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What is the most startup-friendly payroll system?

Roger Frederick's Profile

Intuit vs PayChex


Topic Expert
Randy Miller
Title: Partner
Company: CFO Edge
(Partner, CFO Edge) |

I recommend outsourcing payroll because payroll can be a real time-eater and the last thing you need to do is lose time in a start-up situation. Along those lines, I have had good experiences with both Paychex and ADP. ADP vs Pachex, I think Paychex is a little stronger for small company situations, with a little better personal support.

Debra Thompson
Title: Contract Consultant for Small to Medium ..
Company: Debra L Thompson, CPA, LLC,
(Contract Consultant for Small to Medium size organizations, Debra L Thompson, CPA, LLC, ) |

I will agree with Paychex, there is alot of payroll filing situations and if you miss one then there are liabilities for a few dollars a month (around $30) let a payroll handle all the reporting for you. They can also do 1099's also.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

I have used several payroll companies. I find the smaller regional companies provide more service for the buck; are competitive and sometimes, like the firm I used prior to and after 9/11, willing to float two payrolls because we couldn't get to our offices to make deposits.

I somehow doubt the big guys would ever do that... or even ever think of doing that...

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Director of Global Accounting
Company: Agrinos, Inc.
(Director of Global Accounting, Agrinos, Inc.) |


I've used Paychex and ADP, and like them both. Like Wayne, outsourcing (especially to a small local accountant) can be really cost efficient and painless. QuickBooks payroll has also been pretty darn easy; I'd say it is the fastest setup and perhaps cheapest of all. It is, however, a dumb system so you need to have someone smart using it.


Wray Rives
Company: Rives CPA PLLC

I would second Quickbooks online payroll, I have several startup clients on it and they all love it.

Topic Expert
Rick Bigelow
Title: C0O
Company: LSSM
(C0O, LSSM) |

I agree the more regional offer superior service along with easier sollutions. I currently use Paychex for one company, a local for one in CA and a local for one in PA. The cost for the regionals is usually less. I would highly recommend the one in CA - Payroll Systems, Inc. - I can provide a contact person if you like.

Steve Corda
Title: Controller
Company: Midwest Equity Mortgage
(Controller, Midwest Equity Mortgage) |

I have just switch from ADP to Paychex and found many issues with Paychex. Their system is very slow and not user friendly. Many of times my staff and I couldn't even get into Paychex because of system problems. When we called their tech support we were given answers that didn't make sense. Most of the reports run are in PDF which I know you can transfer to Excel but I wish Paychex had an option for going straight to Excel for summary reports.

Allan Kaplan
Title: CFO
Company: Euclid Systems Corporation
(CFO, Euclid Systems Corporation) |

My opinion, depends on a couple of things - are you going to offer benefits (health, etc) immediately, and do you anticipate not having problems meeting payroll. If yes to both, I like PEO's like Insperity or now Paychex too. These give you access to larger insurance pools for health insurance, helping to lower costs. Also gives you access to HR support to make sure you know and are following appropriate labor rules. For us, the savings for health insurance more than paid for the added cost of the PEO service.

Erik Blumenau
Title: Principal
Company: Batten Advisory Group
(Principal, Batten Advisory Group) |

I agree about outsourcing the payroll. The benefits outweigh the costs. I have used both ADP and Paychex. I did not like the ADP experience although to be fair it was about 8 years ago. They may be better now. Payroll companies also offer online access for your employees. There is no longer a need to pass out pay stubs. Employees really like the paperless option.

Richard Connelly
Title: CFO
(CFO, ) |

Take a good look at ExponentHR. I have implemented it in two startup companies. It is easy to use, reliable and cost effective. It is not a PEO but has an HRIS system built in. The big advantage is that all employees have online access to their data 24/7 wherever they have internet access. That saves a lot of administrative time.

James Ganley
Title: Chief Accounting Officer
Company: Compass Datacenters
(Chief Accounting Officer, Compass Datacenters) |

For a start up, I recommend using the Quickbook payroll service or a small payroll service. The QB solution will post directly to the accounting system and is inexpensive. As mentioned by Keith, QB is very flexible and can be manipulated. As a small start up company, I would recommend you stay away from ADP.

kadidia cooper
Title: office manager
Company: atchison barisone et al
(office manager, atchison barisone et al) |

Actually if you have under 10 employees Quickbooks will work for a while, but as mentioned above, the biggest problem is usually not payroll itself but all the deposit and filing requirements around it. You really want to outsource that hassle and the liability to someone who knows what they are doing. I've had my best experiences with local companies, they have competitive pricing, sometimes even lower pricing and they are a lot more flexible and willing to work with you as they usually know you. We're using our CPA for payroll and it integrates nicely. Ask your CPA if they offer payroll services or ask them to make a recommendation. Ask around your local Chamber of Commerce or similar organization.

Justin Coverick
Title: Controller
Company: Stokehouse Unlimited, LLC
(Controller, Stokehouse Unlimited, LLC) |

As a follow up, I am not a fan of ADP (expensive and archaric) and paychex is similar to ADP. I have implemented/change managed 4 implementations ant 3 companies and found the same results after a horough analysis

Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

I strongly recommend Paylocity. They specialize in small to medium size companies and are set up to do almost everything for you, or simply to act as a database and let you be in control. In addition, they have partners on record that you can use/outsource your benefits through and not worry about the integrations. Their record keeping is excellent and if they don't have a report to let you know a status, you can usually create one on the fly. Their prices were comparable to ADP, except their service is stellar.

david waltz
Title: Assistant Treasurer
Company: Integrys Energy Group
(Assistant Treasurer, Integrys Energy Group) |

I have heard some customers have difficulty with ADP's funding requirements once they get to a certain level. Perhaps this is a reason to use regionals where there can be more of a personal relationship?

A.J. Verdecchia
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Dixie Construction Company, Inc.
(Chief Financial Officer, Dixie Construction Company, Inc.) |

Check out TriNet. I have a contact name if you want.

Nancy Adrian
Title: Corporate Controller
Company: ABC Laboratories, Inc.
(Corporate Controller, ABC Laboratories, Inc.) |

We are moving from ADP to UltiPro, an complete HRIS and payroll online system. Does anyone have any experience with this software from the payroll side?

Jeff Langston
Title: CFO
Company: Baxter Franchise Group
(CFO, Baxter Franchise Group) |

Used ADP in the past and struggled with it. Check out Paylocity. They were less expensive than ADP with better customer service.

Topic Expert
Marc Faerber
Title: CFO
Company: Amarantus
(CFO, Amarantus) |

It depends on what exactly do you want. Do you want just a simple payroll system, no benefits etc. then Quickbooks payroll is simple and cheap, but as one of the others mentioned you need someone smart to run it. If you want to handle the whole compensation and benefits the a PEO, like Trinet, is the way to go. You don't need to be smart to use it.

Helen Rosen
Title: President
Company: Direct Approach Solutions, LLC.
(President, Direct Approach Solutions, LLC.) |

I am having the most wretched experience with Paychex right now. They cannot explain how the amount impounded on the bank statement is different from the amount they say will be impounded on their reports. Their employees just don't care. They leave at 5:00 on the dot whether the problem is solved or not. I have been on this for a week and still don't have any clear answer. I would never recommend Paychex to anyone.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

You should write a review.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

I now have a client on Paychex. Our rep is very knowledgeable and I have been getting more than acceptable turn-a-round on questions.

From what I can tell, the client has not had any issues.

(Payroll Manager) |

Can you please give me a list of the differences and similiarities between ADP and Paychex?

Herman Chandi
Title: VP Business Development
Company: Procurify
LinkedIn Profile
(VP Business Development, Procurify) |

Start-up friendly? Depending on what you mean by startup, I was recently down on a trip to the silicon valley and ZenPayroll was an emerging player in the space backed by strong venture capital.

Jim Mitchell
Title: CFO
Company: Industrial Fabrics/ Premier Concrete Pro..
(CFO, Industrial Fabrics/ Premier Concrete Products) |

I'm in the beginning stages of using Trinet as our PEO and, so far, they've done a great job. Their responsiveness has been very good during the initial steps and inevitable hiccups.

Topic Expert
Paul Benedetto
Title: CFO, Director of Finance, Consultant
Company: Nextwave Software, Rethink Fabrics
(CFO, Director of Finance, Consultant, Nextwave Software, Rethink Fabrics) |

Like Herman, I would like to vouch for ZenPayroll. I am using them for 2 startups currently and am very happy. I have written a recent review on the "Product Reviews" section of Proformative.

Kundan Lal
Title: Accounting & Finance Consultant
Company: Real Time Cloud Services, LLC
(Accounting & Finance Consultant, Real Time Cloud Services, LLC) |

I have several startup clients and they are using QuickBooks Payroll for paying their employees and payroll taxes without any problem.

Summit Tech
Title: Owner
Company: SBS Consulting Pte Ltd
(Owner, SBS Consulting Pte Ltd) |

I have found that the cloud-based Payroll System software, by Summit Tech, is best for the start up as well as small and midsized businesses. The users can access it using their smart phones and tablets so that it is not necessary for a start up to invest in computer servers and other equipment. The software is also accessible through laptops, net books and desktop PCs.

The software provides a complete On-the-Go payroll processing solution to the users. It is accessible from anywhere and at any time. The start ups and small business can subscribe to its services by paying affordable monthly fees.

Kathleen Schmitt
Title: Prop
Company: MCH
(Prop, MCH) |

Wells Fargo payroll is seriously not one I would recommend.

Topic Expert
Joan Varrone
Title: CFO
Company: Cloud Cruiser
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, Cloud Cruiser) |

The least expensive solutions are Zen Payroll and Intuit (if you have QuickBooks). Check to see if Zen Payroll can handle departmental break outs as I heard this was a drawback.

Vaibhav Devaansh
Title: Director
(Director, |

For startups, time and money are the ultimate lifelines. Automating routine and repetitive tasks such as payroll processing can be a huge win for startups, as HR departments can often consist of one person who wears lots of different hats in the early stages. You’ll want to find a system that is compatible with: (1)The size of your company (2) The budget you have to work with (3) The bandwidth that you have to dedicate to implementation.

For any further help, feel free to ask.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

I also have since my last entry used the Xero payroll. Worked extremely well.

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