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Whirks vs Paychex :  What’s the difference? 

January 17th, 2023 | 5 min. read

By Shelby Betts

When you're looking to outsource your back-office tasks, you have a wealth of options. We thought it might be helpful to talk about how Whirks compares to other options. Let's start with a company many of you are familiar with, Paychex.

Who is Paychex?

Paychex “is an American provider of human resource, payroll, and benefits outsourcing services for small- to medium-sized businesses.[2][3] With headquarters in Rochester, New York, the company has more than 100 offices serving approximately 710,000 payroll clients in the U.S. and Europe.[4] In 2019, Paychex ranked in position 700 on the Fortune 500 list of largest corporations by revenue” according to Wikipedia.

Paychex was founded by Tom Golisano in 1971 to make payroll less complex for small to medium-sized businesses. Paychex has 15,000 employees and pays 12 million workers around the country. This means that every 1 in 12 workers in a private company receives their employee paycheck from Paychex each pay period. Paychex is the top HR outsourcer and the 2nd largest PEO in the US.

Today, Paychex not only serves the small business market, but according to their own website, they market services to self-employed companies, employers with 1-19 employees, 20-49 employees, and 50-1,000+ employees.

What services does Paychex offer?

Paychex offers a plethora of cloud-based services for companies, including:

  • Payroll services delivered through Paychex Flex
  • Employee Benefits such as group health insurance and FSA/HAS options
  • HR consulting services
  • Time & attendance needs (physical time clocks for hourly employee management)
  • Business insurance such as Workers' Compensation Insurance, General Liability, and Cyber Liability Insurance
  • Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and Administrative Service Offer (ASO) services for SMBs

In December 2022, Paychex won two Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Awards and Paychex was awarded the IDC 2022 SaaS Customer Satisfaction Award in November, 2022.

When it comes to user reviews, ratings, and comments about customer service, Paychex does not have Google reviews, but they are listed #85 out of 1008 companies that have a rating and scored an overall 60 out of 200 when reviewed by their customers. This score rates Paychex customer service and customer support as disappointing, however, each client has a dedicated support person for their account as well as national and local customer support phone lines, emails and chat options from their website.

Paychex Pros

HR Professionals

One of the advantages of working with Paychex is that they have the largest certified HR professionals of any payroll company in the marketplace. Not only can you use Paychex for core payroll services but they also offer HR professionals to assist your business. Their HR assistance can even be delivered ON-SITE for the employer who wants a more hands-on experience, not just virtual or call-in HR support which is a unique differentiator compared to other payroll companies.

24/7 Support

Although some have rated Paychex customer support as disappointing, Paychex does offer many integrated technology solutions and 24/7 support so they can assist you when you need help anytime, anywhere.

Submit Payroll your Way

Another advantage to working with Paychex is their many different options for submitting your payroll details. You can use Paychex app to submit payroll or even call in, email, or fax over payroll information. This is a great option for some employers who do not want to learn how to use a payroll platform or input data themselves and would rather call it in.


Paychex Flex touts many integrations which make working with Paychex seamless to the overall business experience. Paychex integrates with Quickbooks Online, Xero,, BambooHR, Clover, Altametrics, Insight 360, LCP Tracker, Hubworks, and many more according to Trust Radius website,

There are many other advantages to working with Paychex, especially when you add in some of their additional services like insurance, HR, and employee benefits.

Paychex Cons

User Interface

According to trustradius reviews, may Paychex users cited ‘Paychex Flex user interface’ as a con and cited system speed as a con as well.


Many users also cited customizing reports as a con because they were difficult to customize, or users felt they needed to know code in order to use it.

Customer Service

Many users said the 1-800 numbers were great, however emailing a dedicated support specialist didn’t always get them an answer or they experienced difficulty with tech support for the platform itself. Many uses said support was easy to work with though for things such as payroll, tax filing, and time and attendance, so customer service seems to vary by user.

Who is Whirks?

Whirks is a privately held HCM, payroll, and HR provider, founded in 2003 by Matt Patrick. 

We started as Patrick Payroll and became a full-service payroll, HR, and insurance boutique. We partner with isolved for our HCM technology and service clients who want to bring payroll, HR, and insurance under one roof. Currently, we serve small and midsize businesses with up to 500 employees. 

Our niche space is home health care, manufacturing, and white collared service providers like real estate, banking, and mortgage lending companies.

What services does Whirks offer?

Whirks offers a full administrative service package for employers who value their employees and want the opportunity to thrive. Our services include competitive benefit and medical insurance for employees, pay-as-you-go workers compensation insurance, as well as benefit management and employee benefit help lines. Our clients don’t have to do any heavy lifting to offer benefits to employees. Whirks takes care of all the compliance and management of benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Competitive insurance rates through our in-house brokerage
  • Benefit administrative service
  • ACA compliance
  • Employee helpline
  • Benefit compliance (ACA, Cobra Administration, Section 125 plans, and more)

In addition to our full-service benefit administration services, we offer core payroll services that include the technology you need from pre-hire to retire, including:

  • Applicant tracking
  • Scheduling
  • Time & attendance
  • Payroll
  • Payroll tax filing
  • Tax credits

In addition to HCM solutions, we also offer in-house HR consulting. This includes employee handbook creation, labor compliance, and an HR hotline. 

Our pricing is divided into two tiers for small and midsize businesses. Today, we serve 300 clients and pay over 10,000 employees, with a client retention rate of 97%.

We offer our services to a variety of industries, such as: 

  • Restaurant and hospitality groups
  • Home health, hospice, and homecare agencies
  • Franchise operators 
  • Financial service providers 
  • Gyms, salons, and health and beauty providers
  • Attorneys
  • Real estate industry service providers
  • Automotive industry
  • Wholesale and retail providers
  • Specialty medical practices

The pros of working with Whirks 

We started as an accounting firm, so we are trade experts in multi-state payroll tax compliance, nexus, and tax credit consulting. 

We are also the reseller of a larger tech platform, isolved, which consistently includes new product releases and technology updates. Based on customer surveys, software reviews ranked isolved as the #1 in workforce management for the midmarket. 

Our small team strives to combine cutting-edge HCM technology with white glove customer service. We assign a dedicated client success specialist to your account, and you can directly contact them for any questions or concerns via phone, email, or live chat. 

Implementation usually takes 30 days, while additional product rollouts can be undertaken in 14 days or less, depending on a client’s needs.

The cons of working with Whirks

One of the cons to working with us is that we only process payroll in 42 states to date, so we may not be familiar with specific needs in certain states. 

We also do not own our HCM technology, which makes us dependent on isolved for product evolutions & technology updates. 

Some of our past clients have been disappointed in the lack of timekeeping integrations that isolved offers and have reported being unfamiliar with several features they could have utilized.  

We are not a good fit for companies with international payroll needs or employers who have more than 1500 people working for them. 

Because we’re small and don’t have a call center, support is limited to office hours (8:30-5:30 CST). 

Keep comparing and find your ideal fit.

There are many pros to working with Paychex or Whirks , especially if you’re a midsize employer with custom payroll & HR software needs. 

But you need to find the ideal fit for your business and your team. A national provider may offer the round-the-clock support that you want. Or, you may be a growing business that feels more comfortable with local help and in-person training.  

As you continue searching for the right payroll provider, jot down which features and services matter to you the most. Continue to read articles, watch demos, and explore software reviews, so that you end up with the best fit for you. 

For more information on other payroll providers, check out this article on ADP or this article on Paylocity. Or explore the five crucial questions to ask a potential payroll provider.Ready to talk? So are we.

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