In this Article:

Get started with Wagepoint

Have a small business in Canada? You’ll likely work with independent contractors for their flexibility and expertise. But heads up, they bring their own payroll hurdles like unique tax and payment rules. A misstep here could mean legal headaches like fines. The fix? Get independent contractor payroll software built for these challenges.

Today, we’re diving into the perks of using specialized software for contractor payroll and revealing our top pick. Let’s see how to make your contractor payroll a breeze.

Understanding independent contractors.

First things first: Independent contractors are not employees. This might seem like a simple distinction, but it’s one that many business owners overlook, and it can really backfire. Treating contractors as regular employees in your payroll system is a recipe for disaster. This misclassification can result in hefty fines, back taxes and even legal proceedings. 

Your relationship as the small business owner with a contractor isn’t like the usual boss-employee dynamic. It’s more of a business-to-business deal. You’re not covering their benefits (like health insurance), taking out payroll taxes or chipping into their retirement. They’re basically their own mini-business, handling their own taxes and perks. This changes how you pay them, handle taxes and even your daily interactions.

Getting this difference is key to a good work vibe. Contractors like their freedom and often juggle multiple clients. Respecting that can make for a smoother, more productive work scene.

Benefits of using payroll software for independent contractors.

When handling freelancers, the right payroll software is a total game-changer. Let’s dig into why investing in a solid payroll system is just smart business.

Streamlined contractor payments

First up, automation makes paying your workers super simple. Forget manual math or old-school cheques. A couple of clicks, and you know your contractors get paid right and on time. Easier for you and builds trust with them. Because, let’s face it, a paid contractor is a happy one.

Regulatory compliance

Next, let’s talk about compliance. Tax laws are not to be trifled with. Good small business payroll software keeps you in line and up-to-date with all the legal stuff, and we’re not just talking about employee payroll. The best payroll software gives you the ability to process payroll for employees and contractors and stay compliant with both in a single platform. That’s peace of mind you can’t put a price on, especially if you’re a small business without a legal squad.

Record-keeping and tax forms

Come tax time, you’ll be high-fiving yourself for solid record-keeping. Payroll software auto-saves history for tax payments, tax documents and other key records like contractor information. Need something for an audit or just regular bookkeeping? It’s a click away.


Last but not least, think of the time you’re saving. Doing payroll by hand eats up time you could use to actually grow your business. With contractor payroll solutions, set and forget it. Use that saved time for the stuff that really counts.

Key features of independent contractor payroll software.

Picking the right payroll software for your freelancers is a big deal. You want something that simplifies your life and nails the unique challenges of contractor management. Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

Direct deposit

Paper cheques? So last century. Direct deposit payments are where it’s at. They’re quicker, safer and eliminates the need for in-person transactions. It’s a win-win — you save time and effort, and your contractors get paid straight into their bank accounts.

Contractor-specific profiles

Opt for independent contractor payroll software that lets you create contractor-focused profiles. These custom features let you set different pay rates, tax setups and other unique details for each contractor. This customization ensures you’re meeting each contractor’s specific needs, making the whole payroll run smoother.

Year-end form creation

Tax time can be a headache, but it doesn’t have to be. Top-notch payroll software auto-generates year-end forms like T4As, which are crucial for Canadian freelancers come tax season. This feature cuts out the manual labor of filling out forms, lowers the chance of mistakes, and makes tax season less stressful.

Best independent contractor payroll software.

1. Wagepoint

Key features

  • Direct deposit to contractors’ bank accounts.
  • Integration with QuickBooks Online and Xero.
  • Automatically generates and files T4A forms for contractors.
  • Automatically generates and files T4A summaries for easy submission.
  • A self-serve portal giving contractors online access to their year-end forms.

Call-out feature

Wagepoint’s self-serve portal adds value for both the business owner and the contractor. It streamlines payroll processes for business owners while giving contractors real-time access to their payment information. And it comes at no extra cost!


  • Geared more towards small businesses, it may not suit larger enterprises.

Wagepoint is built to cut through the maze of contractor payroll alongside employee payroll. Killer features like direct deposit and tax form generation are included in the base price, so there are no hidden fees to worry about. Whether you’re handling a team of contractors or looking for a smooth fit with your current accounting tools, Wagepoint’s got your back. 

2. ADP

Key features

  • Simplifies tax season by automatically generating T4A forms for your contractors.
  • Allows you to set up different contractor payment frequencies, offering flexibility in managing payments.

Call-out feature

ADP’s customizable contractor dashboards stand out as a feature that simplifies your current payroll process and scales with your business as it grows.


  • Lack of transparent pricing. You’ll need to contact their sales team for a quote, which can be a drawback for those who prefer upfront pricing.
  • Steep learning curve. While feature-rich, ADP’s platform may take a lot of time to master, especially for those new to independent contractor payroll software.

ADP packs a punch as a payroll solution made for Canadian businesses with contractors as well as employees. Though it’s primarily aimed at big companies, small and medium outfits can also get in on the action. It’s definitely in the running with core perks like an easy-to-use payroll app.

3. Rippling

Key features

  • Can pay contractors in a single-pay run.
  • Offers flexible payments in multiple currencies.

Call-out feature

Rippling’s automated global compliance is a game-changer for international payroll. This full-service option saves you time and ensures you’re always on the right side of legal requirements, no matter where your contractors are based.


  • There’s a learning curve, and it may require some time to fully understand all its features.
  • The platform’s extensive features could come at a premium price, especially for small businesses.

Rippling has what you need for managing a global workforce, including independent contractors. Its automated compliance and local currency payment features are particularly handy for businesses operating in multiple countries. While it’s a robust platform, keep in mind that its extensive features might take some time to master and could come at a higher cost.

4. Wave Payroll

Key features

  • Automatic journal entries make it easier to manage your finances all in one place.
  • Automatically generates T4A forms for contractors.

Call-out feature

Wave Payroll’s automatic journal entries feature stands out in a crowded market. It keeps you compliant and prepared for growth.


  • Not available in Québec.
  • WavePayroll falls short in benefits management.

Snapped up by H&R Block in 2019, Wave Payroll has Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) compliance down pat (save for Québec). It’s a paid add-on to Wave’s free accounting software, offering tailor-made dashboards for payroll summaries and time logs, plus auto filing for tax forms.

5. Rise People

Key features

  • Automates compliance and minimizes errors, making it easier for contractors to get paid on time.
  • Unlimited pay runs for employees and contractors.
  • Different plans to choose the features your business needs.

Call-out feature

People Rise’s flexible payment frequencies is a standout feature that allows small business owners to work with independent contractors on how often they get paid.


  • Doesn’t have many customization options tailored specifically for the diverse needs of independent contractors.
  • New users may face a steep learning curve to fully utilize all the platform has to offer.
  • Rise People’s basic plan price is listed on their website, but you have to contact sales for their advanced plans.

Rise People gives organizations the option to pay employees and contractors while also offering a suite of human resources tools for those looking for a more extensive platform.

6. Ceridian Dayforce

Key features

  • Employers can pay full-time employees and contractors in more than 160 countries.
  • Employees can choose multiple pay methods, including direct deposit and on-demand payment through Dayforce Wallet.
  • Ceridian generates T4A forms and will also generate and submit T4A Summaries

Call-out feature

Ceridian Dayforce’s real-time payroll registration gives you the flexibility to adapt to changes quickly, ensures greater accuracy and ultimately saves you time


  • Steep learning curve.
  • Slow loading time, which may affect overall ease of use.

Ceridian Dayforce is an all-in-one fix for Canadian businesses needing payroll and tools for the HR teams. Real-time payroll registration lets you tweak and audit mid-cycle. It’s also got a mobile app for easy access and several third-party integrations.

7. Deel

Key features

  • Simplifies tax compliance and payments for contractors
  • Provides the option to withdraw funds up to five days before the scheduled payment date for a small fee.

Call-out feature

Deel’s single point of contact is a standout feature that provides a unified approach to managing payroll and contractor relationships in different countries. This feature simplifies compliance and reporting, making it a strategic advantage for global operations.


  • While excellent for remote teams, it may not be the best fit for businesses with a more traditional setup.
  • With its extensive features, some users might initially find the platform overwhelming.

Deel is a comprehensive platform that allows you to manage contractor relationships effectively. Its single point of contact feature is particularly beneficial for businesses operating on a global scale, streamlining both payroll and contractor management. With its clear pricing and a wide range of features, Deel stands out as a versatile solution for managing teams worldwide.

Choosing independent contractor payroll software for your business.

Tackling independent contractor payroll can feel like a big deal, especially if you’re a small business newbie. But with the right software, you can turn this complex chore into a smooth, no-sweat operation. When you’ve got a variety of different workers, the right tool can be your North Star.

Wagepoint nails it here, offering a solution crafted for Canadian small businesses. It’s all about building a flawless space where compliance, record-keeping and money management live in perfect harmony. Wagepoint takes the mystery out of independent contractor payroll software, letting you zero in on what you’re great at — running your show.

The future of contractor payroll is here, and it’s called Wagepoint. You’ll not only make your payroll processes a breeze but also set your business up for long-term success.

Take the plunge and sign up for Wagepoint today.