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Top 5 Payroll Providers in Tennessee

May 26th, 2022 | 5 min. read

By Gia Rolen

As I was writing this article, I realized that I live and breathe all things Tennessee. My favorite things are the Grizzlies, Morgan Wallen, Justin Timberlake, Knoxville, and UT Football (in that order). 

Ranked as the second cheapest state to live in the United States, and the number one state to retire, Tennessee is a great state to live in.


From the Mississippi River sunsets to the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee is a fiscally stable state that has been ranked #1 in the U.S for advanced industry job growth, aka, manufacturing cutting edge technology. 

If you're a business owner, you probably didn't start your business because you enjoyed maintaining federal compliance, paying taxes, or dealing with employee issues -- but that's a big part of owning a business.

This is why you may consider outsourcing your back-office processes to a payroll provider; it frees you up to focus on what you love best.

At Whirks, we're passionate about serving our fellow business owners (especially in our home state!) so we've researched the top 5 payroll providers in Tennessee to help you on your quest for a new partner.

How We Determined the Top Five Payroll Providers in Tennessee

So, how did we come up with the top five payroll providers in Tennessee?

When we started doing the research on companies, we evaluated several different criteria to decide what makes a company a top provider. For example, we considered how many clients and industries they serve, their commitment to the community, and insights into their software and service.

Payroll providers in Tennessee serve other states, too. However, it can be helpful to choose a local provider near your own city, because they have an intimate understanding of state-specific taxes, laws, and compliance regulations. 

Google Reviews

We chose the top five best payroll providers in Tennessee based on the number of their Google Reviews and their average rating. 

Customer service model

It's important to keep in mind that the following payroll providers are not national payroll providers. This means that each one will provide a dedicated account specialist that will serve as your contact for all customer support requests. 

We read through their websites and customer testimonials and compared them with their Google Reviews. 

Scope of Service

Lastly, we considered how many services they offer in addition to payroll, and the different industries they serve. 

For example, bookkeepers and accounting firms offer payroll processing, but they don't offer additional features such as timekeeping, benefits, and other HR-related services. For this reason, we could not include them as potential candidates.

Why aren't we on the list?

While we did meet all of the above criteria, our goal at Whirks is to educate you on the provider that fits your business best. We want to provide as many resources as we can so that you're empowered to make an informed decision that will better your back office and help you and your team thrive.

Southern Payroll and Benefits

Southern Payroll and Benefits, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Rating: 5 Stars / 27 Reviews on Google 

Pricing: No annual contracts, free month of service, transparent pricing  

Best Fit: Start-ups and small businesses 

Southern Payroll and Benefits was founded in 2019 by owner George Wilson, who passionately approaches customer service with the belief that clients and customers leave because they feel neglected, especially in the payroll and accounting industry. 

Their software is powered by Gusto, the industry leader for payroll and HCM management for startups and small businesses. Southern Payroll serves a wide variety of clients and helps them approach their business goals day by day, year by year. 


In addition to payroll, HR, and benefits, Southern Payroll also offers:

  • Business insurance
  • Merchant processing
  • Retirement planning
  • Tax Planning
  • Accounting and bookkeeping

What Makes them Different

Southern Payroll & Benefits pledges to give back 2% of their proceeds to charity and provides the opportunity for their employees and clients to do the same. 

Time & Pay

Time and Pay, Johnson City, Tennessee

Location: Johnson City, Tennessee

Rating: 4.9 Stars / 48 Reviews on Google 

Pricing: Request a demo or Request Pricing 

Best fit: Construction, Trade, Blue-Collar Services

Time & Pay was founded in 1992 by founder Steve Scheu. His son, Andy, now owns and operates this small, thriving payroll company in the heart of the Tri-Cities. They are praised for being pleasant and easy to work with for small and midsize businesses alike. 


Time & Pay helps several different industries in forty-seven states, from construction and trade to retail stores. Their service offerings include:

  • Payroll Services 
  • Automated Time & Attendance 
  • Benefits Management
  • ACA Compliance Management
  • HR Management
  • Worker's Comp Administration 

What Makes Them Different

Clients of Time & Pay go out of their way to praise their customer service. Their team is made up of experienced individuals who have invested several years working for the company. 

Inova Payroll

Inova Payroll, Top 5 Payroll Providers in Tennessee

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Rating: 5 Stars / 10 Google Reviews 

Pricing: Request pricing 

Best Fit: Midsize professional industries 

Inova was founded by Farsheed Ferdowsi who noticed that employers were incredibly frustrated with customer service from payroll providers. Founded in 2010, Inova services small and large businesses with up to 1,000 employees. 


Inova offers the full suite of HCM services including payroll, timekeeping, benefits, and HR. They additionally offer: 

  • Background screening services 
  • Worker's compensation
  • Early Wage Access
  • 401(k) Plans

What Makes them Different

Because of their ability to serve larger clients, Inova offers several integrations, with everything from accounting to benefits software, but with the added advantage of seeing all of your employee and financial data in one place. 

People Processes

People Processes Payroll in Memphis, Tennessee

Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Rating: 5 Stars / 59 Reviews on Google 

Pricing: Monthly Packages start at $1,150

Best Fit: Businesses with heavy HR needs 

People Processes was founded in 2009 by Rhamy Alejeal. It began as an insurance agency that helped companies design benefit programs for employees but has grown into a full-service payroll, HCM, and HR provider. 

Praised by several happy clients for their professionalism and quick responses to all questions, both urgent and minor alike. 


People Processes provides payroll, benefits, time & labor, and compliance. Their HR services included live support and assistance with building your HR department, like writing an employee handbook. They also offer:

  • Background Checks
  • ACA Tracking
  • Labor Law Posters 

What Makes Them Different

Founder Rhamy Alejeal's book, People Processes, was an Amazon #1 best seller in the HR category, and one of Inc's Top Ten leadership books in 2018.

Dominion Payroll

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Rating: 4 Stars / 6 Reviews on Google 

Pricing: Request a Quote

Best Fit: Midsize to Larger Businesses  

Dominion Payroll was founded sixteen years ago in Richmond, Virginia by Dave Gallagher and David Fratkin. They are the only payroll provider on this list with locations outside of Nashville, including Richmond, Dallas, Charlotte, Louisville, Jackson, and Tampa.

Their customer reviews indicate that their onboarding and implementation process is a breeze, which is a huge concern for business owners when switching payroll providers.


Dominion Payroll offers talent acquisition, time & attendance, payroll processing, human resources, and benefits administration.

What Makes Them Different

Dominion is an established payroll provider that has rapidly expanded across the southeastern United States. Because of their support size and brick-and-mortar locations in seven states, Dominion Payroll has the power to process payroll and provide white-glove customer service to employers with thousands of employees.

Honorable Mentions

Although this article was written to introduce you to the top payroll providers in Tennessee, additional payroll companies deserve to be mentioned in the event that they're a better fit for you and your team. 

Payroll Cents

Payroll Cents is owned and operated in East Tennessee by Steven Ledbetter. They offer services directly related to payroll processing, such as wage garnishments, direct deposit, and new hire reporting. 

Legacy Payroll Solutions

Located outside of Nashville in Hendersonville, Tennessee, Legacy Payroll Solutions offers payroll, employer benefits, worker's comp, and HR services to their clients.   

So Much to See (and be) in Tennessee

Whether you're a brand new startup, a quickly growing business, or an established, well-oiled machine, choosing the right payroll provider can elevate your business, your brand, and your team.

By outsourcing complicated administrative tasks, you alleviate the burden of your back office so you can hire the best employees, grow your business, and guide your team towards success. 

No matter where you reside in our beautiful state, any of the above competitors will be an optimal choice to help your business thrive.