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What are the best HR/payroll service providers for an early-stage non-profit?

Diane Robbins's Profile


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

By early stage, I assume limited staff and funds. Why not ask your CPA how much they would charge for filing / doing payroll.

Both activities for a small payroll are not difficult or time consuming.

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

Both ADP and Paychex offer good solutions for small businesses, with the flexibility to expand as you grow. Cheapest isn't always the best solution, you need the expertise and the support if there are issues.

I would also recommend spending some time/money with a labor attorney. My experience has been that early-stage and non-profit companies tend to be creative in compensation to try to keep costs down - and without the right advice that can lead to big headaches down the road.

But definitely outsourcing is the way to go, as an early-stage entity the focus should be on the business.

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

We do quite a bit of non-profit and startup work.

*Assuming* that you're working with statutory employees...

We deploy QuickBooks to quite a few; it is cheap, easy, and very functional. For our thinly funded clients, it is the best bang for buck.
ADP is getting more aggressive (they're actually in my office right now), and to Randy's point, they do scale pretty well.
Xero and a few other new entrants are in pilot; they look promising and are worth watching (we're going to Beta Xero's solution soon).

To Wayne's point; if you have an accountant, use a system that works with your GL. If you are doing this all internally, same answer, but you make the call.

And...don't worry. Unlike GL migrations, payroll migrations are easy, so you're not locked in.

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

And of you do a payroll migration, do it at quarter end...makes it real easy.

Topic Expert
Patrick Dunne
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Milk Source
(Chief Financial Officer, Milk Source) |

I would say transiton at year end. Even at a quarte end, different payroll companies have different codes. Moving these to a new payroll company is not fun any time during the year.

(self employed) |

QuickBooks Payroll is excellent even if you do have the experience to understand and process payroll taxes. Missing payment due dates, filing deadlines, etc. are costly in both time and money. A start up does not need this additional burden. Do not recommend having a CPA process payroll - payroll services do it better. Pay your CPA to do something meaningful. And QuickBooks is excellent for any startup for many services. (CPA)

Robert Honeyman
Title: CFO
Company: Advanced Predictive Analytics
(CFO, Advanced Predictive Analytics) |

I like Fidelity, mostly because of the linkage with their 401-k side. I've never like doing payroll in-house but my bias goes back a few decades. I'm sure the software side of in-house payroll is vastly improved.

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

Quickbooks payroll is one of the most cost effective but requires a bit more work than Paychex and ADP (both of which have small business solutions). Do not have your CPA do your payroll..go with one of the pros.

Topic Expert
Bob Stenz
Title: Controller
Company: Silicon Valley start-up
(Controller, Silicon Valley start-up) |

Maybe because you are asking for recommendations for a non-profit, folks have not replied with any PEO that cover payroll and HR, although at a higher cost than payroll only service providers. Regarding PEOs, I've used both Insperity and Trinet with success (they handle all of the payroll, insurance, and HR matters). Of the two, I have some reluctance recommending Trinet since they are unable to provide a payroll register for approval (...they only give a report of hours to be charged and force you to approve payroll without knowing the dollar amounts in advance).

Michael Burkitt
Title: President
Company: Business Owner Sourcing Solutions (BOSS)
(President, Business Owner Sourcing Solutions (BOSS)) |

There is a way to get the best-of-all-worlds: Super-personal service of a small employer services firm who has robust and reliable web-based solutions through a technology partnership with the largest payroll company in the nation at wholesale pricing. Visit for more information.

(Sr. Business Consultant) |

I vote as the best. ADP as the worst
Ask for Lacey or Wendy @ CPEhr

Bhavesh Koladiya
Title: Software Analyst
Company: AppitSimple Infotek Pvt. Ltd.
(Software Analyst, AppitSimple Infotek Pvt. Ltd.) |

There are many payroll management software available in market. I recommend to Gusto, Quickbooks and paybooks. They three are best software to manage your organization payroll. If you want to compare these software. Here are you can compare software with features, price quotes and much more. Visit

Summit Tech
Title: CEO
Company: SBS Consulting Software
(CEO, SBS Consulting Software) |

I presume that you are searching for a low-priced HR/payroll software. It makes sense to go for a competitive software at reasonably priced in the early stage of an organization. I would recommend you to implement one of the best and responsive software i.e. SBS’ HR & Payroll Management System Software. It is manufactured by SBS Consulting, a renowned Singapore-based company. The free demo is available on request. The price of the software steals the deal.

Susan Boles
Title: Founder/Principal Partner
Company: Grind/Revive
(Founder/Principal Partner, Grind/Revive) |

I would recommend Gusto - it's comprehensive, easy to use and inexpensive. If you have salaried employees, you can also set it to auto-run and then no one needs to "run" payroll. Some of my favorite features are employee self-onboarding (to include any documents you might need them to review and/or sign). So, basically, you enter the employee's name, position and salary and then send them an email and they complete the rest. Saves a ton of time on the front end, keeps all the paperwork in one place and has quite a few tools to automate the whole HR/Benefits process.

William Nickson
Title: Python Dev
Company: pepsico
(Python Dev, pepsico) |

Non-profits have similar needs to for-profit businesses. However, non-profits often have fewer resources than their for-profit counterparts combined with increased oversight from aboard. This means that compliance issues are often top-of-mind for a board but the staff of the non-profit may not have the resources that it needs to manage compliance needs effectively.PEOs are a great option for non-profits because they're able to help with managing HR, compliance and benefits. That being said, the price point for many PEOs may be higher than a non-profit can afford.
Look for the following in a payroll/HR solution:

1. Interface with your accounting general ledger.

2. Ability to pull reports for funding sources. If the GL flows out of the department settings then you will be able to pull reports on funding sources, given they have a good reporting suite.

2a. A system that never deletes or purges data. You will want all your data history including a complete change audit log available for reporting.

3. Integrated time and attendance system to accurately capture time for hourly employees. This will show you are being a good steward of the funds and help control your labor expense.

4. Individualized customer support - you will want a direct line to a person with whom you have a relationship.

I recommend looking at this article where you can get a lot of useful information on this topic. I hope this helps. Good Luck.

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