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OnPay Review

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Editor

OnPay checks all of the critical boxes of what very small businesses need in a payroll solution. Most importantly, it is extremely affordably priced. It has just one pricing plan, which takes away the confusion from business owners and HR professionals who have to determine which features and tools are worth paying for.

OnPay

OnPay

The Best Online Payroll Services of 2021

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.

With OnPay, you get access to all of the tools for the same price. Additionally, OnPay cloud-hosted software is simple to use. Payroll can be complete 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. It is for these reasons and more that OnPay is our choice as the best online payroll software for very small businesses.

OnPay Pricing and Service Plans

OnPay offers one service plan for all users. All OnPay users have access to every feature the software has. OnPay's pricing is based on monthly costs. With this payment structure, you can run payroll as many times as you want each month for the same cost. In contrast, some providers have a per-payroll cost structure, charging you each time you run payroll. 

OnPay's costs comprise two parts: a base fee, which you pay no matter how many employees you have, and then a charge for each employee. OnPay's monthly base fee is $36. The cost for each employee is $4 per month. The base fee stays the same each month. It's the employee cost that increases or decreases based on your staffing levels. 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. 

There are no contracts to sign with OnPay. You pay month to month and can cancel at any time without incurring penalties. 

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 an additional charge if you want OnPay to print them and send them either to your office or directly to each employee. OnPay charges $5 each (plus shipping) to mail the forms to your office and $6 each (plus shipping) to mail the forms directly to each employee's home. 

One benefit of OnPay is that the first month of service is free. You can sign up and run a couple of payrolls to ensure you like the software and that it meets your needs. If it doesn't, you can cancel without penalty. 

OnPay Payroll Features

OnPay offers many services, features and tools that very small businesses will find valuable. Here is what OnPay offers: 

Payroll Processing

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

Unlimited Payroll Runs

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. Since you can run as many payrolls as you want, you can pay W-2 employees every two weeks and contractors whenever you like, such as monthly or weekly.

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 paystub.

Employee Types

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.

Payment Options

OnPay gives you options as to how you pay your employees. 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. If your employee would prefer a paper check, you can print it from your business's printer. (No special software is needed 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

OnPay automatically calculates your payroll taxes; fills out and files the required local, state, and federal forms; and 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. The company fixes the mistake and pays any fines resulting from the error.

Employee Self-Service

Employees can access the software to review their paystubs 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 or other admins. Employees have lifetime access to their accounts, so they can log in to review their paystubs or year-end tax forms even after they move on to other jobs.  

New-Hire Reporting

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

Time Off

This payroll solution manages paid time-off accruals. OnPay allows you to set accruals by pay period, hours worked or yearly. Employees can view the time they accrued on each of their paystubs.

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 and services 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.

Added services

In addition to payroll software, OnPay offers retirement savings plans, workers' compensation insurance, employee benefits and an online HR library. 

OnPay Pros

OnPay handles all payroll responsibilities. Businesses can run an unlimited number of payrolls in the system each month and pay both W-2 and 1099 workers by direct deposit or printed checks. The service also takes care of your company's payroll tax obligations by calculating, filing and paying payroll taxes on your behalf. 

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

Since OnPay is a cloud-hosted service, there is no software to install or maintain. You can access the payroll software from any web browser. This means you can run payroll from your office computer, a computer at your home or your laptop when you are away from the office. 

In addition, OnPay has a mobile-friendly website that lets those in charge log in from their smartphones and tablets. From the mobile website, administrators can see the company's payroll history; review and update employee information; enter hours; and calculate, review, and submit payrolls. 

Once you log in to the system, it is very easy to run payroll. After clicking on the homepage's Payroll tab, you pick the employees you want to pay. You then add the hours each employee worked, make sure the proper deductions are withheld, and add any bonuses or commissions they earned. For salaried employees, all of their information is saved in the system, so you don't have to manually add their hours. 

OnPay then calculates the payroll and allows you to review the totals. If the totals are accurate, the payroll will run, and paychecks are deposited directly into your employees' bank accounts or prepaid debit cards, or you can print checks using your own printer. After you've run payroll, the software sends an email to employees letting them know when they can check their bank accounts or prepaid debit cards for the deposit, or when they will receive their checks. 

Adding employees is also simple. You can add employees yourself or ask employees to do it themselves. The information needed for each employee includes their name, address, birth date and start date. Those using direct deposit will also need to add their banking information. Once these basics are entered in 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 the software.

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. 

OnPay Cons

While we were highly impressed with OnPay, there were a couple of things that could be drawbacks depending on your needs. One, OnPay lacks a mobile app. While its website is mobile-friendly, some mobile users prefer using an app. 

Another drawback is the fees 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. 

OnPay 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. 

The service we received each time could not have been better. What impressed us most was our first call. Rather than a typical support or sales representative answering our call, we were greeted by a company executive. Upon hearing that we were interested in the software, he didn't pass us off to someone else. Instead, he spent more than half an hour on the phone with us, explaining everything about the system and how it works. He also discussed the history of the company and how it differs from other payroll companies. This was a level of service we have never received from any other service provider we've contacted. 

While all subsequent calls were handled by support and sales representatives, we continued to receive top-notch service. 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 with the service. Unlike some providers we spoke with that 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. Additionally, the OnPay website offers a live chat tool, as well as a knowledgebase with detailed answers to many frequently asked questions. This gives users a quick way to get their questions answered, without ever picking up the phone. 

Image Credit: AndreyPopov / Getty Images
OnPay

OnPay

The Best Online Payroll Services of 2021

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.

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
business.com Staff
See Chad Brooks's Profile
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has spent more than 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.