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Best Payroll and HR Software

Best Payroll And HR Software (2024)

The best payroll and HR software, hand-picked for enterprises and SMBs, along with benefits, pitfalls, FAQs, and more.

Huda Idris
Written by
Huda Idris
Technical writer, B2B software advisor, and marketing strategist
Contributing Experts
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Last Updated: Mar 28, 2024
TOP
Modern Payroll and HR Tool
Gusto
4.0
Popularity Score
4.0
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
Modern Payroll and HR Tool
Gusto
4.0
Popularity Score
4.0
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
Learn More
TOP
HR & Payroll Solutions for US-Based SMBs
Paycor
4.1
Popularity Score
4.2
User Score
4.0
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
HR & Payroll Solutions for US-Based SMBs
Paycor
4.1
Popularity Score
4.2
User Score
4.0
Product  Score
Learn More
TOP
AI-Powered HR and Payroll Software
UKG
4.0
Popularity Score
4.2
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
AI-Powered HR and Payroll Software
UKG
4.0
Popularity Score
4.2
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
Learn More
Over 3 million HR leaders trust our advice

Introduction to Payroll and HR Software

The field of human resources is among the fastest-growing fields in the United States. This has consequently added complexity and nuance to the work of human resource management professionals. As more emphasis is placed on enriching the employee experience, niche areas have emerged SaaS for Human Capital Management. 

You might have seen HR software that’s solely built for specific HR processes like benefits administration or performance reviews. But what if you need an all-in-one human resources management system that caters to your company’s needs? How do you sift through the barrage of information that’s out there on the internet and choose the best management software for your team? You use a guide like this one, since we did the hard part of researching for you. 

Be it small businesses or large corporations, the one thing that’s a must for every company is that its employees are getting compensated accurately and on time. A good payroll software takes care of this. But what’s even better is a management solution that not only helps a company with payroll processing but also acts as an all-in-one HR system that lets you streamline core HCM tasks such as onboarding, time tracking, talent management, performance management, among others. 

We’ve put in hours of research to come up with a list of the best payroll processing and HRMS vendors to help you choose an HR software that’s best suited for your company. This list has been arrived at by judging these HR solutions on various metrics including but not limited to their user interface, functionality, pricing, and customers. To help you make a calculated decision, we’ve also included the pitfalls, benefits, ROI, implementation, and more.

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Best Payroll and HR Software

Gusto

: Modern Payroll and HR Tool

Paycor

: HR & Payroll Solutions for US-Based SMBs

UKG

: AI-Powered HR and Payroll Software

ADP

: Longstanding Payroll & HR Software Company

Zenefits

: HR and Payroll Software Known for Good UI

Namely

: HR & Payroll Software with Talent Management Features

WorkDay

: HR, Payroll, Finance, and Planning for Enterprises

BambooHR

: Popular HR and Payroll Tool for SMBs

OnPay

: Core HR Solutions & Payroll and Taxes

Paylocity

: All-in-one platform for people, payroll, and benefits management

Rippling

: All-in-One HR Management Platform

Our Criteria: Here's How We Chose The Best Payroll and HR Software

To bring you the best payroll and HR software options, we conducted extensive research and leveraged our expertise in the industry. We've been following and demoing numerous software solutions over the years, so we’ve seen hundreds of payroll and HR tools. This guide showcases several that combine the two categories, HR and Payroll.

With the help of our community of HR experts, who often share their experiences with each tool in various organizational settings, we were able to select the very best. Three of the most important criteria we evaluated these tools on are: workflow automation, payroll processing, and core HR features.

  • Workflow Automation: We prioritized solutions that offer robust automation capabilities, enabling HR professionals to save time on repetitive tasks. The selected software options provide intuitive workflows and can automate key tasks such as onboarding, employee data management, PTO calculations, leave requests, and more.
  • Payroll Processing: We filtered for payroll and HR software that excels in this area, ensuring robust yet user-friendly payroll processing for businesses of all sizes. The chosen solutions offer comprehensive payroll management features, including tax calculations, direct deposit capabilities, payroll reporting, and integration with accounting systems.
  • Core HR Features: These tools are great for payroll, but do they get HR right? We handpicked those offering the greatest range of core HR features to support your organization's needs. Most of these tools are fully-fledged HCM systems, enabling you to efficiently handle all aspects of employee management in one centralized platform.

To learn more about our comprehensive evaluation process and discover additional insights on selecting the best HR tech, we invite you to read our piece on how we select the best HR tech.

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Compare the Best Payroll and HR Software

Popularity Score
Best for
Key Differentiator
Pricing
Free Trial
Customers
Users Score
Product Score

Gusto

Most Popular
4.0
Startups and growing SMBs with limited HR staff
Strong emphasis on automation to help time-constrained SMBs
Starts at $6/month/person
Yes
200,000+
4.0
4.1

Paycor

Most Popular
4.1
Fully-fledged HCM suite and seamless payroll for US SMBs
Covers all HCM needs while prioritizing employee experience
Custom Pricing
Yes
40,000+
4.2
4.0

UKG

Most Popular
4.0
Workforce management for SMBs and enterprises alike
Abundant HCM features offered through UKG Ready & Pro
Custom Pricing
No
80,000+
4.2
4.1

ADP

Most Popular
4.0
Large teams (1,000+) needing personalized payroll services
Numerous resources to provide a white-glove payroll service
Custom Pricing
Yes
35,000+
3.0
3.6

Zenefits

Most Popular
4.0
SMBs in the US looking for a basic and easy HRIS
Simple HR workflows + payroll with great UX
Starts at $8/employee/month
Yes
10,000+
3.9
4.0

Namely

Most Popular
4.7
Middle-sized growing businesses in the United States
You get an HR system with the option for a managed service
Custom Pricing
No
12,000+
4.1
4.6

WorkDay

Most Popular
4.0
Managing payroll for businesses with 250 or more employees
Payroll + workforce management tools for large teams
Custom Pricing
No
10,000+
3.9
4.0

BambooHR

Most Popular
4.6
Small and mid-market organizations with basic payroll needs
Highly customizable HR platform with a good payroll tool
Custom Pricing
Yes
30,000+
4.5
4.4

OnPay

Most Popular
4.3
Small business owners needing a straightforward payroll tool
No frills yet superb customer service via chat
Starts at $36/month
Yes
10,000+
4.8
4.7

Paylocity

Most Popular
4.0
US-based mid-sized companies looking for payroll + HR platform
Comprehensive HR and payroll platform with great customer support
Custom Pricing
No
13,000+
4.3
4.1

Rippling

Most Popular
4.2
SMBs looking for an HRMS + payroll & other IT tools
Packs payroll, EOR, HCM tools, and more in a single hub
Starts at $8/employee/month
No
2,000+
4.2
4.1
Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast

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Detailed Reviews of the Best Payroll and HR Software

Gusto

Visit Website
Gusto
Learn More
Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked Gusto

Gusto offers an affordable basic plan that is suitable for budget-conscious startups. At the same time, their premium plan is a good bet for companies that want to invest more in their employees’ skills. This is especially true in companies whose HR departments are very small.

PROS

  • Gusto has an eye-catching UI and multi-device compatibility.
  • Easy payroll for U.S.-based W-2 folks, domestic and international contractors.
  • Supports online signatures and automated tax filing.
  • Flexible payroll options for different schedules and unlimited pay runs.
  • Automatic deductions streamline benefits administration.
  • Streamlined hiring and onboarding process between HR and new hires.
  • Integration with CorpNet and Checkr for post-offer tasks.
  • Person-to-person phone support, email, and customer service resources. Licensed benefits advisors available for all plan users.
  • Transparent pricing and no long-term contracts. Free account setup.
  • Ability to create onboarding checklists send offer letters, and store documents online.
  • The dashboard feature keeps tabs on compliance tasks
  • The hiring and onboarding sequence is nicely streamlined between HR and the new hire
  • Post-offer, pre-start tasks are made easy with integrations like CorpNet (state tax set up) Checkr (background checks)
  • Easy payroll for U.S.-based W-2 folks, domestic, and international contractors
  • Person-to-person phone support, email, and other customer service resources
  • The business model is responsive to customer needs

CONS

  • Limited support for international employees.
  • No native accounting feature for tracking earnings and spending.
  • Simple plan lacks native time tracking and online signatures, requiring third-party integrations.
  • Simplistic analytics dashboard.
  • Premium plan or add-ons required for federal/state compliance alerts and existing broker/health insurance integration.
  • No free trial available.
  • Gusto can support payments for international contractors, but not employees
  • No native accounting feature to keep earning and spending under the same roof
  • Analytics dashboard is simplistic

Gusto Review

Gusto UI is both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly. The platform doesn’t offer mobile apps (except for its Wallet app), but being browser-based means it can “play nice” on all devices.

It supports online signatures and automated tax filing, streamlining essential administrative tasks. It also offers flexible payroll options, helping businesses accommodate varied pay schedules and perform unlimited pay runs.

Another notable advantage of Gusto is that it effectively syncs payroll with deductions. This feature saves time and ensures compliance with relevant regulations. Moreover, its integration with CorpNet and Checkr enhances post-offer tasks — a plus for those seeking better employee onboarding.

Gusto strongly emphasizes customer satisfaction through responsive phone and email support, live chat, and licensed benefits advisors for users of all plans. Plus, the setup is free!

Though it can manage payments for international contractors, full support for international employees is unavailable. Additionally, the software lacks a native accounting feature for tracking earnings and spending, so users must rely on external accounting solutions.

If you’re checking out  Gusto’s Simple plan, a heads up: it doesn’t have native time tracking or online signatures, so third-party integrations are needed. Advanced features like compliance alerts and integration of existing brokers are reserved for the Premium plan or offered as add-ons for the Plus plan. Simple plan users do not have the option to purchase these add-ons, which may limit their access to comprehensive compliance support and insurance integration.

Gusto Customers

American Canning, Matchless Builds, Citizen Pilates, Pain Clinic, Distant Moon.

Gusto Pricing

  • Simple plan: $40/month + $6/month/person
  • Plus plan (limited time sale): $60/month + $9/month/person
  • Premium plan: Customized options available; contact sales for pricing
  • Contractor-only plan (no W-2 employees): $6/month/person

Best For

Gusto offers an affordable basic plan that is suitable for budget-conscious startups. The top-tier Premium plan is highly recommended for companies willing to invest more in their human capital, particularly for those with a single-person HR department.

Gusto in action
Reviewer's Rating
7/10

We used Gusto to manage payroll, streamline benefits administration, and centralize HR tasks. The platform simplifies payroll processing, ensures compliance with tax regulations, and automates various HR functions. Additionally, Gusto facilitates employee self-service, allowing individuals to access their pay stubs, tax forms, and benefit information conveniently. Its reporting tools provide valuable insights for strategic decision-making. Overall, Gusto plays a pivotal role in enhancing our HR efficiency and employee experience.

What do you like about this tool?

Gusto offers an intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate various tasks. Their system consolidates our processes and reduces the need for multiple platforms. Additionally, they provide excellent customer support, offering timely assistance whenever needed.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

We chose Gusto due to its comprehensive payroll, benefits, and HR solutions, streamlining our administrative processes. The user-friendly interface and automation features enhance efficiency. Overall, Gusto has been a valuable asset to our HR team.

What do you dislike about this tool?
  • While Gusto is comprehensive, we have encountered some challenges with integrating it with other existing HR tools. Also, there are instances where we wished for more customization options within Gusto.
  • Periodic updates to the platform have previously disrupted our workflow.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

Gusto is a bit more user-friendly. Also, their comprehensive approach distinguishes them from competitors that may offer specialized services but not the same breadth of integrated solutions.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

Ensure it aligns with your organization's specific needs and growth objectives. Also, look for a platform that is intuitive and requires minimal training for your team to navigate and operate effectively.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

Given the dynamic nature of tax regulations and HR compliance, Gusto has demonstrated platform update agility. Over time, they have refined the platform's interface, making it more intuitive and user-friendly.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

It seems to be best fit for smaller organizations.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

A small team that is looking to grow and provide more impact for their organizations.

Paycor

Visit Website
Paycor
Learn More
Popularity Score
4.1 / 5
User Score
4.2 / 5
Product Score
4 / 5

Why we picked Paycor

Paycor not only takes care of your payroll management and HCM needs but goes over and beyond by providing predictive HR analytics to help you understand your employees’ trends and behaviors.

PROS

  • Paycor payroll solution and mobile app are both straightforward to use.
  • Intuitive self-service employee portal.
  • Offers multiple modules for small businesses and custom plans for teams with 50-1000 employees.
  • Unlimited payrolls.
  • Offers discounts frequently. Though not listed on their site, a free trial is available to those who contact the support team directly.
  • On-demand pay is available for all plans.
  • With the acquisition of the people development platform Verb, it has improved its employee learning experience.

CONS

  • Undisclosed pricing.
  • Customer support is reported to be slow at times.
  • It is not a good fit for teams with 1000+ employees or those requiring advanced customization to meet their unique requirements.

Paycor Review

Trusted by more than 29,000 businesses, Paycor’s HR + Payroll Software is made up of three HR management tools: A payroll system, an HR platform, and analytics. The payroll solution is laden with many incredibly useful features such as OnDemand Pay, AutoRun functionality, employee self-service, and tax compliance to name a few. 

There’s also a mobile app that helps you make real-time changes at the tip of your fingers.

Similar to its payroll processing counterpart, Paycor’s HRMS tool is driven by automation and also comes with features that let you view employee records, edit employee data, optimize performance reviews, and improve internal communication.

Paycor Customers

Paycor Pricing

Best For

Paycor in action
Reviewer's Rating
5/10

I use Paycor Recruiting to manage multiple job openings and candidate data. Specifically, to access different job postings and review candidate details, likely to determine if they are a good fit for the role. After identifying potential candidates, I use it to manage them throughout the recruitment cycle, moving them from one stage to another as appropriate. This process may include reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, sending messages/emails, adding comments, and conducting background checks or reference checks.

It also provides a centralized platform for managing multiple clients and candidates since it has the ability to organize and track candidate data and makes it easier to identify the right candidates for the clients and move them through the hiring process more efficiently.

Overall, Paycor Recruiting is an effective tool for managing recruitment efforts, particularly for staffing firms or organizations with multiple clients. By providing a centralized platform for managing job postings and candidate data, Paycor Recruiting can help streamline the recruitment process, making it easier to identify top candidates and move them through the hiring process more quickly.

What do you like about this tool?

What I like about Paycor is that it provides a convenient way to manage and update information about job candidates all in one place. I also appreciate that I can communicate with candidates directly through Paycor, keeping track of past conversations and future interview plans. Additionally, Paycor makes it easy to sort through candidates based on specific skills needed for the job.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

Our organization purchased Paycor to help address several key challenges we were facing in managing our candidate database and streamlining the hiring process. This led to inefficiencies in our recruiting efforts. By implementing Paycor, our organization hoped to have a centralized database that would make it easier to organize, search and sort through candidate data, ultimately leading to a more efficient hiring process.

Another key factor that led us to choose Paycor was its ability to help hiring managers process applications more quickly than was previously possible. With the volume of applications we were receiving, it was becoming increasingly challenging for hiring managers to review and respond to all of them in a timely manner. Paycor offered a suite of tools and features that promised to streamline the process, enabling hiring managers to identify and evaluate top candidates more efficiently.

Finally, as a staffing firm, we needed a tool that could help them manage the different clients we were working with within a single portal. Paycor offered a range of features that made it easy to organize and track client data, enabling us to manage relationships with clients more effectively.

What do you dislike about this tool?

I would like to express my dissatisfaction with the platform's outdated user interface design in comparison to other Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) which are currently more in line with prevailing market trends. Additionally, I have noticed occasional lags in the tools when generating reports or retrieving candidates' information, which can be problematic. Another issue I have encountered is that the platform does not save the last search that was performed, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

One aspect that I find particularly helpful is the ability to track a candidate's progress through various stages of the recruitment process, including the "Back Burner" stage, which is valuable when identifying a potential candidate for future hiring needs if not the present needs. Another advantage of Paycor Recruiting over other Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) is the ability to filter candidates based on niche skills, which can be especially beneficial for filling specific job requirements. Finally, I appreciate the ease of use when generating and rolling out offer letters with Paycor, making the hiring process smoother and more efficient.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

When you are thinking about buying a recruitment or HR tool, there are some important things to consider. Firstly, you should think about the cost of the tool and whether it is affordable for your organization. You also need to make sure that the benefits of the tool outweigh the costs.

Secondly, you should think about the size of your organization. Some tools may be better suited to smaller or larger businesses, and you want to make sure that the tool you choose is easy to use for all team members.

You should also think about how many people will be using the tool, as this can affect the licensing and training requirements for the software. It's important to make sure that the tool can accommodate the number of users you need and that you have the resources to train your staff effectively.

Finally, you should consider where you will be posting your job openings. If the tool you choose isn't connected to popular job portals in your region or industry, it may limit the number of candidates you can reach.

Overall, if you carefully consider these factors, you can choose the right tool that meets your specific needs, budget, and goals.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

Paycor, as a human capital management platform, has made changes over time based on user feedback to improve its interface. Additionally, Paycor is willing to provide more demo sessions to help users understand its platform better. The platform has also made changes to accommodate big organizations, and started targeting those as their potential customers. Overall, Paycor has taken steps to enhance its user experience and meet the needs of its diverse user base.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Paycor can be particularly beneficial for small to mid-sized businesses that are looking for a user-friendly, cloud-based HR solution that can streamline their HR processes, including payroll, benefits administration, time and attendance tracking, and compliance management. Additionally, Paycor can be useful for companies that are looking for tools to manage employee onboarding and development, as well as those that require custom reporting and analytics to make data-driven decisions.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

Paycor may not be suitable for large organizations with complex HR requirements, as they may need more sophisticated HR software to handle multiple departments, locations, and employee types. Additionally, organizations that do not use technology for their recruitment and HR processes may not benefit from Paycor's features and functionalities.

UKG

Visit Website
UKG
Learn More
Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.2 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked UKG

Easy to navigate and customizable to your business needs, UKG’s Payroll and HR Software provides you with all the HR services under one roof. Their customer support team that’s available on a payroll hotline and chat are worth mentioning.

PROS

  • Super robust product, packing years of experience with HCM and Workforce Management technology 
  • Since they offer UKG Pro for HRMS and UKG Ready for workforce management, you could arrive at a combination of products that suits many of your HR needs from the same set of tools.

CONS

  • Compared to newer tools, UKG Pro and UKG Ready tend to miss a unique selling point or a specific focus on a certain type of business. While they work great for bigger companies in all sorts of industries, very niche operations might have a hard time adapting to the tool. 
  • Similarly, ​​UKG offers many solutions under one umbrella, so it's not the best fit if you're looking for only a handful of specific use cases.

UKG Review

UKG has a variety of HR product suites. If you’re looking for an HR software that combines transformative HR technology with robust payroll functionality, then UKG Pro is their HCM solution you should keep an eye on.

UKG Pro takes care of four key areas and those are payroll processing, talent acquisition, learning, and employee voice. One of its most coveted aspects is its intuitive navigation. You can get all your information on the very first page, with just a single click. 

It also has a mobile app that your employees can use to do a variety of things such as being able to request time off or pulling old pay stubs.

UKG Customers

UKG Pricing

Best For

UKG in action
Reviewer's Rating
9/10

Firstly, UKG helps us manage our payroll and benefits administration, to ensure employees are paid accurately and on time. Secondly, it streamlines recruiting and onboarding processes, making it easier to find and hire new talent. Thirdly, it provides a performance management tool, allowing us to set goals, evaluate employee progress, and provide feedback. Fourthly, it offers learning and career development modules, for our employees to upskill and advance in their careers. Lastly, it helps us remain compliant with HR regulations and mitigate risks related to workforce management. I used the system a few times a week.

What do you like about this tool?

UKG Pro offers a platform for employee recruiting, compliance, and file management, which can help businesses save time and streamline their HR processes. Additionally, its robust reporting and analytics capabilities enable data-driven decision-making, while its focus on diversity and inclusion can promote a positive workplace culture.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

Our HR team was facing an administrative burden and we aimed to streamline our HR processes. For this, we needed a tool with HR features that could be customized for a large company. Our goal was to enhance the employee experience. We also wanted to ensure compliance with HR regulations, which is where UKG came in handy. With its customizable HR features and compliance tools, UKG helped us achieve our goals. In summary, we chose UKG to reduce administrative burden, optimize the employee experience, and maintain compliance with HR regulations. I have personally used UKG for 1 year.

What do you dislike about this tool?

UGK's customer service could be improved. Currently, making even simple changes within their systems requires submitting a ticket to the helpdesk. However, there are times when it can feel like too many tickets are being submitted. It would be helpful if they streamlined the process for updating passwords so that users/admins don't have to go through so many tedious steps.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

UKG is not the best but it isn't the worst - more flexible than Workday but less flexible than Peoplesoft when it comes to reporting. I have a preference for UKG over its competitors. This is largely due to the convenience and efficiency of its payroll dashboard, open enrollment, and employee self-service features.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

When looking to buy a tool like UKG, it is important to consider criteria such as integration, installation, security, support, and features that can bring ease to the admin users and employees. These factors can play a crucial role in the overall effectiveness and usability of the software. By evaluating these aspects carefully it will ensure you’re selecting the right tool to meet your needs.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?
What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

In regards to maintaining the system, the type of user UKG would be good for is someone who is tech savvy. It could benefit a mid-size to large organization.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

Someone who is not tech savvy and a smaller organization. There are too many configurations that could be time consuming.

ADP

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ADP
Learn More
Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
3 / 5
Product Score
3.6 / 5

Why we picked ADP

Easy to use, 24/7 support from payroll experts, seamless integrations, – ADP is packed with interesting features that will elevate your business like nothing else.

PROS

CONS

ADP Review

Instead of obfuscating a first-time user with unnecessary details about their HR services, ADP asks you a few simple questions and fetches you a customized HR solution that would best suit your organizational needs.

ADP’s payroll and HR software known as RUN is easy to use, has a clean user interface, and yet contains so much depth in terms of features. From personalized payroll to AI-powered error detection features for tax compliance, ADP lets you seamlessly run payroll, track time & attendance, helps you with workforce management, and much more.

ADP Customers

ADP Pricing

Best For

ADP in action
Reviewer's Rating
9/10

The company used ADP for payroll. It also uses it for 401k retirement programs. Our HR department has been happy with it. ADP has provided nice incentives to move to it.

What do you like about this tool?

Easy to use. Provided sign up incentives. Respected brand.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

Colleagues had experience with ADP in the past and were lobbying for the company to make a change. We have made that change and then continued to increase the services that we were obtaining from them. It has been a positive experience. The vendor is exceeding our expectations. We don't foresee making changes in the near future.

What do you dislike about this tool?

It is a big company so you don't always feel like an important customer. We often deal with different people at the company. It would be nice to have one consistent contact.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

The breadth of products that it offers is important to us. We know it has quality products and services.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

A company with a long track record. Incentives to move to it. Suggested enhancements to the products.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

It is continually updating its service offerings with improvements. It contacts us for associated products and services that may assist our business.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Small to medium business.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

I cannot think of any.

Zenefits

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Zenefits
Learn More
Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
3.9 / 5
Product Score
4 / 5

Why we picked Zenefits

Seamlessly integrated across all levels, what separates Zenefits from other HR systems is that it has built-in compliance, dozens of pre-built integrations, and a fully functional mobile app for both employees and HR managers.

PROS

  • It’s one of the top names in HR tech and payroll software for American small businesses. 
  • Their platform is one of the best-looking and easiest to figure out among the sector. 
  • Zenefits can grow with you. Its pricing plans allow you to pay and tweak as you go, add certain modules when you need them, or get rid of them if you don’t.

CONS

  • As oriented to small businesses as the tool is, it doesn’t give you the chance to create a custom bundle of the services and/or modules you’d like to have. For instance, Zenefits does not offer a standalone ACA module. Therefore, you will need to purchase an entire HRIS plan if you want to access that offering.
  • In addition, Zenefits focuses on small to mid sized companies. If you're an enterprise organization, you may want to consider another option. 
  • Zenefits is also rather focused on the US market at this point. So, if your team is mostly in another country and you need more of a local know-how, it might not be the best bet for certain modules like payroll and benefits.

Zenefits Review

With a slick user interface and tools that span across the entire employee lifecycle, Zenefits has everything you need to manage your people with ease. Its payroll is packed with advanced features and is built to serve every company’s unique needs.

Unlike most HR platforms, Zenefits’ payroll system automatically syncs with other HRMS tools, saving your bandwidth for more important tasks. From streamlined onboarding and easy PTO, Zenefits packs several essential HR tools into one place.

Zenefits Customers

Zenefits Pricing

Best For

Zenefits in action
No items found.

Namely

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Namely
Learn More
Popularity Score
4.7 / 5
User Score
4.1 / 5
Product Score
4.6 / 5

Why we picked Namely

What makes Namely stand out from its competitors is that it’s highly customizable, easy to implement, and has unmatched customer service. Namely is also very scalable and would smoothly grow with your team.

PROS

  • Navigating Namely poses minimal challenges for most users, with an intuitive and notably clean UI despite its extensive feature set.
  • Users commend Namely's employee onboarding module, which employs a user-friendly wizard to facilitate swift and clear onboarding for new hires.
  • In addition to its inbuilt data management, recruiting, onboarding, time off tracking, payroll, and benefits administration features, Namely offers managed payroll and benefits administration services, relieving internal teams of heavy burdens.
  • The majority of users are able to navigate Namely without any issues. They find the UI to be intuitive and clean, despite the fact that the platform has lots of features. 
  • Namely’s employee onboarding module gets a alot of praise from users. It features an easy-to-follow wizard, which helps new hires get on quickly and be clear on what they need to do. 
  • Besides the platform’s built in features for data management, recruiting, onboarding, time off tracking, payroll and benefits administration, there are also managed payroll and benefits administration services you can opt for to reduce the burden on your internal teams. 

CONS

  • Namely predominantly caters to the U.S. market, limiting its suitability for international businesses.
  • While users applaud its user-friendliness, implementing Namely can be time-consuming, with an average implementation period of 6-8 weeks, as reported by the platform.
  • Lacking features for employee development like skill training, career pathing, and succession planning, Namely falls short in this area given its scope.
  • Prior to adoption, verifying compatibility with your existing benefits provider is essential, as some users have reported instances of Namely encouraging them to switch providers, sometimes resulting in increased costs.
  • Namely primarily operates in the U.S., which means if you’re looking for a global payroll and benefits provider, this platform isn’t for you.
  • Though many praise the platform’s ease of use, it does take long to implement it. Namely’s own team says that an average implementation takes between 6-8 weeks.
  • For a platform of Namely’s size, there currently aren’t any features that focus on employee development such as skill training, career pathing, succession planning etc. 
  • You’ll need to check beforehand if Namely can work with your existing benefits provider, if you have one. There have been a few reports (but not few enough to ignore) about Namely’s team convincing customers to change their benefits provider to providers that charged them more. 

Namely Review

Namely aims to help you stay on top of your job and free up your time to focus on innovative people strategies. This cloud-based HR software consists of enhanced payroll services, compliance tools, benefits insurance expertise, and tools for employee engagement. 

Apart from handling your core HR needs, Namely also offers pre-built integrations with an ever-growing list of partners. But what’s even more compelling is that if you don’t find an integration you need, you could build your own integration through Namely’s secure API. 

Namely also has an amazing and active client community you could reach out to if you want an insight into the best practices.

Namely Customers

Namely Pricing

Best For

Namely in action
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WorkDay

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WorkDay
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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
3.9 / 5
Product Score
4 / 5

Why we picked WorkDay

Trusted by the world’s leading companies, Workday runs on automation and innovation to help you save time and money. Its advanced analytics tools can benefit HR teams at even the largest companies.

PROS

  • Accessible customer support from the community, live chat, and telephone.
  • Compatible with 300 HR systems such as ERP/GL, CRM, HR, and PSA.
  • Configurable dashboard with AI and ML-driven insights.
  • Ability to maintain real-time alignment of budgets and workforce plans.
  • SOC 2 Type 2 compliance.

CONS

  • Undisclosed pricing.
  • No free trial for its talent management software.
  • Time-consuming implementation period (average 4.5 months).
  • Challenge navigating for first-time users may require training.
  • Issues with logging in were reported by users.

WorkDay Review

Designed to fuel your acceleration in a changing world, Workday aims to overcome the limitations of an Enterprise Resource Planning system, commonly referred to as an ERP. Workday has many products and solutions but if you’re on the lookout for a payroll and HR solution that would help you optimize the time, talent, and energy of your people, their Human Capital Management system is worth checking out. From creating customized compensation programs to augmented people analytics that give you insights from vast data sets – Workday’s HCM suite is packed with extremely powerful tools.

WorkDay Customers

WorkDay Pricing

Best For

WorkDay in action
Reviewer's Rating
7/10

I use Workday everyday. The key workflows I use Workday for are to manage all my open requisitions. I post jobs on Workday, disposition candidates and run daily reports on recruiting metrics per requisition. Workday does a good job with your dashboard. This screen will show all your open requisitions and any projects or timelines you choose to add. It is also very easy to add templates to Workday per requisition to help save time when you take action on a particular candidate. I initiate background checks, reference checks and offer letter proposals and submittals through Workday as well.

What do you like about this tool?

I like that Workday can be your one stop shop for all HR and recruiting needs. It is easily customizable to your organizations preferences. I love the reporting capabilities that Workday can provide. I also like the main screen user interface. I think it is very user friendly and easy to learn.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

My organization implemented Workday for the reporting and metrics functionalities. Workday is so robust and can do so much, especially for a big organization like the one I am in. The key benefits are that you can personalize Workday to your company's needs. There are no shortages of capabilities and functions Workday can serve. If you want recruitment metrics and reports, Workday is your tool. I have used Workday personally for 5 years in 2 different organizations. Both companies needed better reporting metrics around hiring and Workday solved these needs.

What do you dislike about this tool?

Workday can be a lot! It offers so many functions that it can get overwhelming. I have had candidates who have not liked the Workday experience when applying for a position. Workday's customer service has been weak at times and has not been the easiest to deal with.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

WorkDay has a great brand name. Some of the largest and most profitable companies in the world use Workday which I think speaks for the brand itself. Workday’s functionalities can do so much more than a lot of their competitors. I have used similar tools and Workday by far has the largest arsenal of functionalities. You can utilize anything you decide you want to utilize and can offer almost everything from an HR, Recruiting, and Benefits standpoint.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

Workday can be expensive. You get what you are paying for. If you want a complex product as a one stop shop then I would recommend Workday. I would figure out what you want your Workday to function as within your organization.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

Workday has continuously made adjustments to the user interface to make it more user friendly. More training is always offered to new capabilities that are added monthly.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Very big organizations who want a system that can do a lot of different things. If you are an organization who has a high requisition load, a need for high level reporting, Workday would be a great fit.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

I think Workday would not be beneficial to smaller companies and startups. I think a lot of the key functionalities would not be used and it would be a waste of money for your organization.

BambooHR

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BambooHR
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Popularity Score
4.6 / 5
User Score
4.5 / 5
Product Score
4.4 / 5

Why we picked BambooHR

BambooHR comes with an interface that’s remarkably calming to the senses for a workplace tool. They’re one of the top HR products of all time. Their payroll product, while acclaimed, is only available for paying US-based employees.

PROS

  • BambooHR offers flexible packaging and custom pricing, allowing you to select packages and additional modules as needed.
  • Renowned for its simplicity and user-friendliness, BambooHR stands out as an easy-to-use tool.
  • Flexible packaging and custom pricing is the way they roll. You can pick out one or two packages and pick other modules as add-ons based on your needs. 
  • Very simple and straightforward tool, easy to use.

CONS

  • Payroll functionality is limited to US-based employees, restricting its global reach.
  • Similarly, customer support is confined to US business hours, potentially inconveniencing international users.
  • Certain modules, including time tracking, performance management, and surveys, are only accessible as add-ons, which would mean an extra investment.
  • Payroll is only available for US-based employees 
  • Customer support is only offered during US business hours.
  • Some modules like time tracking, performance management, and surveys are only available as add-ons.

BambooHR Review

BambooHR refers to itself as an “HR Software with heart” and rightly so. This all-in-one HR software takes care of the entire employee lifecycle by focusing on five key areas which are compensation, culture, people & analytics, hiring, and onboarding.

By keeping customer experience at the center of everything, BambooHR lets you access all your employee records in one place and dramatically reduces your paper usage.

From a robust payroll software that lets your employees quickly access their pay stubs or direct deposit to a highly accurate applicant tracking system that lets you find people who match your company culture, BambooHR has most that you could ask for in an HRIS and more.

BambooHR Customers

BambooHR Pricing

Best For

BambooHR in action
Reviewer's Rating
8/10

As the HR leader I use BambooHR for everything!! I store all of our important documents and records in Bamboo. I do all of our recruiting, offer letters, and onboarding through HR. Once we hire an employee they are given their own login information to be able to access the org chart as well as put their PTO in. I also run reports to track everyone's PTO, promotions, and other key performance indicators for employees.

What do you like about this tool?
  • BambooHR is easy to use and train employees on. BambooHR makes it very easy to create offer letters and email templates when it comes to recruiting.
  • BambooHR makes it easy to recruit and keep track of candidates, and the stages they are in in the interview process.
  • The BambooHR 'how can we help button' makes it super easy when you have a problem or a question to get a resolution.
Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

We are a small organization with roughly only 25 employees but we need a tool that could do it all. When making this decision we compared tools that could sit as an ATS system combined with an HRIS system. Not only can BambooHR fit in those factors, it can also have benefits and payroll implemented in their system if we wanted to stop using our other payroll system. We have been using BambooHR since March 2023 but I had used it at a prior organization so that was an easy decision to move forward with it.

What do you dislike about this tool?
  • I wish BambooHR let you have candidate scorecards when recruiting.
  • BambooHR makes it easy to create onboarding documents but it does not always simplify the packets for each job function.
  • I wish BambooHR had the ability to open and close jobs more fluidly similar to Greenhouse - multiple openings in one job code for tracking purposes.
How is this tool different than their competitors?

BambooHR is a great product for a small growing organization that needs a product to do it all. Because we have a limited budget we needed to find an ATS that could also onboard and fit as a people management system. I think that BambooHR is cheaper and easier to use.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

When buying a tool like BambooHR I think they should consider price (this was our number one driving factor), and scalability. As we continue to grow, BambooHR will be able to grow with us.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

BambooHR has evolved over the years since I last used it. They have developed their reporting capabilities, added payroll and benefits to their system, as well as created a system to organize a 'talent pool'.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

BambooHR is good for a company with less than 400 employees that is looking to grow their organization, and manage current employees.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

BambooHR might not be a fit for companies that are larger than 600 employees or trying to make a lot of hires at any given time.

OnPay

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OnPay
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Popularity Score
4.3 / 5
User Score
4.8 / 5
Product Score
4.7 / 5

Why we picked OnPay

With best-in-class integrations and built-in HR, OnPay is extremely user-friendly and has top-notch customer support. Its USP is the way it combines simplicity with a wide range of features.

PROS

CONS

OnPay Review

Fast, precise, and backed by payroll experts, OnPay is a payroll software with all the HR tools embedded in it. OnPay’s goal is to enhance the productivity of individuals and teams. This is reflected both in their simple yet intuitive user interface and extensive features such as multi-state payroll, single sign-on, employee-self service, or automated onboarding flows.

One of the best things about OnPay is that when you buy it, you get the help of trained experts every step of the way. They also provide one month of a free trial.

OnPay Customers

OnPay Pricing

Best For

OnPay in action
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Paylocity

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Paylocity
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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.3 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked Paylocity

Paylocity streamlines payroll and HR processes with user-friendly tools, automation, compliance support, and more. Its comprehensive features, accessible platform, and expert resources make it a standout choice for managing your workforce efficiently and effectively.

PROS

  • Paylocity offers a feature-rich platform that simplifies the management of payroll, HR, benefits, and other related tasks.
  • It features a user-friendly interface and offers extensive online documentation to guide users through the various features and functionalities.
  • There’s a mobile app that both employees and managers can access to perform several processes on-the-go.
  • Paylocity’s customer support is highly rated for always being available to answer questions.
  • Global payroll support for 100+ countries.
  • Provides free and unlimited training modules on the website.
  • Paylocity’s mobile app has a good UI and functionality
  • The tool is easy to use for both employees and employers.
  • Has 350+ pre-built integrations.

CONS

  • Pricing information is not publicly available, and there isn’t a free trial or a free plan at this time.
  • Paylocity's comprehensive feature set can create a learning curve for users.
  • The report customization options in Paylocity could be enhanced.
  • Undisclosed pricing.
  • It doesn’t have a free trial or free plan.
  • Support is available in English only.
  • It isn’t the best solution for remote teams looking for a tool to manage payroll and benefits for their contractors.
Paylocity Payroll and HR software

Paylocity Review

Paylocity offers a comprehensive and user-friendly platform with features for payroll, people, benefits, time off, and compliance management. We love how easy and quick it is to process payroll, thanks to Paylocity’s intuitive three-step navigation flow: you enter the necessary payroll info, review and hit Submit. Paylocity also minimizes manual data entry by automatically transferring information from Time & Labor, flagging employees who need prorated or retro pay, and showing the calculations for your review.

To ensure payroll accuracy, you can make use of Paylocity’s Payroll Readiness Dashboard that gives you a comprehensive overview of your critical payroll tasks well ahead of your processing day. The system also features over 40 configurable pre-submit audits that flag irregular occurrences, such as an employee receiving double their typical pay.

Beyond payroll management, Paylocity provides a solid HRIS that helps you stay on top of several employee-related processes. For starters, it excels at data management and task automation across multiple users and workspaces. Whether it's confirming employee addresses, collecting certification proofs, or managing employee onboarding, Paylocity simplifies these processes through automation and centralization.

Accessibility is another strong point of Paylocity. Employees can securely access their payroll and HR data from anywhere, on any device. They can retrieve important information such as offer letters, paystubs, tax forms, benefits info, and make changes to their personal information. Managers and HR professionals have full visibility into employee data, enabling them to manage positions, assign skills and certifications, predict vacancies, and manage budget changes effectively,

Paylocity also prioritizes compliance, offering a user-friendly dashboard with swift access to work authorizations, EEO, and FLSA compliance data, as well as industry news. For additional support, Paylocity's HR Edge service provides expert resources, including an account manager, to assist in minimizing risk and implementing optimal practices. Furthermore, Paylocity's reporting and analytics capabilities provide deeper insights into the workforce through real-time, visually presented data. This data enables the monitoring of key metrics, recognition of patterns, enhancement of HR strategies, and the advancement of business goals.

Paylocity Customers

Paylocity’s solutions are used by over 35k organizations including CRP Industries, Wagstaff, and Powerhouse.

Paylocity Pricing

Paylocity’s pricing isn’t disclosed upfront. We recommend scheduling a demo with their Sales team to get a breakdown of all associated costs.

Best For

Paylocity's solutions are designed for businesses of all sizes across diverse industries, with a primary emphasis on medium and large enterprises. These companies possess the necessary resources and infrastructure to fully utilize the platform's functionalities, allowing them to effectively maximize its benefits.

Paylocity in action
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Rippling

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Rippling
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Popularity Score
4.2 / 5
User Score
4.2 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked Rippling

Rippling is geared toward SMBs with its intuitive UI, automation, and 500+ integrations. Besides features like US/global payroll and self-service, the benefits administration tool lets you work with your chosen broker and select the benefits packages for your team from over 4,000 plans.

PROS

  • Rippling payroll automatically updates work hours, deductions, and tax filings.
  • Ability to process payroll in multiple countries and currencies.
  • Can connect with 500+ apps.
  • Enables users to work with their chosen broker.
  • Ability to purchase modules separately or as a full suite.
  • All-in-one platform for employee management + PEO services offered, and even a suite of other IT products 
  • With 500 integrations, it’s very likely that they integrate with other key tools from your tech stack.
  • Operates globally with any currency
  • Workflow automation
  • Analytics opportunities
  • Provides a holistic view of company outflows—headcount costs included

CONS

  • Undisclosed pricing. No free trial.
  • Phone support costs extra.
  • Not the best option for teams with 2,000+ employees.
  • The mobile app has limited features compared to the web browser version.
  • Total buy-in to Rippling is essential 
  • Very SMB-oriented, in case you’re a larger company. 
  • New features tend to be buggy in ways that tech teams are not accustomed to fixing

Rippling Review

Rippling is a competent solution for growing teams looking to handle their HR and payroll more efficiently. Though the software is quite new in the space, we appreciate how fast the platform has evolved since it debuted.

One of the standout features of Rippling is its exceptional integration capabilities. With over 500 app connections available, it surpasses most tools in the market.

Rippling offers feature-rich capabilities that simplify payroll and HR management for global teams. With its integrated platform, users can pay employees and contractors worldwide within minutes. The built-in time tracking app automatically updates work hours, deductions, and tax filings, eliminating the need for manual tasks. This allows users to focus on reviewing numbers, approving payroll, and letting the system handle the rest.

We are impressed with Rippling's benefits management tool, allowing users to collaborate with preferred brokers, select from 4,000 plans, and offer the hires a self-service portal and mobile app. However, we hope for enhancements in the mobile app's performance and features, as it can be laggy at times and lacks certain functionalities compared to the web browser version.

Rippling's pricing starts at $8 per employee per month, but obtaining an accurate quote requires a demo with a sales representative. It's important to note that the actual cost may be higher due to the software's purchase model. The Unity module is mandatory for purchasing any other modules. Additionally, if you require phone support from HR specialists, additional fees apply.

Rippling Customers

Vox, Maximum Games, Superhuman, Compass Coffee, Highnoon.

Rippling Pricing

Rippling's Core HR platform starts at $8 per employee per month. Contact Sales for more details.

Best For

Rippling is most useful for SMBs, ideally with 50 to 2,000 employees. It doesn’t matter whether they are US-based, global, remote, office-based, or distributed teams.

Rippling in action
Reviewer's Rating
9/10

Our organization uses Rippling to manage various HR processes, including payroll, time-off, benefits administration, employee data management, reporting, and leave management. We are also considering the performance management and survey modules but have not yet decided to implement them. As we grow, Rippling has been proactive in suggesting further process automation. We appreciate the flexibility to activate modules as needed, which prevents us from being overwhelmed by unnecessary complexity.

What do you like about this tool?

Rippling's user interface is exceptionally user-friendly, with appealing graphics and straightforward instructions, which differentiates it from other more complex HRIS systems. Our employees find it easy to navigate and locate what they need. The modular approach of Rippling, allowing us to activate features as needed, is highly beneficial. Additionally, Rippling's customer service has proven to be responsive and thorough.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

Our organization was grappling with highly manual HR processes such as payroll, benefits administration, timekeeping, and time-off requests, which were prone to errors due to being handled via Excel spreadsheets. As our organization continued to grow rapidly, we required a tool that could automate these processes in a user-friendly manner with minimal implementation time. We have been using Rippling for almost two years now.

What do you dislike about this tool?

We find ourselves renegotiating the cost of our contract annually, with sales representatives often pushing for us to add new features instead of facing a price increase. While custom workflows are beneficial, they can be challenging to set up without a clear understanding of the functionality. The payroll function's inability to handle retroactive pay is a significant drawback, requiring manual calculations on our part.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

Rippling stands out due to its ease of use and engaging user interface, which makes it more appealing to employees compared to other HRIS systems I've encountered, which often appear sterile and are not intuitive.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

When choosing an HRIS, consider both your current needs and future growth. Be wary of systems that might become obsolete as your business evolves or require additional purchases to meet new needs. It’s also crucial to consider the system's cost structure, especially if your organization experiences high turnover or expects significant growth. Lastly, evaluate how user-friendly and engaging the system is for your employees, as a difficult or dull interface might deter them from using it effectively.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

Rippling actively responds to customer feedback, making regular recommendations for system upgrades or new modules based on our specific needs. They have significantly improved their Applicant Tracking System (ATS) by incorporating suggestions from users like us during their annual updates.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Rippling is particularly well-suited for small to medium-sized organizations looking to automate their HR processes comprehensively. It's easy to implement, requiring only a small team, and manageable even by a modest HR department.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

Rippling may not be the best fit for government contractors, as it lacks certain functionalities required to ensure compliance with specific contract requirements. Organizations in this sector might find other HRIS systems more tailored to their needs.

Why Use a Payroll and HR Software?

If you have just started an organization or are managing a small team, you may wonder if there is any use of bringing payroll and HR software onboard. After all, you could simply keep a database of your employees’ essential information. 

While it may not seem like a necessity early on, contemporary payroll and HR solutions offer so much more value than meets the eye. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider investing in payroll and HR software: 

  • Streamline your workflows: Instead of buying two separate softwares for your core HR tasks and payroll, you would immensely benefit from buying an all-in-one payroll and HR software in a plethora of ways. Not only would a consistent user interface give you more clarity about your work, you would also be able to easily map out an employee’s compensation and PTO based on their attendance, performance, and other such metrics – all of which would be accessible in one single place, if you choose a unified HRIS.
  • Save time: The biggest advantage of using modern HR tools is that they focus on automating redundant tasks and freeing up your bandwidth for more creative and strategic thinking initiatives. A good HR and payroll system would help you save time on recurring tasks like payroll processing, time & attendance, and applicant tracking. Once you’ve got your HRMS fully implemented, it would also help you eliminate time on editing company policy and the like. 
  • Avail expert advice: Dealing with the nuances of payroll processing can get complicated pretty quick. Although a good payroll and HR software would have a user-friendly interface, most such softwares come with a robust support team that’s not only there with you for implementation and weekday support but also for intimating you with regulations that keep changing on a frequent basis. You could also avail the service of these payroll experts for understanding best practices and making important business decisions. 
  • Improve employee retention: Modern Payroll and HR solutions come with tools for employee benefits ranging from retirement benefits to health, vision, and dental insurance. This not only leads to employee retention but also helps you save money and stay compliant.  
  • Transparency: Makers of payroll and HR software know that they have many stakeholders. So, while HR managers have access to employee records, employees can access a portal that lets them see their own time & attendance, request time off, avail benefits, and stay up-to-date with any changes. This kind of transparency builds trust, saves time, and helps employees improve their performance. 
  • Stay Compliant: With the amount of research that risk mitigation requires, figuring out compliance measures by yourself can derail you from focusing on your core tasks. Payroll and HR software companies take compliance very seriously because they know that in today’s world of ever-changing regulations, no company wants the stress of lawsuits or fines looming over their heads. From unlimited access to expert HR advisors to law alerts and compliance resources, a good payroll and HR software would help you stay compliant and up-to-date with regulatory changes. 
  • Identify trends and patterns: Modern HR technology is equipped with analytics tools that give businesses a holistic overview of their company. From getting an insight into your diversity patterns to seeing your attrition trends in a visually digestible form, you can make use of a payroll and HR software’s analytics tool to formulate new strategies and bring change.

Pro Tips on Payroll and HR Software

Some pitfalls to avoid while buying a new payroll and HR software

  • Inability to integrate with other softwares: Most payroll and HR technologies pride themselves upon their ability to integrate with a plethora of third-party softwares. While the HRIS you’re interested in buying might have the ability to integrate with popular applications, it may not integrate with the system that your company uses regularly.

    If you fall prey to this common pitfall, you’ll be spending your days manually entering data from one software to another, causing an unnecessary roadblock for your core HR responsibilities.
  • No employee self-service: One of the biggest advantages of modern HR solutions is that they come with the employee self-service option, which basically means that your employees can access, edit, and update some of their information on their own – a task that was previously reserved for the HR team.

    If the payroll and HR software you’re interested in doesn’t provide this feature, you’ll have to take into consideration the amount of time and labor HR will be spending on these types of tasks.  
  • Inadequate data security: A payroll and HR software by its nature stores a lot of sensitive information including but not limited to your employees’ names, email IDs, phone numbers, and bank account details. You’d not only want to know how the data you’re providing is being used but also how safe it is in the hands of a company you’re ready to put your trust in. 
  • Moving forward without getting an internal buy-in: You have to keep in mind that it’s not only the human resources department that’s going to use the HR software you’re eyeing, but also your employees. Moreover, different departments have different workflows and needs.

    You wouldn’t want to end up in a situation where you bring a new technology on board, only to later hear a complaint about the lack of a desired integration or a feature imperative to a particular team’s work. 
  • A dearth of references from existing clients: HR tech makers flaunt testimonials and client reviews like gold medals. If you don’t find one on their website, it’s definitely ok to ask for references. You can contact their customers to get feedback, or even check among your existing contacts if anyone happens to be using the tool.

    Although you can give the benefit of the doubt to some companies, especially when their product is newly launched, it’s in your best interest to get references from multiple clients so you have a fairer picture of the product. 
  • Bad user interface: Information overload affects everyone differently. Payroll and HR solutions that are not intuitive and easy to navigate will frustrate your employees, disrupt their productivity, and unnecessarily increase your HR team’s workload. Make sure you pay as much attention to a vendor’s user interface as much as its cost and features.

    Of course, this can be very subjective, so be sure that a good sample of the other team mates that will be using the tool also get a say on how they find the UX / UI of the product.
  • Getting lured by fancy features: With the kind of interesting extra features modern HR systems come with, it’s easy to lose track of your priorities. Before contacting vendors, spend some time listing down all your essential requirements and features that you absolutely can’t do without. While it’s always nice to have additional features, make sure you’re not compromising on your must-haves.

ROI Of The Right Payroll And HR Software

You may find yourself wondering if a payroll and HR software product is worth buying, and rightly so. 

These tools are certainly not free and the cost only escalates as the organization scales up. In the early stages of a company, tasks like time tracking and running payroll can be managed with the help of spreadsheets, although you have to consider that the opportunity cost is your precious time and sometimes even your peace of mind. 

But when your organization grows, it’s clear as day that you’re better off outsourcing menial payroll and HR tasks to a software tool. 

Consider this simple stat: The average salary of a payroll administrator in the U.S. is $50,000 per year. The average annual salary of an HR administrator is approximately the same as a payroll administrator. If you compare the amount of money you’ll spend on payroll and HR software vs. what it costs to hire a couple of administrators for such jobs, you’ll see that it’s completely worth buying a good payroll and HR software. 

Besides, unquantifiable features such as accuracy, elimination of duplicate entries, or compliance risks, however easy to overlook, can make a substantial difference at the end of the day.

Payroll and HR Software Pricing

For most payroll and HR software, the pricing model is such that there is a monthly base fee plus a per employee per month fee. The latter fee is usually around a quarter of the base amount. Most HRMS vendors also provide differently priced packages that you can choose from, however. This depends on the features that you require and your organization’s size. Many vendors don’t disclose pricing upfront and require you to quote a custom price. 

Pricing contracts are renewable monthly or annually, with the latter being a cost-effective choice usually. Some vendors also ask for additional charges on top of the pricing plan you choose for various purposes such as for filing W-9s and 1099s, set up, customer support, or consulting. 

Make sure you’re aware of these hidden costs before you seal the deal with a vendor. That said, below is a chart of price ranges to keep in mind before you start looking for payroll and HR vendors. Do note that it’s only an average estimate and prices may vastly vary between vendors.

Number of employees Estimated annual cost
100 $12,000
500 $48,000
1,000 $72,000
10,000 $480,000
100,000 1,000,000+

Key Payroll and HR Software Features

After spending countless hours in the HRMS vendor universe, we’ve found that the highest-rated payroll and HR solutions are laden with features that surpass the basic requirements of HR teams. 

While some vendors go over and beyond in terms of the add-ons they provide, below is a list of features that you must look for while selecting a payroll and HR solution. 

  • Automated, unlimited payroll runs: It’s always good to go with a software that aims to eliminate repetitive work. You’d want to choose an HRMS that not only lets you schedule when to pay different employees but also lets you run payroll as often as you’d like, as opposed to solutions that only allow you to run payroll a limited number of times in a month. 
  • Tax filing and payments: Managing taxes on your own can add unnecessary risk and burden on your shoulders. Top-tier HRMS vendors withhold all your taxes each pay run and file all the necessary annual and quarterly forms on your behalf.
  • Multiple pay rates: Vendors are aware that a lot of companies have employees who perform multiple tasks, for which they’re remunerated differently. This adds another level of complexity to payroll processing. It’s in your best interest to go with a vendor who provides such a feature, otherwise, you’ll be wasting your time matching different pay rates to the different number of hours worked; a task that’s best left for automation.
  • Employee self-service: A feature that lets employees access their own information not only fosters a culture of transparency and trust but also frees up the HR department’s bandwidth to focus on more high-level, people-centric tasks. 
  • Benefits administration: Vendors who have a benefits administration platform can rid you of the hassles that come with the open enrollment process in addition to enhancing your employee experience. The biggest advantage of going with a vendor that comes with a benefits tool however is that the benefit deductions automatically flow into payroll for processing, saving you potential hours of manual work.
  • Attendance & time tracking: You’d want to choose an HRMS that has an attendance tool that’s fully integrated with the payroll. This would eliminate duplicate data entry and improve the overall accuracy of the payroll system.
  • Automated onboarding flows: The process of onboarding usually comes with a lot of paperwork, especially if it’s done manually. Automated onboarding flows let employees onboard themselves with features that allow them to enter their own details, e-sign documents, and self-check all the tasks.
  • Employee database: An HRIS with an employee database lets you view all your employee records and information in one single place, making it easy to find any employee’s performance history, salary, position, training records, and more.

Questions To Ask On Demos

Most HR tech vendors either provide a live demo or a recorded one to their potential customers. Think of this as a simulation of what it’s going to be like after you get this product onboard. Lest you get carried away by the number of features or a beautiful user interface, it’s imperative that you prepare a list of questions beforehand that will address your core HR needs. 

Although not exhaustive, below are such questions that we think HR professionals should definitely ask to get the most out of a demo:

  • How does this HR software integrate with other systems that we already use?
  • How do you go about transferring data from our current system to your solution? 
  • Do you provide training after implementing this software in our organization?
  • Can you tailor your software for our specific needs? 
  • How long does it typically take to resolve any issues we may face?
  • What are your security measures like? How do you protect our sensitive data?
  • Can you give a product walkthrough from the point of view of different kinds of users?
  • Will your solution help me manage contractors and other people who are not full-time employees?
  • How will our pricing change as we scale?
  • Is your solution cloud-based and mobile-friendly?
  • Do you have a team that would help me stay up-to-date with regulatory changes that are relevant to my organization?
  • Do you handle international payroll?
  • How do you go about handling benefits for employees in different states or remote workers in different countries? 
  • Is there an in-built tool that helps the HR team communicate with employees?
  • What kind of HR processes will be automated?
  • What are your key features? What differentiates this solution from its competitors?

Payroll And HR Software Implementation

Depending on whether you’re buying payroll and HR software for the first time or switching to a new one, your implementation process would slightly differ. 

There are also variables such as your organization size, training requirements, and the vendor you choose that would dictate your timeline and process. Thus, implementation of a new payroll and HR software could take as little as a day to a couple of weeks. 

Most vendors start with an installation, which is followed by data migration (if you’re switching from another vendor), configuration, testing, employee training, and finally officially bringing the software onboard. Later, the vendor may follow up for feedback. 

In most cases, the implementation team would ask you for the following information:

  • Basic company information such as your EIN (employee identification number)
  • Basic employee information such as their name, SSN, address, compensation, etc.
  • Payroll and information about already paid taxes, if you’re switching vendors mid-year

Do note that although this is the typical process, it’s best to ask the vendor you’re interested in about their implementation process and timeline before proceeding with them.

Payroll and HR Software FAQs

What is payroll software?

In 2022, when someone says payroll software they typically mean a SaaS solution that manages, records, organizes, and automates a company’s payments to its employees. That being said, payroll software could be cloud-based or on-premise. 

What is HR software?

HR software is a suite of tools that helps a company’s human resources department carry out everyday HR tasks in an efficient manner. 

What is an all-in-one HRMS software?

An all-in-one HRMS software enables a company’s HR department to carry out a wide range of core HR tasks such as payroll processing, onboarding, recruiting, benefits administration, applicant tracking, and more from one centralized location. 

Do companies provide both payroll and HR software together?

Yes, many vendors in the HR space provide a combined solution that takes care of payroll and core HR needs. 

What does HRIS stand for?

HRIS stands for Human Resource Information System. 

What does HCM stand for?

HCM stands for Human Capital Management.

What does HRMS stand for?

HRMS stands for Human Resource Management System. 

What’s the difference between HRIS, HCM, and HRMS?

These terms are often used interchangeably because on the surface, there isn’t a huge difference between HRIS, HCM, and HRMS. The definition varies from vendor to vendor and even among HR professionals. While all three are all people management tools, the differences lie in their features and use cases. An HRIS takes care of your core HR needs and is limited in that sense. An HRMS has the same use case as an HRIS but goes beyond the core HR needs in terms of features, especially if it adds performance management and payroll. Strategic planning is the epicenter of an HCM while having most of the HRMS features all the same. 

What are the benefits of using HR and payroll software?

There are many benefits of using an HR and payroll software, some of which are: 

  • Helps you save time by automating repetitive tasks
  • Improves the overall employee experience
  • Increases compliance
  • Better organization and everything in one place
  • Analytics, reporting, and key business insights
  • Workforce management

What is the best payroll and HR software?

While we’ve spent a lot of time researching and coming up with this list of best payroll and HR softwares, what is best for one company might not be for some other. Hopefully, our comprehensive yet brief vendor reviews help you shortlist what would be the best payroll and HR software for your particular case.

Last advice

To wrap things up, we hope that the information on this page helped you get an overview of the best payroll and HR vendors, their features, pricing, and how to go about implementing them. 

Partnering with a top payroll and HR vendor will help you save a lot of time and money, but what would truly elevate your experience is partnering with a vendor that specifically caters to your company’s needs. 

Our advice to you is that instead of looking for a one-size-fits-all solution, you should narrow down your specific HR requirements and base all your demos around that. Dive right into demos with 2-3 vendors and ask them to show specific functionality. If a vendor checks the majority of your boxes, you can then evaluate them on other factors like ease of use and overall user experience. 

Lastly, if you're an internationally distributed team, consider coupling this guide with our roundup of the best global payroll software.

About Us

  • Our goal at SSR is to help HR and recruiting teams to find and buy the right software for their needs.
  • Our site is free to use as some vendors will pay us for web traffic.
  • SSR lists all companies we feel are top vendors - not just those who pay us - in our comprehensive directories full of the advice needed to make the right purchase decision for your HR team.

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