By Daniel Lewis,
/ Advertising Disclosure

4.7 / 5
TOTAL SCORE
SUMMARY

Any small business owner looking for streamlined payroll with benefits and HR administration at a low cost. Also, an excellent alternative to a Professional Employer Organization (‘PEO’).

DETAILED RATING
Features
Pricing
User Experience
Security
Integrations & Add-Ons
Service & Support
POSITIVES
  • Easy to Use
  • Single Pricing Model
  • Highly Affordable
  • Unlimited Payrolls
  • Fantastic Online Reviews
  • Superb Customer Service
  • Error Free Reporting Policy
NEGATIVES
  • No Time Tracking
  • Lack Of Time Sheets Integrations

OnPay is one of few payroll providers that also offer high-quality benefits and HR at a reasonable price. So, what is it exactly that separates them from the competition?

During my trial run, I found that it is excellent across a number of different categories. In fact, it excels across pretty much all categories. OnPay is now the provider I will be using moving forward – out of many reviews, I have found my favorite, mainly due to its simplicity and transparency.

Many payroll solutions offer a lot but cannot touch OnPay in terms of how simple everything is laid out, with a single pricing solution and no hidden charges. Nearly all other providers hit you somewhere, somehow. Not OnPay.

It is the perfect solution for small business owners in the USA that offers superb customer service. Read the below to see just why so many customers, including me, are in love with OnPay. 

Editor’s Note: “OnPay is the only payroll provider that includes employee benefits and administration in its core package – others offer benefits only at higher tiers. OnPay provides all of these services at an ultra low cost in comparison to other providers such as Gusto, who charge 3 times as much per employee on the benefits package. Most providers who offer benefits, HR, and payroll are weak in one of them. Not OnPay – they even have an ‘error free’ filing policy and take full responsibility for submissions, unlike the rest.”

OnPay Online Features

The list of OnPay features includes:

  • Pay Calculation
  • Payroll History For Each Employee
  • Benefit Plan Administration
  • Direct Deposit Files
  • Payroll Tracking And Auditing
  • Salary Revision And Increment Management
  • Reimbursement Management
  • Statutory Form Management
  • File And Pay Taxes In 50 States
  • Employee Self-service
  • Employee Self-onboarding
  • Pto Tracking And Accrual
  • Organization Charts
  • Unlimited Pay Runs

In other words, OnPay is a full-service payroll that provides employee self onboarding, automatic tax filing, and caters to both employees and contractors. In terms of features provided, it’s worth mentioning that payroll software is not like accounting software. With accounting software there are many reports and customization options, thus there can be many different features. With payroll software, it either provides key functionality or does not. The main features are employee onboarding, employee self-service, unlimited payroll, automatic tax filing, and worker classification (w2 or 1099). OnPay provides all of these at a great price.

Saying this, OnPay has added some neat features. It now allows for custom fields in the employee records. OnPay supports more payment types than any other provider I have reviewed. It has come a long way in the past year and did things the right way. It provides the basic functionality extremely well and only delivers more when a firm base has been established.

Firms like Zoho Books and Gusto should learn to get the foundations right and then build on them, instead of offering everything and then failing in customer support and follow-through. 

OnPay Price Plan

OnPay is the most affordable provider on the market, at $36 dollars a month and $4 per additional employee. Of course, you could make a case for a business like Patriot or Zoho Payroll. Zoho Payroll might be worth looking into, at $19.99 a month and $2 per additional employee. But it is only available in two states and is missing some key functions in comparison. Patriot is $30 a month with $4 per additional employee but lacks benefits management. The table below should give you an idea of the pricing of various payroll providers.

Brand Price (Full Service) What is on the plan
OnPay $36 +$ per additional employee Full-service payroll HR, benefits.
Patriot Payroll $30 + $4 per additional employee Full-service payroll, HR
Quickbooks Payroll $22.50 +$4 per additional employee Full-service payroll, HR. Price jumps after 3 months.
Square Payroll $29 + $5 per additional employee Full-Service Payroll, Benefits.  No HR or Time Tracking
Zoho Payroll $19 + $2 per additional employee Full-Service Payroll, Benefits, HR (Only available in 2 states)
Gusto $39 + $6 per additional employee Full-service payroll. No benefits or HR until higher tiers.

OnPay Comparison with Similar Softwares

Major OnPay competitors include Patriot Payroll, Square Payroll, & Gusto. Gusto is a lot more expensive and really shines for its HR procedures. OnPay really has to compete with Square Payroll and Patriot Payroll. As impressive as Zoho Payroll looks, it is currently only available in 2 states, most likely due to difficulties with benefits administration red tape. OnPay is missing time and expense tracking which can be something of an issue for many employers. You’ll have to get an integration to fulfill this requirement.

OnPay offers an error-free guarantee. This is a huge benefit as they actually take full responsibility for filing your taxes and classifications correctly. Many providers (especially those that say they offer benefits) will file lots of errors and you’ll have a stressful time sorting this out if they have sloppy customer service. 

The table below should give you a rough indication of the differences, but you will have to try the software to see if it does exactly what you are looking for. Some of them might rank great but not have HR functionality, benefits, or time tracking capabilities, all of which are critical for a given business. First, identify what you are looking for, and then start shopping around.

Brand Price Functionality Ease of Use Customer Support Integrations
OnPay 5 5 5 5 4
patriot review 5 5 5 4.5 4
quickbooks review 4 5 4 4 5
5 4 5 4 4
Zoho Books 5 5 5 4 5
4 5 5 3.5 4.5

Accounting Software Integrations & Add-Ons

OnPay integrates with major applications like Xero and Quickbooks, but it doesn’t quite have such an extensive list. In total, it has only 13 integrations, which is just about enough to get by. Thankfully, it does link to a lot of major accounting platforms, which is actually the most important integration when you have a solid HR, benefits, and payroll package. Accounting is the last piece of this legal-financial puzzle.

Many users complain that OnPay does not have enough Time Sheets Integrations, which is a little bit of a problem as it lacks expenses tracking and reporting. The full list of integrations includes:

  • Intuit Quickbooks Online
  • Xero
  • TSheets
  • When I Work
  • Deputy
  • Humanity
  • Guideline
  • Americas Best 401(k)
  • Vestwell
  • ThinkHR
  • Poster Elite
  • Kabbage
  • Magnify

OnPay will soon be integrated with Freshbooks Cloud Accounting & Tanda. Even though OnPay is primarily a payroll provider (not an accounting platform, which will often need more integrations), 13 integrations are a little light, all things considered. They should consider adding more time tracking and accounting integrations to become more well-rounded in this area. A business that has relied on Zoho Books or Sage for the past 10 years is going to be put off using OnPay without an integration.

OnPay Employee Benefits

More and more payroll providers are veering into the arena of employee benefits. Employers want an all-in-one package that all caters to the benefits of their employees, as this area is often a bureaucratic nightmare. Having seen how many other providers failed miserably when it came to benefits, I decided it would be interesting to see how OnPay fared.

In fact, OnPay fared quite well. For medical insurance, they have connections with insurance agents that are licensed in all 50 states to give them the best deals. They offer free investment management of 401(k) plans which would usually come with pricey fees. These agents will assist you to find the best possible policy. If you already have a plan, it’s easy to switch over.

The following are some of the employee benefits that OnPay provides:

  • Health Insurance (Medical, Dental, And Vision)
  • Retirement Plans From Top Providers
  • Payg Workers Compensation Plans
  • Life And Disability Coverage
  • FSA, HSA, Commuter Benefits, etc

All of the benefits are automatically synced with payroll for a stress-free experience. OnPay clearly goes above and beyond what one would expect in terms of such low-cost benefits management, with its team of in-house agents. With nationwide coverage, OnPay removes the mystery out of processing health insurance benefits. Licensed insurance brokers onboard OnPay make sure you clearly understand the benefits on offer, whether vision, dental or medical. Integration with the payroll streamlines calculations.

Price options ensure you get the best match for employees and the company or you can opt to expand your choices by asking around and requesting quotes. Along with investment management for free, OnPay offers sensible automation of withholdings with secure harbor plans and contribution matching. OnPay educates employees about the retirement plan and how it benefits them. Other companies leave their employees in the dark and make life difficult for business owners in general.

OnPay User Experience

Payroll can be a severe headache if you don’t have a nice and clean interface to compartmentalize everything neatly. And this is precisely what OnPay offers with its straight Blue and White interface. The site does tend to support excessive downward scrolling, however, but this is a minor detail. Gusto does tend to do a better job when it comes to compartmentalizing the different elements of navigation, but not by all that much. There are 8 icons on the left-hand side which you can use to travel through the platform.

One great user experience function of OnPay is the communication channel for requested time off. You can see requests in history and those in progress to approve or deny time off. This communication element is found throughout the platform where you can talk to employees personally.

OnPay always opens to your main dashboard, and you can return to it from the toolbar. This critical feature has been revamped in the past year or so. Links to your employee and contractor screens appear at the top of the screen. If there are alerts or tasks that need attention, you’ll see them displayed there as well.

As previously stated, OnPay has a tendency to sprawl endlessly, and to incorporate too much white space. This occurs on the dashboard screen. There are four big tiles that contain links to your most recent pay runs, your next scheduled pay run, important dates, and open employee offers. You can customize these and turn off ones you don’t want, but if everything is showing, you have to scroll down to view all of it. Many managers and business owners might prefer to see different data points simultaneously. 

OnPay Customer Service & Support

OnPay customer support is exceptional. They have the fastest response time of any payroll/HR provider I tested. I called them 3 times on different days and got an immediate answer and my issue was resolved. Their customer support team actually knows what they are doing.

This can be contrasted to other customer service agents such as Zoho, who will put you on hold for hours until they find somebody who knows the answer to your question. This is due to the streamlined nature of OnPay – one package and service solution means that you don’t have to train a lot of customer service representatives in disparate areas. 

OnPay has a 4.8 Star rating on Trustpilot, a 4.8 Star rating on CapTerra, and a 5 Star Rating on G2. They are also 5 Star rated as far as Finimpact is concerned! One of the most commonly cited benefits of OnPay on social review sites is the level of customer service. Many people migrate from other platforms (such as Gusto) due to the poor level of service to find OnPay to be a far better alternative.

The importance of a strong customer service model cannot be overstated. It’s just so critical to the long-term success of a company. Some of the biggest names in payroll accounting just cannot seem to get customer service correct as they offer too many products and services. OnPay has really got the formula correct and this is one reason the future looks bright for this provider.

OnPay Software Security

There’s a lot less information about OnPay software security as compared to other innovators in the industry. You can take a look at their privacy policy to see just how seriously they take customer information. The privacy policy contains all that you would expect in order to protect themselves from recent regulations surrounding internet privacy, but it can often be hard to glean what a company actually does from these pretty generic templates.

The bottom line in most cases is that they will use cookies to track online activity and will include your decisions in research/statistical studies, but you will not be personally identifiable. Your information is never to be shared with third parties for commercial purposes.

OnPay uses AES-256 bit encryption which is industry standard. Basically, it can’t be decrypted, though it can be compromised in other ways, like all networks. The undisclosed data facility is protected by 24/7 guards as well as online surveillance. I have to admit I liked the honesty of OnPay’s disclosure, admitting that no network is 100% secure regardless of the methods taken:

“No data transmissions over the Internet are completely secure. Consequently, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or others over the Internet. You transmit such information at your own risk. Once we receive your transmission, we make reasonable efforts to ensure the security of our systems. We use encryption to protect your information from unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction. However, this is not a guarantee that such information may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed by breach of our systems or our secure servers.”

OnPay FAQ

What is OnPay?

OnPay is a payroll provider that offers HR and benefits administration. A payroll provider essentially allows you to run payroll for employees. This includes W2 (for employees) and 1099 (for contractors). It also includes bonuses and overtime. Better providers (like OnPay) will also file taxes automatically for you with the state, which is a gigantic stress reliever for business owners. OnPay also offers benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, workers compensation plans, life insurance, disability coverage, commuter benefits, FSA, and HSA. Its extensive HR and benefits come with the base package, and this is the only provider I know of that does this without upgrading to higher tiers.

How do I cancel OnPay?

There are no penalties for canceling OnPay because you are not tied into a contract. OnPay is extremely flexible in this regard. You can cancel in the dashboard and your service will end when the current month is up. You could also simply not pay them by deleting your card and your service would stop, but this is a little overkill when it is so easy to just quit. OnPay also offers a free one-month trial where you can check out the advantages of its benefits, payroll, and HR services.

Does OnPay have a mobile application?

OnPay does not offer mobile applications. What it does offer is a mobile responsive site that you can view from either IOS or Android. Basically, you are giving up almost zero functionality (though your screen view is going to be more limited when viewing the device on a smartphone or tablet). You can run payroll from the mobile site versions. This was a smart move by OnPay – it takes a lot of time and testing to create separate mobile applications and deal with the user experience and security issues in comparison to using the same site, but with mobile versions. You also retain near-full functionality.

What platforms is OnPay integrated with?

OnPay has fewer integrations in comparison to some of the biggest names in the industry. 13 integrations is not a lot, when Intuit Quickbooks and Xero have hundreds. The list of OnPay integrations includes:

Intuit Quickbooks Online

Xero

TSheets

When I Work

Deputy

Humanity

Guideline

Americas Best 401(k)

Vestwell

ThinkHR

Poster Elite

Kabbage

Magnify

OnPay will soon be integrated with Freshbooks Cloud Accounting & Tanda. OnPay needs to get more integrations, simply put.

Who is OnPay best for?

OnPay is best for all business owners looking for payroll, HR, and benefits. In fact, you don’t have all that many options if you are looking for an all-in-one solution. You could choose Gusto, but it is way more expensive and has benefits administration issues, even if it offers fantastic HR tools. Patriot payroll is also a contender, but I believe OnPay has an edge in terms of functionality as well as ease of use. If you already have a payroll, HR, or benefits provider, then you probably don’t want to switch. OnPay has few integrations and it’s often better to keep everything with the same provider as much as possible.

OnPay Conclusion

OnPay is basically what every payroll & HR/benefits provider should be – simple, powerful, easy to use, and offering superb customer service. It offers a single pricing model and there are no hidden charges and no ‘mess’.

Many providers limit payroll or users to force you into the higher tiers – OnPay does not play any of these games, and customers are thankful. You pay more only if you add employees. And, best of all – OnPay is actually one of the most affordable providers on the market!

For a full payroll service with HR and benefits that ticks every single box, choose OnPay. You won’t regret it.

Daniel Lewis
Daniel Lewis
Daniel Lewis is an MBA accredited investment professional who wants to assist small business owners to gain access to finance. After going through many channels for funding, Lewis has found that getting the first loan right is vitally important for future success.

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