Best Cloud-Based Payroll Software Companies

Discover the best cloud-based payroll software solutions and companies.

Updated: May 18, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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When it comes to HMRC compliance as a business, you need to get payroll correct. Avoiding mistakes when processing employee taxes, pension contributions and statutory sick pay is crucial.

One of the easiest ways to process these factors correctly is with cloud-based payroll software, of which there are multiple options and companies to choose from.

If you are wondering which software options will work well for your business, it's worth comparing them and considering their features.

In this article, I have gathered the best cloud-based payroll software companies. We looked into their key features, pros, and cons to help you choose one for your business.

1. Moorepay★★★★★Click Here
2. Advanced Payroll★★★★★Click Here
3. Frontier Software Payroll★★★★★Click Here
4. 12 Cloud Payroll★★★★Click Here
5. Iris Staffology Payroll★★★★Click Here
6. Sage Payroll★★★★Click Here
7. Xero★★★★Click Here
8. ADP UK★★★★★Click Here

Best Cloud-Based Payroll Software Companies — Reviews

Let's consider the best options to help you select a solution that works for your business.

1. Moorepay

Moorepay's payroll software is an HMRC-recognised payroll software that has won awards for its excellence. Some of Moorepay's essential features include automated calculations, a payroll dashboard, reporting and analytics features, timesheet creation options and multiple integrations.

With Moorepay's software, you can also use a mobile app version to ensure your employees have direct access to their payslips and P60 documents. The app has secure biometric access features that protect your employees' data.

The software providers provide quality support for large and small businesses and ensures they stay up-to-date with the latest complex legislation changes, so you are one step ahead of new developments and regulations.

In terms of integrations, Moorepay is compatible with Microsoft Office 365, meaning you will never need to enter data into two systems with Moorepay. The platform provides a simple process to integrate the software with other systems using API integration, which saves time.


✔️ Moorepay is a highly secure software.

✔️ The platform provides webinars to help you learn how to use it.

✔️ The reports feature gives you valuable data insights.


❌️ The platform lacks chatbot support.

❌️ Users need to request a quote to receive pricing information.

2. Advanced Payroll

Advanced is another HMRC-recognised payroll software. While this provider offers HR software, too, its cloud-based accounting software works for more than 22,000 customers across the globe.

With Advanced, businesses can access reporting features and dashboards to help them monitor costs and track expenses. The reports give you insights into the employee compensation you have offered and help you make better decisions.

The software features a gross-to-net calculator, automatic backpay functions, holiday pay calculation functions and integration features that facilitate using Advanced with HR software.

Advanced automates payroll processing tasks and meets compliance requirements. Its additional features include pension contributions and auto-enrolment functionality, pay slip delivery with secure features, P11D processing functions and validation checks.

When it comes to the final month of the financial year, your business can easily submit to HMRC with Advanced.


✔️ Advanced makes fast calculations even if your business has thousands of employees.

✔️ The reports feature comes with customisable options.

✔️ The platform provides CIPP-verified updates and support.


❌️ Users need to request a quote to discover more about prices, as it lacks transparent pricing.

❌️ The platform offers a limited range of integrations.

3. Frontier Software Payroll

If you want to manage payroll and facilitate transactions between your business account and your employees' accounts, Frontier will help. This software is available in 26 countries, including the UK, and offers multiple useful features.

With Frontier, you can create standard reports and payroll accounting entries that the software will help you produce automatically. It also provides automatic calculations and payment of leave features.

You can use Frontier with corporate financial systems via their useful integration features.

But best of all, Frontier works in multiple languages. It facilitates financial actions in several currencies, which is why it's one of the optimum cloud-based payroll software options for international businesses. 

Frontier complies with the UK's legislative requirements for payroll, meaning your business will always meet HMRC's legislative expectations as a business when you use this software.

This software is also compatible with other Frontier software.


✔️ Frontier offers customisable data security.

✔️ The platform provides unlimited histories to ensure you create in-depth reporting.

✔️ The platform allows you to customise payroll parameters, including deductions and pensions.

✔️ Frontier offers training and support to businesses to optimise their use of the software.


❌️ Frontier does not offer transparent pricing.

❌️ The platform lacks a chatbot for businesses to ask questions.

4. 12 Cloud Payroll

12 Cloud offers a free payroll software version that works in the cloud. This platform does not require any software installations or updates, but what is even better is its automatic updates in line with new legislative changes.

This feature means you don't need to worry about complying with new legislation because the platform covers this for you.

The platform provides plenty of features that make payroll tasks simple. With its employee payroll accounts, you can enable your employees to view their payroll documents. With its accounting software compatibility, you can export the 12 Cloud data to various accounting software.

12 Cloud automatically generates P11 reports in summary format, taking on the manual reporting tasks for you. The platform lets you update global tax codes when the financial year begins.

With 128-bit SSL technology and encryption features, 12 Cloud is a highly secure platform that will protect your employees' financial and personal details and prevent unauthorised users from viewing the data.

If you need to simultaneously take care of payroll and pension auto-enrolment, this is possible with 12 Cloud's AE solution. This feature is built into the software.


✔️ 12 Cloud's rollback feature makes it easy to correct data if incorrectly entered.

✔️ The platform provides a live demonstration of how the software functions.

✔️ The platform is ISO9001 certified.


❌️ 12 Cloud does not offer chatbot support.

❌️ The platform offers insufficient integrations.

5. Iris Staffology Payroll

Iris Staffology Payroll is another HMRC-recognised payroll software that streamlines the process of submitting payroll forms, mitigating repetitive payroll processing time and facilitating payroll automation and the processes that come before making bank transfers from your company to your employees.

Some of the main features of Iris Staffology Payroll software include pensions auto-enrolment functionality, expenses and benefits management features and integration possibilities with accounting software.

Iris Staffology Payroll also offers Auto Pilot software that handles pay run finalisation and facilitates FPS filing with HMRC. This feature helps you email payslips in PDF form to your employees.

If you require data insights about business finances or payments, the Iris Staffology cloud-based payroll provider offers comprehensive reports. It is one of the best payroll software options in general and one of the payroll providers that functions via desktop and mobile devices.


✔️ Iris Staffology offers transparent pricing displayed on their website.

✔️ The platform offers a comprehensive demonstration of its services.

✔️ The platform offers a free trial.


❌️ Iris Staffology has limited customisation options with its reports.

6. Sage Payroll

Sage Payroll is an ideal payroll solution for businesses with up to 100 employees. It helps you make timely employee payments and process weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly payrolls.

If you need to file pensions or create payslips before you make BACS payments to employees, this HMRC-compatible software will make these processes easier. For instance, it works to automatically enrol your employees into a pension and automates payslips.

It is possible to check and view historical pay runs and payslips for any employee whenever you need to, produce reports and analyse your payroll when required with Sage Payroll. 

With Sage Payroll, you will have no trouble receiving assistance from the support team. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

To automate tax, student loan and national insurance contributions, you can also rely on Sage Payroll to automatically complete these calculations for you. 


✔️ Sage Payroll functions on iPhone and Android phones and iPad and Android tablets.

✔️ The platform uses bank-level security, ensuring you protect your employees' data.

✔️ The platform offers an expert support team to assist you.


❌️ The platform is not ideal for enterprise businesses with more than 100 employees.

7. Xero

Xero enables UK businesses to automate payroll, pay and pension contribution processes and simultaneously stay compliant when submitting the correct information to HMRC.

It offers UK businesses access to its services from any device and facilitates payments in just a few clicks. You can easily change the pay run in an easy-to-use interface and receive automatically updated accounts when you add pay-related information.

A couple of the features Xero offers include furlough leave and statutory sick pay leave options for employers and a mobile app for employees to update timesheets and apply for time off work.

If you need to share payslips with employees, Xero offers instant, secure share features that enable you to send them via email. You can also access a selection of reports from Xero, making managing payroll easier.


✔️ Xero offers a community section where users can access more information.

✔️ The platform provides a course to help you understand how to use Xero.

✔️ The platform offers transparent pricing on the website.


❌️ Xero doesn't offer chatbot support.


In addition to HR services, ADP provides payroll software that can support your business. It received an award for the Global Payroll Supplier of the Year in 2022 and is CIPP-approved.

ADP provides a solution for small businesses, a separate option for medium businesses and solutions for large and global businesses. Their software for small businesses offers automated payroll and tax filing features, plus mobile access. It is ideal for businesses with between 25 and 199 employees.

They offer payroll solutions with the same features, plus additional sophisticated compliance features for larger businesses with more employees, including businesses with between 200 and 999 and businesses with more than 999 workers.

This platform's software automates calculations, tax withholdings, digital payments and paper checks. It allows you to use their web-based interface to store all employee details and eliminate mistakes.

With ADP, you'll easily integrate the payroll services with other solutions such as time tracking, attendance and HR tools. This integration makes this software ideal for handling employee absences, benefits, insurance premiums, and other essential factors.


✔️ ADP provides customisable reports.

✔️ The platform's team offers phone support to UK businesses.

✔️ You will find resources related to tax education with ADP.

✔️ The platform provides chatbot support to UK businesses.


❌️ Businesses must request a quote to learn more about pricing.

What Is Cloud-Based Payroll Software?

Cloud-based payroll software is a sophisticated, handy digital tool that assists businesses in handling their payroll tasks.

They facilitate actions such as processing employee salaries, tracking workers' hours and calculating taxes. The software also ensures businesses can easily make direct deposit payments to their employees.

You can use cloud-based software to track expenses, create invoices, process payments, and assist with the preparation to reconcile bank accounts.

Cloud-based payroll software is different from self-hosted payroll software. It uses an external service provider's server instead of your own. This difference means that with self-hosted payroll, you must pay for server and maintenance costs, but a service provider will take care of server maintenance with cloud-based payroll solutions.

How Do Cloud-Based Payroll Software Companies Work?

Online payroll software works via the Internet. Your business can access the software through web-based platforms and secure servers and store employee data in the cloud.

Using the software is simple. You can input and store your employee's information, such as pay rates or tax withholding data, into the software. You can enter additional details, such as how many hours the employee worked and their overtime when you need to run payroll.

All your employees' data is stored on remote servers in the cloud and backed up via the software. These features mean you can access the information from anywhere and ensure sensitive employee data and information is safer.

Many of these software solutions also allow employees to access their data so they can also handle some of the administrative duties themselves.

After calculating the financial outcomes, the cloud-based payroll software will generate direct deposits. The best software is also HMRC-compliant and automates processes to minimise human error. It is ideal because in June 2023 alone there were 30 million payrolled employees, and the software’s automation features make managing them easier.

What Are the Key Features of Cloud-Based Payroll Software?

Employee data management features — You can use cloud-based payroll software to store all your employee's financial information, such as tax withholding data and pay rates. You can update their pay rate using these employee data management features if their pay rate changes.

Tax compliance options — This software's tax compliance features help you automatically calculate and complete withholding processes related to the correct tax amounts using the employee's profile. It also considers the tax laws when making these calculations.

Payroll process features — This software supports calculating gross pay based on your employees' payroll data. It calculates tax deductions as part of its payroll processing capabilities, making tax processes digital.

Reporting and analytics capabilities — Cloud-based payroll software offers reporting and analytics features. These tools produce summaries of any payroll actions, in addition to tax reports and analyses of labour costs. 

Integration options — Any sophisticated cloud-based payroll software will have integration options with other systems. You can use them with HR software or accounting software, as well as time-tracking software. The integration options will transfer the data between each software option to mitigate the need for manual data entry.

Mobile accessibility capabilities — Many online payroll software providers offer mobile accessibility capabilities. This feature means you can access, update and manage payroll data directly from your mobile.

Data security features — Your cloud-based online payroll processing system should have data and cybersecurity features to protect employee details. These features include encryption, authentication, and regular data backups if the data security is compromised.

Cloud-Based Payroll Software Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and drawbacks of using this software for processing payroll.


✔️ Easy accessibility: No matter where you're located, it's possible to access payroll data because it's stored online. As long as you have an internet connection and a device that can access the Internet, you can manage the payroll information from any location at any time.

✔️ Automation of payroll processes: Since an online payroll system can automate processes, such as calculations and tax filings, you'll no longer need to complete repetitive tasks. It eliminates human error and saves you plenty of time, which you can dedicate to running your business.

✔️ Less hardware required: Online payroll software functions in the cloud, meaning you won't need to purchase additional hardware. This advantage means you can save as a business and won't need to maintain hardware or install software updates.

✔️ Enhanced legal compliance: Your software will help ensure all payroll processes comply with legal requirements. For example, deducting tax and national insurance contributions is legally required. It's also a legal requirement to deduct student loan repayment costs related to the 1.5 million students in England each year, which cloud-based payroll software can assist you with.


❌️ Requires secure Internet: If you have an Internet connection, accessing payroll software online is easy; if you do not have a secure Internet connection, you might be unable to access or use the software effectively.

❌️ Insufficient customisation: While many cloud-based payroll software providers offer customisation options, some may be limited. In other situations, the customisation features might not match the specific payroll requirements of your business. Selecting the correct software provider is, therefore, essential.

❌️ Training is required: If you have never used online payroll software before, you might require training to understand how to use it. You may also need to teach other members of your business how to use the software, which can take time.

Best Cloud-Based Payroll Software: The Verdict

Cloud-based payroll software is the optimum solution for automating payroll, updating employee data and streamlining reporting.

The best options, including ADP and Sage Payroll, will offer specific features to simplify pension contributions calculations, accounting integration, and HMRC legislative compliance.

Don't forget to compare all your cloud-based payroll software options and check their features to ensure they match your business's needs. Choose from the best payroll software with online and cloud capabilities to make payroll processes effortless.

Related Guides:


What is the Largest Cloud-Based Payroll Software?

Why Change Payroll Systems?

Is a Cloud-Based Payroll System Better than a Self-Hosted One?

What Does Payroll Automation Mean?

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