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Best Payroll Software in Australia

By Will Ellis
Last Updated on March 4, 2024

As a business owner, paying your employees accurately and efficiently is essential. You’re legally required to pay the people who work for you for the job they do. You could be in trouble with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) if you don’t. Payroll can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

Proper payroll management is crucial for the smooth functioning of a business. Manual payroll takes time, and you could use that time to focus on other business areas.

You need a solution to streamline payroll tasks and guarantee a smooth process. Payroll software can change how you process payroll, save time and effort, and make the payroll side of your business a lot easier.

 In this article, you’ll learn all about payroll software, the pros and cons, and we’ll introduce you to the nine best payroll software in Australia.

Table of Contents:

What Is Payroll Software? ➡️

Payroll software can be a powerful business tool as it helps manage employees and maintain and automate payroll calculations and employee payments. Payroll software handles payslips, pays your employees accurately, and more. Payroll software makes payroll more manageable and efficient for businesses. 

There are two types of payroll solutions: cloud payroll software and on-premises.

  • Cloud payroll software: A payroll management system that allows you to operate, control and access your payroll system from anywhere with any device. All data is securely stored in the cloud, eliminating the risk of loss or theft. To use cloud payroll, you only need the right provider, a plan that suits your business, and a compatible device with internet access.
  • On-premises payroll: Companies use their own servers to host on-premise payroll, and their IT department will manage it, including facilitating updates, changes, and bug fixes.

More companies are shifting to cloud payroll software as it’s convenient and doesn’t require a team to mind. Payroll solutions can take on various tasks, but it depends on the type of software, the provider, and the plan you choose.

Payroll Software Pros and Cons

A great way to know if a payroll solution is right for you is to weigh the pros and cons. So, we’ve compiled a list of all the pros and cons of using payroll software.

Pros ✅️

  • Payroll calculations:  Payroll software works out payroll calculations, including necessary deductions. You’ll not have to do manual data entry of how much you need to pay your employees. Instead, the software will do it for you.
  • Reduces compliance burden: Australian businesses have a legal requirement to ensure their company is compliant, and many payroll software solutions ensure compliant payroll. Payroll solutions will keep all your payroll data safe when you need it to send to the ATO.
  • Saves time: Automated payroll processing will save you time from manual data entry. Plus, payroll solutions have fewer errors, so you won’t have to spend time fixing information.
  • Reduced errors: Using payroll software eliminates human errors. Payroll processes become automated and do all the necessary data gathering and working out. There are minimal errors involved with payroll software. You can pay your employees accurately. 

Cons ❌️

  • Data security: Your payroll data is at risk of being stolen in case of a data breach by the provider. However, most providers implement advanced security measures to protect their clients and users.
  • Digital access: All of your payroll data is online; if you’re not tech-savvy, you may need help navigating the software. However, many payroll software providers offer a free trial to help you see if the platform suits your business. You will also need to have internet access to run payroll.
  • Expensive: If you’re a business that has many employees, payroll solutions can get expensive quickly. However, the reduced error and time-saving benefits usually outweigh the software cost. 

Best Payroll Software in Australia — Reviews

1. Xero Payroll: Powerful Payroll Software

  • Starting price: From $32 per month.
  • Free trial: 30 days.
  • Key features: Single-touch payroll and employee self-service.

Streamline payroll with Xero’s cloud payroll software. Xero offers an intuitive payroll solution with a clean interface that’s easy to use. The platform simplifies STP compliance and automates Australian payroll calculation.

Xero’s single-touch payroll solution allows you to pay yourself and your employees and report payroll details to the Australian Tax Office.

The Xero payroll comes with the payroll app Exero Me, offering your employee self-service and the freedom to submit timesheets, view payslips and request leave. Payslips are instantly available to employees in the Xero Me app, or they can be shared securely via email, whichever way they prefer.

You can reduce your burden on staff admin by allowing them to submit their hours and holiday requests. You can dedicate authorised staff to review and approve leave requests and timesheets so you don’t have to.

The automated payroll calculations feature lets you pay employees with just a few clicks. Payroll data updates accounts quickly. The software automates tax, superannuation and leave calculations. Your business can also take advantage of flexible pay calendars and pay rates, so if your company pays monthly or bi-weekly, you can alter your Xero pay calendar accordingly.

Xero’s pricing plans range from $32 to $115 per month. However, at the beginning of the year, the platform offered that if you signed up before 29th February, you’d get 85% off your plan for three months. So, the pricing started from $4.80 to $17.25 per month.

Xero offers a 30-day free trial with no credit card required, 24/7 online support, and you can cancel anytime. All plans allow you to send quotes, create involves, capture bills and receives, and offer short-term cash flow business snapshots.

Integrating the payroll software is easy if you use Xero for your accounting software. You can have accounting and payroll on one platform, keeping all your business’s financial data in one place.

2. ELMO: Simplifying Payroll, Increasing Efficiency, and Reduces Errors

  • Starting price: Customised to business.
  • Free trial: No free trial.
  • Key features: Simplifies payroll and integrates with HR software.

If you’re looking for a platform that does more than just payroll, ELMO offers integrated payroll and HR software so you can manage all of your employee-related tasks in one place. ELMO empowers business owners with accurate payroll using a secure cloud-based solution configured to suit each organisation’s needs.

You can benefit from tailored reporting with ELMO’s reporting feature that allows you to generate various reports, including variance, audit, payroll tax and more. The payroll software ensures compliance with all requirements, so your business won’t face any repercussions for payroll and HR matters.

ELMO simplifies payroll, increases efficiency, and reduces errors by limiting manual data handling. The platform includes both employee and manager self-service. There is no need for paper-based timesheets; ELMO allows your employees to manage leave requests and balances.

Benefit from recruitment, onboarding, performance management, and learning management solutions. You can have all your employee-focused tasks in one place, making managing your team easier with adjustable options for your business’s specific HR processes and workflows.

ELMO’s website does not provide any details on plans or pricing because they are customised to each business’s unique requirements. Contact ELMO’s sales team via the website to inquire about the pricing.

3. MYOB Business Payroll Only: Flexible Payroll Management

  • Starting price: $10.00 per month.
  • Free trial: 30 days.
  • Key features: Automated calculations and flexible payroll management.

If you’re looking for intelligent, flexible payroll management, MYOB Business Payroll Only software reduces your administrative burden. The software automates multiple payroll taxes, such as calculating superannuation, annual leave and payroll taxes.

The software will notify you with helpful error messages if errors come up, like extra annual leave or timesheets not adding up.

When expanding your team and onboarding new employees, data entry can be significantly time-consuming. MYOB’s Payroll solutions allow your new team members to submit their bank, superannuation, and tax details through a secure online form. All you have to do is add their name and email address, and the software will handle the rest.

Using the only software, you can manage timesheets and rosters to match your team’s skills and availability while providing accurate and compliant payroll. With MYOB Business, you pay for what you need. As your business grows, your payroll requirements may change too. The MYOB will only charge for who you pay each month.

You can access MYOB’s software on desktop or mobile from anywhere. You can test the software with a 30-day trial to see if it’s right for your business. If you decide you’d like to pay for the software after the trial and then later change your mind, MYOB offers a 90-day money-back guarantee. There are no lock-in contracts, so you can cancel at any time.

MYOB Business offers a standalone payroll tool for businesses with one to four employees for $10 monthly. Alternatively, MYOB Business also provides accounting software that allows you to add on Payroll services at a lower price. So, if you’re looking for accounting and payroll software, you can have them both on one platform with MYOB Business.

4. Intuit QuickBooks Online: Software Different Business Sizes

  • Starting price: From $5 per employee a month.
  • Free trial: 30 days.
  • Key features: Solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Whether you’re an established or small business, Intuit QuickBooks Online offers payroll solutions suited for your business. QuickBooks provides two types of payroll systems: one for accountants and bookkeepers and one for businesses. The cloud-based payroll system for businesses simplifies employee payroll management and ensures compliance with regulations.

The small business’s seamless cloud payroll management automates payroll compliance and updates with ATO. The software has an easy-to-use dashboard and is user-friendly overall. The platform is single-touch payroll compatible and offers employee self-service. Employee benefits include the WorkZone app, which allows them to submit time sheets, request leave, track reimbursable expenses, and access their pay slips.

The platform offers complete financial visibility with comprehensive reports ready for tax filing. You can access rosters, manage chips, and project wage costs anytime. You can set budgets for each shift or location. You can customise payroll templates and send your payslips.

QuickBooks payroll system automates calculating superannuation, leave, termination payments, and proactive notification for any required actions for small businesses. You can benefit from a free payroll setup session with the QuickBooks expert onboarding team.

Small businesses have the option of two plans: Standard Payroll and Advanced Payroll. Standard is free, plus $5 a month per employee paid. Advanced is $10 plus $5 a month per employee paid, and you get access to additional features such as time and attendance tracking, pay conditions engine and automated Modern Award interpretation.

If you need help determining which plan you need for your business, QuickBooks offers a quiz to help you find the right payroll plan. All you need to do is answer five questions, and you’ll have your answer.

5. Rippling: All-in-One HR Software for Australian Businesses

  • Starting price: Plans start at $12 a month per user.
  • Free trial:
  • Key features: HR, IT, and finance all in one system.

If you’re looking for all-in-one software, Rippling has you covered with their software that simplifies finance, IT, and HR. You can manage and automate the employee life cycle in the HR cloud. The IT Cloud lets you secure and configure your company’s IT remotely. The Finance Cloud allows you to control and report your company’s finances in one place.

Rippling offers global workforce management software that enables your business to hire, pay and manage people worldwide. You can onboard new employees and contractors in 90 seconds and set up your new hires with everything they need, like devices and training, regardless of whether they’re in the same country as you or not. The platform can run payroll for everyone in their local currency in minutes.

Rippling’s software also automates global compliance work, ensuring compliance with local laws abroad and in Australia. The software automatically submits taxes globally, syncs all HR data with payroll, securely offloads payroll tasks and automates almost all payroll processes.

You can create a customer holiday calendar for every country, design worldwide and country-specific policies, offer equity to everyone anywhere and deliver rich and affordable benefits in every country. The workforce reporting feature lets you see all your employee data in one place. The software has built-in integration with more than 500 business apps.

Rippling doesn’t offer transparent pricing; they state that it starts from $12 a month per user. You can get a free quote to create a plan that suits your business’s needs. To explore the pricing further, you must get a custom quote.

6. Dayforce: Global Payroll, HR and Workforce Management

  • Starting price: Custom.
  • Free trial: No free trial, but there is a free demo.
  • Key features: Global payroll and compliance.

If you’re looking for a payroll platform that offers simplicity at scale, Dayforce provides a powerful HCM solution that includes HR, payroll, workforce management, and more. Strengthen your payroll with reduced errors and risk; Dayforce prioritises privacy and risk so you can confidently pay your employees, knowing all your data is secure.

The software’s payroll feature offers global support, risk mitigation, innovative technology, seasoned experts, and a scalable payroll system of record.

Dayforce employs a singular data model with a trusted AI foundation to help realise key insights so you can make confident business decisions. Automate time-consuming tasks, empower your employees with self-service and free up your time to focus on other business areas.

Dayforce’s payroll system helps boost employee well-being with access to on-demand pay, allowing them to get paid when they want to help meet their financial commitments on time.

If you’re a global company, Dayforce offers a global HR ecosystem to help you tap into any labour market. The software provides a global payroll that pays your employees accurately and efficiently. You can streamline compliance and scale in more than 200 countries and territories.

You can request a demo on Dayforce’s website; you must complete the web form. The Dayforce pricing plans aren’t displayed on the website. You can request a custom quote from sales.

7. CloudPayroll: Comprehensive Training and Ongoing Customer Support

  • Starting price: Starts at $10.
  • Free trial: No, but there is a free demo.
  • Key features: Small business friendly and offers excellent ongoing customer support.

If you’re a small or micro business, you may find CloudPayroll’s cloud-based payroll software most suitable for your needs. CloudPayroll’s system is easy to use and has a clean, user-friendly, intuitive interface. Although the platform is designed for small businesses, you may still find it helpful if you’re an enterprise business.

CloudPayroll implies processes like running each pay and managing leave, tax and employee records. You can assign roles to employees to grant secure user access; there are multiple levels, so you can grant access to people who need it. Your employees can access the Employee Kiosk via mobile or the web, so all their pay information is at their fingertips whenever needed.

CloudPayroll has an Australia-based customer support and training team that you can access via phone or email to assist you should you need it. The team will assist you in a smooth setup and transition to CloudPayroll.

Should you need any help at any point while you are using the software, you’ll receive free ongoing support. If you’ve got a team member dedicated to your payroll, they can revive comprehensive training as part of the setup process to quickly become an expert in the software.

The platform’s extensive reporting suite includes over 50 financial, tax, leave and HR reports. You can download reports in various formats or display your reports online for instant access.

You can create a detailed general leader of wages, allowances, and superannuation to capture the cost of each department. There are payroll variations, audit trails, and payroll tax report options. You can also streamline your payroll administration with group reporting.

CloudPayroll offers pricing plans that suit different-sized businesses: small-sized, medium-sized, and enterprise-sized. The cost of the software will depend on how many employees you have; you can get an idea of how much you’ll pay per pay run on their website by inputting the number of employees you’ll be paying and the pay frequency.

8. ADP Australia: Tailored Payroll for Your Business’s Specific Needs

  • Starting price: Custom.
  • Free trial: No, but you can schedule a customised demo.
  • Key features: Tailored software and global payroll systems.

You can process payroll online and view it on any device with ADP. ADP’s global payroll services are award-winning, including global payroll processing, online employee and manager self-service, access to a professional and experienced payroll team, simple integration with business software, time tracking, HR systems and more. ADP offers coverage in over 140 countries.

ADP’s payroll services scale as you grow as a business, with the flexibility to adjust as needed. Services can be adjusted according to your budget, business size and specific needs. The software manages the complexity of managing payroll with greater accuracy and seamless integration for all business sizes.

The software you’ll use will depend on the size of your business. For example, if you’re a business with 1-1-199 employees, you’ll use ADP Payline. If you’ve got up to 1000 employees per country, you may use ADP Celergo. The website doesn’t display plan prices, as ADP offers a tailored solution for your business’s needs. You can request a custom quote on the website and a customised software demo.

Features include contractor management, employee scheduling, recruitment management, real-time reporting, review cycle tracking, and web-based development. The software can generate over 100 standard reports for detailed business insights using all your payroll data.

The analytic tools will provide you with all the information you need to make data-driven decisions. You’ll no longer have to worry if your payroll is compliant; the ADP ensures you stay compliant with ATO and STP regulations.

9. EasyPayslip: Create and Email Payslips

  • Starting price: From $8.80 a month for 1-4 employees.
  • Free trial: None.
  • Key features: Easily create payslips and feature-inclusive plans.

Creating payslips and distributing them to your employees is made simple with EasyPayslip. You can create payslips in minutes, customise them to your business brand, and automatically email them to your employees. The software offers secure online backups.

EasyPayslip has all the features you’d expect from a payroll system. STP compliance and tracking for super, holiday, sick and long-service leave.

The platform is straightforward and app-based so that you can oversee payroll from your smartphone. If you have someone on your team who helps you with business admin, you can invite people to access your account at no additional charge.

EasyPayslip offers simple plans that can grow with your business. All plans are fully featured; the only difference is the number of employees. There are three plans: $9.95 per month for up to four employees, $13.95 per month for up to six employees, and $21.95 per month for unlimited employees.

If you need help, EasyPayslip has an Australian-based local support team should you want in-app or in-person support.

How to Choose the Right Payroll Solution 🔎️

Only you know what your business needs. We can tell you all about the best payroll software, but ultimately, the best payroll software is one that meets all of your business’s needs and deals with payroll appropriately.

You may want to consider the following factors when choosing the right payroll software:

  • Compliant payroll: Payroll can help you with taxes and making suitable payments to the Australian Taxation Office. Using software that helps with compliance may ease your mind and simplify tax filing.
  • Business size: The size of your business will determine what payroll solution you’ll need. Some accounting software includes accounting and payroll plans to keep all your financial data on one platform.
  • Priorities security: Finding a payroll provider that guarantees secure payroll data is vital. You want to trust the provider you’re hiring. Check company reviews and see how other users measure the payroll platform’s security.
  • Feature-rich: You can get full-service payroll services or just partial. Payroll software is designed to make payroll more manageable, so you need to decide if you want it to do all of the work or just some. The software may offer you more than you need, including workforce management software, HR services and time tracking.
  • Usability: If you’re not tech savvy, it doesn’t make sense to use a complex advanced payroll platform; you may want one that is beginner-friendly and has an accessible user interface that’s easy to navigate.

Leading Payroll Solution for Australian Businesses: The Verdict 💡️

With one of the online payroll software solutions from our best list, you can improve your current payroll processes and use the time you save to empower other business areas. Try out the free trial if the platform offers it so you can explore the platform and decide if it’s the right one for you before you pay for it.

Frequently Asked Questions 📢️

What’s the Best Payroll Software for Australian Businesses?

The payroll software at the top of the best for Australian businesses is Xero’s intuitive payroll solution with a clean interface that’s easy to use. The platform simplifies STP compliance and automates Australian payroll calculation. Xero’s single-touch payroll solution allows you to pay yourself and your employees and report payroll details to the Australian Tax Office.

Can Payroll Software Help With Tax Filing?

Payroll can help you with taxes and making the correct payments to the Australian taxation office. Using software that helps with compliance may ease your mind and simplify tax filing. Australian businesses are legally required to ensure their company is compliant, and many payroll software solutions ensure compliant payroll. Payroll software solutions will keep all your payroll data safe should you need it to send it to the Australian Tax Office.

How Does Payroll Software Work?

Payroll software helps manage employees and maintain and automate payroll calculations and employee payments. Payroll software handles payslips, pays your employees accurately, and more. Payroll software is designed to make payroll more manageable and efficient for businesses. Payroll solutions can take on various tasks, but it depends on the type of software, the provider, and the plan you choose.

Do Small Businesses Need Online Payroll Software?

You don’t necessarily need to use online payroll software as a small business. Manually handling payroll in-house may suffice. However, payroll software has additional benefits, such as automated payroll calculations, reduced compliance burden and time and eliminated human error.

As your business grows, you may need payroll software down the line; implementing it early may save you time, which you can use to focus on other areas of your business. Some small business accounting software includes accounting and payroll plans to keep all your financial data on one platform.

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