As a payroll software solution for mid-tier businesses, large companies and enterprises, Paycor offers an extensive array of tools with robust automation. However, choosing the right payroll solution is essential to your organization’s success, and Paycor may or may not be right for you. In this article, we’ll evaluate Paycor and compare it to several of its top competitors so you can find payroll software that best serves your organization’s needs.

Top Paycor competitors and alternatives: Comparison table

Starting price per monthEmployee onboarding featuresEmployee self-service featuresBuilt-in time-tracking toolsInternational payroll processing
PaycorCustomYesYesNoNoVisit Paycor
Rippling$8/userYesYesYesYesVisit Rippling
PaylocityCustomYesYesYesYesVisit Paylocity
Paychex Flex$39 fixed rate + $5 per employeeYesYesNoNoVisit Paychex
PaycomCustomYesYesYesNoVisit Paycom
Workday HCMCustomYesYesYesYesVisit Workday
ADP Workforce NowCustomNoYesYesNoVisit ADP
Gusto$40 fixed rate + $6 per employeeYesYesYesYesVisit Gusto

Top Paycor competitors

Rippling: Best overall Paycor alternative

The Rippling logo.
Image: Rippling

Our star rating: 4.3 out of 5

Rippling’s comprehensive payroll software solution empowers businesses to effectively oversee their workforce. The system makes it easy to onboard employees, offer benefits and pay employees with just a few clicks. Along with its domestic payroll service, Rippling offers several international payroll plans, including an EOR service that helps businesses hire and pay employees in 13+ countries.

But while Rippling’s payroll module can stand on its own, mid-size, growing and big businesses will get the most value out of the system by assembling a custom package with Rippling’s full suite of payroll, HR and IT management tools. As an all-in-one business software solution, Rippling automates employee data and system access across the entire organization. This centralized solution allows businesses to manage employee data, payroll, benefits and IT system access and activities from one user-friendly dashboard.

Learn more by reading our comprehensive Rippling review.


Rippling’s domestic payroll tool starts at $8 per employee paid per month plus a custom base fee. Each additional module costs an extra fee, so interested businesses should contact Rippling directly to assemble a custom package and free quote.

Top payroll features

  • Full-service payroll with automatic tax filing.
  • Global payments in local currencies.
  • International payroll compliance features.
  • Overtime and leave enforcement.
  • Mobile payroll app.


  • Guaranteed 100% accuracy, ensuring dependable compensation for both employees and contractors.
  • Robust integration capabilities that support popular third-party solutions for a more unified system.
  • Automated notifications to keep staff members updated on payroll adjustments.
  • Automatic organization and synchronization between payroll and finance data and users’ general ledger for easy reconciliation.


  • Limited transparent pricing on site.
  • Modular software can be too expensive for small and some midsize businesses.

Paylocity: Best for time and attendance tracking

Our star rating: 4.6 out of 5

The Paylocity logo.
Image: Paylocity

Paylocity provides cloud-based payroll and human resource management services to businesses of all sizes. This software streamlines and automates payroll tasks, HR processes and benefits administration for businesses in the United States and in more than 100 international locations. By automating many of the manual processes involved in payroll and HR management, Paylocity can save you time and reduce errors.

One notable feature is Paylocity’s time and attendance module, which empowers managers to establish and monitor employee schedules, approve or reject time-off requests, manage overtime and breaks and generate reports for analyzing employee attendance patterns. This module greatly benefits organizations that pay their employees on an hourly or project basis, enabling managers to review and track employee hours worked.

Moreover, Paylocity allows employees to clock in and out using their mobile devices. It even has the option of clocking in based on geolocation, which is beneficial for remote field workers who need to track their work locations accurately.

Learn more by reading our comprehensive Paylocity review.


Paylocity offers custom pricing only. Interested parties must fill out the demo and pricing request form on Paylocity’s website to receive a custom price quote.

Top payroll features

  • Expense management.
  • Internal Revenue Service reporting agent.
  • Garnishment-managed services.
  • Global payroll capability.
  • HR support.
  • Employee self-service features.
  • Federal and state unemployment tax returns.


  • Various avenues of support for customers seeking assistance.
  • Extensive integrations.
  • Tools for administering global payroll.
  • Useful for teams of all sizes.


  • Lacks transparent pricing.
  • No free trial.
  • Complex setup process.

Paychex Flex: Best customer service

Our star rating: 4 out of 5

Paychex logo.
Image: Paychex

Paychex Flex offers an all-in-one payroll solution that includes HR capabilities, automated payroll features and benefits outsourcing services. The software is customizable based on the size and needs of businesses, with options for small-business payroll or midsize to enterprise payroll. Paychex Flex provides various payment methods to employees, such as direct deposit, paper checks and payroll cards, with flexibility in payment frequency.

Paychex’s cloud-based  solution offers a range of HR and payroll features, including tax preparation, benefits administration and attendance tracking. Paychex offers valuable compliance support from knowledgeable professionals who can assist businesses in managing federal, state and local payroll taxes, along with unemployment reporting and payments. These dedicated professionals can also provide guidance and support in various areas like workforce management, job costing, workers’ compensation claims administration, expense management, SOC 1 Type II audit of payroll data and various other services.

Learn more by reading our comprehensive Paychex review.


Paychex offers three different package tiers for its payroll solutions:

  • Paychex Flex Essentials: $39 per month, plus $5 per employee.
  • Paychex Flex Select: Custom pricing information is available upon request.
  • Paychex Flex Pro: Custom pricing information is available upon request.

Top payroll features

  • Online payroll processing.
  • Pay through direct deposit, paycards, paper checks and online tip sharing.
  • On-demand access to earned wages.
  • Free mobile payroll app for business leaders and employees.
  • Robust reporting and analytics for insights into payroll and HR data.
  • 24/7 customer service and technical support.


  • Reliable 24/7 U.S.-based customer support.
  • Users can receive help through a dedicated point of contact and have 24/7 access to the customer support center.
  • Over 200 compliance experts monitor changes and updates to tax laws and regulations.
  • Provides a range of optional employee benefits offerings for no extra charge.


  • Paychex charges additional fees per employee to process year-end W-2s and 1099s.
  • Pricing information for higher-tier package options is not available online.
  • Access to Paychex’s State Unemployment Insurance Services is limited to users subscribed to the highest-priced Paychex Flex Pro plan.

Paycom: Best for employee self-service

Our star rating: 4.2 out of 5

The Paycom logo.
Image: Paycom

Paycom is a comprehensive cloud-based application offering various modules for employee time management, talent management, talent acquisition, tax compliance and — you guessed it — payroll. With its centralized payroll system, Paycom simplifies payroll processes for employers and employees alike through its specialized capabilities and features.

An example is the Beti tool, which empowers employees to take control of their payroll with guided self-service functionality. Moreover, Paycom facilitates easy reimbursement of employee expenses by integrating data with the payroll system.

Paycom’s payroll solution can also enhance your business’s hiring and retention efforts through its convenient and sought-after Vault Visa Payroll Card, which offers employees greater financial convenience and early access to payments. In addition, the employee expense report software allows employees to upload photos to the app or email them for automatic parsing, eliminating the need for manual data entry.

Learn more by reading our comprehensive Paycom review.


Paycom doesn’t provide payroll solution pricing online and instead encourages interested buyers to request a demo, with a custom quote based on their needs and use cases.

Top payroll features

  • Payroll tax management.
  • Expense management.
  • Garnishment administration.
  • Check reconciling.
  • GL Concierge feature that helps business owners maintain their general ledger data and track labor costs.


  • Continuous updates for compliance with industry changes.
  • Comprehensive payroll features.
  • Advanced customization options.
  • Real-time data access for informed decision-making.
  • User-friendly and intuitive interface for easy navigation.


  • Paycom’s payroll features are more suited to medium-sized to large companies, and there may be a learning curve for smaller businesses.
  • Limited third-party integrations and extensions.
  • Less advanced analytics compared to other payroll solutions.

Workday HCM: Best for reporting

The Workday logo.
Image: Workday

Workday’s cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) software offers a range of features for managing talent, compensation, and payroll; scheduling; and tracking time. By leveraging payroll data, people analytics and intelligent automation, Workday HCM empowers organizations to reach deeper insights from data, automate tasks and boost staff productivity. With its access to valuable key metrics and insights into emerging trends, Workday HCM is an ideal choice for businesses looking to optimize their operations.

Workday HCM’s software goes above and beyond in uncovering valuable insights between organizations and their payroll processes. The built-in reporting and analytics tools allow them to access data from pay results and run reports, and users can run customized reports or utilize the system’s prebuilt payroll reports on subjects like pay calculation results and pay balance summaries. And when businesses identify insights that require immediate action, they can adjust their payroll processes in real time.

To learn more, read our comprehensive Workday review.


Interested shoppers can contact the Workday sales team for customized pricing information.

Top payroll features

  • Continuous payroll processing.
  • Consistently updated general ledger.
  • Highly flexible, anytime audits.
  • Built-in reporting and analytics.
  • Mobile-first employee experience.
  • Automatic tax updates.
  • System-to-system integration with the Office of Child Support Enforcement for e-IWO.


  • Comprehensive payroll tools.
  • Advanced analytics and machine-learning capabilities.
  • Extensive third-party integrations and customizability.
  • Designed for medium-sized to large organizations, allowing scalability for growing businesses.


  • May be overly complex for businesses with simpler needs.
  • Steep learning curve for new users.

ADP Workforce Now: Best for tax processes

The ADP logo.
Image: ADP

Our star rating: 4.4 out of 5

ADP Workforce Now is a payroll software solution tailored for midsize and large businesses, so it’s ideal for fostering business growth. If you’re seeking an all-inclusive solution encompassing HR, payroll and talent acquisition tools, ADP Workforce Now is an excellent choice. It streamlines processes and saves time through its payroll functionalities, employee onboarding capabilities, comprehensive reports, intuitive dashboards and convenient self-service features.

An exceptional aspect of this software option is ADP’s tax capabilities. This particular feature helps businesses with tax and compliance management by syncing tax deductions with payroll systems for federal, state and local taxes. So if you’re looking for ease and flexibility in managing onboarding and payment processes — all while benefiting from insightful statistical reports through smarter leadership decisions — ADP Workforce Now could be the right fit for you.

Learn more by reading our comprehensive ADP Workforce review.


There are four different plans and pricing options for businesses working with ADP Workforce Now. These are:

  • Essential.
  • Enhanced.
  • Complete.
  • HR Pro.

For specific price figures, curious businesses can reach out to ADP directly to request a tailored quote.

Top payroll features

  • Talent recruitment and enrollment.
  • Intuitive dashboards.
  • Mobile app and self-service payroll.
  • Advanced tax management tools.
  • HR security features.


  • Web-based software and mobile app for convenient, on-the-go access to the system.
  • User-friendly, employee-facing dashboard.
  • Talent management through comprehensive reports and job board integration.
  • Efficient report generation for optimizing payroll strategies.


  • No online pricing information and no free trial.
  • Can be difficult to navigate initially.

Gusto: Best small-business alternative

Gusto logo.
Image: Gusto

Our star rating: 4.6 out of 5

Are you looking for a straightforward, standalone payroll solution rather than a comprehensive HCM system? Gusto payroll could be a solid Paycor alternative, especially for small and midsize businesses looking for payroll-only tools rather than total HCM systems.

All three Gusto plans include comprehensive payroll features, from automatic, unlimited monthly payroll runs to wage garnishment and employee self-service onboarding. The two top-tier Gusto plans include automatic multi-state tax filing, multiple time-tracking options (including optional time kiosks) and built-in HR tools. You can also use Gusto’s brokerage to find top-notch employee benefits in 37 states and Washington, D.C.

Additionally, Gusto supports international payroll in two ways: through a global contractor-only payroll service and through a more comprehensive employer of record service. If your growing business is looking to hire talent outside the U.S., Gusto can help you do so affordably and effectively.

Learn more by reading our comprehensive Gusto review.


Gusto offers three payroll plans:

  • Gusto Simple: $40 per month plus $6 per employee paid per month.
  • Gusto Plus: $80 per month plus $12 per employee paid per month.
  • Gusto Premium: Custom pricing only.

Additionally, Gusto has a contractor-only plan that costs $6 per contractor paid per month with no monthly base fee for the first six months. After six months, the base price increases to $35 per month.

Get a one-month free discount on your invoice after you subscribe and run your first payroll with Gusto. Other terms and conditions apply.

Top payroll features

  • Full-service payroll with autopilot feature to schedule payroll in advance.
  • Optional employee benefits and workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Custom admin permissions.
  • W-2 and 1099 filing.
  • Compliance alerts and HR library access (with Premium plan only).
  • Integration with dozens of accounting, time-tracking and HR apps.


  • Affordable starting price.
  • Fully automated payroll.
  • No additional fee for W-2 and 1099 filing or employee benefit integration.


  • Limited HR features with the two cheapest plans.
  • Health insurance available in 37 states and D.C. only.
  • No employer-facing mobile app.

Is Paycor worth it?

Paycor is cloud-based payroll software renowned for its robust payroll functionality, complemented by human capital management tools available in its upgraded pricing plans. The software’s automation features are particularly noteworthy and contribute to its appeal.

The payroll and tax features of Paycor include federal and state tax filing, direct deposit, employee self-service and new hire filing. The AutoRun feature is especially beneficial for businesses managing large teams as it automates payroll processing on specific days and times. The software also includes a scheduling feature, so businesses can assign shifts and conveniently view the entire team’s schedule all in the same place — all while minimizing human error and duplicate data entries for more accurate payroll processing.

Additionally, Paycor provides additional HR and benefits features. The advanced plans of Paycor streamline the open enrollment process through automated workflows. The platform also facilitates EDI connections to transmit enrollment data to insurance carriers, and it supports pay-as-you-go automatic insurance payments for proactive workers’ compensation management throughout the year.

Paycor’s analytics module empowers businesses to gain deeper insights into their workforce. It allows analysis of staff composition based on age, gender and ethnicity, with the ability to sort data by department, job type or location for additional insights. Users can import this data into reporting templates or create custom reports to visualize and share the information. These analytics and reporting features enable teams to evaluate pay practices, benchmark against competitors and make informed data-driven business decisions.

Paycor pros and cons

  • Web login and mobile app for on-the-go access.

  • Automated payroll and unlimited payroll runs.

  • Intuitive employee self-service option.

  • Custom reports.

  • No transparent pricing available online.

  • Features might not be robust enough for businesses with very complex payroll needs.

  • Time tracking is only included as an add-on service.

Paycor pricing

Paycor is currently running a Limited Time Offer, providing businesses with a 50% discount for the first six months. On its website, Paycor showcases four plans specifically designed for small businesses with less than 50 employees — however, the pricing for each plan is not publicly disclosed:

  • Paycor Basic Plan.
  • Paycor Essential Plan.
  • Paycor Core Plan.
  • Paycor Complete Plan.

For businesses with more than 50 employees, you have to contact Paycor for a custom quote. Additionally, Paycor offers a 14-day free trial, allowing potential customers to try the software before making a purchase.

Do you need an alternative to Paycor?

Although Paycor offers a range of features and automation capabilities in its payroll software, there are instances where businesses may seek an alternative to the Paycor payroll software. For example, Paycor does not provide a general ledger report with the most basic plan, and organizations may be deterred from this option if they desire that feature in a lower-cost solution.

While Paycor offers integration capabilities, its supported connection options are limited. Businesses with extensive existing systems or specific integration requirements might be dissatisfied with Paycor’s integration options. So, if seamless integration with specific third-party applications or systems is essential, you’ll possibly want to look elsewhere.

Furthermore, Paycor’s pricing structure is not provided online, and it may not align with the budgetary constraints of every business. And some features are only offered as add-ons with additional fees, in which case you should explore alternative options to find something with everything you need at a more affordable price.

Businesses should always carefully assess their specific needs, scalability requirements, integration capabilities, budget, analytics needs and desired level of support when choosing a software solution for their workforce. So take a moment to outline your must-haves to ensure you find the most suitable option.

And if you didn’t find the solution you’re looking for here, feel free to take a look at our list of favorite payroll software to widen your search.


To write this review, we tested software firsthand whenever possible via free trials and scheduled demos. We also read verified user reviews on trustworthy third-party sites like Gartner Peer Insights, the Better Business Bureau, Google Play and the App Store (among others).

To calculate star ratings, we rely on an in-house algorithm that scores payroll brands based on the following criteria:

  • Pricing, which is weighted to 25% of the overall score.
  • Features, which is weighted to 35% of the overall score.
  • Ease of use, which is weighted to 15% of the overall score.
  • Customer service, which is weighted to 15% of the overall score.
  • Personal experience testing and researching the software, which is weighted to 10% of the overall score.

Our payroll software review methodology page dives into each of our evaluative criteria in more depth.

Frequently asked questions

Who are Paycor’s top competitors?

Some of Paycor’s top competitors include HCM software like Paycom and Paylocity. Paycor also competes with Paychex and ADP, which offer PEO solutions along with HR and payroll software for businesses of all sizes. Additionally, Paycor competes with standalone payroll software providers like Gusto.

What industries does Paycor serve?

Paycor serves clients in most industries, including healthcare, restaurant, manufacturing, nonprofit, professional services, educational and other sectors.

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Stay up to date on the latest in technology with Daily Tech Insider. We bring you news on industry-leading companies, products, and people, as well as highlighted articles, downloads, and top resources. You’ll receive primers on hot tech topics that will help you stay ahead of the game. Delivered Weekdays