Pricing, Features & What’s Best in 2023


Rippling and Paychex provide businesses with human resources (HR), tax, compliance, and payroll service support. Both help companies manage employees of all types, such as salaried, hourly, contract, remote, and foreign workers. However, Rippling has a wider suite of solutions and makes it easy for you to choose the HR, payroll, and information technology (IT) services you need (customizing a la carte style). Paychex, with its core Paychex Flex payroll software, focuses on offering a range of combined payroll and HR solutions.

Here are our recommendations to help you determine whether Rippling vs Paychex is the ideal HR software for you:

  • Rippling: Best for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that want an all-in-one HR, payroll, and IT platform with robust workflow automation and integration options
  • Paychex: Best for startups and growing companies needing HR tools with solid payroll support

Rippling vs Paychex Compared

These two providers have many similar features, such as employee self-service tools, time tracking, paid time off (PTO) management, and full-service payroll with tax payment and filing services. Rippling and Paychex can also help you manage recruiting, training programs, and benefits plans.

Below are some of the standout features, including each provider’s basic pricing details.

When to Use Rippling and Paychex

With workforce management as Rippling’s core platform, you can easily organize employee information to ensure data accuracy across its wide range of solutions. It has modules for HR, payroll, benefits, IT, and expense management tools, which are all available separately but fully integrate with its workflow management platform.

Customizable workflows are also available, enabling you to automate tasks and maintain efficient processes. Rippling will even assist you in handling HR operational tasks with its PEO services, as well as in recruiting and paying international workers with its EOR solution.


  • Modular HR, payroll, and IT solutions; you can select modules/features that you want
  • Flexible PEO option (you can turn it on/off and then start using its HR platform again)
  • IT services include ordering new laptops for your team and loading the units with software that your business uses
  • Offers global payroll, PEO, and EOR solutions


  • Pricing isn’t all transparent
  • You need to purchase the workforce management platform first before adding other modules
  • Can get pricey as you add more features
  • Lacks performance review tools
  • HR help desk option with phone and email support costs extra

Paychex’s base product is Paychex Flex, which includes full-service payroll in all of its plans and integrates seamlessly with other Paychex products, such as time tracking. It has several entry points, so whether you’re a solopreneur, a startup, or a 50- or 200-employee business, you have options that will fit your needs. Its diverse packages and 24/7 support also make it great for companies planning to grow over time. And if you choose a premium plan or add features, you can get access to HR consulting, hiring and onboarding services, benefits, reporting, and compliance experts.


  • Easy-to-use platform with scalable plan options
  • Dedicated payroll specialist
  • Special package for solopreneurs includes payroll, incorporation support, and access to a 401(k) plan
  • Offers PEO services
  • Has a wide range of HR solutions (such as applicant tracking, performance reviews, and learning management)


  • Pricing isn’t all transparent
  • Year-end tax reporting costs extra
  • Time tracking, document management, performance reviews, and hiring solutions are paid add-ons
  • Starter Paychex Flex plan is limited to 19 employees: You have to upgrade to the next tier if you have 20 and more workers
  • Different contacts for different HR and payroll products

Unsure whether Rippling or Paychex is a good fit? See our other top recommendations in our best HR payroll software guide.

Alternatives to Paychex vs Rippling

Looking for something else? Read our guide to the best payroll services and best payroll software for small businesses to find a service or software that’s right for your company.

Best in Pricing: Rippling

Rippling is one of the few HR services that allow you to create a custom plan with the solutions you need—provided you get its core workforce management platform. This is great for businesses that want a mix of HR, IT, and payroll tools to streamline day-to-day processes. If you have business offices outside of the United States, Rippling can help you hire and pay international staff with its EOR and global payroll services. You only get international payroll with Paychex but through its partner, FMP Global.

However, as with most HR software, the cost will increase as you add more features and advanced support options. And while it lacks the solopreneur plan that Paychex offers to the self-employed, Rippling doesn’t charge setup fees and lets you run payroll as many times as you need in a month without having to pay extra (Paychex doesn’t offer unlimited pay runs).

What’s great about Paychex is its flexible payroll packages, which are ideal for businesses with plans to scale. You can start from either its Paychex Solo or Paychex Flex Essential plan and then upgrade to higher packages or get additional Paychex products (like hiring, time tracking, and PEO services) as your HR needs grow.

Paychex Flex’s starter tier is also a more budget-friendly option for small businesses (up to 19 employees) that primarily want payroll tools. Let’s say you have to pay nine workers, Paychex will only charge you $84 monthly (computed as nine employees X $5 plus $39), whereas Rippling costs $107 monthly (computed as nine employees X $8 plus $35).

Note, however, that Rippling’s plan includes time tracking tools (based on the quote we received), which is a paid add-on with Paychex. If your business needs this feature, you may end up paying Paychex a little bit more than Rippling.

Pricing Calculator: Check Potential Costs

If you want to compare how much you would pay if you are considering Rippling vs Paychex, use our online calculator.

Best for Payroll: Rippling

While both providers offer full-service payroll and can handle payments for contractors, hourly workers, and salaried employees, Rippling’s payroll tax administration services are more budget-friendly. It doesn’t charge additional fees for year-end tax reporting (this costs extra with Paychex).

It’s also great for businesses with employees working in different countries because its solid global payroll tools can help you pay them accurately and in their local currencies. It’s even one of our recommended international payroll services. With Paychex, you get similar tools but through its partner, FMP Global.

Rippling claims that it can process payroll for global employees and contractors in as fast as 90 seconds. (Source: Rippling)

When to Consider Paychex

If you want multiple payment options, Paychex can help you pay employees via same-day ACH, two-day direct deposits, manual checks, and pay cards. For employers who prefer to pay via manual checks, Paychex provides a self-print option, as well as check logo and signing services if you need them. Rippling only offers checks that you print yourself and direct deposit payments.

Paychex Flex’s payroll dashboard lets you run payroll, add employees, view labor costs, and more. (Source: Paychex)

Best for HR Features: Tie

It is difficult to compare Rippling vs Paychex in this criterion because while they have similar functionalities, the width and depth of HR solutions and services on offer vary slightly. As such, there may be instances where one is better than the other.

Click the tabs below to know when it’s best to use Rippling and Paychex for HR.

Rippling makes HR management easier with its automated features and robust workflow tools. Data flows seamlessly across its various HR and payroll solutions, even extending to IT provisioning and deprovisioning, allowing you to manage business apps and laptops assigned to employees with ease (Paychex doesn’t have IT tools). This is ideal for businesses with remote workers because Rippling can help you retrieve company laptops from resigning staff at the end of their last working day and remotely lock computer access for security.

If you’re looking to outsource your day-to-day HR and payroll tasks, Rippling offers a PEO service that is more flexible than Paychex’s. For example, if you decide that you no longer need a PEO, Rippling allows you to directly turn this service off from your account and then start using its HR platform again. This flexible option is one of the reasons Rippling is included in our top PEO companies guide. With Paychex, you have to go through a service cancellation process before you can use its online solutions again.

In terms of employee benefits, Rippling can help you compare and enroll in more than 4,000 benefits plans. It also offers Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) compliance, but this is a paid add-on.

Rippling offers benefits plans by partnering with leading insurance carriers like Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Humana.
(Source: Rippling)

In our evaluation of Rippling vs Paychex for HR features and benefits, we found that the latter has slightly more advanced HR tools—providing both learning and performance management solutions. Rippling doesn’t have online tools to track employee performance at work.

Paychex’s financial wellness program is also one of the things that set it apart from Rippling. It grants you and your employees access to financial management tools and educational resources as well as short-term loans. Plus, in addition to PEO and HR advisory solutions, it offers outsourcing services if you need help with hiring or creating an employee handbook (Rippling doesn’t offer hiring services).

With Paychex, you and your employees can easily manage benefits and retirement plans online. (Source: Paychex)

Best for Reporting: Tie

In the battle between Rippling vs Paychex for reporting, both offer standard payroll and HR reports, including customization options. However, if you want to know where these two providers shine in terms of reporting capabilities, click the tabs below.

What makes Rippling’s reporting tool different from Paychex’s is the Excel-like formulas that you can add to reports. Getting employee-related information from Rippling and its network of partner apps is also possible, allowing you to extract the data you need without having to open third-party systems separately to run reports.

Rippling allows you to add employee data across its various solutions and partner systems to reports. (Source: Rippling)

Paychex may not have Rippling’s Excel-like formulas and robust reporting that even includes employee-related data from third-party partner apps, but it has the capability to compare your HR data against industry benchmarks. This enables you to use data-driven insights for building business cases to help improve HR services and processes.

With Paychex, you can toggle easily between viewing the recent version or a 12-month trend of online reports. (Source: Paychex)

Best for Ease of Use & Customer Support: Paychex

Both providers have platforms that are intuitive, relatively easy to use, and come with online setup wizards. However, Paychex’s dedicated payroll specialist, guided system setup, and 24/7 chat, phone, and email support make it a better choice for users. With these features, small business owners can easily set up Paychex Flex (provided they get the starter tier) and get assistance in running payroll or navigating through its features.

Rippling may lack the live phone support and guided setup help that Paychex offers to its clients, but it does provide you with a more extensive network of third-party software integrations (more than 500 versus Paychex’s 50-plus options). This makes Rippling an ideal HR software for tech-heavy companies, as it’s highly likely that the business systems they typically use are included in the provider’s robust partner network.

Best for Popularity Among Users: Rippling

To evaluate Rippling vs Paychex user popularity, we looked at each provider’s average number of user reviews and the average overall ratings on third-party review sites like G2 and Capterra. In terms of ratings from actual users, Rippling outscored Paychex (4.85 vs 4.15 out of 5).

Here’s what users have to say about both providers.

Most of the users who left positive feedback on G2 and Capterra like that Rippling is simple to use and integrates with other business solutions. They added that it is not just for HR but also for managing benefits, payroll processing, schedules, and workers’ comp. However, some users dislike its mobile app glitches and the software’s occasional glitches (like slow-loading pages and login issues).

Paychex received a lot of positive comments on G2 and Capterra about its ease of use, solid payroll services, and wide range of HR tools. While several reviewers said that its support team is helpful, a few others complained about having encountered customer reps that aren’t responsive.

How We Evaluated Rippling vs Paychex

We compared Rippling vs Paychex by looking at both providers’ features—from pay processing and tax filings to HR tools and employee benefits options. We also considered other key criteria, such as ease of use, pricing, and customer support, including whether users have access to expert professionals who can provide HR and payroll advice.

Bottom Line

When selecting between Paychex vs Rippling, you’ll want to consider how much support you need and in which areas you require extra help. With Rippling, you get strong automation tools with integrated HR and payroll features, app and device management solutions, US-based PEO services, and global EOR support. These make it suitable for businesses looking for a robust platform to streamline a wide range of HR and IT processes.

Meanwhile, Paychex is optimal for growing businesses needing HR and payroll support, mainly because of its scalable plans and products that cater to different business sizes. If you have a handful of employees and only require basic payroll and HR tools, its Paychex Flex solution would likely be a better fit—plus, its starter tier is less expensive than Rippling.

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