Paychex offers a full-featured payroll service for W-2 employees and 1099 contractors. Having been in business for 50 years, the company has the experience to manage any kind of payroll compliance issue – from local taxes to shift differentials to customized reporting.
With any of Paychex’s plans, you can choose from the following options for your company’s payroll schedule: weekly, biweekly, semimonthly or monthly. Paychex also offers a variety of payment methods, including paper checks, online direct deposit and payroll cards. Paychex’s higher-level pricing tiers give your employees online access to their payroll documents, including paystubs and year-end tax forms.
Read our reviews of other top payroll companies, see answers to frequently asked questions and review a complete vendor list on our online payroll best picks page.
Paychex Payroll Pricing, Service Plans and Features
Paychex offers three service plans: Paychex Go, Paychex Flex Pro and Paychex Flex Enterprise. Each plan includes Paychex’s core payroll processing and payroll tax administration services.
Paychex offers transparent pricing for only one of its three payroll services, Paychex Go. The Paychex Go plan has a base fee of $59 per month, plus there’s an added fee of $4 per month per employee. For the other two plans, we’ve listed the base monthly fee, but per-employee pricing was not available to us. We recommend that you contact Paychex, who will give you a price quote based on the number of employees (and/or contractors) you have, the services you need, and how often you process payroll.
Here is some additional information about the three plans available through Paychex.
This plan starts at $59 per month, plus there is the $4 per-employee, per-month fee. In addition to payroll processing and payroll tax services, the Paychex Go plan includes new-hire reporting, automated W-2s, 1099s and other HR forms, direct deposit, general ledger integration, labor law posters, and 24/7 phone and chat support.
Paychex Flex Select
This plan starts at $90 per month in addition to the monthly employee fee. This is the most popular plan for larger businesses. It includes everything in the Go plan, plus access to a dedicated payroll specialist, paper check options, income verification services and a free mobile app.
Paychex Flex Enterprise
This plan starts at $160 per month, plus there is a monthly employee fee. This is the most comprehensive plan designed for larger organizations. It includes everything in the Paychex Flex Select plan, plus workforce analytics, customized reports, and HR administration services like paperless onboarding and employee background checks.
At the time of this writing, Paychex was offering a three-month free trial.
If the Paychex Go plan meets your needs, you can sign up online. For the Flex Select and Flex Enterprise plans, you will need to contact the company.
Keep in mind that the Paychex Flex plans are priced based on how often you run payroll. For example, if you run payroll weekly for your hourly workforce, you’re charged for that, plus any biweekly or semimonthly payrolls you may process for your salaried staff. And, if you run a bonus payroll or re-run payroll to fix an error, those count as extra payroll runs, too. Those costs can add up.
Other factors that influence your pricing include the following:
- How many employees and freelancers you pay
- The number of states in which your business operates (and pays taxes)
- Additional services you need
- Any customizations you want, such as interfaces and reports
Tip: Once you provide your business and employee information to Paychex, a rep will give you a detailed price quote and estimated implementation timeline.
Paychex offers a variety of value-added services beyond payroll processing. Here’s more about those resources and services.
Pay and Deductions
Paychex calculates how much each employee should be paid based on the hours they work and their pay rate. It also accounts for additional income sources such as bonuses or commissions and deductions for everything from health insurance to uniforms and wage garnishments.
You can pay your employees by direct deposit, check or pay card. If your employees want to be paid by check, Paychex prints the checks and mails them to you, or you can print checks on-site.
Paychex manages your payroll taxes and year-end W-2 and 1099 filings. It accurately calculates, files, and pays state, federal, and local payroll taxes on time. Paychex backs up its services with a guarantee stating that Paychex will pay penalties you incur for any mistakes in your payroll taxes.
Paychex provides employers with more than 160 payroll-related reports. Enterprise users can also create their own custom reports.
Regardless of the plan you purchase, Paychex manages all of the state-required new-hire reporting for you.
Paychex allows businesses to link their payroll data to popular accounting software programs such as QuickBooks and Sage.
Paychex coordinates the entire unemployment insurance process for your business.
Employee Financial Wellness Program
The Paychex Flex plans give your employees a variety of tools and education to help them achieve their financial goals. It also offers short-term loans.
Paychex Flex users get employee onboarding tools like paperless onboarding for new hires, including tax withholdings, I-9 and direct deposit forms.
The Enterprise plans include pre-employment background checks.
Add-on HR tools can help you track performance reviews, manage employee training, and store company and employee documents securely.
Paychex offers a range of other services, including time and attendance, employee benefits, benefits administration, workplace compliance, records administration, hiring, business insurance, loans, payment processing, tax services, business incorporation services, and online marketing.
Did you know? Paychex’s average small business client has 16 employees.
Ease of Use
Once the Paychex platform has been configured to your business, you and your employees will find it easy to use. As a cloud-hosted system, with intuitive menus and dashboards, Paychex Go and Paychex Flex are accessible from any web browser. You can also manage your payroll from the Paychex mobile app, which is available on iOS and Android devices if you upgrade to Paychex Flex.
On the homepage, you’ll be notified when your next payroll is due. There is a link to start the payroll process, upcoming check dates, the cash required for the next payroll, and a quick link to the payroll reports section of the system.
Running payroll takes a few steps each pay period. You enter your payroll information (salaries, hours worked and pay rates), confirm that the data is correct, and submit the payroll for processing. If you prefer, you can set up payroll to run on a recurring schedule.
If you upgrade to Paychex Flex, the system offers employee self-service with a secure mobile login so they can see their personal information and paystubs and download their year-end tax forms.
In addition to accessing the payroll tools and features, you can use the Paychex Flex platform to access other Paychex services your business uses.
Key takeaway: Once you’re set up on Paychex, you’ll find it easy to set up payroll for new hires and to process payroll for your team. You can rest assured that your payroll and payroll taxes are accurate, with all forms managed for you at year end.
Paychex provides customer service both for payroll administrators and employees over the phone, via chat or through an online form with 24/7 availability. However, if you’re interested in Paychex’s services, you are likely to be subject to a series of sales calls in which they will try to upsell you on additional services.
On the plus side, Paychex’s Flex plan users get a dedicated payroll specialist to handle payroll issues. Many of the other payroll providers offer a call center or require you to email questions to a service desk.
Tip: Customer support 24/7 is a great feature, as long as the person you’re talking to can help. Online reviews are mixed as to the quality of customer support received from Paychex.
The biggest drawback we found with Paychex was the sales process. Nearly all of the other payroll companies we investigated provided detailed answers to questions about their service and how it works. Most also gave us price estimates to help us understand how much their payroll software would cost.
For smaller businesses, Paychex doesn’t offer as many perks with its entry-level Paychex Go plan as what other providers offer in their plans, such as an online onboarding and payroll app. In addition, setup with Paychex Flex may take several weeks to complete.
While Paychex is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, with an A+ rating, it has hundreds of complaints, and Consumer Affairs gives it a low rating. However, Paychex is a large company, and it is common for large organizations to receive many complaints. Paychex does appear to engage with most dissatisfied customers to work toward a resolution, which is reassuring despite the relatively high volume of complaints.”
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