Why QuickBooks® May Not Be Your Best Bet for Payroll: A Closer Look

 May 16, 2024

1. Introduction

QuickBooks® is an industry leader in accounting software, offering an array of features that make bookkeeping easier and more efficient for small businesses. However, when it comes to payroll services, QuickBooks might not be the one-size-fits-all solution that many businesses need. Here’s why:

High Monthly Base Prices

QuickBooks Payroll has several service plans: Core, Premium, and Elite. While the platform’s monthly base price is higher than that of most competitors, it offers a lower per-employee fee. That might seem appealing initially, but if you’re a small business with a limited budget, the upfront costs could be a deterrent. Unlike other services like UZIO, which has a base monthly cost of just $50, the cheapest QuickBooks Payroll plan starts at $45, plus an additional $5 per employee.

Limited HR Features in Lower-Tier Plans

If your business needs robust Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) features, be prepared to pay for QuickBooks’ more expensive plans. HR capabilities like benefits administration and time tracking are only available in the Premium and Elite plans. On the flip side, platforms like UZIO offer these features at a more budget-friendly per-employee cost, giving you the flexibility to scale your HR capabilities without breaking the bank.

Scaling Issues for Larger Businesses

QuickBooks Payroll’s pricing structure might look attractive to small businesses with a small number of employees. However, as your business grows, you’ll quickly find that the platform doesn’t scale as efficiently. The more employees you have, the more you’ll be nudged towards the higher-tier, more expensive plans to accommodate them. This lack of scalability makes it less ideal for larger businesses or those with rapid growth trajectories.

Maximum Number of Users Is Plan-Dependent

Another consideration is the cap on the number of users, which depends on the plan you choose. If you exceed this limit, you’re automatically pushed to a more expensive plan. In contrast, some competitors offer more flexible arrangements that allow you to add an unlimited number of users without immediately jumping to a higher pricing bracket.

The Future of QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Is Uncertain

If you’re one of the businesses still relying on QuickBooks Desktop for payroll, it’s time to reconsider. QuickBooks has announced that they are discontinuing this service, forcing users to transition to other solutions, either within the QuickBooks ecosystem or externally. This change could be disruptive, especially if you’ve tailored your payroll processes around the Desktop version.

2. QuickBooks Payroll Versus UZIO Payroll Pricing

Feature / PricingQuickBooks PayrollUZIO Payroll
Base Monthly Cost  
Core Plan$45N/A
Premium Plan$75N/A
Elite Plan$125N/A
UZIO BaseN/A$50
Cost Per Employee/Month  
Core Plan$5$6
Premium Plan$8$6
Elite Plan$10$6
New Customer Offers  
30-Day Free TrialAvailableN/A
50% off for 3 monthsAvailableN/A
Additional Features  
Time TrackingAvailable in Premium and Elite Plans$3 per month per employee
Benefits Administration (Ben Admin)Available in Premium and Elite Plans$4.50 per month per employee
Cost Efficiency Over TimeMay be cost-efficient for larger teamsCould be more cost-effective for smaller teams
NotesNew customer offers cannot be combinedMultiple services can increase per-employee cost


This grid offers a simplified view. For a more detailed understanding, you would ideally compare additional features, customer support options, user reviews, and more.

Note: The information in this table is based on the pricing details you provided and may be subject to change. Always check the latest pricing and features before making a decision.

3. Conclusion

While QuickBooks remains a strong contender in the accounting software realm, it may fall short for businesses that require a comprehensive, cost-effective, and scalable payroll solution. Before you commit to any payroll service, assess your business needs carefully and consider alternatives that might offer more flexibility and value for your money.
By examining each option closely, you can choose a solution that not only meets your accounting needs but also delivers on the payroll front, giving your business the comprehensive support it deserves.

Get in touch with us for an expert-led demo to know more about UZIO all-in-one payroll software.