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Paychex is a company that provides payroll and human resources services to small and medium-sized businesses. The company is headquartered in Penfield, New York. There are more than 100 offices throughout the United States. The current numbers say that more than 580,000 businesses depend upon Paychex to outsource heir HR needs.

Tom Golisano started Paychex in 1971 with $3,000. by 1979, the company had over 18 franchises and partnerships. The company was first publicly traded in 1983 and is traded on the NASDAQ Stock Excchange. The company is steadily growing and, in 2013, Paychex reported revenues of over $2.3 billion.

One thing that we found out about Paychex is that they also offer financing options for small businesses. We found that Paychex offers merchant processing, in the form of its NCR Silver card processing service. They have also partnered with Biz2Credit, a business loan company, to provide financing to businesses. Finally, they also offer accounting services.

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The Good

  • Affordable payroll services
  • App demo
  • Online information
  • Features
  • Website

Paychex offers some of the most affordable payroll services in the industry. While we couldn't find exact information for pricing on their website, we found the businesses using Paychex were pretty happy with prices. For a business with 5 employees, you'll probably pay about $100 per month for bi-weekly payroll processing. Also, we found that W-2 processing was pretty affordable, with a $40 one-time fee and an additional fee of $2.50 per employee.

We really liked the fact that Paychex had a demo of their app on their website. We found that it had the following features:

  • Payroll
  • Human Resources
  • Employee Benefits

Essentially, Paychex lets your employees see their paycheck and benefits information online. It is also possible to process timecards and do other "standard" payroll processing functions. On the app demonstration, we saw that Paychex is working on a mobile time clock, letting employees clock in/out of work. We also liked that the mobile app let managers send information, such as a simple email message, if an employee had a question about their benefits or pay.

We were interested in the QuickBook features that came with Paychex. On the Paychex website, we found a webinar for how to export reports from Paychex for fast import into QuickBooks Pro and other popular accounting platforms.

While we weren't able to see how the hiring side of Paychex worked, we learned that Paychex lets users:

  • Find best-fit and competitive candidates.
  • Improve the candidate search process.
  • Hire candidates more efficiently.
  • Help reduce hiring costs.

Paychex also does other important HR features, like put employee handbooks in an easy-to-find location, conduct assessments, and communicate important company policies.

Another benefit of Paychex was the company's payroll platform permissions feature. The online dashboard is fully customizable, letting you optimize your HR workflow. You can also empower different users in your company to access important information. The Paychex Report Center can let you share reports with:

  • Accountants
  • Bookkeepers
  • Business Advisors.

We also liked the reports available with the Report Center:

  • Employee Earnings Record, including year wages, W-4, hourly rate,and salary history.
  • Quarterly and annual tax information.
  • W-3s, W-2s, and 1099s.
  • Access to two years of payroll history.

Another positive aspect of the Paychex experience was the website. We found support and tutorials for various processes, such as adding employees to your payroll. While the online interface isn't perfect, the tutorials are extremely helpful for HR professionals who have to navigate the learning curve.

Finally, we were able to check our computer's abilities against Paychex's minimum system requirements. To work Paychex, your computer needs the latest edition of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or IE. We found that with Paychex's minimum system requirements, most businesses won't have a problem using their desktop or mobile device.

The Bad

  • Transparency
  • Packages
  • Lack of time clock functionality
  • No open API

We had a hard time with pricing transparency. Paychex doesn't include payroll, HR, and benefits prices on their website. We found that you have to schedule a consultation to get information about pricing. We did find that the prices found on different sites around the web gave businesses affordable outsourced payroll processing.

Another thing that we didn't like about Paychex was their different packages for payroll processing and HR processes. With Kronos, we found that payroll, hiring, and training processes were built into one scalable platform. With Paychex, you will be paying for two separate services.

While we liked that Paychex has developed a pretty robust mobile app, we found that the app did not yet include time clock functionality. With Kronos, we found that customers can use their mobile device as a time clock.

Another problem that we had with Paychex is that they don't offer an Open API feature at this time. While Paychex works with QuickBooks and other platforms, we found that this service does not include a public API. This information was not provided on the website, but we found this on a Twitter page.

The Bottom Line

We liked the fact that they offer merchant processing services for small business, in addition to payroll and HR solutions. While there are different services available with Paychex, including a time clock and employee badge service, you will pay per service.

Paychex offers multiple solutions for businesses, ranging from payroll processing to a small business loan. While we liked the overall quality of the services, we would like to see more combined solutions that make Paychex more affordable and scalable for small businesses.


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