Wave Payroll
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Wave Payroll Review

Wave Payroll's simple, low-cost features may be basic but they're well-suited for small businesses needing an affordable all-in-one accounting and payroll solution.

    Davina Ward
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Chelsea Krause

    Chelsea Krause

    Lead Staff Writer

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Wave Payroll

Total Rating 3.0

Ease Of Use2.9


Customer Service2.1

User Reviews4.1

Payroll Processing Time

3 Days


Starting at $20/month + $6 per person paid

Business Size

Small businesses with up to 20 users

Wave Payroll At A Glance

  • Wave Payroll (formerly known as Payroll by Wave) is a payroll solution designed for small businesses looking for essential payroll features, including direct deposit, tax support, deductions, employee paystub access, and more.
  • Starting at $20/month + $6 per person paid, Wave Payrolls pricing and free accounting software makes it one of the best cheap payroll services on the market.
  • As Wave Payroll’s full-service payroll is limited to just 14 states, offers very limited benefits administration, and lacks built-in HR tools, it’s not a great option for businesses that want their payroll taxes handled for them or that have complex payroll needs.

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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Payroll Software Review Methodology

We research, evaluate, and test each payroll software app that we review at Merchant Maverick, placing special emphasis on key characteristics to generate granular ratings.

Our exhaustive, 76-point rubric guides the star rating of each payroll provider we review, examining pricing, ease of use, features, customer service, and user reviews. Each section is weighted differently.

  • Pricing (10% of the overall rating)
  • Ease of Use (20% of the overall rating)
  • Features (40% of the overall rating)
  • Customer Service (20% of the overall rating)
  • User Reviews (10% of the overall rating)

When rating payroll software, we are looking for very specific qualities. The speed and cost of payroll runs and the availability of tax filing services are given high weight, as are the quality and availability of accounting, time-tracking, HR integrations, and user onboarding services. We also look for the presence of client and employee portals, benefits administration, PTO and time management tools, and many more vital features.

Learn more about how we rate payroll software providers.

Try A Top Pick For Payroll

ADP Payroll

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