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OnPay Review

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If you’re in the market for a top-notch payroll service that offers a long list of features and transparent pricing, you’ll want to take a look at OnPay. Designed for small to mid-sized businesses, OnPay offers the payroll features you need at a price you can afford.

  • Ease Of use
    Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
    4.50 stars
    Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
    4.50 stars
    Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
    5.00 stars
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    4.50 stars
    • Transparent price structure
    • Easy employee onboarding
    • HR resources at no extra cost
    • No auto-pay option
    • Reporting options could be better
    • Payroll runs require multiple steps

There are a lot of payroll software applications on the market today that we have had the opportunity to review. Some are do-it-yourself applications that offer good payroll capability but place tax-filing responsibility squarely on your shoulders.

Other services offer Human Resources (HR) tools and multistate payroll, but those features typically come at an additional price.

That’s not the case with OnPay. With OnPay’s online payroll service, you can get the payroll features your small business needs for a single monthly fee.

Who is OnPay for?

OnPay (onpay overview) is optimally designed for small businesses, though the application can scale up nicely for mid-sized businesses as well.

OnPay offers a single plan, with all of the application’s features available in that single plan, making it suitable for a staff of 10 or a staff of 50. OnPay also offers multistate payroll, so you can pay employees in more than one state at no additional charge.

OnPay is a better fit for businesses with a lot of hourly employees, since an auto-pay option is not offered in the application at this time.

OnPay’s pricing

OnPay price structure is one of the most transparent in the industry. A monthly rate of $36 and a $4 per-employee rate, and that’s it. You’ll know upon sign-up exactly how much you’ll be paying each month, and that will only change if you add or terminate an employee.

OnPay pricing chart

OnPay offers full-service payroll for one low price. Image source: Author

OnPay’s features

In our review, we found OnPay’s feature list (onpay features) to be very impressive. Here are just a few of the features available:

  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Payroll taxes filed and remitted
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Lifetime accounts for all employees
  • Six levels of user permissions

In addition, OnPay offers free direct deposit, with options to pay your employees by debit card or paper check as well. Both employees and contractors can be paid in the software, with direct deposit available for contractors.

Through OnPay, you can sign up for and administer health and dental benefits, with plans available in all 50 states. You can also add supplemental insurance such as life, vision, and disability at any time. Workers’ compensation administration, along with access to a pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation policy, is also offered in the software.

The application processes year-end W-2 and 1099 forms, which you can print and distribute to your employees, or have OnPay print and distribute these forms for a small fee.

The employee files in OnPay contain personal information such as a short bio, start date, current compensation, and current deductions. A list of recent paychecks is also available for viewing.

OnPay employe record with field for salary, hire date, supervisor name, location, and department

The employee record provides numerous details about each employee. Image source: Author

In addition to personal and job-related details, the employee file also includes the employee’s completed W-4 and I-9, along with HR-related documents such as annual reviews or write-ups and banking information for direct deposit.

OnPay offers good reporting options, with more than 40 payroll and tax-related reports available, though report customization is fairly limited in the application. Reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel if customization is important, and any report can be saved as a PDF.

Multistate payroll

If you have employees in more than one state, there’s no need to pay an extra fee, since OnPay offers payroll for all 50 states at no additional cost.

OnPay tax withholding form with fields for employee number, deposit schedule, state, and tax rate

You can set up state withholding tax information quickly with OnPay. Image source: Author

You’ll just need to add the state(s) where you have employees, your state tax account number, and the current state unemployment insurance (SUI) rate, and OnPay does the rest, including calculations, filing, and remittance. OnPay also includes a free payroll tax calculator and information on tax rates for every state.

Employee onboarding and self-service

OnPay gives you the option to enter new employee information yourself, or task your new employee with the onboarding process. Just check the “Invite Employee” box and enter a valid email address for your new employee; the software will then send them an invite via email that requests their assistance in the setup process.

You can also add tasks for your new employees to complete, such as filling out tax documents and their I-9s.

Once onboarded, employees can access their accounts at any time in order to view current and historic pay stubs, view and download year-end tax documents such as W-2s, update personal information, enroll or disenroll in benefits programs, and even change their tax withholding information through the self-service feature.

HR tools

OnPay’s HR tools offer a variety of handy resources every small business can use, including:

  • Employee offer letters
  • PTO approvals and time tracking
  • HR templates
  • Organizational chart creator
  • Compliance tools
  • Direct messaging
  • State new hire reporting
  • HR resource library
OnPay HR dashboard showing options for adding employees to the team.

The HR module in OnPay boasts easy dashboard navigation to build your team. Image source: Author

The dashboard lets you view outstanding personnel tasks and displays a list of out-of-office employees, along with pending requests that need to be completed. Like the payroll dashboard, the HR dashboard is fully customizable, so you can display only the information you need to see.

Multiple pay rates and schedules

OnPay does not tie you to any set payroll schedules or employee pay rates, so if you want to run commission checks or year-end bonus checks, you can do so at no extra cost.

You can also assign multiple rates for your employees, and the paycheck calculator will automatically calculate overtime hours for those employees when necessary.


OnPay offers integration (onpay integrations) with a variety of third-party accounting, time-tracking, HR, and retirement applications, including:

OnPay offers complete sync capability with these applications, reducing the amount of duplicate data entry needed.

OnPay’s ease of use

It is easy to run payroll with OnPay.

The application offers easy navigation from the user dashboard, displaying details about your team of employees, recent pay runs, the next scheduled pay run, and any important upcoming dates and outstanding employee offers in an easy-to-read format.

An employee search function is at the top of the screen, and the vertical menu to the left provides access to all system functions.

During the initial setup process, you can have OnPay enter your existing payroll data, or you can choose to complete the process yourself. OnPay can also assist you with importing existing data from another application if necessary.

To start a payroll run, just choose the employees you want to pay, then import hours from your time-tracking application (if you’re using one) or enter the hours worked for each employee. If you’re paying salaried employees or contractors, you won’t have to enter any information, but you will have to enter hours worked for your hourly employees. When done, review the totals and approve the payroll.

New users shouldn’t worry since all of the features and functions in OnPay are easy to find, but if you do get lost, just click on the question mark at the top of the screen to access the knowledge center.

Working with OnPay support

OnPay offers excellent support options, including free account migration and setup for new users. OnPay support can also help you set up integrations with third-party applications. When you do contact support, you can be confident in their ability, as they’re trained by the American Payroll Association.

The software offers toll-free telephone support during regular business hours, as well as email and chat support. Emergency support is available on weekends, and the comprehensive knowledge center is accessible via the OnPay website or from within the application at any time.

If you ever decide it's not right for you, OnPay makes cancellation quick and easy. Just email or call OnPay support (, 877-328-6505) and let them know you'd like to cancel the service. It doesn't matter if you have a trial or a paid account; OnPay lets you cancel anytime with no penalties or fees.

Benefits of OnPay

There are plenty of benefits to using OnPay, starting with its transparent pricing. There are no hidden fees or extras attached. Another benefit is the ability to pay your employees how you want, when you want. You can have salaried employees and hourly employees, and you can assign multiple pay rates to your employees.

Using OnPay, you’ll also have access to HR tools and resources as well as excellent product support -- all for one affordable fee.

Is OnPay the best choice for you?

Suitable for even the smallest business, we found in our review that OnPay (onpay overview) really shines for small and growing businesses with a high percentage of hourly employees or who have employees in multiple states. However, if the majority of your employees are salaried, you may benefit more from an application that includes an auto-payroll option.


How OnPay Compares

Online access Direct deposit Prepares federal tax forms Employee access to payroll documents
OnPay Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gusto Yes Yes Yes Yes
QuickBooks Payroll Yes Yes Yes Yes
Payroll4Free Yes Yes Yes Yes
Payroll Mate Yes Yes
Paycor Yes Yes Yes Yes

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