Unlike smaller businesses, larger organizations have more complex payroll needs. Specifically, they need a solution that can serve as the base of their human resources needs, and, most importantly, is capable of handling all of their payroll processing and payroll tax needs. Paychex absolutely fits this bill. It is our choice as the best online payroll service for larger businesses.
Learn more about how we chose our best picks, see the other payroll services we selected as best picks, read reviews of other top payroll companies and see answers to online payroll frequently asked questions on our best picks page.
Paychex is a full-featured payroll service that handles not only all of your company's payroll processing and payroll tax obligations but a host of other tasks as well. The payroll software can support as few, or as many employees as you have. You can determine the kind of payroll schedule you want – weekly, biweekly, semimonthly or monthly – and pay both full and part-time W-2 employees, as well as 1099 contractors and freelancers.
Larger businesses don't want a one-size fits all type of payroll service. They want one that fits their specific needs. Finding a payroll company that offers a range of service plans, or the option to customize the service is of critical importance to larger organizations.
What makes Paychex an appealing option for larger businesses is that it offers flexibility in terms of its service offerings. The Paychex Flex platform is available in four different service plans that vary in the features included. In addition to plans designed for small businesses, there are service plans built specifically for larger and enterprise organizations.
The plans built for mid-size and enterprise businesses expand beyond the traditional payroll processing services and include HR tools and features, such as onboarding, HR administration, and pre-employment background check services.
Larger businesses also want flexibility in how employees are paid. With Paychex, employers can pay their employees in multiple ways. All of Paychex's service plans allow for payments to be made by direct deposit and prepaid debit cards, while three of the plans also allow for payments to be made by paper checks. Paychex offers check signing and check logo services.
Typically, larger organizations look for payroll services as part of a more complete human resources platform. Many enterprise businesses want a platform that can support payroll, as well as many of their other HR-related services, like time and attendance systems, employee benefits and benefits administration, and hiring services.
Paychex fills that need for employers. In addition to payroll processing, Paychex Flex supports online timekeeping, benefits administration, compliance services, employee onboarding, employment screening, retirement plans, business insurance and health insurance.
Paychex pricing and service plans
Paychex offers customized pricing for its services. None of the representatives we spoke with, however, would provide pricing estimates on any of their service plans, so we can't pass along any price quotes.
Overall, Paychex offers four service plans: Express Payroll, Paychex Flex Select, Paychex Flex Pro and Paychex Flex Enterprise. All of the service plans include Paychex's core payroll processing and payroll tax administration services.
Here is a breakdown of each plan:
- Express: The Express Payroll plan is the most basic of Paychex's service plans. In addition to the payroll processing and payroll tax services, the Express plan includes new hire reporting, direct deposit, prepaid debit cards, an employee financial wellness program, and 24/7 phone and chat support.
- Paychex Flex Select: The Select plan is the most popular plan for small businesses. It includes everything in the Express plan, plus access to a dedicated payroll specialist, labor compliance poster kits and paper check options.
- Paychex Flex Pro: Designed for mid-size businesses, the Pro plan includes everything in the Select plan plus garnishment payment service, onboarding tools and pre-employment background screening.
- Paychex Flex Enterprise: This is the most comprehensive plan and is designed for larger organizations. It includes everything in the Pro plan plus custom analytics and reporting and HR administration.
Since pricing is customized, you are best served by contacting Paychex directly and speaking with a sales representative to get specific information on pricing. Once they learn more about how many employees you have, how often you plan to run payroll and what, if any, additional Paychex services you are interested in, they should be able to provide with a detailed price quote.
Paychex offers a number of different services and features, including:
- Payroll processing: Paychex handles all of your payroll processing. The payroll software calculates how much each employee show be paid based on the hours they work and their pay rate. It also accounts of any additions, like bonuses or commissions, and deductions for things like health benefits.
- Paycheck options: You can pay your employees by direct deposit, check or pay card. If your employees choose to be paid by check, Paychex prints the checks and mails them to you, or you can print your own checks onsite.
- Payroll tax: Paychex handles all your payroll tax compliance issues. The service calculates, files, and pays your payroll taxes on time and ensures they are accurate. You don't have to worry about errors, because Paychex backs up its services with an accuracy guarantee. The guarantee states that if there are any mistakes in your payroll taxes, Paychex pays the penalties. The service also processes year-end W-2 and 1099 forms for your employees.
- Payroll reports: Paychex provides employers with more than 160 payroll-related reports. Enterprise users can also create their own customized reports.
- New hire reporting: The payroll service handles all of the state-required reporting when a new employee or contractor is hired.
- Accounting integrations: Paychex allows users to link their payroll data to popular accounting software, such as QuickBooks and Sage.
- Unemployment insurance: Paychex helps businesses manage the entire unemployment insurance process.
- Employee financial wellness program: This provides a variety of tools and education to help employees meet their financial goals. This also allows for short-term loans.
- Onboarding: Paychex offers Pro and Enterprise service users a number of employee onboarding tools. This allows new staff members to complete their new-hire documents, such as tax withholdings forms, via a paperless format.
- Background screening: A limited number of pre-employment background checks are included in the Pro and Enterprise plans.
- HR administration: These tools include the option to track performance reviews, manage employee training and store important documents safely in the cloud.
- Added services: Paychex offers a range of other business-related services, including time and attendance systems, benefits administration, compliance services, records administration, hiring services, employee benefits, business insurance, business loans, payment processing, tax services, incorporation services and online marketing services.
Ease of Use
The Paychex Flex platform is very easy to use. The system is cloud-hosted and can be accessed from any web browser. In addition, you can manage your payroll from the Paychex mobile app, which is available on iOS and Android devices.
When you log in, the homepage provides a quick glance of all your important information. This includes a notice of when your next payroll is due, a link to start the payroll process, upcoming check dates, the cash required for the next payroll and a quick link to the payroll reports section of the system.
Running payroll is a simple task and can be completed in just a few steps. All you have to do is enter your payroll information (salaries, hours worked and pay rates), confirm that the data is correct and submit the payroll for processing. Rather than running payroll manually each pay period, you can also set up recurring amounts for faster processing.
The system includes employee self-service. Employees are provided with their own login information so they can access the system to review their pay stubs and see their year-end tax documents.
In addition to accessing the payroll tools and features, you can use the Paychex Flex platform to access other Paychex services your business might be using.
We were disappointed in the customer service we received from Paychex. To test the level of support provided, we contacted the company multiple times by phone and email posing as a business owner interested in payroll services.
When we called the company, the representative we spoke with refused to give us any details about the system and its cost over the phone. He said that for him to fully explain the system and give more information on pricing, we would have to meet in person. Even when we explained that we were just looking into payroll systems and wanted to see how Paychex compared to its competitors in pricing, the representative said he couldn't even provide us with an estimate.
Additionally, even though we said we were only focused on payroll services at this time, the representative kept trying to sell us on the other services Paychex offers. So, while the representative peppered us with questions, he wasn't able to answer any of the questions we had for him, which was disappointing.
Unfortunately, the service we received over email wasn't that much better. When we reached out to a representative and explained we were interested in learning more about the different service plans and pricing, we didn't receive the level of information we were looking. While the representative sent a document that had a service plan comparison, he offered no other information. He didn't offer to walk us through the plans and give us more detailed information on the services available. Additionally, we didn't receive any type of price quote or estimate.
One positive of Paychex's customer support is that Select, Pro and Enterprise plan users receive a dedicated payroll specialist to handle any issues that arise. Many of the other payroll services we looked into didn't offer a dedicated point person to help with any problems.
Regardless of the plan you use, Paychex support is available by phone and live chat 24/7.
The biggest drawback we encountered with Paychex was the customer support. Nearly all of the other payroll companies we investigated were willing to speak with us over the phone about the service and provide detailed answers to our questions about what the service offered and how it worked. In addition, most provided is with a price estimate to give us an idea of how much their payroll software cost.
We were also disappointed to see that, as of September 2018, more than 200 complaints had been filed against the company with the Better Business Bureau. Despite the complaints, however, Paychex is an accredited member of the BBB with an A+ rating.
Editor's note: Looking for a payroll service? Click the Compare Quotes button below to have our sister site Buyer Zone connect you with vendors that can help.
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