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Sage Payroll Review

Matt D'Angelo
Matt D'Angelo Contributing Writer
Updated Mar 12, 2019

With Sage, you can choose plans that handle just payroll processing or plans that provide payroll processing and payroll tax compliance. The system can integrate with your company’s accounting software as well as other platforms, like time and attendance systems or retirement plans. There are extensive pricing and plan options for a wide range of business needs. That means small businesses of all sizes and types can partner with Sage for payroll support.

Sage Payroll Review

Sage Payroll

The Verdict

Sage Payroll offers multiple service plans, the ability to handle all payroll processing and payroll tax needs, and the option to pay employees in a variety of ways.

Read our reviews of other top payroll companies, see answers to frequently asked questions and review a complete vendor list on our online payroll best picks page. 


Pricing for Sage Payroll depends on the service plan you select. Pricing for the Essentials Plus Plan is $49.95 per month for up to 10 employees. For businesses with more than 10 employees, there is an additional charge of $1.75 per employee per month.

Pricing for the Full Service plan is based on the number of employees and how often you run payroll. Unlike the Essentials Plus Plan, the Full Service plan charges on a per-payroll basis. For a business with 10 employees, we were quoted a price of $57 per payroll. For each additional employee, the cost increases by about $2 per payroll.

With all payroll options, Sage charges fees for its year-end tax service. There is a base fee of $50, plus $5.50 per employee.

Sage Payroll Service Plans

Sage Payroll is available in three service plans: Essentials, Essential Plus and Full Service.

The Essential and Essentials Plus plans are designed for employers with 10 employees or less. Sage representatives told us that the Essentials plans can support more than 10 employees if need be. Both plans include full payroll processing. Payroll data can be entered online or via mobile devices, and employees can be paid by direct deposit, paper check or prepaid debit card.

The biggest difference between the Essentials and Essentials Plus plans is the handling of payroll taxes. The Essentials plan does not include payroll tax service, while the Essentials Plus plan handles all payroll tax obligations. This includes calculating, filing and paying your payroll taxes to the proper agencies. Both plans allow for 11 predefined deductions, five predefined departments, 26 standard payroll reports, integrations with Sage accounting software, a QuickBooks interface and access to the HR compliance center.

Sage’s Full Service plan is designed for organizations with more than 10 employees. It handles all payroll processing and payroll tax obligations. The plan also allows businesses to submit payroll information via phone and fax, and it offers an unlimited number of deductions, more robust department options, several reports, expanded general ledger exporting capabilities, and direct access to a dedicated payroll expert with the American Payroll Association. 

The Full Service plan also provides more of a personal touch when it comes to setting up the software. For this plan, Sage handles all the work. With the Essentials plans, businesses are responsible for inputting all the information on their own.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros
    • Sage has a range of pricing options for small businesses.
    • It provides time and attendance, retirement plan administration, employee screening and a number of other services.
  • Cons
    • Some of Sage’s plans charge companies on a per-payroll basis. While this is not a negative for all small businesses, it’s something to keep in mind as you search for the right payroll company for your business.
    • Sage has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Additional Considerations

These other features make Sage a strong payroll service option:

  • All the service plans allow employees to log in to the system to view their pay stubs and year-end tax forms.
  • All service plans include phone and online chat support, plus access to the company’s online knowledgebase.
  • The system integrates with Sage’s time and attendance system. It tracks paid time off, overtime and tardiness.
  • Sage offers a variety of other services to payroll users, including employee screening, pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation, retirement plan administration and flexible spending administration.
  • We were happy with the customer service we received from Sage when we reached out by phone, posing as a small business owner interested in payroll services. Our call was answered immediately by a helpful representative, who was friendly and answered our questions thoroughly. By the end of the call, we had a clear understanding of what Sage Payroll offers, how it works, the differences between the service plans and how much each plan costs.


Sage’s Full Service plan charges on a per-payroll basis. This means that you pay for each payroll you run. This can get costly, depending on how many times you process payroll each month.

We were frustrated with Sage’s live chat help tool. It took over 20 minutes for a representative to chat with us. When they did connect with us, they weren’t able to answer any of our basic questions.

It’s also disappointing that Sage is not an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau and has an F rating. As of February 2019, Sage has had 18 complaints closed within the last 12 months. 

Editor’s Note: Is your business looking for an online payroll service? Click the Compare Quotes button below to have our sister site BuyerZone connect you with vendors that can help.

Sage Payroll Review

Sage Payroll

The Verdict

Sage Payroll offers multiple service plans, the ability to handle all payroll processing and payroll tax needs, and the option to pay employees in a variety of ways.

Matt D'Angelo
Matt D'Angelo Contributing Writer
I've worked for newspapers, magazines and various online platforms as both a writer and copy editor. Currently, I am a freelance writer living in NYC. I cover various small business topics, including technology, financing and marketing on and Business News Daily.