Best Payroll Companies

Read on as we choose the best payroll companies that will take care of your business payroll obligations.

Updated: June 12, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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Looking after your finances is a key component of any business. However, it is easy to input inaccuracies when working on your business financial data yourself.

Choosing to outsource payroll will ensure that your payroll data is reliable and that your employees receive the correct wages on time. Payroll software automates much of the process, saving time and effort.

However, which payroll companies offer the best available service and is cloud-based payroll software available? Read on as we explore the best payroll companies for you and your business, currently available in the UK.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Moorepay★★★★★Click Here
2. Rippling★★★★★Click Here
3. Advanced Payroll★★★★★Click Here
4. QuickBooks★★★★★Click Here
5. Pento★★★★Click Here
6. Frontier Software★★★★Click Here
7. Sage Payroll★★★★Click Here
8. Creative Payroll Solutions★★★★★Click Here
9. PayEscape★★★★★Click Here
10. MHR★★★★★Click Here

Best Payroll Companies — Reviews

Are you looking for payroll services to grow your business and reduce your regular admin tasks, ensuring that your employees are paid on time every month into their bank accounts

Here are our top payroll companies, expertly reviewed to provide you with a complete set of information:

1. Moorepay — Best Overall Payroll Provider

  • Legislation compliant
  • Complete payroll service
  • Suitable for 30+ employees
  • From £6 per month per employee

Moorepay payroll offers a complete service that is fully compliant with up-to-date legislation.

When outsourcing payroll, you can receive full documentation such as electronic or printed P60s, with FPS and EPS fully prepared for HMRC submission.

To use Moorepay as your outsourced payroll provider, simply enter your data into the payroll software. This software is cloud-based and so is accessible from any device. 

Enter the details of any new or ex-employees along with any changes in salary or bonuses that need to be paid. The Moorepay software will use the data you have entered to complete the entire payroll process on your behalf.

Additional calculations for Statutory Sick Pay as well as maternity pay and other adjustments are taken care of.  All necessary documents are produced by the software, such as P45 and SAP1.

Moorepay additionally offers an audit reporting review service, ensuring that all checks are maintained and that all of your information is completely accurate.

To use Moorepay as your payroll provider, contact them directly for a tailored quote. Their software is best suited to businesses employing over 30 individuals, with typical fees of around £6 per employee per month. However, the more employees on your payroll, the cheaper the fees will be overall.

2. Rippling — Best for Integrated Services

  • Add more services than just payroll
  • Provides a complete resource for a business
  • Complete payroll tasks in minutes
  • From £7 per month per employee

Rippling full-service payroll software offers your business more benefits than just an excellent payroll outsourcing provider. 

You can manage your employees’ attendance and expenses, as well as administer benefits and integrate with other software, such as QuickBooks and third-party apps such as Slack.

Complete your payroll tasks within minutes, with payroll processed within 4 business days so your employees can receive their wages on time. Income tax, national insurance and pensions are automatically calculated, meeting the latest guidance and compliance requirements.

Non-compliant sickness absence policies are flagged immediately through Compliance 360, with overtime policies also built into the system.

To use Rippling as your payroll outsourcing provider, you will be charged a fee of around £7 per employee per month. However, depending on the size of your business and the service you want, you could receive a tailored quote.

3. Advanced Payroll — Best for Part-Managed Payroll

  • Choose from part or fully managed payroll
  • Access live training
  • Custom reporting available
  • Integrate with attendance, HR and accounting

Advanced payroll is a good choice if you want a part-managed outsourced payroll solution, although they also offer a fully managed payroll service. You can choose the best fit for your business.

Your account can be integrated with a vast range of software solutions, including accounting, attendance and HR, ensuring that you are using your account to the full. Your data will be reliable and you can reduce the amount of time your business spends on admin tasks.

Furthermore, custom reporting is available for your business, tailoring the type of reports you need to aid your business decision making.

Live training is also ready for your business to access, ensuring that you know how to use the software effortlessly and with complete support.

4. QuickBooks — Best for Pay Plan Choices

  • Add-on payroll services to an existing QuickBooks account for an extra £1 per month
  • Tailor your plan to meet the needs of your business

Payroll services from QuickBooks is an additional feature that can be added onto most existing QuickBooks accounts.

When using QuickBooks, you can ensure that you are implementing Making Tax Digital into your business, submitting your VAT documents directly to HMRC.

You can manage your income and expenses and project accurate cash flow forecasts, ensuring that all data you have used is accurate and precise.

Some accounts will allow you to track employee time and implement transactions in different currencies, along with managing stock and setting smart budgets.

The Simple Start plan will cost your business £14 per month, with payroll services added on for an extra £1. This plan is suitable for small businesses whose main financial focus is income tax and VAT.

The Essentials Plan costs a monthly payment of £24 plus a payroll services add-on of £1. This QuickBooks plan is perfect for smaller businesses that regularly work with suppliers and need to make international transactions.

The Plus Plan imposes a fee of £34 per month, in addition to a £1 fee for payroll services. This plan is excellent for larger businesses that employ more staff and who use stock, working across large projects.

Finally, the Advanced Plan from QuickBooks is best suited to large businesses requiring bespoke reporting and automatic data backup. This plan will cost your business £70 per month as well as an additional fee of £1 for payroll services.

QuickBooks does usually have good offers in place if you are a new customer, however, such as a significant discount on plans for the first 6 months. 

5. Pento — Best for Customer Support

  • Streamline payroll processes
  • Access a personalised demo
  • Integrate with accounting and HR platforms
  • Excellent advice and support

Pento payroll services will offer your business a personalised demo when you register your interest, showing you how Pento can work to outsource your payroll services.

Pento will streamline your payroll processes, integrating your payroll with other services such as accounting, HR and pension.

Furthermore, your business can enjoy excellent advice and support so you can access the help you need as soon as you need it.

Pento offers three price plans that you can choose from. A Core Plan will cost you £5 per employee per month, and is suitable for up to 30 employees based in the UK.

The Plus Plan is suited to larger businesses with up to 500 employees and is priced per quote. Likewise, the Custom Plan from Pento is also based on a tailored quote and is suited to enterprises with more than 500 employees.

6. Frontier Software — Best for International Businesses

  • Pay employees across multiple countries
  • Integrate HR and accounting software
  • Live training

When you outsource payroll to Frontier, you will be able to pay employees across the world. This is the perfect payroll solution for businesses that work globally and need one tool to pay all employees.

Integrating HR and accounting solutions into your account adds further benefits, automating many tasks and increasing your data accuracy.

In addition, Frontier offers your business live training so you can understand in full how to use the platform and acquire all relevant benefits from the service.

7. Sage Payroll — Best for Simplicity

  • Seamlessly sync across Sage Accounting
  • Control your taxes
  • Enter salary or hourly pay

Payroll from Sage is tailored to comply with Making Tax Digital and calculate and submit VAT.

You can access real-time data across your business, prepare financial reports and collaborate with your accountant.

Sage offers different plans for you to choose from. The Start Plan plus payroll add-on will cost your business £22 per month excluding VAT, and is best suited to a business with less than 100 employees. A pay run can be completed within 4 steps with this easy-to-use software.

The Standard Plan complete with a payroll add-on will cost you a fee of £36 every month. This plan includes additional cash flow forecasting, helps you to run advanced reports, and manage your purchase invoices.

If you need to manage inventory and include multi-currency banking in your plan, you can opt for the Plus Plan. When purchased with the payroll addition, this plan will cost you £44 each month.

Sage typically offers discounts, such as a reduced price plan for the first three months.

8. Creative Payroll Solutions — Best for Low Prices

  • Full managed service
  • Custom plans
  • From as little as £4 per employee per month

Creative payroll solutions offer fully managed payroll services for your business, ensuring that your business pays their employees on time every month.

Payments are made with complete accuracy so you can rest assured that your business operations will run smoothly. Furthermore, the amount of time you will spend on admin tasks will reduce substantially as the payroll software completes automation for you.

Creative payroll services offer low prices of around £4 per employee per month. However, the pricing plan that you attain from Creative will be based on the size and nature of your business as well as your number of employees.

9. PayEscape — Best for Small Businesses

  • Complete HR and payroll duties
  • Streamline solutions
  • Effective integration
  • Base price of £53 per month
  • Add additional employees for £3.20 each per month

Let PayEscape offer you a streamlined payroll solution in your business.

In addition to outsourced payroll services, you can also add HR software to your account, enhancing your business operations further.

When utilising this fully managed payroll service, you can integrate additional software such as accounting solutions, automating many admin tasks and increasing the accuracy of your data.

The base price of PayEscape professional payroll services is £53, with an additional fee of £3.50 per month for every extra employee added to your account.

10. MHR — Best for Bespoke Packages

  • Fully managed payroll service
  • Add-on HR software
  • A tailored, bespoke package is created just for you

MHR payroll solutions is a superb payroll service provider if you are looking for a unique, bespoke package that meets every need of your business.

You will receive a fully managed payroll service, with additional HR software that can be added onto your account. Receive excellent customer service, with MHR experts available to talk over the phone or through live chat.

When acquiring an MHR account, you will receive a bespoke quote that is custom-fitted to the needs of your business, ensuring you get the service you need for your employees.

What Is Payroll?

‘Payroll’ is the name given in business to your list of employees who will be paid.

The payroll data will include each employee’s salary or hourly pay along with the amount of hours they work, along with overtime. Payroll data must be accurate.

Payroll is used to calculate the amount of wages each employee must be paid each month or each week. The amount of tax and National Insurance to be paid is also calculated, totalling the deductions made from each employee.

Employee pay data is communicated to HMRC (His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) by using payroll to ensure that your business is meeting every obligation and expectation.

What Is a Payroll Company?

Payroll providers take care of your business’s payroll obligations, offering a complete payroll service for a fee. Typically, you will pay a fee per employee per month, and the payroll company will process all necessary payroll duties.

They will calculate an employee’s salary or how many hours they have worked and their hourly rate. This is the employee’s gross pay.

They will then add on any tips and bonuses, before deducting income tax, National Insurance, pension contributions, student loan contributions, and other deductions. What is left is the employee’s net pay and is the amount of money paid into the employee’s bank account.

How Does Payroll Work in the UK?

Payroll works to process employee wages and salaries in a business, ensuring that your employees are accurately paid on time and that your business meets all of its obligations.

Here are the different aspects of payroll:

Employee Data

Payroll requires a list of employee data such as their names, addresses and National Insurance numbers, as well as their standard salary or pay per hour. 

The bank details of each employee will also be required so they can receive their salary or wages without any issues arising.

Working Hours

The number of hours the employee has worked is also required, either to ensure that an employee meets their contracted hours when paid via salary, or to calculate wages when paid by the hour.

Further data related to working hours include any sick day or holiday days that affect wages.

Financial Data

Payroll requires financial data for each employee, such as whether a salary or pay per hour applies to their contract.

A salary provides an annual sum of money that is divided by 12 months. The employee will receive equal payments across the year. Further bonuses may be added onto the employee’s salary, however.

If an employee is paid per hour, the set hourly wage and the number of hours worked will be calculated.

Gross and Net Pay

Gross pay is the total pay that an employee receives before any deductions are made. Typical deductions include income tax, National Insurance, pensions, and student loan repayments.

Net pay is the amount of money an employee receives in their bank after the deductions have been made. This is sometimes referred to as ‘take-home pay’.

Tips or Bonuses

Depending on the nature of the business, your employees may receive tips or bonuses to reward them for their hard work. The details of any tips or bonuses to be added onto an employee’s wage will be calculated through payroll.

Relative Benefits

If your business offers benefits to employees, the details of these benefits may need to be included in payroll data. For example, employees may receive a discounted healthcare membership, with the remaining amount being deducted from their salary.

Can I Do My Own Payroll?

You can conduct your own payroll if you know what you are doing and if your business is quite small.

Completing your own payroll can be a cost-effective method for your business, although it will take a substantial amount of time on a regular basis. 

Furthermore, unless you are skilled in this area, you could make mistakes. Some of these mistakes might lead to inaccuracies and your employees being paid too much or too less. Or, some mistakes could result in a fine if a breach of the law has been committed.

Traditionally, many businesses would hire an accountant to take care of their payroll activities, as well as their standard accounts. This service, of course, costs a fee although you can be certain that your payroll duties are fulfilled with complete accuracy. You will also save yourself a great deal of time.

However, today, more and more businesses are choosing to use payroll outsourcing software, subscribing to a monthly fee to make payroll an easier task. 

The accuracy and reliability of the data is dependent on the data you input into the software, although very little data is actually required. The software will automate much of the payroll service you require, ensuring your employees receive their wages on time.

Why Should I Outsource Payroll?

When you outsource payroll, you are reducing the tasks and obligations that your business must fulfil. 

Operating a business requires much effort and time, as well as money and resources. Outsourcing payroll will ensure that you have fewer tasks to complete, freeing up some of your time to complete other business tasks.

You will also ensure that your payroll data is completely accurate and reliable, complying with the ever-changing regulations that businesses must abide by. In addition, your employees will always receive their correct wages and will always be paid on time.

How Does RTI Affect Payroll?

RTI stands for Real Time Information and is a necessary payroll requirement in the UK. RTI requires that a business must report PAYE information in real time to HMRC. So each time you pay an employee, HMRC must be informed in real time. 

PAYE stands for ‘pay as you earn’ and relates to employees who are paid an hourly rate, not a salary. Such obligations can be confusing if you are inexperienced in payroll. Outsourcing payroll ensures that all such obligations are fully met and complied with.

How Much Does Payroll Outsourcing Services Cost?

Outsourcing payroll does not have to be expensive. Typically, you can expect to pay a fee of between £4 to £6 per employee per month, although the price you pay per employee is much cheaper for larger businesses with custom plans.

Managed payroll services calculate your fees using PEPM, which stands for per employee per month. So, if you have 20 employees in your business and have agreed to pay £5 per employee per month, your payroll services will cost your business £100 per month.

Additional costs that may be charged when outsourcing payroll include set-up costs, such as a month worth of fees paid in advance. 

There may be additional add-ons to your payroll plan that will come with further fees.

Are All Payroll Companies Cloud-Based?

Most modern payroll companies are cloud-based so that your business and the payroll company have access to your payroll data. Being cloud-based also allows additional integrations into your payroll platform, such as cloud-based accounting software.

Pros and Cons

Do you need a succinct overview of the benefits and limitations of using payroll companies in your business?

Here is a clear list of pros and cons:

Pros

✔️ Accuracy — All payroll data is accurate and reliable so your employees receive payment on time.

✔️ Automation — Much of the processes that take place are automatic, saving time when completing payroll tasks in your business.

✔️ Low fees — Many payroll companies will charge low fees for their services if you own a large business with many employees.

✔️ Compliance — You can be confident that you are meeting your obligations and complying with payroll requirements.

Cons

❌️ High fees — If you have a small business and a small number of employees, you could find that you are paying a high fee for payroll services.

❌️ Set-up costs — Depending on the service provider you choose, you may need to pay set-up costs such as a month of fees in advance.

❌️ Upgrades — You may need to upgrade your system or subscription, depending on the outsourcing provider you choose.

❌️ Security — You must be confident that the data provided to the payroll software is safe and secure, protecting your business data and finances as well as the data and finances of your employees. Using a reputable payroll provider enhances cybersecurity and deters threats.

Leading Payroll Companies for 2024: The Verdict

Our favourite payroll company is Moorepay, leading the way in excellent payroll services providers.

From only £6 per employee per month, you can implement Moorepay payroll solutions into your business. This price falls drastically if you are a large business with many employees, looking for a custom plan. 

You will receive a dedicated account manager from the payroll department who will fully manage your payroll services, reducing the time spent on admin tasks in your business whilst increasing accurate information and ensuring your employees are paid on time.

Related Guides:

FAQs

What services does a payroll company offer?

Do payroll companies offer training to use the software?

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