Paycom vs. Paylocity: Which is Best for your Business?

Paycom and Paylocity are both large software companies providing payroll and HRIS services, making them top options for companies looking for payroll solutions.

Both systems have functionalities designed to help with tax filing, wage garnishment, compensation budgeting, expense management, and HR and payroll data management. But when it comes down to it, how do they fare when put head to head? This guide will help your sort through the strengths, drawbacks, and notable differences between the two platforms.

How They Compare


Paycom is an online payroll and HR software commonly used by mid to enterprise sized businesses, mostly in the IT and healthcare industries. It’s attributed as being one of the first fully online payroll service providers.


  • Comprehensive tax filing and payroll management
  • Self-service portal and app for employees to run their payroll
  • User-friendly expense management
  • Solid third party integrations for workforce management and accounting


  • High learning curve to getting started
  • Can’t include US and non-US based employees same payroll system
  • Scheduling cannot automatically account for staff qualifications
  • Time tracking cannot handle employee alternative rates at different locations
  • No auto-scheduling or demand forecasting AI


Alongside Paycom, Paylocity is one of the oldest fully online payroll service providers. Since its founding, Paylocity has expanded to include broader HCM functions and is popular with medium sized businesses in health care and retail.


  • On-demand pay
  • Wage garnishment
  • Social community and employee recognition features
  • HR document management


  • Modules that seemed disconnected or siloed from each other
  • Limitations with pay rate assignments
  • Visually outdated and functionally difficult for end-users
  • Leave management system is hard to use
  • No demand or labor forecasting
  • No auto-scheduling

Pricing for both platforms is quote-based, so you need to get in touch with their teams to know how much it will cost for your organization.

Paycom and Paylocity both have the fundamentals of what a solid payroll and HR platform should do. Choosing the better payroll system between the two of them comes down to your specific needs - these can only be addressed via in-depth product demos. But at a glance, you could see Paycom as being more suited for enterprise organizations in need of more automation, while Paylocity is more appropriate for medium-sized businesses that prioritize employee engagement.

Paycom: Large-Scale Payroll and HR Automation

Paycom     |     User Reviews

Paycom is an online payroll and HR payroll software designed and developed in 1998. It is one of the first fully online payroll providers. Later, they added other modules to adapt as more cloud-based services entered the market.

In short, you should use Paycom if you are an enterprise level organization looking to make payroll more efficient through automation at a large scale. Payroll must be a priority here, because this is where Paycom specializes.

Paycom has a suite of features intended for talent acquisition, performance management, onboarding, benefits administration, talent management, and payroll tax management. Beyond payroll and HR, Paycom also offers a basic time and scheduling module.

Large businesses choose Paycom for its ability to handle large amounts of payroll and HR data. Small businesses, however, may find the scope off Paycom’s functionality overwhelming, and as such, should most likely avoid the platform.

Features and Benefits of Paycom

The key benefits of Paycom revolve around some of its top tier payroll services and HR functionalities, listed here:

Direct Data Exchange tool

Paycom has a dashboard that displays live insights on different HR analytics, which is visible to executives and employees alike. This tool also tracks platform usage, giving insight into ROI and helping increase adoption. Furthermore, this feature boosts the platform’s self-service capabilities as it allows employees to access their data 24/7.

Single sign-on platform

Users only need to sign in once to access the different modules and services within Paycom. Users sign in once via the desktop or mobile app and can access their schedules, benefits package, and onboarding tools. With this functionality, users can switch between modules easily.

Data storage and reporting

Another strong suit of Paycom is its ability to handle a large amount of HR data and translate it into useful reports for carriers, vendors, and staff. It provides visibility into payroll, tax, applicant tracking, and benefits data, which helps improve HR operations and manage staff information.

Employee self-service app

Employees can do a lot of HR-related tasks via Paycom’s app. For example, it makes it easy to manage time-off requests, view benefits, edit direct deposits, upload reimbursement receipts, receive pay stubs, complete surveys, and run their own payroll. This functionality is intuitive and helps eliminate unnecessary back and forth and offloads some monotonous tasks from managers and administrators.

All-in-one payroll processing

Paycom can handle different areas of payroll—expense management, wage garnishment, and tax filing. It’s very powerful in a sense that it streamlines the payroll process through automation and enabling employees to run their own payroll.

What are the Negatives of Paycom?

Paycom is undoubtedly a powerful payroll and HR system, but there are areas where it can fall short. While it’s effective at most payroll and HR processes, it definitely lacks in workforce management capabilities. Let’s take a look at some of the drawbacks of Paycom.

Limited scheduling capabilities

Paycom’s scheduling may not be robust enough for some organizations. It doesn’t take into account crucial staff qualifications and certifications, which can pose potential problems when unqualified employees end up being scheduled for roles they’re not qualified to perform. Furthermore, managers can’t see the cost of schedules before it’s published, which can be detrimental to keeping labor costs low.

No real-time sales vs. labor tracking

Real-time tracking of sales and labor tracking are crucial for businesses, especially for frontline teams. Unfortunately, Paycom is limited in this regard. It offers limited real-time visibility into labor costs and wage variances on schedules and timesheets, which makes it hard to compare live sales data to staffing levels.

Minimal AI forecasting

Implementation can be stretched out for a lengthy amount of time, depending on your organization's size. It takes a while for the system to be fully in place and even longer for managers and staff to use it comfortably, limiting ROI and adoption.

Steep learning curve for HR reporting features

Ease of use is an issue with this feature. It requires HR teams a lot of time to get familiar with this tool. Furthermore, small businesses may find this feature daunting, while bigger organizations may grow impatient with the learning curve the functions require.

Paylocity: Robust payroll focused on employee engagement

Paylocity     |     User Reviews

Paylocity, founded in 1997, is one of the original online payroll and HRIS management providers. Given its many years in the market, you can expect a suite of features for payroll and HRIS.

We’ll keep things simple: you should use Paylocity if you are a medium sized businesses seeking a payroll service that prioritizes user engagement.

Paylocity has tools for HR, benefits management, talent management, and payroll. The company is also big on being people-centric, and most of its key benefits and features revolve around simplifying the payroll process and improving employee experience with community and survey tools.

Paylocity is a great choice for any businesses looking for payroll automation. However, every SaaS has its limitations - Paylocity is no different.

Features and Benefits of Paylocity

Here are a few of the key features and benefits that make Paylocity a solid solution for payroll and HR management:

Strong payroll management tools

Paylocity has a wealth of features for payroll-related processes, such as tools for expense management, tax services, on-demand pay, and garnishment. Through data integration, they can also automate the transfer of 401(k) information, retirement plans, and benefit files with other vendors. Furthermore, it has custom general ledgers, accruals, and reports with calculations.

Employee engagement

A robust employee experience module is another key benefit of Paylocity. Its community feature streamlines employee communication and collaboration and takes out long back and forths via email and other outdated communication channels.

Paylocity’s employee experience module also fosters employee satisfaction through surveys and a peer recognition mechanism. Managers can schedule new hire check-ins, measure employee sentiment through regular surveys, and set benchmarks to prevent turnover through exit analysis. For employees, answering these surveys is easy as they can complete them via the mobile app.

Human capital analytics

Paylocity's Modern Workforce Index helps track app utilization and employee engagement metrics. This feature enables you to determine ROI and see if the platform is maximized in the organization. It also gives you an insight into your employee engagement and compares it with businesses like yours, so you can benchmark scores and see areas for improvement.

Employee self-service

Paylocity also has strong employee self-service capabilities. It provides employees an easy way to access their benefits, earned wages, and learning management system, significantly reducing the admin work for managers and HR.

HR document library

Paylocity helps keep HR documents centralized in one place, making files easier to locate and organize. Role-based permissions for the library enable the organization to manage who can see and access which documents.

What are the Negatives of Paylocity?

Paylocity has noteworthy features around payroll, but it doesn’t come without its limitations. They mostly center around employee scheduling, time and attendance, and other significant aspects of workforce management.

Limitations with labor forecasting

Paylocity has an employee scheduling module, but it needs to be more advanced to forecast demand and create schedules based on it. Like Paycom, it's limited in anticipating demand based on metrics such as seasonal trends, sales data, foot traffic, weather, and other relevant factors that affect demand and the level of staffing needed.

Notifications not going through for significant alerts

There are cases when users are not notified when schedules are published or when leave requests are submitted. Such crucial warnings falling through the cracks can cause operational issues, like an employee on PTO being scheduled to work a shift or staff overlooking their upcoming schedules.

Issues with assigning pay rates

It's difficult to assign more than one pay rate for an employee. If you have staff that works multiple roles and are entitled to different pay rates, you may have to resort to manual workarounds to set their rates correctly.

Employee scheduling module is not user-friendly

Paylocity's employee scheduling module is less powerful than the others. It's basic with limited scheduling views and, as mentioned, very challenging to schedule by demand. Furthermore, the scheduling tool seems disconnected from payroll and HR modules.

Siloed experience in between modules

Data transfers between Paylocity's modules are not as seamless, resulting in information needing to be manually entered into each module. For instance, user reviews mention that recruiting and onboarding data don't completely transfer onto payroll. In addition, configuration can also take a lot of time for businesses with specific policies and needs. The secret to better payroll

Paycom and Paylocity are both good HR and payroll service providers, but they have significant gaps in employee scheduling and time and attendance. Therefore, pairing either system with a specialized workforce management platform tends to be industry best practice. is a platform that complements either Paycom or Paylocity. What both platforms lack in WFM, makes up for with best in class employee scheduling, labor forecasting, and time and attendance. It's best suited for mid to enterprise-level businesses in healthcare, hospitality, and retail.

Businesses that pair their HRIS and payroll platforms with realize the following benefits:

Faster payroll processing with fewer errors gets employee time right the first time so you don’t have to mess around with fixing errors come pay run. Staff clock in via tablet or phone and timesheets are generated on a daily basis. All time is mapped in real-time to a robust scheduling system, meaning you’ll see wage and hour variances on every timesheet.

When it comes to exporting time to your payroll system, the process has never been easier. Managers can auto-approve correct timesheets in bulk and quickly identify those with errors. After timesheets go through, you can ret assured that you’ll be paying your staff correctly and on time, every time.

Advanced scheduling and time tracking

With, time clocks and schedules are integrated into a single system. Managers can view actual versus scheduled wage costs in real-time and stay and receive overtime alerts, which enables them to stay on top of labor costs. A live timeclock feed helps managers quickly react to attendance issues, while shift swap and shift claiming tools make last minute schedule adjustments a breeze.

Industry-leading labor forecasting eliminates under or overstaffing with accurate labor forecasting. The system pulls in all relevant data to accurately predict the amount of labor needed based on demand. To make the most efficient schedules, the platform takes into account sales data, seasonal trends, weather, historical trends, booked appointments, and other relevant information that can impact demand.

Air-tight labor compliance flags managers to potential labor law violations on schedules and timesheets. Employees can be schedule according their qualifications, and maximum hour thresholds can be set. In addition, adheres to federal and state-based regulations and automatically ensures that you stay compliant with overtime calculations and rest break standards.

Powerful integration, when paired with a payroll and HR system like Paycom and Paylocity, helps further streamline scheduling and time and attendance tracking. Thanks to its open API integrations, it easily pulls in information from platforms you already have, such as payroll and HR systems. This eliminates manual data entry and helps automate processes like timesheet export to your payroll system.


Both Paycom and Paylocity are excellent choices for HR and payroll. But if you are looking for other options, check out our comprehensive guide to payroll platforms.

If you require superior payroll automation, Paycom is a good choice. But if boosting employee engagement is a priority for your company, Paylocity would be the better option.

However, if you're looking to get employee time right BEFORE running payroll, it's best to look beyond what Paycom and Paylocity offer. Instead, make both platforms better by getting a WFM-specific platform first and then integrating it with whatever payroll system you choose.

Interested in how complements Paycom, Paylocity, or any other system? Book a call with us today to learn more.