Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of businesses find the right PEO software to manage client HR needs and track payments for services rendered.

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ClearCompany HRM

ClearCompany is a software system that works for human resources (HR) and recruiting teams across both public and private industries. The ClearCompany Talent Alignment Platform connects recruiting, new employee onboarding and performance... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 112 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Zenefits

Zenefits is an all-encompassing HR SaaS platform designed specifically for small to midsize businesses. The Zenefits People Platform includes a robust offering spanning HR, Benefits, Payroll, Well-being and Performance apps that combines... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 110 recommendations

Platforms: MacWin
Deployments: Cloud
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BambooHR

BambooHR is a cloud-based HR management software solution for small and midsize businesses. BambooHR offers small and growing companies a human resource information system (HRIS) that includes an applicant tracking system (ATS), time... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 69 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Gusto

Gusto is a modern, online human resource platform that helps any small business owner take care of all hr tasks. Gusto offers HR tools and HR services to help with managing employee onboarding, running payroll, administrating health... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 66 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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TimeWorksPlus

TimeWorksPlus is a cloud-based time, attendance, and leave management system for small to mid-size businesses. This software can capture time data from web-based clocks or physical clocks for employees onsite, mobile, and working at... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 62 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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JazzHR

JazzHR is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applicant tracking system. Founded in 2009, JazzHR provides recruiting and hiring software accessible to businesses of all sizes. JazzHR’s sourcing tools enable users to post jobs, mirror... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 57 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Dayforce HCM

Dayforce, provided by Ceridian, is a cloud-based solution for Payroll, Benefits, Workforce Management, Human Resources, Talent Management, Document Management, and Analytics. As a single application, Dayforce provides organizations... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 50 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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The Applicant Manager

The Applicant Manager (TAM) is a cloud-based applicant tracking solution that helps recruiting agencies and teams to streamline their hiring and onboarding process. The solution lets users track job postings and actively engage quality... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 50 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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PurelyHR

PurelyHR is a cloud-based leave management solution for small to midsize businesses. The system’s core modules allow HR departments to track staff leave requests and approvals as well as manage diverse time off policies and hierarchies.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 42 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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iCIMS Hiring Suite

Support the entire candidate experience from start to finish with an end-to-end enterprise recruitment technology platform. iCIMS offers best-in-class recruiting products for your hiring life cycle, available as part of one unified... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 36 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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UZIO

UZIO is a SaaS-based online marketplace that provides cloud-based HR, payroll, and benefits management software and services. It is built for small and mid-sized businesses. This integrated solution offers local/regional brokers, employers,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 32 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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ApplicantStack

An applicant tracking system is the foundation of strategic talent management. ApplicantStack capably empowers all stakeholders: internal recruiters, hiring managers, administrators and—most importantly—applicants. ApplicantStack... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 30 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Replicon TimeAttend

Replicon TimeAttend, part of the Time Intelligence Platform, is a cloud-based workforce management solution that helps businesses across various industries to streamline time tracking and manage payrolls of their employees. The solution... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 30 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Performance Pro

Performance Pro by HR Performance Solutions is a cloud-based performance appraisal solution for HR professionals. Performance Pro is customizable and allows users to align the solution with company’s strategic goals. The system can... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 29 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Trakstar

Trakstar is a cloud-based Human Resource Management (HRM) solution that provides HR professionals employee evaluation functionalities like performance review, goal management, 360-degree feedback and succession planning. With Trakstar,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 23 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Workzoom by Nortek

Workzoom by Nortek is the all-you-need cloud-based people management platform that helps clients simplify HR, payroll, benefits, time, recruiting, performance, learning, expense management and much more. Workzoom has all the functionality... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 22 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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NetSuite SuitePeople

NetSuite SuitePeople is a cloud-based human capital management solution, which assists small to large businesses with employee acquisition and onboarding. Key features include payroll, workflow automation, time tracking, feedback collection,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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TimeSimplicity

TimeSimplicity makes employee scheduling easier for small to mid-size businesses. This software guides schedulers through shift-building based on business need, certification rules, labor laws, and employee preferences. TimeSimplicity... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 20 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Threads Culture

Threads Culture is an HR solution that enables users to measure employees against the business’ core values as well as goals unique to each employee’s position to identify who is adding to and who is detracting from company culture. Threads... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Reviewsnap

Founded in 2007, Reviewsnap offers an integrated suite of talent management solutions spanning performance reviews, compensation management and learning management. The web-based solution allows businesses to streamline the performance... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Buyers guide


Last Updated: July 1, 2020

As a professional employer organization (PEO), HR isn't just an important facet of your business; it's your business, period. Client companies rely on you to handle all of their important employee management needs, and if you can't deliver a stress-free experience, they'll go to your competitor or hire staff to do their HR in-house.

You need to be able to execute efficiently on important HR tasks and keep clients happy at the same time. In other words, you need software. But maybe you're not sure what options are out there, or which system will best fit your needs.

We're here to help.

In this Buyer's Guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about PEO software to help you make a more informed purchase decision.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is PEO Software?
Common PEO Software Features
How Much Does PEO Software Cost?
Key Considerations When Purchasing PEO Software
Additional PEO Software Resources

What Is PEO Software?

PEO software helps PEOs and administrative services organizations (ASOs) perform HR duties for client businesses. Along with functionality to manage your customers' core HR needs—things like payroll, benefits enrollment and compliance reporting, for example—PEO software systems also allow you to create custom invoices and bill clients for services rendered.

Dashboard in PEO software offering Worklio

PEO dashboard in Worklio

Being a PEO doesn't necessarily mean you need to buy a product solely dedicated to the PEO/ASO audience, though they do exist (e.g., PrismHR). Many popular HR systems offer the functionality PEOs need and cater to both in-house HR departments and outsourced HR service providers (e.g., Paylocity).

Common PEO Software Features

PEOs need to make sure that any software they adopt has the functionality to support the services they offer. Here are some common features buyers should look out for when evaluating different PEO software systems:

Payroll Manage wage and salary rates for employees. Automatically calculate and run payroll, pay workers, run reports and export payroll costs to the company accounting ledger.
Benefits administration Allow workers to enroll in benefits plans or change options on existing enrollments themselves. Run reports and track program costs.
Time and attendance Monitor employee paid time off and hours worked. Automatically port hours into payroll to calculate accurate compensation.
Applicant tracking Post job openings, create candidate profiles and manage applicants through client hiring workflows.
Onboarding Automatically walk new hires through client onboarding processes. Important paperwork can be signed and stored digitally.
Compliance management Track client compliance with local, state and federal employment laws (e.g., ACA, EEOC, OSHA etc.).
Billing and invoicing Correctly bill clients for services offered. Send customizable invoices and track accounts receivable.
Client and employee portals Gives workers and HR personnel access within the system to view information and perform tasks such as running reports.

Some PEOs may elect to buy separate HR systems with all the functionality they need and integrate them together, but we recommend investing in one comprehensive solution, if possible.

A comprehensive solution mitigates the risk of data becoming lost or corrupted while transferring between applications, and provides a better experience for clients, who only have to learn and log in to one system.

How Much Does PEO Software Cost?

It would be great if all PEO software systems were priced the same way, but unfortunately that's not the case. Here are some common pricing structures you can expect to run into:

  • Perpetual license. This is more common with on-premise systems that are hosted on your own server (as opposed to cloud-based software, which is hosted by the vendor and accessed through a web browser). You pay one large upfront cost to own the software indefinitely.
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  • Subscription (per employee, per month or per user, per month). Vendors may charge based on the number of employees in your organization or the number of employees total across all of your clients, so be sure to ask what they mean by "per employee."
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  • Freemium. Some vendors offer a basic version of their platform for free, then charge for extra functionality. Open source software is also "free" in the sense that it doesn't cost any money to get access to the code, but there is still a significant investment here in terms of IT deployment and maintenance.

Key Considerations When Purchasing PEO Software

Before you talk to a single PEO software vendor, you first have to ask important questions internally about your goals and constraints.

These include: Which features do you need and which ones do you merely want? What's your budget? If you're replacing an existing system, what have been the most significant pain points you want to remedy? What's your deadline to be up-and-running with new software?

Once you have answers to these important questions and pare down your options, it's time to do demos. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when evaluating different PEO software systems:

  • User interface is critical. With an in-house system, you might be able to get away with a clunky interface, if it gets the job done. Not so if you're a PEO. Clients are going to be using your system too, so it's vital that whatever software you choose be intuitive and easy to use.
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  • Will your software play nice with client systems? Clients may have their own accounting or time tracking systems they want to use. If they can't easily integrate with your software, that will lead to headaches down the road.
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  • Evaluate the support behind the software too. Talk to vendors extensively about the support options they offer and their associated cost. Also be sure to understand how they will handle updates. The last thing you need is a client being unexpectedly locked out of the system during maintenance.

Additional PEO Software Resources

A PEO software purchase isn't something that should be taken lightly. Whatever product you choose will have a profound effect on the quality of service you offer.

This guide offers basic advice, but if you want to learn more, here are some additional resources: