Church payroll software can help your church staff spend less time on tax calculations and check writing, and more time on ministry.

In this guide, we round up six of the best church payroll software platforms that are worthy of your consideration.

Top church payroll software comparison

When it comes to choosing church payroll software, you need to consider plenty of factors beyond just prices. Here are some features to pay attention to when comparing church payroll software.

Starting monthly priceUnlimited payrollAutomatic payrollTime trackingFree trial
OnPay$40 + $6/employeeYesNoNoYesTry OnPay
Gusto$40 + $6/employeeYesYesYesYesTry Gusto
SurePayroll by PaychexCustomYesYesNoNoTry SurePayroll by Paychex
MinistryWorksCost calculator on websiteNoYesYesNoTry MinstryWorks
ADP RUNCustomNoYesYesNoTry ADP RUN
RipplingCustomYesNoYesNoTry Rippling

Top church payroll software

OnPay: Best overall

Logo for Onpay.
Image: Onpay

If you want a simple payment plan for church payroll plus some HR features, then OnPay is an excellent choice. It offers a single affordable pricing plan as well as a free trial for new customers, which also includes white glove set-up services. Not only does OnPay offer payroll, it also provides plenty of HR features, although its HR capabilities aren’t as comprehensive as some other alternatives on this list.

Plans and pricing

OnPay only has one pricing plan, which costs $40 a month plus $6 per employee. There are no hidden fees or add-ons.

Features

  • Online I-9 and W-4 forms.
  • Report designer with custom reporting.
  • Automated onboarding flows plus e-signing.
  • PTO management included.

Pros

  • One single transparent pricing plan.
  • Unlimited monthly pay runs.
  • Pay employees by direct deposit, debit card or check.
  • Available in all 50 states.

Cons

  • HR features aren’t as comprehensive as some alternatives.
  • Can’t run payroll automatically.
  • No built-in time tracking feature.
  • Mobile app is poorly reviewed.

For more information, read the full OnPay review.

Gusto: Easiest to use

Logo for Gusto.
Image: Gusto

Gusto offers an intuitive payroll software that is easy to learn, even if you’ve never done payroll before. With Gusto, you get unlimited payroll runs as well as the ability to make payroll completely automatic with the AutoPilot function.

Gusto also provides a complete suite of other HR integrated software, such as talent management, 401(k) and retirement plan management, healthcare benefits, program development and support. If you’re looking for an all-in-one software, Gusto is definitely worthy of your consideration.

Plans and pricing

  • Simple: $40 per month + $6 per month per employee.
  • Plus: $80 per month + $12 per month per employee.
  • Premium: Contact the sales teams for a custom quote.

Get a one-month free discount on your invoice after you subscribe and run your first payroll with Gusto. Other terms and conditions apply.

Features

  • Local, state and federal payroll tax filing.
  • Built-in checklists for onboarding new employees.
  • Provides employer tax filing support.
  • Self-service employee tools for both payroll and HR.

Pros

  • Unlimited payroll runs for no extra charge.
  • State tax registration in all 50 states.
  • Automatic tax calculations.
  • Contractor-only plan available.

Cons

  • Some features like the time kiosk are add-on only.
  • No weekend customer support.
  • QuickBooks integration can be tricky to set up.
  • Big jump between pricing plans.

For more information, read the full Gusto review.

SurePayroll by Paychex: Most affordable

SurePayroll by Paychex logo.
Image: SurePayroll by Paychex

If you’re looking for affordable payroll, but free plans aren’t cutting it for your needs, then it’s hard to beat SurePayroll by Paychex— it has some of the most affordable plans in the business.

While it’s not as fully featured as some other payroll software, it will more than suffice for smaller churches who mostly need support with payroll, plus some limited HR features. Note that while it doesn’t offer a standing free trial, SurePayroll by Paychex does occasionally run promotions where new customers can get up to six months free.

Plans and pricing

SurePayroll by Paychex currently does not provide transparent pricing on its website and instead suggests shoppers complete a form to receive a quote. However, SurePayroll by Paychex previously offered their plans at the following price points:

  • No Tax Filing: $19.99 flat rate per month plus $4 per person paid per month.
  • Full Service: $29.99 flat rate per month plus $5 per person paid per month.

In addition, SurePayroll by Paychex offers customers various add-on service options for additional fees:

  • Multiple state tax filing: $9.99 per month for Full Service plan users.
  • Local tax filing: $9.99 per month for Full Service plan users.
  • Time clock integration: $9.99 per month.
  • Accounting integration: $4.99 per month.

Features

  • Automatic payroll.
  • Unlimited payroll runs.
  • Good onboarding tools.
  • Direct deposit and online pay stubs.

Pros

  • Affordable pricing plans.
  • Customer support available on Saturday.
  • No set-up fees or contracts.
  • Multiple pay rates and bonuses included.

Cons

  • Pricing information can be hard to find.
  • Add-on fees for certain services.
  • No built-in time tracking.
  • Extra fees for managing W-2s and 1099s.

For more information, read the full SurePayroll by Paychex review.

MinistryWorks: Best church-specific software

Logo for MinistryWorks.
Image: MinistryWorks

If you are looking for software that was specifically designed with the needs of churches in mind, then consider MinistryWorks. As the name suggests, MinistryWorks caters to churches, religious schools and other spiritual organizations that are looking for software that accounts for ministry-specific tax laws. MinistryWorks covers payroll, tax filing, time and attendance, onboarding, benefits management and more.

Plans and pricing

MinistryWorks has a unique pricing structure that charges organizations per payroll run, not per month or per employee. Prices increase with the addition of each employee that you pay, however.

For 10 employees, the cost calculator on their website estimates it will cost $46.72 for a weekly payroll run, $51.53 for a bi-weekly payroll run and $73.20 for a monthly payroll run.

Features

  • Automated payroll and tax filing.
  • IRS compliance counseling available.
  • Time cards, time-off requests and accruals.
  • Employee-accessible HR portal.

Pros

  • Implementation specialist will walk you through your first payroll run.
  • Pricing calculator available on the website.
  • Specializes in ministry tax laws.
  • Time and attendance features included.

Cons

  • Pricing structure not straightforward.
  • No free trial available.
  • Fewer third-party integrations than competitors.
  • No mobile app available.

ADP RUN: Best HR tools for nonprofits

Logo for ADP.
Image: ADP

ADP is one of the most popular payroll software providers in the world — but did you know that it also offers a full suite of HR tools? If you need HR support beyond just payroll, then ADP is well-worth checking out. Its ADP RUN plans are specifically targeted toward organizations with less than 50 employees, which will work for many churches. It also offers ADP Workforce Now plans for larger teams as well.

Plans and pricing

ADP RUN offers four pricing plans — Essential, Enhanced, Complete and HR Pro — but doesn’t actually disclose pricing for any of them. You must contact the ADP sales team to get a quote. ADP also widely advertises its three months of payroll deal, but the fine print on the offer says you must sign a sales order to get the deal, so it’s not really a true free trial.

Features

  • Full-service payroll, including a robust mobile app.
  • Automatic tax filing.
  • Employee benefits administration.
  • Applicant tracking system and learning management system available.

Pros

  • Easily scalable software fits a variety of needs.
  • Extensive HR support offers.
  • Background checks included with each plan.
  • Thousands of HR templates available.

Cons

  • No transparent pricing plans.
  • No free trial available.
  • Can be pricey depending on what features you need.
  • Number of features may overwhelm new users.

For more information, read the full ADP RUN review.

Rippling: Best customizations

Logo for Rippling.
Image: Rippling

If you need an integrated payroll and HR platform that you can customize to your needs, then check out Rippling. Rippling offers HR Cloud, a complete HR package that provides payroll as one of its modules. Other modules include talent management, learning management (training), benefits, time and attendance and employee surveys.

Rippling also offers PEO services for employers that need to manage and administer smaller organizations. You pick and choose which modules you need to create your own customized plan.

Plans and pricing

Rippling starts at $8 a month for every user but doesn’t disclose pricing beyond that. Each HR product (Payroll, Benefits, Device Management, etc.) can be purchased separately alongside the core required Rippling Unity Platform, meaning that each company can create its own plan.

You must contact Rippling’s sales department for an actual quote, though.

Features

  • Workflow automations reduce manual work.
  • Employee self-service web portal.
  • Supports direct deposit.
  • Provides employer tax filing support.

Pros

  • Customizable and scalable pricing plans.
  • Many different HR modules to choose from.
  • Comprehensive set-up guides available.
  • Option to add on IT and finance modules in addition to HR tools.

Cons

  • Does not offer the option for standalone payroll software.
  • Pricing is not transparent.
  • No free trial available.
  • Steeper learning curves due to the number of features.

For more information, read the full Rippling review.

Key features of church payroll software

Unlimited and automatic payroll

Not all payroll platforms offer unlimited payroll: Many charge extra if you need to run an extra payroll period, and those fees add up quickly. Not all platforms offer automatic payroll either, which allows HR to “set it and forget it.” Automatic payroll is helpful if your payroll person is away from their computer a lot or frequently forgets to run payroll.

Tax calculations and deductions

Tax calculations can be one of the most complicated parts of running payroll manually. The best payroll software for churches will make these calculations automatically and some may even deposit the deductions for you. Churches and other religious organizations should make sure that their payroll software accounts for ministry specific taxes to ensure compliance.

Time and attendance

Many churches employ hourly (a.k.a. non-exempt) workers who need to track their time and be paid for it. Payroll software that has built-in time tracking ensures those hours are accurately compensated for. The data flows right over to payroll instead of requiring the payroll person to set up an integration or do the wage calculations manually.

Onboarding tools

Properly onboarding new employees to set them up for payroll involves filling out a lot of paperwork that takes away from time spent on ministry. Fortunately, a lot of payroll services also include onboarding tools to speed up the process. Some of these services even include e-sign capabilities, so you don’t have to fuss with paper documents.

Benefits administration

Setting up employees with benefits can be difficult, even for trained HR professionals. Payroll software that includes benefit administration tools makes the entire process easier for both church managers and employees. It ensures that you are getting competitive rates while offering insurance plans and benefits that comply with all relevant laws.

How do I choose the best church payroll software for my business?

When choosing the best church payroll software for your organization, make a list of must-have and nice-to-have features and prioritize them accordingly. Also, look at your budget and figure out how much you can afford to pay each month for the software. Keep in mind that costs typically increase as you hire more employees, not to mention that add-ons for certain features will also increase the cost further. If you have a strict budget, then you might have to be willing to give up certain features to stay under budget.

Take advantage of free trials as well as demo calls with the sales team for each of your top choices. Use the full length of the free trial, and don’t hesitate to contact customer support if you run into an issue while testing the software. Come to the demo prepared with specific questions and scenarios to ensure that the software will actually meet your needs before you sign a contract.

Methodology

To choose the best church payroll software, we consulted user reviews and product documentation. We considered factors such as pricing, customer support and user reviews. We also considered features such as payroll, tax deductions, benefits administration, time and attendance and onboarding tools.

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Stay up to date on the latest in technology with Daily Tech Insider. We bring you news on industry-leading companies, products, and people, as well as highlighted articles, downloads, and top resources. You’ll receive primers on hot tech topics that will help you stay ahead of the game. Delivered Weekdays