Rippling provides small businesses with unique features like remote laptop management and local tax registration, making it our best pick for a scalable PEO.
Rippling provides small businesses of all sizes with a wide range of support for human resources (HR), information technology (IT), payroll, employee benefits and risk compliance. In addition to its intuitive and well-developed online platform, this company provides reputable PEO services under its co-employment model. Where Rippling excels most, however, is in its ability to scale. Many professional employer organizations we reviewed — while excellent service providers — aren’t tech-forward companies. In the age of remote work, this can be a challenge for budding decentralized small businesses. Fortunately, Rippling provides a central hub of information and practical tools to help small companies grow, making it our choice for the best scalable PEO service for small businesses.
9.3 / 10
When we tested out Rippling’s technology suite, we were impressed that it lets businesses create workflows and automate virtually any HR process. While many other competitors offer some level of process automation, there are very few that are as comprehensive as Rippling in this sense. Since the platform syncs each HR process, it can scale with your hiring process easily as you add more staff and grow your business. Additionally, we like that you can remove or add features as needed to create the right HR solution at every stage of your business.
Once your company grows to a certain size, you may be ready to bring on an internal HR department. That could mean switching out of the professional employer organization (PEO) model and adopting a stand-alone HR platform. Instead of essentially starting over with a new HR solution, we love that Rippling makes this process an easy transition. Rippling’s ability to act as either a PEO or a stand-alone HR platform is one of its best features, and it isn’t something we saw all competitors offer.
We appreciate that once you move out of the PEO offering, you won’t have to start from scratch with separate HR features. All your company’s information and data are stored safely within Rippling’s platform. You won’t have to onboard existing employees again or update any company information — you can switch from Rippling’s PEO to its HR service quickly and easily.
We also like that you can purchase Rippling’s services on an a la carte basis. You can buy stand-alone services in HR or IT, which is ideal for new and growing companies looking to scale quickly. For these reasons, Rippling is our top choice for the best PEO for scalability.
Rippling has some of the most extensive HR reporting capabilities of all the PEOs we analyzed. You can even pull independent reports and download data into Excel or comma-separated values (CSV) files.
Rippling’s timecards make it easy to see exactly when employees have clocked in and out. Source: Rippling
We were impressed that Rippling’s approach is tech-forward without being complicated. We were also pleased to experience that Rippling’s intuitive PEO software requires minimal user training. Additionally, its extensive third-party integrations were by far the best and easiest to implement of any other PEO platform we evaluated. You can hook up your PEO platform — and all the valuable HR data and employee information it contains — with more than 500 popular workplace apps like Slack, Google Workspace and Zoom.
We like that Rippling is a cloud-based PEO platform, making it truly scalable. We were impressed by its IT features, including remote laptop management, app integration management and single sign-on features. Most competitors don’t offer such comprehensive IT features. Additionally, we like that you can enable apps for new employees, disable them for departing employees and create a mission-control dashboard to manage your software.
Rippling is one of the easiest services to implement, onboard and offboard of any PEO we reviewed.
Rippling provides a wide range of standard PEO services and unique features for businesses of varying sizes. The specific features you can access depend on your plan. However, since Rippling is highly scalable, you can add or remove many of these tools as needed.
Rippling facilitates some of the most advanced HR services of all the PEOs we analyzed, including the following:
Rippling provides extensive and secure electronic document management features. Source: Rippling
As your business scales and you add more staff to your team, you’ll likely want to provide comprehensive employee benefits. We like that with Rippling, all your company’s medical, dental, vision and 401(k) plan information is accessible in one benefits dashboard. We also like that Rippling provides new-hire enrollment, third-party broker support, online open enrollment, payroll deduction synchronization, online employee self-service and small and large group benefits packages. These benefit offerings are on par with other top PEOs we reviewed.
Rippling walks employees through the process of selecting insurance. Source: Rippling
Rippling is one of the only companies we reviewed that provides local tax registration. This is an excellent feature for companies that hire employees in multiple states. We also like that Rippling provides time and attendance features, overtime and break tracking, garnishments, payroll processing in all 50 states and internationally, direct deposit, tax form creation, new-hire filing, job codes and multiple pay rates. Perhaps ironically, though, the IRS has not certified this vendor.
Rippling makes it easy to process payroll in all 50 states. Source: Rippling
Rippling’s compliance-driven technology stood out during testing. For example, its compliance dashboard details legal infractions and suggests ways to remedy them. Your administrators can get notifications about these violations and update policies as needed. Rippling also offers critical HR compliance measures like employment practice liability insurance, workers’ compensation, state and local payroll tax creation and state and local guidance.
We like that Rippling operates on a per-employee pricing model with no hidden fees. This is ideal for new and growing businesses that want to predict costs accurately. In contrast, some other PEOs we reviewed use a cost structure where monthly prices change with payroll percentages.
Rippling’s small business services start at $8 per employee, per month. However, you’ll have to work closely with a Rippling sales representative to get an accurate quote for your company because you can choose the features you want included in your package. Based on the services you want — from its workforce management platform, HR cloud, IT cloud and finance cloud — the vendor will develop a custom bundle and price.
Rippling’s flexible pricing model is one of the distinct advantages of working with the vendor. You can elect to pay for stand-alone services and transition out of the PEO model later, if that’s what your company needs. This ability to mix and match isn’t something all competitors offer, but it’s one of the features that makes Rippling ideal for small businesses, especially those looking to scale quickly.
Rippling only requires monthly contracts, so you can move on or off the platform anytime.
Rippling’s easy usability, scalability and tech-forward approach are part of its appeal. When we tested the software, we found that getting team members up to speed was straightforward. We also liked that we were able to automate the employee onboarding process on the Rippling dashboard. We found that little-to-no training was needed for basic implementation.
Once your employees are in the system, you can link it with other IT features, such as third-party apps. We didn’t see many other PEOs offer this level of IT support. However, remember that customizing the solution with third-party integrations can add to your setup time and learning curve.
When testing the software, we were pleased to find that Ripping’s sleek, cloud-based platform lets employees access relevant information from any computer or smart device anywhere with internet access. You can complete crucial tasks easily, such as running payroll and generating HR reports, on the go. Once your company is set up on the system, your data will be stored securely. If your business transitions to another type of service from Rippling, you won’t have to update or reenter any information — it’s all saved in the cloud.
During testing, we found Rippling’s customer support to be on par with other services we reviewed. Clients can receive support online via email or live chat. We appreciate that Rippling provides a real-time support status on its website, letting businesses know how long they should expect to wait for email and chat responses and how often cases are resolved on first contact. We like this transparent commitment to quality support. However, it’s notable that Rippling’s customer support prefers to communicate via email or chat instead of phone. Keep in mind that customer support chats can be converted into virtual calls.
We like this transparent commitment to quality support. However, it’s notable that Rippling’s customer support prefers to communicate via email or chat instead of phone. Keep in mind that customer support chats can be converted into virtual calls. If phone support is your preferred method of communication, you may want to check out our review on Insperity. The PEO includes a dedicated service team with separate phone numbers geared towards particular HR needs.
Similar to other competitors in this space, Rippling also has valuable online resources, including a help center, templates for forms and reports and a blog. We also like that the company provides live one-on-one healthcare guidance for your employees via a Rightway Health Guide. This added feature isn’t something all PEOs offer.
Rippling provides a real-time support status to let businesses know how long they should expect to wait for chat responses. Source: Rippling
Despite Rippling’s exemplary services, the vendor has a few drawbacks to keep in mind. For one, Rippling is not accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) or certified by the IRS — two of the PEO industry’s significant accreditors that review such organizations regularly and test their services to ensure quality. To learn about accredited PEO services, read our review of ADP TotalSource and our review of Paychex. Similar to Rippling, both of these companies offer PEO and non-PEO HR services.
Another potential downside to consider is that you must have at least five employees to qualify for Rippling’s PEO services. Although this is somewhat standard in the industry, it is a limitation for businesses with fewer than five workers. If you fall into this category, check out our review of Justworks, which only requires you to have two employees on staff.
We researched and analyzed dozens of the top PEO service providers to identify the top PEOs and help businesses find the right PEO service for their needs. We looked at pricing, contract requirements, bundled vs. a la carte features, minimum requirements, employee benefits administration, time-tracking tools, payroll processing and taxes, administrative HR functions, talent management features, integrations, legal risk and compliance assistance, accreditations and customer support.
We watched product videos and conducted demos when possible. To find the best scalable PEO solution, we paid particular attention to onboarding, implementation, automation, usability, scalability and integrations.
No. Rippling is not certified by the IRS, nor is it accredited by ESAC or the Better Business Bureau. Although we prefer PEOs to be accredited and certified, we believe, based on our research, that Rippling is still a trustworthy vendor with reputable services.
A PEO is a professional employer organization and a certified PEO (CPEO) is a PEO that has been certified by the IRS. To receive a certification from the IRS, a PEO must meet specific reporting and financial requirements. While this certification is advantageous for financial protection and tax benefits, a PEO does not need to be certified to be considered a valuable and trustworthy professional employer organization.