Payroll

The Best Payroll Software in Canada 2022

Paul Sharpe, CPA, CA
/
November 11, 2022

Affiliate disclosure

We’ve checked out the most popular payroll software applications in Canada to help you choose which works best for you. Read on for our recommendations.

Best Payroll Software in Canada

We’ve checked out the most popular payroll software applications in Canada to help you choose which works best for you. 

These payroll platforms seek to streamline your payroll and payroll remittances so you can spend your time working on your business and not dealing with payroll.

Read on for our recommendations.

Canadian Payroll Software Recommendations

Start here for our top recommendations or read on for details about each payroll software provider. 

Best Payroll Software - Wagepoint

Wagepoint is our top choice for payroll software because it does payroll really well.  It’s easy to use and makes payroll approachable for most business owners. 

Wagepoint Logo

The straightforward pricing and excellent customer support maintain this theme of approachable payroll. Wagepoint streamlines payroll management for employers and makes self-service easy for employees.

With Wagepoint you can easily pay employees by direct deposit, automate payroll remittances, streamline ROE and T4 filing and give your employees access to their information.

If you’re looking for an excellent payroll solution but don’t need built-in HR functionality, check out Wagepoint first. It’s also some of the least costly payroll software we’ve come across.

Best Payroll Plus HR Software - Humi 

Humi is our top choice for payroll software that also includes a full featured HR module and benefits management. 

Humi Logo

Humi Payroll offers automatic CRA remittances, automatic T4s and ROEs, complete payroll history, records and reporting, employee self-service, and direct deposit. 

It boasts a complete payroll offering plus Humi also allows businesses to opt into various HR modules and benefits management.

Humi’s HR modules include:

  • Employee Database - Employee login and database with training tracker
  • Performance - Performance management to help provide feedback and improve employee development
  • Time Off - Time off tracking with approval flows and multiple types of leave tracking
  • Scheduling - Employee scheduling and time tracking
  • Recruiting - Recruiting and employee onboarding

There is a lot more within these modules to help businesses with HR and payroll.  

The flexible pricing structure allows you to choose only the module(s) that work for your business.

If you’re looking for payroll software that includes HR and benefits, we recommend checking out Humi first.

Wagepoint

Wagepoint Inc. was founded in 2012 to provide a stand-alone payroll solution for small businesses. Wagepoint is easy to use, reasonably priced and the customer support is second to none. It is for these reasons that Wagepoint is our favourite payroll software in Canada overall.

Wagepoint Logo

The web-based platform allows you to automate your whole payroll system. It lets you manage payments to employees and contractors, maintain compliance with tax remittances, and provide year-end reports. It also integrates with QuickBooks and Xero to streamline your accounting.

Wagepoint automates all payments by providing direct deposit to employee bank accounts and payroll remittances sent automatically from your business account. You can also set up automatic worksafe payments if you want to go that route.

Wagepoint Pricing

Wagepoint offers a very simple and cost effective pricing plan for its payroll software.

$20 Base Fee per Pay run + $2 per employee paid

Wagepoint’s pricing is fairly straightforward with a base fee per pay run plus $2 per employee per pay run.

For example:

  • Pay 1 employee,  the cost is $20 base fee + $2 = $22
  • Pay 2 employees, the cost is $20 base fee + $4 = $24
  • Pay 12 employees, the cost is $20 base fee + $24 = $44

There are also optional add-ons that can be helpful if you’re looking for time-tracking or employee time-off management:

Track - Time-tracking application

  • $20/mo for 1 to 6 active users
  • $3/mo per active user once you reach 7 or more users
  • Employees enter their time via a responsive web app
  • Track and import employee hours

Luna - Paid time-off management

  • $20/mo for 1 to 6 active users
  • $3/mo per active user once you reach 7 or more users
  • Only available for employees who use Track
  • Monitor and approve time off requests

Benefits of Wagepoint

Easy to Set Up and Use

Wagepoint is easy to set up and running payroll is as simple as following a 5-step wizard to enter payroll amounts and confirm before processing.  

The user interface is simple and easy to follow. Even less tech savvy users can navigate through the different sections of the software easily.

Excellent Customer Support

We have years of experience working with Wagepoint and can attest to the excellent customer service.  We get to know the customer service reps by name and they are most often wonderful to work with. 

Straightforward and Reliable

The software is reliable and straightforward enough to use that you’ll minimize costly payroll errors.  As long as you process payroll on your regular schedule, you shouldn’t have any issues with late payments or payroll remittances. 

Affordable Payroll

The cost to run payroll with Wagepoint is very reasonable with a base fee of $20 per pay run plus $2 per employee.  This works out to be some of the most affordable online payroll software we’ve found.

Dedicated Employee Portal

Wagepoint provides employees with a dedicated employee portal that they can use to update their information, view pay stubs and access T4s.

This makes for a good employee experience as they are in charge of their information and always have access to their historical reports.

Wagepoint Employee Portal

Disadvantages of Wagepoint

No Mobile App 

Although Wagepoint has a friendly web-based user interface, there is no dedicated mobile app at the moment. You and your employees can still access the application from a phone, but the text is a bit small to be a good option for normal use.

Wagepoint on Mobile
No Option for HR Functionality

Wagepoint is a stand-alone payroll platform and doesn’t offer human resource related functions like some of the other payroll platforms in this review.  

If you’re looking for HR functions such as built-in employee performance reporting and integrated benefits tracking, then you’ll want to check out other options like Humi or Knit. 

Time Tracking is an Extra Cost

Wagepoint doesn’t come with a built-in employee time tracking application.  You can opt to use a third party time tracking system or Wagepoint’s “Track” time tracking application, but either way there will be an extra cost.

Third Party Reviews of Wagepoint

G2 Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Wagepoint Summary

Wagepoint is our top choice for payroll software because it does payroll really well.  It’s easy to use and makes payroll approachable for most business owners. 

The straightforward pricing and excellent customer support maintain this theme of approachable payroll. Wagepoint streamlines payroll management for employers and makes self-service easy for employees.

Wagepoint may not be the best option for businesses looking for built-in HR functionality.  Also, a common complaint we see with Wagepoint is that it doesn’t have a dedicated mobile app unlike some other payroll providers. 

Owner-managed businesses are Avalon’s primary clients and we recommend Wagepoint the most to this size of business. 

Wagepoint really takes the pain out of running payroll which I think is a massive feat.

Humi

Humi, a Toronto-based company founded in 2016, offers an online payroll software application that integrates with their other HR related products.  

It provides the core functions of a payroll system plus other advanced HR features that suit smaller, owner managed businesses all the way up to larger organizations with multiple owners and many employees.

Humi is our top choice for software that includes both payroll and HR modules.  You can also add benefits to keep everything in one place.

Humi Logo

With Humi Payroll, you’ll get access to automatic CRA remittances, automatic T4s and ROEs, complete payroll history, records and reporting, employee self-service, and direct deposit. 

You can also run custom pay bonuses, multi-province payroll, and multiple concurrent compensation types.

Offering an integrated payroll system along with Humi’s other services provides an all-in-one HR solution for Canadian businesses.

Humi Pricing

Humi charges a monthly base price of $49 in addition to the Core module which costs $6 per user per month. 

The Core module includes company and employee management tools but not including the Payroll module. 

Humi has several other modules that could help you with your HR needs. 

Here is the pricing for the various modules:

  • Base Fee - $49/mo
  • Core - $6/mo per User (Required Module)
  • Payroll - $6/mo per User
  • Time Off - $5/mo per User
  • Performance - $3/mo per User
  • Scheduling and Time Tracking - $4/mo per User
  • Recruiting - $99/mo

You can find a Humi cost calculator and pricing information here.

Humi Pricing
Humi Pricing
Humi Pricing

For example, a business with 10 employees using:

  • Core
  • Payroll
  • Time Off 
  • Performance 

The cost would be $249 per month.  

That covers payroll and all things HR (time off, employee onboarding, performance reviews, employee training, benefits, etc.).

Core Module $6 per Month per User

The Core module is a company management solution that you can use for hiring, onboarding, employee training,and task management. 

The module features an employee database that includes employee profiles and a benefits portal. The Core module also includes offer letters, documents and e-signatures, and reporting.

Payroll Module $6 per Month per User

The Payroll module automates most of the manual processes in payroll.

With Payroll, you can pay employees by direct deposit, generate and issue digital pay stubs, and access the entire payroll history. 

It also includes automatic CRA remittances plus T4 and ROE creation and filing.

Humi Payroll
Time Off Module $5 per Month per User

The time-off module is really slick and allows businesses to have multiple leave types that can be requested by the team.

Employees login to their Humi portal and choose when they would like to take time off.  They can add a comment and then send it to their supervisor for approval with the click of a button.

Their supervisor gets an email and can approve, deny or discuss the time off request.

Humi Time Off

All employees’ time off is tracked in one place and you can see at a glance who will be away at any given date.  Employees and supervisors can also see how much vacation time or other leave time left in the year.

This was a game changer for Avalon as we had been tracking time off in a Google Sheet before using Humi!  Yes we know that’s very accountant-y of us.

Benefits of Humi

All-in-One HR Platform

Humi aims to provide everything HR-related. From recruitment to employee performance monitoring, Humi’s got it covered. It also has an employee benefits module and a business insurance solution.

Caters to Different Business Sizes and Needs

Humi’s offering is customizable and can suit Canadian businesses of all sizes. As your business grows, Humi can still provide the tools that it needs.

Straightforward User Interface

Humi’s user interface is well designed. It is user friendly and presents a clean layout while still including a lot of information and different modules.

Humi User Interface

Disadvantages of Humi

Per Module Pricing

The payroll module only costs $6 per user per month. However, if you add the monthly base fee with the required $6 Core module per user, the cost can go up. 

This is a disadvantage for smaller businesses because you’re starting at $49 per month plus $6/user for the core module at a minimum.  

However, for businesses in need of a partial or full HR system, the module pricing lets them choose and pay for only what they need.

Third Party Reviews of Humi

G2 Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

Humi Summary

Humi Payroll is made for businesses of all sizes. 

What we like the most about Humi is its all-in-one integration of payroll plus HR solutions. This also means that businesses with large teams can make the most of Humi’s features.

From one of our favorite breweries 👇,

Humi and Collective Arts

to some of our favorite people 👇,

Humi and Appreciation Engine

Humi is used by a diverse group of businesses and is a great choice if you’re looking for payroll, HR and benefits management all under one roof.

We use Humi for our own HR platform as well as employee benefits.  It’s our top choice for a combined payroll and HR solution.

Payworks

Payworks Inc. has been providing payroll services since 2001. It started as strictly a payroll provider and has now grown into a complete HR management solution. Payworks is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba with several offices from coast to coast.

Payworks Logo

The payroll module of Payworks provides core payroll features to automate a lot of the payroll process. 

It allows you to run unlimited payroll previews before you authorize and helps by automating your tax remittances worksafe premiums. T4 preparation is done by the software and ROE submissions are also automated and sent directly to Service Canada.

Once you’ve signed up, Payworks will assign a dedicated service representative to you to provide support throughout the onboarding process. 

Payworks Pricing

Payworks pricing is mainly driven by how many employees you have. They charge per pay run instead of a monthly fee so more frequent pay runs means a higher cost.

The base fee for each pay run is $20.90 plus a $2.10 per employee charge.

If that business has 10 employees, the cost would be $41.90 per pay run.

Payworks Pricing

They have a handy cost calculator that lets you enter your information to see what the cost per pay run is.

The other modules also are priced based on how many employees you have.  It’s not clear exactly how these are priced, but the cost calculator does a great job of showing a per pay-run cost of everything.

These are the costs per pay run for the other modules using the same example business with 10 employees that we looked at previously. 👇

Payworks Pricing

Benefits of Payworks

On-Demand Professional Support

All customers are assigned a dedicated, professionally trained representative. This is a pretty excellent feature as most other platforms have a call center or just a support ticketing system.

You can contact your specific representative if you have a question about the software, payroll, or tax updates.  If your representative isn’t available, Payworks claims to have your call answered by a human in under 60 seconds. That’s cool!

Payworks Customer Support
Dedicated Onboarding Support

Payroll onboarding is a complicated process and it is very easy to make costly mistakes.  Payworks provides its customers with a deducted onboarding specialist to help work the process efficiently and accurately.

Affordable Payroll Module

The cost to run payroll with Payworks is quite reasonable with a base fee of $20.90 per pay run plus $2.10 per employee.  This works out to be some of the most affordable online payroll software we’ve found (second to Wagepoint which is $20 base fee plus $2 per employee). 

Disadvantages of Payworks

No Bookkeeping Software Integrations

Payworks does not offer any direct integrations with bookkeeping software like Xero or QuickBooks. 

It’s possible to manually export payroll reports from Payworks and then record them in the bookkeeping software, but it’s more time consuming than if there was a direct integration.

Reporting System is Not User Friendly

Payworks’ reporting system is quite robust and allows for some customization of reports.  However, that complexity makes it more difficult to use than some other platforms.

Third Party Reviews of Payworks

GetApp Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Payworks Summary

With Payworks’ decades of experience, you can expect solid payroll and HR management solutions. Payworks is a strong contender for one of the best stand alone payroll providers.

If you’re looking for HR functionality as well, Payworks has that covered.

Their philosophy on ensuring that customers are well supporting is a breeze of fresh air in the software industry.

The main downside that we see with Payworks is that there are no integrations with bookkeeping software like Xero or QBO.  Bookkeepers will need to create the report that they need and then manually record the payroll transactions in the bookkeeping system. 

While Payworks isn’t our top choice of payroll software, I certainly recommend considering it for your business’ payroll needs.  I just found that Payworks’ user interface is less intuitive to use than offerings by Wagepoint or Humi.

Rise

Rise People Inc. provides an all-in-one employee management solution for small to medium sized businesses. The Vancouver-based company was founded in 2011 and serves well-known businesses in Canada.

Rise People Logo

The Rise Payroll module is integrated with HR solutions and other people management tools. It has features and advanced customizations that could serve different kinds of industries. It also has integrations with Xero, QuickBooks, and FreshBooks.

Rise Pricing

Rise People offers a few pricing tiers based on what features are required.

Rise Pricing

Note: The pricing tiers have a lower per user fee if you include employee benefits through Rise.

Start Plan - $6 per user per month OR Free if you add benefits

The start plan is $6 per user per month, or the reduced price of $0 per user per month if you sign up for benefits with Rise.  

With all tiers, there is a $30 add-on fee if you have less than 20 employees so smaller businesses will see a bit of a bump to their cost.

The Start plan lets you access the payroll module plus basic HR features and payroll management. It also allows access to Rise Wealth, a feature that encourages financial wellness for your employees.

The Start Plan includes:

  • People Management - Team directory, pay stubs, HR document management, custom user roles and people reports.
  • Payroll - Automated payroll, direct deposit, automatic tax remittances, automatic T4 generation, advanced payroll reporting.
  • Rise Wealth - Professionally managed investment portfolios available for your team members.
Grow Plan - $12 per user per month OR $6 if you add benefits

The Grow plan is $12 per user per month, or the reduced price of $6 per user per month if you sign up for benefits with Rise.  

As with all tiers, there is a $30 add-on fee if you have less than 20 employees so smaller businesses will see a slightly higher cost.

The Grow plan includes everything in the Start plan plus access to employee recruiting and onboarding modules, a time off module and Rise’s mobile app.

The Grow Plan includes:

  • People Management - Team directory, pay stubs, HR document management, custom user roles and people reports.
  • Payroll - Automated payroll, direct deposit, automatic tax remittances, automatic T4 generation, advanced payroll reporting.
  • Rise Wealth - Professionally managed investment portfolios available for your team members.
  • Recruiting - Careers page, custom hiring funnels, custom in-app employment offer letters, integrated employee onboarding.
  • Employee Onboarding - Built-in offer letters, onboarding and offboarding task lists, self-onboarding wizard and employee welcome email templates.
  • Time Off - Vacation and leave tracking, custom time off policies, email alerts and approvals, multi-step approvals, online calendar integration.
  • Mobile App - Provides one place for everything, including a people directory, digital pay stubs, HR documents and vacation and leave approvals.
Rise People
Optimize Plan - $15 per user per month OR $7.50 if you add benefits

The Optimize plan is $15 per user per month, or the reduced price of $7.50 per user per month if you sign up for benefits with Rise.  

As with all tiers, there is a $30 add-on fee if you have less than 20 employees so smaller businesses will see a slightly higher cost.

The Optimize plan offers a complete HR solution with everything in the “Grow” plan, plus an employee performance module.

Rise Payroll and HR

The Optimize Plan includes:

  • People Management - Team directory, pay stubs, HR document management, custom user roles and people reports.
  • Payroll - Automated payroll, direct deposit, automatic tax remittances, automatic T4 generation, advanced payroll reporting.
  • Rise Wealth - Professionally managed investment portfolios available for your team members.
  • Recruiting - Careers page, custom hiring funnels, custom in-app employment offer letters, integrated employee onboarding.
  • Employee Onboarding - Built-in offer letters, onboarding and offboarding task lists, self-onboarding wizard and employee welcome email templates.
  • Time Off - Vacation and leave tracking, custom time off policies, email alerts and approvals, multi-step approvals, online calendar integration.
  • Mobile App - Provides one place for everything, including a people directory, digital pay stubs, HR documents and vacation and leave approvals.
  • Performance - Employee performance reviews, three-sixty feedback reviews, custom review processes, custom review templates, performance question bank.

The inclusion of an employee performance module really rounds out Rise’s offering to make it an one stop shop for payroll and HR.

Benefits of Rise

The Rise payroll platform is easy to use and is a good choice for businesses wanting an all-in-one payroll and HR platform. 

Makes Payroll Easy

I would say that Rise is more focused on the HR and people management side of things, but the payroll module is still straightforward and easy to use.

Rise Payroll

It automates direct deposit and payroll remittances so you reduce chances of error or late remittance penalties.

It’s flexible enough to automate salaried payroll and also provide the option of off-cycle pay runs.

Combined Payroll and HR Solution

The higher pricing tiers offer a full-featured HR platform and payroll  software all under one roof.  

The HR module has features for the full HR cycle from hiring to employee development and time off scheduling.  It’s great to have everything within one connected platform so you remove unnecessary data entry and onboarding steps that occur when HR and payroll are across multiple platforms.

Rise People Payroll and HR
Integrated Benefits Program

It’s so important to provide competitive compensation for your employees and Rise helps with this by offering employee benefits along with the payroll and HR software.

Keeping everything in one place simplifies things and using Rise as your benefits provider also reduces the monthly fee you’ll pay for each pricing tier. 

Mobile Application

Rise’s mobile application provides a straightforward way for employees to access their information, request time off and enter their time.

This is a slick feature that sets Rise apart from some of the other payroll and HR software options.

Rise Mobile App

Disadvantages of Rise

While Rise does provide a complete payroll and HR solution, there are ac couple of things we see as disadvantages.

Payroll Setup is a Bit Clunky

The setup and onboarding process for Rise’s payroll offering is a bit more cumbersome than with other providers.

Often when recommending Rise to clients for their payroll needs, we’ve found that the setup process needs some support from our end to make sure that everything is up and running properly.

Higher Cost and the Pricing is Slightly Unclear

Their pricing structure has changed a bit over the years. They used to offer a free payroll-only platform for businesses with less than 20 employees, but no longer do.

They also have two prices per tier, but it’s not clear from their website what needs to happen for you to access the lower price. If you sign up for benefits with Rise, you can receive the lower monthly fee but we had to reach out to Rise to find this out specifically.

The cost for smaller businesses is higher because they charge an extra $30 fee if you have less than 20 employees signed up.

Third Party Reviews of Rise

G2 Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Capterra Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

Rise Summary

Rise is a decent option for those looking for HR and payroll under one single platform.  

Their platform has a good user experience and makes it easy to manage with customizable user privileges.

We recommend checking out Rise if:

  1. You want payroll and HR under one platform

    AND

  2. You are also interested in their benefits offering

This can be a good combination that significantly reduces the monthly fee for Rise.

If you’re just looking for a payroll software solution, then we would suggest checking out something like Wagepoint first.

Knit

Knit People is a Toronto-based company founded in 2015. 

Serving more than 1,000 companies, Knit is an all-in-one payroll and HR management platform.  It aims to be the go-to solution for online HR and payroll services for small businesses in Canada. 

One of Kint’s product offerings is Knit Payroll, a module made for small and medium-sized businesses in Canada. 

The payroll module has features such as multiple pay rates, automation of WCB/EHT calculations, automatic payroll remittances and preparation of T4s and ROEs..

Knit People Logo

Knit also has features that go beyond just basic payroll functions. The payroll module can be integrated with Knit’s HR management features to make it a one-stop HR shop. 

Knit Pricing

Knit offers three plans that all include Knit Payroll along with HR management features:

  • Lite - $39/mo Base Fee
  • Complete - $39/mo Base Fee
  • Concierge - $299/mo Base Fee
Knit Pricing
Lite Plan - $39 Base Fee + $6 / Month per User

The Lite plan lets you access most of what Knit Payroll offers. 

The main missing features in the Lite plan include:

  • Lite does not include automatic Worksafe or EHT remittances
  • Lite does not include Document e-signatures
  • Lite does not include the Time-off module

Check out the chart above for all of the features that Lite does include.

Complete Plan - $39 Base Fee + $8 / Month per User

The “Complete Plan” costs $2 more per month per employee.  It unlocks a few more HR features such as time-off management and document e-signatures plus the ability to automate WCB and WSIB reporting and remittances.

Concierge Plan - $299 Base Fee + $25 / Month per User

This plan is suitable for businesses with larger teams that want their payroll and HR to be fully managed by Knit.

Given that HR consultants typically charge more than $100/hour, this is certainly an option that should be looked at for businesses looking to outsource payroll and HR.

Benefits of Knit

Payroll and HR All in One

Knit provides a complete solution for payroll and HR.  

Run payroll, pay remittances, prepare T4s and ROEs, hire employees, onboard new hires, keep track of time-off and manage employee documents all in one place.

Advanced Custom Pays

If your company has multiple pay groups and pay types, Knit can help out. Knit offers advanced custom pay runs that can include union dues or payments to third party RRSP managers.

Free 30-day Trial

Knit offers a free 30 day trial to test out its software.  Check it out first before committing to the switch.  Changing HR and payroll software can be a big hassle, so it’s nice to be able to know it will work before going ahead with it.

Disadvantages of Knit

Lack of a Self-Service Mobile App

Knit does not have a mobile app. Employees and managers will need to login to Knit’s web-based application.

No Ability to File T4As for Contractors

Knit doesn’t offer the functionality of paying contractors and having T4As automatically prepared. 

This is a handy feature that Wagepoint does offer and may dissuade some business owners hoping to pay both employees and contractors with one platform.

Quebec Payroll not Available

Knit does not currently support payroll for businesses in Quebec.

Sometimes Clunky Interface

We did find the interface to be a bit clunky at times with the odd glitch or error message.  However, this was during our experience a couple of years ago and Knit has been improving the system continuously.

Third Party Reviews of Knit

G2 Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Knit Summary

Knit Payroll includes a solid payroll module that allows businesses to automate as much of the payroll process as possible. It has straightforward pricing without any hidden fees.

There are a couple of drawbacks, including the fact that Knit doesn’t have a mobile app for easy access to employee information. Also, we did find the interface clunky at times.

Overall, Knit is a good fit for small and medium-sized businesses in Canada who want payroll and HR functionality in one place.  It’s also good for bookkeepers and accountants who help clients with payroll. You can check out Knit for free for 30 days and see if it works for your business.

QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Online is one of the most used bookkeeping platforms available and it also offers Payroll as a paid add-on. There are also several HR management functions built within the payroll module.

QuickBooks Logo

With QuickBooks Payroll, you can manage, track, and run your payroll from your computer or mobile phone. This can be a great option for businesses that already use QBO for their bookkeeping. 

QuickBooks Online Payroll Pricing

QuickBooks Payroll costs $20/month plus $4/month per employee.  

The payroll module is an add-on to one of the QuickBooks Online base subscriptions:

  • EasyStart - $22 per month
  • Essentials - $44 per month
  • Plus - $66 month
  • Advanced - $140 per month

There are pretty significant differences in these plans when it comes to the core functionality of QuickBooks.  You can find details on the pricing tiers here or in the screenshot below.

QuickBooks Pricing

The cost depends on which base plan you’re on and also how many employees you have.

For example, if you are on the “Plus” plan and have 5 employees, you would pay:

  • $66 per month for the plus plan
  • $20 per month for the payroll add-on
  • $20 per month for 5 employees @ $4 per employee

For a total of $106 per month.

Benefits of QuickBooks Online Payroll

Native Integration with QuickBooks

Naturally, the payroll module seamlessly integrates with QBO’s bookkeeping platform. Seamlessly import all your payroll data into QuickBooks Online to be recorded in the business’ books.

Straightforward Payroll

QuickBooks offers a simple payroll platform that is easy to use and can work well for basic payroll needs.

Automate Payroll

Running payroll through QuickBooks lets you take a lot of the manual work out of payroll.  Pay employees by direct deposit, automate payroll remittances and prepare year-end filings all through the software application.

Disadvantages of QuickBooks Online Payroll

Most Features are Tailored for US Businesses

Most features besides the core payroll functions are tailored for businesses in the US. This includes the benefits program and tax penalty protection.

Not The Best Option if Not Using QuickBooks Already

QuickBooks payroll may not be the best choice for those who are doing their bookkeeping on another platform.  To access the payroll module, businesses will need to also subscribe to one of the bookkeeping pricing tiers.  This increases the cost above other standalone services like Wagepoint.

Also, if you’re not already using QuickBooks for bookkeeping, it’s more difficult to import the payroll transactions to another bookkeeping system.

Only Basic Payroll and HR

QuickBooks payroll can be a good option for businesses that don’t have complex payroll and HR needs.  However if you’re looking for more advanced HR functionality, then checking out a system like Humi may be a better option for you.

Third Party Reviews of QuickBooks Online Payroll

G2 Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

QuickBooks Online Payroll Summary

Quickbooks Payroll is a reliable full-service platform with seamless integration with QuickBooks Online. This payroll solution is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses that are already in the QuickBooks ecosystem.

The main drawback is that some of the excellent features of QuickBooks Payroll are only focused on businesses in the US. It’s also not the best choice for businesses who use other bookkeeping systems like Xero. 

Wave Payroll

Wave Financial Inc. is a fintech company founded in 2009 in Canada. On 2019, it was acquired by H&R Block, a tax preparation company. Wave provides free financial products like its bookkeeping software as well as paid modules including Wave Payroll.

Wave Payroll Logo

Wave Payroll helps you manage your payroll and maintains compliance with CRA. It is an affordable option for small and medium-sized businesses in all provinces and territories, except Quebec. 

Wave aims to provide simplified payroll software that is easy to use.

Wave Payroll Pricing

Wave offers a free bookkeeping platform that is basic, but can get the job done for simple businesses.

One of the ways that Wave makes money is by charging for its payroll add-on.

$25 CAD Base Fee + $6 per active employee

Wave offers a straightforward pricing structure for their payroll module with a monthly fee of $25 and then $6 per active employee and $6 per contractor paid during the month. 

Wave Payroll Pricing

The Payroll module includes unlimited direct deposits, employee portal, and automatic tax remittance to CRA. You can also generate ROEs and T4 or T4A slips and summaries.

Benefits of Wave Payroll

30-Day Free Trial

Check out Wave Payroll first to see if it works great for you. The free trial doesn’t require credit card information or any commitment. Sign up for free and see if Wave payroll works for you before paying.

Ease of Use

Wave payroll offers a simple payroll solution that is about as easy to use as it gets. The user is easy to navigate and makes sense even if you’re not overly familiar with how payroll works. 

Built-In Employee Portal

Wave payroll offers a handy employee portal where your team can go to access pay stubs and tax forms.  Self-serve is a great option so your employees always have access to their information.

Disadvantages of Wave Payroll

Very Basic Payroll

Wave Payroll is simple and easy to use, but that also means that it is fairly limited in its features.  Features like employee departments are not available and the reporting is limited.

No Integrations with Third Party Bookkeeping Software

If you’re not doing your bookkeeping in Wave, you’ll have to export a report and manually record payroll in your bookkeeping software of choice.

Customer Support is Lacking

Wave’s customer support boils down to a ticketing system with fairly long wait times to receive support.  Payroll often requires timely advice and support which isn’t going to happen with Wave’s support system.

Third Party Reviews of Wave Payroll

G2 Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Wave Payroll Summary

Wave Payroll is an affordable payroll module that provides basic payroll needs. It works best for small businesses that are already using the free accounting, banking, and invoicing modules of Wave.

The simple interface is easy to use, but also lacks features compared to other payroll systems.  The customer support is also lacking compared to some of the other payroll software options out there.

Our recommendation is that unless you’re already using Wave for bookkeeping, there are other better options to try for payroll software.

Avalon’s Payroll Services

Hopefully that helps make some sense of the payroll software landscape for Canadian businesses.

If you’re still looking for a hand with payroll, Avalon is here to help.  

We offer full payroll services or if you’re comfortable running your own payroll, we can help with payroll systems setup and support.

Reach out and see how we can help with your payroll needs.

Article by
Paul Sharpe, CPA, CA
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Originally published
November 11, 2022
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