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 good fit for your team.
- Top Rippling competitors and alternatives: Comparison table
- Top Rippling competitors
- Is Rippling worth it?
- Rippling pros and cons
- Do you need an alternative to Rippling?
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 many of Rippling’s competitors have their own specialized benefits that Rippling lacks, Rippling is fairly unique in offering both financial and tech features as part of its overall HR platform.
|Global payroll||Employee benefits||Hiring and onboarding tools||Remote device management||24/7 customer service||Starting monthly price|
|Rippling||Yes (140+ countries)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Custom pricing only|
|Papaya Global||Yes (160+ countries)||Yes||Yes||No||No||$12 per employee|
|BambooHR||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||Pricing by request only|
|Paychex||Yes (third-party service)||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||$39 plus $5 per employee|
|Gusto||Yes (contractors only)||Yes||Yes||No||No||$40 plus $6 per employee|
|Paylocity||Yes (third-party service)||Yes||Yes||No||No||Custom pricing only|
|TriNet Zenefits||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||$8 per employee|
Top Rippling competitors
The top Rippling competitors all have Rippling-adjacent benefits like thorough automation, compliance alerts, automatic payroll tax filing and employee self-service apps. For the most part, Rippling’s competitors – much like Rippling itself – require you to contact the company for a customized quote, which makes it hard to determine which Rippling alternative fits your budget.
Papaya Global: Best overall Rippling alternative
Like Rippling, Papaya Global is a unified, all-in-one operating system for businesses of all sizes that want to handle payroll and HR tasks on the same platform. 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.
Since its target audience is companies that process international payroll, Papaya Global is deeply invested in helping its clients maintain legal compliance no matter where in the world their employees work. The company works with experts who, in turn, work on the ground across the world to offer real-time legal support and guidance. Papaya also helps you compare country- and culture-specific benefits, so you can attract and retain top talent in every corner of the globe.
Unlike most Rippling alternatives, Papaya Global lists its starting prices upfront, though the exact cost of a Papaya payroll and HR package depends on which features you include in your custom plan. Each module costs either a per-employee or per-location monthly fee:
- Payroll Platform License: Starts at $3 per employee per month to integrate your current payroll software with Papaya Global’s operating system.
- Payments-as-a-Service: Starts at $3 per employee per month to pay employees in their local currencies through Papaya’s platform.
- Full-Service Payroll: Starts at $12 per employee per month.
- Contractor Management: Starts at $2 per contractor per month.
- Employer of Record services: Starts at $650 per employee per month.
- Global Expertise Services: Starts at $190 per employee per month and includes global health plan benefit options.
- 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.
- 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.
- Initial setup can take up to three weeks.
- Limited HR, tech and finance tools compared to Rippling.
- Fewer third-party integrations than most competitors.
For more information, read our complete Papaya Global review.
BambooHR: Best for small businesses
BambooHR’s emphasis on HR tools might make it a better fit than Rippling 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.
Specifically, 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.
BambooHR has two plans: Essentials and Advantage. The Essentials plan is extremely limited with basic features like time-off management only. BambooHR doesn’t list pricing for either plan online, but the company does offer a seven-day free trial.
- 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.
- Relatively uncomplicated, user-friendly platform and employee app.
- Employee engagement tools.
- Extremely limited features with basic plan.
- No native learning management system (third-party integration only).
- Accounting software integration limited to NetSuite.
Paychex Flex: Best standalone payroll software solution
Paychex’s payroll and HR software solution isn’t as comprehensive as Rippling’s or Papaya Global’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.
Paychex also focuses more on HR than most other payroll software solutions (with the notable exception of ADP). If Paychex’s payroll and HR software isn’t comprehensive enough for your business needs, consider its PEO plan. Like Papaya Global, another PEO solution, Paychex HR PEO bundles benefit administration, full-service payroll, compliance and HR tools on one platform.
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.
- 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.
- Learning management system (not available with cheapest plan).
- Comprehensive HR document library.
- More HR features and support than most standalone payroll solutions, including Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll.
- 24/7 customer support available.
- Optional employee benefits, including health insurance and 401(k) plans.
- Extra fees for wage garnishment, workers’ compensation integration and benefits administration.
- No general ledger integration with most basic plan.
For more information, read our full Paychex review.
Gusto: Best full-service payroll
Gusto is a standalone business software solution that primarily focuses on payroll and HR. While Gusto offers some hiring and onboarding tools, it generally has far fewer HR features than any other Rippling alternative on our list — including its fellow standalone software product, Paychex Flex. However, Gusto excels at providing cost-effective, comprehensive payroll for small, midsize and even enterprise-level businesses.
Gusto’s thorough automation ensures you spend the least amount of time possible thinking about payroll processing. Its tax-filing administration includes end-of-year tax form filing at no additional cost. While Gusto doesn’t have many features outside of payroll, time tracking, HR and compliance assistance, it integrates with apps like QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, Xero, Expensify and more.
Gusto has three payroll plans, each with varying levels of HR features and customer support:
- Gusto Simple costs $40 per month plus $6 per employee paid per month.
- Gusto Plus costs $80 per month plus $12 per employee paid per month.
- Gusto Premium requires customers to request a custom package and price.
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.
- Employee benefits available through Gusto’s in-house brokerage.
- International payroll processing (for contractors only).
- Wage garnishments, tip credits and unemployment insurance management with every plan.
- Optional autopilot payroll setting.
- Clear pricing.
- No additional fee for employee benefit integration and administration.
- Thorough automation for nearly every payroll process.
- Limited HR features with all but the most expensive plan.
- No 24/7 customer support.
For more information, read our full Gusto review.
Paylocity: Best industry-specific solution
Much like Rippling, Paylocity is an HRIS solution for small, midsize and large businesses that want a custom-made 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.
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.
Since Paylocity’s packages are completely customizable, Paylocity requires businesses to reach out for an individual quote.
- 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.
- Industry-specific packages.
- Fully customizable payroll and HR plans.
- Mobile payroll apps for both employers and employees.
- Employee engagement surveys, reports and insights.
- Limited report customization.
- No 24/7 customer service.
For more information, read our full Paylocity review.
TriNet Zenefits: Best for employee scheduling
TriNet Zenefits is an HR-first software solution that gives employers a platform for managing employee benefits, time off and scheduling. Each Zenefits plan includes a well-reviewed mobile app that employees can use to clock in and out, check their time-off accruals and view their schedules. The more comprehensive plans add features like compensation and performance management, in-depth customizable workforce analytics and access to employee engagement surveys.
Since Zenefits focuses primarily on HR, its payroll features aren’t necessarily as comprehensive as those of competitors like Gusto and Rippling. Its platform also integrates with fewer third-party partners than Rippling, Gusto, Paychex and Paylocity, particularly accounting software.
Zenefits has three base HR plans and several optional add-ons:
- The Essentials plan starts at $8 per employee per month.
- The Growth plan starts at $16 per employee per month.
- The Zen plan starts at $21 per employee per month.
Payroll costs an additional $6 per employee per month. Prices increase if you pay month to month rather than annually.
- Automated onboarding features for new hires.
- Self-service mobile app for employees.
- In-house benefit brokerage.
- Optional payroll and recruiting add-ons.
- Transparent pricing listed online.
- Thorough employee scheduling, time and attendance tools, as well as PTO tracking.
- Compensation management software helps businesses stay competitive.
- Expensive per-employee pricing.
- Limited accounting software integrations (QuickBooks Online and Xero only).
- Minimal features included with basic plan.
For more information, read our full TriNet Zenefits review.
Is Rippling worth it?
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 operating system is rather complex, with a high learning curve.
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 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.
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).
Note that along with its 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.
- Easy-to-customize packages rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.
- More financial and IT management tools than most HR and payroll services.
- Syncs with QuickBooks Online, Xero, NetSuite and other popular accounting tools.
- White-glove setup by dedicated customer account managers.
- 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 want a simpler solution that focuses solely 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.
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.
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