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Best Payroll Software For Accountants

These payroll software for accountants are loaded with features and benefits to help you manage your accounting firm and have happy clients.

    Davina Ward
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The best payroll software for accountants is easy to use and includes accounting software integrations, full-service payroll, discounts, and strong reporting tools. Additional perks you might want to look for include free payroll software for accountants, revenue sharing, free CPE credits, and marketing tools.

We reviewed ten of the top payroll software solutions to determine which payroll software offered the best mix of value and features. This post will look at the top payroll processing software for accountants, so keep reading to find your payroll solution.

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CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Gusto

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  • Overall best payroll software for accountants
  • $40-$80/month + $6-$12/month per employee
  • Includes HR & benefits administration
  • Overall best payroll software for accountants
  • $40-$80/month + $6-$12/month per employee
  • Includes HR & benefits administration

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ADP Payroll

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  • Best free payroll software for accountants
  • Custom pricing
  • Advanced features and reporting
  • Best free payroll software for accountants
  • Custom pricing
  • Advanced features and reporting

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Intuit Online Payroll

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  • Most popular payroll software for accountants
  • $31.50-$87.50/month + $5.10-$8.50/month per employee
  • Free QuickBooks Online & QuickBooks Time subscriptions
  • Most popular payroll software for accountants
  • $31.50-$87.50/month + $5.10-$8.50/month per employee
  • Free QuickBooks Online & QuickBooks Time subscriptions

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Rippling

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  • Best payroll software for large accounting firms
  • Custom pricing
  • A full PEO that includes HR & IT support
  • Best payroll software for large accounting firms
  • Custom pricing
  • A full PEO that includes HR & IT support

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Patriot Payroll

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  • Best for accounting & payroll software combined
  • $26.60-$35.15/month + $3.20-$3.80/month per employee
  • Free option available for 6+ clients
  • Best for accounting & payroll software combined
  • $26.60-$35.15/month + $3.20-$3.80/month per employee
  • Free option available for 6+ clients

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Paychex

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  • Best payroll software for growing accounting firms
  • Custom pricing
  • Includes HR, benefits, & insurance
  • Best payroll software for growing accounting firms
  • Custom pricing
  • Includes HR, benefits, & insurance

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SurePayroll

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  • Best payroll software for small accounting firms
  • $19.99-$29.99/month + $4-$5/month per employee
  • Free option available for 10+ clients
  • Best payroll software for small accounting firms
  • $19.99-$29.99/month + $4-$5/month per employee
  • Free option available for 10+ clients

Visit Site

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OnPay

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  • Easiest payroll software for accountants
  • $40/month + $6/month per person
  • Intuitive UI with multiple accounting integrations
  • Easiest payroll software for accountants
  • $40/month + $6/month per person
  • Intuitive UI with multiple accounting integrations

Visit Site

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Table of Contents

The 8 Best Payroll Software For Accountants: In Detail

The best payroll software for accountants offers discounts for accountants and their clients, full-service payroll, reporting, strong integrations, and more. Our picks for payroll software for accountants include Gusto, ADP, QuickBooks Online, Rippling, Patriot, Paychex, SurePayroll, and OnPay.

Gusto Pro: Overall Best Payroll Software For Accountants

Total Rating 4.4
Pricing3.7

Ease Of Use4.9

Features4.6

Customer Service4.1

User Reviews3.9

Payroll Processing Time

Next-day to 4 Days

Pricing

$40/month + $6/employee to $80/month + $12/employee

Business Size

Small-Medium Businesses (1-650+ Users)

Pros

  • Free payroll subscription
  • Client discounts
  • Intuitive UI

Cons

  • Limited reporting

gusto pro dashboard

Gusto Pro Dashboard

Why We Chose Gusto Pro For Accountants

Gusto Pro makes it easy for accountants and accounting firms to run payroll, whether you have one client or 50+. Gusto Pro offers full-service payroll, along with benefits and HR support. Real-time alerts, numerous software integrations, and solid customer support make Gusto Pro a top choice among accountants, potentially at no cost to you.

Gusto is the choice for over 200,000 small businesses that want to manage payroll and benefits, and it’s easy to see why. With full-service payroll, an easy-to-use platform, solid features and integrations, and good customer support, Gusto has a lot going for it. For accountants, free software for your business, revenue sharing, and client features are just a handful of extras that add to the value of this payroll software.

Gusto Pro Pricing

Gusto Pro is free for accountants, provided you onboard at least one new client every 12 months. For your clients, Gusto pricing plans range from $40-$80/month + $6-$12/month per employee. With your Gusto Pro plan, you can potentially receive discounts of up to 20% off to pass down to your clients.

Gusto Pro Features

As a Gusto Partner, you’ll get a generous set of features within Gusto Pro. Most notably, you’ll receive:

  • Free Gusto Complete payroll by onboarding a new client every 12 months
  • Free trials for clients
  • Dedicated account rep
  • Discounts to pass to clients or keep as revenue share
  • Full-service payroll
  • Benefits management
  • Compliance and HR support
  • Opportunities to earn CPE credits from live webinars
  • Integrations with software and apps, including QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Expensify

Get Started With Gusto

Read our in-depth review

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ADP Accountant Connect: Best Free Payroll Software For Accountants

Total Rating 4.0
Pricing1.1

Ease Of Use4.8

Features4.6

Customer Service3.7

User Reviews3.3

Payroll Processing Time

Variable

Pricing

Custom

Business Size

Small to enterprise-sized businesses (1-1,000+ users)

Pros

  • Free accountant portal
  • Cloud-based
  • Single sign-on access for ADP clients

Cons

  • Non-transparent pricing for clients
  • Additional fees

adp accountant connect dashboard

ADP Accountant Connect Dashboard

Why We Chose ADP Accountant Connect For Accountants

ADP Accountant Connect is a tool that allows you to access all of your authorized clients’ accounts with a single sign-on. This cloud-based program will enable you to easily access payroll data, tax forms, and other important information for your clients who use Run by ADP, ADP Workforce Now, and ADP TotalSource. You’ll receive valuable insights and have access to numerous features to manage your clients’ payroll — all at no cost to you.

ADP Accountant Connect is a great tool for accountants that work with one or more small- to mid-sized businesses that use ADP Payroll. The platform is easy to use, and it’s completely free. Referring clients to ADP is also a breeze. However, accountants with clients that use other payroll services and are unwilling to switch won’t find any benefits from using ADP Accountant Connect.

ADP Accountant Connect Pricing

ADP Accountant Connect is absolutely free. However, your clients will need to subscribe to one of ADP’s payroll plans. Unfortunately, ADP is not transparent when it comes to payroll pricing, so your clients will have to connect with an account rep for more information. However, you can easily refer clients to ADP through your Accountant Connect dashboard. Simply enter client information, and an account rep will reach out to help them get started.

ADP Accountant Connect Features

ADP Accountant Connect makes it easy to manage payroll for multiple clients. Standout features include:

  • Single sign-on access for all authorized accounts
  • Multi-client payroll reports
  • Easy onboarding
  • Client Insights feature provides transparency, tips, and emerging trends
  • Compensation Benchmarking
  • Access to Wolters Kluwer IntelliForms for current tax forms and instructions
  • Numerous accounting software and business app integrations, including QuickBooks, Xero, Sage, and Slack
  • Hundreds of client letter templates
  • Payroll, tax, and retirement calculators
  • Accounting Marketing Toolkit

Get Started With ADP Payroll

Read our in-depth review

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Intuit Online Payroll

Total Rating 4.2
Pricing2.6

Ease Of Use4.1

Features4.4

Customer Service4.6

User Reviews4.4

Payroll Processing Time

Same-day-5 Days

Pricing

$45/month - $125/month + $6-$10/person

Business Size

Small to medium-sized businesses with up to 150 employees

Current Deal: Get 50% off for three months when you sign up now. Save 50% Today

Pros

  • Integrates with QuickBooks Online
  • Client discounts
  • Free QBO Elite Payroll subscription for accountants
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Poor customer support

quickbooks accountant dashboard

QuickBooks Online Accountant Dashboard

Why We Chose QuickBooks Online Accountant For Accountants

For QuickBooks users, Intuit Online Payroll (also known as QuickBooks Online Payroll) is a smart choice for payroll software. This cloud-based software integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks Online. For accountants, signing up for QuickBooks Online Accountant and QuickBooks ProAdvisor offers a number of perks — from free software subscriptions to client discounts and more. Best of all? It’s free to sign up.

If you’re already a QuickBooks Online user, it makes sense to sign up for QuickBooks Online Payroll. Though its customer service leaves much to be desired, QuickBooks Online has a lot to offer with its robust feature set, mobility, and ease of use. Add in free benefits for accountants, and it’s easy to see why this software is a top pick.

QuickBooks Online Accountant Pricing

It is free to sign up for QuickBooks Online Accountant and the ProAdvisors Program. You can also pass down your ProAdvisor pricing to your clients, helping them save 30% off QuickBooks Online Payroll. Plans range from $31.50-$87.50/month + $5.10-$8.50/month per contractor or employee.

QuickBooks Online Accountant Features

QBO users already know the benefits of using this robust accounting software. But there are even more benefits to signing up for QuickBooks Online Accountant and the ProAdvisor Program, including:

  • Free QuickBooks Online Elite Payroll software for accountants
  • Free QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Time Pro for your firm
  • Billing options for your firm or directly to your clients
  • 30% off discounts for QuickBooks Online accounting software
  • 30% off discounts for QuickBooks Online Payroll
  • ProConnect Tax Online for syncing QBO data to tax returns
  • Marketing resources
  • Free training and opportunities to earn CPE credits

Get Started With Intuit Online Payroll

Read our in-depth review

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Rippling For Accountants: Best Payroll Software For Large Accounting Firms

Total Rating 4.3
Pricing2.4

Ease Of Use4.6

Features4.7

Customer Service4.2

User Reviews4.7

Payroll Processing Time

2 Days

Pricing

Starting at $8/month per employee

Business Size

Small to enterprise-sized businesses with 2-2,000+ users

Pros

  • Suitable for large accounting firms
  • HR and IT management features
  • Numerous integrations
  • Excellent customer support

Cons

  • Non-transparent pricing
  • It may be unsuitable for smaller firms

rippling dashboard

Rippling Payroll Dashboard

Why We Chose Rippling For Accountants

Rippling is a professional employer organization (PEO) solution that provides payroll, HR, and IT management services. Rippling For Accountants simplifies payroll, enhances transparency, and automates processes, leaving you more time to grow your accounting firm. It boasts numerous integrations for additional automation and excellent support to help you get the most out of the software.

Rippling is best suited for larger firms that serve clients with complex payroll, HR, and IT needs. Rippling is robust enough for accountants that handle numerous clients but may be overkill for smaller firms that serve clients with basic payroll needs. As it ranks among the best PEO companies for businesses, Rippling could offer accountants the unique opportunity to outsource payroll completely.

Rippling For Accountants Pricing

Rippling does not disclose its pricing online, only stating that plans start at $8/month per user. You must contact Rippling to receive your custom quote.

Rippling For Accountants Features

Rippling is designed to help you automate your payroll processes and improve accuracy, whether you have a single client or thousands. Here’s what to expect when you subscribe to this software:

  • Free Rippling payroll and HR for your firm
  • All-in-one payroll, HR, benefits, time, and attendance system
  • Pay rate auto-calculations
  • Integrates with accounting software, including QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite, and Sage Intacct
  • Integrates with time-tracking tools, including QuickBooks Time
  • Dedicated support line for accounting firms
  • White-glove client payroll migrations
  • 20% payroll and HR discount for clients
  • Tax support and compliance
  • Job costing
  • 90-second employee onboarding

Get Started With Rippling

Read our in-depth review

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Patriot Partner Program: Best Combined Accounting & Payroll Software For Accountants

Patriot Payroll

Total Rating 3.9
Pricing4.0

Ease Of Use3.4

Features3.5

Customer Service4.6

User Reviews4.8

Payroll Processing Time

2-4 days

Pricing

Starting at $17/month + $4 per person paid

Business Size

Small to mid-sized businesses with up to 500 people paid

Pros

  • Free accounting and payroll subscription
  • Client discounts
  • Excellent customer support

Cons

  • Limited benefits and HR
  • Limited customization options

patriot payroll partner program

Patriot Payroll Partner Program Dashboard

Why We Chose The Patriot Partner Program For Accountants

Patriot Payroll is easy-to-use cloud-based software that features everything you need in payroll software, along with excellent customer support and tax support. There are even more reasons for accountants to sign up, including free accounting and payroll software and discounted client pricing through its no-fee partner program.

What Patriot lacks (such as benefits, HR management, and a customizable dashboard), it makes up for usability and affordability — for both you and your clients. For accountants managing one or more small business clients with basic payroll, Patriot offers just enough features and integrations to fulfill that need. Give the software a try yourself with a 30-day free trial.

Patriot Partner Pricing

You can receive your Patriot software at a discounted rate when you sign up for its Partner Program. Pricing is based on your number of clients and ranges from $29.60-$35.15/month + $3.20-$3.80/month per employee or contractor. You can also receive Patriot’s accounting and payroll software for free if you have six or more active clients.

Patriot Partner Program Features

Patriot’s Partner Program is a free program open to accountants, bookkeepers, and CPAs. Here’s what to expect when you sign up:

  • Discounts of 5%-20% on your payroll software
  • Free payroll and accounting software for users with six or more clients
  • Consolidated billing
  • Free two-day direct deposit for qualified clients
  • Free co-branding
  • Summarized Partner Reports to easily view client data
  • A single sign-in to access all client accounts
  • Bonuses for referring new clients
  • Easy data migration for clients

Get Started With Patriot Payroll

Read our in-depth review

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Paychex: Best Payroll Software For Growing Accounting Firms

Total Rating 4.1
Pricing2.2

Ease Of Use4.4

Features4.6

Customer Service3.8

User Reviews3.9

Payroll Processing Time

Two days (faster costs extra)

Pricing

Starts at $39/month + $5/employee

Business Size

Self-employed contractors to enterprises with 1,000+ employees

Pros

  • Scalable
  • Easy to use
  • Strong reporting

Cons

  • Non-transparent pricing

paychex flex dashboard

Paychex Flex Dashboard

Why We Chose Paychex For Accountants

Paychex is a cloud-based payroll and HR solution that offers loads of benefits to businesses, including insurance, health care, and more. As an accountant, you can sign up for Paychex’s partner program, which allows you to access all client data easily. Paychex is a scalable solution that enables you to manage one or multiple clients through a single dashboard, even clients with more complex payroll and HR needs.

Paychex offers payroll and other business solutions that you can help your clients manage efficiently. It provides a solid set of features, strong reporting, and excellent customer service. Users report that the software is easy to use. With so many different products, it’s a robust option for growing businesses and accounting firms.

Paychex Pricing

Unfortunately, Paychex isn’t very forthcoming on its website with the pricing of its products. You will need to contact the company directly to receive a quote for services.

Paychex Features

This cloud-based software offers a number of features for its users, including a nice set of perks for accountants.

Here’s what to expect from Paychex:

  • Accountant-specific dashboard in Paychex Flex to manage your client data
  • Financial calculators
  • Federal and state tax forms
  • Free CPE credits through online courses and webinars
  • Integration with Paychex General Ledger
  • Year-end accounting tools and resources
  • Numerous integrations with business apps and software, including QuickBooks and Xero
  • 100+ reports
  • Offer clients professional HR support through Paychex’s Accountant HR Support
  • ERC services
  • Full service payroll, time tracking, and benefits solutions
  • Discounted retirement plan options
  • One month of free payroll, HR, and retirement services for your clients

Get Started With Paychex

Read our in-depth review

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SurePayroll For Accountants: Best Payroll Software For Small Accounting Firms

Total Rating 3.7
Pricing3.4

Ease Of Use3.5

Features3.8

Customer Service4.1

User Reviews3.7

Payroll Processing Time

2-4 days

Pricing

Starts at $19.99/month + $4/employee per month

Business Size

Small to mid-size businesses

Pros

  • Free payroll subscription
  • Accounting software integrations
  • Easy to use
  • Good customer support

Cons

  • Non-transparent pricing
  • Unsuitable for businesses with advanced payroll needs

SurePayroll dashboard

SurePayroll Home Dashboard

Why We Chose SurePayroll For Accountants

Accountants can partner with SurePayroll by becoming a SurePayroll Reseller. This cloud-based software features an easy-to-use dashboard with single sign-on access to manage all of your clients, and a mobile app makes it easy to handle payroll on the go. Consolidated billing helps you control pricing for your clients. White-label options and numerous accounting software integrations make it easy to provide payroll services to your clients.

SurePayroll For Accountants is most suitable for smaller firms with small clients, including individuals that have household employees. While you won’t find all of the bells and whistles available with other payroll options, SurePayroll covers the basics. Add in affordable pricing, a free Reseller program, and mobility, and you’ll see this software is a solid contender for accountant payroll software.

SurePayroll For Accountants Pricing

You can get started with SurePayroll For Accountants with a free Reseller Dashboard. Your payroll software is also free if you bring on 10 clients. If you don’t receive your product for free, you will receive wholesale pricing as a Reseller. Typical pricing for SurePayroll is $19.99-$29.99/month + $4-$5/month per employee.

For Accountants Features

SurePayroll For Accountants has a wide selection of features designed to help you manage payroll while boosting your brand and revenue.

Highlights include:

  • Free software for your firm by bringing on 10 clients
  • White-label option available
  • Dedicated Sales and Enrollment specialist and support from a team of payroll experts
  • Revenue Share and Direct Invoice consolidated billing options
  • Free integrations with accounting software, including QuickBooks Online, Zoho Books, Xero, AccountEdge, and Sage 50
  • Marketing tools and other resources for accountants

Get Started With SurePayroll

Read our in-depth review

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OnPay Partner Program: Easiest Payroll Software For Accountants

OnPay


Visit Site


Pros

  • Free payroll subscription
  • Revenue sharing and discounts
  • Marketing resources
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Limited integrations

onpay payroll partner dashboard

OnPay Payroll Partner Dashboard

Why We Chose The OnPay Partner Program For Accountants

OnPay’s Partner Program helps you easily manage your clients and grow your firm while providing great perks for accountants. You won’t just get free payroll software for your firm — you’ll also have access to tools and resources for marketing your firm, integrating your accounting software, and accurately running payroll for your clients.

One potential drawback of OnPay is that there is no in-house accounting software, and the software only integrates with QuickBooks or Xero. If you can overlook this (or you’re a QuickBooks or Xero user), you’ll find that OnPay is easy to use, affordably priced, and has a lot of solid perks for accountants. OnPay also provides good customer support and is available to help you get your firm (and your clients) efficiently set up for payroll processing.

OnPay Partner Program Pricing

It is free to become an OnPay partner. For your clients, OnPay has a single pricing plan priced at $40/month + $6/month per person. Depending on the number of clients you have, you can receive discounts of up to 20% that can be passed along to your clients.

OnPay Partner Program Features

The OnPay Partner Program is designed to help you streamline your accounting business, manage your clients, and even boost your revenue.

Standout features available to OnPay partners include:

  • Free payroll software for your accounting business
  • Intuitive dashboard to manage multiple clients in one place
  • Multiple user permissions
  • Integrations with QuickBooks and Xero
  • Discounts of 10%-20% that can be passed to clients or used as revenue sharing
  • Marketing resources
  • OnPay experts available for support, dashboard setup, and client transitions
  • Co-branding available for larger firms

Get Started With OnPay

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Methodology

Merchant Maverick has been researching and reviewing payroll providers since 2018. Our writers have tested more than 75 different payroll software systems, evaluating pricing, features, ease of use, customer service, and user reviewers. Read more about how we rate payroll providers.

When comparing different apps, we consider over seventy data points, including the speed and cost of payroll runs, federal and state tax filing features, HR integrations, employee management tools, time tracking, and more. Our lists of the best providers include only apps we’ve deemed worthwhile from several vantage points. The payroll apps we pick are widely available and relatively easy to train on, with robust features and reasonable pricing. We also look carefully at features such as employee and client portals, user onboarding services, PTO management, benefits administration, multistate compliance, and more.

We spend an average of 10-15 hours researching and updating each one of our lists, making sure the providers included meet our internal standards for quality and reputation.

75+

Vendors evaluated

76

Attributes assessed per vendor

26

Features weighed

20+

Combined years of experience


Which Payroll Software Is Right For Your Accounting Firm?

The best payroll software for your accounting firm should be robust enough to handle the many needs of your clients. Keep in mind your budget (and your clients’ budgets), as affordability should be a significant consideration when making your final decision.

Look at the quality and quantity of features and integrations, customer support options, and additional benefits that can help you better meet your client’s needs and grow your business. Modern software with an intuitive UI, mobility, and an easy-to-use dashboard that allows you to access client data quickly are additional things to keep in mind when choosing your payroll software. If you’re on the fence, don’t forget about testing out the software with free accountant dashboards or free trials.

One last thing to note is that payroll software that’s compatible with your accounting software helps improve efficiency and accuracy, so this is something else to consider when choosing your payroll software.

If you need accounting software or you’re looking to switch it up, don’t forget to check out our top picks for the best software for accountants. Good luck!

FAQs About Payroll Software For Accountants

What do accountants use for payroll?

Accountants use payroll software that can easily allow them to add data for multiple clients. Accountants may also look for software that features automations and integrations, lots of features, and benefits, such as free software or CPE credits. Some of the most popular accounting payroll options are ADP, Gusto, and QuickBooks Online Payroll.

Do accountants process payroll?

Some accountants do process payroll as part of their services for small business owners. These accountants work hand-in-hand with their clients to ensure that payroll is processed promptly and accurately. Many accountants work with multiple clients, so choosing the right payroll software is important.

What is the best payroll software for accountants?

The best payroll software for accountants should have a single sign-on dashboard, integrations with accounting software, and features their clients want the most, such as direct deposit. Some of the most popular options for payroll software for accountants include Gusto, ADP, QuickBooks, Paychex, SurePayroll, OnPay, Rippling, and Patriot.

Can accountants do payroll?

Many accountants do offer payroll services to businesses of all sizes. Additionally, accountants may provide additional services that your business needs, such as taxes.

How much does payroll software for accounting firms cost?

Many of the top payroll software providers offer free or deeply discounted services for accounting firms that bring their clients to the payroll service provider.

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Davina Ward

Davina Ward

Senior Staff Writer
Davina joined Merchant Maverick in 2022, covering small business payroll and accounting. She began writing for small businesses in 2018 and has since gained expertise in the SaaS industry. She earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in English Literature from SUNY Geneseo in 2018. She currently resides in New York.
Davina Ward
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