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Updated Apr 11, 2024

Paycor HR Software Review

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Kaylyn McKenna, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
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This guide was reviewed by a Business News Daily editor to ensure it provides comprehensive and accurate information to aid your buying decision.

Table of Contents

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Editors Score:9.2/10
Paycor is an HR software platform with advanced reporting and analytics features that can provide valuable, data-driven insights to businesses. Due to its user-friendly analytics tools, Paycor is our pick for the best HR software for reporting and analytics.
Plus Sign Pros
  • Paycor offers advanced analytics tools, including those tailored to DE&I initiatives.
  • Both the web platform and the mobile app are very user-friendly.
  • The reporting features are highly customizable.
Minus Sign Cons
  • The implementation process is slower than it is with competing software options.
  • The subscription prices are higher than those of several competitors.
  • Many key features are available only with higher-priced plans or as add-ons.
Paycor company logo
Editor's Rating9.2/10

Paycor’s human resources (HR) software streamlines payroll, talent acquisition, workforce management, benefits administration and, perhaps most importantly, your employees’ overall experience. We especially like Paycor’s advanced reporting and analytics features, which make it an ideal HR software platform for businesses that want to dig into their data to make more informed business decisions. Based on these user-friendly reporting tools and advanced predictive analytics capabilities, we have selected Paycor as the best HR software for reporting and analytics. 

Paycor Editor's Rating:

9.2 / 10

Features
10/10
Pricing
8/10
User interface
10/10
Integrations
9/10
Customer service
9/10

Why Paycor Is Best for Reporting and Analytics

Paycor offers extensive reporting and analytics features that allow business owners and HR managers to drill down into specific data about their employees, including feedback and surveys, diversity initiatives, and company culture expectations. We appreciate how customizable the reporting options are. The analytics data is presented in helpful visual formats as well, which makes the information easier to understand and share.

Paycor offers analytics features designed to help organizations tackle some of the most pressing issues right now, such as employee turnover and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). With predictive analytics, Paycor can help employers project future turnover rates and identify the employees who are most at risk of leaving. We also found the DE&I reporting tools effective and thorough when we tested them during our product tour. The reporting provides clear, actionable insights that we feel would help employers improve their DE&I initiatives in a meaningful manner.

Paycor is a human resources outsourcing (HRO) company, meaning it allows businesses to pick and choose specific HR functions it wants to outsource, and pay for them a la carte or via service bundles. It is not a professional employer organization (PEO), a model under which a business would outsource most or all of its HR functions (usually including benefits administration) to the partner and enter into a co-employment agreement. If you’re looking for a full-service PEO partner, we recommend checking out our review of Insperity.

Paycor analytics

Paycor offers extensive analytics and reporting to help business owners assess trends, turnover risk and other key metrics. Source: Paycor

Did You Know?Did you know
Companies that use data analytics say the top benefits include improved efficiency and productivity; faster, more effective decision-making; and better financial performance.

Usability

Paycor’s HR software is user-friendly and easy to navigate. We particularly liked that the software allows users to customize their homepage, enabling each user to personalize their experience and put the tools that are most relevant to their role front and center.

Paycor does a great job at providing high-level HR tools in a simple user interface (UI). The platform guides you through complicated processes, such as employee onboarding and the creation of complex analytical reports. Paycor provides helpful tips that are built into the UI. For example, the company provides resources on how to properly classify employees so that a business owner does not accidentally make a costly error while onboarding a new hire. 

Paycor administrator tips

Paycor provides helpful tips for administrators, including compliance guidance on key processes, such as onboarding. Source: Paycor

The analytics tools are similarly easy to navigate by answering basic questions to create advanced reports, such as one that can help predict employee turnover risk. The final reports are displayed in a clear visual format so that anyone in the company can understand the data. We consider this very important, as many small businesses do not effectively utilize their data because of the steep learning curve associated with data analysis, especially when you’re trying to do it in a spreadsheet.

Paycor visualization tools

Paycor’s visualization tools help users easily build complex data reports and gain actionable insights. Source: Paycor

Paycor integrates well with popular benefits, retirement, background check and hiring tools. We recommend checking out the Paycor Marketplace to see if your preferred vendors offer integrations with Paycor. There are currently more than 300 apps in the marketplace, although some popular tools, such as QuickBooks, are notably missing from the list. 

If you would like to try out the platform’s UI for yourself, check out Paycor’s guided tour option on the company’s website. 

Paycor Features

Analytics and reporting

Access key analytics that can help you address current workforce issues and make data-driven business decisions.

Employee surveys

Use Paycor’s helpful survey templates to collect feedback on engagement, benefits and more from your employees.

Payroll

Process payroll with automated calculations and compliance tools.

Benefits administration

Streamline your open enrollment process and stay up to date with Affordable Care Act compliance requirements.

Workforce management

Manage employee scheduling and time tracking to optimize your workforce.

Expense management

Expenses can be entered, approved and added to payroll seamlessly.

Analytics and Reporting

Paycor provides advanced tools that give business owners real-time insights and valuable benchmarking.Users can create customized dashboards for quick access to the most relevant data for their current business needs or areas of focus. The reporting function includes access to more than 30 standard reporting templates as well as customizable reporting capabilities.

Paycor also uses a predictive data model to help businesses assess turnover risk and labor costs. Paycor’s predictive data model can forecast turnover over a 12-month period. It can even tell you exactly which employees have the highest probability of leaving, which gives employers a great opportunity to conduct stay interviews or otherwise intervene to mitigate potential turnover. We appreciate these practical and actionable insights.

Did You Know?Did you know
Inadequate total compensation, a lack of career development and advancement, and a lack of workplace flexibility are the top three reasons that workers decide to leave a company, according to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Paycor analytics tools

Paycor’s analytics tools provide detailed and actionable insights based on your HR data. Source: Paycor

Employee Surveys

In addition to helping you analyze your current data, Paycor can assist you in collecting helpful data and feedback from your employees with the pulse surveys feature. Paycor offers three survey templates: a one-question pulse survey for quick feedback on a specific issue, a 15-question employee engagement survey and a six-question benefits survey. These templates make it easy to collect feedback. Business owners and HR teams can also create a survey from scratch to address different questions or concerns. From their executive dashboard, leaders can get immediate insight into survey participation and their employees’ feedback.

Paycor survey templates

Business owners can use one of Paycor’s survey templates to easily collect feedback from employees. Source: Paycor

Payroll

Paycor’s payroll processing tools help guide users through the process. The software can calculate payroll tax withholdings and other deductions automatically based on the data entered during onboarding and the benefits selections made. Paycor also offers an AutoRun option that allows payroll administrators to set payroll to run automatically at regularly scheduled dates.

Benefits Administration

Paycor can help businesses and employees navigate employee benefits during new-hire onboarding and annual open enrollment. Overall, we found the company’s benefits offerings to be comparable to those of other HR software we reviewed. The benefits enrollment process is user-friendly, and Paycor can help employers shop for competitive benefits packages. Benefits Advisor, a centralized benefits dashboard, allows users to edit information, add life events, view benefits information and start open enrollment.

We appreciate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting and compliance tool. Paycor’s ACA software helps businesses prepare, generate and file required forms, like 1094-C and 1095-C, for benefits compliance. It also helps employers ensure that the plans they are offering are ACA-compliant.

Workforce Management

Paycor’s workforce management tools include scheduling and time-tracking tools. The platform offers a web-based timekeeping tool for timesheet entry. Employees can also clock in and out on the mobile app. The timekeeping tools help businesses track time off, hours worked and labor distribution. 

In addition, Paycor offers scheduling tools to help managers assign shifts to employees to maintain proper coverage. The software allows administrators to set scheduling rules based on employee availability and required rest periods between shifts. You can also use the scheduling tools to track daily labor costs.

TipTip
Use Paycor’s overtime insights tool to view a breakdown of overtime worked by department, manager, location and other segmentations. This can help business owners see where additional staffing support may be needed.

Expense Management

Expense management is not commonly included in HR software directly; it often requires a third-party integration. However, Paycor takes a more unified approach. Paycor’s expense management tools allow employees to enter eligible expenses directly into the system. Managers can then easily approve them, and payroll administrators can remit reimbursement. Employers can track expenses by category and user, and managers can receive real-time alerts to approve expenses on the go.

Paycor Payroll

Alongside its core HR software offering, Paycor also provides cloud-hosted payroll software aimed at small and midsize businesses. Designed for relative newcomers to operate, it offers beginner-friendly features like automatic payroll run functionality. This ensures payroll for salaried employees is run at a specific time on a specific day without anyone needing to be present, although real-time updates can be provided through the Paycor mobile app.

Constantly updated to reflect changes in local, state and federal laws, Paycor payroll software has evolved over the last 30-plus years to ensure tax compliance isn’t the responsibility of time-poor admins or HR staff. Proactive alerts are sent out if missing information is detected, to ensure each employee has the appropriate tax IDs and addresses. Paycor will also handle tax filing and W-2 and 1099 processing, with tax setup guidance based on employee home and work addresses.

Payroll Interface

Paycor’s payroll software covers all the basics, like ledger integration, employee self-service and reporting templates. Staff can be paid by direct deposit or pay cards, and they’re able to view pay stubs, W-2 documentation and benefits information through a dedicated Paycor smartphone app. They’re also able to view pay stubs up to three days before payment is received, giving them time to review them for errors. The employee mobile app additionally supports colleague communications, benefit enrolment and time-off requests.

Did You Know?Did you know
Upgrading your subscription to cover Paycor Wallet secures everything from earned wages and pay card information to resources like budgeting tools and direct bill payments.

The payroll interface’s grid layout provides dedicated columns for labor codes, overtime, employee numbers and department codes. Clocking in is handled through a Paycor’s timekeeping solution, which is compatible with either a physical time clock, mobile app or iPad application. The software can also integrate with third-party timekeeping software such as POS systems, and geolocation is supported for ensuring employees punch in and out at the appropriate location.

Changes to individual records are applied in real time, as are features like same-day hires. The pay summary dashboard provides a colorful interface for viewing cash requirements, tax liabilities and reports. Summaries are automatically displayed as pie charts, while expenses are broken down into categories between user-specified dates. 

The platform’s focus on DE&I extends to payroll analytics as well, helping companies to achieve pay equity with real-time visibility into the statistical composition of their workforce. This is useful for managers who are keen to demonstrate a commitment to equality across their business.

Subscription Tiers

Paycor’s four subscription tiers are Basic, Essential, Core and Complete. While payroll is included in all four tiers of Paycor subscription, the Basic package provides only limited support for wage garnishments. It also excludes features like 401(k) integration, job costing, analytics, expense management, recruiting and hiring, and talent management. 

Core is the first tier to receive expense management, and this provides the same payroll functionality as the Complete package. Even so, we appreciate that key payroll services are offered with all Paycor subscriptions, rather than being an added-cost option or available only on premium packages. 

Users should note that only basic analytics capabilities are available with the Essential and Core packages, so those interested in Paycor’s full suite of analytics tools will need to purchase the most expensive Complete plan.

Paycor Costs

Paycor offers plans geared toward small (fewer than 50 employees) and midsize (50 to 1,000 employees) businesses. We like that it doesn’t require an employee minimum, unlike some competitors we reviewed.

If you are looking for a small business HR plan for fewer than 50 employees, you can choose from four tiers:

  • Basic: For $99 per month plus $6 per employee per month, businesses can access Paycor’s payroll and tax service, online reporting, new-hire filing, and other basic features.
  • Essential: For $159 per month plus $9 per employee per month, this plan gives you access to everything in the Basic plan, plus features for labor distribution, onboarding, job costing, PTO tracking, 401(k) features, basic analytics, recruiting and hiring, and HR support center access.
  • Core: For $199 per month plus $12 per employee per month, this plan includes everything in the Essential plan, plus expense management, in-app communication features, and access to leadership tools and training.
  • Complete: For $299 per month plus $16 per employee per month, this plan gives you access to everything in the Core plan, plus advanced HR features, like advanced analytics, career management and compensation planning features, and talent management functionality.

It is worth mentioning that Paycor was waiving setup fees on these plans at the time of this review, but it previously charged a one-time setup fee for the Essential, Core and Complete plans, which ranged from $59 to $199 depending on the plan. 

If your business has 50 to 1,000 employees, you’ll need to reach out to Paycor for custom pricing. There’s a free trial, which allows users to try Paycor’s payroll, onboarding, HR and time-tracking solutions for 14 days, so you can test the product before you commit to it. 

Paycor Setup

The Paycor implementation team will ensure a seamless transition by working with you to establish timelines, share training resources, collect and review employee and customer data, and configure your database. Essentially, the team does the heavy lifting while your team is learning how to use the new technology.

The Paycor platform is relatively robust, so it may take a few weeks or months to set up, depending on the scope of your needs. During this time, a representative will work with you to ensure that you have access to all of the features you need and that your employee data has been transferred successfully.

Once your system is live, you’ll be introduced to your ongoing support team, which will prepare you for long-term success. The mid-market plans offer all of the features in Paycor’s smaller bundles but are designed for companies with 50 to 1,000-plus employees. These plans are fully customizable, but you’ll need to talk to the Paycor sales team about pricing for your business.

Paycor Customer Service

Paycor’s customer service agents are available by live chat, email or phone. The support hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, for payroll products and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for all other products. That is a larger window than what many competitors provide. Many competing software vendors operate in the Pacific Time Zone, which can make it more challenging for East Coast businesses to get morning support. We like that Paycor covers standard business hours for all U.S. time zones. However, if you’d prefer 24/7 customer service, check out our Paychex HR software review.

Paycor offers a helpful training hub for customers who want to access resources, videos and e-learning classes. This is a helpful support tool for new users who need help completing tasks such as payroll or even implementing the platform.

Paycor Drawbacks

Smaller companies with the most basic requirements may find Paycor too expensive for their needs. We like that the company has packages geared toward businesses with fewer than 50 employees, but they may not be the best value for small businesses that don’t have extensive reporting, benefits or scheduling needs. In addition, businesses must upgrade to a higher plan to access Paycor’s standout features, like the analytics tools, report builder, and compliance support options.

Another drawback to consider is the implementation time. Paycor provides a lot of support during the implementation phase, but you likely won’t be able to get up and running right away. Expect the process to take several weeks or even a few months. If you need to get started with new HR software more quickly, check out our best picks page to find HR software with a shorter setup time. Competitors, such as those featured in our TriNet HR software review and Rippling HR software review, often offer implementation times that range from several days to a couple of weeks.

Methodology

We conducted comprehensive research and analyzed dozens of HR systems to identify the top HR software solutions on the market while comparing their features, customer service and pricing. We watched product videos, took an online tour of the platforms and attended demos with staff. When looking for the best HR software for reporting and analytics, we prioritized ease of use, customization and actionable insights related to key business concerns, like employee turnover.

Paycor FAQ

Yes. Paycor offers time and attendance features. Employees can clock in and out through the web platform or mobile app. These features are available as a subscription add-on.
Yes. Paycor has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.
No. The Basic plan does not include reporting and analytics. To access reporting tools and the report builder, select the Essentials, Core or Complete plan. To access the full analytics tools, choose the Complete plan.
Yes. Paycor includes scheduling tools to help managers create custom schedules. Paycor can also automate scheduling by automatically filling in your scheduling template based on employees’ availability.

Overall Value

We recommend Paycor for …

  • Businesses that want access to advanced reporting and analytics features.
  • Small businesses with DE&I initiatives.
  • Organizations that want access to reports and employee feedback surveys that can help address retention issues.

We don’t recommend Paycor for …

  • Companies that need to set up their new HR software service quickly.
  • Small businesses that are looking for the most affordable HR software option.
author image
Kaylyn McKenna, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
For more than 10 years, Kaylyn McKenna has studied the ins and outs of the workplace experience. With guidance designed to help both employers and employees, she advises on workplace matters affecting small businesses. This has ranged from providing recommendations on HRO and PEO services to sharing pointers on job interviews and managing increasing workloads. Her expertise has been trusted by JobGet, Business Management Daily and others. McKenna holds a bachelor's degree in business administration. While pursuing her master's in industrial and organizational psychology, she focused on relevant topics like organizational change, high-performance teamwork and customer relations. McKennna has also led webinars on workplace happiness and unconscious bias in the workplace. With her additional interest in e-commerce and finance, McKenna's work has appeared in Forbes, CBS News and Accounting.com.
Paycor company logo
Editor's Rating9.2/10
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