Paycor vs. Paylocity—Which Is Best for Your Business?

Managing your small business’s payroll can be a challenge for even the most financially savvy entrepreneur. At best, it can be a time-consuming yet unavoidable item on the to-do list. At worst, it can be a tangle of calculations, tax considerations, tracking garnishments, withholding for benefits, and so much more. 

Luckily, there are options out there to make your life a little easier. Among these two options are Paycor and Paylocity—payroll software options that can handle the tricky (and time-sucking) elements of handling how your employees get paid.

There are plenty of pros and cons when deciding between Paycor vs. Paylocity. Most depend on the kinds of features you need in order to run your business’s payroll most effectively. There are a few other factors, of course, like pricing and customer support. If you’ve been trying to decide the winner in the Paycor vs. Paylocity debate, look no further.

Paycor vs. Paylocity: At a Glance

Both Paycor and Paylocity are cloud-based software systems designed to make payroll an easier, less stressful, and more automated process. This can be a huge benefit for small business owners who may not have the time or expertise to constantly think about all of the nuances that go into running a business’s payroll properly.

These tools go beyond just getting your team paid, however. They also roll in other helpful features, such as reporting, analytics, scheduling, wage garnishment, 401(k) contributions, and even benefits administration. Depending on what you’re looking for, both Paycor and Paylocity could manage more than just your payroll operations.

Paycor Overview

There is an entire category of business software tools dedicated to making human resources easier to manage, and Paycor is one popular option. This means that the Paycor platform does more than just payroll, although we’ll focus on this aspect of their software in this article. Rather than having to run all of the tasks of a human resources department—and hire the staff needed to get the work done—this software handles it all. Paycor can handle common tasks such as recruiting, onboarding, benefits management, payroll, and employee management.

Paycor offers a modular platform, meaning that you can pick and choose between a variety of tools. This includes Recruiting and ATS, HR and Benefits, Learning Management, Time and Employee Management, Payroll and Tax, and Business Reporting and Analytics. Any of the tools you choose from the gamut of options will work together and share information to help build a cohesive software environment.

Paycor Payroll Features

Paycor Payroll offers everything that small and medium-sized businesses need in order to run their payroll operations. This includes support for general ledger integrations, employee self-service, and streamlined tax withholding and reporting. Employees can enjoy direct deposit support, optional paycards, child support payments and wage garnishments, and 401(k) contribution tools. From a compliance perspective, administrators can rest easy by getting expert-led assistance for payroll tax and workers comp matters—providing the custom support businesses need without the costs that come with hiring full-time experts.

Paycor Pricing

The Paycor Payroll software comes with different pricing tiers, each providing different levels of service at differing price points. If your needs are small, you’ll likely be able to save some money with a lower-priced plan. If, on the other hand, you need to pull out all the stops with your company’s payroll, there are still affordable options available.

  • Paycor Basic is the entry-level option that’s priced to be an affordable way for businesses to begin moving their payroll tasks into the cloud. This plan starts at $99 per month and includes 10 employee seats. This package features employee self-service tools, tax calculations and filing capabilities, payroll reporting, and all of the full-service payroll management tools you’d expect. If you need more than 10 employee seats on the platform, you’ll have to pay more.
  • Paycor Essential includes everything the Basic plan provides in addition to a few more useful tools. The Essential plan also adds employee self-service tools that can help employees manage their own wage garnishment and child support needs, a slate of templates for HR needs and employee forms, as well as analytics capabilities. This plan still includes 10 employee seats but starts at $149 per month.
  • Paycor Complete is the most expansive (and expensive) tier of support. With Paycor Complete Payroll, you’ll get all of the features and support provided from the Basic and Essential levels, in addition to hands-on help through Paycor’s payroll and HR specialists. You’ll also get a suite of new hire onboarding tools, 401(k) support, tax filing and compliance, and add-on capabilities for popular accounting software tools. This plan starts at $199 per month and also includes 10 employee seats.

Paycor Payroll User Reviews

Paycor Payroll is a popular option with many small business owners. Most online reviewers state that Paycor Payroll is simple to set up and use on a daily basis. The software offers a fair amount of customizability, which makes it feel much more tailored toward the reviewers’ businesses. Many reviews also praise Paycor Payroll’s scheduling and employee management tools.

There are a few negative marks that several reviewers have identified as well. Namely, developing customized shifts is one of the few areas where the platform falls short of offering the kind of unique setups it is otherwise known for. It can also be challenging to navigate time and attendance capabilities, but most reviewers were pleased with how the Paycor team helped guide them through the process.

Paylocity Overview

The robust Paylocity platform takes out the manual labor behind most common tasks as they relate to recruiting, hiring, onboarding, paying, and providing benefits to employees. Instead, the Paylocity system allows small business owners and administrators to upload their documents, tasks, and workflows to the cloud—meaning you can manage your business from wherever you are, and however you want to do it.

Paylocity, like Paycor, has a robust set of tools that go beyond simply handling payroll. These software offerings also include Human Resources, Time and Labor, Benefits Administration, Talent, Engagement, and Mobile tools in addition to their Payroll software. And, like Paycor and others, you can pick and choose between Paylocity’s tools to build the right-sized solution for your business.

Paylocity Payroll Features

Paylocity Payroll comes jam-packed with helpful features that make it easier to run payroll for a company of almost any size. The platform features an easy-to-use user interface that allows for plenty of customizations, reporting tools, and time-tracking functions that make it easier to get specifics on when your team is showing up, and where potential scheduling problems might arise.

That’s not all, though. Paylocity Payroll also provides templates to help collate your team’s data as it relates to demographics, payroll deductions, earnings, and even direct deposit details. Better yet, these templates are editable and customizable to your business and the specific details that matter to you. 

Speaking of forms, you can also create automatic documents for status changes, position changes, and compensation alterations for your employees—all from within the system. You can even set up approval pipelines so there’s no need to file and sign paperwork.

One of the more unique features Paylocity Payroll offers is the “pre-check” function that allows employees to look through their payment information before it’s submitted for payroll. They can also correct and verify information before payroll gets processed, which can help minimize costly (and annoying) mistakes.

Paylocity Pricing

Unlike Paycor, Paylocity doesn’t provide public information about their pricing. This isn’t all that uncommon (several payroll and HR management companies are quote-based), but it may mean you need to do a bit more to find out what you’re looking at in terms of costs. Contacting Paylocity is a great first step. You’ll be able to schedule a demo with someone from the Paylocity team to see whether the software looks like a good fit for your business, as well as get a quote, likely based on how many employees you have and which features you want to utilize.

Paylocity Payroll User Reviews

Many reviewers laud Paylocity’s easy integrations with common accounting software platforms, making it easy for small businesses to use their existing systems without much disruption. The employee self-service is also among other time-saving features that gets high marks from users—this tool makes it easier for employees to get the information they need, while reducing the amount of work administrators have to do manually.

There are, of course, a few downsides to using Paylocity, according to current customers. Non-transparent pricing is among the bigger complaints for some. Many payroll providers offer upfront pricing for their products, as well as tiers from which they can choose. This helps empower business owners to make more informed choices; not having this pricing model in place leaves some feeling frustrated. Other complaints center around a lackluster customer service experience, although your experience may vary depending on the kind of assistance you need. 

The Bottom Line

Both Paycor and Paylocity offer unique advantages for helping you run your company’s payroll needs, in addition to other aspects of your HR operations depending on your preferences. The two systems offer full-service support, take your company information seamlessly into the cloud, and remove the stress of tax compliance in the process. And, since both are designed with small businesses in mind, there’s additional attention paid to the kinds of challenges (both in terms of time and needs) that you’re most likely to encounter when handling payroll concerns.

In terms of features, the two platforms are also fairly similar. The same can’t be said about pricing, as it’s hard to tell what Paylocity might cost you in comparison to Paycor. For this reason and more, it’s important to do a deep dive into each platform, ask plenty of questions, and see what works best for your needs.

Christine Aebischer

Christine Aebischer is an editor at Fundera.

Prior to Fundera, Christine was an editor at the financial planning startup LearnVest and its parent company, Northwestern Mutual. There she wrote and edited on topics such as debt, budgeting, insurance, taxes, investing, and retirement. She has written for print and online on topics ranging from personal finance to luxury real estate.

Read Full Author Bio