The best contractor payroll services of 2023


Trying to find the best payroll solution to pay your contractors? Check out our comprehensive list of the top contractor payroll services of 2023 and beyond.

Contractor payroll software tools ensure you pay your independent contractors on time while freeing up your human resource staff and accountants so that they can concentrate on more  critical tasks. With payroll software, you can also manage payroll taxes and deductions with ease.

In this article, we will review the top seven contractor payroll services of 2023 to help you support your staff and improve your payroll operations.

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Features comparison table for top contractor payroll software

Feature Gusto Rippling Paychex Justworks Papaya Square OnPay
Payroll in all 50 U.S. states Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Contractor self-service options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile apps Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
International payroll processing Yes Yes No No Yes No No
Stand-alone contractor payroll package Yes No No No Yes Yes No
Time tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Top contractor payroll services of 2023

Gusto: Best contractor payroll software for new users

The Gusto logo.
Image: Gusto

Gusto is a contractor payroll software ideal for new users. It is designed to offer modern HR features such as payroll, benefits, hiring and management resources. The vendor serves over 200,000 small and large companies.

The software comes with competitive compensation tools and expert guidance to help small businesses stay compliant. In addition, it is a cloud-deployable SaaS payroll tool with an easy-to-use interface. The cherry on the top is a wallet app for contractors to easily track their entitlements.

Features

Gusto is a comprehensive payroll software that offers a range of features, including automated tax filing, employee onboarding, direct deposit and more. It also provides an easy-to-use interface that allows you to manage your payroll with ease.

  • Contractor self-service options: Contractors can take advantage of the self-service options available, allowing them to manage their own information and documents.
  • Unlimited payroll runs: With unlimited payroll runs, businesses can run as many payrolls as they need without any extra fees or charges.
  • 1099-NECs at the end of the year: Gusto also offers comprehensive tax filing capabilities, taking care of contractor payroll tax filing.
  • Completely automated payroll: For those who want a completely automated payroll process.
  • Four-day direct deposit option: This feature allows contractors to receive their payments quickly and securely.
  • New hire reporting: Business owners can file new hire forms with the state quickly and efficiently.

Pros

  • Unique contractor and employee benefits options.
  • Does not charge extra for payroll tax filing.
  • Free insurance add-ons.
  • International contractor payments are available as an add-on.

Cons

  • Time tracking feature is pretty basic with room for improvement.

Pricing

For contractor-based companies, the first six months are free. Customers only pay $6 per month per contractor.

Rippling: Best for small and medium businesses with remote contractors

The Rippling logo.
Image: Rippling

Rippling is a contractor payroll software that provides unique support for businesses with remote contractors. The platform offers national and international payroll processing including direct deposit, tax administration and tracking of paid time off. It also enables contractors to clock in and out to ensure accurate recording of hours worked, alongside other features such as quote-based pricing.

With Rippling, you can also keep track of individual contractor expenses through its customizable reports, making it the best tool for global contractors.

Features

  • Onboard contractors in seconds: Rippling allows you to onboard contractors in a few clicks, streamlining the payroll process.
  • Pay contractors in their currency: With Rippling you can pay your contractors in their local currency quickly and easily.
  • Manage HR, IT, and finance in one global system: The software provides a centralized payroll platform that can manage payroll, HR, IT and finance for all of your contractors.
  • Automate your global compliance work: The platform also automates payroll tax payments so you can be sure that you are compliant with local regulations.

Pros

  • Streamlined, intuitive and user-friendly experience interface.
  • Hundreds of integrations via the Rippling App Shop.
  • Manage contractor attributes and map them to other systems.

Cons

  • You must purchase the core workforce management platform.

Pricing

Pricing starts at $8 per user per month.

Paychex: Best for HR solutions

The Paychex logo.
Image: Paychex

Paychex offers contractor payroll software with features tailored to small, medium and large organizations. This vendor stands out for its comprehensive HR services, including compliance support, technology to simplify employee management, competitive employee benefits, self-service functionality and an employee recognition platform. Businesses can easily automate their payroll processes with the integrated Paychex services.

Features

  • Three packages: Paychex offers these payroll packages, Paychex Flex Essentials, Paychex Flex Select and Paychex Flex Pro. Paychex Flex Essentials is suitable for businesses with 1-19 employees, while Select and Pro are better suited for larger payrolls.
  • General ledger reports: This feature allows you to generate comprehensive payroll reports with detailed information about payroll expenses, employees and payroll taxes.
  • Taxpay Payroll Tax Administration: Paychex helps businesses stay compliant by providing payroll tax filing services.
  • Paychex Promise: Customers can rely on the vendor’s flexibility to extend payroll funds collection up to seven days without facing any potential interruptions, extra charges or fees from their bank.
  • 200+ compliance experts: Paychex has a team of 200+ payroll and tax compliance experts who are available to answer any payroll questions businesses may have.

Pros

  • Optional employee benefits to choose at no extra cost.
  • A personal point of contact and 24/7 access to the customer support center.
  • Every plan includes essential features such as payroll analytics and reporting, employee self-service access, HR library resources, garnishment payment services and workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

Cons

  • State Unemployment Insurance Services are only available to customers on the Paychex Flex Pro plan.
  • Extra charges per contractor to process year-end 1099s.

Pricing

The vendor has three pricing tiers as follows:

  • Paychex Flex Essentials: Base fee of $39 per month with an additional $5 per month per employee.
  • Paychex Flex Select: Custom pricing based on specific needs.
  • Paychex Flex Pro: Custom pricing based on specific needs.

Justworks: Best mobile app

The Justworks logo.
Image: Justworks

Justworks is an all-in-one payroll, benefits, HR and compliance solution for businesses of any size. With Justworks, businesses can manage their payroll and pay contractors quickly and accurately.

The software makes it straightforward to set up payments for salaried and hourly employees as well as off-cycle payments for vendors and contractors. Businesses benefit from 24/7 customer service support to ensure that payroll is processed correctly and on time. Justworks also provides real-time GPS software to help manage employee time tracking and attendance.

With Justworks, businesses can focus on growing their business with confidence knowing that their payroll is taken care of.

Features

  • Justworks Mobile App: The app allows contractors and employees to easily manage their HR tasks on the go. Users can access payment and benefit information, view their payroll history and make changes to their payroll information from the app. The app is available in the App Store and Google Play.
  • Automated Deposits: With Justworks Payroll, you can easily set up automated deposits for employee paychecks. This eliminates the need to manually enter each deposit into your bank account.
  • One-Off Payments: You can also make one-off payments for special circumstances such as bonuses or commission payments.
  • Payroll Tax Filings: Justworks Payroll also takes care of all your 1099 filings for you. This ensures that all taxes are filed accurately and on time so that you don’t have to worry about any penalties or fines from the IRS.
  • Auto Notifications: The tool sends out automatic notifications when taxes are due or when new updates are available.
  • Time and Attendance: Justworks Payroll provides a GPS system of tracking employee time and attendance. This helps you ensure that employees are being paid accurately for the hours they work and allows you to keep track of overtime hours as well. With geofencing capabilities, you can also monitor which locations employees are working at and when.

Pros

  • Mobile-friendly with an interactive user interface.
  • Streamline payment processes for all contractors across different departments by centralizing them in one system.
  • Sophisticated analytics and reporting.
  • Employee benefits manager that HR teams can use to optimize service provision.
  • Easy to configure company rules, employee policies and compliance.
  • Integrates with popular accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero.

Cons

  • Lacks native expense management features.
  • Pricey compared to other tools on this list.

Pricing

Justworks offers two pricing plans for payroll services: Basic and Plus.

The Basic plan begins at $59 per month per employee. For more than 50 employees, the cost drops to $49 per month per employee. This plan includes payroll processing, tax filing, direct deposit and access to HR tools.

The Plus plan costs $99 per month per employee. The cost drops to $89 per month per employee for your 50th employee onwards. It includes all of the features of the Basic plan plus additional benefits.

Papaya: Best for large enterprises with global operations

The Papaya logo.
Image: Papaya

Papaya Payroll is a cloud-based global people and payroll solution that helps multinational businesses manage their international payroll, cross-border payments and contractors. It integrates your entire global workforce onto a single platform.

Papaya’s automated SaaS platform simplifies the process of managing global workforces and international payroll across many countries. It also provides features such as onboarding, time tracking and compliance management.

With Papaya, companies can quickly process payroll at a fraction of the time compared with other providers serving international workforces.

Features

  • Single platform: The software simplifies the process of managing a global payrolled, EOR, contractor workforce and international payroll across more than 160 countries. It integrates your entire global payroll stack onto a single platform.
  • Compliance engine: With Papaya’s compliance engine, companies can ensure they are compliant with local laws in over 160 countries when it comes to tax filing, direct deposit and labor law regulations.
  • Standardize payroll data: Papaya helps standardize payroll data across different countries so that the same information is used in each country regardless of language or formatting differences.
  • Powerful analytics and intelligence reporting: The software also provides impressive analytics and intelligence reporting capabilities to help provide insights into how well operations are running globally and make strategic decisions for their businesses.

Pros

  • Integrates payroll data across multiple countries.
  • Contains payroll compliance engine to eliminate errors and ensure compliance.
  • Provides powerful analytics and reporting capabilities.

Cons

  • Difficult to use for smaller businesses with fewer employees.

Pricing

Contractor management and compliance support costs $25 per month per contractor.

Square: Best for startups

The Square logo.
Image: Square

Square Payroll is a comprehensive payroll solution designed to help small businesses manage their payroll needs. With Square Payroll, you can easily pay W2 employees and 1099 contractors, process year-end information, file and pay taxes, and access helpful support resources. The software also comes with an app for Android and iOS devices that makes it easy to manage your payroll from anywhere.

Square Payroll offers an affordable pricing structure that makes it accessible to businesses of all sizes. With its intuitive interface and straightforward features, Square Payroll is a great choice for startups looking for an efficient way to manage their payroll needs.

Features

  • Payroll taxes: Automatically calculate, file and pay your payroll taxes with ease.
  • Mobile app: Manage payments, contracts and employees from anywhere with the Square Payroll mobile app.
  • Import tips and commissions: Quickly import tips and commissions from Square Point of Sale and third party applications into Square Payroll.
  • Simplified team management: Easily add, remove or edit employee information with a single click of a button.
  • Payroll specialists at your service: Get help from experienced payroll professionals whenever you need it.

Pros

  • Intuitive user interface.
  • Low price makes it ideal for startups.
  • Integrates with Square POS and several third-party tools.
  • Add tips and commissions to payrolls.
  • Automated time tracking.
  • Cancel anytime.

Cons

  • Some users have reported problems using the mobile apps.

Pricing

Square Payroll to pay contractors costs $5 per month per contractor.

OnPay: Best for contractors who only have Individual Tax ID Numbers

The OnPay logo.
Image: OnPay

OnPay is a cloud-based payroll processing system that makes it easy for businesses to manage their payroll, taxes, HR and benefits. OnPay’s online payroll services provide an intuitive platform that simplifies the process of setting up employee records and running unlimited payrolls.

With OnPay, you can access your pay stubs, view hours worked and PTO balances on-the-go with the OnPay Mobile app. Plus, OnPay offers comprehensive HR solutions to help you stay compliant with state and federal regulations.

Features

  • Easy contractor onboarding using only ITINs: OnPay Payroll makes onboarding new contractors easy and secure. It allows contractors to provide their ITINs for quick verification and for onboarding to be done within minutes. Most other contractor payroll solutions require federal tax or Social Security number to create a profile.
  • Full-service payroll: OnPay Payroll provides complete payroll services, meaning you don’t have to worry about running your own payroll or handling paperwork. OnPay takes care of everything from tax filing to direct deposit payouts.
  • Self-service tools: OnPay Payroll offers a range of self-service tools that allow employers to manage their workforce with ease. The self-service platform makes managing complex payroll tasks easy, from monitoring hours worked to setting up profiles and tracking leave days.
  • Automated taxes: The software automatically calculates taxes for each contractor, allowing employers peace of mind when it comes to filing taxes at the end of the year. There is no need for manual data entry as all information is automatically fed into the system, eliminating errors and saving time in the long run.

Pros

  • Easy payroll setup for contractors.
  • Intuitive, user-friendly interface.
  • Real-time payroll updates.
  • Multiple payment options.
  • Comprehensive HR solutions including onboarding and time tracking tools.

Cons

  • Limited third-party integrations.

Pricing

OnPay’s pricing structure varies depending on the number of contractors you need payroll for. Prices start from $40 per month plus $6 per month per person.

How to choose the right contractor payroll service

Selecting the right contractor payroll service for your needs is critical. Your choice will depend on the kind of services and features you need, as well as cost, ease of use, vendor reputation and omnichannel support. Let’s explore each aspect in more detail.

The kind of services or features you need

You may need different services depending on your company’s specific payroll needs. For example, you may need payroll services with a global presence if you have multiple contractors spread out over many locations. If you want to automate some or all of your payroll processes, then it would be wise to look for a service offering such features. Once you know your needs, you can research available services to see which ones offer those features.

Pricing

When it comes to paying contractors, payroll service costs are usually on a per contractor per month basis. Often, there will be a base price. This means that the more contractors you employ, the more expensive it will be for your business to pay them through a particular contractor payroll service. It is important to factor this into your decision when selecting the payroll service best for your company’s needs.

Ease of use

In addition to cost efficiency and specific features offered by various contractor payroll services, ease of use should also be taken into consideration when selecting one for your business needs. Many services now offer simplified user interfaces that make it easy for even those without technical backgrounds to use their products quickly and easily. Some even offer mobile apps that allow users to access their payroll data anywhere they go.

Ensure that the service you choose is simple enough for everyone in the organization to use without any issues or delays in processing payments.

Vendor reputation

It is essential to check out what other customers have said about a contractor payroll service before making your selection — especially if it offers features like automated payment processing and direct deposits. Remember that these will involve accessing sensitive financial information, so make sure you are dealing with a reputable provider who can safeguard this data adequately. Look for reviews from other businesses using the same provider to learn how reliable their customer support is and whether there have been any issues with the product itself over time.

Omnichannel Support

Finally, look for vendors who offer omnichannel support — meaning they provide customer support via phone, email, chatbot and so on whenever needed. This means that if anything does go wrong during your payroll process, there will always be someone available who can help walk you through it step by step until everything is back online.



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