Running a small business can be financially and emotionally rewarding, but there are some big challenges. Running payroll can be difficult, especially for entrepreneurs just starting out with hundreds of items in their to-do list. Payroll services remove a lot of the burden and make it easier for small businesses to pay their staff the right way.
Patriot Software overview
Patriot Software, or just Patriot for short, is known for providing affordable payroll services to small businesses. Their solutions are suitable for companies of up to 100 employees, but above that, they may struggle. They are also able to handle many aspects of the payroll tax as well as providing a user-friendly payroll solution for small businesses.
Check out our roundup of Best Payroll Services for Small Business
Patriot Software features
Patriot is a budget-friendly option for small businesses, and they still include a reasonable number of features in their packages. However, it’s worth noting that virtually all the payroll related features are included in the basic plan; the higher-priced version adds increased functionality for handling payroll tax.
It’s important to know that at present, Patriot does not have a benefits management system – unlike Gusto, for example.
- In terms of design, functionality, and visuals, Patriot has a business-like interface which both looks good and makes navigation easy.
- In terms of support, it’s easy to reach Patriot by email, phone, or online chat. There’s also a help center containing video tutorials and useful articles. They’ll also help you set up your payroll when you sign on.
Patriot Software pricing and packages
While payroll services like Paycor will try to only give specific price details once you’ve given them information about your small business or have talked to them on the phone, Patriot takes the opposite approach.
Patriot Software offers a handy drag-and-drop tool to calculate your monthly price based upon the number of employees you have for both of their main packages.
Comparatively speaking, Patriot is affordable when set against similar payroll services for small businesses like Gusto, Intuit Payroll, or Paycor, at least for their basic payroll service.
It’s also helpful that you are billed monthly, rather than by pay cycle. This avoids the unfortunate scenario where companies that pay their employees every two weeks instead of monthly pay twice as much.
Patriot Software offers you the choice of two packages; Basic Payroll and Full-Service Payroll. Here’s how the two packages compare in terms of pricing and included features.
Patriot Software Basic Payroll
Basic Payroll is the cheaper package suitable for small businesses who want a solid piece of software to help them easily manage their payroll, but are happy to do a little of the leg work themselves and don’t need an extensive list of extra features.
Patriot Basic Payroll comes at a base price of $10 per month plus $4 for each employee in your small business. That’s a monthly cost of $50 for a business of 10 employees; $49 less than you’ll pay for Gusto Core with the same number.
The standard features of the Patriot Basic Payroll are:
- Payroll setup
- Payroll support
- Paycheck printing
- Direct deposit
- Run unlimited payrolls at any time
- Flexible pay schedules
- Printable W-2s
There are also add-ons that you can choose to pay extra for, even with the basic package. For example, you can add time and attendance tracking for a base cost of $5 per month, plus $1 per employee. There’s also a reasonably priced add-on for HR software at a base cost of $4 per month, also with $1 for each employee.
Patriot Software Full Service Payroll
The premium package, Patriot Software Full Service Payroll is for small businesses who don’t mind paying extra for some useful extra features on top of the core payroll service. This package focuses on helping you with payroll taxes, so many of the features help with the preparation and filing of tax forms.
Strictly speaking, even in Full-Service Payroll, you run your own payroll. It’s just quicker and easier.
Patriot Full Service Payroll comes at a higher base price of $30 per month, which is still lower than the base price of most other payroll services available. Surprisingly, the cost per employee is still only $4 with the full-service package.
The Patriot Software Full Service Payroll package comes with the following features:
- Everything in the Basic Payroll package, plus:
- Filing of W-2s and W-3s
- Filing and deposit of federal taxes
- Filing and deposit of state taxes
- Filing and deposit of local taxes
With the full-service package, you can also select the same add-ons as those available with the basic payroll package.
Alternatives to Patriot Software
Patriot may be the most affordable of the three main budget-friendly options included in the payroll services we reviewed, but it’s also important to pay attention to the features you receive for your money.
- If you are interested in a fairly affordable payroll service but need features not included in Patriot you might consider Gusto. Though slightly more expensive, Gusto offers a large number of features that go a little beyond what you can get with Patriot.
- You could also take a look at Paycor, also an affordable payroll service that works well for businesses looking to scale. They specialize in custom solutions, too.
Should small businesses use Patriot Software?
Patriot Software, or just Patriot for short, is a user-friendly payroll service that does what most small businesses need it to do; help them manage their payroll quickly while understanding the process and getting accurate results.
Their solutions are suitable for companies of up to 100 employees, but above that, they may struggle. They are also able to handle many aspects of payroll tax as well as providing a user-friendly payroll solution for small businesses.
If your small business needs a budget-friendly solution, it’s very likely that Patriot would be a good fit for you. However, be sure to check the available features carefully and compare them against similar payroll services. If in doubt, ask a sales representative.