From payroll to HR, finance and IT, professional employer organization services and technologies have become fundamental for modern businesses.
Professional employer organization solutions have become essential for every modern business. PEO technologies allow organizations to rapidly manage everything employee-related — from onboarding to payroll to benefits and taxes.
|Payroll||Benefits and health||Time tracking||HR lifecycle||Skills and training||Compliance||IT||Customer support||Starting price|
|Gusto||Yes||Yes, but not all 50 U.S. states||Yes||Yes||Limited||Yes||Yes||Yes
Limited to business hours
|$40/mo + $6/mo/employee|
|OnPay||Yes||Yes, all 50 U.S. states.||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||$40/mo + $6/mo/employee|
|Rippling||Yes||Yes, all 50 U.S. states.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||$8/mo/employee|
|Paychex||Yes||Yes, all 50 U.S. states.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes
|$35/mo + $5/mo/employee|
|JustWorks||Yes||Yes, all 50 U.S. states.||Yes but limited to plan||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes
|Papaya Global||Yes, Global||Yes||Limited||Limited||Limited||Yes, global||No||Yes, working||$20/mo/employee|
Top PEO companies of 2023
Driven by the increase of hybrid work, the need for companies to rapidly scale and the benefits that come with digitalization, top PEO companies continue to trend.
From automation to data-driven decision-making, PEO tech innovates to allow businesses to do more with less. Competing PEO companies provide solutions that help businesses cut costs, do rapid onboarding, automate tax and payroll, and manage remote equipment. These solutions aim to be a one-stop shop for the entire employee lifecycle.
These are the top PEO companies for 2023.
Gusto is one of the most popular PEO solutions for good reasons. The technology is designed for small and big businesses and presents itself as an all-in-one HR platform with the necessary tools to hire, pay and manage teams.
Gusto also allows integration and can automatically file taxes, run compliance reports and do rapid onboarding. On the downside, despite having extensive features, Gusto has several limitations. It is strictly focused on HR, for example, and users complain to review aggregators about customer support and the complexity of adhering to specific U.S. state legislation.
- Payroll: Automatically files your payroll taxes. Offers unlimited payrolls and manual and automatic options. Provides payroll visualization and auto-employee hours sync.
- Employee benefits: Offers the Gusto Wallet app for visualization and more. Supports HR with tools to manage health and financial benefits, automatic savings, 401(k)s and more.
- Time and attendance: Dashboard to manage your team’s hours, time off, holidays, workforce costs, geolocalization and more.
- Hiring and onboarding: Runs public job posts and offer letters, provides checklists for onboarding, sets up software for new teams and can integrate with third-party apps.
- Skill and resources: Allows companies to access professional HR experts and resources, and provides tools to create a culture that retains talent and offers opportunities to develop skills and grow.
- Compliance Integrations: Manages workers’ compensation adhering to state laws.
- Customer support: Available Monday through Friday from 6 am to 5 pm Pacific Time. Live support within working hours.
- All-in-one platform.
- Attractive features, especially for startups and small and medium businesses.
- Easy to use interface.
- Aggregate review sites reveal complaints about slow responding customer support.
- Health benefits do not cover all U.S. states. Not available as of February 2023 in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.
- Charges a fixed fee per month plus per monthly fee per employee; therefore, when a company expands or if it has a large workforce, the pricing can rapidly become very expensive.
Gusto offers three plans: Simple, starting at $40 per month plus $6 per month per employee, then Plus at $80 per month plus $12 per month per employee, and Premium, with price available upon request. The company also offers limited-time discounts.
OnPay is a straightforward and rich in features solution. OnPay only offers one plan, with all features included. This makes it a very attractive option for small companies.
OnPay focuses on three cores: payroll, HR and benefits. The payroll features are impressive and extensive. The company provides all tax filings and payments, unlimited monthly pay runs, W-2 and 1099 workers, multiple pay rates, reports, time tracking and more. Additionally, it is available for all 50 U.S. states.
- Payroll: From multi-state payroll to taxes to special payroll services, OnPay offers the most features for the best value. It also provides an accountant dashboard and allows for integration with QuickBooks, Xero and others. Most processes are automated.
- Employee benefits: The company can act as your insurance broker in all 50 states. Provides 401(k)s, comp protections, varied employee benefits management and can help with FSA, HSA or commuter benefits.
- Time and attendance: Offers the possibility to integrate time tracking and third-party attendance apps.
- Hiring and onboarding: Includes employee lifecycle features in its HR core. Offers letters and provides compliance and protection against liability works deductions, withholding and taxes.
- Skill and resources: Provides a Help Center.
- Customer support: Available Monday through Friday.
- User-friendly, explicitly designed for small businesses.
- Superb features for value.
- Price accessible, available in all 50 U.S. states.
- Does Not offer basic features like time tracking, although integrations are allowed.
- Not all features are fully automated.
OnPay only has one plan and all features are included. The plan costs $40 per month plus $6 per month per person.
Rippling differentiates itself from the market by offering a combination of HR, IT and finance solutions in one dashboard. The cloud-based solution also leverages automation in most of its processes.
Rippling can guide users through complex tax, onboarding and payroll executions with guided step-by-step instructions, providing high levels of accessibility to teams. It also offers reports, training and skilling, competitive pricing and global payroll capacities.
- Payroll: Highly automated global payroll management can manage thousands of remote workers, regardless of location and provide coverage in all 50 U.S. states.
- Employee benefits: Fully automated benefits, health insurance, 401k, commuter and more, all in one system. Enrollment of new hires, deductions and COBRA administrations. Allows companies to compare and enroll in more than 4,000 plans from the nation’s leading carriers, including Aetna, Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
- Time and attendance: Automatically track employees’ hours from clock-in to paycheck. Avoids manual data entry, syncing issues or late approvals from supervisors.
- Hiring and onboarding: Includes automated data employee lifecycle features in its HR core.
- Skill and resources: Provides extensive support for HR, IT and finance teams as well as courses for employees, tools to develop work culture, work policies, growth opportunities, integrations and more.
- IT and Finance: Unlike other PEO solutions, Rippling offers finance and IT teams tools to manage employees’ technology, computers, equipment and financials.
- Highly automated.
- Combines HR, IT and Finance unlike no other PEO.
- Cost efficient and scalable.
- May be complex to manage for beginners.
- Initial setups can be time-consuming.
Rippling’s price is $8 per month for every user. Additionally, every customer can add HR and IT components like Payroll, Benefits, Device Management and others. These can be purchased separately. The core Rippling Unity Platform is always required to purchase.
Paychex is a solid payroll and HR solution which offers different plans for companies of any size, from small businesses to midsized or enterprise level. The company also offers Paychex Flex, a stripped-down version to keep payroll simple.
Paychex is payroll software designed to provide businesses with HR support, tax support, benefits administration and payroll solutions. Companies can hire, pay, manage and retain employees with its tools.
- Payroll: Features employee retention tax credit for savings opportunities. Multiple payment options for payroll processing, pay-on-demand (prior to payroll date) and 24/7 real-time payments. It has built-in safeguards and compliance support to meet tax laws and regulations.
- Employee benefits: Offers a comprehensive employee benefits package, including 401(k) plans, HSAs and the financial wellness tool, FinFit for a financial wellness program.
- Time and attendance: Its cloud-based time and attendance solution supports businesses of all sizes and many working environments.
- Hiring and onboarding: Provides HR professional guidance from experts and HR solutions to attract and retain talent, streamline onboarding and ensure worker safety. It also supports live workers´ communication channels.
- Skill and resources: It provides employees the opportunity to develop and grow in their careers with courses they can access online.
- Customer support: All plans include 24/7 multichannel support.
- Good for any sized company and those looking to scale.
- Excellent value, as the Paychex Flex price is among the lowest in the market.
- Excellent customer support and comprehensive HR and payroll technologies.
- The basic version, Paychex Flex, may have extra fees for payroll and HR processes.
- The full version may require advanced knowledge.
- Does not disclose the price of Paychex components or plans.
Paychex Flex starts at $35 per month plus $5 per month per employee. Users interested in more advanced plans must contact a Paychex sales representative.
Operating since 2012, Justworks is a simple solution for managing payroll, employee benefits, HR and compliance. It is a robust cloud-based system with healthy scores across various review sites.
While the platform is excellent for small and medium businesses for organization-wide payroll, medical, dental, vision, 401(k), life insurance, AD&D and more, it can be costly. The company does offer 24/7 support, but some features are not available in the Basic plan.
- Payroll: The platform offers automated deposits, one-off payments, payroll tax filings, auto notifications, synced time and attendance, and compliance, including filing W-2s, 1099s and 940/941s.
- Employee benefits: The platform works directly with health insurance carriers to provide employee benefits plans that are typically only available in the large group market. These include health insurance benefits, wellness services, deductible HSA, on-demand primary care services, life insurance, 401(K), HSAs, commuter benefits and more.
- Time and attendance: Available and synced to payroll. Advanced time tracking features are not available for the Basic plan.
- Hiring and onboarding: Provides basic hiring and onboarding features for hiring remote, national, or international teams and contractors.
- Skill and resources: The resource center is mostly oriented to better managing the PEO solution.
- Customer support: 24/7 support.
- Automatic tax filing, comprehensive payroll and HR system.
- 24/7 support.
- Business performance reports.
- Basic plan is limited and advanced features may require additional payment.
- Lack of modern HR features like talent attraction and retention or career growth.
Justworks price for the Basic plan is $59 per month per employee for the first 49 employees and then $49 per month per employee. The Plus plan, which includes everything the basic plan provides plus access to medical, dental and vision, is $99 per month per employee with a discount set at $89 per month for the 50th employee onwards.
Papaya Global is the PEO for companies with international workforces. While Papaya offers all the payroll, HR and hiring and onboarding features that most platforms provide, it sets itself apart with a strong focus on managing global talents.
Papaya adapts to the age of hybrid work, where talent can come from anywhere. It operates in over 160 countries with all types of employment. The user-friendly platform comes in an all-in-one system with great data visibility, automation tools and reporting. Its customer support, however, is not 24/7, and it can be expensive for small companies.
- Payroll: Global automated payroll management. Support all worker types. Provides a compliance engine, checks data accuracy and can run audits and reports over multiple countries. Offers over 60 currencies and payments delivered within 72 hours.
- Employee benefits: Provides an international health plan to cover employees in more than 160 countries. For the U.S., Papaya Global complies with U.S. requirements.
- Hiring and onboarding: Consolidate all hiring and onboarding of all workers (payroll, EOR, contractors) into one streamlined platform that meets each country’s compliance.
- Skill and resources: Its resource center mostly focuses on payroll, HR and payment information for global and international operations.
- Customer support: Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm ET.
- User-friendly, highly automated and data-driven dashboards and visualizations.
- Complies with international payrolls and standards.
- Provides comprehensive payroll and HR global platforms.
- Its focus is on global workforces. U.S. companies may not require most features.
- Can be expensive for small companies.
- Lacks 24/7 support.
Papaya Global offers different plans and customers can customize their own online. The Automate Global Payroll plan starts at $20 per month per employee. On the other hand, the
Hire Fearlessly plan starts at $770 per month per employee, while the Contractor Management costs $25 per month per contractor. Finally, the Payroll Intelligence Suite starts at $250 per month. Each plan is designed for specific global payroll and HR operations.
How to choose the right PEO company
There is no one-size fits all solution when choosing a PEO company. While some PEO technology may sound attractive for small companies, big enterprises with large workforces may require other features.
Several factors need to be considered before purchasing a PEO: These include budget, number of employees, benefits that your organization offers, where you operate, what type of automation you require, what work culture you are building and how complex your compliance situation is. It’s also important to discuss HR, IT, payroll, accounting and finance tools with your respective teams to know which platform they are more comfortable with and gain better insight into what your talent needs.