Paychex Flex helps small to enterprise-sized businesses manage their payroll online via its mobile app. It is an ideal payroll solution for businesses in a rapid growth phase, as it is easily scalable and includes onboarding support and new hire reporting.
Paychex Flex’s Best Features & Who Should Consider It
After testing and reviewing hundreds of HR, payroll, and accounting SaaS solutions over the years, I can easily report that Paychex Flex has done one thing right: It is simple to use, as the interface is not crowded with extra features, and it takes only a few minutes to set up. It took me about five minutes to set up a new business account using Paychex Flex.
If your company is growing, you can add employees for only $4 each per month, making it a suitable choice for growing companies planning to hire and expand HR support for employees. Paychex Flex also supports multiple locations and contract workers, even with a basic account. Paychex Flex reports that if you need to move your data from another payroll service, it can have you up and running using its payroll service within two days.
In short, Paychex Flex is best for:
- Online payroll: Paychex Flex services are hosted online and are accessible from anywhere using a secure two-factor authentication protocol. Plus, you will never miss payroll if you use its Paychex Flex Promise service, which allows you to defer payroll withdraws for seven days. It helps you manage deductions for retirement plans, workers’ compensation, unemployment, and garnishments.
- Payroll taxes: Managing tax liabilities is one of the most difficult tasks when processing payroll. Tax laws vary by location and change often. Paychex Flex keeps over 200 compliance experts busy keeping up with tax and compliance changes to help you avoid tax issues and make accurate payments.
- On-boarding and new hire HR support: If your company is growing fast, you’ll appreciate that Paychex Flex offers on-boarding and new hire HR support. It can help you train your new employees to use the system and provides new hire reporting options.
- Time tracking and attendance: The payroll system tracks time worked and attendance. It can also support numerous payment options. It monitors breaks, shift swapping, and overtime alerts and supports time card approvals if needed.
- Integration: Paychex Flex works with popular accounting software, such as QuickBooks, Sage, and Xero. It is also compatible with HR, point-of-sale (POS), and productivity solutions, such as Indeed, Bamboo HR, Clover, and SAP. And of course, it offers integrations for working with most major banks, such as Chase, Capital Bank, Bank of America, and US Bank.
- Workers’ Compensation and unemployment insurance: Managing workers’ compensation can be a nightmare for many small business owners. Paychex Flex offers a variety of insurance plans, and it includes an integrated Workers’ Compensation Payment Service.
*See our evaluation methodology
Paychex Flex’s Worst Features & Who Should Consider Other Options
- Businesses with only 1099 contract workers: Although many industry experts say independent contractor growth is outpacing employee hiring, Paychex Flex does not yet offer a more affordable contract-only package. If you’re primarily paying contractors, check out our top picks for contractor payroll services.
- Small businesses not planning on growth in the immediate future: The entry-level product doesn’t include features such as the mobile app, business software integrations, unemployment services, customized reporting, and on-boarding tools. For small operations, check out our guide on payroll software for small businesses to find a better fit.
Looking for something different? Read our guide to the best payroll services for small businesses to find a service or software that’s right for your business.
Paychex Flex Overview
|U.S.-based support||Paychex Flex Go version features are limited|
|Flexible mobile app||The best support is reserved for Select and Enterprise plans, which cost more than the basic product|
|New-hire support||Monthly fee is higher than the others|
|Affordable at only $4 per employee, per month||Standard reporting tools are limited in the Go and Select versions|
Paychex Flex Pricing & Features
Paychex Flex Go
Paychex Flex Select
Paychex Flex Enterprise
$59/month, $4 per employee
Full-Service Payroll, Including Year-end Taxes
Tracks Time and Attendance
New Hire Reporting
General Ledger Report
Direct Deposit and Prepaid Card Support
Accounting Software Integration
Workers’ Compensation Report
Custom Analytics and Reporting
Dedicated Payroll Specialist
Setting up this payroll service is simple. I was able to set up a basic Paychex Flex Go account in less than five minutes. If you have many employees to add with different payment types, it will take longer, of course. Paychex Flex can help you set up your account or migrate data if needed. The software runs checks, too, so you don’t miss anything when setting up payroll processing.
You can sign up for a Paychex Flex Go account easily online on your own. If you need a Select or Enterprise account, you’ll need to contact a customer service representative to help you build your customized plan.
Online payroll processing is the main feature of Paychex Flex. It can process various types of payroll processes, including managing hourly, salary, and contract hours. It can also support direct-deposit payments, as well as payment cards and checks.
Paychex Flex can manage employee federal, state, and local payroll taxes for every state. To help you file accurate taxes, it employs hundreds of people dedicated to monitoring tax law changes. They calculate, pay, and file your payroll taxes for you. Paychex Flex will also help you find tax credits that your business may qualify for.
To create accurate payments, the software tracks time, including breaks and overtime. You can set it up to require payment approvals if necessary. You can use it with Paychex Flex Time or a third-party time tracking solution, including those that support hand, iris, and face scanning.
Business Software Integration
Payroll software is nearly useless if it does not integrate with your other business solutions. Paychex Flex works with accounting, HR, time clock, banking, insurance, and retirement systems. It says it works with POS software, too, but we found that it is only compatible with Clover. However, with regard to retirement and health services, it works with many, including popular services such as Aetna, AIG, Ameritas, Cigna, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, Merrill Lynch, and Vanguard.
Paychex Flex Select and Enterprise version provide a dedicated payroll support specialist. This means you can contact a specialist who knows about your business and answer their phone and email queries in a timely manner. This support person is U.S.-based, or if you’d rather visit an office, Paychex Flex supports over 100 office locations across the U.S.
While the software is simple to use, Paychex Flex offers employee training support to larger companies, including online courses, an AI-powered learning management system, and printable training posters. New-hire onboarding tools include direct deposit and tax forms that can be processed using paper or paperless using the mobile app.
Paychex Flex Support
- Telephone support is available 24/7
- Data migration support is available
- Employee support includes mobile options
- In-person support is available in 100+ cities
- A dedicated payroll specialist is available
- 160+ payroll and HR reports
Top Paychex Flex Alternatives
ADP Payroll Services
4.6 out of 5 stars
4.11 out of 5 stars
4.08 out of 5 stars
Best for: Growing businesses planning to scale
Best for: Companies with fewer than 100 employees
Best for: QuickBooks accounting small business customers
Base monthly fee from: $59
Base monthly fee from: $19
Base monthly fee from: $45
Per-employee monthly fee from: $4
Per-employee fee from: $6
Per-employee fee from: $4
If you’re not sure Paychex Flex is right for you, see how it compares with our Best Payroll Apps for 2021
What Users Think About Paychex Flex
Most small business owners gave Paychex Flex positive reviews with an average score of 4.2 out of 5 stars. Customers reported that the software is easy to use, simple to set up, intuitive on the employee side, and convenient due to it being hosted online. The mobile app also received positive remarks. However, some reported that they had difficulties connecting with a customer service representative to help them with specific problems such as tax issues.
At the time of publication, Paychex Flex earned the following scores on these three popular user review sites:
- Software Advice: 4.07 out of 5 based on 1,003 reviews.
- G2: 4.5 out of 5 based on 1,185 reviews.
- Capterra: 4.1 out of 5 based on 1,003 reviews.
When reading through user reviews, here are some of the trends that I noticed:
|It is simple to learn and use||Resetting passwords is challenging|
|The software provides good reporting options||Customer service can be difficult to contact|
|It helps with employee on-boarding||Employees cannot clock in/out if it goes offline|
If you are planning to expand to a midsize or large operation soon, Paychex Flex can grow with you. It is a large established company, reporting to pay one in every 12 American private-sector employees, that has the experience and resources to help your company scale. If you will need HR support alongside the payroll solution, Paychex Flex has over 600 HR professionals on staff to help you. Plus, your HR and accounting teams will appreciate how easy the payroll service is to use. Sign up for a free Paychex Flex demo today.