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5 Best Free and Open Source Payroll Software

The best free and open source payroll software to make the payroll task flexible. Free and open source software are a great option for SMEs who cannot afford to pay a hefty amount.

Payroll software allows the organisation to automate and manage the process of payment and rewards to the employees while making the task of payroll convenient and flexible. There are many types of payroll software available, however, if you are looking for one for a small or medium scale business, a free and open source software might very well suffice your needs.

Such free and open source payroll software can not only save your money but can also save you from going through the hassles of installation and maintenance. Many of these software offer basic features for free, while you will need to buy the paid version in order to get the additional features. Meanwhile, the community of users can provide extensive help in case you face issues while using them.

Best Free and Open Source Payroll software


TimeTrex is an excellent choice for those looking for an open source payroll software. It is capable of handling both attendance and scheduling, and that’s why the processing of payroll for the manager becomes easier and faster. It frees you from any kind of hassles of importing and exporting data every time. Meanwhile, the managers also do not need to calculate the taxes separately for payroll because it comes with an integrated payroll detection calculation system, especially for the USA and Canada tax compliances. It also has the following additional features:

  • Direct transfer of funds to the employees after calculation
  • Provides 3rd party integration capabilities for outsourcing the payroll services
  • Customizable reporting with loads of graphic design options


OpenPro is another good choice if you are not willing to spend hefty amounts on a paid payroll management software. It makes the integration of other crucial processes and operations of the SME business like performance management, invoicing, taxation, bookkeeping, etc. very flexible, while enhancing the performance of the employees manifold.

It is also capable of performing other specialized operations like maintaining confidential employee information and calculating and processing payroll checks for the employees. It also has the following additional features:

  • Automated updated employee records
  • Tracking of employee benefit plans
  • Can create employee policy records
  • Manages employee pay grades and salaries


Payroll4Free is simple to use, yet comprehensive and flexible payroll software. It is basically a cloud-based system that can automate the tax filing, detailed reporting and payroll processing for both employees and contractors. It also automates all the tax calculations like state, federal and local taxes and the payments are processed through direct deposits or paper checks.  

Payroll4Free is totally free to use and also offers the following additional features:

  • Automated tax filings and payments
  • Features of integrating health benefits for employees
  • Vacation time tracking and employee portal
  • Friendly and knowledgable customer service
  • Can integrate with other software like Xero or Quickbooks

Thankyou Payroll

Thankyou Payroll is capable of integrating with other software like Workflow and Xero for more advanced operations. Although it is not designed for complex operations of the enterprise MNC’s, but if used efficiently in combination with other open-source software, can scale-up itself to a great extent. It also has the following additional features:

  • It can track and calculate employee work hours
  • It can keep track on the change in the tax compliances and regulations
  • Is available with 24/7 community support
  • Can manage leave entitlements of employees


Paymaster is one of the oldest payroll software in the market with introduction date going back to the year 1995. It is useful for both the MNC’s and SME’s because of its multidimensional software platform and intuitive user interface. It is capable of assisting the managers in creating the salary structure and a payroll summary of all employees. Additional features include:

  • Can do NEFT transfers to pay employee salaries
  • Is capable of providing employee self-service
  • Can make reports and pay slips on the go
  • Provides 24/7 online support through the community

It is always advisable to use the free version before buying the subscription of any software, so that you can get detailed insights into the pros and cons of such payroll software. And like always, I would end up saying ‘choose the software that best suits your requirements’.

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