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OnPay Payroll Software Review

Mike Berner
Mike Berner
Staff Writer
business.com Staff
Updated Nov 03, 2022

OnPay is our pick for the best payroll software for small businesses. It offers an affordable and simple one-size-fits-all pricing plan that includes all the features that you need to get your employees paid on time. OnPay also boasts excellent customer service and a user-friendly platform.

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OnPay Payroll Software

The Verdict

OnPay is our top choice for very small businesses. It handles all payroll and payroll tax needs, has an easy-to-use online platform, and is reasonably priced.

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OnPay Editor’s Score: 9.5/10

Pricing9.7
Customer service9.8
Third-party integrations9.0
User interface9.8
Added HR tools9.0

Why We Chose OnPay as the Best for Small Businesses

OnPay checks all of the critical boxes for what small businesses need in a payroll solution. Most importantly, it is extremely affordable. It has just one pricing plan, which makes it easy for business owners and HR professionals who must determine which features and tools are worth paying for.

With OnPay, you get access to all of its available tools for one price, and its cloud-hosted software is simple to use. Payroll can be completed in minutes, and the software’s interface is clearly labeled, making it easy to understand and learn. Finally, OnPay offers excellent customer service. The support from the company was among the best we received during our analysis of payroll providers. For these reasons and more, OnPay is our choice as the best online payroll software for small businesses.

What We Like About OnPay

  • The pricing plan is simple and affordable for the average small business that wants to save time on payroll.
  • The user interface is well-designed and intuitive, and the onboarding process is easy.
  • The level of customer service goes well beyond other competitors that we reviewed.

What We Don’t Like About OnPay

  • OnPay currently does not offer a standalone mobile app, although its website is mobile-friendly.
  • OnPay charges for printing year-end tax forms. Many other services we evaluated don’t charge extra to provide your business or workers with their W-2s or 1099s.

Ease of Use

OnPay’s ease of use is one reason we selected it as the best payroll service for small businesses. The software’s interface is clearly labeled, which makes running payroll and using the software simple.

After clicking on the homepage’s Payroll tab, select the employees you want to pay. You then add the hours each employee worked, ensure that the proper deductions are withheld, and add any bonuses or commissions. For salaried employees, all of their information is saved in the system, so OnPay can automatically fill in the necessary data.

OnPay then calculates the payroll and allows you to review the totals (payroll will run only if the totals are accurate). We like how paychecks can be deposited directly into your employees’ bank accounts, loaded onto prepaid debit cards or printed onto old-fashioned paper checks. We found it helpful that after you’ve run payroll, the software sends an email to employees, letting them know when they will receive their payments.

OnPay user interface

OnPay’s user interface is clean and intuitive. Source: OnPay

Adding employees to the software is also simple. You can either add them yourself or allow employees to add themselves. The information needed for each employee includes name, address, birthdate and start date. Those using direct deposit will also need to add their banking information. Once these basics are entered into the software, you add the employee’s pay rate, how often they are paid, and state and federal tax withholdings. Employees can be paid once that information is saved in OnPay.

OnPay has a mobile-friendly website that lets you and other admins log in from your smartphones and tablets. From the mobile website, you can view the company’s payroll history, review and update employee information, enter hours, and calculate, review, and submit payroll.

OnPay has a mobile friendly site

Although OnPay doesn’t have a mobile app, the website is extremely mobile-friendly. Source: OnPay

OnPay Features

Managing employees is stressful enough on its own for a small business owner. OnPay takes away much of that pressure by streamlining and automating payroll with a robust set of tools and features.

Payroll Processing

The software automatically calculates the pay for each worker based on the pay rate and hours worked. All you have to do is enter the hours each employee worked and any bonuses or commissions that they earned, and the software handles the rest. It withholds the proper taxes and any other deductions, such as for health insurance or other benefits.

OnPay user screen

OnPay makes it easy to run payroll with minimal input. Source: OnPay

Unlimited Payroll Runs

We found it valuable that you can run as many payrolls as you want each month. This allows you to have different pay cycles for different employee types, which may be beneficial to businesses that pay both full- and part-time employees as well as freelancers or other contractors. Because payroll runs are unlimited, you can pay W-2 employees every two weeks and contractors on any time interval that you choose.

Did you know?Did you know? Biweekly is the most common payroll cycle for employers, making up over one-third of the total./p>

Payroll Deductions

The payroll software allows for various deductions, including dollar amounts, percentages, goal or loan deductions that automatically stop, retirement plan contributions, and health insurance. OnPay automatically calculates deductions and includes them on each pay stub, helping to prevent payroll discrepancies.

Employee Types

We like how you can pay all employees and workers with OnPay, regardless of their tax status. The software allows you to make payments to both full- and part-time W-2 employees as well as 1099 contractors and freelancers. You simply need to designate which type of worker the person is in the software, and it will withhold the correct taxes automatically.

Report Generation

OnPay’s Report Designer makes it easy to generate payroll reports. We like how the software makes it easy to manipulate data by arranging columns, creating filters and changing date ranges. OnPay also includes dozens of prebuilt reports.

Biweekly is the most common payroll cycle for employers, making up over one-third of the total.

OnPay data analytics graphs

We liked how OnPay makes data visualization easy and digestible. Source: OnPay

Payment Options

OnPay gives you options as to how you pay your employees. It’s helpful to know you can pay them via direct deposit, paper check or prepaid debit card. With direct deposit, paychecks are automatically deposited into each employee’s bank account two days after payroll has been processed.

OnPay also offers several alternatives to direct deposit. If your employee prefers a paper check, you can print it from your business’s printer (no special software is necessary for this, but you will need check stock for your printer). The third option is to have the money automatically deposited to a prepaid debit card. Once the money is deposited onto the card, the employee has full access to the funds.

Payroll Taxes

Knowing how to file employee payroll taxes is essential for any small business owner. One advantage of OnPay is that it automatically calculates your payroll taxes. The software fills out and files the required local, state and federal forms, and it pays the proper amount to each agency. OnPay guarantees that taxes will be paid on time and correctly. If an error is made, OnPay assumes all responsibility, and the company will pay any fines resulting from the error.

TipTip: Make sure that you are aware of payroll liabilities, because failure to keep track can bring on expensive penalties from tax authorities.

Employee Self-Service

Employees can access the software to review their pay stubs and year-end tax forms. Self-service also allows employees to conduct their own onboarding. They can log in to the system and enter their personal details, such as their address and banking information. This is a huge timesaver for you and other admins. Employees have lifetime access to their accounts, so they can log in to review their pay stubs or year-end tax forms even after they move on to other jobs.

New-Hire Reporting

Whenever a business hires a new employee, it is required to report that information to the state where it operates. OnPay reports all your new hires to the government for your business.

Integrations

OnPay integrates with popular programs and services that many businesses use. These integrations can save you the time of inputting data into each separate program. Among the programs that integrate with OnPay are QuickBooks Online, Xero, Kabbage, TSheets, When I Work, Deputy, Humanity, America’s Best 401k, Guideline, Vestwell, ThinkHR, PosterElite and Magnify.

OnPay also maintains a partnership with Highstreet to produce accounts payable automation tools that can be used in conjunction with the Oracle NetSuite enterprise resource planning platform (learn more in our full review of Oracle NetSuite). Accounts payable automation reduces the time and cost associated with running payroll for both employees and contractors. If your business uses Oracle NetSuite, these tools from OnPay could offer you a strategic advantage.

OnPay integrations screen

OnPay offers a number of valuable integrations. Source: OnPay

Added Services

In addition to payroll software, OnPay offers retirement savings plans, workers’ compensation insurance, employee benefits and an online HR library. For vacation management, OnPay manages accruals of paid time off (PTO). OnPay allows you to set accruals by pay period, year or hours worked. Employees can view the time they accrued on each of their pay stubs.

FYI: Most people now spend more time on a mobile device than a desktop, so carefully consider your own personal habits when thinking about how to choose payroll software.

OnPay Pricing

We like that OnPay offers one service plan for all users and all OnPay users have unlimited access to every feature of the software. This varies from most of the other services we looked into. For example, our review of QuickBooks Payroll found it offers three service plans, while our review Gusto Payroll found that it offers four.

With this payment structure, you can run payroll as many times as you want each month for the same cost. This makes OnPay stand out from some other providers that have a per-payroll cost structure, charging you each time you run payroll.

OnPay’s monthly cost has two parts: a $40 base fee, plus $6 charge for each employee. An employee is defined as anyone you run payroll for. This includes all full- and part-time W-2 employees as well as 1099 contractors or freelancers you hire for specific projects.

The only other fee that you may incur is for year-end tax forms. While there is no cost to print W-2 and 1099 forms on your own, there is a $10 additional charge per form if you want OnPay to print and send them directly to employees.

Implementation and Onboarding

During our research, we found that OnPay features a straightforward onboarding process. One great benefit of OnPay is that it offers a one month free trial. You can sign up and run several payrolls to ensure you like the software and that it meets your needs. If it doesn’t, you can cancel without penalty.

The OnPay team will also assist you with setup and data migration. For businesses switching to OnPay from another payroll company, OnPay transfers all of the employee information from the previous payroll provider into the OnPay software. This process typically takes three days.

Customer Service

We were extremely pleased with the support we received from OnPay. To test its customer service, we contacted the company numerous times by phone, posing as a very small business owner in need of payroll software

Everyone we spoke with at OnPay answered each question clearly and thoroughly. We were pleased that none of the OnPay representatives we spoke with tried to pressure us into signing up for the service. Unlike some providers we called, who seemed more concerned about signing us up as a customer, OnPay’s reps simply listened to our questions and answered them as best they could.

OnPay offers customer support over the phone between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. The ability to get a human on the phone in an age where many software-as-a-service providers skimp on customer service especially impressed us.  Additionally, the OnPay website offers live chat and a knowledge base with detailed answers to many frequently asked questions.

Limitations

While we were highly impressed with OnPay, a couple of things could be drawbacks depending on your needs. One is that OnPay lacks a mobile app. While its website is mobile-friendly and fully functional on a mobile web browser, a dedicated mobile app is clearly the superior choice for someone who needs to do a lot of payroll work on the go. If a mobile app is crucial to you, check out our review of Paychex.

Another drawback is that OnPay charges to print year-end tax forms. Many other services we evaluated don’t charge extra to provide your business or your workers with their W-2s or 1099s. This may not be an essential feature in a digital age, but it would be a drawback for business owners who want to send out a large number of paper forms.

Methodology

To generate our quantitative score and use case, we reviewed software features such as payroll procedures, user interface, third-party integrations, report generation, customer service and additional HR tools. We also assessed pricing structure as well as the availability of a free trial or online demonstrations. Sources of information included in this review were gleaned from the company’s website and software demos.

Additionally, we studied user reviews for independent opinions on the software’s pros and cons. For small businesses specifically, we were focused on issues such as value, user-friendliness and how the software’s features would make owners’ lives easier.

FAQs

How long has OnPay been around?

OnPay was founded as a traditional payroll service in 2009. Over time, the company moved online and now has over 10,000 customers worldwide.

Can you file payroll taxes on OnPay?

OnPay handles all the filing of federal and state taxes, as well as any local payroll taxes at the county, city, town or other municipal level.

Does OnPay provide a W2?

With OnPay, you or your employees/contractors can produce, view and print W2s from a business or personal computer. You can also pay an additional fee for OnPay to mail the form directly.

Bottom Line

We recommend OnPay for …

  • Business owners who want a simple, affordable and easy-to-understand pricing plan.
  • Businesses or HR professionals who want a payroll service with a simple and intuitive user interface.
  • Businesses that require a high level of customer service with readily available in-person assistance.

We do not recommend OnPay for …

  • Business owners or HR professionals that conduct a lot of payroll work on a mobile device.
  • Small businesses that want a company to send out a large number of printed W2 forms.
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OnPay Payroll Software

The Verdict

OnPay is our top choice for very small businesses. It handles all payroll and payroll tax needs, has an easy-to-use online platform, and is reasonably priced.

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Mike Berner
Mike Berner
business.com Staff
business.comb.
Mike Berner is a staff writer at business.com and Business News Daily specializing in finance. Mike has a deep background in the financial world, having written hundreds of articles and blog posts on financial markets, business and investing. He holds a B.A. in economics and a B.B.A. in finance, both from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to his writing career, he performed quantitative analysis and research as an economic analyst.