Best payroll software for South African businesses

Migrating your payroll processes to the cloud can lead to significant cost savings, time savings, and improved security.

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

In addition to cost savings, time savings, and improved security, these software suites can improve accuracy, efficiency, and compliance with local legislation.

Access to real-time reports and analytics ensures that payroll managers can always have a bird’s-eye view of payroll processes, and being cloud-based, this information is available from anywhere in the world with an active Internet connection.

Cloud-based payroll software suites also automate various processes, meaning managers and employees can save valuable time and resources.

The best payroll software providers available to South African businesses are listed below.


AWCape is a Cape Town-based software company and an accredited Platinum Sage Business partner.

It offers a range of Sage products, including two payroll software suites — Sage Premier HR & Payroll and Sage Cloud Payroll Professional.

AWCape says the Sage Premier offering is ideal for medium-sized businesses and reduces complexity, maintains compliance, and ensures calculations are accurate and up to date.

On the other hand, Sage Cloud Payroll Professional is aimed at various business sizes. Its key features and benefits include:

  • Personnel management
  • Access to the system from anywhere with an active Internet connection
  • Leave management
  • Employee equity
  • Self-service processes for managers and employees to manage leave, claims, and personal information

The software is statutory compliant in South Africa and keeps up to date with PAYE and UIF legislation.

“From PAYE to UIF, we’ll help you stay compliant with automatic legislative updates while simplifying your key payroll processes,” AWCape states.


PaySpace describes its payroll and human capital management software as an intuitive and modern system that helps payroll managers reclaim their time thanks to simplified data capturing.

Its features include:

  • Out-of-the-box setup
  • No limits on pay runs, users, earnings, deductions, contributions, and leave transactions
  • Continuous calculations
  • Up-to-date tax compliance
  • Online approval
  • Unrestricted access
  • Third-party system integration

Regarding compliance, PaySpace is statutory compliant in more than 40 countries, including South Africa. This includes access to statutory reports,which are provided in the exact format required by local compliance regulations.

The cloud-based software removes the need for manual backups.

“All users have anytime access to relevant, up-to-date reports. 100% cloud-native software means your data is always safe, and manual backups are a thing of the past,” says PaySpace.


Xero — a cloud accounting software solution aimed at businesses of any size — boasts more than 3.5 million subscribing companies, bookkeepers, and accountants.

The accounting and payroll system is available in three subscription tiers, ranging from R396.75 to R868.25 monthly.

The cheapest subscription, Xero Starter, lets users load five bills and send 20 invoices each month, and subscribers can add features like advanced analytics and project tracking for an extra fee.

Xero says it is ideal for businesses of any size in South Africa. It includes several benefits, such as simple online pay runs, direct payments into employee bank accounts, and the ability to integrate apps from third-party providers.


Oracle’s payroll software is ideal for various business sizes and provides a flexible solution that can be set up to match each business’s specific needs.

Its payroll system forms part of its Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management suite and is localised in 13 countries, excluding South Africa.

However, the software still offers payroll laws and tax regulation compliance in South Africa.

The company says the payroll software incorporates its Anytime Pay feature, which lets employees access their earned wages when needed rather than waiting for payday.

Editorial credit: josefkubes /

Sage Pastel

Sage offers a broad range of software solutions for small and medium businesses in South Africa, including Sage Pastel — its cloud-based payroll and HR software.

It offers several benefits for South African businesses, including:

  • The automation of payroll processes
  • Complete email and telephonic report
  • Flexible customisation
  • Access to the Sage Pastel Payroll app to access payroll information anywhere with a valid Internet connection

The company says its Pastel software is statutory compliant in several African countries, including Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Editorial credit: monticello /

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll

SAP’s payroll software is named SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, and it offers various deployment models to let businesses decide how they pay their employees.

Options include in-house payroll, outsourced payroll, or a combination of the two.

SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll automates payroll processes, takes corrective measures, and gives actionable advice based on real-time insights, statistics, and payroll alerts.

The software 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

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Best payroll software for South African businesses