- Easy to use
- Good customer support
- Built-in onboarding and HR
- Valid in all 50 states
- Non-transparent pricing
- Unsuited for large businesses
Founded in 1971, Paychex was created to make payroll outsourcing easy for small businesses. With over 650,000 users, 14,000 employees, and 100 locations, Paychex has grown to do just that.
From “hire to retire,” Paychex offers an incredible number of services, including payroll, HR, benefits administration, business insurance, retirement plans, health care, and more. These features make Paychex a good solution for businesses looking to manage multiple areas of their payroll and HR duties in a single platform.
The downside is that these add-ons can add up quickly, and the software has the potential to be expensive — especially considering that you’ll have to purchase the Time & Attendance service right away if you want your employees to be able to clock in and out. I have a few other reservations about the software, including the fact that there is limited information available about the software’s security and numerous user complaints about unfiled taxes.
On the bright side, Paychex is easy to use and offers strong employee management, direct deposit, 100+ reports, two-day payroll processing, and some unique touches, such as an employee handbook builder, a financial wellness program for your employees, and advanced analytics. The more expensive payroll plans also come with built-in HR, onboarding, employee screening, and garnishment services. Plus, Paychex offers 24/7 customer support and takes care of the entire implementation process for you — and it will even calculate and file all of your payroll taxes.
Read our complete Paychex review to see if the pros outweigh the cons for your business.
Table of Contents
Paychex does not advertise any set prices on its site. Prices vary by plan and depend on the current promotions the company is running — as well as the number of add-on services your company needs. From general sleuthing and receiving a company quote, the price runs between 10-20% higher than its nearest competitor, ADP. We still wish Paychex was more transparent about its pricing. There are no contracts with Paychex, and you can cancel your plan at any time.
For payroll specifically, the company offers four different pricing plans. Paychex charges on a per-payroll basis. Contact the company directly for pricing details.
- Contact Paychex for pricing
- Run payroll
- Automatic tax filing
- Direct deposit
- New-hire reporting
- Employee verification services
- Employee financial wellness programs
- Credit toward marketing services
- Free mobile app
Paychex Flex Select
- Contact Paychex for pricing. Paychex Flex Select includes everything in the Express Payroll plan, plus:
- Paper checks, check-signing, or check logo services
- Accounting software integrations
- Learning management systems
- Dedicated payroll specialist
- Labor compliance poster kit
Paychex Flex Pro
- Contact Paychex for pricing. Paychex Flex Pro includes everything in the Paychex Flex Select plan, plus:
- General ledger service
- Worker’s compensation report
- Garnishment service
- State unemployment service
- Analytics and reporting
- Employee screening
Paychex Flex Enterprise
- Contact Paychex for pricing. Paychex Flex Enterprise includes everything in the Paychex Flex Pro plan, plus:
- Custom analytics and reporting
- HR administration
Other Paychex Services
Paychex offers an incredible number of services, and most integrate directly with your payroll dashboard, so you can manage many areas of your business in a single spot. Here are some of the additional Paychex services you can purchase. Contact Paychex directly for pricing details.
- Setup Fee: Paychex does charge a small payroll setup fee for implementing its payroll services. The tradeoff is that the company handles the entire setup and migration process for you, so you don’t have to worry about it.
- Employee Benefits: Paychex boasts employee benefits from “hire to retire.” You’ll find 401(k) and retirement plans, individual health insurance, and group health insurance.
- Time Tracking: There is no way for employees to clock in/out using Paychex’s payroll plans. You’ll have to add the Time & Attendance service to gain this feature. Paychex also offers a physical time clock that you can purchase.
- HR Packages: While some HR features are included in the various payroll plans, Paychex offers additional HR packages for Automated Benefits Administration, Efficient HR Administration (HRMS), or Custom HR Services. Contact Paychex directly for more information about each HR service.
- Hiring Services: Each Paychex payroll plan offers basic new-hire reports, and the more advanced Flex plans include onboarding. However, you can add additional onboarding, screening, recruiting, and applicant tracking services from Paychex.
- Business Insurance: Paychex also offers a variety of business insurance options, including Owner Life and Disability Insurance, Worker’s Compensation, Property Insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance, Liability Insurance, Umbrella Insurance, and Busines Owner Policy Insurance.
- Financing: Paychex partners with Bizcredit to help your business find the right loan lender. The unique part of obtaining business financing through Paychex is the Paychex Promise with Payroll Protection, which allows you to extend your payroll collection for up to seven days while still paying your employees on time.
- Expense Management: Paychex offers an expense management service where you can manage expense reimbursements and employee spending.
- Payment Processing: Paychex offers payment processing with next-day funding. This service also allows you to create electronic gift cards and credit surcharges, so you can have your customers pay an additional fee to cover the cost of payment processing. Paychex also partners with NCR Silver if you want to upgrade to a full-fledged point of sale solution.
- Tax Services: With each payroll plan, Paychex includes payroll tax administration, which files your federal, state, and local payroll taxes for you. You can add additional sales tax support or tax credit services.
- Online Marketing: Paychex also provides a marketing service to help your company grow through customer engagement, online reputation, and social media.
- Professional Employer Organization (PEO): If your company needs multiple Paychex services, it may be worth considering a PEO plan. Paychex’s PEO plan bundles payroll, HR, benefits administration, insurance, and retirement plans all in one.
Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed
Paychex is cloud-based, so no downloads or installation is required.
Hardware & Software Requirements
As cloud-based software, Paychex works with most computers and devices with an internet connection. For PCs, the company recommends Windows 7 or 10, and for Macs, the company recommends OSX 10.13 or higher. Paychex advises customers to use the most up-to-date version of the following browsers:
- Google Chrome
- Microsoft Edge
There are mobile apps available for Apple products (iOS 11+) as well as Android devices (7+).
Specific Size Of Business
Paychex is ideal for small to medium businesses searching for payroll and other employment services, such as benefits administration, HR, retirement, insurance, and more. According to several users, the software is unsuited for large businesses in need of more complex, customizable payroll.
With Paychex, there is no limit on the number of users or employees you can have, and there are basic user permissions as well. There are also built-in approval workflows and a full audit log.
Ease Of Use
Paychex’s UI is generally well-organized. Each major feature has its own place on the sidebar for easy access, and all Flex plans include a designated support specialist to help if you get stuck.
The setup process is easy since Paychex does the entire implementation process for you. The Paychex team will enter all of your data for you and get your account set up correctly, so you can be ready to run your first payroll. There is a small setup fee, which varies depending on how much work it takes to set up your account. According to a Paychex representative, the implementation process takes between a few days for smaller businesses or a few weeks for larger businesses.
Paychex offers a good number of payroll features services. The majority of the features pertain specifically to the Paychex Flex plans, and all of the images in this section are representative of Paychex Flex as well. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from the company’s payroll services:
- Dashboard: Paychex has a well-organized dashboard with charts and graphs to give you a quick overview of your current payroll, last payroll, reports, employees, and more. The dashboard is customizable, and charts vary depending on which add-on services you purchase with Paychex Flex.
- Employee Portal: Employees have their own dashboard where they can view check stubs, manage and request time off, and view their tax documents. There is nowhere for employees to clock in or out unless you purchase Paychex’s Time & Attendance add-on service.
- Employee Management: With Paychex, you can add an unlimited number of employees. The employee management feature is quite advanced and allows you to record personal information, employee history, direct deposit information, and more. You can add multiple pay rates for employees and easily manage earnings and deductions. Paychex also allows you to add custom fields.
- Payroll: Paychex payroll processing takes two days (although same-day processing or ACH services are available for an additional cost). The software allows you to work on multiple payrolls at once, including future payroll, and you can run payroll from any device. As a nice touch, you can use preprocessing reports to double-check your payroll is accurate before you finish processing it.
- Payment Options: You can pay employees with paper checks, pay cards, or direct deposit.
- Paystubs & Checks: You can pay employees using checks. Paychex offers a check logo service and check-signing services. Employees can view their pay stubs online.
- Reports: Paychex offers upwards of 100 reports as well as advanced analytics. Each plan comes with new-hire reports, and the Flex Enterprise plan includes custom reports and analytics.
- HR: Each Paychex Flex plan includes a basic HR section where you can store key documentation. These plans also include a labor poster kit. The Flex Enterprise plan adds additional HR capabilities, such as performance reviews and the ability to track employee training.
- Onboarding (Flex Pro & Flex Enterprise Only): Every Paychex payroll plan comes with new-hire reporting, but the Flex Pro and Enterprise plans add more onboarding features, such as creating a welcome screen for your new employees, as well as employee screening.
- Garnishment Payroll (Flex Pro & Flex Enterprise Only): The software will automatically deduct and remit garnished wages as needed.
- Financial Wellness: Each Paychex Flex plan includes a financial wellness course that your employees can take.
- Employee Handbook Builder (Flex Pro & Flex Enterprise Only): Paychex Flex Pro and Enterprise include an employee handbook builder that you can have your employees view.
- Tax Support: One of the best parts about Paychex payroll is that the company will handle calculating and filing your payroll taxes for you.
- Importing & Exporting: With Paychex, you don’t have to worry about importing as the company takes care of the entire implementation process for you. You can easily export reports, and employees can export important tax documents.
Customer Service & Support
Each Paychex payroll plan includes 24/7 support by phone and chat. All of the Flex plans come with an assigned payroll specialist. According to customer reviews, users are generally quite happy with Paychex’s customer support and appreciate that they have a designated payroll support specialist who knows them and their business. The majority of support complaints were from users who were forced to talk to the general support team when their designated specialist was unavailable.
Here are the primary support resources for Paychex users:
- Phone: You can call Paychex 24/7 with questions.
- Email: You can email Paychex support.
- Live Chat: There is 24 chat support that can be accessed within the software. There is also live chat available on the Paychex website.
- In-Software Help: There is a help button within the Paychex software where you can access the Paychex help center, training videos, or live chat.
- Help Center: Paychex offers a support center for admins and a support center for employees, so you and your employees can get help with the software.
- Local Support: Paychex has 100+ locations in the US. If you happen to be near one of these locations, you can contact the local representative for in-person support.
- Newsroom: There is a newsroom where you can view awards, titles, and announcements about the software.
- Social Media: Paychex maintains active Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Out of the hundreds of Paychex reviews, the majority are positive; however, there are still a number of negative reviews. While it’s important to take negative reviews with a grain of salt (considering the role of negativity bias), there are enough recurring complaints about significant issues, such as unauthorized payments, payroll inaccuracies, and missed tax filings, to take note of them before purchasing the software. The software receives 1.9/5 stars on Consumer Affairs (based on 40 reviews). Here are some of the most common complaints:
- Unauthorized Payment Withdrawals: Several users reported that their accounts were still charged after canceling their Paychex services, and a few others reported unauthorized charges were taken from their accounts.
- Missed Tax Filings: A couple of users reported that Paychex failed to file their company’s payroll taxes, and one didn’t find out until a year later after receiving a letter from the IRS.
- Payroll Inaccuracies: Several users reported payroll inaccuracies. Some users also had difficulty with the payroll and time services integrating correctly.
- Unintuitive UI: Many users find the software unintuitive and difficult to learn.
- Expensive: Several users find that the software is too expensive, although a few say Paychex’s services are worth the price.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
Despite the negative complaints, there are many satisfied Paychex users, and the number of positive reviews far outweighs the number of negative reviews. The software receives 4.2/5 stars on g2crowd (based on 1,000+ reviews) and 4.1/5 on Capterra as well (based on 900+ reviews). Here are some of the most common reasons users like Paychex:
- Good Customer Support: While there are a small number of complaints about Paychex’s customer support, the vast majority of users have nothing but praise as far as customer support is concerned. Users enjoy having a dedicated support agent who actually knows their company.
- Easy To Use: This is by far the most common point of praise. Users enjoy how easy the software is to use and appreciate how simple it is from an employee’s perspective.
- Strong Payroll Features & Tax Support: Many users appreciate that Paychex makes payroll simple and files all of their payroll taxes for them.
- Saves Time: Several users say the software saves them time, stress, and paper.
- Everything In One Place: Many users appreciate that they can manage their payroll and HR in a single location. Others admire how many additional services Paychex offers.
Here’s what a few users are saying:
I like how easy it is to submit payroll via Paychex Flex. I also like being able to quickly make changes in personnel right in my account. It is helpful to be able to run all of my payroll reports before submitting payroll to make sure everything was done correctly
I can easily clock in and out of my Paychex account on any device – super convenient when on the road or working remote. I can also find my W2, tax and benefit information in one place which makes my life easier around tax refund season. I can easily punch in vacation time and forward it to my HR person.
My company decided to go with Paychex so that we did not have to deal with internal payroll. Customer service helped us get everything set up and it made payroll so much easier for our company!
Since Paychex offers so many additional services, the integrations realm is a bit lacking. You can connect your Paychex payroll services to QuickBooks Online and Sage Intacct. There is also API available for developers, but that’s about it.
Paychex offers strong payroll features, including customizable employee management, preprocessing payroll reports, and automatic payroll tax filing. Built-in HR and onboarding set the service apart. The software is well-organized, offers 24/7 customer support, receives many positive customer reviews, and — best of all — Paychex takes care of the entire setup process for you, so you don’t have to worry. However, without knowing exactly how much Paychex costs, it’s difficult to say if the service is worth it for small business owners.
If you are a small or medium-sized business owner looking for payroll and a suite of additional HR and other business services, Paychex could be a great choice. Contact Paychex directly for a quote and a demo of the software. If you’re an existing Paychex user, we’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!