Best payroll software for South African businesses

Payroll is an essential aspect of any business, whether it be a startup, small company, or large enterprise, and businesses in South Africa have several options from which to choose.

Some of the best cloud-based payroll software providers available to South African businesses include Oracle, Xero, Sage, and SAP.

Payroll software can provide a range of benefits for businesses, including improved accuracy, time-saving, efficiency, cost-saving, and compliance.

It also provides real-time reports and analytics while remaining secure to protect sensitive employee data.

Automating payroll processes through software can save businesses valuable time and resources.

Some of the best payroll software providers available to businesses in South Africa are listed below.

Oracle Payroll

Oracle’s payroll software provides businesses of any size with a flexible solution that can be configured to a business’s specific needs.

The payroll software is integrated into its Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management suite.

While the software is localised in thirteen countries, South Africa is omitted. However, the software still offers payroll laws and tax regulation compliance in the country.

Oracle says its payroll software provides financial flexibility for employees with its Anytime Pay feature. The payment option allows employees to access earned wages when they need it instead of waiting for payday.

Editorial credit: Sundry Photography /


Xero is a cloud accounting software solution aimed at businesses of various sizes and boasts a subscriber base of over 3.5 million companies, accountants, and bookkeepers.

The company’s payroll solution offers several benefits for South African businesses, including simple online pay runs, payments into employee bank accounts, and the ability to integrate third-party apps.

It offers three subscription tiers — Starter, Standard, and Premium — ranging from R396.75 to R868.25 per month.

Xero’s Starter plan allows subscribers to load a maximum of five bills and send 20 invoices per month.

Customers can opt to add features like expense claims, project tracking, and advanced analytics for an added monthly fee.

Sage Pastel Payroll

Sage Pastel — the company’s cloud payroll and HR software —  is suitable for small and medium businesses in South Africa. It offers a range of solutions depending on your company’s needs.

Its features include:

  • Payroll automation
  • Full email and telephonic support
  • Customisation
  • Flexibility — with single-user options for startups and small businesses, and a fully scalable solution for medium companies
  • The Sage Pastel Payroll app

Sage Pastel Payroll is statutory compliant in several African countries, including Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll

SAP says its SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll software offers flexible deployment models to let organisations choose how they pay their employees, whether in-house, outsourced, or hybrid.

This includes support for:

  • Localisation requirements, including tax calculations that keep you compliant in whatever country or region you are serving
  • Global requirements that display calendars with local holidays, time zones, currencies, and language
  • Government simplification strategies that target a move away from paper-based statutory reports to real-time electronic communication

The software automates payroll processes, takes corrective measures, and provides actionable payroll advice based on real-time insights, key statistics, and proactive payroll alerts.

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