Payroll can be a pain, but it’s unavoidable. It’s also an area that you can’t afford to get wrong otherwise it could lead to penalties and fines later. For example, if you report the wrong amount on payroll, the IRS could fine you for not paying the correct amount in payroll taxes.
But what is the best type of software for you to use?
There are so many options on the market that it’s hard to choose the right one. We conducted a study into some of the biggest brand options on the market today. We concluded that for small businesses the best online payroll service is Intuit Quickbooks Payroll. They were chosen after trying out almost a dozen different services. We not only concluded that Intuit is the best value for money we found that they are the best for efficiency.
This guide is going to show you some of the reasons why all small businesses should be using Intuit Payroll.
Why Should You Use Intuit Online Payroll?
To begin with, Intuit Payroll may be our recommended payroll company for small businesses, but there are better options for companies of different types and sizes. We wouldn’t expect Apple, for example, to still be using Intuit Payroll. In the meantime, though, Intuit Payroll is a great option for the small to mid-size company.
It offers small businesses several options for handling their payroll and tax obligations. The program you choose will determine how much you pay. There’s a flat fee and an additional $2 per employee. You can use Intuit Payroll for as little as $20 per month. The high-end packages cost a $99 per month flat-fee.
But what are you getting for your money?
The Different Plans Available
Intuit Online Payroll makes it simple to understand exactly what you’re paying for and precisely what you’re getting for your money. You can easily upgrade from one package to another with a minimal amount of disruption. We found that Intuit will support you all the way during the migration process.
The Basic Plan
The basic plan is for the small business that has extremely simple tax affairs. This is ideal if you have a low number of employees and the tax issues can be handled without any specialist software. That’s why Intuit Basic only includes payroll and not tax.
The base fee is $20 for the first six months plus $2 for every employee in the system. After the first six months, have elapsed, you have a choice. You can either continue with the plan at $25 per month or you can drop out. This may seem unfair, but Intuit also provides an annual contract. If you make a commitment of one year, the price drops to $18.75 per month.
So, what does it come with?
One of the best features included is the chance to print instant paychecks for all your W-2 employees. There’s also direct deposit features and live customer support.
The Enhanced Plan
The enhanced plan is the middle tier for Intuit Quickbooks Payroll. This includes all the payroll features plus some limited tax features. For the enhanced plan, you can expect to have to pay $31.20 as the base fee for the first six months, plus an additional $2 for each employee in the system.
After the six-month trial period the amount goes up to $39 per month, with the same $2 per additional employee. If you want to sign up to the annual contract the amount you pay will be $29.25 per month.
With the enhanced plan, you get everything that the basic plan provides plus a basic tax calculator for both Federal and state payroll taxes. You’re still responsible for making the tax payments, but the software will automatically fill in all the necessary forms, including for unemployment taxes.
However, it does make it easier to pay your taxes. It comes with an electronic tax payment system. This can be accessed and paid with one mouse click. Other features also include easily printable W-2 forms for all your employees and special email alerts for when you need to pay your payroll taxes to both Federal and state governments.
The Full-Service Plan
The Full-Service plan is ideal for smaller businesses that are beginning to expand. You get the benefit of all Intuit Payroll services, as well as everything detailed in the above two plans.
The cost is different, however. The base fee is now set at $79 per month, with the $2 for every employee in the system. After the initial six-month period the price goes up to $99 per month. Unfortunately, Intuit doesn’t provide an annual billing discount, so before you try this plan you should be prepared for the increase in price.
The Full Service plan will run your payroll system, as well as managing all your Federal, state, and local tax forms. Unlike the other plans, Intuit Payroll Full Service provides a guarantee that all tax payments are correct and delivered before the deadline.
This guarantee is extensive. Intuit pledges that if an error is made with its software it will pay all the resulting tax penalties your company incurs.
Be aware that the way the Full-Service plan is setup does differ. A representative from Intuit enters the data of every employee and all other relevant company information into the system. They will work with you directly in the beginning to get the Full-Service plan up and running.
Finally, the Full-Service plan manages the processing and printing of W-2 forms for every employee.
It may be more expensive, but this is truly a bespoke service, and with Intuit taking on the responsibility of paying your taxes you do get what you pay for.
What About Employees Working in Other States?
Small businesses that have employees working in other states do need to remember that Intuit Payroll charges extra, regardless of the program you’re using. For every other state, you can expect an additional $12 charge to apply every month. Factor this into your business costs.
But the system, other than this charge, remains the same. You don’t need to alter your accounting processes.
The Key Advantage of Using Intuit
The big benefit for every plan offered by the company is that unlimited payroll runs apply to all of them. This is not something you get with many of Intuit Payroll’s competitors. You have the flexibility to pay your employees, weekly, biweekly, or monthly without it impacting the price.
Many other payroll processing options have additional pricing structures dependent on the number of payroll runs you have every month.
Use the Free Trial First
To begin with, we recommend taking advantage of the free trial option. For most small businesses, we advise that you use the basic plan’s free trial to get to grips with the core features of Intuit Payroll, even if you intend on using one of the other plans later. Let your accounting team try out the software and see whether it really fits your company’s needs.
You do need to enter your credit card information when taking advantage of the free trial, but you can easily cancel it before the free trial ends at no additional cost to you. The free trial lasts for 30 days and comes with the same features that you would be using if you were paying for the platform.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Intuit Payroll?
Like with all payroll processing software, there are always disadvantages. To begin with, we wouldn’t recommend this for larger businesses. Companies with more complex payroll departments may want to consider a more modified solution. They may even want to have their own software designed. This is mainly targeted at small to medium-sized businesses.
The only real disadvantage is that you need to be able to submit your payroll information a total of three business days before you want to pay your employees. Most other services only require that you submit your information two business days in advance.
But that’s a disadvantage that can be easily remedied by adjusting your schedule. If you run into any problems, you have access to 24-hour support from the computer or from a mobile device.
Last Word – Intuit Payroll is the Best Solution for You
Small businesses will find that Intuit Payroll is the best solution for them. It integrates fully with QuickBooks, which is the most popular accounting software, and is easy to install. There’s a gentle learning curve and you can switch programs with ease.
So, go ahead and take the free trial, and see if Intuit Online Payroll will fulfill the needs of your business.