QuickBooks Online (QBO) Payroll vs Wagepoint

Written by Stephen Beard, Managing Director of Plyo Bookkeeping, a Vancouver-based bookkeeping firm.

QBO Payroll and Wagepoint are probably the two most popular small business payroll software in the Canadian market. A common question I get asked is which one is better? In this article I’ll review both software to help you decide which one is right for your business.

Common Features

When comparing these software it’s easiest to start with what they have in common. Both software will allow you to run a basic payroll, which includes not just the tax calculations, but also sending the required information to the CRA, and using direct deposit to automate the payment to both your employees and the CRA. The direct deposit feature is a big deal and so warrants dwelling on. The time and stress saving caused by automating the payment of employees and the CRA is the best feature of QBO Payroll and Wagepoint.

Both payroll programs allow employees to be paid by the hour or on a fixed salary. Both platforms also offer additional paid for features to allow time tracking using a mobile app.

Wagepoint can be synced with both Xero and QuickBooks for recording payroll journals. QBO Payroll is built into the QuickBooks accounting platform, and can’t be purchased as a standalone app. This means that QBO Payroll is only for those who are already using QBO for their bookkeeping.  

Major Differences

Like all Intuit products, QBO Payroll is feature rich and has a lot of additional functions when compared to Wagepoint. And like all Intuit products, QBO Payroll has too many features and a worse UX design than its rivals. For the trained user QBO Payroll would make more sense when dealing with larger and more complex payrolls, but for the average small business owner, simplicity and intuitive workflows are most important.  

Being intuitive and easy to use are where Wagepoint excels. It’s easy to use, and it generally guides you through any steps that you’ll have to take to get your payroll up and running. It’s got a simpler, less cluttered interface, making at a better choice for small business owners looking to run their own payroll.  

Other Factors

Customer Support

QuickBooks generally have excellent customer support. They are quick to respond by either email or phone, so this is a big help for those trying to figure out how to run their first payroll.

Wagepoint can usually only be contacted via email. They will generally respond within 24 hours which is good, but QuickBooks holds the edge when it comes to customer service.


QuickBooks requires you to purchase a subscription to their bookkeeping software. The way they bundle their products makes it harder to give an exact cost to QuickBooks Payroll, but it’s roughly an additional $50 per month for payroll + $6 for each employee.

Wagepoint costs $40 per month +$5 per employee, so it works out slightly cheaper that QBO payroll (at the time of writing).


Both software are good options for a small business owner, but Wagepoint is best for those with limited accounting experience looking to run their own payroll. If you’re already using QuickBooks for your bookkeeping and are comfortable using the platform, then QBO payroll has the added benefit of being built right into your existing accounting platform. QuickBooks also offer comprehensive training on their software, so if you have the time then it’s certainly possible to become comfortable with the system and its rich set of features. Whichever software that you chose, it’s essential that you setup the direct deposit feature, as this is the biggest time saver offered by modern, cloud-based payroll software.  

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