What is OnPay?

OnPay is a long-established company that supplies small and medium-sized businesses with full-service payroll, HR support, benefits, and compliance management. Unlike many others in the market, OnPay started life as a payroll company and added the HR and benefit components as the organization grew. In contrast, many OnPay competitors are HR companies supporting payroll as part of a suite of services. OnPay’s simple pricing buys an all-in-one package of products and services that more than adequately meet the requirements of small and growing businesses.

OnPay is a private US business founded in 2011 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Founder and CEO Jesse Burgess was part of his family’s payroll business when he realized that the work done by all the clerks the company employed could equally be automated and moved online. In the intervening 11 years, Burgess has built OnPay to be a leading payroll software company, winning many accolades, most recently PCMag Editors’ Choice and Forbes Advisor’s “best of 2022”. The software has been rated excellent by PC Magazine, received the highest rating from Motley Fool, and has won awards for outstanding customer service and ease of use.

OnPay provides all the services you expect from a dedicated payroll company, offering unlimited payroll runs, including off-cycle payments and bonus distributions for W-2 and 1099 workers. The payroll tax requirements are automated, from calculation through to payment, and OnPay picks up any penalties incurred from incorrect filing. The software also manages paid time off, employee benefits, garnishments, and unemployment insurance payments. Major accounting software integrations include QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, and Xero. As a sign of how clients view OnPay, it has received the CPA Practice Advisor’s highest rating and been exclusively endorsed as a payroll partner for American Dental Association members, while clients on Capterra give the company a very high rating.

While payroll forms OnPay’s genetic makeup, the company also offers a list of HR services to support your business. You can access a huge library of HR guides and legal templates in your payroll subscription. You can also automate your new employee onboarding process, using the individual to do much of their onboarding online, e-signing documents, and receiving in-app offer letters. The software will also take care of any state new hire reporting requirements. OnPay automatically updates the company organization chart and a searchable company directory after onboarding new employees.

What popular features do you get with OnPay?

  • Simple, single pricing structure
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • OnPay pays penalties for errors
  • Financial and health benefits

  • Paid time off management
  • Included HR guides
  • Website optimized for mobile use
  • Automated payroll tax filing

  • Easy to set up
  • An uncluttered web interface
  • Employee self-service portal
  • Legal templates provided

Customer Support is available at OnPay

OnPay provides a comprehensive help center with assistance in getting started and running payroll, and you can find articles with payroll and tax advice plus tools for HR. There are also articles on recent regulatory changes to help you stay current. Refreshingly, if you need help from someone, OnPay offers a dial-in number staffed from 9 am to 8 pm Eastern time during weekdays. Otherwise, you can use email for weekend assistance or non-urgent issues.


What kind of business is OnPay ideal for?

OnPay is ideal for small, growing, and established businesses. The simple pricing structure and the all-included services are attractive for those who need a complete payroll solution while benefiting from some HR support. As your business grows, it’s a simple per-person increment in your monthly subscription. OnPay is less suited to larger businesses needing a comprehensive suite of HR tools as the HR services are an add-on for OnPay subscribers rather than a full-featured scalable product, so larger businesses may find other products more suitable.

Pros and Cons

  • Great simple price structure
  • Manages full-time and contract workers
  • Fully automated payroll tax filing
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Manages paid time off
  • Excellent HR guides and how-tos
  • Health benefits management

  • Mailing tax forms costs extra
  • Payroll is not fully automated
  • US-based services only

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How much does OnPay cost?

*based on information provided by the vendor. Actual cost may vary.

There is no need for tables, tiers, or complicated pricing explanations with OnPay, as they make subscriptions simple for their clients. You get the first month and set up free, after which you pay $36 per month and $4 per person per month. Interestingly, OnPay bases the per person payment on the number of workers you pay in a specific month, so while you may have 20 people on your payroll, if you only pay ten of them, you pay $4 for the ten workers, not the 20.

There is one very small caveat to note. While the company states there are no other hidden fees, if you want OnPay to print and mail W-2 or 1099 tax forms or post paychecks to employees, you will pay for that service. Frankly, for what you’re getting for your money, we don’t feel that is unreasonable. You can choose to print the tax forms and checks yourself at no charge.

Final thoughts...

OnPay has found a nice niche from which to offer its services. It doesn’t claim to be all things to all businesses, nor does it have a raft of features and products that each attract payment. Instead, the company provides a full-service payroll product squarely aimed at small businesses, with a simple pricing structure and no-frills. Thrown in as part of the deal is an impressive set of HR tools, legal templates, and a benefits package that includes pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation, 401(k), and health, vision, and dental insurance.

True, there is no time-tracking product, and the payroll is not fully automated, requiring several manual steps, yet we feel these drawbacks don’t detract from a nicely structured payroll solution. The software integrates with major small-business accounting packages, and having won PCMag Editors’ Choice and Forbes Advisor’s “best of 2022”, OnPay seems to be hitting all the important measures. We feel the company offers good value, and is well worth considering for your business.