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XcelHR Review

Matt D'Angelo
, writer
| Updated
Sep 20, 2019
Image Credit: fizkes / Getty Images
> Human Resources

XcelHR provides human resources, benefits, payroll and risk management services for businesses across the country and of all sizes. Many PEO companies we reviewed require you to have a minimum number of employees to use their services, usually around 5-10. XcelHR is one of the few PEOs we looked at that will provide services to companies with just one employee. This is advantageous to very small businesses that need HR services or other PEO-related features, as they may not qualify with many other companies.



The Best PEO Service Providers of 2020

The Verdict

XcelHR is a well-rounded PEO that can meet your business's needs in all the major service categories, though it's not clear if it provides safety and risk-related training.

View all our recommendations for PEO services and HR outsourcing services on our best picks pages.

XcelHR has an A+ with the Better Business Bureau, although it hasn't been accredited by the agency. It's also a member of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), but it's not accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) or IRS. It has, however, had its financials audited by an independent CPA within the last 12 months, according to NAPEO. XcelHR provides services in all 50 states. Some companies we reviewed claim to be national PEOs but only provide services in 30-40 states. 

XcelHR Pricing and Terms

You'll pay either a per-employee fee or a percentage of your gross payroll with XcelHR. When we talked to sales representatives, they told us that companies with 10 or fewer employees are set up to pay a percentage of their total payroll, while larger companies pay per employee. Your payment structure will depend on your agreement with XcelHR, but this is the basic setup for most of its services. This gives it the flexibility to work with companies of all sizes.

XcelHR doesn't operate on long-term contracts. Instead of locking your business down for an extended deal, it provides ongoing service that you can cancel at any time with a 30-day written notice (which is a requirement of just about every company we reviewed). It's good to be able to switch services if your business's situation changes or you need to explore other options, and XcelHR extends that flexibility to the actual structure of your service agreement.

Many PEOs bundle their services so that when you sign up with them, you pay for every feature they offer. This may be a good deal for your company, depending on its size, but if you run a very small company, you probably don't need all of the advanced features for multiple employees. XcelHR is one of the few companies we reviewed that provides a flexible service package – you have to enroll in its payroll and HR services, but you can choose to add and remove other services, like workers' compensation and health benefits. This means you'll only have to pay for the services you'll actually use, which can make a big difference in affordability for small companies.


XcelHR is a well-rounded service, with strong offerings in payroll, human resources and training. The flexibility of its service structure makes it a good option for very small businesses looking for payroll and human resources support.

  • HR services: As the company's name implies, its HR offering is a standout aspect of its services. Many companies we reviewed don't provide the same level of services, or they aren't as transparent as XcelHR. You can view a breakdown of its HR services here. Some services to note are help with writing job descriptions and recruiting, resume reviews, PTO policy development, and employee onboarding. It will also store sensitive HR documents in a secure cloud and conduct training sessions for your staff on various HR topics.

  • Benefits: XcelHR provides the standard benefits, including 401(k) plans, and coverage of health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance. It also offers employee benefits communication and education, insurance coverage acceptance, annual shopping and benefit comparison, open enrollment notification, and employee eligibility tracking. You can view all its benefit options here.

  • Payroll: The company will process your payroll and provide a cloud-based platform for managing your employees' pay. In addition to this service, the company will assist you with direct deposit, child support, W-4 administration, state and local tax compliance, quarterly filings, and custom payroll reports. You can view XcelHR's total payroll offering here.

  • Risk and Compliance: XcelHR's risk management and compliance services include safety audits and inspections, workers' compensation, annual wage and premium audit administration, safety policy development, and OSHA compliance. You can view its total risk and compliance offering here.

XcelHR's ASO

In addition to PEO services, XcelHR offers a non-co-employment contract structure under an administrative services organization (ASO) agreement. ASOs, HROs and PEOs are all very similar, but ASOs and HROs don't have a co-employment contract structure, which means your business will be allowed to use a lot of the same services under a different model. The right agreement depends widely on your business, its size and its HR needs. Many companies will opt to start on HRO or ASO services and then grow into a PEO plan. If you're interested in XcelHR's other services, you'll be able to find support in the following areas:

  • Talent acquisition services
  • Job postings
  • Resume reviews
  • Phone interviews
  • Employee benefits plans
  • COBRA administration
  • Payroll processing
  • Direct deposit
  • HR compliance
  • Employee handbook development
  • Discrimination and harassment training

For more information, you can view the company's full breakdown here.

Customer Service

We set up a hypothetical small business and inquired about XcelHR's services to test its customer support. We interacted with sales representatives mainly via email. In all instances, they provided detailed information about the company's services and didn't push for a sale.

They also told us that XcelHR clients get a designated service team for all their PEO questions and needs. Many companies provide an account manager who facilitates your access to various experts when questions arise; XcelHR, on the other hand, provides a designated HR specialist and a payroll specialist to your account once you sign up. It's not clear if these specialists can handle all your needs – answer a question you have about benefits, for example – or if there are other experts these two points of contact can connect you with. Regardless, it's nice to see XcelHR provides its customers with two designated experts for areas where questions can arise.


XcelHR offers training on various HR and compliance topics. For example, it provides supervisor trainings on termination procedures and hiring interviews. It can also assist you with companywide sexual harassment and discrimination training. It provides a safety training library as part of its risk management service. It's not clear whether it provides onsite safety and risk training, so if you're concerned with the level of training your PEO provides, this is a good topic to discuss with your XcelHR sales representative while you're exploring its services.


While it's a member of NAPEO, XcelHR is not accredited by either the ESAC or IRS. It's not accredited by the Better Business Bureau either, though it does have an A+ rating on the site. It's had a page with the BBB since 2011, yet it doesn't have any customer reviews or complaints, which can sometimes help you choose a company to partner with. These are minor shortcomings, but they can be noteworthy distinctions to help you narrow down your search for the right PEO service.

Editor's Note: Is your business looking for a PEO service? Click the Compare Quotes button below to be connected with vendors that can help.




The Best PEO Service Providers of 2020

The Verdict

XcelHR is a well-rounded PEO that can meet your business's needs in all the major service categories, though it's not clear if it provides safety and risk-related training.

Matt D'Angelo
Matt D'Angelo
Matt D'Angelo is a contributor covering small business for and Business News Daily. After graduating from James Madison University with a degree in journalism, Matt gained experience as a copy editor and writer for newspapers and various online publications.