Payroll Software

The 8 Free and Open Source Payroll Software

The 8 Free and Open Source Payroll Software

Payroll management includes everything relating to paying employees and employment tax filing. The traditional method for managing payroll using spreadsheets has become outdated today and is highly prone to human errors. Also, this method suits organizations having very few employees to manage or are in their initial stage of operations.

As per the report by researchers at the University of Hawaii, 88% of spreadsheets contain errors. Generally, errors occur due to mistakes in data entry, copy-paste, format, formulae, etc. These errors go unnoticed and create a major problem in the salary calculation of the employees, and even the final accounting statements of the companies.

For employees, salary is the only source of income. If there are mistakes in processing their salary, or in case of delayed wages, it can create discontent among the employees and affect adversely the productivity of the company. Moreover, if the company doesn't adhere to the regulations relating to income tax, PF, labor law, etc., it can result in serious compliance and legal issues.

To eliminate errors in payroll processing and remain in compliance with the statutory laws, many companies these days, use payroll software. Before we discuss further the free and open source payroll software which can help you in processing payroll accurately, let’s know the basics of a payroll process and the benefits of using payroll software.

Payroll Process

The list of employees getting paid by the company is known as the payroll. It also refers to the total amount an employer pays to the employees after adding the incentives and subtracting the deductions. A systematic workflow required to calculate the net pay of the employees is known as the payroll process.

The entire payroll process is done using spreadsheets can be tedious, especially if your company has more than 100 employees. Moreover, even a single mistake in payroll processing can prove to be expensive for businesses in terms of staff retention, reputation, and finance.

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Companies having more than one employee should use powerful payroll management software which can ensure the completion of the entire payroll process accurately within a limited time frame. Paying employees consistently with precision reflects the financial stability of the company. Thus, payroll management software improves the reputation of the company, eliminates the chances of breaking the labor laws, and above all, it boosts the morale of the employees and motivates them to deliver better performance.

Benefits of a Payroll Software

Payroll software can benefit -

Payroll processing is a time-consuming process that needs to be repeated every week, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on your company policy relating to the salary payment. Payroll management software can make this monotonous task interesting and quick. With a single click, the list of your employees and their net salary is in front of your eyes. All your employees are paid on time. Also, payroll software can generate reports in the format specified by law, and filing those reports with concerned Government Departments becomes easy.

Precisely the benefits of using payroll software include -

To get a better idea about the benefits of payroll software, let’s look at the difference between processing payroll manually and using payroll software -

Now, when you know why using payroll software is better than processing payroll manually, let's have a look at the features you need to look for in payroll software as that can help you in selecting the perfect one for your business.

Features of an Ideal Payroll Software

There are different types of payroll software available in the market. The one you select should include the features important for your business. Starting from calculating wages to tax planning and generating reports, the software you select should be capable of automating your entire payroll process, saving your time & money, and enhancing productivity at the same time.

Computing Wages

Based on the salary schedule (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly), leave and attendance data, overtime dues, advances, taxes,  and other factors, the software calculates the wages. Initially, you need to enter these details manually only once, then the payroll software takes over and calculates the wages on its own on or before the pre-defined salary scheduled.

Leave Management

The payroll software allows the employees to apply for leaves, and view their leave balance. Moreover, the managers can view the leave request and approve/disapprove them.

Deduction Management

The advances, loans, or any other expenses incurred by the employees are deducted automatically from their salary of the employees.

Biometric Integration

Most of the payroll solutions these days are integrated with the biometric system to enhance the accuracy in entering the time in and time out of the employees in a company. Based on this time tracking data, payroll software can automatically calculate the wages.

Generating Payslips

Preparing payslips for hundreds of employees manually and sending them to each one of them is a time-consuming process. Payroll software generates the payslips and sends them to respective employees through email automatically.

Payroll Reports

The management can stay updated with the information provided by reports generated automatically by payroll software like leave summaries, wages paid, allowances granted, etc., and plan future recruitment and staff retention strategies.

Employees Self-Service

The employees can track their attendance, leave requests, etc., or download regulatory forms like Form 16, Form 12BA, etc. using payroll software. Thus, they can help themselves in solving petty issues without depending on the HR/payroll admins.

Maintaining Records

The payroll software works as one of the most extensive databases of an organization. Similar to the client database, the employees' database is also important. You can access employee-related information like their contact details, education, experience, etc. from payroll software.

Although you can deploy any of the 8 free and open source payroll software discussed in this article below, Portal deserves a special mention owing to its robust features and functionalities. Let us see their features in detail:  


Portal is an industry-grade web app for international payroll that takes care of employee payrolls, reimbursements, compensation, legal compliance contracts, and many more. It is a modern global payroll and compliance software tool for organizations with a remote workforce. It is a quick and easy solution that provides localized legal and finance-related compliance documents to onboard remote employees without hassle. It has a team of international legal experts who assist in gathering all relevant information and drawing a legal compliance contract. It also automates your payroll process, and expense management and brings transparency while paying remote workers.

Portal Payroll Software


Key Features of Portal

  • Standard contracts templates
  • Automated payouts based on hours worked
  • Expense management
  • Auto-generated invoices
  • Contracts management
  • Tax documentation
  • Inbuilt onboarding templates
  • Digital signature
  • Multi-currency payments
  • Export payout data, invoices
  • Track the status of payment
  • Get notified about the upcoming deadline for a payment
  • Create expense categories

If your search is for free and open source Payroll Software, then here is the curated list of the 8 free and open source software which you can customize as per your business instantly and that too without spending anything.

But, before you go through the features of each software to select the best for your business, go through the below chart, which would help you in comparing the basic features of this software quickly.

The 8 Free and Open Source Payroll Software Comparison Chart

The 8 Free and Open Source Payroll Software

TimeTrex Community Edition

TimeTrex Community Edition is one of the most popular free and open source payroll software which has been developed by a network of volunteers from over 50 countries around the world. Its versatile features and ability to customize have helped businesses to automate their time and attendance, and streamline their payroll operations.


Key Features

  • Easy and flexible scheduling which can be accessed by the employees from any web browser and linked with their mobile device
  • Includes integrated attendance and payroll
  • Deposits salary directly to the account of the employee
  • It allows you to generate a variety of tax reports including Canadian and other International tax reports
  • Helps in generating comprehensive electronic pay stubs for each employee which can be viewed online or printed whenever required
  • It supports external payroll tools like QuickBooks, Paychex, Ceridian, SurePayroll, etc.

Have you already used TimeTrex Community Edition? Please leave your review here.

Baraza HCM

The Baraza HCM is a free and open source payroll software that is a perfect blend of human resource activities and payroll. Starting from employee hiring to retirement; this solution ensures that all the processes towards the welfare of the employees are done accurately at the right time. Moreover, it helps the HR department of the organization to comply with Industry's required practices.


Key Features

  • Manages employee information
  • Streamlines operations relating to allowances, deductions, advances, benefits, loans, etc.
  • Ensures that the payroll processing method is as per statutory guidelines
  • Manages the salary scale of each employee
  • Deposits salary directly into the employees' bank account
  • Ensures seamless pension management for retired employees

Have you already used Baraza HCM? Please leave your review here.


IceHrm is a free and open source payroll solution with versatile features. Starting from employees information management to facilitating payslip download; everything relating to payroll is included in this single software. It supports multiple pay periods, so whether you are paying your employees, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, this software can help you in streamlining the entire payroll process.


Key Features

  • Helps in storing and managing complete details about the company including connectivity between the departments and branches
  • Allows you to manage entire employees information from a single screen. Also, you can search for the qualifications and skills, and other employee details easily
  • You can terminate the employment contracts and store the ex-employees records
  • It can save the history of changes in employee records and notify those who have done these changes
  • Manages to leave requests sent by the employees and allows managers to approve/disapprove those requests
  • It can create customized rules to generate payroll and export the payroll data in CSV format
  • Allows to manage timesheet and attendance of the employees
  • It can manage travel-related allowances of the employees
  • Enables role-based permission settings
  • Employees can download payslips on their own

Have you already used IceHrm? Please leave your review here.

PHP Payroll

PHP Payroll is a web-based Payroll software developed using PHP language and MySQL as the database management system. It is extremely user-friendly software meant for employees, HR admins, and organizations. It works on an integrated approach blending the features of HR software and payroll management. You can host this payroll software on your server, and thus have maximum control over its functionality.


Key Features

  • Ability to create payroll for multiple companies from a single system
  • It can calculate taxes, expenses, arrears, increments, etc., and come up with the net salary for each employee separately
  • It has an extremely intuitive interface that allows you to easily add/edit users, assign and change permissions for each user
  • Employees can log in and view their salary details and issue tickets if they have an issue
  • Employees can send leave requests, and managers can approve/disapprove those leave requests
  • Admins can generate reports relating to the salary paid, deductions, attendance, etc.

Have you already used PHP Payroll? Please leave your review here.


Kredily is a free HR & payroll software with extremely versatile features helping companies to streamline their operations without any investment. It is simple yet powerful payroll software that can engage your employees, enhance the productivity of the organization, and optimize business expenditure. No more messy spreadsheets, switch to Kredily for payroll process seamlessly.


Key Features

  • Ability to run payroll of the employees based on their attendance, and company policies
  • Track and manage the employees’ leaves, and attendance sheets
  • Ensures the attendance of the employees is as per the specified company policies
  • Helps in managing the details of the employees from one place
  • Helps in managing the employees’ finances and investments
  • Ensures that the company is following statutory guidelines relating to payroll as per the Government
  • Facilitates customization of the salary structure
  • Helps in managing employee leaves based on customized company rules
  • Enables employees to view leave balance
  • It facilitates announcements relating to birthdays, holidays, etc.
  • Enables communication between employees
  • Stores employee information in a secure manner
  • Allows employees to send leave requests, upload documents, declare investments, etc.

Have you already used Kredily? Please leave your review here. is a free payroll software with various HR-related functionalities. It can manage employee data, including their leaves, and attendance, and calculate payroll based on company rules and the salary structure of each employee. All this is done free of charge for an unlimited number of employees.  By using this software, you have complete freedom of exporting your entire data and closing the account whenever you feel like not continuing working with it.


Key Features

  • Provides role-based user access control for high-end security
  • Helps employees to send leave requests, view history leaves, balance leaves, and current leaves approved/disapproved
  • Keeps track of time in and time out of each employee based on their selfie and geolocation
  • Generates attendance reports for employees and employers both
  • Simplifies and automates payroll processing
  • Follows a systematic approach towards leave approvals
  • Gives control to the employers and employees to view the real-time statistics based on attendance, leaves, deductions, tax, etc.
  • Encourages employee engagement, communication, and collaboration within themselves
  • Helps employees, managers, and employers to share documents, download forms, etc.
  • Enables the users to post announcements relating to birthdays, holidays, changes in company policies, events, etc.
  • Maintains employees’ credentials relating to their qualifications, and experience
  • HR/Admin managers can get important alerts about the expiry of employee contracts, the end of the probation period, due appraisals, etc.
  • Provides full control over viewing various reports relating to attendance, salary, leaves, etc., and printing those reports

Have you already used Please leave your review here.


HivePayroll is one of the most reliable payroll software having versatile features and the ability to run payroll with extreme accuracy. It can be customized as per your business requirements, regardless of how complex they are. Designed especially for small and medium-sized companies; this software has gained popularity in a very short time due to its innovative technology and quick services. You can use it for 6 months without any investment and experience, whether it suits your business requirements or not.


Key Features

  • Its user-friendly interface and simple functionality enable even non-technical employees to check their attendance, salary, tax deductions, and other payroll-related information
  • Helps the employees to collaborate, and communicate with each other easily
  • Enables top executives and managers to check and authorize the payroll information from anywhere
  • Includes scalable properties enabling the system to grow as the number of employees, and business grow
  • It assures high-end security in terms of storing crucial information relating to employees, their salaries, tax deductions, and other allowances

Have you already used Hivepayroll? Please leave your review here.


Payroll4free is a free payroll processing software meant for small businesses. If you have less than 25 people to manage, this software can be perfect for you as you get versatile payroll features without investing anything. Having an intuitive interface and user-friendly features, can be of great help to you in terms of calculating the payroll of your employees and contractors, and even managing their tax filing.


Key Features

  • Allows you to pay employees and contractors accurately
  • Provides access to the employees to fill their tax forms
  • Facilitates you to pay employees through paper paychecks and direct bank account deposits
  • Keeps track of the employees' attendance and leaves
  • Empowers employees to view their pay information online from any device
  • Provides detailed reporting relating to attendance, wages, and tax benefits
  • Provides a step-by-step account setup tool to get started with the software easily
  • It can integrate with various external software for accounting, banking, etc., providing additional functionality.

Have you already used Payroll4Free? Please leave your review here.

So, these were the 8 free and open source payroll software that you can consider using for your business. But, if you are looking for a payroll software with advanced features and budget is not a constraint for you, we would suggest you consider one of the most popular payroll software LinesPay, the details of which are given below.


LinesPay is a smart and robust HR & payroll software that can allow you to carry out an effective payroll process accurately. It streamlines your entire payroll process helping you to improve employee engagement and performance. Its intelligent technology transforms your business processes, transforms your business landscape improving your work process efficiency. It is a versatile software, including a plethora of HR management features, but here we will include key features about payroll.


Key Features

  • Calculates salary of all employees automatically
  • Compatible with different audit standards & Government regulations
  • Can adjust refundable payments with the employees’ salaries
  • Can configure different payroll schedules by assigning unique codes to each schedule
  • Allows you to restore and recover your salary backup at anytime
  • Helps you in adjusting each month’s salary deductions and refunds within minutes

Have you already used LinesPay? Please leave your review here.

The Bottom Line

Almost all businesses in all sectors require payroll software to simplify their method of paying employees and ensure adherence to legal and tax-related rules. However, selecting the best payroll software which provides consistent and reliable results is also important as efficiency is the key to the success of any organization.

The free and open source payroll software mentioned here can be a cost-saving option for you.

Also, go through this complete list of payroll software that can help you in selecting the right software suiting your business requirements.

Have you used any of the payroll software mentioned above? Please help us with your feedback here.

Jemimah Rodriguez
Jemimah Rodriguez

Jemimah Rodriguez is a content marketing specialist having 8+ years of experience in content writing, SEO, and social media optimization. At present, she is working with GoodFirms – a reliable platform helping businesses in selecting right Software Companies & Products. For further information, you can get in touch with her on [email protected]

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Adam Miller
June 9, 2020 05:55

Nice blog thanks for sharing!

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