentEvolution charges $50/month plus $1.50 per employee. PaymentEvolution also has several regular fees, such as 50¢ per payroll transaction and $2.50 for remittances per pay run. These fees can add up over time making PaymentEvolution more expensive than the base plans suggest.
Another drawback to PaymentEvolution is the dedicated focus on payroll and payments services. Unlike many other payroll providers, PaymentEvolution does not include any HR features. While this may not be a problem for very small companies with just a handful of employees, slightly larger companies will need to pay for additional software to cover their HR needs.
Finally, PaymentEvolution lacks some useful payroll features such as auto-run for salaried payroll, employee self-onboarding, vacation pay entitlement rate tracking, and banked hours. These features can make running payroll more tedious for slightly larger companies.
Who is this software best for?
As a no-frills payroll solution, PaymentEvolution is ideal for small companies with 50 employees or less that simply need a reliable and user-friendly payroll solution. With both free plans and affordable plans for small businesses, PaymentEvolution is one of the most cost-effective payroll solutions for small companies.
However, larger or enterprise-size companies may find PaymentEvolution’s payroll features somewhat limiting. This is also true of companies that require HR tools and time-saving payroll features such as auto-run for salaried employees. If this is the case, PaymentEvolution may not be the best fit.
Wondering how PaymentEvolution compares to Knit? Read a breakdown of Knit vs PaymentEvolution.
Payworks has been providing payroll services for Canadian small businesses since 2001. The company offers payroll management, HRIS, time and attendance, group benefits, health spending accounts, and more.
One of the Payworks’ strengths is that, unlike some of the smaller payroll startups, Payworks processes Quebec payroll. While most federal, provincial, and territorial payroll legislation is quite similar, there are some very unique requirements make Quebec payroll more difficult for smaller payroll providers to support. Therefore, Payworks may be a good option for companies based in Quebec or with several employees in Quebec.
Payworks does offer an HR add-on for companies that are looking to manage employee lifecycles with ease. This feature includes employee profiles, onboarding tools, compensation and benefits management, as well as talent and performance management. Though the HR functions are not as built-out as some of the more HR-forward startups, Payworks’ HR system provides most of the basic features that small and medium-sized businesses would require.
Interestingly, Payworks has developed a unique software solution for franchisees and franchise owners. This includes the ability to manage multiple locations within one database, multi-user access, the ability to import data from various POS systems, automated vacation pay entitlements, a mass wage update functionality, and more. Payworks also has a payroll support team specifically dedicated to franchise customers.
One of the biggest drawbacks to using Payworks is the time-tracking feature. The company uses its own time-tracking module, which is fairly basic. For those who are familiar with dedicated time-tracking apps such as TSheets, the module may not have everything needed.
Users have raised a similar concern about Payworks’ employee portal. Many users report that the employee portals are fairly basic and only include administrative information about the employees, rather than their payment details. For companies that want employees to be able to access their personal payroll information on their own, Payworks’ employee portals may be too limited.
Finally, accountants and bookkeepers often find that Payworks lacks the features necessary to support their specific needs. For instance, there is no accountant dashboard, which means that accountants and bookkeepers have no clear overview of their clients and the upcoming payrolls that need processing.
Who is this software best for?
Payworks has a long-standing reputation as a Canadian payroll provider. As a result, the platform is equipped to handle both straightforward and more complex business payroll. This makes Payworks a great option for small businesses, as well as medium-sized companies with more complicated payrolls.
However, as an older platform, Payworks is a bit behind on the user experience. The limited employee dashboard and lack of accountant dashboard make it a little more of a basic system when compared to the newer payroll startups. As a result, Payworks may be best for more traditional companies that simply need to process payroll and are less concerned with the overall user experience.
Wondering how Payworks compares to Knit? Read a breakdown of Knit vs Payworks.
- N49: 3.5 (out of 5)
QuickBooks Online Standard Payroll
QuickBooks Standard Payroll from Intuit is a cloud-based payroll system that integrates with the QuickBooks accounting platform. Unlike QuickBooks Advanced Payroll, QuickBooks Standard Payroll is a no-frills payroll package designed to help small businesses manage accounting and payroll in one place. It is also used by many accountants and bookkeepers to manage their client’s payroll.
QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are very popular among accountants and bookkeepers, and the integrated payroll option provides added value to the reselling of a discounted QuickBooks Online or Desktop accounts. Accountants and bookkeepers who have multiple clients on QuickBooks Payroll also appreciate the fact that they can see all their clients in one place.
Like other cloud-based payroll platforms, users appreciate the fact that QuickBooks Standard Payroll can be accessed from virtually anywhere, at any time. Those who previously used QuickBooks Desktop Payroll are particularly happy with the flexibility of the cloud-based version of the platform and how it allows them to run payroll on the go.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to QuickBooks Standard Payroll is the fact that filing and remitting your payroll taxes with the CRA or Revenu Québec is not automatic. Instead, the platform simply assists users by preparing PD7A and TPZ-1015 remittance forms to print and file. ROEs, T4, T4As, and WSIB must also be filed manually. This lack of automation not only makes the payroll process longer, but it also means more work on the part of the administrator. While QuickBooks does offer automated remittances as part of its QuickBooks Online Advanced Payroll plan, this plan is more expensive.
Many users have noticed frequent bugs or glitches when using QuickBooks Online Payroll. This is largely due to the sheer size of the platform and the constant rollout of new features and new versions of the software. While most users say these issues are addressed quickly, it can be a major source of frustration when it comes to time-sensitive payroll issues.
Of all the cloud payroll providers, QuickBooks Payroll is among the lowest rated when it comes to customer service. Many users report poor customer service experiences, particularly when the software is down. Some users also point out the persistence of repeated bugs or glitches that sometimes persist for years despite many conversations with QuickBooks’ support team.
Backed by a software giant, QuickBooks is constantly listening to client feedback, making changes, rolling out new features, and updating its support documents. This means the product is constantly improving and becoming more robust. However, it is important to note that sometimes these upgrades are only available to QuickBooks Advanced Payroll users, which means QuickBooks Standard Payroll users may need to sign up for a more expensive plan to access the newer features.
Who is this software best for?
QuickBooks Online Standard Payroll integrates seamlessly with other QuickBooks products, making it a good option for those who already use QuickBooks accounting software. However, there are some missing features on the payroll side, such as the lack of automated remittances, that make the product less than ideal for businesses with more than 10 employees.
While not the best fit for larger businesses, QuickBooks Online Standard Payroll does cover all the basic functions that small businesses require to effectively run payroll. The cost of QuickBooks Standard Payroll is also very reasonable for small business owners at just $20, plus $2 per employee per month.
However, companies that require anything beyond very basic payroll features will likely need to upgrade to the QuickBooks Advanced Payroll plan, which is more expensive on a monthly basis. For companies with more than 10 employees, the cost of the QuickBooks Advanced Payroll plan may be on the pricier side.
Rise People is an all-in-one HR, benefits, and payroll software solution serving small to large businesses in Canada. Rise also offers free payroll software for small and medium-sized businesses in Canada.
One of the biggest advantages of using Rise is the platform’s integrated payroll, HR, and benefits features. Business owners can sync all their employee data in one integrated platform, and employees can access their information through a self-serve portal.
Rise also has some of the most robust HR features of all the payroll providers. Managers can use an intuitive single HRIS system of record to maintain all company and employee information, store digital paperwork, and more. Managers can also issue performance evaluations, track time off, and analyze reports on employee engagement.
Finally, Rise is often applauded for its customer support. Many online reviews note instances where Rise helped those who had never run payroll before to learn the basics. Other online reviews note that Rise’s customer support team is patient and kind when responding to user questions. There is also a chat feature on each page, which makes it easy for users to receive quick, personalized support.
Although Rise has a full suite of HR features, the platform is less robust on the payroll side. For instance, there is no auto-run feature for salaried employees. Users have also pointed out that creating a payroll run requires multiple steps and T4 submission is not automatic. The lack of QuickBooks Online and Xero integrations is also an issue for many users, particularly accountants and bookkeepers.
Other users have noted that Rise’s platform is not as intuitive as they would like it to be. They explain that there is a bit of a learning curve to the platform and it can be a bit overwhelming for new users and even accountants and bookkeepers. However, the same reviews also point out that Rise’s customer support team does help address any confusion and walk new users through different functions.
Although Rise can handle the payroll of small and medium-sized businesses, it is not robust enough to handle the needs of enterprise companies. For instance, some online reviews have noted that there is a lot of manual data entry required in the setup process, which can be tedious and time-consuming for companies with hundreds to thousands of employees.
Who is this software best for?
As most users have noted, companies with anything from a handful of employees to 100 employees are the ideal fit for Rise. This is especially true of companies that are looking for a full suite of HR features, such as time-tracking, performance reviews, and PTO.
However, the amount of manual input involved in setup may be a concern for enterprise companies. Users have also noted that while the software works well for basic payroll, it lacks some of the features that are common to other payroll providers. For instance, Rise lacks features such as e-document signing, payroll auto-run, and direct integrations with accounting software such as QuickBooks Online and Xero. For larger companies that inevitably have more complex or demanding payrolls, Rise may not have all the features necessary to support their needs.
Wondering how Rise People compares to Knit? Read a breakdown of Knit vs Rise People.
Wagepoint is an online cloud-based payroll software for small businesses that includes features such as direct deposit, tax filings, year-end reporting, online paystubs, and more. The platform is popular among both small business owners and accountants.
Online reviews often praise Wagepoint’s user-friendly design and intuitive user experience. This is particularly important to small business owners who may be less experienced in running payroll.
Wagepoint focuses most of its energy on its payroll side of the platform, which means that Wagepoint’s payroll features are highly robust. The platform automates CRA and WCB remittances, handles statutory holiday calculations, direct deposit, and online pay stubs. Wagepoint also offers auto remittance for SD, ROEs, T4s, T4As, EHT, and WSIB. Both small business owners and accountants appreciate how easy it is to run payroll with Wagepoint and the fact that the platform can handle more complex payrolls, including multiple pay groups for payrolls on different frequencies.
Pricing is another strength of Wagepoint’s. Wagepoint offers straightforward pricing based on how often you run payroll and the number of employees you pay each time. For small companies running bi-weekly and semi-monthly payrolls, the pricing is fairly straightforward and affordable. However, it should be noted that Wagepoint does not offer unlimited payruns and pricing changes for running weekly and/or monthly payrolls.
In terms of areas that could use improvement, customer support is a frequent pain point. Wagepoint’s customer support is primarily limited to email and online support tickets. While most users note that the support they receive is friendly and fairly responsive, the limited phone support can be an issue when it comes to time-sensitive problems.
Another drawback to Wagepoint is the lack of HR and benefits features. Though Wagepoint now offers time-tracking and PTO, the platform lacks other important HR functionalities such as performance reviews, organization flow charts, e-signatures, etc.. This means companies will need to purchase additional HR software if they are looking for a more robust platform with integrated HR features.
Though Wagepoint's pricing is affordable for companies running bi-weekly and semi-monthly payrolls, there are some additional fees that can add up over time. For instance, Wagepoint charges per pay run, which means that users running more frequent payrolls or regularly running off-cycle payrolls will be subject to higher monthly fees. As a result, Wagepoint is not always the most cost-effective option for small businesses.
Who is this software best for?
Wagepoint is first-and-foremost a payroll platform, therefore it is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses looking for a user-friendly and affordable payroll solution. The platform is also ideal for accountants and bookkeepers whose clients are largely small businesses with straightforward payroll needs.
Although Wagepoint has a fairly robust payroll platform, larger and enterprise-sized companies will likely find Wagepoint is not equipped to handle the kinds of customizations that their payroll requires. Wagepoint also lacks integrated HR tools and customized reporting functions which most larger sized businesses like to have built-in.
Wondering how Wagepoint compares to Knit? Read a breakdown of Knit vs Wagepoint.
Wave is a company that provides a suite of free financial services and online software for small businesses. In addition to its free accounting and invoicing software, Wave also offers paid payroll services and credit card processing.
When it comes to Wave payroll, one of the biggest benefits is the sleek and modern interface. Not only is it user-friendly, but the setup is simple even for companies with a large number of employees. Users also appreciate that the dashboard provides a comprehensive overview of everything that needs reviewing, editing, and approving before each pay run.
Another benefit to Wave is the integration between accounting, invoicing, and payroll. This integration makes it easy to sync all employee information and keep important financial data in one place. This is especially useful for small business owners who may not have the budget to pay for separate accounting, invoicing, and payroll software. There is also an option to add-on Wave+, which gives you direct virtual access to a professional Wave bookkeeper or accounting coach.
Finally, Wave’s affordable pricing structure makes it popular among small business owners with just a handful of employees. Wave offers a free 30-day trial for new users to test out the software. After the first month, Wave’s pricing starts at an affordable $20 per month base fee, plus $4 per active employee and $4 per independent contractor paid.
Though Wave is great for straightforward payroll, it is not equipped to handle more complex payroll situations. For instance, Wave makes it difficult to add commission on top of a regular salary and off-cycle pay runs cannot be scheduled. Larger companies also struggle with the fact that you cannot add multiple users, making it unscalable for growing businesses.
In addition to missing payroll features, Wave also lacks any HR and benefits modules. This means that companies will have to purchase additional HR software for time-tracking, attendance management, peer feedback, and more.
Though customers have reported friendly and responsive customer service, others have noted that there is a need to purchase certain blocks of customer support time. This can lead to difficulties when trying to address time-sensitive support issues.
Who is this software best for?
Wave is a modern, straightforward payroll solution, which is ideal for small businesses with just a handful of employees. Not only does the pricing structure make it affordable for business owners with limited funds, but the simplicity of the software also makes it ideal for first-time business owners who are still learning how to run payroll. As one user put it, Wave “softens the payroll learning curve for new business owners.”
However, Wave is not the most comprehensive payroll platform and lacks many of the key features and customizations that businesses rely on, such as auto-run for salaried employees, multiple deposit accounts for employees, and the ability to pay third party payees. Reporting is also limited with Wave, which is another drawback for some companies. As a result, Wave is generally seen as a good option for freelancers or those who are in the early stages of business ownership.
Wondering how Wave compares to Knit? Read a breakdown of Knit vs Wave.
Collage is a Canadian startup that combines HR, payroll, and benefits in one platform. Collage’s main product is its HRIS software, which is well established as one of the most comprehensive HR management solutions for small to medium-sized companies. In addition to basic HR functionalities such as time-off tracking and an employee directory, Collage also boasts a user-friendly employee portal, performance reviews and check-ins, performance management, an applicant tracking system, benefits sync, and more.
Although Collage’s main product is its HRIS software, companies do have the option to payroll services on to their HRIS monthly package. However, it is important to note that the payroll services are entirely outsourced.
Therefore, Collage is particularly useful for small and medium-sized companies with a need for a robust HR management system. For these companies, payroll is more of an afterthought rather than the primary need.
Wondering how Collage compares to Knit? Read a breakdown of Knit vs Collage.
Humi is a cloud-based platform for HR, payroll, and benefits. Like Collage, Humi has long focused its energy on its HR management platform, meaning the software has some of the best HR management tools on the market. Humi’s HR features include a comprehensive employee portal, time tracking, performance management, employee onboarding, recruitment tools, and more. These features make it easy for small and medium-sized companies to simplify and automate basic HR tasks.
Though primarily an HR platform, Humi has also built out a payroll module. According to user reviews, Humi offers an easy-to-navigate system that is both clean and user-friendly. On its website, Humi explains that the company rethought the whole payroll process from the ground up, to create a more intuitive payroll process.
Though Humi’s payroll functionalities are easy to navigate, they are still fairly basic. This means that while Humi can handle fairly straightforward payroll, anything more complicated requires a workaround or needs to be done manually.
Much like Collage, Humi is primarily an HR product first, and a payroll provider second. As a result, the platform is best for those with extensive HR needs, but fairly straightforward payroll. Companies that are larger or have a more complicated payroll process may find Humi does not offer all the necessary payroll functionalities.
Wondering how Humi compares to Knit? Read a breakdown of Knit vs Humi.
- Capterra: 4.5 (out of 5)
Want a copy of our Guide to the Best Payroll in Canada?
At the end of the day, payroll software should help you make an otherwise time-consuming and complicated process, more efficient and cost-effective. It should also help you stay compliant and avoid fines and penalties from the CRA.
However, no two companies have the same payroll needs, which is why this guide to the best payroll software in Canada highlights the biggest advantages and disadvantages to using each of the different providers. Whether you’re a mom and pop shop or a growing tech startup, it all comes down to the features that matter most to you and your team.
By Katherine Pendrill on Aug. 22, 2019