- Easy to use
- Good tax support
- No long-term contract required
- Non-transparent pricing
- Buggy on occasion
With so many different payroll programs available to your business, there is absolutely a system out there that’s perfect for your specific business. If you are looking for an inexpensive, simple, straightforward payroll program, SurePayroll deserves to be in contention. It’s basic and easy, and was designed for small businesses both in terms of price and functionality.
SurePayroll’s main goal is to offer simplified payroll options to smaller companies for a competitive cost, and it meets those aspirational goals quite well. In 2011, Paychex, a long-standing payroll company, acquired SurePayroll and brought the payroll company under its wing to help expand HR and Benefits options.
For small businesses that need a basic payroll system and don’t need to add a lot of extra features, SurePayroll is a competitive option in this price range. SurePayroll has also made a name for itself for catering some of its business toward often overlooked areas — paying household employees, clergy, etc. — making the software a good option for all sorts of industries. Read on to learn if this software is right for your business.
Table of Contents
SurePayroll doesn’t publish prices online, and we find non-transparency frustrating because a business owner’s time and money are valuable resources. And, like its parent company Paychex, SurePayroll suffers from many of the same customer complaints regarding its fee-based a la carte services. However, unlike companies that keep those secret prices pretty locked-down, it’s not difficult to find posted prices for SurePayroll if you know where to look. Online sleuthing, talking to a sales representative, and one SurePayroll internet advertisement confirmed that the current price is $29 a month, plus $4 per employee. However, since that is not an openly published rate on their website and it requires detective work to find, it’s hard to give them credit here.
Note: This is a significant price decrease from previous versions of the software, a move that does make this program seem more competitive. The issue is that this service may nickel and dime you. While SurePayroll advertises that it will file taxes and W-2s, there are fees for almost all extra services, including filing W-2s. (Check with SurePayroll about the cost of these extras.)
One major complaint from business owners about SurePayroll concerns the number of hidden fees, so even though the program appears initially inexpensive, once you add the costs for upgrades and integrations, it’s hard to give the company’s pricing a vote of confidence. (For example, one customer review mentioned fees for needing to edit payrolls.) Payroll competitor Square is the only other system in this price range; however, Square has options to integrate time-tracking for free and SurePayroll’s time-tracking upgrade is an additional $9.99 a month. That is just one example of how that low monthly fee may not be advantageous depending on what you’re looking for. In terms of functionality, SurePayroll beats Square, so it’s a matter of priorities. Here’s a breakdown of what’s included with a SurePayroll subscription.
SurePayroll Monthly Pricing Plan
- Contact SurePayroll for pricing
- Unlimited payroll processing
- Tax services
- Direct deposit
- Bank checks/check signing
- Check stock for printing
- Employee self-service portal with mobile app
- New hire reporting
- Poster updates
- HR support
SurePayroll has its fair share of extra costs that business owners should be aware of. Here are some extras you can add on to your SurePayroll plan.
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance: For most businesses with one or more employees across the 50 states, worker’s compensation is a legal business requirement. SurePayroll partners with brokers who will search the best insurance companies working competitively in your area.
- Medical/Dental/Vision Benefits: SurePayroll partners with Paychex Insurance Agency to offer their clients additional health care insurance services. Working with insurance brokers, the agency presents options that are Affordable Care Act compliant.
- Retirement/401(k) Services: SurePayroll works with companies like Vanguard, JP Morgan, and ING to help set up retirement services. Details about the program are available from SurePayroll representatives.
- Time Tracking: SurePayroll integrates with 22 different time clock partners to offer a plethora of options. Adding the integrations has a monthly fee; some apps require payment although some are free. Check SurePayroll’s website for their full-list of time clock integrations.
- Pre-Employment Screening: One of SurePayroll’s HR options includes assistance with making better employment choices. With the screening, you can run background checks, set up drug-screening, offer skills testing (to verify proficiency in high-level tasks), and keep track of employee performance.
Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed
SurePayroll is entirely cloud-based. No downloads or installation required.
Hardware & Software Requirements
As a cloud-based payroll solution, SurePayroll is compatible with any device as long as you have an internet connection. It also offers a mobile app for both Apple and Android phones so you can run payroll on the go. Employees have access to their information online or on mobile devices, as well.
Specific Size Of Business
SurePayroll is best for small businesses. It was designed for small businesses that want a full-service payroll system but don’t want to pay for a bevy of features and options they won’t use. And SurePayroll succeeds in remaining a competitive full-service option at a low price. However, with many features options a la carte, it’s important to know what you need and what it costs.
One thing that SurePayroll does better than other payroll software programs is to focus on overlooked industries. Clergy, household employees, nannies: SurePayroll wants to be the best option for these jobs. There are several programs specifically for household employees and nannies, and there is designated help to work with these industries.
Medium-sized businesses or businesses with advanced payroll functionality needs might find that adding significant a la carte features makes this less affordable than it seems. For basic full-service options at the same price range, SurePayroll is comparable to Square, although SurePayroll has more customizable options than Square. For larger businesses or those wanting a more develope payroll solution, Gusto and ADP are good options.
All in all, SurePayroll is attractive to businesses whose needs are simple but want a full-service tax guarantee
Ease Of Use
SurePayroll is very easy to use. The dashboard is clean and easy to navigate (though with a slightly outdated design)– no advanced technical skills needed. This payroll system is great for those who need a simple interface, intuitive categories, and not a ton of ways to get turned around. However, despite its simplicity, onboarding new employees in SurePayroll can be a bit cumbersome and there are currently no other ways to expedite that process (self-onboarding, etc.).
Starting payroll is a simple process; employers choose their pay schedules and pay dates; employers can easily set up PTO accruals, and arrange for deductions and garnishments. SurePayroll’s full-service payroll means they pay and file taxes from the Federal to the local levels. They are also the only full-service program at this price range that offers a Tax Guarantee. And actually running payroll is simple, as well.
SurePayroll is going to appeal to small businesses that need something simple and clean. It doesn’t have a terribly long list of customizable features, but it also doesn’t lack any essential features:
- Dashboard: The home page from the dashboard is simple. To start, the program will navigate you through a checklist to set up your payroll systems. After each section is completed, you are easily informed if you’ve done everything needed or if there are tasks left incomplete. Once you’ve organized your information, when you go to your dashboard, you will have an option to run payroll or examine company information.
- Employee Portal: Employees can access their information online or through the SurePayroll mobile app. The app is well-reviewed and makes accessing HR information easier for all parties.
- Employee Management: SurePayroll has some basic features to help you manage your employees and contractors from a single interface. You can add information including job title, payment information, time off, tax documents, and benefits. You can also manage company deductions for each employee. It is simple to use and easy to understand. While more robust employee management systems are available for an additional price, what SurePayroll offers is enough for basic payroll needs.
- Payroll: You can run unlimited payrolls each month with a variety of payment schedules and employee types. The home screen for payroll shows exactly how much you are paying employees, how much is deducted, and how much money you need in your bank account for payroll processing. A newer feature to SurePayroll is the option to save payroll runs and save information one month to the next.
- Payment Methods: Direct deposit is the primary source of payment.
- Pay Stubs & Checks: Employees can download a pdf of their pay stubs directly from their employee portal.
- Paid Time Off (PTO): You can set paid time off policies, including vacation and sick days. Set sick days/vacation or accrued sick days/vacation are both possibilities under the payroll options.
- Time Tracking: SurePayroll integrates with 22 different time tracking apps and programs. However, there is often an additional fee with using a time clock program.
- Reports: There are a modest number of payroll reports available with SurePayroll. Some users find the basic reporting functions limited.
- Benefits Administration: SurePayroll works with Paychex to outsource benefits administration. Check with the company for prices and options about what additional services are available.
- Garnishment Payroll: SurePayroll can handle pay garnishment for you.
- Tax Support: SurePayroll will help file and pay your quarterly and yearly payroll tax requirements from the federal down to the local level. They also have a tax guarantee. Any fees or problems that occur because of a mistake they made are fully covered.
Customer Service & Support
SurePayroll goes above and beyond in responding to customer complaints. They are quick to respond to problems and eager to show resolutions, although some users complain that while support representatives are prompt and courteous, they aren’t always payroll experts.
Real human support is available Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM (CT) and on Saturdays from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Here are all of the available SurePayroll support options:
- Phone: Phone support is available in both English and Spanish. According to SurePayroll: “Nearly 80% of the average 1938 inbound daily customer service contacts were addressed in under a minute.” This attention to service earned them a 2019 Stevie Award for Customer Service.
- Email: There is a robust email system for sales, but email is not the preferred method for customer service (and most customers say the respond-time is slow).
- Help Center: A chat feature for SurePayroll customers matches you with an expert in a matter of seconds online.
- Social Media: Paylocity maintains Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
The majority of users for SurePayroll give the company a good review. Overall, people are pleased with SurePayroll and complaints are resolved quickly.
- Hard To Find A Payroll Expert: This ubiquitous complaint among all payroll software companies is a staple of our payroll reviews. Customer service is great and eager, but no one is a payroll or tax expert. Big tax mistakes and wrong filings may happen, and it may take time to find someone skilled enough to manage the snafu. Also, there are no assigned representatives to your account, so every time there is an issue, you’ll talk to someone new.
- Slow System: This web-based problem can be buggy and slow according to customer reviews.
- Lack Of Customization: There are certain features that don’t allow customizing, and for people with ample payroll experience who might want to tinker, that could be frustrating. For example, there is only one way the program calculates PTO, which some clients find challenging. Other complaints come from rigidity around how the program runs sick leave and vacation time, without leaving options for unique/non-traditional situations.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
SurePayroll’s highest reviews come from praise around helpfulness, ease of running payroll and paying payroll taxes. The software receives 3.8/5 stars on Capterra (based on 48 ratings). A collection of the best reviews boil down to the following features:
- Easy To Use: Payroll functions are seamless and the tax support is solid. There are very few complaints about the interface and design. (Other than, it’s a bit dated.)
- Great Customer Support: Maybe they aren’t payroll experts, but the SurePayroll customer service group is truly dedicated to client happiness. They are friendly and efficient and respond to customer complaints with the intention to resolve any issues. Their tax guarantee means that even if there is a tax problem, they will take the onus to fix the issue. Overwhelmingly, this is where SurePayroll shines.
- Great Base Price: For a full-service program at this price, SurePayroll is a competitive option. For companies that may not need extras and a plethora of integrations (time tracking, etc.), the basic rate is one of the best out there.
SurePayroll has an okay number of integrations available for its program. For accounting, it offers six integrations including programs like Xero and QuickBooks. It also offers integrations with 22 different time clock apps. And that’s about it. While SurePayroll’s list of integrations is ever-growing, its service is catering to more basic payroll options and ample integrations are not their focus.
If you are looking for payroll software with a large selection of integrations, check out Paylocity instead.
Is it possible for a company to be a little too gung-ho about security? Some users complained that the two-way authentication happened too often (even on recognized devices) and it can be too easy to become locked out of an account. However, SurePayroll responded to many of these complaints with a request for understanding: the security measures are there to protect a wealth of private information. They would rather be too harsh than too lenient, even at the expense of convenience for clients.
The company’s dedication to security is transparent. They are proud to have been one of the first companies to require PINs and secondary authentication for access. Here are some of the other ways the company protects data.
- The data center is monitored 24/7 onsite with multiple power back-ups
- Double-encryption on all sensitive data
- Network Firewalls
- Virus and Malware Detection
- Web browsers use 128 bit SSL
- Penetration Testing and annual audits
SurePayroll is a solid and simple payroll option for small businesses who need something streamlined and efficient.
It’s true: there isn’t a bevy of features and customizable options. However, most small business owners who are running payroll by themselves without an accountant may feel bogged down by options they’ll never use, and SurePayroll doesn’t lack any essential features or reports. Full tax support at its current price puts SurePayroll among the least expensive options available, and it truly is simple and easy.
For slightly larger companies with more unique payroll needs, SurePayroll might not be the best fit. Merchant Maverick uses Gusto, and while the program is a bit more expensive, it does offer more features and customizable options. SurePayroll is very similar in design and function to Square’s payroll and they are the same per month; however, SurePayroll ekes out ahead because of its full-tax services (it will even file local taxes, which Square does not currently support) and focused attention on payroll specifically. Also, SurePayroll appears committed to listening to clients and improving upon the experience, which is always a good sign. Their lowered prices are a testament to this.
If your business doesn’t need many additional integrations and is looking for a simple and straightforward payroll program at a low cost, we recommend SurePayroll over options like ADP, Paychex, or Paylocity. It lacks the functionality of Gusto but has more features than Square; plus, it has specific programs and features available for overlooked industries like childcare and clergy. As always, know your own needs in order to determine which payroll program will work best for you. For basic services, SurePayroll is a solid choice.
🌟 Merchant Maverick Uses Gusto For Payroll! 🌟
We’re a small business, too, and we love using Gusto.
One More Mention For Gusto! 📣
We use Gusto for Payroll at Merchant Maverick!