4 Top Aussie-reviewed payroll software

Published on 20/10/2022 by Andrew Blair

Let your payroll software keep the end of the month hassle-free by automating the management of payroll instead of manual payday processing. Discover the top Aussie-reviewed payroll software to streamline your payroll needs.

An accounting professional using small business accounting software with payroll

HR professionals have been faced with complex challenges in 2022 and are juggling tasks while being short-staffed. As a result, businesses may outsource some tasks, such as payroll management, to keep their heads above water. Fortunately, payroll software improves efficiency by automating relevant tasks so HR professionals can focus on more complicated tasks. Payroll software avoids the need to outsource tasks, keeps personal data in-house and helps small to midsize enterprises (SMEs) automate tax compliance, payroll reporting, and payroll management.

This article covers four top payroll software reviewed by Australians on Software Advice Australia, ordered from the highest overall rating to the lowest. For this list, we selected products that had over 20 reviews in the past two years from Australian reviewers who had given them an average rating of at least 4.0. All featured tools consist of single touch payroll (STP) that sends reports compliant with the Australian tax office (ATO). You can find the full methodology at the bottom of this article.

Table showing notable payroll software features per product


Screenshot of employee dashboard in MicrOpay payroll software
MicrOpay payroll software features [Source: Software Advice]
  • Overall score: 4.6 / 5
  • Ease of use: 4.4 / 5
  • Customer service: 4.1 / 5
  • Features: 4.3 /5
  • Value for money: 4.3 / 5

MicrOpay’s recent merge with the Access group extends its payroll capabilities to include HR, LMS and recognition as one human resource information system (HRIS) solution. This cloud-based and on-premise payroll solution is designed to help businesses process, manage, and secure payroll data. The software also offers API-based integration with several third-party applications.

The payroll software solution automates processes and calculations through a logical workflow to efficiently set up and maintain employee records. The self-service portal allows employees to update their personal information, enter timesheets, request leave, and review payment summaries.

With MirOpay, users can enter timesheet data in multiple ways to provide a detailed view of an employee’s payroll transaction.  Multi-employee timesheets are available as an optional stand-alone module or are included within the system. Real-time transaction data entry during processing can help achieve an optimum payroll workflow. 

The payroll software also has an auto-pay option that can process standard pay for multiple employees at the same time. The auto-pay feature helps reduce processing time, particularly for employees who get paid the same amount each payday. Multiple pay frequency functionality enables different pay dates for multiple groups of employees on the same pay frequency.

For more pricing information, please see the company’s website.

Notable features:

  • Awards/Bonuses
  • Direct deposit
  • Pay comparisons

2. ELMO Software

Screenshot of ELMO Software with integrated payroll software features
Course compliance reports in ELMO Software [Source: Software Advice]
  • Overall score: 4.6 / 5
  • Ease of use: 4.6 / 5
  • Customer service: 4.4 / 5
  • Features: 4.5 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.4 / 5

ELMO Software is a comprehensive suite of cloud HR and payroll software that spans the entire employee lifecycle. 

The software helps to streamline operations across HR core, payroll, recruitment, onboarding, performance management, and learning management which can be configured to meet an organisation’s requirements. The range of products is available within a single dashboard and single user interface, which can also connect to some third-party applications.  

ELMO’s payroll solution helps SMEs to deliver secure, accurate and compliant payroll. The tool’s self-service feature enables employees and managers to update their records in their own time. This feature eliminates paper-based timesheets and automates data entry. Users can autonomously request a leave of absence and view their remaining balance of days off available within the single dashboard. Additionally, users are easily able to access all payment summaries. 

You can request a demonstration of the product and more information on paid plans on the ELMO software website.

Notable features:

  • Compensation management
  • Overtime calculation
  • Awards/bonus

Read More

3. Xero

Screenshot of Xero payroll software features
Xero payroll software features [Source: Software Advice]
  • Overall score: 4.6 / 5
  • Ease of use: 4.4 / 4
  • Customer service: 3.9 / 5
  • Features: 4.3 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.0 / 5

Xero is primarily a small business accounting software with payroll solutions. The cloud-based small business accounting software manages invoicing, bank reconciliation, inventory, purchasing, expenses, and bookkeeping, among other accounting-specific features. 

Xero integrates with many third-party apps to help synchronise data and streamline workflows such as payroll. Data flows directly into the Xero ledger, removing the need for manual entry that facilitates seamless accounting and payroll. 

The automated online payroll feature pays employees via direct debit and automatically updates accounts. The streamlined automation of managing payroll also automates tax, superannuation and leave calculations. Furthermore, payslips are processed automatically and emailed to employees, which they can view online.

The employee self-service feature reduces administrative processes, saving time by giving employees limited access to their payroll information via the Xero Me mobile application or website. The self-service portal functionality lets employees submit   leave  requests and timesheets for review. It also allows employees to view leave balances and their end-of-month payslips.

You can request a free trial for 30 days on the company website. There you can get more information about pricing and plans. 

Notable features:

  • W2 preparation
  • Direct deposit
  • Payment processing

Read More

4. Employment Hero

Screenshot of payroll software dashboard in Employment Hero
Self-service dashboard in Employment Hero [Source: Software Advice]
  • Overall score: 4.2 / 5
  • Ease of use: 4.1 / 5
  • Customer service: 3.9 / 5
  • Features: 4.3 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.2 / 5

Employment Hero is an integrated HRIS that provides a centralised repository of employee master data that facilitates HR core processes and procedures. The cloud-based platform manages HR, payroll, performance, learning, recognition and employee benefits.

The software helps business owners and managers to be more efficient by expediting tasks so that HR spends less time on clerical tasks. This solution helps ensure the accuracy of employee data and can make it easier for employees to manage their information through a self-service portal without the need to contact HR. The direct debit feature, InstaPay ensures that there are no delays to payroll.  

Employment Hero not only reduces admin time by automating manual steps but also reduces paperwork by having a centralised repository of employee data. Further, the software enables paperless onboarding using the contract, policy templates, and electronic certifications.  

Additionally, the integrated platform can automatically synchronise HR data, online timesheets and leave of absence, saving time in HR processing and improving productivity. Employment Hero also boasts automatic employee award interpretation with a reward and recognition feature through performance reviews, learning, and development. 

You can request a product demonstration and more information on paid plans on the Employment Hero website.

Notable features:

  • W2 preparation
  • Awards/bonus
  • Direct deposit

Read More

How to choose payroll software

The best way to choose which software is right for you is to analyse your business needs. Does your business need a stand-alone payroll solution, or could you benefit from including it with HR or accounting-specific functionality? Some of the mentioned tools offer packages that can be customised or integrated with third-party software to meet your business needs. Factoring in your business needs with software solutions can help narrow your search.

Looking for payroll software? Check out our catalogue!


To choose the products mentioned in this article, we identified tools consisting of payroll core features, including tax compliance, payroll reporting, and payroll management. The selected products match the market definition of payroll software: ‘payroll software automates the process of managing employees’ salaries, wages, bonuses, and deductions. It also tracks time off, vacation accrual, and benefits, and enables users to factor in these to calculate payroll amount.” All the software analysed is present in our Software Advice catalogue.

The products were then checked for the following criteria:

  • It has a minimum of 20 reviews in the past two years by Australians
  • It has a minimum average overall rating of 4/5  

This article may refer to products, programs or services that are not available in your country, or that may be restricted under the laws or regulations of your country. We suggest that you consult the software provider directly for information regarding product availability and compliance with local laws.

About the author

Andrew is a Content Analyst for Software Advice, giving SMEs insights into tech, software and business trends. Interest in entrepreneurship, furthering projects and startups.

Andrew is a Content Analyst for Software Advice, giving SMEs insights into tech, software and business trends. Interest in entrepreneurship, furthering projects and startups.