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Is Paychex the Right Fit for My Business?

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    If you’ve been around our blog for a minute, you may be familiar with our house analogy for choosing the right HCM partner: it all depends on what is most important to you. 

    Is it a friendly neighborhood that you want? Do you prefer a bigger kitchen or a bigger backyard? Are you growing your family, or is it just you and the dog? 

    If ADP is the biggest house on the block – Paychex is their next-door neighbor. Both are established and well-known and are many business owners’ first choices when considering a new payroll partner. 

    At Whirks, we strive to help businesses get one step better every day – and part of that is choosing a supportive payroll partner that will grow with you. We recommend you ask yourself three critical questions during your search: 

    1. What are the features? Do they match my needs?
    2. Do they have exceptional customer service?
    3. How much does it cost, and is it worth the price?

    Asking these questions will help you find the right payroll provider. If you’ve already begun your research, you know that one of the first names you see is Paychex. 

    Who is Paychex?

    Founded in 1971 by B. Thomas Golisano, Paychex is a publicly-traded company with 45+ years of industry expertise. Currently, they have over 700,000 clients and write 1 in 12 of the paychecks for private companies in the US. 

    Paychex employs more than 15,000 people in the U.S. and Europe. They have at least one brick-and-mortar location in all 50 states if you value in-person help – just keep in mind that it may not be close to where you live. 

    They are set apart by their dominance in the HR department. Paychex offers a dedicated HR professional who serves as an extension of your team and helps you navigate and understand laws and regulations. 

    This is especially helpful in our current day and age. With all the changing federal and state regulations and the larger remote workforce, there are several grey areas that you may not know about. 

    What services do they offer?

    No matter which payroll provider you choose, remember: all payroll and HCM software offer virtually the same features and functionalities. Paychex is cloud-based and offers payroll, reporting, employee data management, time and attendance, and HR benefits administration.

    The four essential HCM modules you need to examine when looking for a new provider are payroll, time and attendance, benefits administration, and onboarding. Let’s review these four aspects of Paychex to help you see if they’re the right fit for you. 

    1. Payroll

    Their two-click service processes payroll for salaried and hourly employees via direct deposit or pay card. For an extra fee, you can add check printing and signing services. 

    It also calculates, files, and pays payroll taxes for companies of any size. Their 24/7 support allows for peace of mind if a mistake is made. 

    2. Timekeeping

    The time and attendance module include mobile and online clocking capabilities, employee messaging, and even Geofencing and mileage calculators for your employees on the move. 

    3. Benefits Administration

    Paychex offers Group Health Insurance so you can track employee eligibility and eligible life events. They also offer individual health insurance, 401k recordkeeping, expansive HSA, and unique Tax-Saving Plans. 

    4. Onboarding

    Their electronic onboarding is connected to your payroll cloud and gives your employees the ability to log on virtually and complete all required paperwork. This makes a great first impression on new hires and helps your HR department view complete and accurate data. 

    What does their customer service look like?

    Do you like to figure things out for yourself? Or would you rather hand it off to someone else? It is crucial for you to ask yourself these questions before you pick any new provider. 

    Even though Paychex offers multiple communication pathways for their clients – 17 different phone numbers and a live chat – you will probably have to wade through several helplines to get the answer you need. 

    Unless you opt for the larger package, you will not have a dedicated customer service rep to help you with your account. This is a make or break in determining whether a specific vendor will provide the best support available. 

    Choosing a provider with excellent customer service is the key to peace of mind – but you have to know what you want first. If you want around-the-clock assistance, a larger provider like Paychex may be more beneficial. 

    A smaller, independent payroll provider will provide you with a dedicated customer care specialist that’s available during working hours – but they probably won’t have a 24/7 helpline. 

    Whether it’s a national or independent provider, choose a payroll partner who will help you avoid staying up late, processing payroll, and worrying about compliance. 


    For smaller businesses, pricing is a deciding factor in choosing a new payroll partner. You don’t need to pay for services you don’t use. 

    Let’s delve into Paychex’s three package options to see if any of them fit your needs as a business. 

    1. Paychex Go

    The smallest package, Paychex Go, lists the pricing on their website. However, they insinuate that specific features will cost more –  making the $39 base fee plus the $5 PEPM (per employee per month) fee a bit vague. But they do offer a one-month free trial period. 

    Within this package, you receive: 

    • Online Payroll
    • Payroll Tax Administration
    • Time and Attendance
    • New-Hire Reporting
    • Ledger Reports
    • Accounting Integration
    • Worker’s Comp Insurance
    • Standard Reporting
    • Customer Service
    • W-2’s and 10-99’s
    • Business Forms
    • Direct Deposits and Pay cards

    Keep in mind that the Paychex website denotes that several of these services include additional fees. 

    2. Paychex Flex

    Their most popular choice, Paychex Flex Select, has no pricing available. It includes Paychex Go access with the following additions: 

    • Mobile App 
    • More integration availability
    • Free trial of their marketing tools
    • Dedicated payroll specialist
    • Income verification
    • Access to a learning management system 

    Again, keep in mind that a couple of these features will include additional fees. There is also no accounting integration. 

    3. Paychex Flex Enterprise

    The last package is for large businesses and includes all of the other features in Paychex Go and Paychex Flex, with the following additions: 

    • Unemployment Insurance
    • Custom Reporting
    • Garnishment Services
    • Onboarding Essentials
    • Screening Essentials
    • HR Administration

    For this option, you have to contact their sales department to receive a quote. You will most likely have bargaining power, but you may end up buying features that you won’t use.

    Is Paychex the right fit for you?

    When you’re looking for a new payroll provider, keep your priorities at the top of your mind. Paying more money for great customer service may make more sense to you than paying less but having more options for integrations, or vice versa. 

    Paychex offers everything when it comes to features, software, and customer service. As a national provider, they have the manpower to easily support larger companies and teams. 

    Their single-source solution, from payroll to HR, covers the entire employee lifecycle. For highly regulated industries, their wealth of seasoned compliance experts could be a life-saver for your business. 

    If your primary concern is the price, or you want a more tailored service, it’s not a bad idea to look at other options. Paychex’s system is a well-oiled machine, but its price is a factor to consider if you choose to move forward with them.

    Are you searching for a payroll partner and don’t know where to start? Check out our article on the 5 Critical Questions to Ask a Potential Payroll Provider so you can equip yourself with the knowledge you need to get the best service possible and get your business one step better every day.