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The Top 5 Payroll Providers for Large Employers

December 6th, 2021 | 5 min. read

By Gia Rolen

We're usually discussing solutions for small to midsize employers, but what about larger companies? 

A large company's basic needs don't look any different from a smaller one: you still need to pay and manage your employees, offer benefits, and stay in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. 

But certain industries and businesses have to consider other factors, such as global employees, contract workers, unions, and teams with thousands of people

At Whirks, we specialize in helping small and midsize businesses process payroll and manage their employees on an HCM platform. We wouldn't be able to service large or enterprise companies because we're still growing, too. 

That's why we are writing this article - to help you find the right fit for your company. 

Despite our smaller size, we do have one thing in common with larger payroll providers: we both know that HCM solutions can help streamline business processes, help you stay compliant, and lessen the stress of managing your employees. 

The tricky part about finding the perfect payroll partner is that most providers offer the exact same services. So how do you pick one that's right for you and your business? 

Do you leverage thousands of reviews? Or trust a fellow business owner's advice?  Maybe his industry is different, and his needs look much different than yours. 

This article will examine the top 5 payroll providers for large employers. To help you pick the right one, we'll dive into how they structure their platforms and average general user reviews. 

1. Oracle HCM

  • Strongest features: Very robust tools, data structure, customization 
  • Weakest features: User-friendliness, expensive    

Oracle HCM was founded by Oracle Corporation, a multinational computer technology company based in Austin, Texas. They service over 30 countries, which explains their motto, "payroll for a global workforce.


They divide their services into the following categories. 

  • HR 
  • Talent Management
  • Workforce Management (time and labor)
  • Recruiting 
  • Learning
  • Payroll 

Oracle's HR may be their most attractive feature. They believe that technology should enable your human resource department by helping them attract and retain talent, not spend time on basic administrative tasks. 

Due to their size, they can process global, national, and local payroll taxes and regulations. Their software also provides flexible scheduling and pay for all types of workers - exempt, nonexempt, contingent, and project-based. 

Users have noticed self-service issues and report that the software lacks customization.


Oracle offers a free trial, and as with any payroll provider, a setup (or implementation) fee is required. 

Starting at $4 per employee per month, you can access their HR Help Desk, a request management solution that helps your employees access HR answers without the risk of their info ending up in the wrong hands. 

Ideal fit 

Their union support, incident reporting and management, and employee pay make them ideal for massive companies with several types of workers. 

The Oracle platform is a scalable, flexible, compliant, and efficient solution for larger companies that need powerful HR tools. 

Some of their prominent clients include Autozone, Hormel, FujiFilm, and even the City of Memphis (#GoGrizz). 

2. Ceridian Dayforce

  • Strongest features: Payroll, timekeeping, direct deposit 
  • Weakest features: Reporting and poor implementation process 

Ceridian, founded in 1992, is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They provide service in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Mauritius. 

Their motto, "Makes work life better" illustrates their goal of improving customer's workforce management and their own. They value shared ambition, optimism, and transparency, giving a more personal touch to a large provider. 

Many users have complained about the implementation process and support not being well-versed on HR issues. 

However, Ceridian boasts very positive reviews, receiving praise from Gartner as one of the highest-rated HCM suites for 1,000+ employee enterprises


Ceridian lists its features on the website as follows: 

  • HR 
  • Payroll 
  • Benefits
  • Talent Management 
  • Workforce Management 
  • Dayforce Wallet 
  • Tax Services 


Ceridian is not transparent about its pricing; you have to request a quote. 

Ideal fit 

Ceridian is like the cool kid of payroll, serving Guitar Center, Second City, The Blue Man Group, and Harley Davidson.   

3. Papaya Global

  • Strongest features: Knowledgeable customer service, excellent for global employers
  • Weakest features: Expensive software, can be confusing to navigate 

Papaya Global is considered to be the leading global payroll provider. Papaya provides payroll, benefits, and workforce management through a network of in-country partners located in over 140 countries. 


They divide their services into four broad categories on the website: 

  • Hire
  • Onboard
  • Manage 
  • Pay

Papaya is wonderful at helping manage contract workers locally and globally. Suppose you need to relocate your employees abroad. In that case, they help you obtain work permits for expatriates, business trips, and short-term assignments, as well as residence and spouse, and family permits. 

According to consumer reviews, Papaya is not as user-friendly and can be confusing to navigate. 


Papaya offers transparent pricing on the website. Their monthly payroll costs anywhere from $20-$100 per employee per month. 

Ideal fit 

This is ideal for large companies with employees who need to travel internationally or employ several contract workers worldwide. Some of their prominent clients include Microsoft, Intel, and Toyota

4. UKG

  • Strongest features: Customization, HR 
  • Weakest features: Navigation, Employee experience 

Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG) is a fairly new payroll provider founded in 2020 and located in Lowell, Massachusetts, and Weston, Florida. Their staff of 12,000 people serves customers in 165 different countries.


On UKG's website, they divide their services into three broad categories: 

  • Human Capital Management (recruiting, onboarding, benefits) 
  • Workforce Management (performance, scheduling, time, and attendance) 
  • Payroll 

Trustradius reviews rave about their dedicated account managers. UKG has incredible support and knowledgeable customer service reps. Clients report seamless communication, from sales to implementation to ongoing support. 

UKG is described as a culture-driven solution, with their motto being "Our Purpose is People."  They are known for being a great place to work, winning several accolades for their caring professional environment and philanthropic projects. 

Reviews from users are generally positive. However, UKG is still working out several kinks in their software since they are a newer company. 

They are great for the United States and Canada but aren't as qualified for serving global employers. 


UKG does not offer upfront pricing on their website but does direct you towards a personalized assessment and leads you to book a demo for further information.

Ideal Fit 

UKG's clients include Tesla, Yamaha, Samsung, and the Salvation Army. Judging from their customer base, their strength and passion lie in serving several non-profits. 

5. ADP Workforce Now

  • Strongest features: Customization, HR, integrations
  • Weakest features: Outdated software, customer service  

ADP is the most established national payroll provider, founded in 1942 by Henry and Joe Taub. They write one in five of the world's paychecks - so there is no arguing that they are giants in the payroll and HCM world. 


ADP lists its features on the website as follows: 

  • Payroll
  • WFM (Workforce Management)
  • Benefits 
  • HR Management
  • Talent 
  • Insights 

Because ADP is a massive company, customer service and implementation processes are not their strongest features. However, they provide service techs 24/7. 

If you have complex payroll needs, ADP is a great choice. The user-friendliness and intuitiveness are lacking in their software, but its integrations are hard to beat. Their deep compliance expertise makes them a giant in the payroll sphere. 


ADP is not transparent about its pricing. You have to book a meeting with a sales team member. 

Ideal Fit 

Like ADP, Coca-Cola, The Boston Globe, and The American Red Cross are all established, notable clientele. 

Payroll is not one-size-fits-all. 

When your company is researching a new payroll provider, it's important to remember that payroll is not a one-size-fits-all solution. 

Whether small, midsize, or large, every company has the same basic need: to pay, manage, and retain their employees. 

But the size of your business does matter when you're looking for a payroll provider. Microsoft and FedEx's needs aren't only different than a smaller business. They differ by industry and the types of workers you have, as well as how you want to grow and what your goals are. 

At some point, you and your team will get frustrated with whichever payroll provider you choose. A software development, an interface change, or a customer service lag happens to everyone. 

And reading thousands of reviews can be confusing; certain industries struggle with certain problems more than yours may. 

So consider what's most important to you. You may have an experienced, tech-savvy team that won't need to rely on customer support too much. Or maybe you value a clean user interface and easy functionality for your employees. 

Once you figure out what you need most, book demos with a couple of different partners that interest you, get insight from your team, compare features, and identify what you need the most to succeed. 

Read our article on the 5 Crucial Questions to Ask before Choosing a New Payroll Provider so that you will be well-equipped for your next payroll demo or sales call.