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Paychex Flex HR Software Review

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley
Staff writer
business.com Staff
Updated Sep 20, 2022

Managing a remote team poses a unique set of human resources challenges, potentially making it difficult to find the right HR software to meet your company’s virtual needs. Fortunately, Paychex Flex may be the perfect fit for your business. This vendor is a major player in the HR industry, and for good reason. With its long history and credibility, you can rest assured that your human resources operations will comply with federal and state regulations when you use the Paychex Flex software.

Paychex Flex HR Software Review

Paychex Flex HR Software

The Verdict

Paychex Flex, a full-service payroll and HR software platform that can support businesses of any size, is our best pick for companies with remote teams. Its scalable features can help you manage distributed staff and maintain legal compliance.

The system comes with essential features, such as an intuitive dashboard, third-party integrations and an easy-to-use mobile application. It also supports organizations of all sizes and can scale with your business as your virtual, in-office or hybrid workforce expands, making Paychex Flex our choice for the best HR software for remote teams.

Paychex Flex HR Software Editor’s Score: 9.1/10

Price/value9.5/10
Features8.7/10
Customizations, add-ons and integrations8.9/10
Ease of use9.4/10
Customer support8.7/10

Why We Chose Paychex Flex for Remote Teams

Paychex Flex is a robust HR solution with a wide range of features that are conducive to managing a remote team. For example, it offers digital hiring and onboarding services, like electronic HR documents and tax forms, as well as e-signature capabilities. Employees can easily set up direct deposit and access self-service features online or through the Paychex mobile app, which is essential for remote workers. Because HR reporting can be a great way to keep track of your out-of-office employees, we like that Paychex has not only standard HR reporting and analytics capabilities with more than 160 report types, but also customizable metrics, which are helpful for business owners who want specific, niche reports and visualizations.

FYIFYI: Paychex Flex is just one of many top HR software products available for small businesses. While we recommend this system for companies with remote teams, there are dozens of options that match different needs, so be sure to check out our full overview.

Paychex employee dashboard
The Paychex employee dashboard puts key features right in front of your team members as soon as they log in.

What We Like About Paychex Flex

  • Paychex Flex offers remote-friendly HR tools, like e-signatures, paperless onboarding, direct deposit, e-learning courses, mobile apps and employee self-service features.
  • The system can handle your business’s payroll tax administration, W-2s and 1099s for you.
  • The platform can help with regulatory compliance, including new-hire reporting, workers’ compensation insurance and state unemployment insurance services.
  • Paychex provides optional services at no additional cost, including paycards, financial wellness programs, tax credit services and employee assistance programs.

What We Don’t Like About Paychex Flex

  • Paychex doesn’t list pricing for all of its HR software plans online.
  • There’s no free trial.

Ease of Use

When researching this platform, we liked that the Paychex Flex dashboard is intuitive and easy to navigate, regardless of which device you’re using. Select plans come with a free mobile app for iOS and Android devices, which is helpful for remote employees to manage their HR needs (e.g., hours, pay, benefits) from any location. The mobile app is very comprehensive, which isn’t true of every competitor in the HR software space.

Paychex information access
The employee view of the Paychex dashboard provides essential information and easy access to past paystubs.

Although Paychex Flex is a full-service payroll and HR solution, it can integrate with hundreds of third-party vendors. These integrations are ideal for companies that need to tailor their business platforms to meet the needs of their remote staff. 

Features of Paychex Flex

You can manage core HR functions from one system with Paychex Flex. This comprehensive platform has all of the features you need to recruit and onboard new employees, track time and attendance, administer employee benefits, run payroll and manage employee performance. In addition, a plethora of reports can help you analyze each HR process and improve your business’s efficiency.

Although the specific tools vary by plan, here are some of the best functions of Paychex Flex.

Legal Compliance Assistance

One of the biggest challenges of managing human resources – especially when your team operates from various remote locations – is maintaining legal compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations. Paychex helps businesses stay compliant thanks to features such as new-hire reporting, payroll tax administration, automatic W-2s and 1099s, and printed and electronic labor compliance poster kits. We also like that the program can assess your risk exposure and provide recommendations for meeting regulations such as OSHA requirements. 

Recruiting and Onboarding

Recruiting and onboarding virtual staffers can be challenging for some employers, but Paychex has tools that simplify the process. For example, the company offers hiring services and can even connect you with the best background check services so you can screen candidates before hiring them.

Once you do hire a new employee, Paychex can streamline the onboarding process with electronic HR documents (W-4, state and tax withholding, EEOC and I-9 forms), direct deposit options and e-signature capabilities. Paychex facilitates this process via a paperless, mobile-friendly experience, so your employees can be onboarded quickly from any location.

FYIFYI: Paychex can securely store employee documents for future reference and legal compliance.

Payroll

We like that Paychex has payroll tools that allow you to process and manage company payroll seamlessly. You can run payroll for your business in just a few clicks and pay employees via their preferred method (e.g., direct deposit, paper checks, paycards). Paychex can automatically send required year-end tax forms (W-2s and 1099s) to employees and contractors, and it calculates, pays and files your business’s federal, state and local payroll taxes. With select plans, companies can also access advanced services for workers’ compensation, state unemployment insurance and garnishment payments.

Paychex Payroll Center
The administrator side of the Paychex Payroll Center allows you to run payroll from any device.

Time and Attendance

Your employees can use any web-connected device to view their Paychex dashboard and HR information, which is especially ideal for remote workers. They can perform time-and-attendance functions such as clocking in and out, managing their breaks, tracking their paid-time-off accruals and submitting new time-off requests. These features are competitive with the industry standard.

Your HR administrators can get a real-time view of employee activity, which is great for managing operational needs across various locations. This feature is especially valuable for remote teams, allowing managers to keep a close eye on when employees are working and when they are taking time off. [Highly rated employee monitoring software is another way to keep track of virtual staffers.]

Benefits Administration

Robust employee benefits can help you attract and retain top talent across the globe. With Paychex assets such as simple enrollment tools and employee self-service, administering benefits is easy to do online. You can use the software to provide competitive benefits, like health insurance, dental and vision insurance, health savings accounts (HSAs), 401(k) retirement plans, Section 125 plans, and accident, disability, critical illness and indemnity coverage.

We particularly like that Paychex also offers optional employee financial wellness programs, which isn’t something we saw many competitors do. Your employees can track and manage their benefits through Paychex whenever they want and wherever they want, and such perks can be a key driver of employee retention. 

TipTip: Highly skilled remote job seekers won’t stay on the market long. Offer a robust employee benefits package to attract them to your organization.

Paychex benefit management
Your employees can easily view and manage their benefits, like 401(k) plans, through their Paychex account.

Performance Management

Paychex offers helpful features for business leaders to manage employee performance, even when staffers are working from home. For example, your software package can include a learning management system with online e-learning courses to help workers continue learning and stay up-to-date on certifications and compliance training. You can gather employee feedback, manage performance reviews, track employee training, and retain training and compliance documents within the Paychex platform.

Paychex’s performance management features are on a par with its rivals’. However, if you’re looking for another HR software option with great performance management features, check out our review of Paycor.

Paychex Flex Pricing and Terms

Paychex offers three payroll and HR plans to choose from based on your company’s needs: Paychex Flex Essentials, Paychex Flex Select and Paychex Flex Pro. While Paychex Flex Essentials’ monthly price is $39 plus $5 per employee, pricing for the Paychex Flex Select and Pro plans is customized for each business and thus not available upfront.

The features of each plan are tiered, which is a similar pricing structure to those of many other HR solutions we reviewed. The Paychex Flex Essentials package includes basic payroll and compliance features, while the Paychex Flex Select and Pro levels cover more robust payroll and HR needs.

As your business grows, your Paychex plan can easily scale to match, which is great for companies with expanding teams. Another impressive perk: All plans come with the option to add free extra features, such as paycards, financial wellness programs, tax credit services and an employee assistance program.

Although there is no free trial for Paychex Flex, this is somewhat common in the HR software industry, even though it may be a turnoff for some business owners.

Implementation and Onboarding With Paychex Flex

Paychex Flex is an intuitive platform that can be implemented by businesses of all sizes. The exact implementation process will vary based on the plan you select and whether you sign up for any of the optional add-ons. Each of those takes a little additional time to set up, but they can add significant value for your employees.

During our research, we found that Paychex can integrate with hundreds of third-party applications. Although setting up integrations tends to add a little implementation time, they can be valuable in streamlining your business processes, thereby saving you time and money in the long run.

Regardless of the plan you choose, you will need to provide Paychex with certain information –  like your company’s tax identification number, banking information and employees’ email addresses – to get started. If you previously worked with another payroll provider, you may be able to transfer your data to Paychex’s system. A Paychex implementation specialist will set up your new account and ensure you understand how to use the different features, and they can onboard your staff.

Paychex administrator dashboard
Paychex has a user-friendly dashboard for administrators.

Customer Support

We really appreciate that Paychex offers 24/7 U.S.-based customer support. You can reach a representative by phone, or chat with an online chatbot. It’s important to highlight that Paychex Flex plans also come with a dedicated payroll specialist for one-on-one payroll and tax assistance, which is really nice.

Paychex also offers an online help center, blogs, online calculators, webinars and a searchable knowledgebase that can be filtered by need (e.g., payroll/taxes, human resources, employee benefits, business insurance, compliance). 

Limitations

Paychex is a great payroll and HR solution, but one downside is that the vendor doesn’t list its Paychex Flex Select or Paychex Flex Pro pricing online. Because the company creates custom quotes on a case-by-case basis, you will need to contact a representative to get an estimate. This extra step can be a setback for business owners who have a very limited budget and want to know the cost upfront before investing too much time in learning about the product. If you need to know more in-depth pricing details before contacting an HR software provider, check out our Gusto review; this HR software provider is a worthy alternative that lists its pricing online.

Another drawback involves Paychex’s customer reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website: Paychex’s current rating is only 1.04 out of 5 stars. However, Paychex is accredited with the BBB and has an A+ rating (which many competitors do not have).

Methodology

We researched and analyzed dozens of HR solutions to identify the best human resources systems on the market. As part of each investigation, we evaluated the platform’s recruiting and onboarding capabilities, employee benefits administration, time tracking tools, payroll processing, performance management features, reports, integrations, legal compliance assistance, usability, contracts, pricing and customer support. Whenever possible, we watched product videos and conducted demos.

When searching for the best HR software for remote teams specifically, we paid particular attention to certain features, such as recruiting and onboarding, payroll and benefits administration, time tracking, usability, employee self-service, third-party integrations and reporting. [To learn more about this vendor’s offerings, check out our review of Paychex’s human resources outsourcing service and our review of the Paychex PEO service.]

FYIFYI: Paychex started out solely providing payroll services and is on our list of the best online payroll companies.

FAQs

How do I contact Paychex customer service?

You can reach Paychex customer support by accessing the vendor’s customer support page, which lists a variety of customer service options for clients and employees. Paychex offers assistance by phone, chatbot, its help center and dedicated support specialists.

How do I log in to my Paychex Flex account?

Logging in to your Paychex Flex account is as simple as navigating to paychexflex.com and entering your username and password. You may need to provide additional login information based on the security settings you or your company have enabled.

Bottom Line

We recommend Paychex Flex for …

  • Employers with remote or hybrid teams.
  • Businesses that need HR software with self-service employee features.
  • Organizations interested in e-learning and development courses.

We don’t recommend Paychex Flex for …

  • Businesses that want to know the software pricing before reaching out to the vendor.
  • Companies that want a free trial.
Paychex Flex HR Software Review

Paychex Flex HR Software

The Verdict

Paychex Flex, a full-service payroll and HR software platform that can support businesses of any size, is our best pick for companies with remote teams. Its scalable features can help you manage distributed staff and maintain legal compliance.

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley
business.com Staff
Skye Schooley is a staff writer at business.com and Business News Daily, where she has written more than 200 articles on B2B-focused topics including human resources operations, management leadership, and business technology. In addition to researching and analyzing products that help business owners launch and grow their business, Skye writes on topics aimed at building better professional culture, like protecting employee privacy, managing human capital, improving communication, and fostering workplace diversity and culture.