Zenefits and BambooHR are both prominent human resources, payroll and management platforms for businesses. Both services can be great for your enterprise, though they aren’t equal in their capabilities. This in-depth guide compares the two platforms.

The Zenefits logo.
Image: Zenefits

Zenefits is a prominent operations platform that users have come to know and love. You can use the service as an all-in-one solution for your organization by utilizing this payroll, HR and benefits software. Zenefits allows you to purchase certain aspects of their suite as you need them and is priced on a per-employee basis.

Check out our full review of Zenefits for more information.

The BambooHR logo.
Image: BambooHR

BambooHR is a similar platform that focuses primarily on HR. While it does include payroll and employee management tools, you’ll likely make the most of the HR features before anything else. For detailed pricing, visit BambooHR’s website and receive a quote.

Check out our full review of BambooHR for more information.

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Zenefits vs. BambooHR: Comparison table

Direct depositYesYes
Automated syncing between payroll and HRSomewhatYes
Mobile connectivityYesSomewhat
Tax compliance toolsYesYes
Detailed analyticsYesYes

Zenefits and BambooHR pricing

What is the cost of Zenefits?

Zenefits’ pricing is relatively straightforward. There are three different packages that include different features for your business. These are:

  • Essentials: Starts at $8 per employee, per month for basic HR.
  • Growth: Starts at $16 per employee, per month and is for brands that expect to scale.
  • Zen: Starts at $21 per employee, per month and is for brands that need HR tools.

You can also purchase payroll software, recruiting, benefits admin (your own broker) and advisory services for an additional monthly fee of between $5-35 per month, per employee.

What is the cost of BambooHR?

BambooHR pricing is a little more complicated than Zenefits simply because it’s difficult to find exact figures. There are two available plans:

  • Essentials
  • Advantage

According to users, the Essentials plan begins at roughly $5 per month, per employee. As with Zenefits, there are additional tools that you can choose to purchase. These include payroll, benefits administration, performance management and time tracking.

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Feature comparison: Zenefits vs. BambooHR

Direct deposit

Both Zenefits and BambooHR offer direct deposit for your business. Because payroll data automatically integrates with other Zenefits features, it’s easier to utilize direct deposits on that service. BambooHR requires your employees to use a clunky website to update bank info when they wish to use direct deposit.

Automated syncing between payroll and HR

Zenefits and BambooHR sync data between payroll and HR. BambooHR autofills information from HR to payroll so that you don’t waste time. This includes info like benefits, hours, wages and deductions. Zenefits primarily syncs benefits and salary changes regularly between payroll and HR platforms.

SEE: Here’s a roundup of the best HRIS tools for small businesses.

Mobile connectivity

Though both platforms offer mobile applications, BambooHR’s mobile solution isn’t rated nearly as high as Zenefits on Google and Apple stores. Indeed, Zenefits uses its mobile app to incorporate payroll and employee management features with its main platform. BambooHR, alternatively, uses third-party software to provide a piecemeal solution.

Tax compliance tools

If you’re worried about tax compliance, Zenefits and BambooHR will both be helpful for you. Both of the services automatically file federal, state and local taxes for your organization so that you don’t have to use HR software to do it yourself. Zenefits also alerts your U.S. state authorities when you hire a new employee.

SEE: We have highlighted the top six HR and payroll software options for 2023.

Detailed analytics

Zenefits and BambooHR both provide detailed analytics. BambooHR compiles extensive payroll reports for you to view. Zenefits reporting is a little more comprehensive, because it allows you to customize the information that you’d like to regularly see.

Zenefits pros and cons

Pros of Zenefits

  • Powerful integration tools.
  • Federal and state tax filing.
  • Competitive pricing.

Cons of Zenefits

  • Five employees required for any plan.
  • Employee management tools don’t extend to project development.

BambooHR pros and cons

Pros of BambooHR

  • Powerful integration tools.
  • Federal and state tax filing.
  • Competitive pricing.

Cons of BambooHR

  • No clear pricing on BambooHR site.
  • Clunky user interface on mobile.


This review features information compiled from multiple relevant sources. The above information about Zenefits and BambooHR was collected from users, the vendor websites and reputable third-party organizations.

SEE: Check out our list of the best onboarding software for small to large businesses.

Should your organization use Zenefits or BambooHR?

Deciding which service to use can be complicated. In the end, it comes down to what features you’re looking to utilize for your business. If you are more focused on HR, or if your organization is large, you might choose BambooHR. If you’re focused on payroll, integration of features and scalability, Zenefits is probably the better fit. If you’re still unsure what will work best for you, however, you can also try these renowned platforms for yourself to see which one is best equipped to handle the needs of your business.