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11 Best Payroll Solutions and Software for Your Small Business

If you own or manage a small business with more than a couple of staff, you should consider looking into buying payroll solutions and services.

Payroll Services: Are they Worth the Cost?

Managing payroll in-house can be time consuming, expensive and stressful, especially if you try to do it yourself. Unskilled staff, like your administration team, cannot be expected to stay abreast of ever changing and complex payroll legislation, you don't have the time to, and an experienced and dedicated member of staff is an extra expense that small and medium sized enterprises (SME) can really do without.

Outsourcing to a dedicated payroll service lifts a huge burden from the small business owner's shoulder so they can concentrate their efforts on the more important corporate aspects of growth and development.

small business payroll


  • They keep up to date with rules, regulations and ever changing legislation.
  • HMRC compliance guaranteed.
  • Frees up your time to concentrate on running and growing your business.
  • Cost effective: No need to hire dedicated payroll staff or lose hours of your own time.
  • Accurate and quick: Your staff will always be paid the right amount at the right time.

Where Can I Find a Payroll Solution For My Business?

There is a wide variety of payroll services offered by different types of professional business, with some also offering other options, such as managed HR services.

Payroll services can be offered by dedicated providers but they are also offered by many banks and accountancy practices. Here we will look at five of the most common payroll solutions available to small businesses in the current market:

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Ceridian specialise in payroll and operate throughout the world offering payroll and HR services to over 130,000 businesses. For small business, they offer an in-house payroll software system and a completely outsourced payroll service, depending upon the size of your company and your preferences. Some small businesses want the benefits of outsourcing whilst retaining some control to reduce costs, and Ceridian aim to offer both types of service.

Perfect Payrolls

Like Ceridian, Perfect Payrolls is a dedicated payroll service based in the UK. With prices starting at £20 per month for small and medium sized businesses, Perfect Payrolls is a good value for money, fully managed payroll service, including PDF payslips, regular reports and year end documentation. Additional extras include printed, sealed and posted payslips and the P11d service.

Barclays Managed Payroll Service

Barclays Bank offer a great value payroll service to companies of all sizes. The first year is charged at £50 plus VAT for up to five employees, with each employee costing £50 per annum plus VAT thereafter. The Barclays service includes electronic payslips, reports, extra payments such as overtime and year end reports.

Eagle Consulting

Eagle Consulting brand themselves as 'your outsourced accounts department' and one of the services they offer is managed payroll. They offer the standard services, electronic payslips, bespoke reporting and year end processing too.


SageOne is a little different to standard outsourced payroll services, and in fact, is more of a DIY payroll system in the cloud. It is ideal for small businesses that do not want to outsource fully but also do not want the onus of learning about the legislation, HMRC filing and paying for expensive payroll software that itself requires training.


MoorePay are part of the NorthgateArinso group who have been providing HR solutions to small and medium sized businesses for over 50 years. In the UK, they provide payroll services to over 2,500 organisations.

They offer a full payroll service to small businesses which includes;

  • Payments to staff
  • Payments to HMRC
  • Printing and dispatch of your payslips
  • End of year reports for HMRC
  • Dealing with any collection agency requirements
  • Handling starters and leavers

Costs for this service will vary depending on the level of support you require. The most basic is the HR Essential Package, priced at £1.10 per employee per month, through to HR Advanced which includes a high level of HR support as well as payroll and costs £2.70 per employee per month.

The Payroll Dept

The Payroll Dept is run by professional specialists with many years of experience in providing outsourced small business payroll services for their clients.

They offer a full payroll service including; BACs payments to employees (weekly or monthly), payslips which can be customised to suit your needs, full management reports, a salary journal for your accounts department, pension deductions and year end reports for HMRC.

Prices for their service start from around £5 per month and increase depending on the number of employees your business has. There is a free quotation form available on the company website for prospective clients.

Compu PAYE

Compu PAYE has won a number of awards for its outsourced payroll business including the 2012 CIPP Payroll Service Provider of the Year.

Compu PAYE are currently used by over 400 businesses in the UK. Their service includes;

  • Making all payments to staff and HMRC
  • Calculation of SSP and SMP
  • Monthly payroll journal
  • Preparation of P45s/P46s for starters and leavers
  • Handling deductions such as child support
  • Season ticket loans
Their minimum monthly charge is £35 per month and they offer a free online quotation service for new customers.

Able Payroll Bureau

Able Payroll Bureau was set up by a qualified accountant to provide outsourced payroll services. They pride themselves on their level of service and there are many positive customer testimonials available for potential new clients to read on their website.

Their payroll service is RTI ready and has been accredited as such by HMRC. They can process payments for subcontractors as well as employees and they hold data on payments online for up to three years which are available for you to view at any time.

Able Payroll's prices will depend on the number of employees you have, but are generally are around the £1 per employee per month level.

Crown Payroll

Crown Payroll specialise in providing payroll services for small businesses, namely those with less than 50 employees. Their service is inclusive, and all services from customer support, P45 processing and payroll summaries incur no additional charges, making it easy for you to factor Crown into your budget.

Crown’s services are straightforward and allow you to easily outsource your payroll, understanding your business needs and working with you to provide the best solutions. Their services start from just £5 a week for weekly payments of up to 4 employees which makes them an affordable, professional service for small businesses.


Ideal for small businesses including nannies and domestic services, Way2Paye are a reliable, experienced and professional payroll service provider who can help small businesses to outsource their payroll.

Offering free support and advice on tax and employment law issues, they use their years of combined experience to provide the best support to businesses. With their basic payroll packages starting at around £195 per year, they are an affordable solution who can save businesses money as well as ensuring that payments are made on time and accurately.

Way2Paye have an experienced team who can advise you on the best solutions for your needs and ensure a personalised service which puts them above their competitors.

Whichever payroll solution you choose, the important things to look for are affordability, compliance (particularly RTI compliance at the moment), value for money, reputation and scalability. You can choose any level of service, from almost DIY to fully managed, and you can upgrade or downgrade as and when required.