3 New & Revamped Payroll Services Worthy of Your Attention

Anthony Venus

The bigger your small business grows, the more job positions you develop. Now is the perfect time to hire professional workers who will dedicate their knowledge, time and experience to help in the various office, sales and manufacturing roles. It is also the time to look toward payroll services so you can efficiently pay these new workers, keep track of employee benefits, and file employee payroll taxes at all state and government levels.

There are a wide range of payroll services available for small businesses. Some of these services focus on only the payroll aspects of managing new hires and sending payments to workers, while others have expanded HR solutions to include insurance and retirement benefits. The types of services you need will be based on your current payroll needs and the future needs of your business as you continually expand operations.

We are featuring three new payroll services (yes, one is revamped!) that should have you sit up in your seat. Take some time out of your day to evaluate these companies to see if their payroll services and other benefits will be right for your workforce payroll management tasks.

Gusto (formerly known as ZenPayroll)

In September 2015, ZenPayroll changed their name to Gusto as they rolled out new features to complement the existing payroll services they have always offered to small businesses. The company now offers health benefits and workers compensation to become a full HR service company as they seek to simplify how a business handles employee payments while allowing them easier onboarding of new hires.


Gusto offers payroll and insurance benefit services for companies of all sizes. It makes employee payments a cinch due to its easy interface and interactive features. The payroll services can integrate with other software -- such as Quickbooks and Xero -- to offer standard payroll features, advanced management features and employee payroll account features. The service automates tasks such as payroll runs and tax processing while allowing you to instantly send 1099s to contractors. Employees can take advantage of the self-enrollment features to personalize the information they provide, access pay stubs as well as W2 forms, and even request for charitable donations to be made on their behalf.

Advanced features that business owners can take advantage of are net-to-gross calculations, customizing payment schedules based on each employee's job role, and keeping track of multiple pay rates for employees -- among other features. With the addition of workers' compensation benefits and a selection of health insurance plans, Gusto is trying to target business owners who want all their payroll and HR services under one roof.

Why Businesses Are Interested in Gusto

General review consensus is that while people are surprised over the name change, they are still delighted over the payroll features that Gusto still offers. The service makes payroll tracking and tasks easy, which is ideal for new businesses that are just now hiring employees yet do not have the capabilities, HR staff or knowledge to handle the payroll aspects on their own. The only main complaint about Gusto was the 4-day ACH window. Yet rumors were that Gusto planned on rolling out a 2-day ACH window to provide more versatility to customers sometime during 2016.


Zenefits is a business insurance provider who is making their way into the spotlight as a payroll services company for small businesses. They target small businesses with less than 50 employees to offer a range of unique services. Zenefits wants to become a full-service HR solution for business owners looking for a simple way to cut down on the amount of paperwork used to keep track of new hires and existing employees when providing reliable payment services.


Zenefits aims to streamline a small business's HR department to allow for more automated services. It helps companies cut down on the paperwork by offering insurance benefits, time and attendance features, compliance solutions, talent recruitment services, and integrated workforce management capabilities. They are also introducing free payroll service solutions up to the end of 2016 for people who enroll.

Zenefits Payroll will offer more transparent payroll services so business owners have greater control when running payroll and filing employee taxes. A top feature the company is promoting is that once the payroll service is set up it can basically run itself, leaving you free to handle other daily operations as any changes will be updated automatically.

Why Businesses Are Interested in Zenefits

There is a very good reason why we featured Zenefits right after Gusto (ZenPayroll). Before Zenpayroll's name change, companies were investing in both ZenPayroll + Zenefits as a combined service opportunity as they received payroll services from ZenPayroll and insurance benefits from Zenefits. Now that Gusto is on the scene and offering their own health benefits and workers' compensation services, Zenefits had to change tactics to maintain customer loyalty. So the company is trying to push out Zenefits Payroll on a limited release wait list to stir up new interest in what capabilities it can offer to be competitive in the payroll services market.

Square Payroll

Square has been continually expanding its services into payment processing, marketing tools, scheduling and booking systems and even cash advanced services. Now the company is offering Square Payroll to dip their toes into the payroll services gambit. The company provides integrated payroll and employee tax calculation features for businesses.


Square Payroll seeks to automate payroll services from the time a business decides to obtain a new hire to when the employ leaves the small business. It has employees set up their personal information into their accounts so they can view all payroll information effortless. Then when timecards are collected, the information is imported into the system as calculations are done automatically for taxes and overtime so employees can be paid effortless. Square Payroll also features a simply drag-and-drop feature for reports so a business owner can effortlessly switch payroll service providers to this company.

Why Businesses Are Interested in Square Payroll

While most small businesses know about Square because of the company's mobile payment acceptance technology, Square Payroll is still brand new and fresh out of the packaging since its introduction to California-based businesses back in the summer of 2015. This effort to diversify into payroll services will allow the company to shed its payment processing boutique status and become a major player in payroll services to further expand into this growing market. Whether it will be able to woo small businesses away from established payroll service companies will be a wait-and-see game. Yet it is a good possibility that Square Payroll will attract customers that already have payment processing and other services provided by this company.

Anthony Venus
About the Author

Anthony co-founded YayPay in 2015 to fulfill the mission of making collecting money fast, easy, and highly predictable and to strive towards a vision of autonomous commerce. He is a multi-time entrepreneur and has lived and worked on five continents. He was co-founder and CEO of Meridian Equity Partners, a licensed financial and lending firm; Strategic Intelligence, an online publishing firm; and Marketshare, a data collection and market-research company acquired by Harris Interactive (AC Nielsen) where he also served on the global management team. Anthony’s career began at The Economist Group.

Read more articles by Anthony Venus