The Comprehensive UltiPro Payroll Review for 2021

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    What Is UltiPro Payroll?

    UltiPro Payroll is a cloud-based payroll service offered by the parent company Ultimate Software. UltiPro Payroll is customizable and automates the payroll of some of the nation’s largest brands, making it a great solution for larger-scale payroll needs. UltiPro is priced on a quote-based system that relies on which features you request and how many employees you have.

    Searching for new payroll services for your business is a tough journey to start. Whether you’re looking for your first payroll software, or you’re hoping to upgrade, it’s hard to know where to begin. Many times, the hunt for new payroll software will be spurred into action when you hear about one specific possibility. UltiPro Payroll is one of the most widely recognized payroll solutions in the business, so many business owners opt for it based on its sheer clout. But it’s worth digging into the details on this payroll option before choosing it to automate your human resources processes.

    UltiPro Payroll Features

    Beyond making sure your employees get paid on time and in full—and taking all of the grunt work out of that process for you—what can UltiPro Payroll do for your business?

    By definition, all of your payroll services options will allow you to pay your employees. You’ll be able to differentiate stellar payroll services from those that aren’t so stellar based on the additional features they offer beyond just processing payroll.

    So, what features elevate UltiPro above the rest of your options?

    Here are some of the most notable add-on features that you can access through UltiPro, depending on which version of the software you opt for:

    Direct Deposit Payments

    As is standard for most payroll solutions these days, UltiPro Payroll offers direct deposit payments. This means that UltiPro will virtually deliver your employees’ paychecks directly into their bank accounts.

    Though direct deposit payments have become almost a given in today’s payroll service options, it’s smart to continue to check that any payroll option you’re considering offers this time- and paper-saving feature.

    Employee Login Access

    With UltiPro Payroll, you’ll be able to provide employee login access to your team. With their UltiPro login, employees can check out all of the logistics that their payroll holds. This would give your team more access to information on their payroll, benefits, and time off without your having to field all of their questions.

    Mobile App

    Additionally, the UltiPro Payroll app allows you and your employees to access UltiPro services through mobile devices. So, if you’re away from your computer but need to quickly manage payroll logistics, the UltiPro app will allow you to do so.

    That said, customer ratings of the UltiPro Payroll app aren’t always glowing. While the UltiPro Payroll app has 4.6 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store, negative reviews call out limited functionality, bugginess, and other frustrations.[1] So, although the UltiPro Payroll app exists, it might not be the most user-friendly or helpful resource. If you’re hoping to perform sophisticated reports or access detailed insights through your payroll service while you’re on the go, then UltiPro’s app might not be the best fit for you.

    Payroll Reporting Capabilities

    Through this UltiPro Payroll feature, account admins are able to run intricate reports on their company’s payroll. These reports will include built-in analyses of taxes, employee compensation, and more. Plus, you’ll be able to build custom payroll reports in more advanced versions of UltiPro.

    Full-Service Tax Management

    The tax management capabilities that you’ll be able to access through UltiPro Payroll will calculate the taxes—including federal, state, and local taxes—that each of your employees’ paychecks will have deducted from them. UltiPro will also alert account admins when a change in tax codes takes place, and the changes will apply to paychecks immediately.

    Time and Attendance Tracking

    UltiPro will allow you to choose from multiple time and attendance tracking systems, depending on your preferences. You can opt to use a manual time clock or an electric time sheet to track your employees’ hours, but you can also access an integrated time-tracking system for your payroll system, though this will likely add to the total cost of UltiPro Payroll for your business.

    Employee Benefits Management

    Depending on which version of UltiPro you end up choosing, you might be able to access integrated employees benefits management. This will allow you to keep track of all of the non-compensation benefits you offer your employees—think retirement benefits, paid time off, and health insurance. If your version of UltiPro doesn’t feature this tracking as a built-in capability, then you might be able to access it as an optional module, as well.

    UltiPro Pricing

    Those features are all well and good, but there’s no real way to know if UltiPro Payroll is a frontrunner for your business without knowing just how much it will cost.

    Unfortunately, UltiPro Payroll isn’t exactly transparent about their pricing. While some of UltiPro’s competitors will delineate their pricing to a tee on their websites, you won’t be able to find UltiPro’s anywhere online.

    And that’s because their payroll services are priced using a quote-based system. If you describe your business and what you need from UltiPro Payroll to a member of their team, this representative will provide you with a general idea of how much UltiPro would cost your business.

    This means that you won’t have a way to gauge whether or not you’re getting a good deal on your UltiPro Payroll, relative to what other businesses are paying. Plus, if you look to UltiPro Payroll reviews from customers, many cite the higher cost of the software as one of the main downfalls of the product. So, though there’s no telling how much UltiPro Payroll will cost your business, it’s easy to assume that it won’t be cheap.

    What Kind of Businesses Does UltiPro Payroll Work Well For?

    To help decide whether or not UltiPro Payroll is the right option for your business’s payroll needs, you might want to know what kinds of businesses UltiPro typically works with. Well, because UltiPro typically provides payroll services to giant brands, you might recognize a few of their customers.

    Huge businesses—like Subway, Texas Roadhouse, and Major League Baseball—with thousands of employees use UltiPro Payroll services. So, if you’re looking for a smaller-scale, more straightforward payroll service, then you might want to look to one of UltiPro’s more small business-centric counterparts.

    Pros and Cons of UltiPro Payroll

    Now that we have a good understanding of what UltiPro Payroll offers and which businesses it can best serve, let’s pinpoint the advantages and disadvantages of this payroll provider.


    • Comprehensive solution: To be sure, UltiPro Payroll can handle all of your payroll needs and offers a wide array of features. Their full-service tax management is especially appealing for business owners who don’t want to run the risk of calculating taxes on their own and potentially making costly mistakes. It’s safe to say that whatever feature you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it with UltiPro.


    • Target demo: As we highlighted above, UltiPro serves some big-name companies and is, in fact, best-suited for enterprise-level businesses. Thus, small businesses will likely not find UltiPro to be their best solution. There are several payroll providers that specifically cater to small businesses and whose features, customer service, and cost are more in line with the needs of small business owners (a few of which we highlight below).
    • Cost: Another significant drawback to UltiPro Payroll is the price. They don’t offer transparent pricing, so you won’t know whether the price you’re quoted is comparable to what other businesses receive. Plus, considering the size of the companies UltiPro typically serves, you can expect them to be an expensive option. 
    • Mobile app: It’s also worth mentioning UltiPro’s mobile app here, as more and more business owners want the freedom to manage their businesses from anywhere. UltiPro app reviews are concerning, with many users reporting not being able to use the app for any of its intended purposes. If mobile options and user-friendly interfaces are important to you, you’ll likely want to choose another payroll provider.

    UltiPro Customer Reviews

    So, we’ve gone through all of the positive aspects of UltiPro that they advertise on their website—but what are the less-than-ideal parts of using this software to automate your business’s payroll? To be sure, you won’t find the answer to this question on Ultimate Software’s website. That said, you can rely on UltiPro reviews from customers to see the less-than-perfect side of this payroll option.

    One of the most agreed-upon downsides you’ll see in UltiPro Payroll reviews is that this isn’t necessarily the most intuitive software on the market. Many customers say that there’s a pretty steep learning curve for both admins and employees when navigating UltiPro Payroll. More specifically, many customers seem to have lots of trouble transitioning from their old payroll services onto UltiPro. All in, UltiPro reviews feature a lot of customers hoping to access training for using the software but also wishing that training wasn’t necessary.

    UltiPro Payroll Alternatives

    With all of this information in mind, you may be wondering what other payroll solutions may better fit your business’s needs. Even if you think UltiPro might be the best solution, it’s always best to compare several options—and their cost—so you have a good idea of how much bang you’re getting for your buck. Here are a few UltiPro alternatives to consider.

    Gusto Payroll

    One of the main drawbacks of UltiPro is it isn’t especially small business-friendly; it’s more of an enterprise-level system. For smaller businesses looking for a solution geared toward them and with upfront pricing, Gusto is one of your best options.

    Gusto offers three different plans offering varying levels of payroll and HR management functionality, so you can choose the best one for your business. Even better, all of their prices are listed right on their website. Their standard Core plan costs $39 per month plus $6 per employee per month.

    No matter which plan you choose, you’ll receive a full-service payroll solution, workers compensation and health benefits administration, employee self-service, PTO tracking, and customer support. As you level up to a higher plan, you’ll receive additional capabilities like onboarding tools, dedicated customer support, and an HR resource center.

    Get Started With Gusto Payroll

    ADP Payroll

    On the other hand, if you want a payroll solution that can truly grow with your business, you may consider ADP Payroll. ADP offers several plan options, geared toward businesses of all sizes, so you can find the one that best fits your business now, while also knowing you can always upgrade down the line as your business expands.

    Besides payroll, you can also satisfy all of your HR management needs with ADP. Besides a payroll provider, ADP is also a PEO (professional employer organization), meaning they provide corporate-caliber benefits, expert guidance, intuitive tech, and integrated HR services, in addition to full-service payroll processing.

    ADP is quote-based, though, so you will need to reach out to their team to find out how much their services will cost your business.

    Get Started With ADP Payroll

    Square Payroll

    Another option to consider is Square Payroll. If you have both employees and contractors, then Square Payroll will cost you a base fee of $29 per month, plus $5 per employee or contractor per month. Alternatively, if you only have contractors on your payroll, then you will only pay $5 per contractor per month, with no base fee at all. Plus, unlike UltiPro Payroll reviews, most all Square Payroll reviews cite the program’s intuitive interface as one of its biggest draws.

    So, if you’re looking for a payroll solution that is more affordable, more transparent, and easier to use than UltiPro Payroll, then we suggest you look into Square Payroll.

    Sign up for Square Payroll

    The Bottom Line

    What’s the verdict on UltiPro Payroll? If you’re looking for your first payroll software, then there is probably a better option out there for you. UltiPro is simply too large-scale to be very helpful for businesses that employ a small team. Plus, even if you do have a large team on your payroll, UltiPro Payroll won’t necessarily be the most user-friendly or affordable of your payroll options. Unless you’re totally set on UltiPro, we suggest you continue your search to find a more intuitive and transparent payroll software option.

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    Maddie Shepherd
    Contributing Writer at Fundera

    Maddie Shepherd

    Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current contributing writer for Fundera. 

    Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. She has reviewed and analyzed dozens of financial tools and providers, helping business owners make better financial decisions. 

    Read Full Author Bio