The Best Payroll Solutions for a Distributed Workforce
The Best Payroll Solutions for a Distributed Workforce
With remote work and distributed workforce at the peak, it is important that companies understand and adopt a suitable payroll solution that fits them best.

With remote work and distributed workforce at the peak, it is important that companies understand and adopt a suitable payroll solution that fits them best.

When it comes to handling payroll for remote employees, the biggest stumbling block is differing regulations and currencies. Unlike with paying a local workforce, there’s no single set of rules you can apply to every payment you make to a distributed workforce.

For US companies paying American employees, rules vary; state income tax and payments for certain types of public insurance differ from one state to the next. That’s manageable if you’re only paying employees in a few different states, but the problem grows with your workforce.

Once you begin paying employees and contractors in other countries, the problems become even more complex. To hire employees, you’ll likely need to create a legal business entity in the country where you’re paying. Different hiring contracts and currencies just add to the chaos.

Luckily, US companies with remote employees in their own country have a number of SaaS solutions they can turn to. And

Now, in the realm of international payroll and compliance, new solutions are emerging that drastically expand the abilities of companies in any country to hire across borders.

Payroll solutions for a remote US workforce

We’ll compare the four most popular and effective SaaS solutions for paying your remote US workforce: Quickbooks, Gusto, and SurePayroll.

Quickbooks Online Payroll

If your company is still small, and especially if you or your bookkeeper already uses Quickbooks to manage your ledger, this could be your ideal payroll solution.

You have two options to choose from: Self Service Payroll, and Full Service Payroll.

Self Service is limited—it’s up to you to figure out different provisions for employees in different states.

Full Service gets you support from Intuit accountants when you need to create paychecks and fill out payroll tax forms. You can contact them with questions about multi state payroll.

Both options offer unlimited payroll runs.

Best for: Small to medium sized businesses open to working with remote Quickbooks accountants to ensure compliance in multiple states.

Price: Quickbooks Self Service is $35 per month, plus $4 per employee. Full Service is $80 per month, plus $4 per employee.


Functioning as both a payroll manager and HR suite, Gusto is a one stop shop for many small to medium sized businesses in the USA.

So long as you can determine which state an employee is working in, Gusto will automatically calculate payroll taxes. You can also use it to administer benefits in different states. They offer other handy tools, like a Gusto Debit card for employees, which makes transferring funds simpler.

On top of all this, Gusto is renowned for their customer support. So if you have questions about payroll, you can get answers ASAP.

Who it’s best for: Small to medium size businesses looking for an automated solution.

Price: Gusto ranges from $19, plus $6 per employee, to $149 per month, plus $12 per employee. Most businesses with multi state employees will benefit best from the Core package—$39 per month, plus $12 per employee.


A SaaS payroll solution that shines because of its options for customization, SurePayroll is targeted at small businesses and freelancers. It automatically calculates variables like payroll tax, and even comes with a guarantee of accurate tax filing.

You can customize a lot of SurePayroll’s interface so that it works just right for your situation. However, all that choice necessarily leads to a more complicated product. Some users have reported feeling confused or overwhelmed by the complexity of SurePayroll’s dashboard.

Who it’s best for: Small to medium size business owners who value total control over their payroll product.

Price: One of the cheaper SaaS solutions, SurePayroll costs $29.99 per month, plus $4 per employee.

Payroll solutions for a remote international workforce

Domestic payroll is one thing. When it comes to paying employees in other countries, a whole new set of complications raise their ugly heads.

Compared to SaaS solutions for domestic payroll, options for paying employees internationally are few and far between. Luckily, there is one that’s cutting a new trail in the sector, and giving businesses at all sizes and stages unprecedented access to overseas talent.

International payroll with Deel

In the world of international payroll and compliance, once solution has emerged as the leader. Here’s what you need to know about Deel.

Deel as a global solution

Deel pegs itself as an international payroll and contract solution for “teams without borders.”  And they live up to it, allowing users to pay employees in 150+ countries in the currency of their choice.

On top of that, you can make mass payments with a couple of clicks, and set up recurring payments for employees or contractors on retainer.

Compliance, contracts, and more

One important distinction: Beyond regular payroll management, Deel also handles contracts and legal documentation.

When a US company wants to hire an employee in Pakistan, for instance, they’re stepping into a whole new world—the world of Pakistani labor law. But once you enter a few variables, Deel automatically generates a hiring contract that is guaranteed to comply with local laws. This is made possible with the help of an international network of legal advisors.

Deel also handles invoices, allows you to administer benefits programs overseas, and offers a custom international debit card employees and contractors can load from their Deel accounts.

Contractors and employees, all in one place

One of Deel’s greatest strengths is that it lets you sign on either contractors or employees to work for you, and then pay them all from one dashboard.

Contractors can be hired using a variety of contract templates, depending on how you pay them—on a piece work basis, monthly, or based on self-reported labor hours.

Employees can be hired thanks to Deel’s powerful Employer of Record (EOR) program. Deel operates as a local firm in the country where you hire; for legal purposes, your employees are employees of Deel. But you retain complete control of the relationship. The benefit of this model is that you don’t need to establish a legal entity in every country where you hire employees.

Is Deel right for you?

Deel is perfect for businesses of any size that want to access talent worldwide without running the risk of breaking labor laws or getting tangled up in red tape.

Deel starts at $49 a month. Learn more.

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