Which Payroll Service?

Parent Q&A

Seeking recommendations on how to pay pod educator Jul 26, 2020 (1 responses below)
Best online payroll service for home employee? Dec 23, 2018 (2 responses below)
Payroll processing service or software Feb 14, 2018 (3 responses below)
  • What method / online platform do you recommend for paying caregivers / educators? We are 4 families sharing one educator for a learning pod this fall, and we want to be able to pay over the table, withhold taxes, etc. We also want to be able to use our individual daycare FSA accounts and have documentation for tax purposes. We don't want to make this a management nightmare for the educator!!  Any recommendations on how to go about doing this? I assume those with over-the-table nanny share experience might have some insight, too. Thank you!

    I highly recommend Homepay for payroll services for household employees. We used them for a nanny share a few years ago and now are planning to use them to pay our pod teacher. Easy setup, direct deposit into your employee’s bank account from yours, and they handle all the withholdings and IRS reporting. Excellent customer service too if you ever need to call. Well worth the fee. 

  • We've hired a person to help out my aging mother at home part-time.What is the best online payroll processing service in terms of ease-of-use for employer and employee, and highest value for subscription fee?

    Thank you,


    I've been using Homepay for 1.5 years to pay our nanny and it's great. Very easy to setup and use, and excellent customer service. I don't have a single complaint. Not sure how it compares to other services as Homepay is the only one I've used. 

    For a really easy to use payroll service, try Gusto.  (gusto.com) I pay a monthly fee of $50 for one employee, which is much less than the rate I was being charged by WFB, my prior service.  Gusto provides excellent customer service as well.  

  • Payroll processing service or software

    (3 replies)

    My husband has a solo legal practice with a few employees.  I am a tax professional so have been handling his taxes, books, and payroll myself in the evenings, but I have a full time job myself and am getting too busy for the payroll processing, quarterly reporting, etc.  Anyone has a small business or works in one and can recommend an easy to use but cost efficient payroll software or service that would handle all of the filings, direct deposit, payment of taxes, etc. for us.  I don't need help with set up or advice line, so a simple payroll software will likely do but I really want to get this payroll stuff of my plate. I'm currently using Intuit enhanced payroll but it is not full service and intuit's full service option is really expensive for a small employer. Thanks. 

    Our small business has been happy with PrimePay (http://primepay.com) for payroll and reporting - I'm not sure how their rates compare to other services, but on the plus side I didn't have to spend *5 years* extricating myself from a mistake jointly attributable to a former employee and the payroll company like I did at ADP.

    Gusto is great for small businesses and/or solopreneurs with contract teams

    Would Gusto or Zenefits work?  Both are online platforms that do things for really low cost, if not free.  I have friends who have used both very effectively in an attempt to keep back-office costs low.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Payroll Service for Small Business

Nov 2015

I own a very small business (just myself and one recently hired employee). I am not thrilled with the company that does my payroll (every month they tell me I haven't paid the initial set up fee that I paid 6 months ago; every month I point out that I have and they say ''oops, sorry''- it's getting tiresome and doesn't inspire confidence in their work!) I'm looking for recommendations for a company or solo bookkeeper who can do my payroll, and possibly more in depth bookkeeping, as well. Please let me know if you have worked with someone you really like and trust. (East Bay preferred, but not required.) anon

Please consider Tye Kirk. He's very competent. He can set up a fiancial system, do budgeting, tracing income and expenses, bill pay, monthly or quarterly reports--whatever you need. You can get more information from his website www.thegreenbookkeeper.com Tye is in Oakland but I believe he can also work virtually. His number is 6818722. symetrick

I work as a bookkeeper for a few different clients. I have used different payroll services over the years - some were OK, some I hated. I really like Intuit Online Payroll -- the full service version really is full-service. You don't need to know when to file returns or pay your taxes. If I have a question, I call a real person and get help for no extra fees. It integrates easily with QuickBooks, but that is not required. You can print the checks your self or pay via direct deposit. I have a client with the Intuit add-on to QuickBooks - cheaper, but not by too much. I prefer the full service version because the taxes are paid automatically - I think it is a decent value. Good luck. Sharon

I highly recommend One Stop Payroll for your small business. www.ospay.com They are super friendly, helpful, and competent. I have used them at about 10 of the small businesses I've worked with over the past several years. They know all about payroll and benefits, they respond to you right away, and they will remember you and your company if you call with questions. They have not made a mistake on paychecks or the payroll taxes of any of the businesses I work with, unlike my experience with the big payroll companies I like PayChex, ADT, etc. Their office is in Pleasant Hill. Their prices beat the big payroll companies. Their online program does not have all the features of the big payroll services, like electronic pay stubs and employee self management accounts, but I don't miss any of that. Stacie C.

Hi there, I work in a CPA office (the clients are all small businesses). She recommends Primepay and uses it herself. Look into it! She is very discerning and would not put up with such nonsense as you describe. Heather T.

Payroll Services or do it myself?

Dec 2011

I started my own business and am in the process of hiring my first few employees. (Yeah!) I wanted to get a feel for those who started their own business and how they chose to address their payroll needs. I can't decide between (1) doing it myself with Intuit Payroll, (2) through the bank where my business account is, (3) professional service like ADP. How did you choose what you chose? Ease? More or less involvement/control of the finances? Any other option I'm not considering or know of? What about accountants? Are they even an option? Thank you in advance for all your recommendations and suggestions! anon

Congratulations on your new small business. I am a small business bookkeeper in Berkeley. I recommend NOT doing your own payroll. I can explain more if you want to email me. I recommend Ovation Payroll. Jim Rowse will talk with you. 7901 Stoneridge Drive Suite 410, Pleasanton, CA 94588 925-570-8563 jrowse [at] ovationpayroll.com Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss anything regarding small business payroll. sherrym

Not sure that there really is a different between Intuit and ADP - with most of those systems you will be entering the hours, vacation time etc yourself. Make sure you select one that does all filing of the payroll reports for you. I work at a company with about 30 people - I've used ADP and didn't like them (hated their customer service). We use Paylocity -they are not very big on the west coast but I like them a lot. The ADPs / Paylocitys of this world are pretty reasonably priced - probably a lot less that an accountant would charge you - and they should be more than adequate for your needs. So if controlling costs is an option one of the big services will definitely be way more reasonably priced.

My family started a small business (4 employees) last year and I attempted to do payroll myself with Quickbooks. Let me just say, that didnt last long! Unless you plan on getting VERY good at quickbooks, or are familiar with someone who is, get a payroll service. The taxes are complicated, and Quickbooks is not an easy program to master (and I consider myself VERY computer savvy). It is soo nice to have someone else worry about FICA, FUTA, SSA taxes, etc. It can get very daunting to do it yourself and a lot of time! Our accountant agreed with this decision as well. Its worth the money! dani

My family has started a business several years ago and we went with the do-it-yourself Intuit option. We were already using Quick Books and liked the control of doing all the bookkeeping and payroll ourselves. A big consideration for us was cost. The do it yourself option has a relatively low annual fee, while the other options have much higher fees. Though payroll is not something that is easy and quick to do yourself. I was in college when we started and had the time to study all the rules and processes and to work on it every pay period. If you have the time to really learn it and take responsibility for inputting it, making sure the percentages are correct, and that all the reporting forms are timely submitted then I would use the do-it- yourself option, otherwise it might be better to pay a service to do it for you for the peace of mind of knowing that everything is taken care of. Good luck. Ora

Anyone Use Inuit Payroll?

Dec 2008

Hi, I have a very tiny, barely profitable business and I need to change payroll providers. I'm thinking of using Inuit's online payroll service because it is only $10 per month and seems to offer what I need. Does anyone out there have any experience with it? Any other similarly priced payroll services I should check out? Thanks little business owner

I have used Inuit payroll for many years and find it to be easy and reasonably priced. Laurie

Yes, I do use Intuit Payroll through Costco. I do payroll for 2 employees every 2 weeks, and the charge is $29 each time. This does include the automatic quarterly tax payments, the proper withholding, etc. They take care of everything. I just have to input the hours employees worked, they'll calculate the rest. They are helpful too if you need to talk to someone. Satisfied Customer