Rippling’s all-in-one payroll, IT and HR management system helps global companies of all sizes pay their employees, manage devices remotely, implement human resource solutions and track company expenses. However, while its payroll system is one of the best on the market, factors such as cost, platform features or customer service could mean Rippling is not the best choice for you.

Below, we review six of the best Rippling alternatives. We also provide an overview of Rippling’s price tiers, pros, cons and features so you can make an informed decision about whether Rippling itself or a Rippling alternative is a better fit for your team.

Top Rippling competitors and alternatives: Comparison table

Rippling and its key competitors in the HCM, HRIS and payroll/HR software world share necessary features like full-service payroll and employee benefits administration. Note that while plenty of Rippling’s competitors have specialized benefits that Rippling lacks, Rippling is fairly unique in offering both financial and tech features as part of its HR platform.

Global payrollEmployee benefitsHiring and onboarding toolsRemote device management24/7 customer serviceStarting monthly price
RipplingYes (140+ countries)YesYesYesYes$8 per employee
GustoYes YesYesNoNo$40 plus $6 per employee
Papaya GlobalYes (160+ countries)YesYesNoNo$25/employee/mo.*
PaychexYes (third-party service)YesYesNoYes$39 plus $5 per employee
BambooHRNoYesYesNoNoCustom
PaylocityYes (third-party service)YesYesNoNoCustom
TriNetNoYesYesNoYes$8 per employee

*Starting price for businesses with 101+ global employees. Price decreases to $20/employee with 501+ employees and $15/employee with 1,001+ employees.

Plan and pricing details verified up to date as of 1/12/2024.

Top Rippling competitors

Gusto: Best overall Rippling alternative

Gusto logo
Image: Gusto

Our star rating: 4.6 out of 5

Gusto’s excellent payroll software is one of the best payroll and HR solutions for small and midsize companies. While Gusto offers some hiring and onboarding tools, it has fewer HR features most other Rippling alternatives on our list — including its fellow standalone payroll software product, Paychex Flex. However, Gusto excels at providing cost-effective, comprehensive payroll for small, midsize and even enterprise-level businesses.

Why we chose it: Like Rippling, Gusto thoroughly automates every aspect of payroll. First-time business owners and seasoned employers alike can use either payroll product to streamline paying employees, remitting taxes and onboarding employees.

Choose Gusto over Rippling if you want simple, user-friendly payroll software rather than an all-in-one business software system like Rippling. On the other hand, we recommend Rippling over Gusto if you’re looking for more comprehensive, more scalable business software. Learn more about what Gusto offers by reading our comprehensive Gusto review.

Pricing

Gusto has three payroll plans with varying levels of HR features and customer support:

  • 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.

Gusto doesn’t advertise a free trial, but it does occasionally run sales for its Plus plan, with discounts ranging from 25% to 30% off the regular price. Potential customers can also set up a Gusto account for free to explore its features and interface. You won’t be charged unless you use Gusto to run payroll.

Features

  • Comprehensive suite of payroll features.
  • Employee benefits available through Gusto’s in-house brokerage.
  • International contractor payroll processing.
  • Global EOR service available through Deel (coming early 2024).
  • Wage garnishments, tip credits and unemployment insurance management with every plan.
  • Optional autopilot payroll setting.
  • Self-guided employee onboarding.
  • Integrates with FreshBooks, QuickBooks Online, Xero and more.

Pros

  • Clear pricing.
  • No additional fee for employee benefit integration and administration.
  • Thorough automation for nearly every payroll process.

Cons

  • Limited HR features with all but the most expensive plan.
  • No 24/7 customer support.

Papaya Global: Best global payroll solution

papaya global logo
Image: Papaya Global

Our star rating: 4.2 out of 5

Papaya Global is a global payroll and payment system that compares favorably to Rippling’s international payroll solution. Both Papaya and Rippling offer global EOR services, which let businesses hire employees in regions where they don’t have legal entities. However, Papaya’s primary offering is its global PEO solution, in which Papaya acts as a co-employer with your business.

Why we chose it: Papaya’s user-friendly software helps it stand apart from other global payroll options. From Papaya’s dashboard, businesses can process payroll, run reports, send payments to employees across the globe and manage the entire employee hiring and onboarding experience. Papaya also helps you compare country- and culture-specific benefits, so you can attract and retain top talent in every corner of the globe.

We recommend choosing Papaya over Rippling if you’re looking for a global payroll solution only, not an all-in-one HR, payroll and finance platform. Learn more about what Papaya offers by reading our comprehensive Papaya Global review.

Pricing

Papaya offers multiple global payroll solutions starting at the following price points: 

  • Global Payroll: Starts at $25/employee/month for businesses with 101+ employees, $20/employee/month with 501+ employees, or $15/employee/month with 1,001+ employees.
  • EOR: Starts at $650/employee/month.
  • Contractor Payments & Management: Starts at $30/contractor/month.

Features

  • Payroll in 160+ countries.
  • Thorough automation, including compliance alerts and automatic payroll audits based on AI technology.
  • Customized virtual wallets to store global currencies separately.
  • Custom admin permissions and workflows.
  • Legal compliance and assistance from local, on-the-ground experts.
  • Integrates with NetSuite, BambooHR, Expensify and HiBob.

Pros

  • Global payments guaranteed to be processed and delivered within 72 hours.
  • Transparent online starting prices.
  • Dedicated single-point-of-contact client account manager.
  • Professional white-glove setup.

Cons

  • Limited HR, tech and finance tools compared to Rippling.
  • Fewer third-party integrations than most competitors.
  • Potentially pricy EOR service.
  • Working with third-party vendors may complicate hiring and compliance processes.

Paychex Flex: Best combined HR and payroll solution

Paychex logo
Image: Paychex

Our star rating: 4 out of 5

Paychex’s payroll and HR software solution isn’t as comprehensive as Rippling’s. However, it’s a solid standalone solution for midsize businesses that want help managing people and payroll processes without paying more for expansive, expensive tools that they don’t necessarily need.

For instance, if your company uses separate accounting, expense tracking and billing solutions instead of managing most business processes on one comprehensive platform, Paychex could be a good addition to your line-up.

Why we chose it: Paychex focuses more on HR than most other payroll software solutions. If Paychex’s payroll and HR software isn’t comprehensive enough for your business needs, consider its PEO plan. Like Rippling PEO, Paychex HR PEO bundles benefit administration, full-service payroll, compliance and HR tools on one platform.

We recommend choosing Paychex instead of Rippling if you want combined HR and payroll software and don’t mind turning to other companies for your business’s finance and IT needs. In contrast, you might choose Rippling over Paychex if you want fully integrated business software and (according to some user reviews) more helpful customer service. For more information about what Paychex offers, read our full Paychex review.

Pricing

Paychex Flex Essentials starts at $39 a month plus $5 per employee paid per month. Paychex’s more comprehensive plans, Flex Select and Flex Pro, require customers to request a custom quote. Paychex HR PEO also has custom pricing only.

Features

  • Hiring and onboarding tools.
  • Automatic state new-hire reporting with each plan.
  • Unlimited automatic payroll runs and full-service payroll tax administration.
  • Highly rated payroll app for both employers and employees.
  • Thorough HR software features, including access to excellent employee benefits.
  • Learning management system and other HCM tools available as add-ons.

Pros

  • Comprehensive HR document library.
  • More HR features and support than most standalone payroll software solutions.
  • 24/7 customer support.
  • Optional employee benefits, including health insurance and 401(k) plans.
  • Integrates with most third-party business software.

Cons

  • Extra fees for wage garnishment, workers’ compensation integration and benefits administration.
  • No general ledger integration with most basic plan.

BambooHR: Best employee-centric platform

The BambooHR logo.
Image: BambooHR

Our star rating: 4.4 out of 5

BambooHR’s emphasis on HR tools might make it a better fit than other Rippling alternatives for small-business owners who want an HR-centric software system. While the company offers optional payroll services and employee benefits, its primary goal is to help companies give their employees the best possible working experience.

Why we chose it: In contrast to Rippling and other key Rippling competitors on this list, BambooHR’s HRIS solution has a strong focus on company culture and employee experience. Along with typical HR features for hiring and onboarding, BambooHR’s applicant tracking system, automated offboarding processes and employee surveys help small businesses keep employees happy, while building a recognizable, employee-focused brand.

We suggest opting for BambooHR over Rippling if you’re primarily concerned with finding software that centers the employee experience and gives you as many tools as possible to measure employee success. To learn more about how BambooHR can help, check out our comprehensive BambooHR review.

Pricing

BambooHR has two plans: Essentials and Advantage. The Essentials plan is fairly limited and offers basic features like time-off management. The Advantage plan is more comprehensive and includes onboarding, offboarding and other key tools for employee success. Payroll, time tracking, benefits administration and performance management are available as add-on plans only.

BambooHR doesn’t list pricing for either plan online, but the company does offer a seven-day free trial. If you employ fewer than 20 people, BambooHR charges you a flat monthly base fee. No annual contract is required.

Features

  • Payroll, benefits, time-tracking and performance management add-ons.
  • Onboarding checklists and new-hire introduction packet templates.
  • Secure offboarding.
  • Employee satisfaction and well-being surveys.

Pros

  • Relatively uncomplicated, user-friendly platform and employee app.
  • Employee engagement tools.

Cons

  • Limited features with basic plan.
  • No native learning management system (third-party integration only).
  • Limited accounting software integrations.

Paylocity: Best industry-specific solution

Our star rating: 4.6 out of 5

Paylocity logo
Image: Paylocity

Much like Rippling, Paylocity is an HRIS solution for small, midsize and large businesses that want a custom-built employee management system. Depending on which Paylocity features you choose as part of your plan, you can pay employees, track expenses, reimburse workers, manage benefits, measure employee satisfaction and more using Paylocity’s unified software system.

Why we chose it: In contrast to most of the Rippling competitors we review here, Paylocity’s solutions can be explicitly tailored to companies in specific industries. Companies in education, trucking, manufacturing and retail — among others — can work with Paylocity to build an HR software package that caters to their field’s unique payroll and human capital management needs.

We recommend looking at Paylocity over Rippling if you want a comprehensive HCM system that focuses more on HR than it does on finances and tech. Our Paylocity review can tell you more.

Pricing

Since Paylocity’s packages are completely customizable, Paylocity requires businesses to reach out for an individual quote.

Features

  • Expense tracking and employee reimbursement.
  • Built-in learning management system.
  • Online resource library with product training manuals and end-of-year tax information.
  • Global payroll through Blue Marble.
  • Integration with Xero, QuickBooks Online, Square Point of Sale and more.

Pros

  • Industry-specific packages.
  • Fully customizable payroll and HR plans.
  • Mobile payroll apps for both employers and employees.
  • Employee engagement surveys, reports and insights.

Cons

  • Limited report customization.
  • No 24/7 customer service.

TriNet: Best PEO alternative

Zenefits is now TriNet

Zenefits, an HR service owned by TriNet, has been taken off the market as of December 19, 2023 and replaced with TriNet HR Platform. For a limited time, customers can take 36% off the annual base price of a TriNet HR Platform package. Contact TriNet for more information.

Image: TriNet

Like Rippling, TriNet offers a variety of HR and payroll products, including both in-house HR software tools and an optional PEO service. Both companies offer a fairly similar set of standard features, including payroll processing, onboarding and hiring — in fact, TriNet Zenefits’ former CEO went on to found Rippling, so TriNet’s HR platforms have a lot in common with Rippling’s plans.

Why we chose it: As a streamlined HR solution, TriNet PEO appeals to startups and small businesses looking to offload payroll and HR tasks onto a co-employer. Since it focuses solely on the HR and payroll aspects of workforce management, it’s a good pick if you want software devoted entirely to your workforce.

In contrast, Rippling’s more comprehensive service is ideal for companies that want to consolidate finances, HR and IT takes onto a single platform. See our comprehensive TriNet review to learn more.

Pricing

Like most PEOs, TriNet doesn’t list its PEO pricing upfront. Interested customers will need to get in touch with TriNet to request a quote. However, TriNet does state that it charges a flat rate based on a per-employee, per-month pricing model.

If you’d prefer to keep payroll and HR in house or outsource some of your payroll tasks, not all, TriNet does list transparent pricing for non-PEO HR services:

  • TriNet HR Platform: In-house HR software starts at $8 per employee per month (when billed annually) or $10 per employee per month (when billed month to month).
  • TriNet HR Plus: Outsourced payroll and payroll tax management starts at $500 per month + $1,000 per year (audit fee).

Features

  • Industry-specific payroll processing.
  • Compensation management with salary benchmarking.
  • Multiple plans and products, including PEO, in-house software and outsourced payroll.
  • Open APIs for custom integrations.
  • Optional R&D tax credit tool, TriNet Clarus R+D.
  • Pre-built integrations with third-party apps like NetSuite, Xero, QuickBooks and Sage.

Pros

  • Mobile-first platform for easy on-the-go access.
  • Employee self-service tools, including self-guided onboarding.
  • Access to high-level benefits, including 401(k) plans and insurance plans.
  • Multiple HR and payroll service models to accommodate diverse business needs.

Cons

  • High price points with more add-on fees than average.
  • Some consumer complaints about slow customer service response times.
  • Middling Android app reviews.
  • Medical, dental and vision insurance plans unavailable in Hawaii.

Is Rippling worth it?

The Rippling logo.
Image: Rippling

Our star rating: 4.3 out of 5

Rippling’s IT and financial features make it unique in the world of business payroll and HR software. If your company wants to handle as many tasks as possible on the same unified system without outsourcing people management to a PEO, Rippling’s solution is ideal — especially if you’re managing a large contingent of remote employees.

However, Rippling’s costs can add up quickly, which can put it outside of many small and midsize businesses’ budgets. Because it handles so many tasks on one platform, Rippling’s modular operating system is rather complex, with a potentially high learning curve (especially for first-time business owners).

On the other hand, Rippling’s custom packages make it fairly scalable for businesses that only need payroll and HR services to start with but wish to add more features as they grow.

Rippling pricing, pros and cons

Depending on your business’s size, budget, industry and unique needs, Rippling’s pros could outweigh its cons — or vice versa. Either way, you’ll want to thoroughly compare Rippling’s strengths and weaknesses to those of similar products before calling the company to schedule a demo or request a quote. It pays to have your own understanding of a software’s perks before getting the details from a sales representative whose ultimate goal is to commit you to a plan.

Our Rippling review dives deeper into Rippling’s features, drawbacks and benefits.

Rippling pricing

Apart from its payroll service, which starts at $8 per employee paid per month, Rippling doesn’t provide transparent online pricing. However, its pricing structure is fairly clear: All users start by signing up for Rippling Unity, Rippling’s proprietary platform, which costs a monthly base fee. From there, customers can pick and choose which modules they want to add to their plan. Each module you add costs either a monthly base fee or per-employee fee (or both, depending on the feature).

Along with its domestic HR, tech, payroll and finance business software solution, Rippling has both a PEO plan and a Global Employer of Record service. The pricing for these plans isn’t listed on the site, so if you’re interested, you’ll need to contact the company directly.

Rippling features

  • 90-second payroll runs.
  • Support for contractors and W-2 employees, including both domestic and international workers.
  • Modular system with unique tech, IT, HR, payroll, global EOR, expense management and financial services.
  • 24/7 customer service.

Rippling pros

  • Easy-to-customize packages rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.
  • More financial and IT management tools than most HR and payroll services.
  • White-glove setup by dedicated customer account managers.
  • Responsive customer service team.
  • Frequent system updates and additional features added based on direct customer feedback.
  • Integrates with QuickBooks Online, Xero, NetSuite and other popular accounting tools.

Rippling cons

  • Complicated platform could take a while for new users to learn.
  • Some customer complaints about slow customer service response times.
  • No transparent online pricing.

Do you need an alternative to Rippling?

If your company needs a comprehensive software platform to manage nearly every financial, tech and employee-related task in-house, Rippling is a solid choice. In particular, Rippling can benefit international companies whose employees rely on company technology to do their jobs. Its employee benefits administration, corporate card options and payroll solutions ensure you can give your employees a solid experience working with your company, while taking the most time-consuming parts of people management off your hands.

However, if you’d rather choose a payroll solution that focuses primarily on payroll and HR tasks, Rippling competitors like Gusto and Paychex will likely save you money over a custom Rippling plan. Global companies that want to offer country-specific employee benefits should compare Papaya Global’s PEO solution to Rippling’s proprietary software. BambooHR could be a good Rippling alternative for U.S. companies that want their HR software to put employee retention front and center. And Paylocity is the best Rippling alternative for companies that require a software package that’s uniquely tailored to their industry-specific needs.

Methodology

To find, rank and rate the top Rippling competitors and alternatives, we hand-curated a list of top software products that compare to Rippling in terms of features, customer service, user reviews and price ranges. We read verified third-party reviews, spoke with customer service representatives, read product spec sheets and tested software ourselves whenever possible to bring you a well-rounded review of each Rippling alternative as well as Rippling itself.

To derive star ratings, we rely on an in-house algorithm that weighs brands based on their price, features, customer reputation, customer service, and functionality as well as our expert’s experience researching and testing the software. Our payroll methodology piece can tell you more.

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Subscribe to the Daily Tech Insider Newsletter

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