eSmart Paycheck Review: Features, User Reviews & More (2024)

eSmart Paycheck is an online payroll software optimal for small businesses with very basic payroll needs. It provides tools for calculating employee pay and payroll taxes, creating paychecks and paystubs, and printing federal forms (such as Form W-2). eSmart Paycheck also offers tax deposits and filings for select states and a free payroll calculator that you can use to manage simple payroll tax and deduction computations. Its payroll software plans range from $75 to $450 annually, depending on the number of employees.

What We Like

  • Free online payroll calculator
  • Paid plans are reasonably priced; free for first three months
  • Check printing capabilities
  • Automatically calculates federal and state taxes

What's Missing

  • Lacks a direct deposit option
  • E-filing and tax deposit services cost extra; state tax e-filings limited to 12 states
  • Multistate payroll isn’t supported
  • Pay processing tools support up to 40 employees only
  • Software overall is very limited in functionality (lacks time tracking and employee benefits solutions)

Deciding Factors

  • Ease of use: Online calculator and payroll software are relatively easy to use, provided you have in-house HR staff or basic knowledge of how to run payroll
  • Pricing:
    • Online payroll calculator: Free to use; includes payroll and tax calculations, custom earning and deduction types, and paycheck/pay slip printing tools
    • Payroll software: $75–$450 annually (for up to 40 employees); lets you manage payroll, calculate salaries and taxes, print paychecks, and set up earnings and deductions items
  • Add-ons (for payroll software only):
    • Tax deposit services: $30 per year for state taxes; $35 per year for federal taxes
    • eFile state tax forms: $20 per year
    • eFile Form W-2: $20 plus $2 per employee
  • System setup: Creating an account is easy, plus it provides a “Quick Start” guide that takes you through essential items to be set up (such as deduction types and overtime rules)
  • Customer support: Offers support via email and fax; phone support is also available but limited

What We Recommend eSmart Paycheck For

With eSmart Paycheck, you get a simple and cost-effective solution for calculating employee payroll and payroll taxes. It has a flexible interface, enabling you to easily set up and add earning and deduction items (such as overtime, commissions, bonuses, health plan payments, and local tax deductions). Plus, its system allows you to manage payroll for several companies with just one account.

Apart from its payroll management solution, it has an online payroll calculator that you can use for free. It can handle simple payroll and tax computations for hourly and salaried employees and even lets you print paychecks and download pay stubs.

In short, eSmart Paycheck is best for:

  • Budget-conscious businesses: eSmart Paycheck offers a relatively simple to learn and use solution that’s affordably priced. Its annual fees cost anywhere from $75 to $450, depending on the number of employees you have. Plus, it doesn’t charge a setup fee for new clients.
  • Entrepreneurs looking for a way to compute payroll for a few employees: If you have a very small team and need an easy way to calculate employee salaries, then eSmart Paycheck’s free online payroll calculator will be easy for you to use. It also comes with paycheck and pay slip printing capabilities.
  • Bookkeepers who handle basic payroll services for a few clients: With eSmart Paycheck’s online payroll management solution, you can handle employee pay processing for multiple companies under one account. Its tools are basic, though, and there’s no guarantee it offers e-filing for your state, so it’s important the clients are small, few in total, and have a simple structure.

When eSmart Paycheck Would Not Be a Good Fit

  • Companies in heavily regulated industries that need access to HR experts and/or benefits: If you don’t have in-house HR expertise and must meet more regulatory requirements than the average business, eSmart Paycheck won’t work well for you. Benefits are unavailable—neither are dedicated representatives and HR experts; live phone support is even limited. Check out our guide to the best HR payroll software for more robust options.
  • Companies in areas that charge local taxes, like New York: eSmart Paycheck doesn’t automate local tax calculations—only state and federal. This means you’ll have to research and stay abreast of any local taxes your employees owe. For payroll solutions that will do this for you, read our payroll services buyer’s guide.
  • Business owners paying remote employees in different states: If your workforce is spread throughout the US, you should consider other payroll solutions like Gusto, as eSmart Paycheck doesn’t support multistate pay processing. To learn more about Gusto, visit the website and get one month free when you run your first payroll. Offer will be applied to your Gusto invoice(s) while all applicable terms and conditions are met or fulfilled.

Not sure how to choose the best solution? Read our guide on finding the right payroll service for a step-by-step walkthrough on the process you should follow.

eSmart Paycheck Pricing

Since our Last Update:

eSmart Paycheck has increased pricing for its paid version, from $50–$300 per year to $75–$450 per year. It is also charging slightly higher rates for most of its payroll tax services such as federal tax deposits ($35 annually) and state tax form printing/e-filing ($20 per form annually).

While eSmart Paycheck’s online payroll calculator is free to use, it has limited features. Apart from calculating earnings and deductions (including payroll taxes), it has paycheck and pay slip printing capabilities. However, it doesn’t generate the federal and state forms needed for tax reporting. You also have to re-input your salary information each time you access the free payroll calculator. If you want the system to retain your details, then you have to upgrade to a paid plan.

Free Online Payroll Calculator

eSmart Paycheck Online Payroll Software

Annual Pricing

$0

Ranges from $75 to $450

(for up to 40 employees)

Automatic Payroll and Payroll Tax Calculations

Multiple Earnings and Deductions Types

Customizable

Paycheck and Payslip Printing Tools

Saves Payroll Data

N/A

Federal Forms Printing and e-Filing (W-2/940/941)

N/A

eSmart Paycheck’s pricing for its paid version is based on the number of employees you have. It offers six subscription options, wherein fees start at $75 and can go as high as $450 per year.

  • Up to five employees: $75 per year
  • Six to 10 employees: $150 per year
  • 11 to 15 employees: $225 per year
  • 16 to 20 employees: $300 per year
  • 21 to 30 employees: $375 per year
  • 31 to 40 employees: $450 per year

It doesn’t charge setup fees, plus new clients can use its paid package at no cost for the first three months. And unlike the free online payroll calculator, it saves all of your company and payroll data. It also lets you set up the earnings and deductions types you need, like commissions and 401(k) plan deductions. Plus, it can generate and print federal forms 940, 941, and W-2.

Note that if you exceed your selected plan’s employee limit, eSmart Paycheck will charge you the next level’s pricing on a pro-rated basis based on the number of months remaining in your annual subscription. You will be billed the additional fees by the end of the calendar year.

For example:

Your employee count increased from 10 to 15 workers in October, so the additional prorated amount at the end of December will be $18.75*.

*Computed as: New plan pricing ($225) – old plan pricing ($150) x three remaining months / 12 months in a year = $18.75

Payroll tax filing services

With eSmart Paycheck’s paid version, you are granted access to payroll tax services, and the provider will deposit tax payments and electronically file federal forms to the IRS. Note that for state tax deposits and filings, it can only do this for 12 US states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin) as of this writing.

Payroll Tax Services

Pricing

Federal Tax Deposits

$35 per year

State Tax Deposits

$30 per year

State Payroll Forms Printing and e-Filing

$20 per year, per form type

W-2 e-Filings to States

$20 plus $2 per employee

Print and Mail Year-End W-2s

$2 per form

Blank check stocks and envelopes

While you’re free to use your preferred check stock to print employee paychecks on, you can purchase blank check stocks and envelopes through eSmart Paycheck. For $15, eSmart Paycheck will even send your ordered items via mail (for continental US addresses only).

Quantity

Standard Checks

Multi-color Premium Checks

Non-self-sealing Envelopes

Self-sealing Envelopes

100

$12

$15

$12

$20

200

$20

$25

$20

$35

300

$28

$35

$28

$40

More than 300

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eSmart Paycheck Features

With eSmart Paycheck, you get two online payroll options to calculate salaries and withhold deductions. While its features don’t include onboarding, time tracking, and benefits administration, its pay processing tools are sufficient enough to handle simple payroll computations. Let’s take a look at some of its essential functionalities.

Payroll Management

eSmart Paycheck supports several pay cycles (such as daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, semimonthly, quarterly, and annually) and can handle pay processing of hourly and salaried employees. You can also customize earning types for payroll, from overtime and fringe benefits to bonuses and commissions. Similarly, it lets you add custom non-tax, pre-tax, and after-tax deductions, like a premium-only plan (POP), 401(k), garnishment, and local tax items.

eSmart Paycheck Review: Features, User Reviews & More (2)

eSmart Paycheck lets you add as many earnings and deductions as you want, including miscellaneous items like child support deductions.

Payroll Tax Calculations

With eSmart Paycheck, you don’t have to separately manage tax tables. Its system tracks and calculates federal and state payroll taxes automatically. It also generates and electronically files federal tax forms (such as Forms W-2, 940, and 941)—provided you subscribe to an annual plan.

eSmart Paycheck Review: Features, User Reviews & More (3)

eSmart Paycheck will show the applicable tax withholding information based on the state that you selected.

Paycheck & Pay Stub Printing

You can create paychecks and pay stubs at any time. eSmart Paycheck generates PDF versions that you can print. You can either use blank check stocks or pre-printed company checks. Note, though, that you need a laser printer to print paychecks.

eSmart Paycheck Ease of Use

  • User-friendly interface, although not the most aesthetically pleasing
  • Automatic payroll tax calculations
  • Free online payroll calculator
  • Phone and email support
  • FAQs and how-to video guides

eSmart Paycheck is simple to learn and use, especially if you have a good grasp of payroll and payroll tax requirements. If you require assistance or have questions about some of its functionalities, the provider offers support via fax, email, and phone. However, it can be hard to reach a rep by phone. I tried to contact the provider several times but had difficulties getting through. This comes as no surprise though, since its website does indicate that phone support is “very limited.”

Alternatively, you can visit eSmart Paycheck’s website to access its video guides and FAQ section. While there are only a handful of tutorial videos, the ones available contain sufficient information to help you navigate its system and run payroll.

What Users Think About eSmart Paycheck

At the time of publication, there are no eSmart Paycheck reviews available online.

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Best for: QuickBooks accounting small business users

Best for: Small companies that need free payroll software

Base monthly fee from: $40

Base monthly fee from: $45

Base monthly fee from: $0 (free)

Per employee monthly fee from: $6

Per employee monthly fee from: $6

Per employee monthly fee from: $0

Read our Gusto review

Read our QuickBooks Payroll review

Read our TimeTrex review

If you’re unsure eSmart Paycheck is right for you, check out our best small business payroll guide to find other suitable options.

Bottom Line

eSmart Paycheck is best suited for small companies that need basic payroll services—no benefits, compliance help, or advanced reporting. Both of its paid and free payroll solutions include adjustable pay cycles, automatic payroll tax calculations, and paycheck printing functionalities. The provider even offers payroll tax deposits and e-filings as add-on services—provided that you subscribe to its annual plan.

Sign up for an eSmart Paycheck account today.

Visit eSmart Paycheck

eSmart Paycheck Review: Features, User Reviews & More (2024)

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