I’ve used just about every payroll processor out there (I’m a CPA and interim CFO for 150+ startups) and I can confidently say that Gusto (formerly Zenpayroll) is the best, for a number of reasons:
One most startup friendly payroll systems is Gusto. Gusto was the first company to really nail the autopilot feature for pay systems, and it was a game changer for Kruze Consulting’s clients. This feature alone helped save our accountants enough time that we were able to grow our client base something like 4x! Trust us - early-stage company founders should not be messing around twice a month in a payroll system. You need automation. Gusto also handles payroll taxes really well - and perfectly. As tax CPAs, this is something we really appreciate, and you should too since you don’t want the IRS and your state revenue agency knocking on your door. Finally, and very important for high growth companies, is the easy onboarding of new employees. When you are adding 5, 10, 30 new people a month, you need a system that helps you get people set up with pay, benefits and more with as little work as possible.
For our lowest cost monthly bookkeeping plans, we require clients to use Gusto or one of three other providers - Rippling, Justworks, and Trinet. So far, these are the only players we’ve found who have enough automation and low enough prices to be worth using if you are an early-stage company looking to scale fast.